The Watergrain Band is a four piece comprising Ben Paley, Pip Ives and Geoff Sandiford together with songwriter Martin Young. This is the result of a collaboration, in 2013, when Martin Young made the cd, “Watergrain”, with a bunch of fine musicians including the legendary Ben Paley, pictured to my far left. Cue applause. On my left is Pip Ives. Cue applause. Pip is considerably younger than Ben and I so he wasn’t involved in the recording because his eyes hadn’t opened and he was too young to be taken away from his mother. To my right is Geoff Sandiford. More later when we find out how he worked his way in to this band.
“We were very happy to promote a date recently for The Watergrain Band at Folk in the Barn. The audience enjoyed the friendly, gentle delivery of Martin Young’s well arranged and thoughtful material. Pip Ives and Ben Paley on accordion and fiddle added skillful touches of intricate and sensitive playing, giving colour and depth to the arrangements. We’re sure this Trio will go from strength to strength.” DEBS EARL of FOLK IN THE BARN http://www.folkinthebarn.co.uk
“Great night’s music, a band worth taking the time to see again soon”
Frank, Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Westcliff On Sea
“…..the really excellent Watergrain Band….” Doug Welch, Kent Folk-BBC Radio Kent
“Watergrain Band were brilliant, not to be missed, we will be inviting them again” Ted Handley, Orpington Folk Club
March 11th Alexander Centre, Preston Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 8NZ – GREEN DIESEL Cd launch
April 3rd Waltham Abbey Folk Club, The Royal British Legion, Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey Essex EN9 1HY http://www.walthamabbeyfolkclub.com
April 4th Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, The Royal British Legion, 7/9 Northview Drive, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9NG http://www.ridgeweb.co.uk/hoy.ht
July 9th Sandwich Folk & Ale Festival
August 14th Broadstairs Folk Week
September 2nd FAVERSHAM HOP FESTIVAL The Market Inn at 12 noon Alexander Centre, Preston Street at 3pm
September 2nd Lewes Saturday Folk Club Elephant & Castle, White Hill, Lewes BN7 2DJ http://www.lewessaturdayfolkclub.org/indexLSFC.html
September 15th St Edith Folk, St. Edith Hall, High Street, Kemsing, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 6NA www.stedithfolk.co.uk
If you would like to book THE WATERGRAIN BAND please call us on 01795 538238 / 07813 202503 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired by Martin’s solo album “Watergrain”, the band brings to life their take on matters modern and old.
“We are not about protest songs”, says Martin, “others are doing that, there are some political songs and some traditional but we don’t do songs to be populist or to make a cheap point. In the modern world of the internet we are more open to the views of others than ever, these songs are intended to reflect the perceptions of the world and the attitudes of the day. They are about chronicling a moment in time.”
Born in London, he was surrounded by traditional music from the outset: his father (Tom Paley, one of the great figures of the American folk revival), mother (singer Claudia Gould) and step-father (Ron Gould, writer on jazz, country and folk music) were all enormous influences.
At 6 years old, Ben began playing the fiddle, taking formal violin lessons as well as learning traditional tunes and taking his place in the musical life of his family. When he was 9, they moved to Morganton, North Carolina, where Ben began to learn about harmony, improvisation, and playing nicely with others; and where he had the enormous privilege of studying with renowned Nashville session musician Jim Buchanan (who’s played with everyone from Jim & Jesse to The Doors).
Three years later Ben and his family returned to England, and he discovered Swedish fiddle music and Punk Rock. Some years later still he washed up in Brighton: hanging out at Irish sessions; busking; touring the UK, US and Europe; playing recording sessions, festivals and folk-clubs; and playing for more bands than he can possibly remember.
Ben wrote Swedish Fiddle Music: An Anthology, which has become the standard work on the subject in English: “The best tune book and recording of Scandinavian fiddling” says Carl Rahkonen. He also found time to play and record with such people as Damon Albarn, Michael Nyman , Ben Nicholls, theatre company dreamthinkspeak, poet Murray Lachlan Young, The Levellers, The Saw Doctors and psychedelic dance-merchants Mandragora.
Currently he’s working in a duo with Tab Hunter; with Tab, Laura Hockenhull and Dan Edwards as the Long Hill Ramblers; with poet, playwright and songwriter Nick Burbridge in McDermott’s 2 Hours; with his father Tom and Joe Locker in the New Deal String Band; with old-time banjo-player and singer Sara Grey and her son, singer and guitaristKieron Means; with Canadian folk-singer Bonnie Dobson; with Mark Chadwick of the Levellers; with Belfast-born singer-songwriter Dan Donnelly; with Martin Young, Pip Ives and Geoff Sandiford in the Watergrain Band; and in English dance band The Sussex Pistols, amongst other things.
Vocals, Melodeon, Concertina
Born in Hastings in 1987, into a family of musicians and Morris Dancers. At eight years old he took up the Anglo concertina and at ten, the melodeon. Since then his musical career has taken him in many different directions and led him to study Folk music as the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 2006.
He is an experienced Anglo concertina and melodeon player, as well as a traditional folk singer and has already worked with many ceilidh bands and folk musicians young and old! Pip can also teach melodeon, concertina, mandolin, tenor banjo and Morris and rapper dancing.
When he’s not away playing at a festival, ceilidh, or working for Hobgoblin Music he can be found playing in one of the many sessions across Kent and Sussex and enjoying a sneaky pint or two.
Vocals, Guitar, Cittern
One Sunday evening at the Blacksmiths Arms Folk Club, Epping, Essex, in the mid 70’s, Martin was approached by Alan Bearman who was opening the Navvy Boot Folk Club in Walthamstow at the Lord Brooke pub in Shernhall Street.
Alan was gathering floor singers to be sure of offering a full night’s entertainment on the opening night. It was quite an honour, not at first realising Alan was asking anyone who had a musical pulse. Martin was there at the first opportunity. The only floor singer. He soon became the first resident. Later, Alan merged the club with The Three Blackbirds in Leyton, moved to The Chestnut Tree pub in Walthamstow and the Chestnuts Folk Club was born.
Martin made his first album, “The Climbing Boy” in 1993, produced by Graeme Taylor (Home Service) with Jon Davie (Home Service), John Kirkpatrick, Howard Tibble (Shakin’ Stevens) and Valerie Cutler.
The same year Martin moved from East London to Faversham in Kent where he lives today. Opportunities came to work with different ceilidh bands. He played drums with John Kirkpatrick’s Bumper Ceilidh Band and soon began working on a regular basis with Chris Taylor (Gas Mark Five), playing ceilidhs and pub gigs.
Martin’s second CD, “Botany Bay” appeared in 2000, produced by Graeme Taylor with Jon Davie, Nancy Kerr, James Fagan, Michael Gregory (Home Service), John Kirkpatrick and Keith Thompson (Gryphon).
In 2006 Martin was forced to suspend solo work as a result of health problems. Now fit and well, Martin is available, solo, duo and with “The Watergrain Band”, for live performances of his third album coincidentally entitled “Watergrain”. Produced by Martin Young – Acoustic Guitar/Cittern and Graeme Taylor – Electric Guitars/Acoustic & Slide Guitar/Mandolin with guests Michael Gregory – percussion, John Kirkpatrick – Button Accordion/Concertina/Vocals, Ben Paley – Violin, Tim Edey – Button Accordion/Guitar, Ramona Egle – Celtic Harp/Whistles/Violin/Mandolin/Vocals, Zinta Egle – Vocals
This is the third and by far the most creative solo album from Martin Young. He has his (then)seven year-old son, Jack, to thank for the title. Jack took one look at Ramona’s car and named it “Watergrain”.
“WATERGRAIN” now available on CD and Download
01795 538238/07813 202503
Vocals, Double Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo
More to follow.