Blowing in the wind

Creeping Bentgrass - John Burke (right) and David lancaster, protest cd.
Creeping Bentgrass - John Burke (right) and David lancaster, protest cd.

A Blackpool musical duo has found itself singing alongside Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Paul Robeson and Woody Guthrie – on record at least.

Creeping Bentgrass – aka David Lancaster from central Blackpool (main vocals) and John Burke from Bispham (guitars, keyboards and vocals) – have two tracks on a new compilation album, Songs To Change The World: The Music of Protest, Defiance and Despair, on the Peaksoft label.

Formed in 2000 by for members of staff at Myerscough College, Creeping Bentgrass (it actually is a type of grass) has been performing as a duo since 2009.

David still works at Myerscough College and John works for the University of Northumbria as a senior adviser.

“We get together mainly at weekends but most of our gigs are outside the Blackpool area,” says John, who says the duo’s repertoire spans everything from folk and country to Status Quo and Take That.

They met up with Peaksoft owner Harry Whitehouse through their mutual interest in Billy Fury.

“Harry created the website http://www.billyfury.com and got to know us from our contributions to that website’s sound resources,” says John. “Since then we have played three times at the annual Billy Fury memorial at the Sunnyside Club in Northampton - the last venue he played before his death at 42 in 1983.”

They have featured on previous Peaksoft releases but on his one contribute two numbers – the long lost protest song H Bomb Thunder which has previously only been recorded by a youth choir, and the more familiar Dirty Old Town, which is part of their stage set.

“We got the words for H Bomb Thunder from the internet and I arranged them to the traditional folk song tune Miner’s Lifeguard,” said John. “I have to admit though it does seem very strange having our songs sitting alongside names like Woodie Guthrie

For details of where to buy the album go to http://www.peaksoft.co.uk or the duo’s website: http://creepingbentgrass.blogspot.com