The hills are alive with the sound of music
The below is reproduced from a leaflet picked up in the Hereford Museum and Art Gallery in Broad Street which currently has a very interesting exhibition on and is well worth a visit.
“Herefordshire has a rich cultural heritage: Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Bruce Chatwin, Francis Kilvert, David Cox and Brian Hatton are amongst the musicians, writers and artists who have been inspired by the landscape and people of the county. Herefordshire today still has a very active artistic community who produce paintings, prints, sculpture and a variety of craftwork.
Contemporary cultural events are numerous, such as The Three Choirs Festival which is one of the oldest music festivals in Europe, Bromyard Folk Festival, The Big Chill, Ledbury Poetry Festival and nearby Hay Festival of Literature.”
The leaflet details information about some of the characters from the past who are part of the cultural history but for the purposes of this post we focus on the musicians who have their roots in Herefordshire.
Back to the leaflet
“Sir Percy C Hull was born in Hereford in 1878. He was an English organist and composer who revived the Three Counties Festival during his time as organist at Hereford Cathedral, 1918 – 1949. His friend Edward Elgar dedicated the fifth of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to him. Elgar lived at Plas Gwyn on the eastern outskirts of Hereford, 1904 – 1911 and composed some of his best music there. Fantasia on Christmas Carols was performed at the Three Choirs in 1912. The work includes inspiration from Herefordshire. The carols were used with the permission of Ella Mary Leather from Weobley, famous for her work on the folklore and traditions of Herefordshire.”
Fast forward nearly 100 years.
“Mott the Hoople were formed in the 1970s but their origin was in two beat bands from 1960s Herefordshire. The Soulents were from Ross on Wye and Pete ‘Overend’ Watts on guitar and Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin on drums. The Buddies from Hereford featured Mick Ralphs on guitar and Stan Tippins on vocals. Ralphs, Tippins and Watts then came together as the Doc Thomas Group. By 1968 drummer Dale Griffin and organist Verden Allen joined the band. They changed their name to the Shakedown Sound and later Silence. Silence recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth. Island Records signed them but without Tippins as singer. Ian Hunter became the singer and Tippins became the road manager. Guy Stevens of Island records changed the name of the band to ‘Mott the Hoople’ from a novel of the same name by Willard Manus. They were closely associated with David Bowie and Queen until 1976 when the band renamed and split soon after.”
Recently, at Brinsop, we have been working on getting a better system in the house for guests to play their chosen music, especially important for weddings but all our other guests too. If you are coming to stay and music is important to you, give us a ring in the office and we can talk through the options.