Steeleye Span History
17 June 1996
From: Kate Farr
I think I'm sending this to the right person-this net thing confuses me.
However. Steeleye Span were formed by Ashley Hutchings (late of Fairport
Convention) in 1969-he played bass on 'Hark-the village wait", "Please to
see the king" and (possibly) "Ten man mop or Mr Reservoir Butler rides
again" before being replaced by Rick Kemp. Maddy Prior is not the band's
only female singer-on "Hark-the village wait" Gay Woods shared singing
duties, as indeed did husband Terry Woods (who also played cittern and
some other thing) before going on to be a Pogue. I saw a copy of the
latest Steeleye Span LP "Time" in the shops the other day, and I see that
Gay Woods is singing with them again. Other Steeleye Span facts-they
didn't have a drummer until "Now we are six" when Nigel Pegrum joined
them-prior to this any drums required had been played by Rick Kemp (e.g.
"Cam ye o'er frae France"). Guitarists in the band have included Martin
Carthy (briefly) and Bob Johnson (who's still with them). Peter Knight
has always played the fiddle with them, as far as I know.
Hope this is of some interest,
Hello, I just accessed your Steeleye page for the first time. Re band
history, Ashley Hutchings of Fairport Convention formed the band in
late 1969 with Terry and Gay Woods and Maddy Prior and Tim Hart. They
did one album, HARK THE VILLAGE WAIT, with that line-up. Then the
Woodses were replaced by Martin Carthy (gtr, voc) and Peter Knight
(fiddle). That line-up did PLEASE TO SEE THE KING and TEN MAN MOP in
early 70s. There was no drummer, except when someone guested. I think
theses are all out on CD (Shanachie label).
The line-up with Johnson, Kemp, and (later) drummer Pegrum is the
best-known but is really a middle period. Ca. 1977, John Kirkpatrick
(accordion) joined and Martin Carthy re-joined. Band broke up in 1979.
When they reformed ca. 1985, there were new members along with old.
I heard that there was a reunion ca. 9/95 in Britain, resulting in an
album that has Gay Woods on it.
Hi - Hutchings is on Hark the Village Waite as is Gay and Terry Woods -
Gay Woods was the only other female (than M Prior) in Span - However,
she has rejoined the group on their latest album that just came out
"TIME" (interestingly the song "Twa Corbies" on thier fist album shows
up again both on TIME and on Prior's latest solo album.) Prior and
Tabor have 2 Silly Sisters albums out, which are excellent. Tim Hart
and M. Prior made 3 albums before founding Steeleye Span. Prior has
many solo albums. Peter Knight has 1. And Bob Johnson & Peter Knight put
out an album called The King Of Elfland's Daughter back in the late 70s
or early 80s.
I've seen Span 1 time in concert in the late 70s and Maddy twice in
concert - in '92 and '95. I have heard rumours of a tour for Span in
the States - I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
BTW - most people just call them British Folk-rock.
All the best,
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