In 1979, quite out of the blue, I was asked to join a group of musicians who were working on a folk show. The group was called Poor Man’s Burden and the show was Captain Swing; I was asked to play melodeon as well as read the speeches of William Cobbett.
I joined after the group had had a break from rehearsals, so the music was already arranged. I couldn’t believe my luck. It was a time when I was into folk rock and was a massive fan of the Albion Band. For me, Poor Man’s Burden was like an Albion tribute band.
The group organiser and leader was Phil Manchester, a melodeon / fiddle player who conceived the idea of Captain Swing, wrote all the songs and researched the subject matter.
After the performances, Poor Man’s Burden morphed into The Hooligan Ceilidh Band which turned in Bass Instincts and eventually The Hosepipe Band.