Who Are We

Six local blokes who have been singing the carols in different pubs since the 1960’s came together to enjoy singing the carols in disciplined harmony! This objective has been at least partially achieved to the point where we humbly felt that we could make a useful contribution to the tradition. If we could help to encourage¬† more harmony in our local sings we could die happy!

The singers are:
John Fowler, (melody/bass and discipline!)
Nick Farrelly, (melody/fiddle/harmonic advice!)
Gordon Hoyland, (bass-retired)
Graham Sargeant, (tenor/soaring descant!)
Mick Linacre, (bass)
Alec Thompson, (“refined” tenor)
All are seasoned singers from the local area steeped in the carols at pubs, chapels and community events in the Stannington, Worrell and Dungworth areas for many years (Some from childhood and schooldays and that is many years! )
In the tradition of these carols a start is made by a ‘striker’ who hopefully hits the right key for the assembled voices. There has always been a problem in finding keys which suit a varied group of singers and the keys on our recordings suite our range of voices.We hope that our recordings give the listeners a fraction of the pleasure we have had in making them.

humble swain
humble swain

Humble Swain 2016

Review: Stirrings Magazine, Dec 2014
The carols reflect a deep knowledge by their authors of both Old and New Testaments and a tradition of direct communion with their God unmediated by those in authority. The individual tracks are Greeting Song, Awake My Harp, A Song for The Time (solo J.F.) Jacobs Well, Mount Zion,The Christmas Goose (solo G.H.) Awake Arise Good Christians, Stannington – (solo A.T.), While Shepherds (Lloyd), Hail Smiling Mom, Pentonville, Boar’s Head Carol, Tinwood, Bright New Year a ‘cycle of the seasons’ song with solos by A.T. who wrote it. The inclusion of the Goose song by Gordon is typical of pub sessions where slightly ‘profane’, as opposed to sacred, songs from huntsmen, glee club singsongs, ramblers and others in the area are always well received in the spirit of the season after a few drinks. So the CD ends with a seasonal greeting song and reinforces the feeling at this time of the year, a week after Armistice day, when we all meet up , shake hands and remember those of who have gone and celebrate in gratitude with those still here to sing together.
I really value this sort of recording and it comes close to the memories of sings where the spirit of the old carollers such as the ‘Big Set’ from the Oughtibridge area were handed on by their elderly successors to draw my own generation into the carols in the 80s as we stood at their elbows and soaked it all up along with beer fumes and cigarette smoke ! Highly recommended for young singers , and newcomers to this vibrant tradition , who would like to hear it from them as knows!

Mike Wild