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31 May 2017

Beggars’ Hill "Beggars’ Hill" 1976 UK Private Folk Rock




Dave Frohnsdorff (bass) & Neil Stanford (electric guitar)

Dave Frohnsdorff (bass) & Pete Roberts (drums) in the recording studio

JM Davis (banjo) & Dave Frohnsdorff

JM Davis (dulcimer) rehearsing at home

Marc Isherwood taking refreshment during a break in the recording session

Neil Stanford (electric guitar)

Peter Sharp (electric guitar), Marc Isherwood (bass), Jo Battley (vocals) & JM Davis (12-string guitar)



Rob Boughton (engineer) at the 8-track recording desk

Robin Hamilton (electric mandolin)

Peter Sharp (electric guitar)

Poster for the Ewell Tech Rag Week concert


Beggars’ Hill  "Beggars’ Hill" 1976 UK ultra rare Private Folk Rock
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Beggars' Hill folk-rock album from 1976 which is now much sought-after by record collectors is finally out on CD for the first time. Beggar's Hill fall into the bracket of rare and collectable music like Mellow Candle who on their first time round only had a very limited release on vinyl and nowadays making it a very collectable piece. Guest musicians of the time include John Rodd (Albion Band) and Neil Stanford (Fiddlers Dram& Everly Brothers guitarist on "When Will I Be Loved?". Beggar's Hill have had something of a cult following over the years and is sure to appeal to the avid folk collectors of today...............

A large, semi-electric UK folk band from Croydon, Surrey, whose line-up comprised Chris Walker (vocals, guitar), John Davis (guitar, dulcimer, banjo, vocals), Dave Frohnsdorff (bass, concertina, autoharp, vocals), Peter Sharp (guitar), Pete Roberts (drums, percussion), Marc Isherwood (bass), Jo Battley (vocals), Laura Dixon (flute), Neil Stanford (guitar), John Rodd (concertina) and Robin Hamilton (fiddle, mandolin). The band made one album of traditional and contemporary material in 1976. It now commands a high price from serious record collectors..............

Remember, the album was released in 1976 as a private pressing of 500 copies and was for sale for £2.60, which was just a little below the price in those days for albums bought in record shops. By late 1977, with no members of the group in the local area to promote it at gigs, the venture had quietly faded away, so I closed the business, de-registered for VAT and claimed back an income tax rebate due to the business loss.

In 1976 there had been 500 copies of the album, of which about 100 were sold and another 15 or so given to newspapers, magazines, libraries etc. for review purposes to assist with promotion, so that left me with about 385 copies, at first ............... But by the end of 1977, I was getting married to Janice and we were buying our first house. It's probably hard to imagine, but 385 copies takes up a huge amount of space. Each box held 40 copies of the record and inner sleeve, and was about 12 inches x 12 inches x 4 inches (or 300 x 300 x 100 mm in metric), and there must have been 10 boxes of records, and then 10 more boxes of the same size for the covers. That takes up a lot of space which we did not have available in our first house. So I kept a box of records and a box of covers and took the rest to the local rubbish dump. After all, there was no chance of selling any more, was there? The group all had separate lives, careers and families, and I heard nothing more until .........

Only album by British Folk-Rock group Beggars` Hill, which was for years one of the most sought after LPs of the genre, finally sees a CD reissue. The band was a pretty lose collection of singers and players, but the core of the band consisted of Dave Forhndorff and John Davis, who are present on all the eleven tracks of the album. Stylistically very similar to other British Folk-Rock outfits of the day, like Pentangle and Fairport Convention, the album is a classic of the genre. The original LP was privately pressed in 500 copies only and in time obtained a legendary status of a lost gem. In retrospect it still sounds great and is a pure delight for fans of the genre. Wholeheartedly recommended!.....by.....Jazzis ...........

With only 500 pressed, original 1976 vinyl copies of the sole album by unsung Surrey-based folk-rock foundlings Beggars’ Hill are failsafe wallet-lighteners these days, fetching anything up to £250 – ie, £247.40 more than the initial asking price. Had the album contained any original compositions you could arguably double its true value.
Beggars’ Hill – gimlet-eyed sleuths will notice a wandering apostrophe on the CD spine and on the disc itself – were a young, open-ended collective who specialised in diligent, dignified rearrangements of worthy folk fare, whether drawn from traditional sources (Jack Hall, Here’s To The Last To Die) or from then-contemporaries (New St George and Poor Ditching Boy by Richard Thompson; If You’d Been There by Bridget St John). In the main, their poised and painstaking approach works a treat – notably so in their commendably gentle, lyrical interpretation of the Robin and Barry Dransfield arrangement of The Wild Rover. Folk-ophobes may admittedly find all of their prejudices confirmed – everything is sung straight down the nose, with a palpable sense of real ale retention, finger-in-ear earnestness and beard/jumper interdependency – but just as strong is the sense of warm, familial, humanistic conviviality which any decent folk club provides. Inessential, perhaps, but no less pleasurable for that.................

Tracklist
A1 New St. George 2:29
A2 Cannily, Cannily 1:57
A3 Jack Hill 5:21
A4 Here's To The Last To Die 2:40
A5 Let It Be Me 2:05
A6 Who Knows Where The Time Goes 5:36
B1 When Will I Be Loved 2:21
B2 The Sailor Home From The Sea 2:53
B3 If You'd Been There 3:40
B4 Poor Ditching Boy 4:42
B5 Wild Rover 5:38 

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