An Kynsa - Music from Cornwall

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:19 pm

Post by Cornishmusic » Mon May 07, 2007 8:46 am

As a Writer and Musician Bert Biscoe needs no introduction to anyone here in Cornwall.

"An Kynsa" is a collection of Berts material from the last thirty years.

Hear Tracks now at

buy the cd here - ... rtcdtoth12

1.Come to the Show (poem)
2. London (With Metro Glyder)
3. Agatha Christie
4. Tristan and Isolde
5. Other Side of the World (With the Rage)
6. Marilyn Monroe (With The Brainiac Five)
7. Long October Nights
8. Mining Returns to The Heather (Poem)
9. Collecting (With The Rage)
10. So Good to be Young
11. Talking with Harold Boase
12. Do You Remember
13. Everybody Needs a Friend (With the Oven Ready Angels)
14. All Aboard
15. Get Thee to Greenham
16. I Know
17. Endless River (With The Brainiac Five)
18. Whatever it Takes

buy the cd here - ... rtcdtoth12

The older tracks have been painstakingly remastered and restored from vinyl and cassette sources by Magic Space studios in St Just - most of these tracks have been unavailable for many years, and cover a wide spectrum of material from solo acoustic tracks to full band recordings.

Berts sleevenotes make fascinating reading -
In 1976 Brainiac 5 was gigging hard. It played everywhere it could – from the Heatherbell at Carbis Bay to Polgooth Fair to Club International in Falmouth (run by the wonderful Mr Penny!) – indoors, outdoors, day and night. We rehearsed in Newlyn, in a basement halfway up Paul Hill – we worked hard to perfect a repertoire and a sound, and we gigged, recorded, promoted and wrote. From that time, via many bands and through three decades, friendships, connections, ideas and careers have evolved. The songs on this album span that time, and reflect change, constancy and, above all, a life in which music and words play a profound role.

Bands have included Metro Glider (aka Lipservice), the Rage, Oven Ready Angels and the Boss Band. I have been inspired and influenced by all those with whom I have played, and I hope that all of them feel that our experiences together were good and creative. I have collaborated with a number of people, not least the Brainaics, which, with hindsight, was a genuine, dynamic partnership, and I have been supported by many people in my efforts to play. I owe a special debt of thanks to Sally Campbell (Oven Ready Angels, violin), who taught me the most important thing about songwriting – which is that, at the heart of any song (or any piece of creative work) is a sentiment. I also owe a creative debt to Pete Berryman (Boss Band, Touched by the Granite, guitarist), for whom music is the central matter of living. A man who transcends the everyday when he’s playing. I have continued to play and write and to (hopefully) improve, playing every day, pushing fingers and rain – that’s Pete’s inspiration – although he’d probably scoff at such a notion!

There are also managers (Stevie Lawrence – Metro Glider - in particular), and roadies – Russ (Brainiac 5) and Ron (Oven Ready Angels) in particular. In the 1970s most gigging musicians knew as much about putting new engines into old Transits as they did about Chuck Berry!

These songs were recorded at various times, in various circumstances. Martin and Sal Griffin and Dave King at Roche Recording Studios (RIP) captured many songs. We shared many good times.

My family have tolerated and supported my music – not least my wife and kids, and my parents – its no joke having a foot beating time through the ceiling for untrained fingers year after year. I still owe brother Henry something which helped me to meet my share of paying for Mushy Doubt by the Brainiacs – one day, Dear! Both my kids play guitar, and will do what they do – their music is my pleasure!

The songs:

These songs range across thirty years.

Come to the Show – written on honeymoon, walking the coastpath! The Royal Cornwall Show is such a Cornish celebration.
London – With Metro Glider (Chrissie Quayle on Fute, Chris Price, guitar). Came 2nd in Melody Maker Rock and Pop contest 197?? – beaten by Splodginess Abounds!). Vanessa Williams (bass); Adam ??? (drums); Chrissie Quayle (sax, flute, vox); Carol Mercer (vox). Adam was later replaced by Dave Stone – a great drummer and good Cornishman with whom I shared many journeys and adventures.
Agatha Christie – a ‘road’ song – true. Agatha kept me out of many arguments, and got me through many hard-shoulder hours in broken Transits!. With Kevin Nayling – a schoolfriend, great musician and fire-eater in his day.
Tristan & Isolde – a new song, recorded by Mike Hawkey. My realisation of Cornish identity, subconsciously influencing me to not go to London with the Brainiacs, grew stronger when I stopped touring and stayed ‘ome!
Other Side of the World – A Cold War song – the Rage – Chris Price and I left Metro Glider to form this band. Joined by Tim ‘Vulch’ Chapple and the excellent drummer and motorcyclist, Kevin Leatham.
Marilyn Monroe – the song that formed the Brainiac 5 – in Bernie Harradine’s garage near Pendeen – it all flowed from that jam – I can still remember the excitement we felt at having found the sound! Charlie Taylor’s guitar playing was perhaps the most original and challenging I ever played with – you could sit any song on Steve Hudson’s and Woody’s rhythm section.
Long October Nights – a sentiment and a mood - recently recorded by Mike Hawkey, but written in the 1980s. Old friend John the Fish said he liked it, which gladdened me as I grew up listening to him in Folk Clubs and respect his judgement. A principled and honest man is John.
Mining Returns to the Heather – a poem of loss, decay and hope – no matter how things crumble, the spirit of endeavour and creativity which made them happen will endure, and will carry us forward. Kernow bys Vykken. Recorded by Les Clinton at Newquay (in his basement, which was also a product of Cornish mining zeal!)
Collecting! – The Rage – a song of Jim Callaghan; things were pretty rough in the late 70s – the lights kept going out!
So Good to be Young – recorded with John Saville in Truro in about 1987. We wake with who we are, and what we have done, and who we have known, and we add a daub to the picture each day.
Talking with Harold Boase – with Kevin Nayling – ‘Naylin’’th’Coughin’ – a duo which never performed in public but was full of promise – a voice rediscovered after abandoning tobacco as a method of suicide. Harold was a plantsman, a philosopher, a staunch friend and a maker of gentle mischief who I knew whilst stage managing at the William IVth.
Do you Remember – recorded by Les Clinton as part of a tape – Touched by the Granite – a collaboration with Pete Berryman. Dedicated to Sue, my wife – the cliffs are where we know each other best.
Everybody needs a Friend – Oven Ready Angels – a pop song – John Whitehouse (drums); Tim Chapple (Bass); Sal Campbell (violin). Mid 80s. Somehow, ORA was part of a Truro which has disappeared; a bit subversive, elderly buildings, friendly and full of music. What happened? Marks & bloody Spencers!
All Aboard – a home recording of a song written in a moment for the moment – a warm time around Sal’s wedding to Ian – many friends.
Get thee to Greenham – 1980s, a Thatcher song – Cruise, Greenham Common and a realisation that men have made such horrific toys and weapons that only women can sort it out before we blow ourselves up – Chris Duddle was playing bass with ORA, and he programmed the drum machine – the only time I ever played with one – never, never again – keep music live! Recored by John Saville at a rehearsal in Ladock Village Hall.
I know ?????
Endless River – my one track on the coveted, collectable Brainiac EP, Mushy Doubt. Recorded by Martin Griffin at Roche – to whom, a lifetime’s thanks for his joyfulness, commitment, enthusiasm and friendship – I haven’t seen him for 20 years, but the friendship is enduring – an endless river of goodness – gawd!
Whatever it Takes – friendship is the root. Perhaps, as there’s no track on here from The Boss Band, I could dedicate this to all the musicians who played in it – especially Pete Keeley – another inspirational guitarist whose friendship and humour I value; and Phil Whitfeld, a Trurra boy and rock-solid bassman.

buy the cd here - ... rtcdtoth12

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:19 pm

Post by Cornishmusic » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:00 pm

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