MUSIC - some of the nice people I've played music with over the years - only those where photos exist, I'm afraid
It all started with Pete Shaw's parents going to London for the weekend in 1957. They brought back a 78rpm record for each of the three kids. Pete got the top hit from the show they'd seen - the Banana Boat Song (serious version). Pete's younger brother John got the Runaway Train. Pete's younger sister Marti's present was the new skiffle hit record in 1957. Marti didn't like it (no taste that girl, she preferred Cliff Richard) but Pete got switched on by it - Lonnie Donegan singing Cumberland Gap on one side and Love is Strange on the other. A guitar went immediately onto the Christmas list. Pete eventually got one, taught himself to play - skiffle at first. The first band he was in was The Layabouts with Melvyn Banham, Bernie Westwood and Martin Polson, based upon a Youth Club in Cobden Street, Peterborough. Later, he taught pal Mike Hale to play. The photo, taken 26 July 1963 shows Pete (left) and Mike playing at a St Mark's youth club bonfire, behind the church on Lincoln Road. Students of Peterborough history might also spot Lloyd Watson (pre-guitar days) behind Pete, white trousers & hand in pocket, cribbing a few chords. That cribbing was all the other way later, Lloyd becoming a professional musician. Also in the pic, with his head stuck up at the back towards the left is Tony Chapman, later of Peterborough City Council fame, and Brian Parker, ( facing down, behind Lloyd's elbow) later to become the Fen Five's drummer.
Pete started up a 'beat group' - the Fen Five - based around Mike Hale and others from the St Marks church youth club. Our first proper booking was for Castor Young Farmers Club Social on 20th December 1963 at Castor Village Hall. No alcohol, just cucumber punch. The picture shows the band, dressed up like kippers, given a spot at a May Ball at Orton Longueville School on Saturday 11th May 1964. Left to right: Pete Shaw (lead guitar), Brian Parker (drums), Mike Hale (rhythm guitar), Richard Hale (vocalist) and Dave Everitt (bass).
The line-up inevitably changed when the Hales left Peterborough and Dave Everitt headed off to Agricultural College, being replaced by Alan ("Fuzz") Woolley on vocals,Tom Abondanza then Keith Toms on rhythm guitar and Bernie Westwood on bass. The pic was probably taken at the New Inn - now under the St Mary's Street roundabout in Peterborough - where we seemed to keep getting booked by the Gas Board's Social Club (our vocalist worked for the Gas Board). Pete Shaw (with £35 Rosetti Airstream 3 guitar) and vocalist Fuzz Woolley. Spot the white plastic microphone which taken from our drummer's old Phillips reel to reel tape recorder and mounted on a home-made stand. When you only got £10 or £15 between you per gig and were still at school or apprentices, you had to make do. It worked fine even if it looked naff. Talking about looking naff, mohair jackets were in that year - least, Pete thought they were. Photo: Ian Snowdon.
Pete had to leave the Fen Five in September 1965, due to moving to work in Leicester during the week. However, as one door closes, another one opens. Being introduced to Peterborough Folk Club by a friend, Kay Bloore, and seeing a chap called Martin Carthy play the guitar with his fingers made Pete flog the solid and go acoustic on guitar and mandolin. The folk club was Sunday nights at the Crown Inn, Westgate (under the Queensgate Centre now) and run by Alan Twelftree, Mike Herring and, for a while, Alex Atterson. No pics of them, but one of the regular 'singers from the floor'. Left to right: Dave Smith, Eddie Humphries, Pete Shaw, Kay Bloore, Roger Bush and Dave Inkel - taken in the late 60's probably but why we were wearing ties is unknown.
Skipping the Peterborough Ceilidh Band (Mike Herring, Alan Twelftree, Bas Warrington, Mick Steel, and me) due to lack of photos, Pete accidentally learned to morris dance whilst going to Northampton Morris to learn the tunes after hearing them played along with electric guitars on the Morris On LP in the mid 70's. His first visit to Northampton Morris was in December 1976, soon accompanied by Geoff Philipson, Pete Stafford-Honeyball and others, The pic is the 'Peterborough contingent' he recruited for Northampton Morris, in Cathedral Square, Peterborough probably June 1978 or 1979. Back row, l to r: Dave Hughes, George Stevenson, Pete Shaw, Bill Goodyear, ?, Pete Stafford-Honeyball. Front row l to r: Vic Parsons, Mick Thornton, ?, Geoff Philipson .
With the Peterborough contingent as a core, and others who had not wanted to travel for practices, like Ian Paul, Pete called a meeting on 19th October 1979 which formed Peterboough Morris. Pete became the first Squire (sort of President) and Foreman (dance teacher). Here's Pete dancing Oct 1980 in the Crown, Lincoln Rd, behind Alan Bunch.
Brian Kell was Peterborough Morris' original Fool, although Pete Shaw did deputise for him occasionally. This is a rare picture of Pete fooling, with Doug Sherriff, Peterborough Morris' very first musician playing. The place was outside the Chequered Skipper pub, in Ashton village, near Oundle, probably at the World Conker Championship.
Here's Peterborough Morris again, dancing at the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival in the early 1980's (the clue is the Straw Bear on the left). Musician; Pete Puxty, dancers left to right: Ian Paul, Geoff Phillipson, Gerry Marriott , Pete Shaw, George Stevenson, John Trickey, Tony Forster, Pete Stafford-Honeyball.
Pete has been attending the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival as a WSB musician in January each year since the first year, in 1980. Here is a pic a a rare 'away match', the Bear at the Dancing England day in Derby, 1982. Faces left to right: Pete Shaw, Pete Puxty (facing away), Dave Martin and Colin Turner, with Brian Kell 'driving' the Bear.
And here's one of the front of the Straw Bear's band. Recognisable figures include Dave Martin on the drum, Wocko Watkins next to him on melodeon, Tim Block in Bourne Borderers kit with trombone, Pete Shaw (melodeon), Pete Mac (of 'Band Time' and 'Swing Time' music books fame). The guy in the blackened face, top hat & playing the tooty thing is one of the 7 Champions molly team from Kent, Sandra Green on piano accordeon, and, extreme right, Dave Hunt the caller from Ironbridge way.
The Whittlesea Straw Bear revival is all down to one man - Brian Kell MBE.
For mst of the 1970's and 1980's, Pete sang in a 3 part harmony group known as Claudy. At one stage, we had a monthly evening at The Bell Inn, Stilton, near Peterborough. Left to right: Pete Shaw, Florence Warrington, Terry Warrington.
Again, skipping over more stuff including the Octagon Folk Club, until the photos are available, we move on. The Dennis Cuddles Starlight Band (don't ask how they got the name - there isn't enough space) was formed in 1981 out of musicians attached to Peterborough Morris. Here is the original lineup plus Ray Warrick, who joined later. Left to right: Pete Shaw (fiddle & hammered dulcimer), Pete Puxty (melodeon), Terry Warrington (banjo), Pete Stafford-Honeyball (replaced Brian Kell) (drums), Tim Block (trombone), George Stevenson (caller). The melodeon Pete Puxty is playing was later the subject of a matrimonial dispute. Her: "and another thing, your melodeon is mine, bought with my money". Him: "No, it's only half yours." She disappears downstairs and comes back with melodeon, sliced in half down the bellows by a large bread knife. Her: "OK, which half do you want?" They are no longer married.
Pete has often depped for unavalable musicians in other bands. Here's a pic of a gig with the Waggonload of Monkeys. Left to right: Maggie Wood (caller & bodhran), Alan Wood (hammered dulcimer & melodeon), Steve Youngman (guitar), Pete Shaw (fiddle & sax), Rod Fox (bass guitar).
Pete left the Dennis Cuddles Starlight Band (Pete was the Cuddles - long story) and 1987 to 1992 played for the Pandemonium Dance Band, led by the amazing melodeon player, Dave Jolly. Left to right: Russell Mabbutt (keyboard), Dave Jolly (melodeon), Pete Shaw (fiddle), Ian Clabburn (hammered dulcimer & bagpipes), unknown caller
Here's a later pic of Pandemonium in action. Left to right: Ian Clabburn (hammered dulcimer & bagpipes), Pete Shaw (fiddle), Dave Jolly (melodeon) & Kate Sayer (keyboard) This pic was taken in a pub at the Broadstairs Folk Week in Kent, where Pandemonium were booked for the whole week in August 1988 & August 1989.
Pete fell in love with the Broadstairs festival, and managed to get booked in his own name to run music workshops and sessions every year from 1990 to 2019. Again, pictures missing at the moment.
Here is one from 2014; Pete playing at the Bandstand for the Tap & Sync Appalachian dancers. Dancers left to right: Wendy Crick, Pam Russell, Tessa Goldsmith & Anna Horsey.
Pete has met some cracking musicians at Broadstairs olk Wee. Here is a pic of him playing alto sax in the Triality band - left to right Pete Shaw, Charlie Handley (trumpet), Ted Handley (piano accordeon) & Dave Handley (bass guitar).
At various times, Pete has performed with different people. Here is a pic, probably from the seventies?, of Pete Shaw and Mike Steel performing at an occasional Saturday night gig at the unfortunately long-since closed In Vino Veritas wine bar on St Martin's Hill in Stamford. Mike & Diana lived nearby, in Bath Row, at the time, so neither of us had any driving to do afterwards. The proprietors made the mistake of offering us as much wine as we could drink, in lieu of paying us. We were happy - very very happy. Good times there.
Here's another musical partner at one time - irishman Ray Warrick. The gig was at the White Hart Inn, Ufford.
Since the 1980's until 2022, Pete has led his own ceildh band, playing at barn dances, socials, wedding receptions, etc. The line-up has changed over the year but the name's stayed the same: Hannibal's Heroes Ceilidh Band. Past musicians have included Brian Kell, Christine Kell, Jane Sadler, Katherine Such and others. The last membership, left to right in the cornfield pic, is Sharon Fox (violin & viola), Fi Cowan (guitar), Laura Harwood (flute) and Pete Shaw (caller & 2nd violin).
Hannibal's Heroes' lead musician is Pete Redman (melodeon).
For a while, Pete played with Dean & Jen Hardy, and Alan Marshall on bass as Dean & Co - here they are playing in the Mason's Arms, South Street, Bourne.
doing dances even
in all the best places
Pete has also depped as musician, or as caller, with many other ceilidh and barn dance bands over the years, including Fendragon. Left to right: Gina Holland (recorder), Dave Holland (5 string electric fiddle), Pete (caller), Anahata (melodeons) & Mary Humphries (piano).
This is the irish music band Abandon, left to right: Alan Roberts - fiddle, Jan Scofield - caller, Pete Shaw - keyboard, in front: Roger Scofield - uillean pipes & whistles.
In 1990, one of the most published scholars on the subject of John Clare's poetry - Professor Edward Robinson - brought out a book he had edited of John Clare's Early Poems. These were to be performed to music in Peterborough Cathedral, and he asked Pete to come up with suitable tunes for them. Unfortunately, the date chosen for the performance was Saturday 27th June 1993, and although Pete wrote the music, he was unable to perform any of it, or even to attend, because of the existing Harrison Shaw Cajun Band booking (see next item below). The performance was carried out, at Pete's suggestion, by Dave Fletcher and Bill Whaley, and Paul Dickenson. To see Pete's music - and 90 tunes, some poems and a hymn tune he has written, look on this website for Pete's Compositions, under the Musical Resources tab. These words and music are covered under a Creative Commons License. They may be freely downloaded and copied for amateur use. The words of the John Clare poems are not covered by the CCL.
Back in 1990, Pete's interest in cajun music, from the plains and bayous of south west Louisiana, had been growing. He imported an accordion from there in 1991 and in late 1992 formed The Harrison Shaw Cajun Band with Chris and Gill Harrison. The Harrisons, living in deepest Northamptonshire, had specialised in playing american music for years. Chris on fiddle and Gill on string bass and bluesy voice. Pete Shaw supplied cajun accordeon and twin fiddle, and shared vocals with Gill. Left to right, Chris Harrison (fiddle), Pete Shaw (cajun accordeon, fiddle & vocals), Christine Kell (sitting)(triangle & rubboard), Gill Harrison (double bass & vocals) and Barry Ford guitar. The band got to play all over England and in Wales, for six years, at festivals, dances and cajun clubs. The band's first really big gig was Saturday night on the main stage at Ironbridge Blues & Roots Festival on 27th June 1993. We hadn't been sent a programme and didn't know who else was on. Imagine our delight at arriving to find that the main band on Friday night night was Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys from Louisiana - only the best cajun band in the world! We played cajun clubs and festivals all over England, incl a couple at Cecil Sharp House.The Harrison Shaw Cajun Band split up in late 1998. Final lineup included Jannette Brown, guitar and Chris Petz, drums.
Believe it or not, Pete was the cajun dance teacher of the Band. Before gigs started, he and Christine Kell would show the assembled people how to dance the cajun two-step, the cajun waltz, and the cajun jitterbug. Here are Pete and Christine.
Pete has played in or depped with other cajun lineups over the years, on cajun accordeon, fiddle or guitar, including Doughboy Zydecajun and the Bon Temps Playboys. Pic: Pete Shaw on fiddle with Dirk Powell and Christine Balfa of Balfa Toujours at The Weavers, Stoke Newington, London, Feb 1996.
Pic: Pete playing trombone in Whitby harbour for northwest clog team Crosskey Clog, probably 1989. The central melodeon player with sunglasses next to Pete is Crosskey main musician Mike Hurry, who died in June 1992 and who will be specially remembered by many people. Mike and Pete also ran the Peterborough Folk Club for its last year of existence. Musicians, left to right: Graham Booth, Pete Shaw, Mike Hurry, George Stevenson, Pete Stafford-Honeyball, Paul Eady. One advantage of playing various instruments is that you get invited places to make up the music numbers by dance groups you don't even belong to. Trips with all groups include with Mandrake to Southern Germany, with Crosskey to Portugal, with Magog to Denmark, with Fendance to Hungary, with Pig Dyke to the USA, with Hi Jinx to Brittany, with Peterborough Morris to France and northern and southern Germany several times, with Grand Union Rapper to Ireland and Alford in Lincolnshire, with the Pately Bridge Real Ale Tasting Society to the French Pyrenees, with Wype Doles to Hardraw and with Hi Jinx to Denmark.
Ths pic taken during the Wype Doles longsword team's weekend and tour around the Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw, in the Yorkshire Dales. ,
Pete started in November 2007, and has rune since then a monthly tune session in the bar of the local pub, the Hare and Hounds at Haconby. In June 2023, for instance, 34 musicians turned up to take part, playing melodeons, fiddles, mandolins, guitars, a hammered dulcimer, etc.
In 2019, Pete published the "2019 Bourne Tune Book" of 500 tunes, together with associated online mp3 files. Here is the back cover of that book, made up of photos of many of the people who played at the Hare and Hounds session in 2019. The book was latterly being sold at £20 per copy, but Pete is now giving the pdf away to anyone whe ask, for free. A further Bourne Tune Book is being compiled to be given away.
For many years, Pete has run the Peterborough & South Lincs Folk Diary, which is an online diary of all folky events in the area south of Lincoln, north of Cambridge, east of Uppingham and west of The Wash
Pete has taught people to play instruments since the age of 13, and is a self-employed music teacher, always ready to help students on guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, bass ukulele, violin, mandolin, irish banjo, and melodeon (button accordeon). Lessons are in person in Haconby,or by Zoom on the internet.