Folk - Tim Laycock

Dorset is full of strange place names, like Piddlehinton, Shitterton, Ryme Intrinseca, Droop, Hazelbury Bryan, Melbury Bubb, Puddletown, Troytown, Toller Fraturnum and Happy Bottom. Happily, all of these place-names and more have been collected in a folk song, called ‘Courting in Dorset’ which will be one of a selection of local lyrics sung in the Royal Oak by Dorset-based folk legend Tim Laycock. “There have been a number of requests from a folk club regular whose 70th birthday it is on Thursday,” he says, “and that’s one of them. I sing songs from all over the south of England, but as I’m a Dorset lad, a lot of them come from around there.” He will accompany his songs on the concertina and melodeon.

In the background, as we speak, I can hear a trumpet playing: Tim’s in the middle of a rehearsal with his New Scorpion Band. He’s one of those multi-tasking types: he’s also a successful actor and playwright. “But folk is my first love. I went to Norwich University and there I heard a lot of people singing folk songs and playing the squeezebox. I joined in, and I’ve been part of the folk scene ever since.” Most of his songs are traditional ballads. “But I do write some of my own stuff and I have also put the poetry of William Barnes and Thomas Hardy. Both of these wrote in the Dorset dialect. Hardy wrote hundreds of poems, but it is his earlier ones which work better as folk songs.” AG

Tim Laycock: The toast of Piddlehinton
Royal Oak, Station St
When? 8pm
How Much? £7.50
(t) 01273 478124
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