By Dave Roberts ~ b 27 June ‘47, London; d 1996 ~ melodeon, whistles, piano, darabuka & other percussion…
‘Blowzabella’ came into existence in 1978 by happy chance, a group of mad folk studying instrument making at the world famous "London College of Furniture", Commercial Road, Whitechapel, London ~
Jonathan Swayne ~ bagpipes & flutes
Bill O’Toole ~ bagpipes & flutes
Dave Armitage ~ melodeon, bombarde & percussion
~ there studying their craft. Joining them to fill out the band were other musicians in the area ~
Juan Wijngaard ~ hurdy-gurdy & Flemish bagpipes
Chris Gunstone ~ bouzouki & tapan
In 1978 Sam Palmer replaced Juan Wijngaard on hurdy-gurdy. While Bill and Dave were studying and making woodwind instruments at the LCF, Sam Palmer was into making musical instruments with frets…
In 1979 Bill O’Toole returned home to Australia to form the band "Sirocco", of similar intent, and that’s when Dave Roberts joined… Dave Roberts, whose passion was also the dance, played with the group from 1979-1988. After Dave Roberts left, Dave Shepherd (fiddle) took over the role of ‘dance master’, ‘Blowzabella’ having clearly defined it’s role in the ceilidh scene as being more akin to a ‘bal Francaise’, rather than ‘ceilidh’ in the strictly English sense…
In an interview Dave Shepherd had this to say:
"Dave Roberts was an extremely talented musician and could play almost any style of music on the diatonic melodeon. He had lots of enthusiasm for traditional music and was a terrific dancer. He appeared on six Blowzabella recordings and it was a great shock when he died suddenly in 1996. We miss him a lot."
The book “Blowzabella, New Tunes for Dancing” is dedicated to Dave Roberts, who died in 1996.
= One hundred and thirty tunes composed by members of ‘Blowzabella’ ~ compositions by Andy Cutting, Nigel Eaton, Jo Freya, Paul James, Ian Luff, Cliff Stapleton, Dave Shepherd, & Jon Swayne, music composed between 1987 and 2004… Other information included in the book ~ a history of ‘Blowzabella’, dance instructions, bios for ten of its members, photos, a discography ~ and a list of musical instruments and their makers.
Jigs 21; Waltzes 23; Hornpipes 5; Mazurkas 10; Schottisches 30; Polkas 5; 2/4 Bourrées 13; 3/8 Bourrées 15; Miscellaneous 8…
“The Essex Bazurka” by Dave Roberts ~ without the swings and roundabouts
K: G Major
|: D2 ^CD EF | GA Bc ^cd | ed c2 A2 | ed B2 G2 |
(3DED ^CD EF | GA Bc ^cd | ed cd Fd | G2 G4 :|
|: g2 ag fe | d2 Be dB | d^c =cA FA | G2 Bc ^cd |
(3gfg ag fe | (3ded Be dB | d^c =cd Fd | G2 G4 :|
Dave Roberts wrote ‘The Essex Bazurka’ to play in a set with another tune tagged ‘The Sussex Mazurka’…
“The Sussex Mazurka” ~ with apologies about the delay…
# Added by ceolachan - August 30th, 2013