Having been Pipe Major of the Coldstream pipe band for many years and performed for local functions as a vocalist / one man band, Rob Bell waited for retirement to step into the recording studio after Ian Green of Greentrax recording suggested he perform 'Flodden Ride' for the compilation CD to mark the 500'th anniversary of the battle of Flodden.
No stranger to the 'recording booth' is Kenny Brodie, having spent many hours in the studio as a session guitarist with top musicians and bands. Kenny and Rob have performed together in local bands over the years and continue to entertain groups and clubs within the town.
CD1 - Songs And Music Of Flodden (15 tracks): Flooers O' The Forest (Dick Gaughan) * Ettrick (Archie Fisher and Garnet Rogers) * Flodden's Green Loaning (Celticburn) * Lord Yester (Lau vs Karine Polwart) * Flodden Field (Steve McDonald) * The Flodden Ride (Rob Bell) * Flodden Field – Child Ballad 168 (The Owel Service and Alison O'Donnell) * The Bonnie Banner Blue (Children of Drumlanrig and St Cuthberts Primary School Hawick) * The Recruiting Service Drum / Sons Of Heroes (McCalman, Quigg and Bayne) * Sorrowlessfield (Karine Polwart) * Auld Selkirk (Gary Cleghorn) * The Wail Of Flodden (Scocha) * Soutars O' Selkirk / The Deid Cat (Drinkers' Drouth with Davy Steele) * The Ears Of The Wolf (Robin Laing) * The Flooers O' The Forest – instrumental (Gary West).
CD2 - Poems And Prose Of Flodden (7 tracks): Flodden Hill (Iain Anderson) * The Tale Of Richard Lawson (John Shedden) * The Warning To The King At Linlithgow (Iain Anderson) * The Flodden Dead Mass (John Shedden) * Edinburgh After Flodden (John Shedden) * Flodden (Iain Anderson) * Flodden (Marmion) / Flooers O' The Forest (Alastair McDonald).
Songs and Music of Flodden, and a 'FREE' CD of Poetry and Prose of Flodden. Two CDs for the price of one.
9th September 2013 marks the 500th Anniversary of The Battle of Flodden, when an English Army crushed a Scottish Army. This was slaughter on both sides, on a terrible scale. This was the largest battle ever fought between Scotland and England. The outcome was a heavy defeat for the Scots which resulted in the death of James IV, the Scottish King, and approximately 10,000 of his countrymen. This double album is dedicated to the memory of all those who fell on that bloody battlefield - we hope it is a fitting tribute.
Musical artists are Dick Gaughan, Archie Fisher & Garnet Rogers, Celticburn, Lau, Karine Polwart, Steve McDonald, Rob Bell, The Owel Service & Alison O'Donnell, 'McCalman, Quigg & Bayne', Gary Cleghorn, Scocha, Drinkers' Drouth with Davy Steele, Robin Laing (a brand new song), Gary West and the children of Drumlanrig & St Cuthberts Primary School, Hawick. The poems and prose are read by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson, the actor John Shedden, and Alastair McDonald.
To our knowledge, this is the first time that Flodden has been the subject of a collection of songs, music, poems and prose. Many tracks were licensed from labels worldwide, while others were recorded specially for the project. This has been a labour of love for all concerned and - as with the Greentrax World War 1 project Far, Far From Ypres and Scots In The Spanish Civil War- a great sense of pride was felt when the project was completed.
The idea for the collection was brought to Greentrax by Mercat Tours' guide Jim Paris who has a remarkable knowledge of Scotland's history. Jim and Ian McCalman, always an amazing source of information, contributed song suggestions while a search of various websites quickly revealed more songs on the subject than one might imagine. It quickly became apparent that there was a very rich seam of material. When Ian Green contacted the various artists and other record labels all were enthusiastic about the project and a tremendous feeling of goodwill developed and persisted throughout the preparation of this collection. There was a feeling from every quarter that this was a project that simply had to be undertaken, if for no other reason than a historical one but it was of course crucial that it should give listening pleasure. Very quickly an album of songs and music came together but Jim Paris also had researched a number of poems and pieces of prose about Flodden and Ian Green gradually came to the conclusion that an important second CD should be added to accommodate these.
The first CD opens with Dick Gaughan's iconic version of The Flooers O' The Forest and we felt it appropriate to end the CD with a haunting instrumental version on the Scottish small pipes by Gary West. In between there are tracks by established Scottish, New Zealand and Irish artists - it was important to include artists from the Borders too. Recording eighty-one children of Drumlanrig St Cuthbert's Primary School, Hawick, was great fun and they were brilliant in singing Alan Brydon's The Bonnie Banner Blue. The content of the songs vary considerably as do the voices of the singers but it all adds up to a fascinating CD.
The second CD consists of four poems and two pieces of prose interpreted by the wonderful Scottish voices of BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson and actor John Shedden. In addition, our friend Alastair McDonald licensed his version of Sir Walter Scott's Marmion to accompaniment including the Border pipes of Hamish Moore. One of the poems simply titled Flodden was written by a lady who was deeply affected by what she saw and felt when she visited Flodden Battlefield. She passed the poem to the Minister of nearby Branxton Church in the summer of 1981 and he subsequently gave a copy of the poem to Jim Paris. We are anxious to contact the lady in question.
Jim Paris has written very interesting notes on the project and he also selected the paintings and artwork, including The Blue Blanket Flag said to have been carried to the battle by the Edinburgh contingent and brought back to Edinburgh by Randolph Murray, Captain of the City's soldiery. We are most grateful to The Right Honourable Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh; Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council; The Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh; Ian Robertson, Curator of the Trades Maidens Hospital, Edinburgh; artists Judith Bromley and Robert Nicholls; Askrigg Studios, North Yorkshire; Margo MacDonald MSP; Gordon Casely, Aberdeen; Charles Knightly, York; Reverend Rob Kelsey of Branxton Church; Dr. Katie Stevenson, St Andrew's University; and Dr Gordon Pentland, University of Edinburgh. Their kind help and co-operation was so important to the project. The sleeve notes contain full details and credits.
Our thanks to Wuntertùte Music, Snow Goose Songs, Celticburn, Lau Scotland Limited, Aquarius International Music, Rob Bell, Static Caravan, Hegri Music, Gary Cleghorn, Scocha Recordings and Drinkers' Drouth for generously licensing tracks to us. Additional recording was by Bees Knees, Kevock Digital Studio, Ian Petrie and Peter Haigh of Pier House Studios, who also mastered the two CDs. John Slavin is responsible for the stunning artwork, including the front cover which he designed around a photo of the Battle of Flodden Monument. The Scottish and English flags were photographed by Jim Paris.