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11th - 18th August 2017
Tom and Barbara discovered each other as kindred spirits over the course of Mayday in Padstow in 1969 and married in 1970. They have been singing and organising together ever since. Although their speciality is songs of the West Country, their repertoire draws from a huge range of traditional and, to a lesser extent, modern songs. Barbara rapidly gave up playing guitar once she had Tom's instrumental ability on guitar, mandola, concertina and melodeon to accompany her. They both enjoy working with other singers and musicians and, in 1971 formed the vocal/instrumental group Culpepper (while Barbara was working for an auctioneer firm and Tom was working at a special school for disturbed adolescent boys). After moving from North Devon to Exeter in 1980, when Tom succeeded Bill Rutter as Regional Development Officer, for the English Folk Dance and Song Society, they teamed up with Charley Yarwood to form the a capella trio Regalia. By this time they had two daughters to raise, and when Tom was made redundant they moved to London to get work - Tom in Local Government Arts and Barbara in Community Transport.
Pressures of work, raising the daughters and Tom enrolling as an Arts Management student at City University all but halted their performance work for several years but in 1998, after 15 years in London, they escaped (in Tom's case for a second time) from the South-East and settled again back home in North Devon. Tom now has a PhD to his name, to add to his MA, and they are now working full-time at the singing (and in Tom's case calling), with gigs all over the UK. And they're loving every minute of it!
Tom and Barbara run the very popular "Face the Music" sessions each morning at Broadstairs - a coffee and a chat with some of the festival guests.
"I/we look forward to working with you again in the near future. Broadstairs was a hoot and your interview was just an absolute pleasure to undertake." Ian Bruce
And as the sun starts to set Tom and Barbara are back in the Sailing Club to host the Singaround - joined by a festival guest and a vocal and musical audience!