David Favis-Mortlock & Joanna Davies

Our Loft

Childe of Hale

Me, Andy Norman, and Mandy Evans in Childe of Hale Mandy Evans, Andy Norman and me in Childe of Hale

I played fiddle and other instruments in Childe of Hale from 1982 to 1983. This short-lived, but rather good, band played energetic folk-rock that was also strong on melody, like Steeleye Span.

Amanda Evans supplied the vocals (fine singing, Mand!) and played keyboards, Andy Norman played bass, and Pete Kenna (my old pal from the Rollright Stones) was on guitar and accordion.

The original Childe of Hale was a giant from Hale (duh!) near Liverpool. It seemed like a good name for the band since Mandy, Andy, and Pete all came from somewhere near Hale. Mandy and Andy from Liverpool, and Pete from Widnes. I was the odd one out, but being so short I didn't mind being in a band that was named after the supposed Tallest Man in the World. We used the slogan "Giant music!" in our publicity material.

Mandy and me, next to Andy's white sports car, in the Childe of Hale days Andy Norman, bass player in Childe of Hale

This was a really enjoyable band to be in, despite my personal life being something of a mess at that time. (Which, I guess, is why I have very few photos of Chile of Hale. And none of them include Pete, dunno why.)

Childe of Hale was based in Warwickshire. We spent hours in the pub — the Merry Lion, as it was then named — at Fenny Compton. Andy (that's him on the right) worked behind the bar, so there was no problem getting served. We'd all attempt to write songs. And drink beer. The songs generally got sillier as the night went on. But one or two were OK even after we'd sobered up the next day.

Me in the Childe of Hale days, leaving a gig

Childe of Hale produced some decent recordings (which will appear here when I get time). And we gigged a fair bit too, all in the midlands. We had a great time playing at the former Royal Show at the National Agricultural Centre. And another time we played at at a dodgy beer festival somewhere: the beer flowed so freely that the floors became awash with liquids of all kinds (yuk!).

For another gig, I dyed what was left of my hair a bright blue. After the gig, I slept on Mandy and Andy's nice floral-patterned sofa. When I woke the next morning, the arm of the sofa was also blue. O dear! And the dye wouldn't come off the sofa.

I still feel guilty about that. Sorry Mandy, wherever you are now...

Childe of Hale ended — much too soon — due to intra-band differences. Mandy and Andy went to on to form the Gayle Warning Band. Pete joined a band called Saint Kevin and The Fallen Women.

Next: Dave and Kim