Artist – Chris Broderick and Stuart Turner
Release – And One Red Mitten (feat. Vicky Price and Nick Rice)
Track Listing: –
01. Excerpt From An Inquest
02. One Red Mitten
03. God Knows When
04. The Stuff Inside My Tin
05. The Gin and The Fog
06. Half A Pair of Spectacles
07. I’m A Fire Engine
10. As Hard As Nails Me
11. Blue Ragged Skirt (With Red Flounces)
12. Magical Seed
13. In Me Black Straw Bonnet And Me Old Man’s Vest
14. Deep Blue Ink
15. Michaelmas Daisies and Lilies
Label – Spinout Nuggets
Cat No. – SN079CDb
Release date – 24th February 2023
This CD has been released respectively of the Pod album…
In 2019 Chris Broderick approached Stuart Turner about maybe getting together and writing some songs, with a view to starting a band that was to be called Pod, because Chris liked the way the word sounded. This seemed to be going well. So well in fact that Chris then asked Stuart to set a themed set of lyrics about the life, but not death, of Catherine Eddowes to music. This with a view to performing it as an acoustic piece at the Sweeps Festival. This was to be titled ‘And One Red Mitten’. This seemed to be going well too, with Vicky Price drafted in on vocal duties.
A lot of things got in the way, but late in 2021, Stuart, Chris, Nick Rice, Jimmy Moore and Rachel Lowrie got together at Jim Riley’s Ranscombe Studios to record the first five songs of the Pod album. It was a most exciting time for all of them. Rehearsals for the next batch of recordings were in full swing. It was at this point that Chris was told he was dying.
There was no time to finish recording the Pod album. Chris spent his last weeks finishing off a lot of creative projects, including recording a spoken word intro for any future performance of the ‘And One Red Mitten’ songs, but couldn’t physically complete the Pod recordings. It was all so difficult and painfully sad.
The rest of the Pod team finished the Pod album with Stuart trying his best to sing Chris’s parts as best as he could, with Vicky Price helping there too.
…And One Red Mitten…
“This being a song cycle inspired by a list of the clothes and belongings found upon Catherine (Kate) Eddowes at the time of her death. Catherine was the fourth victim of the “Whitechapel murderer”. Our aim was to humanise Catherine and relegate the perpetrator; she was a person not just a victim. A person who lived a colourful life. Using the incredibly detailed list of her pitiful worldly belongings, which were transcribed for the inquest into her death, we aimed to give Catherine a voice, allowing for suggestions of stories from her life. I find the list strangely poetic, incredibly moving and evocative. I feel that many of the items could stand as the titles of the songs and so they have become. A few recorded verbatim details of her character and intriguing glimpses of her life add even more to the palette. For instance, she and her common law husband had been hop-picking near Maidstone, returning to London just the day before the murder. And, then she’d been arrested, drunk and disorderly, midday at Aldgate, for impersonating a fire-engine (horse-drawn with clanging bell!) The desk sergeant reported that she’d been singing all afternoon and bade him a cheery ‘G’night old cock!’ when she’d sobered up and was released. Whilst economically destitute, eking a subsistence by selling penny-dreadful ballad sheets on the streets, seasonal picking in Kent and occasionally dulling herself with gin to earn tuppence for a bed via casual prostitution, she loved to laugh and sing. We imagined her as defiant too; loving and flawed and we aimed to create songs bursting with life and character. Songs to honour and redefine her memory.”
Chris Broderick 2021
“The bulk of the lyrics to these songs were waiting some years to find a musical home. Chris wrote them without any melodies in mind and no specific musical agenda, although our mutual friend and virtuoso guitar player Kris Dollimore had been in the frame for the project at one point. The collaboration between myself and Chris on the song writing project, that became a band, that became an album (‘Earth’s Rotation’ by Pod, also available from Spinout Nuggets), led to him offering the lyrics to me to set to music. In the interim Hallie Rubenhold published her excellent book ‘The Five’, which I read with much enthusiasm as it seemed to be coming from the same place. Her book directly inspired the late addition of the song ‘Deep Blue Ink’. Chris Broderick sadly passed away before these songs could be performed or recorded. The sound recording of his voice on ‘Excerpt From An Inquest’ was made under difficult circumstances using a hand-held recording device, in the knowledge that he could not be present for any future presentation of these songs. The resultant electrical interference you may hear unfortunately could not be cleaned up any more than we have and no re-recording by anyone else was ever going to be appropriate. These recordings are dedicated to the memory of Catherine Eddowes and Chris Broderick.“
Stuart Turner 2022
Line Up: –
Vicky Price – Vocal, French Horn.
Stuart Turner – Guitar, Mandolin.
Nick Rice – Guitar, Percussion.