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A woman videos a performer on her mobile phone inside a church at the Tribute Concert for Paul Sartin.
Photo credit: Pete Glover

A Concert for Paul – Photos and Videos

A Concert for Paul was held in Whitchurch, Hampshire, on October 22nd to celebrate the music and folk passions of the late Paul Sartin.

On Saturday, October 22nd, Whitchurch Folk Club put on A Concert for Paul, a mini-festival celebrating the music and folk passions of co-founder, Paul Sartin, who died suddenly on September 14th of this year. The event was held in the church and grounds of All Hallows, Whitchurch, Hampshire, and was open to the public. Running from 1pm to 5pm, and then 7pm to 11pm, the day included singing workshops, Morris workshops, wonderful dances, and an evening of stellar folk musicians who counted Sartin as a dear friend and colleague.

Many people have told us how much they wished they could attend A Concert for Paul, so we have shared some videos and photos below so that they can see what a wonderful send-off he received.

Ticket sales as well as money donated on the day and via the Paul Sartin Much Loved website is being put towards the launch of a future Whitchurch Folk Festival, something the late musician had very much hoped would become a reality. At the time of writing, organisers say that the figure raised currently stands at around £7,000.

A Concert for Paul

Photo credit: Jon Wilks

The concert was held at All Hallows Church, where many recent Whitchurch Folk Club concerts had taken place. The back wall opposite the stage was adorned with a constantly rotating set of videos and photos from Paul Sartin’s time performing locally and with some of the evening’s musicians.

Alex Merry and Boss Morris, featuring Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron as musicians, run a Morris dancing workshop for those in attendance. In the hours afterwards, several people explained that they had been so inspired by the Boss dances that they’ve decided to form a local side themselves.

Jon Wilks & Jackie Oates. Photo credit: Pete Glover

Local musicians, Paul and Caroline Barber, open the concert in the afternoon, followed by a singing workshop presented by Jackie Oates and Jon Wilks, focusing on Paul Sartin’s arrangements of the traditional songs collected in Whitchurch.

Throughout the afternoon, Bampton Morris Men and Boss Morris kept the concert-goers entertained. Bampton had been Sartin’s favourite Morris side, while Alex Merry (Boss Morris founder member) was an old friend and folk comrade. During the evening concert, Merry and her Morris beasts danced a gorgeous jig inside the church.

Local musician, Hope, was inspired by Paul Sartin to start learning some of the traditional songs of Whitchurch. At the end of the evening concert, she joined the ensemble to sing a solo verse of ‘If I Were a Blackbird’ [Roud 387].

The Andover Museum Loft Singers perform one of Sartin’s choir arrangements of the local traditional song, ‘The Wild Rover’ [Roud 1173]. The musician led the choir for two decades, regularly taking them to perform around the country on stages including the Ham at Sidmouth Folk Festival.

In July, 2022, Sartin organised a concert for refugee aid. This led him to increasing involvement with the Kalyna Choir, a group of traditional musicians currently taking refuge in Winchester from the war in Ukraine. The singers performed in the afternoon section of A Concert for Paul, while three of them returned to dance and sing in the evening schedule.

The evening concert opened with a flashmob performance by all of the attending musicians and dancers. The music started unexpectedly as the audience were still taking their seats. At 7pm, Jackie Oates and John Spiers began playing the traditional tune, ‘Astley’s Ride’, with various musicians and Morris dancers joining them from different parts of the church building and forming a procession to the stage. You can see the whole tune in the video above.

Andy Turner and Ian Giles of Magpie Lane. Photo credit: Pete Glover

Magpie Lane performed the first full set of the evening. The veteran group were a huge influence on Sartin and his peers, teaching them tunes and songs during their student days in Oxford. Fiddle player, Mat Green, is also the squier of Bampton Morris Men.

Tim Van Eyken and Rob Harbron. Photo credit: Pete Glover

Making a rare but very welcome appearance on stage, Tim Van Eyken performed two tunes and one song in the company of Rob Harbron. Both had been founding members of Dr Faustus, the band that morphed into Faustus, one of Paul Sartin’s mainstay ensembles.

Jackie Oates and John Spiers. Photo credit: Pete Glover

Two of Whitchurch Folk Club’s initial supporters, and Paul Sartin’s great friends, Jackie Oates and John Spiers performed three beautiful songs and tunes that included ‘Iruten Ari Nuzu’ and ‘Gallons of Brandy’.

Sam Sweeney, Saul Rose & Eliza Carthy. Photo credit: Pete Glover

Sam Sweeney also took the stage for an exquisite performance with Rob Harbron, two-thirds of Leveret, before returning to form an impromptu band with Eliza Carthy, Saul Rose and Tim Van Eyken – three of whom had, at various times, been members of Waterson: Carthy, and two of whom had formed various incarnations of Faustus. Sartin often said that Carthy’s version of ‘Cold, Wet and Rainy Night’ [Roud 135] prompted him to realise that traditional folk music was where his career lay, and the singer obliged by leading her motley trio in a full-force version this evening.

Patakas (Will and Joe Sartin). Photo credit: Pete Glover

The final stage of the concert was given over to Paul Sartin’s family. Opening the third hour was Bonny Sartin, formerly of The Yetties, singing a hilarious song called ‘The Sartin Survey Song’ (videos to be uploaded soon). Following this came the debut performance of Patakas, Will and Joe Sartin (Paul Sartin’s second and third sons; James, his eldest, was helping backstage), who took the stage to perform an incredibly moving set of tunes and songs related to their late father. Saul Rose and Benji Kirkpatrick took the stage for two Faustus songs, before inviting Joe Sartin to return and sing his father’s part in the traditional song, ‘The Brisk Lad’ [Roud 1667].

Angela Sartin, Paul’s mother, briefly addressed the audience before the entire ensemble returned to the stage to sing ‘If I Was a Blackbird’ [Roud 387] to the rafters.

A Concert for Paul, as organised by Whitchurch Folk Club, was not the official Paul Sartin Memorial Concert. It was arranged in order for his local community in Whitchurch, Hampshire, to pay their respects. Future concerts are in the process of being arranged. For more on the planned Whitchurch Folk Festival, keep an eye on the club’s social media.