The Ship of Theseus Paradox, or ‘Triggers Broom’……
Trigger: “This ol’ broom… has had 17 heads and 14 new handles in its time.”
Sid: “How the ‘ell can it be the same bloody broom, then?”
Trigger: “Well, ‘ere’s a picture of it; what more proof do you need?”
Now in its 9th incarnation, Rapsquillion was formed in 1998 when, as a result of a strange celestial juxtaposition, Keith Thomas and Trevor Hedges met and decided that they would stand more chance of surviving the monthly folk session at The Miner’s Arms, if they presented a united front.
Rapsquillion tries hard to be democratic; we have no leader, and anyone can say what they like at any time (e.g. “I can’t bear that song; let’s try it with bagpipes”). Everyone mucks in – Kay deals with fashion matters, Jen keeps the wine topped up, Dave provides expert critiques, and Trevor handles complaints.
Trevor Hedges carves an erratic, cataclysmic channel through life whilst living halfway up a mountain with a camper van called The Rosabella. When he grows up he wants to be a busker but until then he’ll make do with singing on street corners.
Jenny Wright originates from Kent and moved to Shropshire for a bit of peace and quiet. It was all going so well until she met Rapsquillion. She’s now frightened to go out of the house in case she meets someone else.
Kay Smillie is from Bristol and therefore speaks like a pirate. She was drafted in to Rapsquillion in order to bring down the average age and add authenticity to shanties. Only two mistakes there then ….
Dave Wright is Rapsquillion’s secret weapon. He played the actual harmonica at the actual Alamo, he was at Mafeking where he taught Baden-Powell how to change a tyre on a bike, and he knew Lloyd-George’s father. Popularly known as Flatline Dave (as a result of the recent fitting of a pacemaker which he bought on ebay and hoped would find it’s own way down when he swallowed it), when he blows up the right hole at the right moment he adds immeasurably to the depth of Rapsquillion’s sound. Especially when he’s in another room.
Sue Lawrence splits her time between living on a boat in North Wales and in a cave in Spain. Practice is complicated but interesting……..
Jon Bell has finally allowed himself to be inveigled into Rapsquillion. Goodness knows what the size and shape of the inveiglements were. Jon is the only person we know who plays the concertina, dances and sings all at the same time. We’re not saying it exactly comes out as cross between John Kirkpatrick, Luciano Pavarotti and Darcey Bussell, but it’s pretty impressive!
Scott Zwetsloot is Rapsquillion’s tame melodeon player. He used to be a Scilly man but now he’s not so bad, although he did fall for the old ‘you come and play with us and we’ll *insert your own inducement*….’ routine.
Katie Steggles lives in a hideout on the Shropshire Powys border, where she makes jam and chutney, wrestles chickens and sings. In six months she learned all of the words for the whole of the Rapattoire, thus putting the older members of the band to shame. They have been plotting their revenge…………
Gary Frost is yet another product of the Hyssington singing factory. Well, it’s not far to stagger home after practice and the neighbours are used to it. Gary is a former drama teacher who is responsible for turning some of Raps’ music into mini-versions of Les Mis…
Rapsquillion has also press-ganged two superb musicians to get us out of trouble when we bite off a bit more than we can chew………
Susie Stockton-Link’s scarily strong voice has graced the folk world for many years. That, together with her nettle wine and party-throwing prowess make her an invaluable addition to the Rapsquillion family.
Paul Frowen’s tenor tones, and his instrument, which he cuddles with a strangely unnerving intensity, were recruited to add a bit of class to Rapsquillion performances. Ever danced a jig to autoharp accompaniment? No, we thought not….
Ex-alumni, groupies and assorted hangers-on
Gareth Stackly is a strange, some would say other-worldly, character who was found by Rapsquillion at the back of a dusty, junk-filled room in the late nineties. His dubious hair style, dress sense and personal habits mean that the band are not keen on taking him along to functions so he stays at home in darkness. A handful of cold rice, a plate of raw meat and a bottle of fermented sheep’s milk specially imported from the Caucasus, give Gareth the strange ability to pluck notations and words out of the ether as they float past, so providing Rapsquillion with its unique arrangements of otherwise beautiful music.