Interviews

Paul Empson talks about his connections with Blondel
to Mike Finney of The Minstrel Newsletter

      Paul Empson's connection with Amazing Blondel goes back almost thirty years to 1969 when John and Terry first formed the band after the demise of Methuselah. It was as the proprietor of the local music shop that Paul first befriended the duo. Over the years Paul has supplied most of the instruments and strings used by the band. He has carried out repairs and even loaned instruments for recording sessions. Paul loaned the dulcimer and supplied the mandola used on the 'Restoration'.
      An accomplished guitarist and bass player, Paul's talents came in very useful in the late 1970s when John invited him to join what was to become John Gladwin's Englishe Musicke. Paul takes up the story:

      "After his solo career, John asked me to join him and Adrian Hopkins to play in The old Amazing Blonde I style. Terry and Eddie were still gigging as Amazing Blondel and so we became 'Englishe Musicke'. The name was later changed to 'John Glad win's Englishe Musicke' and people began to make the connection between us and the original Amazing Blondel" explained Paul.
      "Adrian Hopkins, who had worked with Amazing Blondel on previous albums and done the orchestra arrangements on England, played the recorders, the crumhorn and the bowed psaltery. I took Eddie's part with guitar and vocals. We played new songs in the Blondel style as well as the old favourites such as 'Celestial Light'."

      "We appeared on BBC TV and recorded some of the new numbers. John was owed some studio time from his solo days and so we recorded 'Queen of Hearts', 'Fine Knacks For Fair Ladies', 'Rendezvous' and 'The Blackthorn Almaine'. They were not intended for release but as demos for the major companies but no-one seemed really interested in pursuing anything, I think the record companies wanted the original members. When Terry and Eddie ceased working as a duo, John decided to use the Amazing Blondel name again."

      "We worked together for two or three years and played to student audiences at Sheffield, Newcastle and Salford Universities. Music was changing, acoustic music was going out, punk was in fashion and the audiences wanted something heavier."

      Since his playing days with Amazing Blondel, Paul continues to be a great supporter of the band and is delighted by their 'restoration'. He proudly displays the CDs for sale in his Scunthorpe shop. Paul's musical activities at present include playing in a theatre orchestra for shows and musicals.

      John, Terry and Eddie would like to say a very big thank-you to you Paul for being one of their biggest supporters over the years.

Spring 1997


 Thorpe interview      Gladwin interviewed by Nick Jefferson