Persistence of ornithological tropes

Keen-eared ones among you will have noticed an occasional predilection for avian imagery in the word-work of Roberts. He’s told us that he’d like to express his indebtedness to Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey for their compendious tome ‘Birds Britannica’, which is very useful for checking all manner of birdular facts – historical, biological, literary, folkloric, u.s.w. u.s.w. It’s a highly recommended volume for any lover of winged things.

In the meantime, before Al unveils some of his own recent ornithological interrogations in song form, he has sung a song on an album called “The Life of Birds” by David Rotheray, former guitarist and songwriter with Hull, England’s The Beautiful South. Al sings the song ‘Draughty Old Fortress’ and David has assembled a great team of other vocalisers including Kathryn Williams, Camille O’Sullivan, Eliza Carthy, Jim Causley, Bella Hardy, Jack L, Julie Murphy, Eleanor McEvoy and Nat Johnson.

David Rotheray’s “The Life of Birds” is available now on Proper Records. Check out for more information.

Pekko Kappi and Alasdair Roberts played and sang a version of ‘The Bonnie Banks o’ the Airdrie’ (Child 14) at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye recently. It features on a CD launched recently to promote the tremendous Leigh Folk Festival (in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England), at which Alasdair, Alastair Caplin and Stevie Jones will be playing this year on Sunday 27th June. Extreme thanks to Paul and Diana Collier for this.