(Canterbury, England) — Pentangle’s Basket of Light happened to be on the turntable when sixth former Jamie Barham needed some background music while studying for exams. By the end of side one, Barham felt a desperate desire to don an over-sized, moth-eaten jumper and quaff regional bitter. By the time the last notes of “House Carpenter” were ringing silent, teenager Barham had transformed, lycanthrope-like, sprouting a full beard.
Instantly, it seems, Jamie Barham had become a folkie.
“‘Pon my work, ’tis the most extraordinary set of circumstances,” the A-grade student pronounced, already adopting that precise and condescending style of speech favoured by folkies and beer enthusiasts alike. “And this Owd Roger puts me to mind of the O’Hanlon’s Yellowhammer (ABV 4.2%) one supped at the Double Locks just outside of Exeter in 1992. I must check my log book.”
The copy heard by Barham of Basket of Light, Pentangle’s third and most commercially successful album, originally belonged to Barham’s grandfather, a semi-retired artisanal cheese maker. However, no-one knows, or is willing to admit, why it was on the turntable.
“I think of Pentangle more as a folk-jazz band than a folk-rock band,” said the newly hirsute teen smugly, as if no-one had ever made that observation before. “You see, they don’t impose a rock beat on their material; rather, they allow the songs’ own internal rhythms dictate Terry Cox’s percussion patterns.”
“It’s quite jazzy in that regard,” Barham continued.
There were already bread crumbs and other bits of food in the beard, which the Canterbury resident stroked thoughtfully whilst drinking beer from a monogrammed tankard.
This is not the first time a teenager has been brought over to the ways of folk music and real ale drinking in this manner. Said CAMRA’s Carl Rosenberg of Pentangle Lps: “Honestly, we get more members that way.”
Jamie Barham plans to finish her studies at Simon Langton Girls Grammar School before she begins work as apprentice duster at Cecil Sharp House in London.
Editor: the last of last week’s bonanza, where I passed on a couple Lindisfarne Lps.