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Pete Coe


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Pete Coe in many ways represents the backbone of the modern English folk revival. He’s been a key member of numerous significant outfits across three decades, including the much-loved duo Pete & Chris Coe (with his then wife Chris), the wondrous dance outfit New Victory Band, folk ‘supergroup’ Bandoggs and political trailblazers Red Shift.

Born in Cheshire, he first started performing at the Songwainers Club while at Cheltenham College and early on was drawn to the more obscure traditional folk songs. In Birmingham he met Chris Richards, a talented blues and jazz singer and the two started working together as Richards & Coe at Birmingham’s Black Diamond Folk Club at the Drover Arms. A broadcast on Radio 2’s old Folk On Friday show on Radio 2 caught listeners’ imaginations and, by now married, they turned professional in 1971 as Pete & Chris Coe.

Pete & Chris joined the colourful New Victory Band with John and Suzy Adams, Roger and Helen Watson and lan and Linda Wordsworth, playing polkas, waltzes, jigs and reels, as well as singing the occasional music hall song. Their classic album One More Dance And Then was recently reissued with bonus tracks by Pete

In 1978 Pete & Chris joined forces with two of the leading solo revival singers of the day Nic Jones and Tony Rose. Based in the north with Jones in Essex and Rose in the west country made rehearsals difficult and the band was shortlived, but Bandoggs made one decent album and are remembered with great affection by all those who saw them, particularly for their outstanding version of Loudon Wainwright III’s Swimming Song.

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