* Keith Kendrick * John Adams *
Mick Hennessy * Judi Longden * Derek Pearce (aka Dave Broughton)
This was our 1969 Decca publicity photo! Those who know the personnel may spot that Dave Broughton is missing and his place has been taken by Derek Pearce. Derek sometimes ‘depped’ with the band and it was strange to have him ‘dep’ for the major publicity photo, but Dave couldn’t get the day off work to get down to London.
The Druids were Derby based and ran the Druids Folk Club at the Chestnut pub in Normanton. Other folk clubs at the time were the legendary Peasmouldia, which in its hey day entertained 300 audience every Thursday night. It was at Peasmouldia that John and Keith, along with Bob Fairbrother formed the Springhill Singers, the band that morphed into the Druids with the temporary help of John Squires, who later played with John Leonard, the radio producer responsible for many BBC Radio 2 folk programmes.
It was at the Druids folk club that Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger recruited the band to the Argo label (a sub division of Decca Records) and the next few years included extensive semi pro touring, concerts, radio concerts and folk dances. The first album, Burnt Offering is a collector’s item and copies change hands at fairly inflated prices. The collaboration with the Band of The Scots Guards, Martin Wyndham Read and several others produced an album, Songs and Music of the Redcoats, which had a very long shelf life and became the song ‘bible’ of the battle re-enactment societies until superceded by Strawhead and the Sharp soundtracks by John Tams. The final album was ‘Pastime With Good Company’, the title coming from a track which didn’t feature on the album. Instead it had been recorded as a ‘folk-pop’ single with a Druids harmony vocal backed by medieval band ‘St George’s Canzona’ and some session musicians who normally played with people like Julie Driscoll: Jeff Clyne on bass, Trevor Tompkins on drums and an American keyboard player called Dave MacRae. It was released and died a death but appeared later on the legendary album by Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band led by Trevor Crozier.
The Druids separated in the early 1970s. Mick Hennessy joined Roaring Jelly, Keith Kendrick went on to a varied career as a full time folkie, Judi Longden disappeared into media land and Dave Broughton went up to the northern tip of Scotland, Caithness, where he continues practising to be a fine fiddler. JA went on to join Muckram Wakes.
The Druids reformed briefly in 1995 for an appearance at Sidmouth International Festival and again in 2017 for a short recording session to contribute two tracks on a CD tribute to Trevor Crozier, to be released by Epona Records of Manchester.