Since my teenage years I've taken an interest in our local Geordie dialect songs. I was born and live in the Blaydon area so the 'Blaydon Races' anthem had special significance. I learned a few of the very well known songs and occasionally performed them (voice + guitar) when opportunities came along.
Then in 2002 I completed a recording of my own arrangements for voice + two guitars (I overdubbed 2nd guitar) and released a CD 'Canny Tyneside' using the pseudonym 'Blaydon Aces'. It received much local radio airplay then a track 'Keep your Feet Still Geordie Hinny' was played on Radio 4 'Desert Island Discs' at the request of poet UA Fanthorpe. That created a lot of interest.
Following on from that first album, and encouraged by the positive response to it, I have recorded further CDs of the dialect repertoire - 'Geordie Roots' (2003), 'Gan Canny' (2012) and 'Wherever Ye Gan' (2015). My 'Gan Canny' CD was made with a close friend and great guitarist James Birkett. James has also played the repertoire with me on gigs where we have performed as a duo, using the 'Blaydon Aces' name.
In 2019 I released a CD of mostly original songs about the remarkable history of the Blaydon/Winlaton area. It is titled 'A Legend Evermore' and the term 'legend' is certainly appropriate for several aspects of this history, for example - Keelmen, Crowley's Crew, the Lead Road, Joe Cowen, Blaydon Races.
There is also a 47 page A4 size book, produced by Winlaton & District History Society and supported by a small grant from Durham Community Foundation. It contains a brief history of each song topic, along with all the song lyrics. The book + CD was placed, free of charge, in all local schools as a teaching resource. They can now be purchased at the new Heritage Centre (Café Shrub) at Winlaton Mill.
New CD released March 2021 - Geordie Odyssey. A journey through our regional dialect songs. This has been a lockdown project. I've put together a CD with the aim of giving a broad representative selection of dialect songs across the ages. I've recorded several new tracks but also I've compiled a selection of songs from my previous CDs and these have been reworked and remastered.
It's now available via my Amazon account or using PayPal. Full details on the CDs page. 'A better overview of the unique Tyneside song tradition would be hard to find'
- The Living Tradition Magazine - issue 139 June/July 2021. For the full review here is the web address - https://www.livingtradition.co.uk/magazine/reviews
Below is some past review comment. For more visit the CDs page.
'A new venture in performing the folk songs of the North East comes from Roly Veitch, native of Blaydon. The result is a gentle sound, his own warm singing voice accompanied by expert, light guitar playing.
What is distinctive about his style is the new settings for the tunes, more harmonically adventurous than the usual chord patterns, but sounding a treat. He has
a style which impresses me as genuinely original and lovely guitar playing to boot'.
Bill Griffiths of the Durham & Tyneside Dialect Research Group, July 2002. 'Canny Tyneside CD'.
'Roly resolutely cranks down the volume in his characteristic style, has adapted the songs with sensitivity, wit and an unforced Blaydon dialect. He sheds new light on old tunes'.
Judith Murphy - Northern Review, volume 14/2004. Geordie Roots CD.
'We've always felt there's a subtler, gentler, sadder side to these songs, and a wittier one too, that didn't quite find it's place. Now we have a recording that really satisfies us. It has the wit; it also has that more haunting, delicate side we've never found before in a collection of Tyneside songs'.
UA Fanthorpe (poet) & Dr RV Bailey (UA chose my version of 'Keep your feet still Geordie Hinny' for her Radio 4 Desert Island Discs selection in May, 2004). Canny Tyneside CD.