'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
'He has a warm voice that really puts over the passion and humour in the songs'
The Crack Magazine - March 2016 'Roly is dedicated to his Tyneside roots, presenting the songs as they should be sung'
Living Tradition Magazine - Issue 113, April/May 2016 'Roly gives us a gentle, homely take on these songs that we think we know, presented with excellent musicianship.
Ann Alex - BSH Music Blog Dec 2015
My interest in local dialect songs arises from my birth place - Blaydon. You could view the Tyne and the location where a large island used to be, from my grandmother's house, where I was born. When I was a youngster local folk told me about this island and the Blaydon Races legend. It was known as Blaydon Island or Dent's Meadow and the races were held there in their heyday. The island was removed when the river was made more navigable by dredging and modifying the river banks, back in the 1870s. If you would like to know more of the chequered history of 'the races' check out the local history part of my website.
The song Blaydon Races aroused my curiosity and as my teenage interest in pop music developed into a deeper interest in music as a guitarist and singer I began to take an interest in the well known Geordie songs as performed by artists such as Alex Glasgow, Dennis Weatherley and Owen Brannigan.
I began to perform a few of these songs, just for fun and then I gradually began to evolve arrangements of some of these songs, written for voice + two acoustic guitars. I tried to keep my dialect natural and unforced and also to add some new ideas whilst still respectful of the tradition.
This led to the issue of three CDs under the pseudonym The Blaydon Aces, two solo CDs Canny Tyneside (2002) and Geordie Roots (2004) and then a third CD, Gan Canny (2012), recorded with my pal, guitarist James Birkett. In 2004 a CD track, Keep your feet still Geordie hinny, from my 'Canny Tyneside' CD, was chosen for Desert Island Discs, on BBC Radio 4, at the request of the eminent poet U A Fanthorpe.
Also the CDs have been much played by BBC Radio Newcastle and Radio Tyneside (Gary Hogg's Geordie Hour) and my version of Blaydon Races was featured at Newcastle United's St James Park for a while.
The songs for this new CD Wherever ye gan were all recorded during the late summer and autumn of 2015 and the CD released December 2015. It contains my personal favourites of the repertoire including an updated version of 'Keep your feet still' based on the original Desert Island Discs version. The vocals are accompanied by varied combinations of acoustic guitars, plectrum banjo and soprano ukulele.
For full track listing and to try some soundbites click on CD cover pic or - soundbites.
SOME GENERAL COMMENT ABOUT MY CDs
UA Fanthorpe & Dr RV Bailey "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"
Bill Griffiths of the Durham & Tyneside Dialect Research Group "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."
The North-Easterner - "a lovely little collection of local dialect songs in Roly's dulcet tones - in all, a super collection"
John Harle on BBC Radio Newcastle - "I think that's brilliant"
Ian Robinson on BBC Radio Newcastle - "The most unusual recording of Tyneside songs I've ever heard - just one man and his guitar - I think it's a stunner"
Kathy Secker on BBC Radio Newcastle - "a lovely recording with many old favourites on it"
Gary Hogg of Radio Tyneside - "as a broadcaster I have played many tracks from Roly's albums and they always bring a positive response from listeners at home and abroad. His deep affection for the North East and its people shows in everything he does"