June 08, 2018

Will Hulbert tells his evening at the Burgh House meeting Steve Pank and Ursula Smith!

Here's an exclusive report for Ghettoraga Archive of the evening Will Hulbert and his wife Veronica (who took the wonderful pictures) had at the Hampstead Burgh House where they met Steve Pank and Ursula Smith, who played her cello at a classical concert.

"So! To try to put a story to those photos, Sunday does not start well! I forget to charge the camera and we find out that there are no trains running on our line up to London.
I start to think that we are never going to get there! Who would have thought a short trip across London would be so long and complicated?
After a couple of hours, my wife and I find ourselves at our destination, the leafy suburb of Hampstead.
I promised my wife Veronica that I would buy Sunday lunch. Think Sunday lunch, wine, followed by a classical recital in a Georgian house in a very select part of town.
What’s not to like?
Well! Lunch took forever to turn up and was somewhat cold when it did. During the interminable wait I did notice someone pacing the grounds around the house who I was sure was Steve Pank.
After lunch we head upstairs to the Concert Room, Steve was standing alone, so I thought to reintroduce myself.
To clarify, some forty years prior (albeit a couple of weeks) Steve had introduced himself to me, in the bar downstairs at the Roundhouse (by coincidence a couple of stops on the tube from Hampstead).
The 1978 incarnation of the Third Ear Band (not the best in my opinion but not as bad as later incarnations) at a time when punk and new wave where at their height, TEB’s musical direction of folk songs seemed to be somewhat out of touch with the late 70’s zeitgeist with minimal guitar, violin oboe (Paul Minns hiding in the background). It really needed a cello to give it balance (Oh! and drop the folk singing).

So nearly forty years into the future, my chance at last to see and hear 25% of the Third Ear Band live for the first time. So a classical recital, we sat in the second row with Steve Pank and Sue Rose (she was at the Cambodian Embassy squat with Dave Tomlin, she is now his landlady). Dave couldn’t make it due to ill health. Also, Carolyn was on holiday in Greece and also couldn’t make it.
Shame we nearly had another TEB reunion!

Ursula looked just as she does in that TEB French TV video (I did try in my mind to block out the classical stuff and do a TEB soundtrack, but gave up after a bit).
During the intermission Steve suggested we go backstage and he introduced us to his other half, the rest of the Quartet seem a bit puzzled by the fact that Ursula seems to have her own fan club! She explains that she “once used to be in a pop band”.

We return for the second half, my wife taking photos and videos.
Then after that, we head downstairs for some refreshments and a long chat. I can’t stress enough how friendly Steve and Ursula were, it was as if we had known them for years, I think you can tell by the look on my face in the photos that I had a day to remember.
Anyway, I swopped e-mail addresses with Steve and we all headed off to catch the Tube, Steve & Ursula and the Cello having a long drive back up to Norfolk."

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