Here’s a song from a recording I have – I can’t recall if I made it myself or asked the sound man to record it for me – from a show at the characterful Rotterdam Bar in Belfast, November 1992.
In the period before his ‘comeback’ album ‘When the Circus Comes to Town’ (1995) and all the celebrity endorsements, Bert was touring small bars around Ireland and half-filled arts centres elsewhere. He had begun this comeback trail, if you want to look at it in that way, by touring as a duo with Rod Clements in 1988-89, then with Peter Kirtley in the early 90s, and sometimes as a duo in that same period with his long-time Pentangle stalwart Jacqui McShee.
Both Rod and Peter were in the part-time Pentangle,in turn, during the late 80s/early 90s, with the band making its last album (the underappreciated ‘One More Road’) in 1994, bar a less compelling ‘Live 1994’ the following year.
The Bert & Peter duo had great moments – Peter was a real seat-of-the-pants player, exciting to watch and hear. He probably still is. On the 1992 Irish pub tour they played this song of Bert’s, ‘O’er the Lonely Mountain’, an eco requiem, which Bert would never record with his own vocals. It appeared on the Pentangle 1991 album ‘Think of Tomorrow’ – which I suppose is what the song’s about.
Here it is, with one of my photos from the night: