Biography

Bedlam Bess are Kate Thomson and Sue King.  Kate sings and plays piano, flute and whistles.  Sue sings and plays guitar, bazouki and banjo. . 
 
Kate hails from Constantine, in Cornwall, and she met and started to play and sing with Sue (then known as "Sue White")  when she too was living in Cornwall, back in the 90s. At that time  they were both classical music students, and Sue was a solo folk performer who initiated Kate into Cornish songs such as "Old Johnny Bugger" and "Poor Bugger Janner".  Together they shared much eating of chocolate.  It was clear that a firm and lasting friendship would follow. Whilst in Cornwall both Kate & Sue worked as soloists with the East Cornwall Bach choir and in a fledgling folk/roots group called "Border Crossings".
 
 
Together with (Cornish) Tracey Rickard on percussion and (Scottish) George Hill on banjo and mandola,  Bedlam Bess play and sing Celtic music, from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and, of course, Cornwall.  In mad moments of Irish-ness, such as on Paddy's night,  they re-name themselves Mrs Doyle whereupon Tracey gives a very limited range of utterances such as "Arse - feck - drink".  Nice. Tracey is Cornwall's answer to Norfolk's "singing postman" and is a bit of a gig racer too!
 
 
Kate currently mixes her performance of folk music with classical performances, running a mixed choir, and giving music lessons on piano, voice and flute. In her spare (!) time she is an accomplished horsewoman and teaches horse riding.  She occasionally gets to enjoy the company of the horses she cares for with Tracey - Norah, Chimney and Norman!  Sue teaches music - instrumental, classroom and SEN,  runs a folk choir - Sid Vale Folk -  performs with George Hill and is also one half of the duo Sue White and Tony Taylor. She does not teach riding and keeps away from horses since she and Bertie (a large-ish cart-horse type horse) had a big difference of opinion some years back, and Bertie won. Now Sue clomps around like a cart horse instead, as a member of the world famous Sidmouth Steppers!  where George is one of the musicians in the band.
Comments