In February 2018, we had an amazing experience in the Basement when Dusty Pulver came to visit. Dusty had been a president of the Polyfolk society in the 1960s and came to visit after we tracked down one of his recordings of ‘lost’ 1970s folk star Shelagh McDonald.
Dusty was full of stories about the space and disclosed he had recorded many of the performances over the years, direct from the soundboards. Such ‘found sounds’ were a dream come true for our project and Dusty began sending through CDs of recordings as he transferred these from his original tapes, supplying us with recordings of performers including Michael Claire, Hratch, George Norris/Roy Cameron, Diz Disley, Silvo and Moses, Magna Carta & Ralph McTell.
What’s more, more delights are promised including Donovan and The Strawbs, and the opportunity to talk more with Dusty and others about this previously occluded part of our polytechnic history. We can’t wait to make some of these found sounds into ghost gigs of their own in due course.