Patricia Hammond is spearheading a renaissance of popular music from 1870-1940, performing with “Albert Ball’s Flying Aces”, a group of WWI Aviators who play an arsenal of antique instruments including sousaphone, spoons, washboard, banjo, clarinet, and a drum-kit found in a junk shop.
Patricia states: “People were scared of me when I was 15...I had a crew-cut and wore old rags and logging boots. The elderly would cross the road to avoid me at night, but I’d start singing 1901’s ‘You are my honeysuckle, I am the bee,’ and they’d laugh and relax. I was a Parlour Punk and my music was scratchy old 78-rpm records which I’d tape to cassette and listen to on headphones. I also listened to the Dead Kennedys, Fugazi and early Pere Ubu because, like the dead opera singers, they did their own thing and were honest and raw.”
Now dressed, by her own admission, “like a cast-off Edwardian royal mistress – faded flowers, hats, ill-judged lace. In Hounslow recently, these skater-kids yelled ‘Chim-chiminey’ at me. I was just impressed they could quote from Mary Poppins.”
Patricia’s obsession with vintage music is in the blood, as she grew up with a huge family collection of 78 RPM vinyl - “My Parents were the only heterosexuals with a 78 RPM collection for miles around. Few children are lucky enough to grow up around so many records.”
The “Canadian Nightingale” sings some of the most exquisite early jazz, rag time and popular music from an era most of us are unfamiliar with – Patricia Hammond is a genuinely unique experience.
Various venues like Bourne & Hollingsworth, Passing Clouds’ Cakewalk Cafe and Last Tuesday Society in the east end are now catering for this speakeasy culture - Catch them at a den of iniquity near you.
July 20th - Passing Clouds (Albert Ball's Flying Aces) 21:00-23:00
July 21st at Scoop - Riverside Amphitheatre - (as Our Lovely Day) 13:00-14:00
September 23rd - Camden Forge - 20:00-23:0
Button Up Your Overcoat by Patricia Hammond