‘Strawbs 40th Anniversary Celebration Vol 1: Stawberry Fayre’, the first CD from seminal British progressive rockers Strawbs’ 40th Anniversary concerts at Twickenham Stadium on September 12th and 13th 2009, will be released on Witchwood Media, distributed by RSK Entertainment on November 8th.

This historic recording, featuring various illustrious members of Strawbs past and present, spans their entire highly influential career, and shows the diversity of Strawbs and the extraordinary array of musicians who have passed through the ranks of the band over forty glorious years. A double CD, ‘Vol 1: Stawberry Fayre’ contains 28 tracks by four different line-ups of the Strawbs from over the years, augmented by a whole host of stellar guest acts and musicians from associated side projects.

The role of Sandy Denny, the band’s first female singer, (who passed away in 1978), was represented at the Celebration by Sonja Christina. Rick Wakeman, who spent two years with Strawbs before joining Yes, played a one-off concert with Strawbs leader Dave Cousins. Blue Weaver, who joined Strawbs three years before moving on to the Bee Gees band for ‘Saturday Night Fever’, returned for the Celebration, as did Andy Richards, who played keyboards on the extraordinary Strawbs album ‘Heartbreak Hill’; on hearing it, Trevor Horn recruited Andy as the keyboard sound for Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Dave Lambert reformed Fire for the Celebration, and then introduced his new folk supergroup Zeus. John Ford flew in from New York to revisit Hudson Ford hits, while Chas Cronk reformed Cry No More (with Roy Hill) for the concert.

The finale featured the current line-up of Strawbs - Dave Cousins on vocals and guitar, Dave Lambert on guitar, Chas Cronk on bass, Rod Coombes on drums, and Oliver Wakeman on keyboards - plus the Royal Artillery Orchestra, conducted by the legendary Robert Kirby. The 40th Anniversary Celebration was to be Robert’s last stage appearance.

Track listing – CD1
1. Heartbreak Hill – Strawbs
2. Starting Over – Strawbs
3. Landslide – Cry No More
4. Don’t Leave Me Here – Cry No More
5. Hellfire Blues – Dave Cousins & Blue Angel Orchestra
6. Skip To My Lou – Dave Cousins & Blue Angel Orchestra
7. All I Need Is You – Strawbs With Sonja Kristina
8. On My Way – Strawbs With Sonja Kristina
9. Sheep – Strawbs
10. Autumn – Strawbs
11. Angie – Zeus
12. True Love – Zeus
13. October To May – Dave Cousins & Rick Wakeman
14. Can You Believe? – Dave Cousins & Rick Wakeman

Track listing – CD2
1. Blue Angel – Strawbs
2. Cry No More – Strawbs
3. Alice’s Song – Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby
4. That Ol’ Guitar – Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby
5. Copenhagen – Acoustic Strawbs
6. Josephine – Acoustic Strawbs
7. Together Apart – John Ford
8. Floating In The Wind – John Ford
9. Song Of A Sad Little Girl – Dave Cousins & Ian Cutler
10. Grace Darling – Dave Cousins & Ian Cutler
11. Flies Like A Bird – Fire
12. Father’s Name Is Dad –Fire
13. Evergreen - Strawbs &The Royal Artillery Orchestra
14. Where Silent Shadows Fall - Strawbs & Ra Orchestra

Following hot on the heels of the highly acclaimed re-release of Sandy Denny & The Strawbs’ ‘All Our Own Work’ album, ‘Strawbs 40th Anniversary Celebration Vol 1: Stawberry Fayre’ perfectly captures a monumental weekend commemorating four decades of the UK’s most accomplished,
progressive / folk rock band ever.

Strawberry Boy – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / 8769 6713

6th October 2010.

© Work Hard PR 2010




‘Strawbs 40th Anniversary Celebration Vol 2: Rick Wakeman & Dave Cousins’, the second CD release from seminal British progressive rockers Strawbs’ 40th Anniversary concerts at Twickenham Stadium on September 12th and 13th 2009, is set for release on Witchwood Media, distributed by RSK Entertainment, on November 15th.

On September 12th 2009 Rick Wakeman and Dave Cousins performed together on stage for the first time in 20 years when they played the final set on the first day of Strawbs’ historical 40th Anniversary Celebration weekend.

This is only the second concert that Rick Wakeman and Dave Cousins have ever played together. It is the meeting of two master raconteurs, the world’s leading keyboard player, and one of Britain’s finest songwriters.

“The high spot of the day came when Cousins and Rick Wakeman took the stage to close the show. It wasn’t just the music, although watching Wakeman at close quarters is an experience that everyone should have, but also the banter, the stories and the bad jokes that doubled the set’s advertised length. You couldn’t have followed them.”
(Taken from Dai Jeffries’ live review in R2’s November / December 2009 issue.)

Check out the trailer here:-

Rick Wakeman joined Strawbs in 1970. Strawbs was his first professional band and proved to be the launch pad of his remarkable career. The first Strawbs album on which Rick made an appearance was ‘Dragonfly’. The next album , ‘Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios’, which turned Rick into a superstar, was the first UK chart entry for the band. The following album ‘From the Witchwood’ also charted, but by then Rick had left Strawbs to join Yes.

CD AND DVD Track Listing
1. The Hangman And The Papist
2. Witchwood
3. Martin Luther King’s Dream
4. October To May
5. Temperance Of Mind
6. Can You Believe?
7. A Glimpse Of Heaven
8. The Shepherd’s Song

DVD Bonus Features:
9. A Few Words From Rick Wakeman
10. A Few Words From Dave Cousins
11. Evergreen (Preview) Strawbs With The Royal Artillery Orchestra

Having A Word – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / 8769 6713

6th October 2010.

© Work Hard PR 2010


***Remastered, Expanded, Historic, 1967 ‘All Our Own Work’ Album Released On CD For The First Time On June 28th By Witchwood Media***


The complete sessions for ‘All Our Own Work’, the seminal, arguably first ever British folk rock album, recorded by Sandy Denny and The Strawbs, have been remastered and repackaged for release on CD for the first time on June 28th on Witchwood Media, distributed by RSK Entertainment.

‘All Our Own Work’, comprising all original material, was recorded in Copenhagen in July 1967 by Sandy Denny on vocals and guitar, Dave Cousins on vocals, guitar and banjo, Tony Hooper on vocals and guitar, Ron Chesterman on bass, with Ken Gudmand on drums.

‘All Our Own Work’ has been shrouded in mystery for years. The sleeve notes on the original release, rushed out in 1973 to cash in on the Top Ten success of Strawbs, mistakenly claimed that the album was recorded in 1968. This new release dispels the myths. The CD digipak booklet, on which the original black and white sleeve photograph has been lovingly re-coloured, contains extracts from Dave Cousins’ 1967 diary, with the full time line and extensive new sleeve notes.

All the recording sessions for ‘All Our Own Work’ have been completely remastered by producer Chris Tsangarides early in 2010. Included in the 24 tracks are demos of three songs which have never been heard before, plus the first ever recordings of Sandy Denny’s immortal ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’, which Judy Collins subsequently used as the title track of her 1968 album – after hearing ‘All Our Own Work’. ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’ has also been covered by, among others, Nina Simone, Eva Cassidy, Nancy Griffith, 10,000 Maniacs, Eddi Reader, Mary Black, Lonnie Donegan, Susannah Hoffs, Cat Power and many more.

Strawbs main man Dave Cousins met Sandy Denny at the Troubadour Club in Earls Court in late 1966, and after being bewitched by ‘an angel singing’, asked her to join the band as soon as she came off stage. She accepted the offer and “Tony Hooper and I went round to Sandy’s attic flat in Gloucester Place to rehears first time and we literally sang all night. I had a bunch of new songs and our voices blended perfectly”.

Early demos found their way to Denmark, where “Karl Emil Knudsen of Sonet offered us a contract to record our first album. The recordings were made during the day in a cinema on a three-track sprocket tape machine mixed down to two-track. To help subsidise the trip we played in Tivoli Gardens in the evenings, the only paying gigs we ever did together” recalls Cousins.

Dave had difficulty getting the Copenhagen tapes placed with a record company, and by the time anyone was showing interest, Sandy had moved on; Fairport Convention, who had recorded their first album in November 1967 with Judy Dyble as their female singer, invited her to join them in 1968. After the release of Fairport Convention’s hugely influential ‘Liege And Leaf’ album at the end of 1969, Sandy Denny embarked on a solo career, first as leader of her own band Fotheringay (for one album) and subsequently as an artist in her own right. She was voted ‘Best Female Singer’ by readers of Melody Maker in 1971 and 1972, recorded a duet, ‘The Battle Of Evermore’ with Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album in 1971, and released a clutch of incredible solo albums before her tragic death in 1978, aged just 31. Sandy Denny has subsequently frequently been proclaimed Britain’s finest female singer songwriter by the likes of the Sunday Express, Mojo and Uncut, in whose May 2010 issue ‘All Our Own Work’ was rated at number 8 in the magazine’s ‘The 50 Greatest Lost Albums’ feature.

Copyright – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / 8769 6713

May 19th 2010.

© Work Hard PR 2010


***40th Anniversary Gigs In The Live Room At Twickenham Stadium 12th & 13th September Follow Rave Reviews Of Brand New Studio Album ‘Dancing To The Devil's Beat’***

“The Strawbs' 40th anniversary release finds them in fine fettle. The 1974 nucleus of the band ­ Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert, Chas Cronk, Rod Coombes ­ remains intact, while the addition of Oliver Wakeman on keyboards is an astute modern-day move. Yet two tracks which hark back to Strawbs' very beginnings prove to be the album's standouts. The lilting 'Copenhagen' reflects on the time the band spent in the Danish capital in the late 60s, when Sandy Denny was briefly part of the line-up; 'Oh How She Changed' is a reworking of their debut 1969 single, and sounds as mournful and dramatic as ever. Other highspots; the three-part 'Pro Patria Suite' is a beautifully understated work, inspired by Cousins' trip to the world war battlefields of Europe. The military theme continues with 'Where Silent Shadows Fall', a bleak reflection on the sorry state of today's armed forces.”
By Geoff Barton in Classic Rock Presents Prog, August 2009 issue.

“The Strawbs reformed on their 30th Anniversary, and on the cusp of their 40th they present us with a new album of real quality... This lineup excels at the prog sound they added to their arsenal in the 70's. Dave Cousins' engagingly gruff vocals and Dave Lambert's six string skills blend in distinctive style proving the glory years were no fluke.”
By Steven Bailey, in Guitar Magazine, October 2009 issue.

Seminal British progressive rock group Strawbs celebrate their 40th Anniversary with two very special concerts in the Live Room at Twickenham Stadium on September 12th and 13th, following last week's release of their highly acclaimed new album, 'Dancing To The Devil's Beat', on Witchwood Media, distributed by RSK Entertainment.

Five different line-ups of the Strawbs from over the years will perform, as well as a whole host of stellar guest acts and musicians, including (to name but a few), Rick Wakeman, Sonja Kristina, John Ford, Blue Weaver, Andy Richards, Cry No More, Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby, and members of the Royal Artillery Orchestra arranged and conducted by Robert Kirby.

Doors open at 12.00 midday on Saturday and 11.00am on Sunday. Saturday's programme commences at 2.00pm and finishes at 10.00pm, while Sunday's programme runs from 1.00pm until 8.00pm. Tickets, priced £42 for Saturday, and £37 for Sunday, are available from, along with full listings of each day's eclectic line-up.

Witchwood Media will be making a donation from ticket sales to the Help For Heroes charity that provides help for those who have been wounded in Britain's current conflicts.

Number 666 ­ Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / 8769 6713

1st September 2009


***New 'Dancing To The Devil's Beat' Studio album released August 17th precedes  40th Anniversary gigs at Twickenham Stadium 12th & 13th September***

Seminal British progressive rock group Strawbs celebrate their 40th Anniversary with the release of their majestic, haunting, brand new studio album 'Dancing To The Devil's Beat', on August 17th on Witchwood Media, distributed by RSK Entertainment.

Then, after starring at various UK festivals in the summer, five different line ups of the Strawbs will perform two special 40th Anniversary concerts at Twickenham Stadium on September 12th and 13th, with a special guest appearances from Dave Lambert's group Fire, Sonja Kristina, and original keyboard player Rick Wakeman.

'Dancing To The Devil's Beat', was recorded by the classic Strawbs' 1974 nucleus of Dave Cousins on vocals and guitar, Dave Lambert on guitar, Chas Cronk on bass, and Rod Coombes on drums, along with new recruit Oliver Wakeman (Rick's eldest son) on keyboards.

Produced and engineered by Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, Tom Jones etc) at the Ecology Rooms in Kingsdown, Kent, in the Spring of 2009. 'Dancing To The Devil's Beat' is a record totally of its time and reflects the evolution of the Strawbs from their folk club origins, through the hits, on to stadium rock and now as one of Britain's best loved heritage bands. 'Dancing To The Devil's Beat' contains nine brilliantly produced tracks ­ 8 new songs and a re-working of 'Oh How She Changed', the Strawbs' debut single, (A&M records' first ever release) from 1969.

Dave Cousins' poignant lyrics convey the maelstrom of current political events - from the machinations of climate change in 'Revenge (Can Be So Sweet)', to the greed and corruption of the public sector in 'Dancing To The Devil's Beat', contrasting with the dignity of the armed forces in combat of 'Where Silent Shadows Fall'. While 'Pro Patria Suite' takes the listener through the time before, during and after World War One and 'Copenhagen' reflects tenderly on Strawbs' early recording sessions with Sandy Denny in Denmark.

Formed by Dave Cousins, acclaimed by American music bible as “one of the most distinctive and enduring talents to come out of the mid to late 1960s British folk-rock boom” The Strawberry Hill Boys shortened their name to Strawbs and became a huge act on the progressive rock scene in the 1970's, with five top 20 hit albums on both sides of the Atlantic. Hit singles such as 'Lay Down', 'Part Of The Union' and 'Shine On Silver Sun' lead to sold out UK Concert Hall tours and massive arena and stadium shows in America.

In 1980, Dave Cousins put the band on hiatus and veered off into a hugely successful career in UK Radio, ultimately responsible for winning the licence for cutting edge station XFM, whose 'promise of performance ­ 'Guitar led music with attitude' ­ he defined.

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Dave organised a massive reunion gig at Chiswick House in West London and everyone enjoyed themselves so much that a full scale 1999 tour UK ensued and the Strawbs haven't looked back since.

'Dancing To The Devil's Beat' is the fruit of five incredibly accomplished musicians effortlessly working together better than ever before, and is a significant landmark release in the year of the Strawbs' 40th Anniversary.

Number 666 ­ Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / 8769 6713

1st September 2009

© Work Hard PR 2010