Sid Kipper, hailing from the Norfolk village of Trunch in the UK, first starting singing in school but he didn't let being sent home early put him off. In the 1980's the growing folk music revival led to the rediscovery of Sid's possibly unique vocal talents, and his renditions of 'traditional' Norfolk songs.
Together with his father, Henry Kipper (and occasionally other itinerant musicians , both friend and family) they toured both far and wide. The juxtaposition of the vocal sound; often sung in their trademark key of 'Oh', with instruments such as the accordion, Trunch blow-pipes, walnut shells; often leaves audiences lost for words.
The mixture of (perhaps oddly familiar) tunes, such as "Dido Fido", "The Wild Mounting Thyme" and "Uncle Tom Cobbley Can't Come" together with spoken anecdotes about the goings on of simple Norfolk folk, proved to be hugely succesful. Sid still tours, appearing in folk and arts festivals over the whole country, even as far as the Shetland Islands and Hong Kong. This success didn't go to Sid's head, despite appearances on television and radio. Indeed he became somewhat of a Norfolk 'renaissance' man and has even written a book, 'Prewd and Predudice' (co-author is given as Chris Sugden). This book received many plaudits and has been reprinted: The Guardian said of it :-
"It should remind of 'Sir Henry at Rawlinson End', with a dash of Flann O'Brian"
High praise indeed, and entirely warranted.
Henry Kipper retired from the limelight in 1991 to leave Sid to carry the torch for the family, and the ancient traditions of Norfolk. He didn't dissapoint, showing a remarkable ability to dredge up more material, some of which is already passing into folk legend. For instance Jack Onion, which tells of Jack, the best fiddler in the land and how the Kings daughter too came to regard him as such, after a real good bit of fiddlin'. A true folk song, in the oldest tradition, with Kipper's unique treatment leaving the listener wondering how such talent could be put to better use in future.
NB:- In reality Sid Kipper is played by Chris Sugden, and his father Henry is played by Dick Nudds, and the 'Kipper' name possibly being a play on the Copper family, a genuine folk singing family.
(This write up has been done factually, but in the style of the commentary you find within the sleeve notes of Sid's albums...)
The Kipper Family and Sid's Discography
The Kipper Family: Since Time Immoral, Dambuster LP DAM 005, 1984
The Kipper Family: The Ever Decreasing Circle, Dambuster DAM 012, 1985
The Kipper Family: The Crab Wars, 2-LP set, Dambuster DAM 017, 1986
The Kipper Family: Fresh Yesterday, live album Dambuster 020, 1988
The Kipper Family: Arrest These Merry Gentlemen, Dambuster DAM 022, 1989
Various Artists: Broadside: Songs From the Land Of the Broads, compilation album, Tapecraft TC0016 (cassette), 1989. Tracks by The Kipper Family, John Ward, Syzewell Gap, and Tim Laycock. Kipper tracks are "When I'm abroad on the broads" and "Dicky Riding".
The Kipper Family: In the Family Way, Dambuster DAM 023, 1991
Sid Kipper: Like A Rhinestone Ploughboy, Leader LER 211SCD, 1994. Guests: Linda Herring and Cockersdale (Val Martin, John O'Hake, Graham Perch).
Sid Kipper and Dave Burland: Boiled in the Bag, Leader LERCD 2118, 1997
Sid Kipper: Spineless Stories, Leader LESWCD 2119, 1999
Sid Kipper: East Side Story (the Album), Leader LERCD 2120, 2000
Sid Kipper : Cod Pieces (2002)