Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

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Terry McGee
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Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Terry McGee »

It's been my intention for a while to devote a page to a fellow who I suspect influenced me more than I realised back in the 1970's. Paul Davis, also known as Paul Davies, was a flute and concertina dealer and restorer in London, and sold me the wooden flute I converted to from Boehm. He was quite the character, and even if you haven't met him, you may well enjoy hearing him and about him:

http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Davies.htm

Do have a listen to the sample of his playing. And if you had met him and have stories to contribute, get back to me.

Terry
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by dontf »

Thanks for that, Terry. I never had the pleasure of meeting Paul, but enjoyed the Air, and the stories immensely. It puts me in mind of a few of the characters I ran with in those days.
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Steampacket »

[Thread revival. - Mod]

What happened to Paul Davis' flute & concertina collection, was it purchased by someone, or were Paul's instruments sold and dispersed before he passed away? Does anyone know?
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by nohoval_turrets »

I really enjoyed that air, beautiful tone and control.
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Steampacket »

Just wondered about Paul's collection as I thought I read somewhere that whoever bought the flutes now and then put one up for auction. Yesterday I bought a Rudall & Rose at the Gorringes auction in Lewes, East Suffolk, which is near Brighton, where I believe Paul lived for a time? it has a crack in the barrel according to the condition report, but is otherwise sound, Patent head it looks like, silver keys, 5000 series, original box, lid separated. I expected the PH to have cracked also, hard to see in the photos, but this hasn't been verified by Gorringes. The flute went for 1200 sterling. 1554 sterling including buyer's premium, V.A.T. etc.. which is fine. Where did Paul learn his craft as regards repairing flutes & concertinas, or was he just a very handy autodidact?
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by AHFR »

A few years ago Paul's widow, Turid, contacted me. She still has a number of his flutes and is only gradually sorting through these. Currently I am advertising two flutes on her behalf, a 10-key Cabart and 5-key Lamy. From the flutes that I have seen Paul certainly had a keen eye for a good flute, making it all the sadder that I didn't ever meet him.

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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by jemtheflute »

I'd particularly love to know what became of the monster flute which was Paul's favoured own-use one in his later years - a very ornate large-bore Ribas' Improved, I believe. Good to hear your little story, Arthur. I also wonder what Paul's son Magnus has done in life - IIRA he was a talented classical clarinettist in his teens.
Last edited by jemtheflute on Fri May 16, 2014 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Steampacket »

"I'd particularly love to know what became of the monster flute which was Paul's favoured own-use one in his later years - a very ornate large-bore Ribas' Improved, I believe. " Jem

Like this one?
https://sites.google.com/site/ribasmusi ... vedbyscott

I believe Magnus was making walking stick flutes some years ago
viewtopic.php?p=973191
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by jemtheflute »

Thanks for the name correction for Paul's son (edited above now), Steampacket! And for the link - don't recall seeing that before, though Magnus didn't make the flute Terry posted about - he was just selling it. As for the flute, my recollection is a little hazy, but I think Paul's flute had a carved (wooden) body - a bit like the Valenza ivory R&R, but maybe slightly less fancy silverware than the linked Ribas. It certainly honked!
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Steampacket »

A very good flute player Michael Spangfort here in the south of Sweden travelled up to Norway some time in the middle to late 1980's together with flute player Paddy O'Neill, to buy a flute from Paul. Don't think it was a Rudall, I wasn't into flutes then, but I believe he still plays it, but with a modern wooden head joint with a lip plate as on a metal flute. Michael is based in Hong Kong now I believe, still playing. I think I may have seen/heard Paul play in a session at the Cambridge Folk Festival some time back in the '70's
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Steampacket »

A few words about Paul Davies from Roger Digby, PeterT & Stephen Chambers, members of Concertina.net

"Paul was involved in an LP,'Song of the Chanter', back in 1976 with Pat Daly and Eithne, Brian and Niall Vallely. He plays flutes (misprinted as 'flues' on the sleeve!!), harmonica, and two Anglos - one in old pitch. They play in various combinations and there's no indication on the sleeve when it is Paul playing flute and when it is Brian Vallely. I think he plays two tracks on Anglo and at least one on harmonica.
He gave me a battered old copy; against one track he has pencilled 'ex Kilroy, now Digby' and beside Brian Vallely's name he has added 'wooden whistle from Steve Chambers, now Peter Carberry'. I imagine Steve, if he reads this, will be able to add more detail.
Best wishes, Roger Digby"

"As an aside, Paul was a skilled craftsman, who paid for and refurbished his Worthing house from the proceeds of his busking. I went down there to "play with the toys", as Paul used to say. When he knew that I worked for Nestlé (1974-2003), Paul said that he had hung the ceilings in St. George's House, Croydon, where I was based for most of my time. Paul had two distinct repertoires, his Irish music, and his busking music. When Paul moved up to York, I met up with him when I was down from Scotland (where I was living) and he took me off to an English music session (which I enjoyed), to demonstrate to the other musicians how an Anglo can sound when played in a style different from his." PeterT.

"I think the truth of the matter is that Paul used both spellings. The LP to which I refer above has 'Davis' throughout. It was Paul's habit to write, even scratch, his name into concertinas that he owned. I've just taken the ex-Killroy apart and sure enough it bears 'Paul Davis' in red ink on the reed pan and also scratched onto the palm rest. I think he formalised a spelling when he decided he needed business cards and stickers and then opted for the 'e'. Doubtless at some future time someone will date concertinas by which spelling they bear!
Of course he didn't always call himself Paul Davi(e)s at all......…. "Pedantically yours, Roger Digby

"Yes; I'd forgotten that! He told me that he called himself Mr XXXXXX (my memory's gone!), and why. I don't know when, exactly, that Paul died, since I was away from the music scene from 1995 onwards. I presume that he died from a heart attack. I remember Paul telling me that he had suffered two relatively minor attacks which had been very painful. He then told me that the major attack, which "killed him" did not hurt at all. He was obviously resuscitated, and lived for a number of additional years. I first met Paul in 1983; busking in Crawley." Peter T.

"You have just jogged my memory Peter, that is exactly where I first met him. He played in the gap between Woolworth's and Littlewood's in Queens Square."

"Not forgetting Paul's precious Rudall & Rose alto flute too! But the harmonica was Paul's first, and maybe his best instrument, which he learned to play in hospital as a child. He played a Chromatic with the slide pushed in, a technique he got from the late Paddy Bán O'Briain"

"Indeed so, and I remember how he was adamant that his name should be spelled with that 'e' for quite a while, before quietly reverting to the previous spelling"

"That's "Táimse im Choladh", an air that Paul played a lot on the flute (he was a former Flute - Slow Airs, All Ireland Champion), sometimes at Irish funerals. In fact I got Seamus Tansey to learn the tune and play it at Paul's funeral - though we played "a good blast of reels" for him, on flute and tambourine, first."

"He died on 18th January, 2001. Brian and Eithne Vallely came over from Armagh and played pipes and fiddle at his funeral, also Seamus Tansey came and played flute, as well as giving a great eulogy about him and all the wonderful instruments he had put into circulation in Ireland." Stephen Chambers
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Cathy Wilde »

Terry, I enjoyed your tribute pages immensely. What a guy! The concertina-as-siren stunt still has me laughing. And the Lament of the Three Marys was gorgeous. It's funny; I was just trying to work that out on the pipes this weekend, so great reference, too. Thank you so much for doing this!
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Steampacket »

Has anyone bought a Rudall from Patsy Maloney of Birmingham? I understand he has a collection of Rudall flutes that can occasionally be purchased. Here's Patsy playing about 5: 54 minutes into the video clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82kF0BtUUps
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by jemtheflute »

I haven't bought from Patsy Moloney nor seen his collection - I have only kinda "met" him once at a (large) session - we weren't introduced and didn't actually speak across a very large table, though we played tunes together. I did acquire some flutes from his late brothor Conor, also a dealer and collector and fine player. (It was at Conor's "farewell party" when he knew he was terminally ill that I encountered Patsy.) Patsy certainly has a collection of Rudalls - several were photographed by Robert Bigio for inclusion in his wonderful book. I know from Conor that both Moloney brothers were old auction sparring partners of Paul Davies', sometimes competing, sometimes collaborating. The R&R (my low Bb tenor flute) I acquired from Conor came indirectly from Paul/through Paul's offices and has repairs done by Paul.
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Re: Remembering Paul Davis/Davies

Post by Terry McGee »

[THREAD REVIVAL - MOD]

Hi all

Resurrecting this very old thread as I have a new contribution to it, see the bottom of http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Davies_Other.htm. My thanks to Andy Hooker for the new insights into this colourful character.

If however you are not familiar with the late Paul, you might prefer to start here, and get to Andy's contribution later: http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Davies.htm

Terry
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