Davy Graham & Bert Jansch: The Parting Glass is a feature length movie of Davy Graham in 2005 travelling to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe with Bert Jansch. It’s interspersed throughout with archive footage as well as interviews with both Davy and close friends such as James Hamilton (Founder Editor of Encyclopaedia Psychedelia International).
Davy certainly had a reputation and there’s been plenty said about it. That reputation often over-shadowed the brilliance of the man and the fact that he was regarded by many as a national treasure. There’s no denying that his influence has left an indelible mark on the DNA of the music out there today, something we’re all the richer for. That comes across well in this film, it helps re-set that spirit level and will maybe have you look again at the man with a new perspective.
As can be seen from the outset of the film, Davey’s accommodation is very basic, he wasn’t well-off by any definition yet he remained humble and shunned the limelight. Those royalties he was owed never seemed to make it through from that largest music corporation in the world. The film was made around the time that Mark Pavey, who is both behind its making and features in it, was getting Davey to tour again. As well as ensuring Davey turned up to gigs he also tried to get him the royalties he was owed. He was trying to bring some benefit to the artist whilst he was alive…unlike the labels who head straight for the archive once their dead.
He did a similar thing for Beverley Martyn last year when he encouraged her to release The Phoenix And The Turtle, which he also produced. This was her first serious recording since the ’90s. When Helen interviewed Beverley about making the album she said “It was a great relief to finally do something on my own terms. That was a dream I’d almost given up on, I mean no one had been coming knocking for years and I was kind of lost to it all; playing small gigs every now and then, but still keeping it going.” She confides, “Of course that was a lot to do with the fall out of my marriage with John. Nobody wanted to work with me after that, but since he’s passed on things have started to open up again.” She later adds, when talking about Mark’s support, “Mark and his wife are like family to me now, we’ve become very close. Mark is so good to work with he’s such a positive and relaxed person.” Read the full interview here.
It’s thanks to people like Mark we get to see things like this, proof that in amongst all the big egos and money chasing that we hear about there are still people out there for whom music still matters.
Mark has made The Parting Glass freely available to watch via youtube. It is also available via LesCousins which includes 1080p HD Feature Film & 9 Unreleased Tracks. More details here.