Belshazzar’s Feast Interview

Belshazzar’s Feast make a welcome return to Priddy this year. Famed for their surreal sense of humour, the duo – Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and Paul Sartin (oboe violin and vocals) – formed in the mid 1990s and quickly became a major force on the UK folk scene.

They are familiar faces at Priddy and their last album The Whiting’s on the Wall,  was a live set.

We caught up with the two Pauls and tried to ask them some sensible questions. Big mistake.

It’s been, what, 20 years now on the road for you two – how’s it going so far?

PH: Good, although we still don’t like the M1, M5 and M6 especially on a Friday.

PS: But we have been to some delightful areas of the UK. and also Worthing.

PH: And Worthing

Has much changed in that time?

PH: We’ve got older

PS: But no wiser

Your relationship is key to your live performance. Do you ever fall out?

PH: No

PS: Yes

Paul Sartin & Paul Hutchinson
Paul Sartin & Paul Hutchinson

You’ve been taking a short breather recently. What have you been up to?

PH: Gardening leave and also teaching. I have just finished teaching at an intensive accordion weekend at Halsway Manor and got back home to find my garden had run riot.

PS: Recording the new Faustus album at Halsway Manor.

PH: I didn’t see you there.

PS: I was hiding.

Was The Whiting’s on the Wall your first live album? And how difficult is it to capture what you do live on record?

PH: It was our second actually, the first was Food Of Love recorded several years ago for WildGoose.

PS: Both albums were quite easy because we handpicked the audience, bribed them and got them drunk.

And of course you’ve been to Priddy quite a few times now. What do you like about the place? And what can we expect?

PH: It is a small, intimate and friendly festival. With luck we won’t suffer the monsoon that flooded the site a few years back (I still have the t shirt).

PS: The usual mayhem.

Belshazzar’s Feast are at Priddy 2016 on Friday and Saturday. www.belshazzarsfeast.com

12 – 14 July, 2024