memories from half a century ago, freshly awoken with some new music, bring some Halifax people and places to life on an artist’s new album.
Heath Common was born in Normanton, West Yorkshire, but amid his family’s life of constant travelling a mid 1960s spell in Halifax stuck in Heath’s mind.
The seven-year-old went to St Malachy’s School at Illingworth, his new home community between Wheatley and Mixenden forging friendships and crystalising lasting memories he says remain clear after hald a century.
Heath says he had always written poems about different episodes of his life and often adds music later. “It ‘freezes’ it and I can refer to it time and time again,” he said.
Hence characters including a psychotic bouncer and a faded beauty queen populate songs like “Halifax Gala Queen”, “Spirit of Ogden”, “Mixenden I’m Coming Home” and “Jack Brown” on his new album, Heath Common And The Lincoln 72s, out now and available from Revo Records, Wesgate, Halifax, and Muse Music, Market Street, Hebden Bridge. “A lot of time has passed on but they were all real people, real characters, and I’m trying to catrch them,” he said.
Heath, 63, a big blues fan, has met and worked with legends like Robert Lockwood Jr and Johnny Shines and recalls the day when the great New Orleans piano player Champion Jack Dupree, came to Europe and having met and married a local girl made Halifax his home for many years.
“I used to see Champion Jack Dupree and once saw him in a pub at Mytholmroyd. Jack used to live in Ovenden,” remembers Heath.
You can find out more information about the album online at hi4headrecords.com