Old chums reunite for an album and a song about Richard III
UK rock group The Blintz Band has written a song about Richard’s last battle, death, and rediscovery called ‘Ambion Hill,’ which features on their EP ‘God’s Golfball.’ The group features Kevin Bainbridge (vocals, rhythm guitar), Colin Barratt (vocals, Bass guitar) and Ian ‘Ted’ Hay (Drums & percussion.)
The band’s members all grew up and met in Seaham, County Durham, where they formed the first incarnation of their group in the early 1970s. They played steadily in pubs, clubs, and bingo halls around the Northeast of England until college, work, and life took them their separate ways. In 2017, a trip home to Durham and a chance meeting led to the band reforming and eventually recording their long-planned album in 2022. They graciously (and virtually) sat down with us for a few questions.
What prompted Kevin to write the song?
A newspaper article about the exhumation of Richard III, coupled with Kevin’s move to the town of Hinckley (very close to Ambion Hill) in Leicestershire.
How did you come to meet Philippa?
When we launched our album ‘Gods Golfball’ in April 2022, (which features ‘Ambion Hill’ as track 2), Ian e-mailed Philippa to advise her of the track, she liked it and she met Kevin at the Leicestershire council sponsored re-enactment of the Battle of Bosworth.
Are any of you members of the Richard III Society?
Ian is a member of the society, and receives quarterly Ricardian bulletins which he shares with Colin and Kevin.
What’s your take on Richard’s reputation?
After reading about Richard since we wrote ‘Ambion Hill,’ we feel he has had a raw deal in the UK, in particular, with Shakespeare’s play. Also, the image of Laurence Olivier in the 1955 adaptation of the play, presented a caricature which subsumed the King’s historical importance. Playing the part of King Richard III, whilst wearing a black garb, implied a bad character and an untrustworthy King!
Learn more about The Blintz Band and check out the rest of their songs on the band’s website: