"My songs are like my friends..."
When she opened her set at big concerts in France and elsewhere, Brenda had a phrase she often used, translated into the appropriate language, as a way of introducing the audience to her programme...
"My songs are like my friends - each one with its own personality, its own mood. And while I sing the songs, my mind paints their portraits.
May I introduce you to my friends?"
And indeed, most of her songs were from her friends.
As well as the phenomenal outpouring of material from songwriter Richard Gendall, Brenda was always on the lookout for possible new songs from other writers... she did, after all, have an enormously varied repertoire, and there was much contemporary writing that appealed to her, as well as the full range of blues, jazz, rock and pop, right through to traditional folk and old popular ballads. The list below includes some of the writers whom she particularly favoured, and is followed by a list of her guitarists - roughly in order!
And many of these friends can be seen performing at Brenda's Memorial Concert, held at St John's Hall in Penzance in June 1994, three months after she died... the DVD of 'Brenda's Friends' is available in the Shop.
Michael Chapman & Pete Berryman
Fooling around with Martin Carthy
Brenda grabs Geoff March
Allan Taylor + v. laid back Brenda
Cuddly Pete Berryman @ Norwich
Alex Atterson being a little shy ;)
With Dik Cadbury + Al Fenn
Dik Cadbury being limp-wristed
With Al Fenn posing in Brittany
Al Fenn + Jake Walton, Brenda's 40th
Al Schmidt & Pete Berryman
Al Fenn, suffering nobly...