There’s an air of mystery around the headliner of Youth Anthems #12.  Is Mr C D Wallum of our time or a jazz musician from the past?  I managed to track him down to find out more about the front main of the Ten a Penny Footwarmers in time for us to become accustomed to his rag-time swing before the gig.  So have a read and prepare!

Who is CD Wallum?

I’m a traditional musician living locally in Leeds. I write songs using traditional American music as a basis. This includes old time string and jug bands, early jazz (predominately from the 1920s), delta and piedmont blues, ragtime and the subgenres of early ‘country’ music such as the western swing of the 1930s. Obviously the music I listens to extends outside of America (and beyond the 1920s and 30s) but this would be a pretty accurate summation of where I take my musical cue.

Judging from the photo on your Bandcamp page you must be about 150 years old. Would that be accurate?

That photo was taken by a company in Manchester called ‘Tin Type Trailer.’ They use the Victorian photographic technique of wet plate collodion tin type photography. So no, I’m a few years off 150.

I don’t know many bands doing what you do, is there a secret scene out there and if so what other bands should we be investigating?

 Perhaps not that many doing exactly what I do but there is a very definite ‘scene’ of what has come to be termed as ‘roots’  music and has been for years. Some suggestions from me would be Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra from Newcastle, Screamin’ Miss Jackson and The Slap Ya Mama Big Band from Bristol, The Ninetree Stumblers also from Bristol, The Most Ugly Child from Nottingham and in and around Leeds we have;  David Broad, Howling’ Ric & The Rocketeers, The Washboard Resonators, Kindest Of Thieves, King Zepha, The Devil’s Jukebox, Hailbails, The Big Easy etc etc. 

Who are your band and where might we have seen them before? 

 The band is made up Benjamin William Pike on gypsy jazz guitar, Chris Fox from Kindest Of Thieves/Leeds City Stompers on upright bass and a currently unspecific brass section. The band is constantly changing, Leeds has such a wealth of amazing musicians that a band really can be formed at the drop of a hat.

What dances should people be learning for your set?

 The Lindy Hop, perhaps The Charleston… However you wish to dance is OK by me!

Cakes are a very important part of a Youth Anthems gig so what are your top three?

 I’m not sure I have the requisite knowledge to give a particularly interesting answer here but off the top of my head…

New York Deli Style Cheesecake

Coconut cake

 I have recently discovered that I actually really like Carrot Cake, after a lifetime of thinking it was horrible.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I believe the proceeds from the show are in aid of Sue Ryder/Wheatfields Hospice. They do a truly wonderful job in what must be one of the most difficult professions in the world.