Sid Long



Notts Alliance was originally the name of the group running the Nottingham Tradional Music Club throughout the 70s and 80s. The early residents produced an LP in 1972 called "The Cheerful Orn". None of the current members of Notts Alliance appeared in that recording.

The club closed in 1989 and the current group stayed together. Originally there were six members - the current 4 and Dave Bissitt and Ian Smith. Smithy moved down to Kent and made a CD with Keith Kendrick called (sorry about this) 'Nautical - but Nice', Notts Alliance did some of the backing work on that recording. Dave Bissitt left to live in Wales and took a really good baritone voice with him.

Around that time the group were playing a variety of instruments as well as doing the unaccompanied harmony stuff. Since 1995 the instruments have been phased out and the group entirely concentrate on the harmony singing. They have done bookings at a variety of clubs and festivals including Sidmouth, Whitby, Beverley, Fylde and Holmfirth.

Members of the Group

After the death of Sid in January 2005 the balance of the group was altered, with Chris mainly taking the bass line while Stephen and Phil continued with top line and tune respectively. Recently we have experimented with other line-ups, so Phil might be heard singing a bass line, while Chris will sing the tune.

Chris Orme

The younger, gabby one at the end, sings bass harmony in the new line up. Likes motorbikes and cats. When the group played instruments he featured on guitar or button accordion, and still collects accordions out of habit.

Stephen Bailey

A long serving resident of NTMC. Noted as being 'the one who can sing' - and can go from high tenor to bass if required. Stephen was a member of Sherwood Rise, an offshoot of Notts Alliance in the 80s, and featured on "Out of the Wood". He's had a meteoric career at Nottingham University, going from lecturer to Pro Vice Chancellor in the lifetime of the group. Plays whistle and usually sings the top line.

Phil Hardcastle

The older one in the middle, sings tune and occasional harmonies. Once again an occasional player of the hammer dulcimer, after being persuaded to dig it out from under the bed.

Sid Long

Sadly Sid died in January 2005 - with his death the group lost a good friend and a great contributor to the repertoire and arrangements of the group - we will always miss his presence, his fun and his creativity.

He was a long established resident at NTMC and organiser of the club who also worked with Sherwood Rise and was on their LP "Out of the Wood". He worked also with the group "Red Star Delivery" walking on glass, juggling and doing various other bits of politically sound street theatre. Red Star was formed around the time of the miners' strike and did some very good work. Sid played guitar and usually sang the bass line.

A memorial cd is available, all the monies raised from this have gone to Amnesty International.




Photos by Andy Basford: