STOP PRESS: I now have nine winners. The tenth has been drawn from a number of other entrants who made interesting but incorrect stabs - in terms of what I wanted (ie something that set the two albums apart) - and any further correct or similarly deserving replies received by a strict deadline of 5pm UK time today Thursday Sept 11). That deadline having now passed, you can always head off to the Bright Young Folk site for a Bellowhead signed CDs competition......for news f my winners, go to this link at Salut! Live
Read on for simple instructions on how to win one of 10 signed copies of Eliza Carthy's album*, Dreams of Breathing Underwater (Topic).
For a short part of my long stint as The Daily Telegraph's folk critic, I would set competitions about people whose gigs I was previewing.
The idea got off to a bad start when I asked readers to name each of the women who had been part of the Irish band De Dannan. There were, I recall, four replies. One came from within the office and two more arrived in identical handwriting on similar postcards. The fourth entry won the prize.
It was an object lesson in running competitions when the object is actually to encourage people to enter. My question, simple enough for the kind of folk drawn to Salut! Live, was too hard for a mainstream readership.
So when Fairport offered me four pairs of tickets for Cropredy, I made sure it was easier. Who was the only founder member of the band who still belonged to it?
Imagine the hoops. You had to buy the Telegraph , like folk or folk-rock, open the arts section, see the listings, read my small contribution, know the answer, want to attend the festival, bother to write in. Yet replies - almost all correctly identifying Simon Nicol - poured in. Well over 100, small when considering the size of the Telegraph circulation - then a million plus on Saturdays - but highly impressive when considering the hoops. I disqualified, while secretly loving, the reply from a chap who expressed amazement that the Telegraph would have as many as four Fairport fans, let alone four pairs of them, among its readers.
I do not expect as many people to write to me at my e-mail address and state correctly what the albums Red Rice and Anglicana have in common apart from having been made by Eliza Carthy and - though the answer I am looking for is topical - appeared on Topic.***