It was May 2013. Rosie & Zoe from Worry Dolls had asked me to record a bit of piano for their (recently finished) EP. We headed out to Dave Gerard’s studio in Bishop Stortford to join RoZoe. Angie and Gabe from Patch & the Giant were to join us later to add some trumpet and violin.
We spent a fun morning recording stomps, handclaps, choruses and the occasional instrument, when Rosie got a call from a guilt-ridden and sleep-deprived Angie. “I lost Gabe’s fiddle,” she said.
Gabriel Merryweather is a brilliant fiddle player, a pillar of Patch & the Giant, and pops up on records across the London folk scene. If you hear someone shredding the violin on a new record, it’s probably Gabe. The man is in demand. And so is his violin.
Patch & the Giant had played a gig in Hackney the night before. And after an ale-fuelled evening on London Fields, the band packed up their instruments, bound for home. Angie and PATG frontman Luke halied a taxi, while Gabe cycled. Angie and Luke’s kind offer to carry Gabe’s precious fiddle turned to disaster when they arrived home and the taxi drove away, fiddle still on board.
A frantic night and day of calls later and there was no violin to be found. Gabe – being an absolute trooper – played on the Worry Dolls record on a borrowed fiddle with a startling amount of cheeriness for a person so recently bereft.
Angie says: “This is a song which came into being as an apology for an accident for which we will admit and be plagued by eternal guilt: the time Luke and me consumed more than the recommended quantity of ale and left Gabe’s violin in a taxi, never to be found. Gabe, being the nicest human we know, decided to forgive us and continue life as both our friend and fiddler. For this, we love him even more. Guilt ridden and thankful to the bottom of our hearts for the friendship of this brilliant man, we wrote this song, For Gabriel.”
You can buy the single here. And every penny made will go to Gabe’s new violin fund. Be generous, folk lovers!