With a distinct musical identity and a growing reputation for providing an entertaining menu of good songs, all well sung and played with commitment, passion and enjoyment, The Snapes are two fine performers who are firm favourites with many.
Peter and Barbara have the knack of seamlessly mixing well-crafted arrangements of traditional songs with an eclectic collection of more light hearted/humorous songs, moving with ease from emotional depth to roller coaster highs. Not surprisingly, as someone put it... From traditional ballads through to the quirky comical Peter and Barbara have it all!
All of their traditional songs have been carefully researched from their native north (Lancashire) and likewise with the 'quirky' stuff, a northern resonance prevails as they bring back to life songs from late music hall/early variety hall 78rpms.
Barbara has exactly the right sort of voice for folksong with many years of solid experience and love of singing on her personal CV. Originally from Birkenhead, she was a young observer of the many singers that performed at the Spinners Folk Club in Liverpool during that legendary period of the 'revival'. Inspired and excited, she later became involved in the Liverpool Traditional Club, where, as a teenager she began singing herself, both solo and in various duos and groups.
In 1981 she joined 'Bright Phoebus', an exciting and innovative acepalla/gospel group, who, under the guidance of Peter Bellamy produced a wonderful sound. Successful and exhilarating, it was unfortunate that the group disbanded after only four years due to the ill-health of one of its members. In 1985 she worked with Pete Coe on 'It's a Mean Old Scene', providing accompanying vocals on three of the eight songs on that well received LP. (Two of these songs - Wait 'til the Clouds Roll By and Rolling Down the Ryburn were included on Pete's retrospective CD 'Previous' in 2007).
Following a move from the Wirral to live and work in East Lancashire, it became increasingly difficult to sustain the same level of commitment to singing and the lack of regular contact with both the singers and the clubs she had come to know so well was sorely missed. However... you may be able to take the person out of the song, but you cannot take the song out of the person, and in the year 2000 she started to attend a local folk club where in 2004, she met Peter.
Peter's interest in folk music developed through attending the same public house as the Garstang Morris Dancers, where an evening of English Country music was a weekly event. Eventually, and perhaps inevitably, he purchased a melodeon, joined the team and has been playing melodeon ever since! Garstang was a creative force with strong visual impact and strict tempo - a useful background!
There is a synergy with The Snapes and a bounce and a lift in what they do. They have a refreshing and individual approach and their performances are varied, interesting and enjoyable.