Sedgeford Phezants win a spot in the final

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A Sedgeford/Ely folk combo have made it through to the final round of the Milkmaid Songwriting Competition 2018.

The Penland Phezants performed in front of a live audience at the Bury St Edmund’s heat, judged on lyrical content, tune, pertinence to folk and performance, as they presented two songs of original composition.

The Phezants’ heat-winning entry was Freeborn John, a Civil War song seen from the Parliamentary side.

It celebrates the long struggle for democratic representation in English history from Magna Carta to the Second World War.

The lyric and opening war chant was written by poet Gareth Calway and the main tune by folk musician Andy Wall.

Andy was on lead vocals and guitar, Gareth on chant vocal, backing vocals and drum and Vanessa Wood Davies on harp and harmony vocals.

Freeborn John is part of a growing Civil War Phezants repertoire which includes The Ballad of The Backwoods Cavalier, a documentary account of the Siege of Lynn as it might have been told by PG Wodehouse.

On April 3, the four heat winners and two runners-up will compete for the winning title.