Tom Kitching

Tom Kitching : Seasons of Change Podcast #4 : The Passing of Remembrance

Seasons of Change is a three part project.

The first component is a spirited book. After the Brexit referendum Manchester-based musician Tom Kitching was seized by the desire to know England better. His solution was to busk around it for eighteen months, observing the country from behind his fiddle.

He wrote as he went; each chapter of the book is a vibrant essay depicting a place he visited and the people he met there.

Then, there is an album. With tunes honed by the busking 'tour', the Seasons of Change CD presents brilliant, animated music - English folk brought to improbably vivid life.

The third and final piece is a set of four podcasts. Each of the episodes was edited from a live performance at Guide Bridge Theatre, Manchester in 2019, with the author reading excerpts from the book to a notably appreciative crowd. They successfully bind Kitching's writing, music, intelligence and quiet humour together for thirty minutes of intimate musing.

Typically eclectic, the last edition of the series, The Passing of Remembrance, starts with an entertaining morning in Retford, full of wit and poetically descriptive prose, and evolves into a poignant reflection on Remembrance, history and national identity. On the way there’s amateur dramatics, deadpan delivery and an over-primped dog with its own Instagram account.

Heralded by a chorus of bakery oven alarms, Tom then meets an ancient busker in Penzance, a pensioner-musician who took to the trade after a working life spent as a fisherman. The sketch of him Tom delivers is framed by reverence.

The half hour closes with the writer enveloped by a starry Somerset night, with a flatulent horse, possibly resting between pantomimes, providing a comic denouement that extends into a short anecdote of virtuoso child fraud in Loughborough, rightly followed by a storm of heartfelt applause.

Rapturous, street-rooted folk (taken from the Seasons of Change album) punctuates the prose regularly as an unrestrained bonus.

Northern, wry and understated, Tom’s readings sound as if made for late night Radio 4; they'd be perfect for the loose community of listeners looking for intelligence and raillery before the final shipping forecast ends the waking day.

Each of the elements of Seasons of Change is superb in its own right; as culturally essential as his book and album, Tom Kitching's podcasts are heart-warming aural postcards from a pre-coronavirus world.


Listen to Podcast #4 : The Passing of Remembrance