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Helen Watson

Born Manchester 1952. Family moved south in early 60’s and Helen returned to the city around 1983. Has often been called ‘the Blues Diva of the North’. Helen sang backing vocals for Wadada’s early ‘Suns Of Arqa’ (Mick Ward) along with Doreen Edwards. In December 82 they performed at the Hacienda with Prince Far-I who was murdered shortly afterwards, on his return to Jamacia. Helen met guitarist Martin Mcgroarty and they formed the Well Knit Frames doing original numbers as well as some American Western Swing covers. The band was:- Tony Trundle on fiddle, Jimmy Ellis, bass, Martin guitar and variously, Eddie Sherwood and Stuart Stead on drums. Helen then worked with Carmel, doing the backing vocals on her first album ‘The Drum Is Everything’ and they toured Britain and Europe. Meanwhile Helen and Martin were writing songs and eventually hooked up with Keith Hopwood of Pluto Studios, Manchester. Demos from this resulted in a two album deal with EMI. Blue Slipper and The Weather Inside were recorded in America and produced by Glyn Johns (producer of Joan Armatrading, The Who, The Eagles and Rolling Stones). Helen then moved to RCA where ‘Companion Gal was recorded with Bob ?. Martin and Helen then formed the Helen Watson band with Manchester players, Bo on bass, Snuff on drums, Clive Mellor on harmonica and toured Britain and Europe for three or four years as well as recording carousel studio? Stockport album name ? . Around 1994 Helen joined Michael Parker, Barb Jungr and Christine Collister in “Hell Bent Heaven Bound” and toured British and Canadian festivals. Next Helen joined Daphne’s Flight with Chris While, Julie Mathews, Melanie Harold and Christine Collister – they recorded one album and toured extensively. Helen then produced three solo albums for Fledging record label. ‘Somesault’, ‘Doffin’ (produced by Tony Trundle) and Lifesize. In 2006 Helen began touring with Snake Davis, Mark Creswell and Dave Bowie as The Burden Of Paradise. Currently recording new solo album with members of the Burden of Paradise and new Burden of Paradise material too. (Mark and Snake were in Flexible Stems in early 80’s with Manchester musicians Steve Williams and Steve Gilbert). (Submitted 20.03.08)