Tom Kitching is a fiddle player and travel writer from Cheshire. He is a founder member of BBC Radio 2 folk award nominated Pilgrims’ Way, and is a veteran of over 2000 live gigs. Shortly before the pandemic, he set out busking over the length and breadth of England in an attempt to read the state of the nation. Seasons of Change, a book and album, are the result of this extraordinary journey.
When Tom set off, a little over three years ago, he couldn’t have known he was documenting the end of an era. From being angrily summoned to return to a County Durham coal mining village to halcyon days amongst fellow buskers on the Cornish Riviera. From the heart of the Black Country to the square mile of the City of London.
It was a quest to get to know his own country better, through its native music, a quest completed just in time for the high street to close and the country to head into a state of profound change.
It’s become a moment in time, the before. What will we find when we all finally emerge and take stock of the worst recession on record and the inevitable consequences of our agonising, slow-motion rupture with the EU?
“One of the best books on England in recent years.” Mike Harding
“It’s like reading one long, beautiful song” Lopa Kothari, BBC Radio 3
“There are dozens of folk violinists, but few with the attack, passion, and ingenuity of Tom Kitching. The most beautiful instrumental playing of the year.” – Sunday Express