The Summer Walkers

Travelling For A Living
Sunday 10 December 2017
Cube Cinema
4 Princess Row, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS2 8NQ
2.00pm - 5.00pm | £4/£25 | Buy Tickets

Two key films from deep archive, chosen and introduced by Scottish singer and songwriter Alasdair Roberts and French folk singing trio Tartine de Clous who are in residency at The Cube this weekend.

‘Summer Walkers’ focuses on the hard working life, culture, play and mirth of travelling people from Scotland, while ‘Travelling For A Living’ has at it’s heart the amazing English folk group The Watersons.

Note: a £25 playthecube pass gives you entry to all the events. See listings for individual event details

(Dir: Tim Neat, 1976. 53mins, PG)

Alasdair Roberts writes:

“’The Summer Walkers’ is a poetic epithet which the crofters of the north-west Highlands give to the Travelling people – the indigenous itinerant people of Scotland. Although their traditional way of life – roaming the country and making a living as pearl fishers, berry pickers, tin-smiths, hawkers and horse-dealers – is now on the verge of living memory, the Travelling people of Scotland have long been acknowledged as bearers of a rich and ancient culture. Some of Scotland’s most renowned traditional artists emerged from that culture, including singers such as Jeannie Robertson, Jimmy MacBeath, Lucy Stewart and Sheila Stewart and storytellers such as Duncan Williamson and Stanley Robertson. These exemplary artists were responsible for the preservation of a unique oral tradition and were key figures in the postwar Scottish folk revival.

As a non-Traveller Scottish musician, a singer of old ballads whose self-written material often draws in various ways on traditional material, the culture of the Scottish Travellers has been very important to me, as it was to figures such as the late folklorist and poet Hamish Henderson (a friend of the filmmaker Tim Neat). This film documents the Traveller way of life, exploring their customs, superstitions, songs, stories, unique language and remembrances.”

(Dir. Derrick Knight / 1966 / 45 mins)

Guillaume Maupin (Tartine De Clous) writes:

Derrick Knight captures, in a double movement, an aspect, a face, of Folk music in this warm fascinating film. The Watersons, rising to a sort of a cult fame, are touring folk clubs, share a house, work with Anne Briggs and Louis Killen, wear sombre clothes, drive a van and enjoying being part of the 60’s. We understand what is at stake here, with this revival approach to folk music by people who are indeed, rooted in a tradition. We see them in Hull, where they are from, singing mostly acapella family polyphonic arrangements of traditional songs, learned in their childhood, through friends, or picked up at the Cecil Sharp’s achieves in London. The film, made for TV, in 16 mm black and white, a standard then, is also a sign of the times, and itself, is trying to show something new with roots in audiovisual habits for a popular medium, that has a vintage look today. It seemed important to us to show this very rare film, that echoes the vivid way of approaching traditional material proposed during this residency at The Cube.”


playthecube is an artist residency series produced by The Cube Cinema and Qu Junktions. Previous artists-in-residence include Good Bad Happy Sad, Heatsick, Liz Harris (Grouper), Eric Chenaux & Eric Cazdyn and Luke Fowler & Richard Youngs.

Qu Junktions gratefully acknowledges the support of PRS for Music Foundation

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