DERBYSHIRE organ-grinder Patrick Cooke has been creating his own brand of Olympic theme tunes after being invited to play his instrument on TV in the build-up to London 2012. Patrick was asked to take part in a show starring Jools Holland to be aired before the Games.
He spent two-and-a-half hours in Camden Town filming with the television presenter who he described as “brilliant” and “down-to-earth.” Jools, a singer and composer, is best known for his BBC2 music show Later... with Jools Holland and for being a member of the band Squeeze.
Patrick also met Madness frontman Suggs – who also appears in the programme.
Patrick was invited to take part because producers were looking to illustrate “100 years of sound in London” in the run-up to London 2012. Organs similar to his would have played music on the capital’s streets when the Olympic Games were first held there in 1908.
Patrick, of School Lane, Crich, has been an organ-grinder for fifteen years, since being introduced to the instrument by retired street organ builder Peter Trueman of Chaddesden. He said: “About a couple of weeks before we started filming, I received an email from the BBC because they wanted a street organ for the show and had seen my website. My organ is Derbyshire-built because it was created by Peter, so it was nice to be able to take a bit of the county down to London. Jools Holland was brilliant and lovely to work with. He was very good, down-to-earth, pleasant and just got on with things. He said he thought the organ was a wonderful instrument, which I have since told Peter. I’ve performed in all sorts of venues and with various different people but this has got to be among the best highlights because Jools is a top musician.”
Patrick – who runs Cooke and Sons Traditional Organ Grinders with sons Christopher and Matthew – performed Lambeth Walk for the show, a song from the 1937 musical Me and My Girl.
He said: “By 1910, the organ was an important way of hearing music because organ grinders would often be accessible to people free of charge, unlike other forms of music. There’s not too many of us now but it’s good to appear on a show like this and help preserve the organ. It will also show young children something of their heritage when they watch the programme.”
No date has been set for the TV programme but it is expected to be aired in either June or July.
Photos: Patrick Cooke
Text: Caroline Jones (Derby Evening Telegraph)