The City Waites

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The City Waites is a British early music ensemble. Formed in the early 1970s, they specialise in English music of the 16th and 17th centuries from the street, tavern, theatre and countryside — the music of ordinary people. They endeavor to appeal to a wide general audience as well as to scholars. They have toured the UK, much of Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the USA, performing everywhere from major concert halls and universities to village squares. Collaborations include the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe. They can be heard on several movie and TV soundtracks; they broadcast regularly and have made more than 30 CDs.


Lucie Skeaping[edit]

Main article: Lucie Skeaping

Lucie Skeaping sings and plays the baroque violin. Lucie is also founder-director of The Burning Bush, which explores klezmer (traditional Jewish music) as well as Arab-influenced music. The band includes Robin Jeffrey who plays Middle Eastern instruments. Lucie presents BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show and other programmes which showcase early music ensembles of the UK and other countries. Lucie is the author of the award-winning[citation needed] schools' book "Let's Make Tudor Music" and her "Musical Mystery Tour" visits numerous schools each year. Lucie's many CDs include "Home Sweet Home" (with Ian Partidge), a celebration of 19th century parlour music, and 'English National Songs'. Her book 'Broadside Ballads' won the Music Industry Award for Best Classical Music Publication 2006. Her latest publication is 'Who gave thee thy Jolly Red Nose?', an anthology of recorder music.

Douglas Wootton[edit]

Douglas Wootton is one of the few tenors who accompany himself on the lute. He also plays bandora, cittern, and tabor. Due to his promotion of the band they were voted the second-best Folk Band of the Year in the pages of Melody Maker. His down-to-earth approach sets the tone for the band.[neutrality is disputed] Douglas writes musicals for children.[citation needed]

Roddy Skeaping[edit]

Roddy was involved in the Early Music revival from its earliest days, working with the Academy of Ancient Music, David Munrow's Early Music Consort and The Consort of Musicke. He was appointed Leverhulme Research Fellow at Royal College of Music where he also taught the viola da gamba. As a composer he creates all the group's musical arrangements and has also written scores for the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company and several historical feature films.[citation needed]

Nicholas Perry[edit]

Nicholas Perry trained as a horn player at the Guildhall School of Music going on to study instrument making as a Crafts Council apprentice. He has performed and recorded for many London-based early music ensembles including the Gabrieli Consort, the English Baroque Soloists. The Taverner Consort and His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts. He is a regular player at Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company and continues to work as an early brass instrument maker. He is currently the UK’s only professional serpent leatherer.[citation needed]

Michael Brain[edit]

Michael Brain plays curtal, baroque bassoon, recorder, oboe and sings. He was a chorister at Westminster Abbey. He is related to the horn player Dennis Brain. On stage he gives spirited[neutrality is disputed] descriptions of how the instruments are constructed. He also works as a plumber.

Former members[edit]

The Skeapings and/or Douglas Wootton have been core of a constantly changing line-up. Musicians who have worked with the group previously include:

  • Joe Skeaping - violin
  • Keith Thompson - woodwind
  • Barbara Grant - soprano, violin
  • Nicholas Hayley - bass viol
  • Robin Jeffrey - lute
  • Richard Wistreich - baritone
  • Graham Wells - woodwinds


  • The English Stage Jig (Hyperion) - released March 9
  • The English Tradition (ARC)
  • Low and Lusty Ballads (Regis)
  • Penny Merriments (Naxos)
  • Bawdy Ballads of Old England (Regis)formerly The Mufitians of Grope Lane (Musica Oscura)
  • Christmas now is drawing near (Saydisc)
  • How the World Wags (Hyperion)
  • Pills to Purge Melancholy (Saydisc)
  • The Music of the Tudor Age
  • Music of the Middle Ages
  • Music of the Stuart Age
  • Music from the time of Henry VIII
  • Music from the time of Charles II
  • A Madrigal for all Seasons

On LP[edit]

  • The City Waites (1975)
  • A Gorgeous Gallery Of Gallant Inventions (1973)

External links[edit]