Present location: Wales
JULIAN ‘JULES’ PELLATT (AKA JULIAN FORTUNE)
Since emigrating to the UK in 1981, Julian has continued to be involved in the music scene there, initially in Leicester, then in North Wales from 1984. In 1998 Julian, a huge James Taylor fan, had the pleasure of organising a James Taylor open air concert at Tatton Park in Cheshire. Not only did 8000 people turn up for the occasion, but Julian also got to shake the hand of the man who had had such an influence on his own taste in music.
In the late 1990s Julian did several public performances with ex-Rhodie professional muso, Marc Reeder, who had worked in Rhodesia as a musician in the 1970s.
Julian performed most Sundays at The Raven Folk Club, Chester, from 2002 to 2007. During this time also met ex-Rhodie, Bill Malkin (Sinoia High School), who had established himself as a well-known singer/songwriter in the region, occasionally supporting him at his weekly residency sessions at The Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, North Wales
In 2013, Julian acquired a Deering ‘De Luxe’ 5-string banjo, joined the weekly sessions of the Helsby Bluegrass Club and taught himself to play the instrument. Since 2014 he has been a regular member of the Helsby Bluegrass Club stage band for their weekly sessions.
In 2015, with three musos he met at the bluegrass sessions, he formed the Helsby Mountain String Band. ‘Julian Banjos’ (as he is known in bluegrass circles!) mainly plays 5-string banjo in the band as well as 6-string acoustic guitar (Martin HD28), ukulele, mandolin and charango.
The band has performed well over 120 gigs since then, has appeared twice on live BBC radio shows and performs two residencies at local venues on the Wirral. The band has been invited to stage a concert in 2020 at Theatr Clwyd, a large, regional arts centre in Mold, North Wales.
Julian is also active at the Bromborough Folk Club on the Wirral where he performs weekly and did his own guest spot there in 2019.
In 2010, Julian set up the FaceBook group for people associated with the Beverley Rocks music venue in Salisbury Rhodesia for the period 1970-1978 when it was operated by the Rhodesian Folk Music Association. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/427226850697814/?ref=bookmarks)
The group has been a great success and is very well subscribed by people from around the world.
Over the years in the UK Julian has met up with many ‘Beverley Rockers’ including Dave Walmisley, Ray Griffin, Paddy Rocks, Stu Dawson, Chris Benson, Sheila Taylor, Bruce Pentreath, John Coates Palgrave, David Scobie, Phil Haxen, Dave Fleming and Fi Grinham. Julian has performed at sessions with Ray Griffin, Paddy Rocks, Bruce Pentreath, Stu Dawson, Chris Benson and his sister, Debbie Wiggins (née Pellatt/Fortune). Others with whom Julian has had contact via the FaceBook group include Tony Cox (Cape Town), C live Levy (South Africa), Daphne Butler (née Figenschou – Nairobi) Iris Jones (Perth area, Western Australia), Martin Norris, Steve Roskilly, Neil Thain and Bud Cockroft.
Julian has his own YouTube channel, The Messy Study Sessions’, which contains home-recorded material:
(See also SOLOS – Julian Fortune)