As I pause for breath, between the merry-go-round of festivals, I am conscience of the fact that I have, in my possession, several CD’s that I promised to review.

So, rather than toss-a -coin, and, recalling that phrase about charity and home going together so well, I will begin with a local singer and songwriter who has, over the last few years, become a popular and familiar figure on the Wrexham, Chester and North Wales acoustic music scene.

One of the pleasures of this job is that, now and again, I get to hear newly released albums, some bad, some good and some indifferent but all the product of many hours of sweat and toil and all worthy of respect for the artistes concerned who have, very often, bared their souls to the world to create their own musical masterpiece and, in some cases, also laid out a considerable amount of money in doing so.

The icing on the cake, in this case, is that the album has been made with the sole intention of raising money for charity.

The artiste is a well-known local singer and musician and the charity who will benefit from sales of the CD is also very much on our doorstep. The album, “The Potter’s Wheel”, is the work of Wrexham singer songwriter Peter Leslie, released under his stage name, Pete Spesh, earlier this year.

It follows up on his first foray into recording, the album, “Fate”, that contained some of Pete’s songs in addition to covers of his favourite artistes They were sold at £5.00 each raising a tidy sum for his charity. This time round, he goes the whole hog, with 13 original tracks, all, bar one, recorded at AMP Studios, Wrexham Pete can often be found playing at Open Mic nights in the region including The Live Bar, City Road, Chester (Mondays), Ruthin All Styles Music Club, The Feathers, Ruthin (Thursdays), The Nag’s Head, Ridley Wood, (Mondays), Llandegla All Styles Music Club, (Mondays), Wrexham Folk Club, The Nags Head, Mount Street (Thursdays from October to May) and Saith Seren, to name but a few. In addition, he has appeared at some of the street festivals in the town and The International Eisteddfod, Llangollen.

However, he also devotes his time and talents to performing at various charity events and it was whilst playing a regular gig at The Leonard Cheshire Home, Dolywern, Chirk that the idea for both albums was conceived.

Our new, state of the art, venue of Ty Pawb has certainly been gathering pace this year with a series of events taking place almost daily. This Spring that continued with Free Lunchtime Concerts showcasing local talent and Pete chose such a concert to launch his new album when he played there in March.

So, to the album, Pete’s songs are a mixture of the whimsical, nostalgic and lyrical with a dash of positive anger in true “protest” style. As Pete’s influences are James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Paul Weller, Coldplay, Travis and Kieran Halpin, it is to be expected that this will be reflected in his songs.

However, this is no bad thing as you can only learn to improve if you learn from a master craftsman, and he has chosen his “teachers” wisely.

The opening track, “The Potter’s Wheel”, is also the title track and the continual spinning of the wheel is compared to how life also goes around and is moulded by, presumably, the greatest potter of them all?

A fitting opener followed by one of his favourites, “Relentless Rain”. Greek holiday influences inspired “The Island”, while, “Through the Winter” is that SAD time that affects all too many people. The Greek theme returns with “Stacking Pebbles” and the “Lucky Few”, then “My Boat is Drifting”, Pete’s sequel to his song, “Sea of Clouds” from his first album, “Fate”.

Strangely enough, the song, “Fate”, comes next and The Greek Tourist Board should certainly be thanking Pete (and maybe sponsoring him)) as, once again, he draws on his experiences on the Greek island of Naxos, in 2007, with “The Busker”. Winding down, “Just Dreaming” revisits a much younger man who penned the lyrics in 1973 but did not get to finish the song until now! My favourites are, “The Potter’s Wheel”, the opening track, “Just Dreaming”, “My Boat is Drifting” and “Enjoy Your Day, the final track.

Pete also manages to include an instrumental track, his own spin on the classic Davy Graham tune, “Angie” though, in this case, it is called “Morangie”, neat eh!

Pete is at pains to point o0ut that he was helped, in no small measure, by the patience and skill of Nino Enrico at AMP Studios in Wrexham, the album being completed in a remarkable 5 hours, over two sessions, including 4 bonus tracks ready for Pete’s next album.

It is, basically, one man and his guitar, well recorded, and listenable, finding his own niche and being content within that niche. Would that many singers and musicians could say the same!

It also encapsulates the determination of one man to use his talents for the good of others as all proceeds from the sale of the CD’s will go to The Leonard Cheshire Home, Dolywern, Chirk, Wrexham and, for that I salute and congratulate him. “The Potter’s Wheel” can be bought for just £10.00 through messaging Pete on his facebook page at or, alternatively, catching him at any of his gigs.

Back to the local gig scene and, this weekend, the Llangollen Fringe Festival concludes on Saturday (27) whilst there is a musical evening with Rose Price and Michael Medina at The Lockkeeper Lounge Bar, Canalside, Frodsham Street, Chester this Friday (27) at 8.00pm.Next week. On Sunday (28) veteran giggers, Welcomme, Finnan and Chrimes, top the bill once more at The Big Room, Heswall, Wirral with Dave Evans and Final Nails.

The Folk/Roots Concert starts at 7.30pm and you can pay on the door. The Hungry Horse Acoustic, The Whitby Club, Chester Road, Ellesmere Port have their “Big Spot” on Thursday with the John Ward Trio at 8pm Admission is Free.

The big National Festivals coming up include Cambridge Folk Festival (01-04), Sidmouth Folk Week (02-09), Festival Interceltique De L’orient, Brittany, (02-11) and, on our doorstep, The North Wales Blues & Soul Festival at Theatr Clwyd (02).

In the meantime, whatever you do and wherever you go, enjoy your music.

By D.C.M.