has been a fixture of the British filk community since 1991. He is a warm, friendly person who enjoys a lively discussion, and an all-round nice bloke.
He can usually be found behind the sound desk, keeping a watchful eye on the sound levels. In fact, he is in his element when twiddling knobs, sliding sliders, and matching masculine plugs with feminine sockets. Always there to enhance the performance, he has run or helped out with sound reinforcement and recording for most of the British filk cons from VIbraphone, the sixth annual British filk convention, onwards. He created a sound reinforcement and recording set-up that is used at FilkContinental and many of the British filkcons, and much of the equipment belongs to him. He has also gone so far as to hire transportation, at his own expense, to bring the equipment to Germany for FilkContinental. If you hear a recording produced from FilkContinental or any of the British filk cons, the odds are that the sound passed under Keris’s hands.
Keris is often underestimated as a musician because he rarely performs solo, but he will gladly pick up a bass guitar and play along when invited, especially if the song has a “rock” feel.
He has been a member of the n’Early Music Consort since its inception, and as well as singing bass he has contributed some vocal arrangements which he also conducts. When his day job took him to Germany for two years, he even timed his visits to the UK to coincide with nMC rehearsals, so that he could continue to take part in the group.
Keris has also been a quiet benefactor to filkers who were in need, at various times and in numerous ways, including donations, purchases of things he didn’t really need, but didn’t want to let pass out of the filk family, and paying people for “working” for him on projects that he could have done more efficiently himself.
He was an early adopter of Internet technologies and was an active member of the Filk Echo and rec.music.filk when they were the primary means of cross-Pond communication. He has even travelled to North American conventions on his own to meet face-to-face with people he has corresponded with online.
Keris braved the terrors of concom membership for the first time with the Quinze Filk Festival in 2003. His is a strong presence in British filk, always there and gratefully acknowledged at the end of the con, but rarely noticed outside that few minutes’ ovation. Were he gone, the hole would be very large.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Chris Croughton is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-fourth day of March, Two Thousand and Seven.
Photo credit: Debbie Ohi