Bridlington hurdy-gurdy player Quentin Budworth and fellow musician Lou Duffy-Howard earn praise over lockdown collaborations

Bridlington-based hurdy-gurdy player Quentin Budworth is making waves with fellow Agent Starling musician Lou Duffy-Howard.

By Phil Hutchinson
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 12:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 4:16 pm
Quentin Budworth with fellow musician Lou Duffy-Howard. Photo courtesy of Richard Duffy-Howard.
Quentin Budworth with fellow musician Lou Duffy-Howard. Photo courtesy of Richard Duffy-Howard.

Their lockdown music collaboration has caught the ears of aficionados from international magazines and bloggers to pop superstar and BBC Radio 6 presenter Tom Robinson.

Audiences have been doubly impressed by the fact that the pair didn’t meet during the recording process.

A total of 27 songs were pinged back and forth between Quentin’s home in Bridlington and Lou’s house – and home studio – in Hull prior to being polished and packaged ready for release.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

The first album, European Howl, came out in May 2021 as the result of a lockdown project hatched when the pair couldn’t do their usual summer of festival gigs. As the pandemic dragged on, a second album became inevitable and the pair released Constellation of Birds.

The first time they got together in more than two years was for the photoshoot to promote the new record.

Lou is a founder member of psychedelic rock band Loudhailer Electric Company and is currently working towards a reunion tour of England in April with the Red Guitars, the Hull-based band which became a John Peel favourite and topped the Indie charts in the 1980s.

Originally part of Suns of Arqa, Quentin tours the continent as part of a unique musical culture, exploring and developing his playing of the hurdy-gurdy and studying style, technique and repertoire with leading players of the historic instrument.

Quentin said: “I’ve played the hurdy-gurdy professionally for most of my adult life. Its drone, chanters and buzzing trompette create a unique musical world encompassing the ancient, modern and modal.

“I often spend several days researching, rehearsing and recording my parts to ensure that I am happy with my playing on the record before I send them to Lou.”

Lou added: “There are not many people who play the hurdy-gurdy and Quentin is at the top of his game.

“We have a third album partially recorded and we have accrued enough money to have some CDs made.”

Go to agentstarlinguk.wordpress.com/ to find out more about Agent Starling.