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Keith Morris - his work

As is reflected in many of the tributes to and recollections of Keith, he was a most modest and self-effacing man and not given to 'blowing his own trumpet'. But we would like to blow it for him......

We hope that he would be pleased and not too embarrassed

As Shelly Moore (ex Kent Moped member) said

A quite unselfish man, never out for his own glory. Ha.   Well he’s getting plenty now (he might cringe a little), but I think he’d have been proud.
The information below about the work that Keith had done over more than three decades has been put together from the recollections of others who were involved in various projects and bands and from what could be found on the web sites of some of Keith's collaborators. The priority has been to get some information put up here - the rest of the content and the presentation will continue to be worked upon.....

Please let us know if there is anything more that you can add - or if you can correct anything that isn't accurate

This is what Keith said about himself……

Keith Morris AKA Kent Moped

(Posters and programmes for a Red Music tour in Bulgaria were in the Cyrillic alphabet and Keith's name in Cyrillic looked exactly like "Kent Moped".)

"....is who or what, exactly? - a more-or-less unknown composer based in Newcastle, England, writing music for all sorts of reasons, including theatre, literature, art and other kinds of events in the region. Used to be called a 'jazz composer", one of those less-than-worth-serious-consideration epithets. Writes also for youth and school circumstances, choirs, bands and ensembles. Also writes songs. Regards himself as actually quite good at setting words. Doesn't write music in any ground-breaking 'contemporary' idiom, is over 50 and therefore easily ignored."





Dukes Theatre Lancaster

When Keith died he was working on the music for         

Tom Thumb and other Giant Stories

for the Dukes Theatre Lancaster.

He had worked with the Dukes Theatre on summer and Christmas productions for several years.

This is from a Guardian review of their production of Fandango in 2002

“The outstanding feature, however, is Keith Morris's omnipresent music, full of spicy, zarzuela flavours that inject real Spanish heat into the proceedings."







Cargo Project


Keith was also working with Helix Arts on Cargo, a European artist residency programme in the UK, Latvia and Sweden. The artists work with their respective communities to create pieces of art in a wide range of media, including film, poetry, photography, and music.

Keith was awarded the Composition Commission for Cargo in March 2004 and has begun research, including visits to each of the residencies. It is envisaged the piece will be inspired by the varied musical and cultural traditions, as well as the expressed socio-economic realities and aspirations of the participating communities.



Esther Salamon, former Co-Director of Helix Arts and initiator of the project said,

“The intention is that Cargo will provide both artists and the communities with the opportunity to identify, express and celebrate understandings of their individual and shared economic and social histories within the context of profound change – decline in traditional industries; increasing globalisation; the rapid development of sophisticated technologies and financial systems; geographical changes to national/international borders, political systems and cultural identities. Cargo aims to use creativity, art and culture to gain an understanding of these monumental changes. By exploring past traditions and future possibilities in imaginative and inventive ways, the project will provide insights into a metamorphosed Europe.”


Sean O'Brien writes here about his work with Keith on Downriver



Jazz Action

Keith led a 'Jazz band for a Day' workshop for

Jazz Action working on an intensive daylong session with tutors

Lewis Watson, Keith Norris, Mick Shoulder, John Wilson, Adrian Tilbrook and 'Smudge'




Photo by Adrian Tilbrook




10 piece band







Keith worked with many other musicians in the occasional Big People gigs.

As Graeme Rigby writes here, Big People was essentially a principle.

         Big People








Bergen - Kulturhuset Residencies

In recent years Keith spent two periods as Composer in Residence at Kulturhuset USF in Bergen, NORWAY. He collaborated with Norwegian musicians, and brought the ‘Bergen Connection’ to Schmazz at the Cluny on two occasions.



Book of the North

A pioneering collaboration between visual artists, prose writers and poets based in the north east of England, Book of the North published in 2002 contains text, music and film, all especially composed for the CD-ROM format.

ISBN: 0-9541456-0-7

Price: £10 plus £2 post and packaging




Book of the North features work by:

Chaz Brenchley, Andrew Crumey, Julia Darling, Linda France, WN Herbert, Keith Morris, Sean O’Brien, Bridget O’Connor, Katrina Porteous, Mark Robinson, Alan Smith and Margaret Wilkinson.


New Writing North



Four Seasons in Woodland

Keith worked with poet Bill Herbert on this extended musical piece for choir, brass band, street band, octet, and two singers. The piece was premiered at the Caedmon Hall, Gateshead in December 1996; other performances include the 1997 Durham Literary Festival.

Keiths commentary on the music is here

Text by Bill Herbert is here







    Plain Truth

was the forerunner to Kent Moped, and had a very similiar line up





       Kent Moped

Shelly Moore wrote about her experience of working with Keith in Kent Moped in her tribute

Band Members

Keith Morris   Piano, Soprano/Baritone saxes COMPOSER
Chris Dee      Tenor/soprano Saxes, Flute
Cath Lane      Bass Clarinet
Shelly Moore  Alto sax, whistle
Yvonne Pinkney (known as Stella)   Baritone/alto saxes
Richard Scott   Vocal, Flute, Tenor sax
Don Forbes     Trumpet, Flugal
Mrinal Kundu   Trumpet
Andy Lawrenson   Violin
Eddie Nickson   Guitar
Keiran Cheung   Bass
Jonathan Thorpe   Drums


Keith was also fleetingly in a "rock" band fronted by Yvonne Kingswell (who was also an original member of "We don't Want the Peanuts We Want the Plantation" Dance Band, with Joe Scurfield)



Keith conducts The Call of Paradise at Symphony Hall Birmingham 2002



Grand Union Orchestra

Keith was a member of Grand Union Orchestra since 1984


Grand Union Website

More about GrandUnion Orchestra

More pictures of Keith with GUO

Bakelite Band


Keith Morris    musical direction                 arrangements   saxophones

Gev Pringle       percussion

Ieuan Goch ab Einion   keyboard  cello   guitar

Patrick Mulholland      trombone

Sue Gittins       vocals






The Stumbling Band


with Ellen Phethean, Gev Pringle, Judy Seymour, Joe Scurfield and Adam Taylor


The Hotpoints 1978ish - 1980

John Cooper     guitar and backing vocals
Tessa Green     guitar and lead vocals
Keith Morris      alto sax
Gev Pringle       drums
Sid Smith          bass guitar
Peter Thomson    tenor sax
Jane Wade         vocals


Keith Morris      bass
Juan Surfboard  guitar and voice
Archie Brown    sax
?? on drums

 Has anyone got any photographs of these bands?

Shaking Hands 1980

Keith Morris saxes
Gev Pringle drums
Sid Smith bass guitar

Ipso Facto... (1977 ish?)
Nigel Bainbridge    drums
Stan Gamester      percussion
Bill Madge            tenor sax
Keith Morris          keyboards & soprano sax
Sid Smith              bass guitar.
Phil Summers        guitar

the first band Keith played sax in concert with?


more to come.......


Blue Carpet

Who Cares Wins!

Tyneside Community Music Project






with Joe Scurfield Peter Thompson and Adam Taylor


Cheap at the Price (The Cheaps) 1976 - 1979


Keith playing bass with Cheap at the Price with Archie Brown playing sax, Wallsend Arts Centre, Charlotte Street, 1977

Tim Archer            guitar and                            keyboards
Stan Gamester      drums.
Sue Gittins           vocals
Keith Morris          saxophones,                            keyboard,                            backing vocals



The More or Less Quartet and Sextet 1980

Allan Collins        double bass
Steve Cowgill      piano
Keith Morris        soprano & tenor
Gev Pringle          drums
Brian Taylor(?)     alto sax
Sid Smith             bass guitar
















Red Umbrella and Red Music

(Notes from Ieuan Goch ab Einion - see also his tribute )

Keith was part of the Red Umbrella radical performers collective in the 1980s and played with Red Music a political dance band that evolved from Red Umbrella.

Red Music lasted for over 10 years and many great musicians played in the band. I will probably do many people an injustice by excluding them but for most of us this band was a seminal experience in both politics and music.


Keith Morris
Joe Scurfield
John Sylvester
Caroline Robinson
Judy Seymour
Richard Scott
Gev Pringle
Sue Hurrell
Fiona MacPherson
Katherine Zeserson
Steve Cowgill
Jane Barnett
Ieuan Goch ab Einion
Garry Clennell
Garry Linsley
Rod Sinclair
Josefina Cupido


Scores of some of Keith's music


There are eleven scores here which Keith had put up on his own embryonic web-site

(bizarrely, the pages are still available - please let us know if they disappear)

The scores can be viewed and heard using SCORCH plug-in. It's free, to download go to...

As Keith said

'The scores also play back, but do bear in mind that score playback isn't music at all. You have to imagine what it turns into when humans perform it live using acoustic instruments and real voices. The pieces are in no order of importance, chronology or merit, just the order in which they were 'scorched'.





Eye to Eye (short conversations number one) for two marimbas 2003/4. Short not very serious

Two Short Dances for 2 (plectrum) guitars. 2003. Perhaps the title should be "Too Short..

"300 years" for SATB choir and optional piano. 1997 written for the 300th anniversary of Shaftoe Trust (Primary) School,Haydon Bridge, Northumberland

"Keepers of the Flame - Overture" for 10 strings written for Sean O'Brien's play, 2003

"Keepers of the Flame - A High Place" (as above)

"The Stavros Factor" 1999. For oddly constituted big(-ish) band, so because that's what the students played for whom it was written.

"Parallel Lines" (as above)

"Name me a river"  lyrics by Sean O'brien

"Song of the counter revolutionary horse" lyrics w.n. herbert

"Funeral Games" 2004 Lyric by David Bradford

"Five Rounds from Canterbury Tales" from Dukes Theatre Lancaster production2004. Any number of voices, not hard to sing.

Updated 1st April 2006


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