The 17th UK Filk convention, 4th - 6th February 2005

PR2 artwork

4th - 6th February, 2005
The 17th UK Filk convention
The Queen's Hotel, Southsea, Portsmouth

Welcome to the PR2 for the 17th UK filk convention!

Ah, the joys of modern computer technology. It isn’t so many years since a document like this progress report would have been carefully typed, artwork added using (literally) cut and paste, and the whole thing duplicated at a print shop – a process that would take weeks. Now, with the aid of a PC and printer, the complete PR and membership database (and 90% of the operating system) can be deleted from a hard disk in under a minute, and it still takes weeks to produce a PR...

Joking aside, it’s easy to forget just how much progress has been made in the last two decades. We no longer think anything of journeys that once took days or more. The filkcon will feature performers from at least two different continents – a journey that once took months. We can now trade songs and music easily with people all over the world. Distance truly is becoming only a Dixseption

Booking Accommodation

Included with this PR is the hotel booking form. If you are planning on staying at the Queen’s hotel, please fill this in and send it back to us before the end of 2004. If you have any particular requirements (such as not having feather pillows, a no-smoking room, or being in a quiet area) please don’t hesitate to put them on the form: these things are much easier to sort out in advance than at the convention itself. Lastly, if you want the convention to sort out someone to share a twin room with, please note that as well.

Yes, the hotel website says all the rooms have gone. This is with our booking. We are not full up.

Rooms will cost £35 per person per night bed and breakfast, with a small supplement for single rooms. Some family rooms are available.

The hotel has not asked us for a deposit with the room bookings. We will confirm bookings with PR3, as well as including directions and travel information.

The Committee (and friends)

Mike Richards (Chairman (denied) and Publications)

Mike’s varied career has taken him from the jungles of South East Asia to the edge of space; he has two species of Borneo orchids named after him and was third on the list after Helen Sharman as Britain’s first astronaut. He is now settled in the West Country where he breeds racing ferrets.

A renowned instrumentalist, Mike has also written numerous songs under the pen-name of Anon. He is still awaiting the royalties. Rumours that he used dark magic to acquire his harping skills are entirely incorrect, he has in fact been possessed by the spirit of Eamon O’Muddle, one time harper and bard to Bryan Boru.

Dixseption will be the twenty-third convention with Mike at the helm, counting all of those that nobody turned up for. This time he has remembered to sell memberships.

Miki Dennis (Treasurer and Memberships)

A renowned fashion designer, Miki regularly commutes from her family Chateau in Saint Serif to her country retreat in Surrey. She was once engaged to Arnold J Schwarzenegger - but left him at the altar when she discovered he was a tax accountant from Peckham and not the body building movie star.

Spurned in love, Miki spent seven years in a convent, but left when she realised that she had little chance of becoming pope.

Besides being an expert trombonist, Miki has a fine baritone voice, and intends doing a performance of her Takemetoyorlieder at the convention if time permits.

Dawn Everett-Biddle (Hotel Liaison and Artwork)

Well known throughout the space time continuum but now settled in Hampshire, Dawn is still worshipped by a tribe of Amazonian primitives as a fertility goddess.

Having spent most of this incarnation as a professional speedway rider, Dawn is now a multi-award winning novelist, whose gothic horror tales are renowned for the accuracy of her research. This has so far led to her being blacklisted from twenty-three graveyards, nineteen churches and one branch of Tesco’s.

In her spare time Dawn lurks around known UFO sites in the hope of abducting an alien. She is also a gastronome in the tradition of Dean Buckland, and can count 136 different species that she has eaten, at least three of which are considered sentient by the Galactic Federation.

Brian Biddle (Programming)

Brian lists among his claims to fame that as a child he was kissed by Moira Anderson and shook hands with Jeremy Thorpe - at least it wasn't the other way around. He has since gone on to numerous appearances on television.

A one time acting partner of Colin Firth, Brian gave up the stage for a career in the biological sciences. He met his long time (some might say 'long suffering') partner Dawn while they were both digging up bodies in the same cemetery. When funding ran out for his research, he turned his attention to the world of computing starting with Colossus. He then spent a time going around the country selling dodgy replicas of medieval pilgrimage tokens.

Renowned for his parodies, Brian has been known to produce the occasional serious song. He is proud of the fact that he can play any instrument badly, and then only by hitting it. He denies being a creature of the Cthulhu mythos, but is secretly please that neither of his daughters has shown any sign of growing tentacles.

We are fortunate to have the aid of two NCOs (Not Committee'Onest):

Keris (Tech)

Keris(or Kit to his friends and members of the Galactic Patrol) is a renowned figure on the British Filk scene. Less well known is that he is in fact 6'5" in height, but wears special shoes to make him seem shorter. Even less well known is that Keris was cursed as a baby by an evil fairy, and as a result no matter what clothing he puts on it turns into jeans and a black t-shirt. A firm follower of the maxim that any technical problem can be fixed by using a bigger hammer, he has yet to discover the screwdriver.

Widely travelled, he recently appeared as Antonio Banderas’ body double in Shrek 2.

Alison Richards (Illustrations and Song Book)

Prize-winning film maker and renowned authority of the history of maliculture, Alison studied jewellery making at the University of London. She has previously worked for both the BBC and the National Museum of Wales as an expert in Grand Fenwickian artifacts.

Alison has a great fondness for cats and has written several books of recipes on the subject. She is researching a new book on how to cook ferrets.

A firm believer in pre-incarnation, she has twice been arrested for trying to kill hamsters that she thinks will be reborn as important people.

Penguin harpist Penguin cardsharp


We are planning on offering a variety of concert slots at Dixseption, ranging from full hour slots down to "20 minutes". The aim of these is to give a chance for less well known performers to do something between a "main concert" single item and a full hour slot. Of course, we will be featuring our guests of honour: Terrence Chua from the US, and Andy and Martin Gordon-Kerr from the UK.

In addition to our guests, we currently have the following lined up to do concerts: the NMC, Dragster, Songbird, our German contingent, Emily, Gwen Knighton, Hilary Croughton and Divine Strumpet. If anyone else would like to ask for a chance to shine, please contact Brian Biddle either at the con address or at brian.biddle (at)

We have had some requests for people willing to help by accompanying performers during the main concert. If anyone is willing to help out, please contact us at the con address:

Tech Requirements

It is requested that performers submit their needs for tech well before the convention. If you only need one microphone for voice and one for guitar, or similar, then this is not essential, but if you have a larger group or are using more instruments it is very useful to know since this will minimise the time needed for setup. This is particularly important if you need more than we usually supply (more than 4 vocal microphones, for instance).

Also, anyone who has desires to work tech (on the desk, setting up, "front of house", adjusting microphone stands and the like) is encouraged to contact tech in advance in order to arrange some sort of schedule. This includes people who would like to learn, there are usually several sets which are fairly simple and suitable for "first time" techies to run, and we can plan supervision for people who are not comfortable doing it on their own. As usual, anyone who wants to help with teardown will be welcome on the day...

Mail for the above should be sent to tech (at)


We are hoping to have a workshop at Dixseption on producing "filk videos"; that is, designing, filming and producing a video to accompany your favourite songs. This will be lead by our UK Guests of Honour, Andy and Martin Gordon-Kerr. We are also planning to have a dance workshop.

Ideas for other workshops are welcome – as are volunteers!


Dixseption is supporting the 2005 UK Worldcon songbook, rather than trying to produce two in one year. We welcome contributions of filk songs and artwork on any topic – there are no plans for a theme to the songbook at this time, other than a sampling of what is currently being played in filk communities everywhere. If the tune is original, we can transcribe and typeset it for you; we can cope with a variety of formats including Midi and Noteworthy. Songs need not be new, though we would prefer ones not widely available elsewhere.

Contributions can be sent to Alison Richards, alison (at)

Alternate Accommodation

The Queen's Hotel is located close to Southsea town centre as well as the beach. Directly opposite the hotel are both another hotel and a guest-house, which may be able to provide cheaper rooms for those on a tight budget. We can provide details for anyone who wants them – please contact us at the con address.

Students may wish to know that a number of the local shops offer a 10% discount if you present a student ID card.


It has been brought to our attention that there may have been a number of technical accuracies in the biographies published in PR1 for Andy and Martin Gordon-Kerr and Terrence Chua, our guests of honour. We offer our apologies for this and will be publishing more accurate biographies in the programme book.

Members as of November 10th, 2004


Andy Gordon-Kerr


Alex Allcock

Martin Gordon-Kerr

Roger Robinson

Lissa Allcock

The Hamster Guy

Tony Rogers

Phil Allcock


Kathy Sands

Azakir Devaris

Hilary Ann

Leo Sands

Andrew Barton



Kate Barton

Rhodri James





Michael Bernadi



Brian Biddle


Barbara Stewart

Dawn Biddle


John Stewart



Bill Sutton



Brenda Sutton

Terence Chua

The Magician


Rafe Culpin

Janet Maughan


Lawrence Dean

Robert Maughan

Peter Tyers

Miki Dennis



Diana Joan {DJ} Bass


Marilisa Valtazanou



Marion van der Voort


Nigel Parsons

Richard van der Voort

Sue Edwards

Paul B +:o}

Vera Emlyn



Peter Wareham

Brian Flatt

Anna Raftery

Dave Weingart


Emily Raftery

Karen Westhead

Freddy Filk Frog

Joe Raftery

Kathy Westhead


Alison Richards

Mike Westhead


Mike Richards

Peter Westhead

Gwen Funnell



David Given

Rika the Bardling


Joining the convention currently costs £26 (full), £13 (unwaged or supporting) or £1 (under 5s). Cheques should be made payable to "Dixseption" and sent to:

Dixseption, c/o 15 St Catherine’s Cross, Bletchingley, Surrey RH1 4PX

together with a postal address that will reach you, the type of membership(s) you want, and your badge name (if different). We can also be reached by email at or on the web at

Members will be listed by badge name on publications; please let us know of any mistakes. Membership information will be kept on a computer and used only for purposes of UK filk conventions. Artwork is by Dawn Biddle and Alison Richards. Brian wrote the committee bios, which may contain some minor inaccuracies.