Beau – Biography

Posted on January 2, 2012

Beau 2011 portraitBeau, real name Christopher John Trevor Midgley, was born in Leeds in 1946.  As a teenager he played with The Raiders rock group, performing mostly instrumental and R&B music.  With a strong social and political conscience however, Beau started to hone his song writing with the 12-string guitar at which point he started to get noticed.  Beau played at the opening night of BBC Radio Leeds in 1968 and was even interviewed for The Yorkshire Evening Post by then reporter and rock star in waiting, Mark Knopfler.

Beau was the first artist to sign for John Peel and Clive Selwood’s Dandelion Records and in July 1969 his first single, “1917 Revolution”, was released.  Although “1917 Revolution” made it to number one in the Lebanon, he never got to promote it there.  They were having a revolution at the time!

He subsequently recorded two critically acclaimed LPs, “Beau” and “Creation”, for Dandelion before the label folded in 1972 midway through recording his third album.

Without a label, Beau carried on with his day job working for the Halifax Building Society where he stayed until his retirement in 1996.  He has no regrets.  “I have been very happy with my life,” says the man who Jacques Vassal said in his 1976 book, “Electric Children”, was “probably the most neglected British songwriter of all”.  Peel himself said of Beau, “(he is) … a remarkable writer and performer of songs and well worth listening to under any circumstances”.

Beau never stopped writing, however, penning more than 500 songs and recording many of them.  Sheffield folk singer Roy Bailey recorded Beau’s “The Roses of Eyam” for his 1984 album “Hard Times”, a song that has since been re-released, re-recorded and widely performed in folk clubs around the world.

As Trevor Midgley he also wrote a book on Bob Dylan – “Dylan: Contraband” – and co-authored a musical on the life of pop artist Andy Warhol which has yet to be performed.