Hosted by Lance
We kicked off at 19:35 and I performed ‘Veggies’ and and very cleaned up version of ‘Pick UpYour Dogpoo’ as we had children in the audience.
Next was Molly (aged 11) who sang with the aid of a mobile phone 2 songs ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical Annie and ‘A Million Dreams’. Remarkably talented for one so young!!!
Chris Martin followed with his songs 'Journey part 2” and “Pan Yan’. Heather read extracts fromThe Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated into English by Edward Fitzgerald who lived in Seaford).
Tito from Italy was up next and sang 2 songs in his native Italian ‘Anna and Marco’ and then ‘Bella Ciao’, accompanied by Jason on guitar.
Jason and Lisa up next with their rendition of Steve Still’s song ‘Helplessly Hoping’ and their own composition ‘As The River Flows Along’.
Emma was up next and we listened to her recite her poem ‘Christmas’ and then her song ‘Irish Passport’.
Heather followed with ‘Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace and her song ‘Calling Out Her Name’, a song about addiction.
Frank then performed 2 songs, ’The Rending Of The Veil’ followed by ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (and we all joined in).
Brenda recited a poem Loneliness and sang ‘How Great Thou Art’.
Steph followed with a wartime song about the blackout ‘They Can’t Black Out The Moon’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’ a French song given English lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Mike performed his 2 songs, John Lee Hooker’s ‘I Like To See You Walk’ and Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.
Nelson King performed his Christmas song ‘Love and Understanding’ and another of his own songs ’Beautiful Day’.
Simon was up next and performed ‘Julia’ and ‘Louisiana’
Finally, Dave Dyke and Wendy performed 2 songs, ‘You Got The Blues’ and ‘Can’t Hold On’
All in all, a lovely evening!
Hosted by Lance
This was the first open mic night in a while that didn’t have the the motor bikes occupying the car park. We decided that we would each sing 2 songs and then go round again if time allowed.
Jason kicked off proceedings with his own song ‘There Was A Young Man Namely’
Manus and Hank were up next and performed a song he has often sung, ‘True Colours” and an instrumental version of ‘When A Man Loves a Woman’
Simon followed and sang ‘Just Because’ and a Tom Paxton song ‘How Do You Like Your Coffee in Bed’
Brenda read out her poem ‘Breathe’ and sang ‘Eden Weiss’ from the Sound Of Music’and we all joined in.
Lisa and Jason performed Steve Still’s song ‘And So Begins The Task’ and followed this with their own new song ‘Who Knows When Who Knows Where’
Mike Osborne sung ‘Jersey Girl’, a song written by Tom Waits and then Van Morrison’s ‘Tupelo Honey’
Frank Xerox performed a Japanese song ‘Sukiyaki’ and ‘Corinna Corinna’
Heather sang the Tears For Fears song ‘Mad World’ and then a song that she wrote herself in the Dorian mode called ‘I Don’t Know’
Nelson King up next sang ‘I Want TheWorld To Slow Down’ and a song of his own ‘Waves’
Emma read her poem about losing weight and then she sang her song ‘Diclotamasiflugafenax’
Milton Hide were last up and performed their own song ‘Old Tom’s Story’ and another song ‘Places to Go People To See’
Those who wanted to sing again were offered the opportunity to go up again. Manus performed his own song ‘Out Of The Frame’
Chris sang his own song ‘Hair’
Brenda read a poem ‘Meditation To Kadish’
Jason and Lisa sang ‘Where On Earth Would You Rather Be?’
Mike Osborne performed ‘Come On In My Kitchen’
The evening abruptly at around 23:20 when the temporary pub managers asked us to wrap up. It meant that Milton Hide were not able to perform after having waited patiently. Perhaps we will be able to make it up to them.
Hosted by Lisa
“Songs our mums and dads sang”
So we rejoiced in those songs
That told the stories of generations past
Yet the words and music lives on
For some things will always last
So we just carry on with the love
That bonds us to our music and lives
No matter who may doubt this
We carry on with the performance that thrives . . .
Thank you to Lisa for hosting and all the performers who came along to add to the spirit of joy yet again at the Six Bells.
Lisa & Jason, Lance, Manus & Hugh, Mike, Helga, Brenda, Simon, Emma, Frank, Laura, David and Wendy.
And Lisa paid a kind tribute to Chris Mansell. This was our first session since we learned of his passing and his spirit was felt strongly that evening.
Lets all keep the music alive.
Thank you all,
Hosted by Jason and Lisa
“Last of the Summer”
And so we played music together once again
After the news of the loss of our dear friend
And so we will carry on this friendship and then
Let there be music for it will never end
And so we played for the dimming of the day
After the sun goes down we’ll still find our way
And so the notes they will continue to sound
Let there be love, forever may it abound
And so we played music in your memory
After those countless nights for each and every
One of the players whose music we did share
We’ll miss you old friend, for you did take us there
Jason, September 2023
In memory of Chris Mansell. Thanking him for all the great nights of music and friendship.
Thank you to all the wonderful performers; Lisa & Jason, Lance, Molly, Steelyard Hobos, Kat & Monica, Emma, Helga, Kat Black & Mr White, Brenda, Terry Lees, Simon Watt, Frank (with Laura and Helga), Simon Joslin, Mike, Jacob, The Botticellis, and Clive.
1950 - 2023
Singers Night hosted by Heather
We had another great night at the Six Bells featuring many performers some of whom were new to us.
However, we were aware that night about our dear friend Chris Mansell being very ill and that he had been admitted to hospital.
Then by the end of last week we were all shocked by the news of his passing.
Chris Mansell was a local legend on the music scene and he was an integral part of the Six Bells Folk & Blues Club. He established the club 30 years ago and ran and hosted it until a few years ago.
During the past year or so Chris had been returning to play at the club and it was always a joy to behold his unique musical talent.
So, we shall take inspiration from him and carry on running the club for as long as we can. We are having great nights of music and friendship and the old camaraderie has returned, similar to how it was when Chris hosted the club.
We all lose people that we don’t want to lose, but we all have our lives to live.
I will, therefore, look forward to us all coming together over the music we play to each other. Let’s carry on enjoying this great music scene that we’ve all help create.
The memory of Chris and so many other great musicians that have left this world will continue to inspire us to do that.
Thank you Chris for all you did for the music scene and all the great memories.
And the Six Bells Folk & Blues Club. The club you ran for everyone to enjoy.
We’ll keep it going.
Hosted by Lance
This is the holiday season and as a result the number of performers was lower than usual. Here is a list of the performers and what they sang/played as best as I could recall. I was doing the sound as well as comparing……and my notes are incomplete.
I kicked things off with ‘Strong and Stable’ and ‘A Spacewoman Came Travelling’.
Tony Raeburn was up after me and performed a Spanish piece that he said was based on a fantasy in a gypsy country style. His second song was ‘Sinnerman”.
Simon was up next and performed ‘It Never Rains In Southern California’ and ‘The Rocket’.
Monica and Kat played ‘The Sound Of Silence’ and ‘What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor’.
Jason and Heather were on holiday but live in Denver in Norfolk. They performed ‘Titanium’ and ‘On We Go’.
Manus followed and performed 2 Christine McVie songs ‘Challenge’ and then ‘Songbird’. The late Christine McVie would have turned 80 earlier this month had she still been alive.
Kat and Adam were up next and sang ‘Everybody Hurts”.
We went around again and those who wanted to sing again did so…..here’s what my notes said
Tony played a Spanish instrumental song.
Simon performed ‘Louisiana 1927’ a Randy Newman song.
Monica and Kat sang ‘ These Boots Were Made For Walking’.
Jason and Heather from Denver performed ‘When You’re Dead’.
Manus performed ‘Little Sister’.
Kat and Adam ended the evening with a rousing “Hallelujah’.
Hosted by Keith
Arriving just in time via roadworks closing the Heathfield to Horam, and Horam to Chiddingly, roads (yet again!) I started off with my own Blues Comin’ On. Jason, hero that he is, had set up the PA and made the performers list. Thanks Jason. It was hard to recognise the mainstay supporters of the club among a packed room containing many new faces – even more people squeezed in during the first few songs.
Simon Watt is not a usual singer of the blues and has even written against the genre in I Refuse to Sing the Blues, which can be heard on his drily funny album God’s Christmas Card. Tonight, he did two sad songs: I’d Rather be Lonely and Mean Odd world.
Amanda and Mat started with something written a day ago: Stop Trying, Stop Crying. Amandas assured vocals and piano playing were complemented by Mat’s guitar. Their second song was Into the Fire.
On my way in, Paul, the landlord, had grabbed me, enthusiastically, to say that James was there – a James I hadn’t met before but it turned out he was well worth meeting. Paul’s recommendation of James’ talent was borne out by a rocking performance. Before my time, his band used to play at the ‘Bells. He was accompanied by Archie, also another sometime ‘Bells artiste, playing lead licks on his guitar and sporting a hot hat. They started with James’ own composition Mojo Filter and then Chuck Berry’s standard Johnny B Goode. Demand for an encore from the unprecedented crowd meant that I took the unprecedented step of keeping them on stage for a third song. They were joined by their good old friend Tim Kent (also hatted) on blues Harp for Get Back. More of Tim later.
It was great that Manus, temporarily unable to drive, was brought from St Leonards by his kind neighbour, who apparently wasn’t disappointed by the night. Manus joined Helga on her set, singing and playing Key to the Highway, and she asked me up to jam. Then Helga, always keen to disprove the adage that the flute isn’t a blues instrument, asked me to sing something while she disproved extremely well. I chose my own The Slow One, which she’d recorded with me on my Home and Dry album.
Jason and Lisa, with their sensitive close harmonies, can do a thing or two in the blues region. In this case, the Big Bill Broonzy favourite The Glory of Love and Leadbelly’s Cotton Fields Back Home. Neither are blues songs (Glory of Love is a ’30s pop song). But they’re forever associated with those two singers.
Monica is to be found at the Green Man in Ringmer but, recently, has been coming to the ‘Bells. She picked up her uke, along with Kat, on uke too, to sing in harmony on a couple of standards: John Lennon’s Imagine and Dolly Parton’s Jolene.
Tim Kent returned to the platform for his solo spot. He’s an old face who used to run the club too. His contribution was Never Tire of the Road, Andy Irvine’s tribute to Woody Guthrie. Playing a small bodied six-string guitar brought at a closing-down sale in Brighton, and playing with a capo in an open tuning I couldn’t fathom. He followed with the pop standard Love is All Around Me.
Paula met the blues challenge by wearing the bluest dress she owned, and played an environmental song of her own making: Blue Moon Rising. Terry Lees stepped up to accompany her on an instrumental version of The Reverend Garry Davis’s Candy Man.
That master of the guitar, Terry, then stepped up to the spot to play It’s All Right and the (highly apt for our times) How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? His resonator guitar, whose make I didn’t catch, was one he liked better than a National, he said.
Andy Melrose cracked the best joke of the evening whilst slowly beating his intonation into submission. ‘Tuning a guitar is a bit like aircraft maintenance,’ he said, ‘it’s worth it in the end!’ He then tunefully played his recently-written song Hope is Murder with and instantly singable chorus. I think he’s got a winner there. The song is inspired by a refugee’s suffering. Andy lives in Brighton and, walking down London Road, he came up with his second song I Don’t Know How We’ve Come to this.
Penny Payne, national treasure of a Blues Diva, called me up to help out on piano for Stormy Monday Blues and on guitar for Snap Your Fingers. It’s a real joy to work with Penny, who’s always in the groove and out there in tune with the crowd when she sings.
Ella sat at the piano to play and sing two real blues: John Mayall’s ‘Laurel Canyon Home’ and ‘Love me like a Man’, from a version by Bonnie Raitt, with a style that suits that old piano well. Some nice improvising.
Mike Osborne started with the definitive Robert Johnson blues standard Come on in my Kitchen. He then went off on an adventure. ‘Every time I play this tune it’s different. I’m gonna’ be as surprised as you at what happens, all I know is that it starts with “woke up this morning”’. The song turned out to have a theme: ‘Searchin’ for the sun; all I find is the rain.’
Steph stepped up to play songs with ‘blue’ in the title: Songs Sung Blue and Inertia Blues, about not wanting to get out of bed. Steph’s voice is always welcome, whatever she plays.
Helen sang a capella as she does so tunefully and well: Don’t it Make my Brown Eyes Blue, followed by an, equally impeccably in tune, Blue Skies.
Heather’s self-penned song Glory Can Wait, about striving to be famous, was something we could all relate to. She announced her second song as being ‘very blue’. It turned out to be a tribute to Sinead ‘o Conner with the wonderful Nothing Compares to You.
Mr Heather, as of recently, is Chris Martin, prolific songwriter and recordist, who dragged out a fearsomely-red solid-bodied electric from his last century band days. Using an appropriately-distorting tiny amp, he thoroughly entered into the spirit with Acoustic Blues and Me and, of course, Toast for One (catch his video on YouTube).
Finally the two Johns took the stage, with a slide piece and the blues classic Talk to Me Baby, to end a really successful and varied evening. We went up to the 11 ‘o clock wire with 18 acts, and sincere apologies to the ’Bells staff for being a bit late clearing up.
There was a lot of blues – and a lot of unblues – this evening. But theme nights at the Bells are never strictly implemented anyway – all are welcome and we wouldn’t want to put anyone off who’s not comfortable with the themes chosen from time to time. It was great to have such a variety of material.
Thanks to everybody who came, those who played, and particularly Jason and helpers for setting up and running the PA.
Hosted by Lance
I (Lance) kicked off proceedings with help from Helga and her flute on ‘In A Gardeners’ World’ and my new song ‘Love”
Manus followed me and performed his own composition ‘Murray’s Bar’.
After Manus was the duo The Whale and The Dragonfly who sang their songs ‘Hold Yourself Up To the Light and ‘Bittersweet’
Monica and Kat were on next and they sang and played ‘Jolene’ and ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’.
Chris Martin performed his songs, ‘Journey’ and ‘Ghosts’.
Up next were Lisa and Jason with 2 songs, Bob Dylan’s ‘Simple Twist Of Fate’ and Jason’s own song ‘ Black Pearl Blues’
Heather followed and performed the Carol King classic ‘It’s Too Late’ and her own song ‘Sometimes’
Lisa and Helga were up next and performed ‘Lavender King’ a song based on ‘Lavender King Dilly Dilly’. Lisa left the stage and Manus took her place and performed with her his own composition ‘Take Me To The Bridge’
Roy was up next and he played a piece by Schumann
Andy and Julia were up next. Andy played 2 songs on his own. It was a song by Lyle
Lovett called ‘Skinny Legs” and the other song was “Can a Poor Man Stand These Times and Live?’. Andy and Julia then sang ‘People Get Ready’
Milton Hide followed (Jim and Josie) and sang ‘I’ll Dance With You For Tuppence’ and ‘The Ballad Of Gabriel Oak’.
Mike Osbourne performed a blues song ‘Come In My Kitchen” and the song ‘Creep”
Simon sang A Ry Cooder song ‘This Is The Way We Make A Broken Heart’ and followed it with his own very funny composition ‘Little Rocket Man’.
Nelson closed off the evening with 2 of his own songs, the first was ‘Throw Me A Line’ and finally ‘Everybody Wants To Be Elvis’
That’s all folks!!!!
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
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