7th March 2017 Hello, I’ve been studying the mu (μ) major chord as part of my mission to compose the next great song.
Once a year they let me out of my cage and allow me to run a songwriters night at the Six Bells and last Tuesday (7/03) was the big night. The 12-bar boys had headed for the hills in search of the mysterious fourth chord and the covers brigade were at home, hard at work in front of the mirror, honing their latest version of ‘Summertime’ and in the process searching for even more emotion than an X-Factor wannabe - those bloody fish keep jumping, but not at the Bells, well, not tonight anyway.
I dug out my Bowler hat and bounced between desk duties and the MC role, which I delivered in the style of Kermit the Frog - ribittt. We had 20 artistes in the room and 17 of them gave us a couple of their own compositions. Where else in East Sussex on a damp Tuesday night can you get 31 different original songs and 3 poems all delivered with style and panache by their authors?
As MC, I got to launch the show at 8:40pm with my song about playing open mic nights, ‘I like to be sad’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB_yroI1VwA I’d finished a new composition earlier in the day and gave it a first outing. ‘What’s in a life’, is about how many times we do things in an average lifetime. The final verse asks the pertinent question about how long I’ve spent listening to men tune guitars. Yes, I know, it’s a challenging and profound art form this song writing malarkey.
I’m not going to attempt to critique each act, but I really enjoyed the evening and genuinely thought the overall quality of the compositions and deliver was really strong. Here’s a list of performers and their songs for PRS use.
Manus: ‘Handing it over’ - ‘Ripping through the grain’.
Jayne: ‘Raven’ (lyrics by husband, Stuart) - ‘You worry me’.
Chris Liddiard: ‘My sweetheart’s heart is sweet enough for me’ - ‘What might have been’.
Tim played guitar for Chris L on his second song and then stayed on for his own couple of songs about life on the road in the good ole US of A: ’26 days on a Greyhound bus’ - ‘Painting America’.
Chris Mansell had launched the Six Bells Folk & Blues Club on the 26/02/92 and it was great to have him back with us after a brief sojourn: ‘Strangers’ - ‘Mystery man’.
Bob: ‘Centuries’ - ‘Medal’.
Lisa: ‘Mid-winter mist’ - ‘There’s only your guitar between us’.
Trace: ‘Lonely is the night’ - ‘To hell and back’.
Silvie (A cappella with small tambourine): A tribute to Rabbie Burns - 'The last farewell'.
Simon (assisted by Ella & Silvie on percussion): ‘Too much snow’ - ‘Take my hand’.
Helga: ‘Monday morning love crash blues’ - Helga’s second song was actually a translation into English of a traditional German song.
James gave us three of his entertaining and amusing poems: ‘Earth’ - ‘The beard’ and his third poem was about life in Chiddingly.
Ella: ‘Leaf in the wind’ - ‘Rain over the hills’.
Clive: ‘There goes that girl’ - ‘Made of gold’.
Jason: ‘Song for our dead heroes’ - ‘The day that I found Fafaia’.
Keith was our final performer: ‘Jesus just grew up’ - ‘In my mind’ which is also the title of his next album.
11:30pm and a big thank you and goodnight - I’ll be back next year, if they let me - so get writing. Thanks to the Six Bells team - a special shout out to Simon for the photos and for setting up the PA and Ella for helping me configure the stage (adjusting mic stands etc) to meet the pernickety requirements of the prima donna songwriters.
PA away and out of the door at 12:15am. xxx
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
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