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4th July, a night of thinly disguised love songs
Unaware of how this sesh would pan out, I started the night off with a cover of a song I had heard, recently, at an Open Mic performance: “Take Another Piece of My Heart” [I’m not actually a non-romantic myself. I love this song from the 60s, in all of its associated versions]. But then, I followed up hard with a semi-improvised “Trouble in Mind” before introducing Lance, to follow it with: “Why [oh why] Did the Chicken Cross The Road”, which made perfect sense, actually [luckily]. Anyway, Lance lolled us down a notch with his excellent “A Gardener’s World” and concluded that with a verse full of whistling, rather whimsically, I thought.
Simon came up after Lance with his rather possessively self-penned: “Black Hole in My Garden [sans whistling] then he attempted to ‘murder an Eagle’s song: “The Girl from Yesterday”. It sounded quite lively to my ears – went down well, that one, for sure.
Then it was Chris J Martin’s time to give us “A Song about Dreams”, literally: coming from a place all mixed and jumbled. “I Want to Sing Along”; looking for a friend, to hold my hand” followed that initial song-writing-in-performance piece. This time seeming to be more about the ambiguities of escapism, and convoluted imagery – ‘down the spiral stairs’ we went.
Sue and Jim, over from The Crown & Anchor Club, Eastbourne, had a night out with “Raglan Road” in true Folk Music mode. This was reaffirmed beautifully by Bert Jansch’s “Go Your Way My Love”, a lovely performance indeed.
Heather, dear Heather with the first [and only] nylon strung guitar, sang “So Far Away” about itinerant lovers – here we go! Then she gave us one of Harvey Andrew’s protest songs. It sounded compelling, but I still forgot to get the title of it – remiss of me, sorry.
Lisa [took her place, on the left to us] with Jason to her left [right to us], no matter, they were together and blended typically as one with their original songs tonight being: “Cat’s Cradle” and “South Eastern Breeze” – catch us if you can ….
Softly focussed Steph was well programmed to take us on through “Love Me Tender” and “Generations”, I think by Sammy Khan [but could be wrong, erm … generous hearts].
The first very thinly disguised love song, of the evening, was a good one composed by, and performed by Andy Melrose: “Fairground” from when time had seemed suspended during ‘Lockdown’ as the ‘night ghosts assembled on the streets’, it followed his : “73 Kites”, which was acutely observed from the 3-day-working-weeks of 1973 [Coal Strikes], ‘let them fly, let them fly – Set Them Free’ – love it [all of it c/w Kites]!
Jason came back, this time augmented by Helga on flute: “Love Me Two Times”, riffing on a vintage Martin guitar going through a Clover Preamp, as was I when I joined forces with Helga’s flute; taking the top line over my modally tuned baritone guitar [and I own up, I had minimally rearranged Bert Jansch’s DADGD arrangement of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ which, when I first learned it, was recorded as an instrumental].
Nelson King gave us a solo rendition of one of his album tracks [one of many, apparently], it had a strong rock groove: “Will the World Ever Dance Your Way?”, qualified as it was by ‘I’ve seen things to make you pray’ it led perfectly into his next, atmospheric rock groove: “I got It Wrong”, qualified again, ‘I got it wrong, there ain’t no doubt, the word is out’ – and it was!
Josie & Jim, were in attendance tonight, also. They treated us to: “The Legend of Uncle Jim”, a brilliant story about a legendary storyteller [anecdotally aka Seamus, as one of his alter-egos, I suspect, in real life] – ‘If the tales are good, it ain’t a sin; one helluva time you’ll have with UNCLE JIM’! Aha, not so thinly disguised, this next love-song: “Peacock Blue Dress” followed the Uncle Jim characterisation very nicely, I though/felt; ‘Dance in your Peacock Blue Dress, that flows like water around you – the one that you wore when we first met’, how about that, then. Spot on.
Mike Osborne, gave us a John Martyn song of typically mixes messages: ”I Don’t Want To Know About Evil” – ‘I only want to know about love’ – Oh, the irony …. Mike gave it a summarily interesting, but dissonant guitar coda apropos the man [John had lived in Hastings as do Mike and myself; we know about ‘The Lord Nelson’ public house, in which Mr Martyn once thrived [and lived in]. Mike agreed to me entitling his second song “Copenhagen Coincidences”, he seemed to be happy enough with that in lieu of [Untitled]. Mike had met a Danish Debutante at one time, in Copenhagen – you’ve gotta hear it. Lightning does strike twice, sometimes!
Roy played us out, graciously at the piano. Thanx Roy.
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