25th June 2019
I was a little bit late arriving, and was worried that everyone would be waiting,but when I got to the room, I found the door was locked, and nobody there yet! -- So I was ok. I was still ahead of everyone! Manus was next to appear, and we managed to get Richard to unlock and let us in. Simon had of course, been in earlier to set up all the equipment, and for security reasons, it becomes a no - go area, and locked until we arrive. The others did arrive, and all was well.
I began with a little bit of a history lesson in the form of the story of the battle of Cropredy in the English Civil War. This week is the 375th anniversary of that event in 1644, so I thought it would be worth a bit of a mention. Ralph McTell's composition, 'Red and Gold' tells the story well. The song features on Fairport Convention's album of the same name.
I chose to do one of my own songs as my second offering. 'Burning in my Heart' describes the feelings of someone yearning for a missing love. The guitar on this song is played in mandolin style, and has some interesting changes of tempo. For those who might want to hear my songs, you can search my name ( clive woodman ) and find them all on something called - 'Amazon'.
In second position came Jim and Pete, - The J P's. They gave us their story about The Bomber Command air crew with their song 'Scampton'. They followed this with 'Ordinary Bloke', about Albert Pierpoint the executioner who likes a laugh and a joke. The two guitars worked well together, and with some nice lead notes from Jim.
Jason Loughran and Lisa Jackson always bring us a lovely pure sound, and their guitars also work well together,and with both instruments and both voices in harmony, they never disappoint. Jason played some very nice lead notes tonight as well. They did their take on Willie Nelson's 'Funny how Time Slips Away', and Mick and Keith's 'Wild Horses'. ( Sounding better than Susan Boyle).
Then, sounding better than Barbara Dickson, Paula sang 'Caravans', written by Mike Batt (of Wombles fame), followed by her own song 'Empty Chair' -- "Thinking about you- -- - Coffee doesn't taste the same without you."
We had a new visitor tonight, in the shape of Thomas Ballantyne-Dykes. He gave us his take on 'Buddy can you spare a dime', written by Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney. He played some nice country style picking on this, and on his next song as well, 'Don't think Twice, written by someone called Bob Dylan.
Simon Watt took his place on our famous bar stool, and pleased us again with his humour and his still appropriate and topical dig at Kim Jong Un. 'Rocket Man' , one of his many compositions, is just right. ( Nothing to do with Elton John). Following the recent thunder storms and heavy rain, it was also appropriate that next, he chose 'Calm before the Storm', by Eliza Gilkyson.
Terry Lees also had the recent weather on his mind. He had been deluged by water at home in two different ways. Water was coming IN through his conservatory roof, and water was coming OUT of his washing machine. Oh dear! Terry dived in to the American traditional story of 'Stagolee', the cruel bad man, who shot Billy Lyons. He went on to give us a John Renbourne piece, 'Watch the Stars'. -- " See how they run at the setting of the Sun" -
Next on the list was Manus, who had been waiting patiently, and he took on the sound of Eric Clapton's 'Change the World', written by Tommy Sims/ Gordon Kennedy/ Wayne Kirkpatrick. Of course, Manus gave the song his wonderful Jazz style, which is always great to hear. His second piece was one of his own creations, an instrumental with the humorous title 'Boaty McJazz Face'. I wonder what Sir David Attenborough would say?
Tonight, Ella had brought her keyboard with her, and it was nice for her to be sitting facing us, rather than playing on the old rusty piano with her back to us. This proves to her,as she can see, that we DO sit attentively and listen to her while she plays and sings. Also, her keyboard sounds much better than the 'honky tonk'. She gave us 'He played Real Good for Free', from Joni Mitchell's 1970 album 'Ladies of the Canyon'.
Ella has a lovely new grandson named James, so in celebration, she has taken to singing James Taylor's 'Sweet Baby James'. " Thinking of women and glasses of beer" - will be some time ahead for him I think.
Lisa and Jason came back to the floor for a second time just for a while, for us to hear Lisa's own song, 'Just for a while'. She gave a tribute to the late Chris Liddiard, who she says, helped her with the song and gave her some advice. Then came 'The Glory of Love',written by Billy Hill. ( Not Benny Hill ).
We had time now for some second helpings, so first up was Paula, to sing Leonard Cohen's 'Halleluiah' with Terry giving some nice accompaniment on guitar.
Terry stayed in place, saying he needed to run through a quick rehearsal for his next gig,and he did Woody Guthrie's 'Do Re Mi'. ( Nothing to do with Julie Andrews).
This was followed by another "Alleluia" , with Manus putting a nice jazz flavour on Ray Charles' -'Halleluia I just love her so'. This word can have several different spellings.
Thomas -- the rhymer-- came up again to do 'San Francisco Blues', by Jesse Fuller. This was Thomas's first time with us tonight, and we enjoyed his sounds.
Simon played a number from Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album. He told us that when he bought the album, he complained to the record shop about the short running time of it. -- As if they could do anything about it !
I'm sorry, but I didn't catch the title of Simon's song. This is one of the reasons I came up with the idea of Singer/Performer/Information/ Exchange/ Service. (S.P.I.E.S ). This is where each player would write down or tell the Blogger their song details. It is easy to get confused about everyone's songs during the running of the evening, and we don't want to give false facts or fake news. -- It's just an idea.
Anyway, thanks to all who came tonight, and to Simon for being in charge of the sound desk. We had three of our team unable to come tonight. Keith Willson emailed earlier, and I think Chris Martin was helping Heather Curry, who has just had a 'hip op'. She will be playing 'Hip Hop' music. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Roy -- yes- Roy, very kindly played us out at the end of the evening, on the piano, with the romantic piece by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish, 'Stardust'.
--"And now the purple dusk of twilight time" - - - - - - - -
"High up in the sky the little stars climb."
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
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