September 19th. 2017
For some of us who are members of the team who help to run the club, the evening began earlier than usual, with us sitting round a table in the bar ( with a beer ), having 'A Meeting' to plan the events timetable for 2018. Yes !! We are so very well organised, that we actually plan for the following year in advance! -- What's that I hear you say? -- You wouldn't have thought so ?? How dare you ! Simon is the brains behind all the forward planning and the website, and in fact I would go as far as saying -- Simon is the brains. (Full stop).
Tonight was one of our famous 'Theme Nights'. We feel that it's a nice idea to have the occasional one, and they are meant to encourage players to venture out of their comfort zone and try something that they might not otherwise do. Sometimes they work well.
The chosen theme this time was 'Songs from Films'. Well, -- whose silly idea was this one ? -- Ahh - it was mine, wasn't it! I thought it would be a very good subject for a theme. There have been countless good films over the years with great soundtracks, and a wealth of songs to choose from. So we began.
As host for the evening, I started up with a change of plan to what I had intended to sing. It would have been something from the film 'Easy Rider', but I found out earlier that there would be a couple of other numbers from the same film, so I chose instead, 'The Rose', from the film of the same name. Starring Bette Middler, the story is (loosely) based on the life of Janis Joplin.
It's difficult to choose a 'Favourite' film. Can you have lots of favourites? - I have lots. My second offering was from the soundtrack of 'Local Hero'- the story of big industry being stopped from developing in the west of Scotland.
Music for the film was composed by Mark Knopfler, and I did his song which Gerry Rafferty sang, 'The way it always starts'.
No one ever really wants to be second, but tonight, Simon actually volunteered to be. He told us he needed to get away early because he was suffering with a 'Man Cold'. Not as serious as 'Man Flu', but still needing sympathy. He is obviously a fan of children's films, as he gave us 'You've got a friend in me', from 'Toy Story'. In contrast to that, from the tough film 'Cool Hand Luke', we had ' Plastic Jesus'. Even with his blocked sinuses,and his nasal tones, his voice sounded just as good as ever.
Ruth, who has played at the club in the past, came on at number three, and said that usually she played keyboards, but is now on guitar as well. (not at the same time). She sang the sad 'Sweet Old World' by Lucinda Williams, followed by 'Boulder to Birmingham'. -- That is, Boulder Colorado, and Birmingham Alabama, - not our Birmingham.
Next up was our chief sound desk expert Chris, surrendering to the theme night, and playing a couple of covers of someone else's compositions. 'Born to be Wild' by Steppenwolf from' Easy Rider', and then 'The Young Ones'. I'm pretty sure that Chris was not a fan of the film starring Cliff Richard, but more of a fan of the other 'Young Ones' -- Ric Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. Chris played both these numbers with his red hot guitar with distortion effects and tremolo. He tells me the make of guitar is 'Shadow', made in West Germany, and he's had it for 30 years.
Manus always gives us something to concentrate on listening to, with his excellent jazz guitar work. This time he gave us a medley of three songs from films of the same name. --Eponymous!
'On a Clear Day', Days of Wine and Roses', and 'Autumn Leaves'. Then we heard a great instrumental number, which I've forgotten the name of. -Sorry!
Ella had said that she would not have time to stay, but actually she did stay for the whole evening,even though she didn't play tonight, and she waited patiently to help pack up at the end.
Mike was next up, and he told us of this song which has been featured in a number of films, some dating back to the 1940s (and earlier)? I don't remember that far back !! -- But I do recall it being in the film 'Oh What a Lovely War', and 'Me and my Girl' The song ? - - ' When You wore a Tulip and I wore a red Rose'. Mike's second number was 'Que Sera Sera' from the film 'The Man who Knew Too Much' starring Doris Day and James Stewart.
We were visited tonight by Frank Xerox who took to the floor and gave us his take on a couple of songs. First, was the 'other' one from 'Easy Rider' - 'The Weight', followed by Bob Dylan's 'Just like a Woman', with a nice harmonica finish. -- Ah, but was that ever featured in a film ??
Roy Champion, who had been waiting patiently through all of the evening, kindly took to the piano to give us a dose of culture, with a piece by Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856). It's not just modern musicians who die too young.
And that rounded off the night nicely. We could have had a bit of time to fit in a quick second song each, but we decided just for once to finish at a more sensible time.
Thanks to everyone as usual, and see you next time we hope.
Personally I am quite partial to a good shag and so with this in mind check out the first of my YouTube videos (here), of course I don’t have the energy to participate in that sort of activity these days. No, I find playing at the Folk Club far more relaxing and so it was this Tuesday.
I started the evening off with a Lucinda Williams song, Sweet Old World (this was a song that featured of my YouTube selection last time). This was followed by a little Dylan and Knopfler and the evening was launched. We had ten players by 8:30 so I decided that we would go for three songs each and this is what we did – it filled up the evening nicely.
Chris Martin followed me in the second slot, always difficult as the audience has yet to warm up. His songs were Life Ain’t Easy, Life’s a Race and Your Gone, all self penned. I have to list all of Chris’s songs or I get pestered by emails until I do (he will probably pester me anyway until I put links to them now).
Manus then played us two instrumentals and a complicated cover of the old Irish ballad Blackwaterside. The Irish Ballad was also a feature of Ella’s set, so it was. I particularly liked As I Roved Out. The use of the bouzouki fits in very well with these tunes and is a favourite of Irish band.
James Morris is an old friend of the Six Bells Folk & Blues Club, he has hosted many of our sessions in the past so it was a treat to see him back. James is a singer songwriter and he gave us three of his songs Give Me all your Love (I’ll give you all of mine), Mandolin Strings and Sleep in the Morning.
Terry Lees is another old friend and it is always a pleasure to listen to him. Even Terry could not resist an Irish tune with Planxty Irvine, I asked for a request, it was a long time since I had heard Terry play Joshua Gone Jamaica, in my view Terry’s version of this song is about the best you will hear. Fortunately he could remember the words. Bravo!
Another very talented singer songwriter is Keith Willson his songs are witty and well crafted. I particularly liked The Acorn a deep and allegorical song that you need to think about. His other more light hearted offerings were Lives you could have tried and Jesus Just Grew Up.
Keith and Terry teamed up with Penny and they gave us a jazzy, up tempo set that included Stormy Monday, Walking Blues and Bring it on Home to Me. Great toe tapping stuff.
Calling any impresario’s out there – Sylvie has written a musical and needs some cash to launch it into production. She got short shrift from Andrew Lloyd Webber but as this work involved ten years work she is determined to see it performed. If any of you reading this blog have an empty West End Theatre here is your chance. Sylvie’s song was The Tunes That Set Us Dancing, also self penned.
Clive Woodman then brought the evening to a close with Something for You, Truly Wonderful and Fields of Gold.
In my opinion this was a nice evening, we had a quiet listening audience and some truly wonderful (to borrow Clive’s song title) performances. Next time we are aiming for a film song night and to inspire you see the second of my YouTube videos starring Claire and her Dad – Sweet!
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
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