Tuesday December 12th.
As is quite usual for this time of the year, the weather had been playing tricks with us. Yesterday's layering of snow had frozen solid, turning every surface into a dangerous risk.
By this evening it had all begun to melt away, but a number of people were worried - quite rightly- about venturing out, so we were a little bit low on numbers tonight. -- But it didn't matter, because we had enough players to fill the time in the first half, and then we had a special Guest Band for our 'Christmas Party Night' to take us through the rest of the night.
This was 'Buckler's Light. Sue Buckler and Paul Vaughan. Tonight they were here playing just as a duo, without their bass player and drummer. The full band goes by the name of 'Buckler's Reel'.
As host for the night, and with Christmas in mind, I decided to begin with Queen's seasonal song, 'Thank God it's Christmas', by Roger Taylor and Brian May. I followed this with my own seasonal song, 'Home for Christmas'.
Having got that out of the way, it was time to bring on the next volunteer, in the shape of Manus McDaid. He had arrived tonight without any of his instruments, thinking that he would not be playing, but luckily, he was able to borrow Simon's guitar to give us a couple of numbers in his terrific jazz style. -- Firstly, 'Fly' by Steve Winwood, and then 'God chose the colour'.
Keith Willson was at number three ( not at number two, as originally planned) -- My fault ! -- I can't count.
With his resounding voice and guitar, he sang two of his own compositions, 'Too sad to sing the blues', and 'The worst thing'.
Our expert sound desk man, Chris Martin, took the floor to sing his own compositions as well, 'It's only my time', accompanied on vocals by one of the famous 'Martinettes' -- Lisa Jackson , and afterwards, 'Little red car'. Chris was wearing a very cheerful Christmas hat. Some of us others were sporting similar headgear as well.
Simon Watt was up next, with his guitar still intact and re- tuned, after the loan to Manus, and we heard him play 'God's Christmas Card', ( The Penguin song), and 'A tribute to Councillor Roy'. Both of these are Simon's own songs. He told us a brief history of 'Councillor' Roy. -- Roy Martin, who was an elected member of Polegate Council, and a very popular chap. He was a regular player at The Six Bells for a long time , before he died at the age of 88, a few years ago.
Following this, Sylvia, in her unique style, sang us her ditty about drinks of all kinds, to the tune of 'In the bleak midwinter', and then' Snow on the garden fork'. -- An appropriate story for the weather conditions.
It would soon be time for the band, but first, there was just time for Jason Loughran and Lisa Jackson to have their turn, and they did a couple of lovely songs, including 'Everybody's talking at me'. With their harmonising, and two guitars, they go really well together.
At this point Richard brought in several plates of Party Food ! -- Kindly provided by the pub. We had sausage rolls, garlic bread, chips with dips, mini pizzas, and mini sausages! Yum Yum ! Thank you !
So now after waiting patiently, 'Buckler's Light', -- Paul and Sue -- began their extended set with 'Boys of Ballycastle'. Paul is on guitar giving terrific rhythm to Sue's excellent playing on electric violin. The soaring sounds of her slightly echoing violin were stunning, and I found them quite hypnotic. ( Or was it the beer) ?
They launched into a great selection of numbers, including 'Galway girl', 'Tom Paine's bones', 'Glass of beer', and John Prime's 'Paradise', -and then a couple of reels. By this time, Sue's energetic exciting electric playing, had taken it's toll on her violin bow, and it rapidly began to disintegrate, leaving a frothy tangle of horsehair dangling from the bow , with only the thinnest of strands left on it! Cleverly, she managed to carry on right till the end even though it was on it's last gasp, and she continued to be able to play great sounds.
The music was really rocking, and if we were younger and fitter, we would have been up on the floor dancing and partying, but -- we are not young and fit, so we stayed in our chairs. (Rocking chairs )? ?
They threw in a couple of 'obligatory' Christmas songs, followed by Kirsty McColl's 'England 2 - Columbia 0', and the Chip Shop Song . Adding to this, they gave us their versions of numbers by The Proclaimers, The Waterboys, Jonah Louie, and Greg Lake, finishing off with 'Fairytale of New York' by Kirsty McColl and The Pogues.
Thank you Paul and Sue for coming to entertain us tonight !
So, as always, it was a good night. Thank you to Simon and Chris, and thanks to all of you who bravely came out on this wintry night.
The next date is Tuesday January 9th. See you next year !
Happy Christmas !
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