Tuesday March 20th.
Spring has arrived, even though the weather has recently not been behaving itself, and we find ourselves here again at The Six Bells at the Spring Equinox. Three days ago was Saint Patrick's Day, which is also a time to celebrate, even if you aren't of Irish descent, so it had been arranged for tonight to be Irish Theme night.
As with other theme nights, it is not obligatory to stick to the theme, but it is good to have a go at playing something that is not normally in our own repertoire, and is perhaps out of our own comfort zone.
We suggested that everyone should be drinking either Guinness or Irish Whiskey, but that also was not obligatory. On the theme of whiskey (Irish spelling) -- not whisky ( Scottish spelling), I poured out 'Whiskey in the Jar', a song that has been done by many people, and with each version having different lyrics. Then came 'Sweet Sixteen' best known performed by The Fureys but written by James Thornton, an American performer, but born in Dublin in 1898. My third tipple was Phil and June Colclough's 'Song for Ireland', well known as being sung by Mary Black.
It's always nice to see Jason Loughran and Lisa Jackson singing together , and they took to the floor to give us 'Running on Faith' by Jerry Lynn Williams, Tom Waite's 'Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night', followed by 'The Lifeline', one of the songs written by Jason's father Gerry Lockran. Jason and Lisa play with a pure and sensitive touch, yet powerful.
The same could be said of Simon Watt. So I'll say it. Simon gave us a powerful, yet pure and sensitive take, on 'From Galway to Graceland' by Richard Thompson, and 'The Mountains of Mourne' by Irish composer Percy French. He followed these with one of his own ,always clever, compositions: 'Rocket Man'. ( RE: Kim Jong Un). He tried to convince us that Kim Jong Un's Great Grandmother was Irish, so that his song has an Irish connection. Fake news !
Next up was Manus McDaid, with a different guitar tonight, a Spanish acoustic, and he began with a great version of the traditional 'Blackwaterside' played in the style of Bert Jansch. He then brought out two of his own compositions: 'Above the Ether' and 'Whatever', both played in his brilliant jazz/ blues style.
Another keen performer of self - penned work is, of course, Chris Martin. Chris gave us one of his clever 'protest songs' which points a finger, or should that be two fingers? - at so many things that are wrong about our nation. 'Funked -up Country'. I said funked -up country. This was followed with 'Something to Believe', and then the story of his road trip in the USA, 'I went to America'. Thanks Chis, and for being in charge of the sound desk as well.
Terry Lees always plays brilliantly, and tonight he decided to save his singing voice and just give us some Irish tunes. He launched into a medley of three , beginning with 'She moves through the Fair', then 'Planxty Irwin', composed by Turlough O'Carolan -- ( there's a great Irish name) ! -- Then 'Johnny's gone to Hilo'. Manus came back then to accompany him on guitar with 'The Rakes of Mallow', with Terry playing the lead on his resonator mandolin.
There was time then for Jason to come back to do a couple of solo numbers: 'Love me Two Times' from The Doors, and his very nice version in his own style, of Bob Dylan's 'Tonight I'll be Staying here with You'.
Then it was Lisa's turn to sing us a couple of songs on her own. She kept us warm with 'Ring of Fire' by Johnny Cash ( although some say it was written by June Carter Cash) ? She finished with 'Everybody's Talking at Me', the Harry Nilsson song written by Fred Neil. Lisa and Jason had played beautifully as a duet earlier, but it was nice to hear them both playing solo as well.
There was still time for some more songs, and Chris came back to do his cycling -inspired number: ' I want to Learn' .
No- one else wanted to come back up, so we decided to finish at 10.45, which is unusual, but quite nice for a change. It was a less busy evening tonight, but it was nice and laid -back and casual.
We can't have an Irish night without a mention of the city of Limerick, and an example of a short rhyme named after that place.
On the breasts of a barmaid in Kinsale
Is tattooed the price of her ale
And on her behind - for the sake of The Blind
The prices are written in Braille.
So, if you ever find yourself down in Kinsale, and you are blind drunk, ask for that barmaid.
See you next time !
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
Note - You can leave a comment - by click ing on the blue "comments" link at the top and bottom of the blog.