It is not often that you get three new performers at a “singers” night but such was the case on this occasion. The Six Bells Folk & Blues Club welcomed Frank from Uckfield, Dudley from Crowborough and a group “Damaged Goods” consisting of Mac, Brett and Raf from Brighton.
I started the evening at about 8:45 with a Gospel song (helped by Ella on Tambourine); my prayers were obviously answered because there then followed an evening of very amicable musical confusion. Fortunately Chris Martin was on hand to run the desk which he did with consummate skill. I am not going to try and list all of the songs; I will just mention some of what I considered the evening’s highlights.
My second song was helped along by John Oddy and he then played a couple of blues numbers (what else) with some help from Chris Mansell. “Door to door” had a great vibe. He was followed by Chris Liddiard who collaborated with Glyn Burgess and sang a couple of Chris’s own songs, mainly focused on growing old – I can’t think why? Glyn then took over the floor with a little help from Chris. I particularly liked his version of “Souvenirs”.
At this point I noticed a pattern emerging; nobody seemed to want to play alone! The regulars have now reached a stage at which they are all so comfortable playing together that they are happy to provide mutual musical support. Did it continue – Yes it did. We next had two songs from Chris Martin including “Sanity” which involved Helga on flute and Ella playing a bass guitar. Great stuff. Then Helga played a little “Bach” on her flute, oddly nobody joined in with her on this. Ella then went for the record by playing her third instrument of the evening - the “Bazooka” (this is what the spelling checker told me it was, and who am I to argue with a computer), the warm up with myself, Helga and Chris was obviously what she needed as I have seldom heard Ella sound better.
Penny came next with some help from Frank and Chris Mansell and after a ground-breaking attempt at playing in multiple keys at the same time we were treated to a feisty version of the Rolling Stones classic “Honky Tonk Woman”. The batten was then passed to Frank who treated us to his versions of “Where do you go to my lovely” and “Delilah” sounding more Welsh than Tom Jones and more French than Peter Sarstedt (not hard as he was English). Clive appeared next with a Dooby Brothers number and a tribute to Keith Emerson, fortunately leaving the piano intact.
We then came to “Damaged Goods”, Brett on Stratocaster, Raf on harmonica and Mac on acoustic guitar and vocals. They performed three numbers the highlight of which (in my humble opinion) was “The Eagle Flies on Fridays” with some great blues harp playing by Raf. They are welcome to come back any time.
Chris Mansell then demonstrated his versatility with a Neil Young song and a blues standard assisted by Raf on harmonica. Finally a very patient Dudley played us out with a couple of songs accompanied by his classical guitar. It was nice to hear his version of “April (come she will)”, a song that I can’t remember anyone doing at the Six Bells in recent years. This is one of the great pleasures of an evening like this – being reminded of songs such as this. Come earlier next time Dudley and we can give you a better spot.
The evening wound up at about 11:30, although understandably not everyone had the staying power to “keep on keeping on” right to the end. Thanks to all those that did stay.
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