23rd June 2021
It is always a risk running a folk club outside, even in June but tonight night it paid off. The weather cleared up and the temperature was stable to the point that no one had to resort to extra clothing. We even saw some late evening sunshine but even so, rain songs were a feature of the evening. Great minds eh?.
I knew the attendance would be low because of an important England match but with nine performers and a smattering of audience it was not a bad showing. So it was that just after 7:30 we were off, gamely competing with the noise of the motorbikes and church bells that makes this pub garden so special.
I led the way with Randy Newman’s “You’ve got a friend in me” followed by Kate Wolfe’s “Here in California” (into which I added a few wrong chords just to make sure everybody was awake) then back to Randy for the first rain song “Louisiana 1927”. I then handed over to Chris Martin.
Chris being a prolific song writer and recording star gave us three of his own tunes, the lugubrious “Running out of Time”, “Journey” and the bouncy upbeat “Toast for One” (which included support from Chris’s backing singer Heather). There being so few of us anyone who wanted to sing one again got an extra song and Chris chose his thoughtful song “Ghosts” and if you want a reminder of the “good” times in the Back Bar you can see it here.
As we all know “Love is………sharing a pop-shield” and so Heather followed Chris. Heather treated us to the second “Rain” song “Just a Little Rain”, the Marianne Faithful hit from the sixties. Heather’s second song was a beautiful story of her growing up with her dad, they obviously had a great relationship. Heather is recording her first album so her third song was “Lady by the shore” also self-penned. Finally, she sung “Sometimes” for us as her bonus track! It will not be long before she is also claiming PRS.
Continuing the “Rain” theme Clive sang the classic “Early Morning Rain” the sixties hit for Peter, Paul & Mary, then the Percy Sledge soulful number “When a Man Loves a Woman”. He finished with the up-beat Doobies Bros, “Listen to the Music”.
Up next, we had Keith who bravely competed with a motorbike stampede to sing “The Slow One” which he followed by his truly moving composition “Requiem”. Lastly “Pathetic Little Strategies”, all beautiful Keith songs all beautifully performed.
Manus followed Keith and to be honest Manus is probably the only person who could match Keith in his command of unnecessary chords. Most of us make do with chords that are in the book, these guys invent them. To start with Manus gave us the jazz standard “Misty” followed by “Murray’s Bar” which he wrote and is all based on fact! Then Manus gave us his take on Stevie Wonder’s “Visions” and when he came around for a second time “True Colours”.
We were extremely fortunate this evening to have a new duo in the form of David & Pete both fine musicians. David played guitar and Pete brought along a double bass. They said that they had not been playing together for very long, but it didn’t show, their performance seemed pretty polished to me. The songs they chose were “Over the Hill”, “May you Never” the John Martyn song - David arrived wearing a John Martyn cap so I suppose this was to be expected, “Baby I’m Trouble”, “Leap in the Dark” and lastly Dave Lofts’s “Little by Little”.
I hope everyone enjoyed the evening, I know I did.
Until next time - Simon
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
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