Yet another splendid Tuesday night at the Six Bells surrounded by a group of amiable musicians hoping to entertain and to be entertained. This evening we had the added interest of a mobile recording studio (The Roadee) so that anyone who wanted to could try their hand at recording. Some of us took up this challenge Neil, Dudley, Clive and myself. We all laid down some cool tracks. They might not make us famous but we all enjoyed the experience.
Meanwhile – back in the back bar things progressed in the normal way and I started the evening with St James Infirmary Blues accompanied by Helga on Flute. John followed with a couple of songs by John Hiatt. John Hiatt once recorded a song called “Since his penis came between us”, sadly this was not on Mr Oddies playlist – maybe next time. Next was the turn of Ella with a nice version of “Black Waterside” by Bert Jansch followed by the Dylan classic “Spanish Boots”.
It was then time for Chris Martin to sing us a couple of his own songs. Chris is a phenomenon; he creates videos that are both witty and surreal to accompany his songs - click Here , Here , Here and Here for examples. The amount of time and effort he puts into this deserves to be rewarded. Tonight’s songs were “Xeroxed Army” and “Toast for one”.
Mike then gave us his version of “Carolina” and the Neil Young song “I was thinking about you and me”. Penny was next with another of the ad-hoc bands that she conjures up; tonight it was Neil on slide with Keith on Piano. The songs were “Trouble in mind” and “Story Monday”.
Clive, before his visit to The Roadee, sang two songs the best of which, I thought, was “Time flows like a river”. I popped into The Roadee as he was just finishing his session and the results of his recording sounded pretty impressive to me.
Dudley gave us the Leonard Cohen classics “Bird on the wire” and “Suzanne”. It is hard to reach some of the low notes in these numbers but Dudley managed it with ease. We then had Neil with his Mum, Vanessa providing vocals on “Sweet Home Chicago”, he then sang “Rambling on my mind”. Both by the soulful Mississippi blues man Robert Johnson who died at the tender age of 27 after being poisoned by a jealous boyfriend; this is what comes of selling your soul to the devil.
Helga then got together with John for “Knockin on heavens door” and with Chris Martin for “Sanity”, another of Chris’s songs (all good collaborative stuff). Keith provided us with two songs of which I particularly liked “The slow one”, the other was “Don’t look down”; both were his own creation. He was followed by Chris Liddiard who also sung two of his own songs “No more war” and “Peace loving nation”. I am not going to say very much about Chris, all you need to know is here.
Jason, who it was nice to see again at The Six Bells finished the evening with the 60’s gay anthem “Handbags and gladrags” which was, he explained, was written by Mike D’arbo, the lead singer from Manfred Mann. This was followed by “The blues is a country”.
I would like to thank John for helping me set-up the PA, Ella for providing the pictures and Phil & Tom from The Roadee for offering us the opportunity to record. Thanks also to our outnumbered audience for simply being there. If you have read all the way to this point – be sensible, seek treatment urgently!
All the best - Simon
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