3rd September 2019
This was a 80s night. The 1980’s was not a decade that really inspired me and so I expected many people to ignore the theme – I had a pleasant surprise. Almost everyone found something from the 80s to play, even our newcomer Jim who had been unaware of the theme. Congratulations everybody.
I asked people to tell me a little about what they were doing in the 80’s and it was clear that this was the decade of child rearing and guitars were relegated to the cupboard. Looking back I regret the fact that I stopped playing, but there was simply too much going on during this period to focus on music. I was not alone it seems.
I started the evening with Chris Rea’s “Road To Hell” and followed it with the Dire Straits classic “Why Worry” and later I sung the Manhattan Transfer song “Operator” ably assisted by Sylvia on Tambourine. This was cheating a bit as they recorded it before the 80s but it did appear on their 1981 recording The Best of Manhattan Transfer.
Next up was Mark who explained that he came to the Folk Club to improve his guitar skills. Good idea, nothing focuses the mind more than having to perform. He started with a Crowded House song “Fall at your Feet” and this was followed by “Jennifer” by Bert Sommer, a 60's American folk singer.
Mark was followed by Heather who, along with raising two children was busy working as a swimming instructress in the 80s so another guitar sat in the cupboard. Heather gave us a Phil Collins version of “A Groovy Kind on Love” and The Police hit “Every Breath You Take”, Later she returned and sang her own heartbreak inspired song from the 80s, “Sometimes”.
Clive next and he gave us The Housemartin’s “Caravan of Love” and then a lovely atmospheric song, “The Summer Before The War” as recorded by Fairport Convention. Just the sort of thing I would expect from a man who had once had his knee bandaged by Maddy Prior. Later he played “The Song Will Remain by Steeleye Span.
And now it was time for our newcomer Jim to impress us, and impress us he did. He started with Bruce Springsteen’s “I'm On Fire” followed by Peter Gabriel’s “Here Comes The Flood”, in the second half he added Van the Man’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. Jim used to play in a group in the 80s and fortunately was able to remember the songs perfectly. I am sure we all hope that Jim and his wife Karen will make the trek from Bexhill to play here again soon.
The King of the PRS came next with Chris Martin adding three more songs to his monthly paycheque, all self penned (of course). His first two were “Get Yourself a Good Time” and “I Want To Learn” both of which he wrote in the 80s and lastly in the second half “Little Red Car”. Oo Arr, sounds a bit Cornish to me. Chris wore a white suit from the 80s with a hat that made him look like Crockett of Miami Vice or The Man from Delmonte. What amazed me was it was still a good fit!
Time for the Jason & Lisa combo. Jason started off with the Ry Cooder song “Across the Borderline”, he was then joined by Lisa and together they gave us Bruce Springsteen’s “Light my Fire” followed by the Yazoo song “Only You” which in the original version makes full use of the 80s (usually annoying) electronic organ sound. Finally Lisa soloed with the Dylan song “Endless Highway”. What a great selection.
Keith is probably our most skilled musician. He told us how he had spent the post relationship 80’s in a flat in London getting to know his local music scene. He sang a song that he had written at this time “Lines I Could Have Tried” and followed the by another Ry Cooder song “Crazy about an Automobile” and later another song of the 80s, this time written by his friend John Turner “My Friend Rupert”. Great stuff.
Lastly it was Ella’s turn to entertain with the help of the challenging Six Bell’s upright piano. The first song was from Roxy Music “More Than This” followed by a U2 song “With or Without You”.
Thanks to Chris for working the desk and looking after the sound for this evening and to Heather who has now become our official photographer.
Regarding the videos, the first is a little bit of country at its best. The second is one of the best pieces of music to come out of the 80’s (a bit highbrow but take a look) and lastly I love the energy of Manhattan Transfer so here is the last song from my set “Operator” as it should sound – turn up the volume.
Until next time
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