20th August 2019
John Villiers had come all the way from Islington - an old acquaintance renewed. We played at Bunjies and various other gigs in the 70s and 80s. Seeing the Bells Facebook Page he’d come down from Islington to see what was what and played three of his own instrumentals: the topical-sounding An Approaching Storm and Please Don’t Leave Me Your Banjo When You Go in his first spot. There was some complex playing going on there on a vintage f-holed guitar - a Melodija made in Menges in Slovenia. In his second spot he played Are We There Yet? He also left a copy of one of his CDs and promised to come back to the Christmas Party. Yes Please.
Lance came up with his usual standard of thought-provoking self-pennery: No Going Back on Love and The War to End All Wars.
Chris Martin continued with his mission this year - to sing all of his 100 songs registered with the Performing Rights Society. He repeated Hanging On from a previous time and an instrumental Playing With Myself (fnar fnar), which included snatches of many famous tunes of which I picked out Angie, Auld Lang Syne and the choral theme from Beethoven’s Ninth among others. Later he did Another Journey from his album The Journey – the one with Panyan the Panda on the front.
Heather set her poem Alexander Beetle to music, inspired by the need to entertain grandchildren. Then covered a song from the Hazel O Conner Film Breaking Glass and, in her second round, did School not his Sympathy by Phil Coulter a song about a child with special needs.
Simon Watt was once an old friend whom I met at the Bells as long ago in 2002 and is now even older. He writes many a comedy song laced with gentle and dry humour, but tonight he decided to do two nice songs and let humour lay in my humiliation by asking me up to shake tiny bells in Too Much Snow. Then he sang I Don’t Look Good Naked any More, which could be true.
Clive sang a Maddy Prior Song Deep in the Darkest Night, from Memento, and one of his own songs The Adventure of Life.
Paul had come all the way from Seaford and played two Don Williams songs: Gypsy Woman and You‘re my Best Friend. Very tunefully sung and played.
Jason performed a his own song There Was a Young Man, and then a mellifluous version of Georgia, from the great American Songbook.
Helga came up with her unaccompanied flute and kept us guessing as to her tune, which was The Godfather theme. Nobody knew who wrote it and, as there is poor phone reception hereabouts, pub quiz cheats don’t prosper. Second she picked up her guitar and sang Joni Mitchell’s Carrie.
Ella came up with a nice bit of romantic realism Did I Shave my Legs for This? Accompanying herself on the Bouzouki.
After everybody had had a go, I finished the first cycle with Baby Steps, with Helga tastefully supporting on flute.
So we started the second round with one song each, as detailed above. Clive and Paul passed and we soon got to finish off the evening with a jam on my irregularly-timed blues Brighton Rock. Everyone joined in notably John on Guitar, Helga on Flute, Ella on Piano and others strumming and shaking all sorts of objects.
Thanks to all the musicians that played and sang, set up the PA, ran it, watched, laughed, heckled and generally made for a chirpy evening. Thanks also to the eight or so people who turned up to listen.
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