Tuesday 18th August
Simon opened the evening, this being the third one, promptly and traditionally with some mild C & W: 'The Calm Before The Storm' and kept it that way with 'Ride Me High', his very own 'Black Hole In My Garden' and E C woz here in spirit invoked with 'Wonderful Tonight'.
Personally, I thought I'd scream if I ever heard that one at an open mic session ever again but he pulled it off; bums-on-seats and nodding heads across the generations dug the familiarity like an anthem.
Lance picked up on that with his 'Eat Your Vegetables', 'Sleep and Dream Away' as we all looked wonderful … prior to the obligatory 'Sadie The Flatulent Horse', which was delivered in good humour. Indeed, Mr Maleski concluded his four-in-a-row with another nicely shrewd observation: 'Gardeners World' – We have apparently become a nation of gardeners since locking the country down beyond the wicker fence [near Kent].
Dusk and Keith, both conducive to a Bluesy, festival atmosphere generally conspired to give the feeling of an event with down-lights adding focus to his seasoned rendition of The-Blues-With-Feeling, his very original 'Too Sad To Sing The Blues' thus setting the tone for the lyrical 'Baby Steps' and 'Make The Slow One Last', you know, that thing that sometimes happens at other peoples' weddings. Anyway, the local church bells chimed in [perfectly] for Keith's last one: 'Brighton Rock'.
Chris J. Martin confirmed 'I Like To Be Sad' with his typical sense of irony but upped the urgency with a lilting Calypso [ironically slow-paced] in, 'Running Out Of Time' but seemed to have left the handbrake on for 'Little Red Car'. He reckoned this to be an oversight but it worked out okay. Lancias tend to do that imho. C. J concluded with a celebratory Rock n Roll take of 'Toast For One [till Friday]' – Something to look forward to, then.
For Heather, too!
'Paddy McGinty's Goat' got going in colourful Melanie mode – rather than the more middle-of-the-road Val Doonican whose music-for-mass-consumption used to be on telly a lot on those dreary, black-and-white, Saturday nghts as “entertainment” in the 60s when familiarity bred contempt for so many on such a regular basis prior to Pirate Radio Stations with their anti-establishment stance that us teenagers related to oh so passionately – This more feminine take on McGoat was better, as was 'Timothy' and 'Ruby Tuesday' from the same era. Heather kept the festival feeling going by concluding her set by covering 'You Got A Friend' which is always nice to hear.
Then it was me. Keith had inspired me to sing a Blues form that isn't actually a Blues in the Black American sense with his more universal 'Too Sad …' earlier. So I went for the more pop-cultural 'You Got Me Singing The Blues' – Neither of us have had the cultural experience that generated the real thing but many have adapted the rawness of the form into something original on its own terms. I took my version from a Bert Jansch recording of it, and he sailed very close to the Blues indeed. I added a Pat Metheny Jazz-Blues instrumental in lieu of a long guitar solo so that I could hide behind it as I took a long guitar solo – twice!
Energised by that, I played one of mine called 'On The Books' followed by 'Hallelujah, I love Her So' just to have a bit of fun with it – Derek picked up on that one by banging his box. I finished with 'Songbird' because I've been absolutely knocked out with the Eva Cassiday cover of it [written by Christine McVie] for so long. I have a 'My Girl' groove going on it these days, though, on my own terms of course. I mean, why else?
Derek, post-crescendo, moved forward with his back to the wall by taking a seat with a mic c/w pop-shield and a guitar this time. He performed, starting with 'When My Little Girl Is Smiling' followed by a short version of 'Buena Sierra' and Lindisfarne's 'Meet Me On The Corner' and concluded the show with 'It's Now Or Never' in Mr Whippie mode ala one-more-cornetto, or oranges-for-Ornetto, or … dunno really, people sang along diffidently. Suitably entertained for free but not quite full up.
Hold on, though – then the lady with a blue guitar and a Joni Mitchell, open-tuning attitude, made a late appearance. Yes, it was Ella adapting to the guitar-oriented sound system by strumming out an acoustic Rock n Roll groove in support of 'Big Yellow Taxi' followed by 'Chelsea Morning' and then calling it a day on number three with the aid of a capo on for 'Both Sides Now', which made it nice and jangly [like Woodstock in the garden of England].
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