A Game of Two Halves.

his is a blog of two halves, a bit like Manchester United and Wharfedale Wanderers, the first half being fantastic for sure but God knows what will happen in the second because at least two of the mid field players have been taken off.
It’s been several weeks since my last SAS as I have been “Swanning” in France and Spain and it is months since my last blog so don’t expect a lot.
The evening started with a little aside competition between Nigel Smith and John Nixon as to who could play the best version of Angie. Nigel was particularly adept and surprisingly so was Nix. They should duet that.
Then the evening was into its stride, well maybe not stride but certainly sleepwalking.
Cap'n Birdseye. I haven’t seen the Cap for a few weeks and I swear to God he’s got Marylyn Munro’s head stuck upside down on his chin.  That’s possibly why he kept licking his lips, or maybe he’s just nervous! Cap opened up with RED IS THE COLOUR OF THE NEW REPUBLIC, messages of red white and blue, at some point someone was going to get hung but fortunately it wasn’t going to be in the next 25 minutes (you have to see previous blogs). Cap followed this with MAGDALENE LAUNDRY a poignant song which tells the tale of young pregnant women in Ireland and the fate which befell them. This is an old song but the reference to the priest  having been involved with some of the pregnancies rings some of the truths of today, and that’s not a knock at religion it’s a knock at the hypocrites who denigrate their faith.
I can’t remember whether Chris Patrick went next or I did so we’ll give Chris the benefit of the doubt. As always, entertaining, not that Cap wasn’t you understand just making a point that Chris was, with BAD LAD (I think) possibly a reference to Chris’s past, although that’s not confirmed, and it’s about a naughty boy, something to do with Iraq and crew cuts.  See, I was listening. Lots of up the frets and down the frets, bounce and vim. (Isn’t that a cleaning product?) Followed by SPEAK THE TRUTH, which has a reference to someone making Dylan sound good, Anyone makes Dylan sound good and  Bob is my hero.
If I went next then I’m up. Having cocked the job up last time, and the time before and, oh well you get the idea, I had another go, after hours and hours of practice, at WEREWOLVES OF LONDON by Warren Zevon. It’s the howling bit I like cos it can be out of tune and you can’t tell, followed by BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS, by the man, Kris Kristofferson. KK for those who don’t know always sings a bit off key and plays bum notes. This was exactly how I played it so don’t think that it wasn’t on purpose. Just in case Cap doesn’t get it right in the second half before I left (cos it’s difficult after I’d left) I opened with DESPERADO, sung in KK style.
Nixi. Bit like me Nixi been working hard of late and so hasn’t been at SAS as much as we used to   When I say working hard that’s a lot of an exaggeration of course. I’ve bee doing bugger all and Nix’s being doing a bit less. Cap had previously smashed the head of Nixi's axe into the door frame rendering completely out of tune which Nix said helps and thanked Cap for his assistance in making the said axe sound good. If not good at least not as bad as if it had been in tune. Nixi gave us one of his stock repertoire  HANDBAGS AND GLADRAGS and did a good job too. Been a while since he’s done that and it’s clearly matured (I think that’s a t in there) followed by Guns and Roses “SWEET CHILD OF MINE. You can forgive Nix for not playing the Slash bit, partly he doesn’t have a Les Paul Gold and secondly Slash just plays random notes as hes still on stage 2 of the play with yourself in a day book by Bert Weedon. In case Cap wasn’t listening Nix did two songs in the second half before we left early and both were amazing.
A Visitor. Not many of them about are there! Mike Jackson was staying in Gargrave. I thought you had to be dead to stay in Gargrave, but Mike was definitely singing, walking, drinking, talking and very droll. Having broken his fingers or his fingernails, I couldn’t work out which, and so couldn’t play an instrument, though that doesn’t stop anyone else at SAS, Mike gave us what I consider to be sea shanties. You might not but then you’re not doing the blog.  Firstly I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL, Now back in the days before it became City of Culture or whatever it was, (Liverpool/Culture, there an oxymoron if ever there was one)Liverpool was  a city of slums, out of work dock workers, frisky women, pickpockets, thieves and drunks. All that remains today are the …….  Ahhhh I’m not falling that for that, perm, any one from five and add four. As the lines are “ six in a bed by the old pier head, and lots of girls with peroxide curls”, you get the idea! Nixon gave him the chord and he followed with The Waterford Boys . I’m confused as to whether that’s the name of the song or the name of the group, but in my case, confusion is not unusual, and that’s not a song by big Tom. Anyway,    Great and well done Mike, all without a musical instrument and that includes Nix’s opening chord. See you again soon!
Graeme Morell  finished the first half. I believe the new music stand belongs to Graeme and this obviously gives him the right to  scrounge picks off the other players instead of buying his own, After a year of AA and SAS, Graeme is now on to repeats, thank God, brings him down to everyone else’s level if nothing else. Graeme gave a fine rendition of Ralph McTell's HIRING FAIR.  I have this on a CD and you can’t tell the difference between the  versions except that mine is on CD by Ralph and Graeme’s was on a  buffet at the Swan. Graeme does fine versions of Ralph McTell’s songs, and this was no different, and fine versions of Al Stewart, which he did next in ZERO SHE FLIES which is the 3rd track on some album by Al. Graeme told the audience that he had no idea what the song was about. Bloody obvious to the rest of us.
Away the next two weeks, again! JD

A new referee in the second half as John Daure and John Nixon, had to leave but not before they gave us a second helping. John Daure was first up and gave us his  soulful rendition of   “Desperado” and  it was excellent. John was in a slightly hesitant mood re his songs which was totally unwarranted, as he gave a great first and second half. I have to say that both his voice and playing has got stronger and better which has benefited both him and the regulars at S.A.S.

Next up was John Nixon who gave us a great version of “Lola” and with a cusrsory nod from the other John in answer to a request for another, gave us his version of Springsteens “The River” Well done the pair of you and nice to see you back.


Blogger up next with Cohens “Sister of Mercy” and a song dedicated to Graeme “Building up and Tearing England down” a little ditty about the perils of working on a building site.

Chris Patrick in full flow can be a frightening sight to the uninitiated at S.A.S. however tonight was definitely a multi faceted Chris who entertained us with first “Painting Faint Memories” and then a wonderfully Abbaesque “Power Ballad” and then gives a C.D of his music to my wife. (Thank you)

Our new face at the Swan tonight Mr Mark Jackson all the way from Cambridge who found us on the web and as he was working in the area and had decided to call in and see what the night held in store, now fresh from his earlier performance sang us a song he heard from his father “Lying in your loving arms” and then gave us a great version of “The Rocky Road to Dublin”  Well done Mark and nice of you to drop in and we hope you enjoyed some “Yorkshire” hospitality.

Graeme Morrell fresh from his jaunt to the sun drenched beaches started his second  spot and rounded the night of with a wait for it…………………… a Michael Chapman song “No song to Sing” and followed this with a nod to our spectral audience (Ghosts) at the Swan with “Kodak Ghosts” and then as he was thwarted by the bloggers rendition of S.O.M was cajoled into performing it as a finale. It has to be said his version was closer to the recorded version than yours truly a fact not wasted on Kath who hadn’t realised that both Graeme and Myself had sang the same song in the same evening without her realising. Hope to see you ALL there next week and don’t forget our “Camra” award night on Tues 12th October. BCW

Posted on September 22, 2010 .