The Sting

The Sting

OK, so I arrive late and miss the first act therefore I cannot possibly do the blog. That was my theory at any rate, but unfortunately it proved very wide of the mark.  “Brian was really good and here is what he performed,” said everyone (including Brian!). No excuse then. But looking round the room I could not help but feel set up.  Brian had an excuse, what with his rendezvous with a stent or two the following day, but John D the tome king was there resolutely faking writer’s cramp (giving Len withdrawal symptoms from his favourite blogger). John N has all the time in the world to write the blog (being a headmaster) but not the slightest look of guilt crossed  his face as he joined the masses in saying it should be me that did the blog. Mike Craig, who hasn’t been seen for what feels like months, would be the ideal candidate but he was another steadfast refusal. Ian Wingate would have done a great blog but he …… actually probably just as well that he didn’t offer – we do not want the website to be taken down do we?!

As it turns out I have been out manoeuvred.  Whereas I came late to have an excuse for not doing the blog, the above gentlemen, with the exception of the Cap’, all ensured that they would not be doing the blog by buggering off en mass at the half time interval. Looks like an early night for me at the next SAS.

Anyway, down to the events of the evening. As mentioned earlier Brian W apparently started proceedings, apparently playing Sing by Travis and Christy Moore’s Ordinary Man (or was that Kath’s description of Brian). Apparently both were played very well and the applause was generous (apparently).

 John Daure took to the floor next (I witnessed everything from this point on and so can confirm the veracity of the rest of the blog). Now JD Ш is the man who usually makes some remark about me morphing into Michael Chapman. Pot? Kettle?  It appears that JD Ш is obsessed with Loudon Wainwright Ш to the point of him rambling about wanting to have his babies! Nevertheless we did get a rather good interpretation of Unrequited to the Nth Degree. This was followed by Lowdon Daure Ш’s  version of Synchronicity which did include a well worked reference to his buddy John Nixon (I know – you never knew Loudon Wainwright Ш knew John Nixon).

The very same John Nixon was up next with Wild Horses (played from memory & without specs) and then, as a result of using below SAS standard 14 font, Don Henley’s The Boys of Summer played with specs on. John’s version was not quite true to the original, incorporating short breaks in the music that were not in Mr Henley’s version – but maybe Mr Henley’s glasses did not keep slipping down  his nose! It was noted that JN did not return the favour and reference JD in either of his songs, although with lyrics such as “I can see you
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun You got your hair combed back and your
sunglasses on” maybe the references were already there.

A welcome return for Mike Craig and his all mahogany Martin, along with a full complement of gizmos (what does he do with them all?!) AA Bondi’s When the Devils Loose (which may or may not be a song about Deliah Smith) was followed by the traditional song I Courted a Wee Girl. Both played with aplomb and nice to see you back Mike.

Oh dear - now it was Ian Wingate’s turn! His first ditty entitled Sh**e Jobs was about some of the less attractive types of employment and had the audience in stitches. It also featured a first at SAS as far as I am aware – the air drum. We never knew Ian was a multi-instrumentalist. This was followed by Quentin Tarantino, a song about the man himself sung around the Whiskey in A Jar tune. The song was the winner of the 2010 Grammy Award under the How Many Lines Ending in “O” Can You Get in One Song category.

Pam Johnson brought us back to our normal genteel ways with two delightful songs – Johnny Cash’s Thanks A Lot (thanks a lot for that Pam) and Honky Tonk Angels which was originally penned by Jay Miller and written in 1952 (and that is a very difficult time signature!)

Man of the World was next – so you will all realise it was James “Jukebox” Porter’s turn. This was not written by James but by Peter Green in 1969 in his Fleetwood Mac days. Moving one year on from there, it was followed by All Right Now, the classic Free song. It is quite unusual to see James in the first half – normally he only gets to the second half, calling in on his way home from work but this week he has a week off to do some decorating (personally I’d rather be at work!) so it was nice to see him and his Epiphone for the whole evening.

Blogger finished the first half off, starting with a song by an American singer songwriter called Jeffrey Foukault (I bet his classmates gave him a hard time at school!) who I have only just come across and would highly recommend. Northbound 35 was the song I played. This was followed by Mark Knopfler’s Romeo and Juliet and this was followed by the break.

The break saw much more activity than usual as it appeared that one by one the rats started deserting the sinking ship. First - John N closely followed (as always) by JD, then Mike C and finally the Wingate ensemble. This is when the penny dropped about the excuse for not doing the blog. As it turns out it was not a sinking ship but a majestic yacht sailing effortlessly over the seas, albeit somewhat short staffed!

Captain Wiley got things going again with It Never Rains In California (complete with DMaj7th & Asus4 -  if you had been there you would understand!)  followed by History of a Kiss by Paul Millns (another new name introduced to me by the good folk of SAS). Nicely executed (the songs not the Cap) as always.

No sooner had Pam J finished her first set and she was back up again (as a result of the “early birds” departures). Kate Rusby’s Who Will Sing Me Lullabies (which was voted Best Original Song at the 2002 Radio 2 Folk Awards) was beautifully delivered as was Mary Gauthier’s Our Lady of the Shooting Stars (which I presume is not about the BBC2 programme and Ulrika Johnson).

Things took a very Donovanish turn as the Juke got up to deliver very good versions of Lalena and Catch the Wind. James got the inspiration for this from watching the BBC4 Songwriter’s Circle programme which recently featured Donovan. Blogger also got the same inspiration from the same programme. Fortunately a half time discussion ensured no duplication of songs and blogger began the final set of the night with Sunshine Superman. The Mark Knopfler (again) song 5.15AM came next with the evening ending with another Donovan hit Mellow Yellow.

Another great night and, thanks to the early dart crowd, not too late to bed either. Looking forward to the next SAS on Tuesday 15th November when I am pretty sure that I will be leaving at the interval!


Graeme M

Posted on November 4, 2011 .