Blazing Fire and Wintry Weather, but a warm glow inside.

Well having thought twice about venturing out tonight, I am glad I did. We had three new artists tonight. Jade, Nigel Hoyle and Steve Lampkin.

Dragging ourselves from the fireside to the centre of the floor was a wrench but anyway both Kath and myself totally wiped out from our recent sojourn to the West of Ireland (and it showed) decided on a couple of tunes sets tonight. “Gypsy dance, a Polish tune was followed by “The Seige Tunes” Thank you Kath.

We had a brief interlude whilst we all sang Happy Birthday to Mike Craig, 21 again.


Mike then regaled us with a A A Bondi song “The Devils Loose” before venturing into new territory with a first at  Swan Acoustic “Between the Bars” by Elliot Smith.

Andee Craig was next up after a lengthy absence and with her harp gave us some lovely tunes,the first was a couple of Polkas “The 69th Polka” and “Egans Polka” an old favourite of mine and a crackin mellow version of “Star of the County Down” which led into  “Castle Kelly”Well done Andee! Len Harvey (Mr  I cant do the blog cos I cant stay) was up next having been informed by Kath that he needs to tune in to Clare F.M as it was full of his material. First offering was “Save the Last Dance for Me” and then a great version of “Darcy Farrow” by Steve Gilbert. Great stuff as always Len just never enough of it. Graeme Morrell was next up with his fettled Martin (New Pick up) I must say it sounded great but then again it wasn’t plugged in. Graemes first was an Alan Jackson song “Sounds” before “The Heros Return” by Michael Chapman not sure whether that was a deliberately chosen title in reference to straying away from MC with this new material. It was as always great stuff. Our first of the new faces was next up Jade, replete with a classical guitar and a classy voice and showing no nerves at all gave us “The Jamaica Farewell” a first for Swan Acoustic and then a very laid back version of “Redemption Song” unfortunately we didn’t have any more of Jade as although she stayed to watch some of the second set, had to leave early. You are always welcome at Swan Acoustic Session.

Pam Johnson was our next act and there seemed to be lot more women tonight???? Pam gave us a rendition of Wake the Witche’s “Rock and Roll” and followed this with a Mary Gauchet song which Pam does brilliantly with pathos “Christmas in Paradise” n.b (for John Daure specifically NO Pathos did not sing with Pam) Excellent as always Pam. Our first half was closed by the Swan Jukebox Mr James Porter who with a borrowed guitar belted out “Mustang Sally” before surprising us all with a version of “it’ll be Lonely this Christmas” by Mud. Crackin!!!!


Second half now and Brian & Kath were joined by Mike for an impromptu set of tunes, “track number 7 led into Music for a Found Harmonium” by Simon Jeffes of the Penguin Orchestra after he found a harmonium dumped in Kyoto Japan.

The set was rounded off by “The Masons Apron” thanks Mike and Kath unrehearsed but it went ok!!.

The second of our “Newbies” was next up a gentleman called Steve Lampkin, a fellow LEFTY another first at Swan. Steve admitted to being a Bassist, but we didn’t hold that against him, as he sang his version of “all along the watchtower” followed by a version of Paul Wellers’ “Town called Malice” and then as he had not performed in the first half a third song from the Foo Fighters “Times like these” all excellently done and feel free to come back any time Steve.

The third and final Newbie to swan was a bit of a misnomer as he is frequently to be seen propping up the bar according to the Bloggers wife, but tonight he was a performer. Nigel Hoyle performed his own material for us starting with “Licence for Drinking” about the demise of the”Public House” including my favourite “The Melborne” great song with a lot of promise. Nigel had everyone in stitches with his second “The Bastard son of Billy Bragg” Brilliant and rounded up with “Hurricane of Hate” You are welcome back anytime Nigel.

Mike Craig next with his mandolin, and I forgot to write it down(please let me know) I know he finished with “Pancho and Lefty” with some aplomb(no John nobody else joined him it’s a phrase) Thanks Mike welcome back and Happy Birthday.


Graeme was next up instead of Andee who had to visit the bathroom, she has got her feet well under the table at The Swan, we only get a toilet but hey ho back to the music “Teenage Festival Blues” by Mike Silva and preceded by Graeme explaining why it  was pertinent with his own teenage daughters “why do I have to listen to this etc” A lovely version of Sandy Dennys”Who knows where the time goes” round off Graemes contribution tonight and all performed in his own inimitable style.

Andee back and refreshed from her trip complete with harp went straight into “Flying to the Fleadh” followed by “Soft Mid Morning” to a raptourous applause. Again Well done Andee.

No night would be complete without James Porter and for some reason I only have one song on my list , I am sure this will be incorrect so if this is the case let me know and apologies upfront from me. James definitely did Carole King’s “Way over Yonder” and rounded off another excellent night. See you all in two weeks for the Christmas special. If you want to bring some Xmas Fare to share amongst your fellow musicians fell free to bring along some nibbles. B.C.W

Posted on December 7, 2011 .