Well we had an excellent night last night at Swan Acoustic Session, a lot of old friends and a couple of new friends who were already ensconced in the bar when we got there.
Kick-off was a prompt one due to the number of musicians which numbered 12 in all. First up was the Blogger to set a standard that was sure to be overtaken rapidly, with “Monkey off your Back” and a Dylan number “Easy Chair” in the Second Half a lovely Ballad “Only our Rivers” and then having had a rapid practice with Mike on Guitar, “The Blackthorn Stick” and “The Kesh Jig”
On route tonight we picked up Larry and when we arrived there was Adrian guitar in hand so only fitting that they be next up. The Dynamic duo entertained us with a thematic pair of songs about Hotels, I think they called it the “Monopoly set” with Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel” and from one extreme to the other Justin Hayward’s “Railway Hotel” I know which I would prefer. Adrian had to leave early in the second set to assist in some way at Ilkley theatre so they were first up on the second set with a Neil Diamond song made famous by the Monkees “I’m a Believer” which had everyone singing along and then in the absence of JD did a Dylan number “I shall be Released” a timeless Classic delivered with panache by Adrian and Larry.
The First of our new faces introduced by Chris to Swan Acoustic, Rob McLean was foisted onto the floor having been convinced by the blogger that we were a friendly lot. Rob then took us back to the Eighties with Squeeze “Up the Junction” and then his second song was never titled and I never got the title (Shame) I do know it was delivered in style. Now more alert for his second spot we had Willy Mason’s “Something like hope” which in spite of Rob not being aware of the set up he did remarkably well under pressure drafting this and the Beatles’ “Something” before being dragged into the night by his groupies(Johns take note)
Our Second newbie up next Will Hearsay then rather modestly took the floor and with an apologetic speech entertained us with a couple of self penned numbers that belied an inherent wordsmith style worthy off any festival performer. “Visions” and “Champagne Tears” so obviously written from the heart were followed in the second half by another self penned classic “Some Girls” and rounding of his spot with a belting version of Elvis’s “Houndog” complete with a fantastic “KAZOO” instrumental which brought the house down. Welcome Rob and Will and come back anytime.
A revitalised Chris Patrick had to follow Will and a damm good job he did, with his own material “No time for leaving you behind” and “A Lot of Catching up to do” not our usual raucous Chris but a more sensitive mellow side and as stated by the man himself not his usual loud songs with even more finger picking tonight as in the second half we had even Chris using a Capo. Two firsts in one night, Kazoos and Capos. “Long Way Back” and what Chris called Work in Progress was a really potent song about a Mersey Craft “Amanda Belle” I really like this new material Chris(Personal opinion) Keep it up.
Len Harvey then next and Len managed a complete U Turn on what he was originally going to perform by doing a crowd pleaser in the form of “The Mermaid” a ditty about the perils of getting it on with a mermaid (I will leave you all with that thought) her sister was a better dish apparently and Lens own version of “Save the Last Dance” ably abetted in most cases by the audience. That concluded Lens offering for the night but always glad to see you Len.
Mike Craig a Stalwart of S.A.S up next sans Andee (must ring to make sure she is still around) Mike thought carefully about what him and Gizmo were going to do, before plucking a Richard Thompsons “Beeswing” a la Mike and then handicapped by the blogger on guitar gave us a lesson in courting with “I courted a wee girl” (maybe that s why Andee wasn’t there). Second half had a waltz that isn’t a waltz with A.A Bondi(I must thank Mike for introducing me to this artist) “Lovers Waltz” before doubling up with Blogger for “Waterbound” an anthemic song for me as this was our most repeated song on last years road trip to Ireland.. Only performed once before by Mike but done as only Mike and Gizmo can do. Excellent stuff Mike.
A very welcome return of Rob Watkins and Caroline this evening, (Having had to apologise to Caroline for not noticing her sat there) this duo sat up stall and anticipating the well known harmonies from Caroline we had excellent choice for a first song Rob “O My Sweet Caroline” (Creep) was followed warmly by “ I Might be Lonesome” a perfect blend of voices and subtle guitar work then whetted our appetites for the second half with R&C, a Buddy and Julie Miller song was next ”I cant Get Over You” nicely rounded off with the Everleys “Love Hurts”
Great stuff as always.
James Porter was our penultimate artiste tonight and although his presence is messed about by our 1st and 3rd week schedule, James always strives to attend where possible, James Juke box settled on “Stay Young” and a new one for me “All My Trial”( I am sure I will be informed as to the writers) James then surprised me with a Fairground Attraction number “Find my Love” not an easy song. And then finished his spot with Joni Mitchells’ “Woodstock”. Entertaining as always James and We appreciate the effort you make to attend.
Now then nearly there, Graeme Morrell was our final songsmith tonight, having arrived slightly late and not expecting the full line up Graeme had to patiently await his turn. He then disappoints the blogger with the news that it is a Michael Chapman free night!!!!!!!! Eh! What catastrophic turn of events has brought this on?
Graeme began with a Bert Jansch song that he first heard 40 years ago but only just found the lyrics to. “Needle of Death” 40 years and still as relevant that’s what makes a classic, “Love Potion number 9” was met with surprise from the blogger who was still reeling from the news on MC and I then discovered I knew all the words to this, how come?? Graeme the announced he was going to perform a Ralph McTell number “Factory Girl” when Len informed me that he was accompanied on tour by …….. wait for it……. Michael Chapman, RESULT! And a rowdy Ballad to finish with at the late hour was a Jim Croce number “You don’t mess around with Jim” a fitting end to a busy night. Thanks everyone for attending tonight , our resident MC David was on one of his walking trips so should be around for the next one until then HAPPY TUNES. BCW