The wonder of Swan acoustic Session is, you never know what you are going to get and tonight was a perfect example. Having picked Larry up we drove through the black rainy night and having ensconced ourselves in front of the fire, awaited the evening. Having been stressed out on the drive home by a car on fire and the motorway becoming a car park and having to rapidly devour my lovingly prepared tea. I decided not to tempt fate and take any instruments with me, deciding I would have enough with the blog.
Not long after we arrived a couple complete with suitcase entered “is this the acoustic session?” It is and happy they had made it to the right place proceeded to unpack a lovely silver harp. Sadly Andee was not going to be there so missed this event but it was a Clive Morley harp from Wales. The harpist Francis and partner then got their drinks and sat. A ghost then entered in the shape of Dom, who we haven’t seen for a year or so but this time he brought some friends with him. Three in fact, Dave, Steve and Mark. Chris Thompson, Rob Watkins and Caroline, James Porter and an ex pat now residing in Canterbury were our entertainment for the night.
Dom and Dave, Steve and Mark started the night off with a great song a la Christy Moore “Ordinary man” although there was nothing ordinary about this set up a Cajon, a Bass, a fiddle and Guitar all blended nicely into a fantastic four piece sound. Surrounded by a now swelling audience (24) in all they then went into “Diamond Joe” sadly I never found out the composer but the fiddle was swapped for a mandolin and drove this song along. Francis White (Harpist) was next up and a little birdie tells me that Francis has an alternate persona in the shape of a harp playing Fairy? Tonight however she was content to entertain us in civvies. “Wild Mountain Thyme” a lovely Scottish tune made famous by the McPeake Family from my neck of the woods flowed wonderfully into “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean” Excellent stuff and a “Thumbs up “ from the audience methinks we have not seen the last of Francis and her harp.
Chris Thompson was up next and gave us a Paul Weller number, “You do Something To Me” Now Chris normally Performed as one half of Ian and Chris or even with his Daughter but as she had moved to pastures new he was left to sing on his own and a previous duet became a solo. Eva Cassidy’s “Autumn Leaves” very apt was perfunctionally performed with aplomb. Great stuff Chris even if you only had the one capo!!!! (PS see Mike)
Larry Anderson took his place on his Bobships Throne, resplendent in a Harmonica contraption but wait!! Not a Dylan song but an Alabama Three number “Bulletproof” complete with 15 felonies and 23 misdemeanours and a million dollar reward all in the first two verses. Meaty stuff done as only Larry can. His second number was a Brownie McGhee number, so engrossed was the blogger he missed the title!!!! Slapped wrist but having given his seat up Larry’s guitar was passed to Andrew.
Andrew was on a sabbatical from Canterbury, and once having explained that he was back up rediscovering his roots from his Ilkley Grammar days, (He did say how many years ago) but that would betray his age(your secret is safe with us) 5??? Andrew gave us a very Jazz like Bossanova (I think) called Billie (I have to confess at this point I was checking the Bradford city score) and missed the reference to Earl lokin? The song however was a new one on me and performed eloquently by this gentleman on Larry’s Guitar. More from Andrew later. Well done.
Rob and Caroline next, bemused by the numbers in the room and with Cajons and harps and Fiddles abounding kept it simple with guitar and two voices. “For Always” by Will Sexton and a John Hiatt song a la Lyle Lovett “Train to Birmingham” great harmonies and even a false start didn’t put them off. Rounding off the first half was “Mr Jukebox” James Porter. Carole King’s “you make me feel like a natural woman” seemed a strange choice, but hey! We are a liberal lot at Swan acoustic. James followed this with an Emma Jenkins number “Little sparrow” and was considered by one lady in the audience as “such a sad song” great end to a great first half.
Dom,Dave,Steve, Mark &Beaky Mick and Titch were first up the last three by the way were their instruments! And “Spancil Hill” a lovely song from Ireland about longing and returning home was exquisitely performed by our quartet and having swapped the fiddle for the mandolin You’re gonna quit me” a bluesy number rounded off their spot. I think that this is a fledgling band and judging by what we heard deserved to be gigging! Excellent stuff boys and please come back.
Blogger was up next having left everything at home(another first) did two recitations. “The funeral song” a la jimmy Crowley and “Paddy and the bricks” both seemed to go down well.
Francis and her harp then set up for a slow Jig “The Blarney Pilgrim” and “Haste to the Wedding” the second tune was the theme to a programme years ago called “The Irish R.M” with Peter Bowles and Bryan Murray as Major Yeates and Flurry Knox. Great set of tunes and hopefully more to come in later weeks(She only lives in Ilkley)
Chris was up again, and this time a Kris Drever/boo Hewerdine number “Steel and Stone” and as Chris enjoys Van the man as much as I do, what better way to round your part than “Warm Love” Perfick!
Larry now in Bobship mode performed “Senor” and although missing the other half of the Gibson Bros (Adrian) still gave a great version of Paul Simon’s “for Emily wherever I may find her” the tenth track on S& G’s 1966 album Parsley , Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. See what you missed Adrian?
Rob and Caroline back now with Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou number “All the Road running” and then a Rob and Caroline Classic “Love hurts” lovely Harmonies.
James then takes his place and with the Knopfler seed planted from previous song what better than Dire Straits “so Far Away” and then rounded off with a Stones’ number “The spider and the Fly” from 1965 album Out of our Heads. They were, we weren’t and my bed was pulling me home but not before Andrew gave us a final sing-song “Blue Bayou” and a final request to Dom for “The Contender” with emotion! And the night (as far as I was concerned ) came to a graceful end. Well done everyone. See you all back in a fortnight. As we exited the room Nixy was tuning up and I suspect that there was more to come but not for the blogger and party ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz BCW