Hi sorry about the missing jan Blog, I can only assume that when ediitng i have accidently deleted it. If any one has it available on an archive site visit, please copy and forward it and i will re-insert it. BCW
It was the week before Christmas, festivities were in the air. There were mince pies and sherry and Brandy, Christmas pud, sizzling pork crackling, turkey, stuffing and sweet crisp roast potatoes, all there for the delight of the musikians who turned up for the last evening of Swanssongs before Noel. Except the tight wads that organised the evening forgot to order all this. When Tim Moaning organised the Christmas do at least we got sausage rolls and a free drink, and mince pies. Probably in Paddyland they stopped all that after the potato famine.
On top of that, I’ve been ill. Not just your normal Pig flu that’s going round again, this was proper Neanderthal flu. Caveman flu, lesser mortals die from this flu. However, stoically Nix and I (‘cos Nixi has it as well, not nearly as bad as I got it of course) arrived in time for the half eight start. The place was busy with musikians and audience.
Nixi got the beers in, (told you he was ill), we detuned the axes and so began an evening of fun and merriment, well up to the point that Smiley opened the proceedings with HISTORY OF A KISS. Smiles said this is written by Paul Milns. He spelt it so I think I got it right but my hearing's not so good at the best of times and I’ve been ill so it’s worse. I can’t find anything on Wikileaks or Wikipedia about this guy. Talking of Wikileaks, I couldn’t care less about the junk being published on this site but I do think it’s a bloody disgrace that the authorities, particularly the paranoid Yanks, are putting so much effort into keeping Assange locked up. Though I do notice that the BBC have now stopped saying he is accused of rape, because rape in Sweden has a different meaning to rape in this country and he has never actually been accused of rape as we know it. Moving on>>>> Bradford City’s latest signing then followed with a new Swan song DON’T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING which was a hit way back when for Garry Glitter and His Pacemaker. Excellent start to the evening Brian, got us all in the mood to commit suicide. Especially as there are no pies.
Blogger:- Now, I really wish I wasn’t doing the blog at this stage because it’s an unwritten rule that bloggers never praise themselves. That’s a shame because I was brilliant!! Nixi said I was on fire, or maybe he was just wishing. Another new Swansong, Billy Joel’s BALLAD OF BILLY THE KID, I have spent hours learning this, and I’ve been ill, and then changed the follow up from Roy Rogers by Elton John to Dylan’s DON’T THINK TWICE ITS ALRIGHT. To say I’ve been ill it was brilliant. But I cant say so.
Nixi followed. Did I tell you he’s also ill, not as ill as me of course, maybe I mentioned that as well, Nix did a slow Christmassy type number, YOU BETTER MOVE ON by their Majesties the Stones. If you’re wondering about that bit the Stones brought out an album in 1967 called Their Satanic Majesties Request. The original album, cover had a hologram on it and the stones heads moved. Later Decca changed this to a flat cover but the original is worth zillions. I have one! Better move on>>> Nixi followed this with HOOCHY COOCHY MAN which Nix said is a John Lee Hooker number. However a search of good old Wiki shows that Hoochie Coochie Man" (sometimes referred to as "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man") is a blues standard written by Willie Dixon and first performed by Muddy Waters in 1954. It was a hit. To say he’s ill, Nixi dun gud! (Been swatting up on my grammar since Chris P pulled me on my spelling in last week’s blog comments)
Mike C. took the stage, with, I believe, a new guitar, or certainly one that I hadn’t met before because it has a small headstock, as Mike told us. That’s a bit of a drawback for Mr C as he normally carries the bulk of his worldly possessions on his headstock, maybe he’s had a garage sale? Anyway back to the Blueridge Guitar. I can’t find anything on Wiki about Blue Ridge guitars only Blueridge music which is a Blue Ridge mountainy type of music played by Mountain Men. Mike didn’t play Mountain Men type music. It was guessing time for the song, Mike didn’t know what he was going to play and blogger hadn’t a clue either. I wrote down Vincent 52, Mike did CROOKED JACK. That’s sync for you! Mike hasn’t been ill, and if he has he certainly hasn’t been as ill as I have been, so he played it pretty good. He followed this with HANG DOWN YOUR HEAD TOM WAITE. I thought it a strange title ‘cos I’ve heard of Hang Down your head Tom Dooley so I guess this was an updated version. I think that people were taking advantage of my illness so I can’t be sure about everything going on.
Chris Patrick next. At this stage it was necessary for me to amble on over to the bar and get a beer, what with there being no pies and sherry as used to be supplied by Tim Moaning, so I kinda missed exactly what Chris was doing, It was certainly an acoustic number because either Chris wasn’t singing or I had gone totally deaf because of the Neanderthal flu I am suffering from. In addition Rob collared me at the bar and regaled me with tales of all the birds he, well you know, whilst at St Bedes, (see blog a few weeks ago), so by the time I was listening again Chris had moved on to a self-penned song called ITS SO NICE. And it was. I think the acoustic number was TWO EYEBROWS. That’s what Chris told me when I asked the title. Its TWO EYEBROWS FOR YOU.
Jimmy Jukebox followed with SCARLET RIBBONS. The song was an early 1950s hit for Jo Stafford and Harry Belafonte. The most successful single record version, by The Browns (Jim Ed, Bonnie and Maxine), reached #13 in December 1959. I personally saw Emile Ford perform this on stage in Blackpool in about 1961. Emile performed as Emile Ford and the Checkmates, and their first self-produced recording "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?" went to number one in the UK Singles Chart at the end of 1959 and stayed there for six weeks. The track remains as having the longest question ever asked by a chart topping disc in the UK. Ford was also the first black British artist to sell one million copies of a 7" single. Jimmy then gave us TAKE ME TO THE MARDIS GRAS by Paul Simon, probably in lieu of the missing pork pies and Sherry, gave us the feeling if not the actuality of Christmassy type things.
Rob Watkins, a not so familiar face at SAS these days, but he’s probably worn out if what he tells me about the St Bedes Harem is true, Rob comes complete with a beautiful axe, and he can play it which is unusual for Musikians at SAS. Firstly a Sean Keane offering, HOME. Sean was, and possibly still is, a member of the Chieftains and is, according to my sources, a fiddler. I understand that our mighty leaders in Whitehall are cracking down on fiddlers so it’s as well that Sean live in Ireland, bet he’s got minced pies for Christmas. This was followed by a Dubliners number DUBLIN IN THE OLD TIMES. I think Rob may have been to Dublin recently, hence the theme, but I didn’t follow everything that was going on because I’ve not been well. Great to see you back Rob.
Finally before the break of no mince pies, no sherry and no sausage rolls, Graeme Morell. Graeme also had a new guitar which was some kind of small bodied Gibson. Fortunately Graeme doesn’t keep all his worldly chattels on his guitar so it doesn’t matter so much how small his instrument is. I thought I was being asked to pick a song as Graeme kept saying, you say, write it down, you say. Is this a guessing game, I’ve not been well so I was confused, but it seems that YOU SAY Is actually the name of the song. There’s no mince pie prize for anyone who can guess the songwriter! Graeme as always played superbly and finished his two song set with a Michael Morell Chapman number, FALLING APART.
Apt, as so was I at this stage. I’ve not been well you know!
End of part one, and if you can write more junk than this Mr Smile a Wyle, good luck!
Xmas blog part deux:
Well, how do you follow that? JD has set the bar very high with a blog
that encompassed; a Dickensian description of a christmas feast,
musical histories, salacious gossip and shrewd political commentary!
I, on the other hand, got buried in christmas goings-on at work, went
winter walking and to top it all managed to lose my notes for the
Still never let it be said that I let the truth get in the way of a
good story.....and so we have the xmas blog part deux.
It took a while for normality to return to the session after a
personal ambulance staffed by skimpily dressed Benny Hillesque girls was
summoned during the break to whisk the ailing JD and Nixi away.
After the fraca died down MC David announced that everybody had to be
extremely quiet and make no sudden movements as Brian Wylie was about
to start the second half and had brought along a little friend to help
out. You could have heard a pin drop as Smiley opened a tiny case and
proceeded to assemble the smallest unicycle this blogger has ever seen
(and I've been around I can tell you!). The awed silence was broken
only by the sound of dropping jaws as Mr Wylie then produced a
marmoset in a sequined waistcoat from a golden cage. After introducing
the marmoset as Marcel, Brian handed the dapper little monkey a tiny
ukulele. Gasps of amazement were heard as the monkey nimbly jumped
onto the unicycle and began to traverse the tabletops while
accompanying Mr Wylie on the ukulele as he belted through a medley of
popular showtunes. The crowd was enthralled and the performance was
going well until half way through 'Old Man River', the pub dog caught
the scent of the marmoset. It's hard to relay exactly what happened
next but needless to say there was fur and sequins everywhere. In the
ensuing bedlam Mr Wylie managed to trip over the dog and landed
awkwardly on the tiny unicycle which became lodged in a place best
left unmentioned (it was subsequently removed with the aid of a
passing veterinarian and a couple of strong drinks!).
Much of the evening was a blur after this point (due mainly to the
fact that your blogger was hit in the head by flying ukulele). However
here are the thing I do remember: Chris Patrick sang and played
brilliantly; Graeme Morrell played some tasty tunes on his newly
acquired 1966 Gibson B25; James Porter proved he had the biggest
sleigh bells in the room by belting out some christmas crackers and
finally, not to be outdone by "that show-off Wylie", Rob and Caroline
performed 'Love Hurts' and Sugerland's 'Very Last Country Song' while
swinging from a cleverly improvised trapeze and juggling three bacardi
breezers and a packet of pork scratchings.
After this show-stopping performance we decided to vacate the premises
before the local constabulary arrived. And so another year is over at
Swan Acoustic Sessions I hope you all have a fantastic yuletide and a
peaceful new year and we hope to see you in January; but please, leave
the primates at home! MAC