The Return of the ‘Dingham Hillbillies and Capt Wylie’s Old Mates.
The front half of the usual room was the setting for tonight's musical extravaganza which featured seven acts and eight performers. It was good to see the return of John Loudon Daure after his recent bout of illness that had prevented him from coming to the last few sessions. For those that could not make it, I can report that John is looking as well as he normally does (so no good news for him there)You will have noticed that whilst JD has been absent, so has the other half of the 'dingham Hillbillies and JD's good mate, John Nixon. I am reliably informed that when JD was taken ill on the Mediterranean coast, JN was granted compassionate leave by his employers to fly out to Spain to carry out a bedside vigil only to return six weeks later when he found that JD actually had had his operation in England. Nice tan John!
Starting the music as usual was Brian Wylie with Joanna by Jon Allen followed in the first half by Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying, the Gerry and The Pacemakers song. This was well sung as usual although as Brian pointed out the distraction of someone putting coal onto the fire did bring back memories of the dominoes players at Addingham Social Club!
In the second half Brian played John Condon (song about the youngest soldier to die in WW1) and Orkney's entry in the Eurovision song contest (If You Took Your Love Away by Ivan Drever) - good song but it needs more boob-banga-bang if it to stand any chance of winning!John Nixon (performing in the first half only as he had to take his recently invalided buddy home early) sang Tom Petty’s Free Falling, declaring that it was the first time he had ever performed with a capo – it also happened to be the first time I had seen anyone perform an entire song with a capo on without realising it until the song was over! A real challenge in the form of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars was JN’s next and final offering. You can’t say we don’t get variety at SAS. Well done John .
I at first thought that John Loudon Duare III retained his gall bladder after the operation, dried it out, affixed it to an old fashioned bed warmer and put 6 strings on, but it turned out to be a “banjitar”, a cross between a banjo and (you guessed it) a guitar. Something of a first for SAS I think, and also it transpires a first for Loudon Daure as said instrument had only just been purchased and this was its first outing. We were treated to two John Wainwright III songs. Nice Guys which is about female masochism (but then you probably guessed that!) and Road Ode which is about a pop star’s life on the road. All pretty good stuff from JDIII and the banjitar sounded great.
Pat & Stuart were welcome new performers at SAS. I could not work out one which was which but as I understand it Brian W used to be in a band with one of them (so that will give you an idea of their musical prowess – and take than any way you want!) and the other made the guitars that they played. They turned out to be very accomplished performers and treated us to a variety of beautifully delivered songs with good harmonies and excellent humour.
Billy Joel’s Piano Man was their first offering followed by Rose of Allandale. In the second half they gave us the Lindisfarne song Mister Dreamseller and then a song that had the audience in stitches called Black Holes in Baildon. This was a self-penned number written quite a few of years ago but equally topical today. It refers to many different parts of Bradford and some of the prominent people therein and suffice to say that it will never be used as a promotional theme tune for the Bradford & District Tourist Board!
Such was their popularity that Pat & Stuart was asked back to do an encore at the end of the night comprising the Vince Clarke (Yazoo) song Only You and finishing with Only Living Boy in New York. Really great entertainment – please come back soon.
Following our new faces duo comes one half of an old faces duo – Chris Thompson. Chris started with a song “what he wrote” called Retirement Song and it really was a very good song full of biting social comment. This was followed by Boo Hewerdine’s brilliant song Patience of Angels. To start the second half we had what may well be another SAS first - someone playing a song by a muppet (I know – we have had plenty of muppets playing…..!). Bein’Green was written by Joe Raposo and originally sung by Kermit the Frog. I would like to say the Chris croaked his way through this, but that would be unfair as it was a pretty good performance. Chris finished with the Joy Division song Love Will Tear Us Apart Again.
Blogger up next with new guitar (Collings OM2H for those that are interested in that sort of thing). There were some mutterings of disapproval that my Martin was no longer my Martin. Good luck to its new owner whoever it may be, but I am absolutely delighted with my new acquisition. As it was BAFTA night the first song was Adele’s Someone Like You, followed by three instrumental pieces by the one and only Michael Chapman (where was everyone when he played at Brudenell Social Club in Headingley on 9th Feb?). In the second half it was down to DADGAD tuning for Rabbit Hills and Shuffleboat River Farewell (it will not come as a shock that they are both Michael Chapman songs!)
The final performer of both halves this evening, encores excluded, was Pam Johnson (where was Jukebox Porter – that is normally his slot!). Pam always sings songs by people I have heard of but never really listened to (note to self – must listen to these people ‘cos they are really good songs). Am I Too Blue by Lucinda Williams and Wild Mountain Side by Eddie Reader (both performed with aplomb by Pam) are two good examples of what I am missing out on.
There is John Loudon Daure III, there is Graeme M Chapman and now I think we need to add to the list of SAS tribute acts - Pam Gauthier. Mary Gauthier is obviously one of Pam’s favourite (if not the very favourite) artists and we always seem to get at least one of her songs every week. This time it was Drop in a Bucket. Finally we had the second Boo Hewerdine song of the evening Follow My Tears. Great stuff.So that was it – a thoroughly enjoyable evening (again). Next session is on Tuesday 6th March when unfortunately for me (perhaps not for you!) I will not be able to be there as I have to go back to Portugal (tough life, eh?!). See you all on 20th March.