Like a teenager out on his first date I approached the familiar door of the Swan pub after almost a year away. The car park was jammed full so although I was not expecting to find a fair maiden inside with only eyes for me I did expect a few old familiar faces. Zip apart from a lone guitar resting on a chair quite close to the open fire. A chill wind swept across the stone floor and then a warm face appeared......it was David connoisseur of ales and Master of ceremonies.
“Brian’s not coming he's gone to watch Bradford City” My heart sank at the thought given the choice between Bradford City and The Swan pub in front of a warm fire who in their right mind would choose the former?....only someone not in their right mind!
Like a dripping tap filling a small washing up bowl first James Porter, Chris Thompson, John Tilton and later Gloria graced the evening with their presence.
Competition for the evening came from a gaggle of girls in a recess at the back of the room and also from Sky TV showing The Arsenal v Milan game.
Chris Thompson launched the musical side of the evening with a Boo Hewerdine song called Harvest Gypsy which I am guessing was about some illegal travellers making camp in a field at the worst time of the year for farmer Brown. The song got me wondering about all the vehicles in the car park.... surely not? Nothing ever happens by Del Amitri put me in great spirits ( I did sing along) “we'll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow”. I've noticed a trend with SAS blog’s of compressing each performers efforts in both halves into one paragraph. Not one to follow the crowd on this occasion I will. Chris was joined by Linda or Lindy Thompson (apologies) for Van Morrison’s Have I told you lately That I love you. Really nice guitar work Chris, Eric Clapton would have been proud, apt that Tears in heaven came next. I did not know Linda/Lindy that you were a singer. Love will tear us apart by Joy Division and Desperado by the Eagles somehow seemed to set the mood later for a confrontation over a .73 plectrum which was given to Chris but which I knew was mine. Don't mess with me!.....I got it back!
I came next. The last 3 occasions I'd tried to perform anywhere my mind had froze and gone blank one of a few reasons for my sabbatical from live performance. I played 2 new songs Another feather from our wings and When someone else is lonely the latter rivalling Del Amitri's lonely today and lonely tomorrow line in morose prose with “Lost in a cavernous isolation cast away in a storm all at sea so forlorn” “For Gods sake Chris lighten up!” I conclude my evenings contribution with No time for leaving you behind and Amanda Bell which I said reminds me of Whitby although it is clearly set in Liverpool......strange.
James Porter who henceforth I will refer to not as the human Jukebox but instead I shall move with the times and call him the human Ipod because no jukebox in the world could rival James for his song catalogue. Slip sliding away by Paul Simon and Words by The Bee Gees and then You are the sunshine of my life By Stevie Wonder and a song I'd heard that very teatime on radio 2 Take me to the Mardi Gras again by Paul Simon. I don’t think Art was with him at that time. He has become a bit of a forgotten man.
A new face to me John Tilton confidently did his thing with the song associated with The Beatles Till there was you cha cha cha. Then a Woody Guthrie tune Pastures of plenty. As John had to leave early he also entertained us with a medley on Banjo/ukulele Pasadena, Chinese laundry blues andLeaning on a lamppost with appropriate or inappropriate cheeky facial expressions depending on your stand point. I had to reprimand John for what I consider inappropriate use of SAS as a means to sell in this case a Guitar. Please leave that to Ebay or Gumtree or be more discrete.
I'd not seen Gloria in a long while so I was looking forward to some great guitar playing but I was intrigued by the guitar she had brought. Dummy it's not a Guitar it's an electric cello a black shiny beast a cross between a long bow and a pogo stick. After meticulous tuning not only did Gloria play the thing very well but also sang.....truly a first for me to witness. Bold William Taylor, then a song by Dave Goulder which I think was called Journeymen but I could be wrong. Old Golden Gate (Eng Trad). Then my 2 favourites I bid you goodnight and Babylon in my life both rousing songs. Gloria you must do both at Korks next Wednesday. I hope to be there. I do think the cello should be blessed as it has quite a demonic Hammer House of horror appearance and seeing your bottle of whatever fly off the table for no reason just after you finished makes me think dark forces are at work.
Still time at the end of the evening For Chris Thompson to perform Smoke Robinson’s Just my imagination and for the human Ipod ( I know it won't catch on) to perform Stay Young by Gallagher and Lyle.
Proud not of my own performances rather that I had volunteered to do the blog, I bid you Goodnight.
Chris Patrick .