Well the draw of The Swan and our acoustic session proved to much after our holiday in Italy, not even the fact that Bradford City were playing their first home game of the season could sway our intent to get to The Swan. We had already been made aware of some absences Nixy was practicing his bedside manner and JD was renting half a Chateau in Nice or somewhere foreign, Pam and Dermot were holidaying somewhere and Rob was rehearsing . So a quiet night was anticipated. In the end six of us turned up for what ended up being a very cosy night. Sitting round the table was Mike Craig, Kath Wylie, Andee Craig, James Porter, Graeme Morrell, the blogger and of course our master of ceremonies Mr David Brimacombe. The Blogger was in his usual lets get the show on the road and started with a James Taylor number “Sweet Baby James” and followed this up with a Labi Sifre number “Crying, Laughing, Loving” that he was still learning on the night having heard it on his way to work in the morning. In the second half there was a bit of culture especially for Andee in the form of a Stanley Holloway monologue of “The Battle of Hastings” with the remarkable refrain of “on is orse, wi is awk on is and” which had Andee questioning the vernacular of an Irishman doing a Lancastrian accent about a battle down south. See culture! The spot was rounded up with Harry O’Donoghues “The Flower Seller” a song about unrequited love and absence, now that would be a good debate.
Mike was next up complete with full range of plectrums, capos and god knows what else but “Pancho and Lefty” a la Mike with a nod to Mr Van Sandt and staying in the country frame was immediately followed by Steve Earles “The Mountain” it was noted that Mike was getting quicker at tuning up and down a bit faster however, trying to play with a part capo on the wrong strings is definitely not cool. In the second spot Mike entertained us with a great version with more than a nod to Paul Brady “The Lakes of Ponchetrain” and even more country with The Flying Burrito brothers “My Uncle” and after a bit of debate it was decided that this was a definite wrong title for a song as “My Uncle” only appears once in the whole song. A great performance non the less.
Moving round the table we came to Graeme, resplendent with his Collings guitar and not wanting to be out done by Mike had brought 3 plectrums to which the selective audience had to vote which one was best ( I think it formed some sort of consumer research on behalf of plectrum makers, the results no doubt will be in next months which) Graeme kicked off with Neil Youngs “Long May you Run” and lolloped nicely into “Fields of Gold” by Sting no less (two songs in and no M.C?) An excellent rendition of Nick Lowe’s “ A sensitive man” (a first hearing for the blogger) was neatly rounded off with Eric Clapton’s “Lonely Stranger” and by the way “Rounded” was a good choice of word because having carefully selecting the plectrum of choice from above it “Rounded” broke in half! Ah well back to the drawing board Graeme. Great stuff though and still no M.C.
James (The HumanJukebox)Porter was next having attended a funeral of an Uncle that afternoon he thought he would carry on the sombre mood with a visit to The Swan. (Hee Hee) James usualy only manages one half of our night due to work commitments, he says he is a printer but this infrequent visitation coupled with new moon is making me a tad suspicious that there may be something he isn’t telling us! Anyway a bit of his Bobship was Jame’s first offering with Dylans “Carina Carina” this seamlessly led to a Carole King number “Way over Yonder” which had Kath straining to see the chords he used. This being a particulat favourite of hers. In the second set James pulled another rabbit out of the hat with Fleetwood Mac’s “Man of the World”before getting in the groove with a Bee Gees number "Words" excellent stuff as always James, he then passed on the “torch” Olympic style to Andee (more about the torch in a bit) Andee who has 32 strings to tune up on her harp had a problem with seeing the strings on her harp now that we were ensconced in the corner. So Mike offered up his HTC phone which….. wait for it……….doubles as a torch, so now the blogger is multi tasking. Making mental notes of what is going on and being the lighting director for Andee. Her first offering was “Pigeon on the gate” a nice reel followed by”The Humours of Tullagh” Having now blinded James with this torch and resiting said bright light(I never said I was a good lighting director) Andee then proceeded with a tune that I used to do with a South Yorkshire band called”The Cliffs of Moher” the tune that is not the band. Andee and Mike had just returned from their annual trip to “The Bog” in County Clare and the Cliffs of Moher is one of the land marks in that vicinity(Famous for its donkey riding dog that smokes a pipe). Andee rounded off her set with two cracking Polkas the” 69th street polka” a street populated by the irish in Philadelphia, which led beautifully into a favourite of mine”Egans Polka” A very enjoyable set Andee in spite of the poor lighting and the lighting directors attempts to rectify it.
Kath, having been omitted in the initial count(Thanks James, I wont live that one down) was passed a guitar from Mike, having deftly retuned it, and from the far distant reaches of her memory gave us a linda Ronsdat song “For a Long Long Time” which I haven’t heard her do in over a year, so Excellent stuff. Unfortunately Kath declined our request for another and so off we went round for one final spin. We had Bloggers “This London” written by Peter Lane Mikes “Beeswing “ a la Christ Moore Graemes nod to Michael Chapman “The Mallard” James’ Gallagher and Lyle”Stay Young” and all neatly rounded off with a singalong with Graeme in Buddy Holiday mode. All in all a very pleasant evening and only one flattened phone battery and one broken plectrum which I am sure we can all live with until next time 04/09/12 “THAT’S ALL FOLKS” BCW