Well after a busy day at work, I was contemplating a quiet night at The Swan session. Fortunately noboy else thought that and we had more artistes than we could shake a stick at. As the room filled up we had very little room to perform or put our cases. The blogger took a back seat tonight as Pete, Simon,Jane and Joel who are collectively known as Jiggery Polkery began the evening. They had an array of instruments e.g Harp,Clarinet, Fiddle, Guitar, Concertina, and Whistle. The first tune was called “Second Prize” and just to confuse you the second tune was called “The Prize” both I understand were composed by two members of the band. They then gave us a Swedish tune which I hope was called “Hargaalat” In the second set which was well into the night they entertained us with “The Parting” before Joel rounded their spot off with a solo rendition on guitar of Michelle Shocked’s “Must be loved” It was really nice to see and hear the blend of the various instruments and they wove a very melodic sound in The Swan. Excellent stuff and please come back soon.
Blogger up next and having brought four different instruments was a bit overwhelmed with the crowd that had descended on The Swan. “Girl I left Behind” by Bobby Watt a Scottish émigré from Canada got the set off to a start on guitar, this was followed by a duet on whistle with Mike Craig on Guitar, the “Teetotaller” The second set had a “Bodhran solo called De Dum de dum de dum de dum dum dum. And then instead of the Uke that had been brought it was decided that “The Irish Sick note” would get an airing.
The aforementioned Mike Craig was next up and sans Andee Mike had a short time to decide what tunes or songs to perform, A A Bondi’s “Lovers Waltz” this was followed by a traditional song “I Courted A Lassie” Sadly Mike had an early start and cut short his night in light of the fine line up yet to perform. Thanks Mike, quality as always.
Leon was up next and the blogger was surprised to see him there when he had arrived. Leon had said he would miss this one but a change in circumstances allowed him once again to perform for us. Leon has a very soft voice which lends itself to ballad like material and he did not disappoint tonight, Neil Young’s “Old Man” showed his range and style to a tee. This was followed by”Anna” a song by Arthur Alexander who wrote songs covered by The Beatles Roling Stones Tina Turner and Otis Redding to name a few. In the second half Leon entertained us with a comedic song by Eric Bogle “Do you know any Dylan?” this was a brilliant witty song unheard of by the blogger. To prove the point he rounded off his spot and the night with a Dylan number “Girl from the North Country “
An Old friend and face up next in the form of King Puck| Ian Pucknell was out of his self enforced exile and with his trusty guitar launched into an old favourite”Lady take your time” followed by the aptly named “Goodbye” by Steve Earle. Sadly that is all we had from Ian but it was well worth the wait. Thanks Ian until next time.
Frances White was next up and the second harpist to perform tonight. Frances tried to test the blogger by not naming her choice of tunes and leaving me to remember them………. Easy “Garryowen” was followed by “Blarney Pilgrim” (which truth to tell I momentarily forgot the name of) SShh! In the second spot Frances let rip with “Tobin’s Favorite” before solidly rounding off her spot with the theme tune from that popular TV series “The Irish RM” which had “Haste to the Wedding” as its theme . Excellent as always Frances.
Another prodigal son who had patiently waited his turn was next and as Chris Patrick prepared himself we sat back to enjoy an uptempo set from Chris.”You and me Wander” was his first offering and this was followed by “When the money kicks in” Chris’s material is always self penned and sang with emotion and gusto with a heck of a lot of chords to the envy of the blogger. His second set commenced with “When Someone Else Is Lonely” and followed by “Secret Waltz” Thanks for sticking around Chris and yet again showing me chords from up the dusty end of the neck. See you soon?
An old stalwart next in the shape of Graeme Morell, an eloquent guitarist Graeme did not disappoint as Rod Clements “September Surprise” and John Hiatt’s “I know how to love you” showing his versatility next with The Boss’s “The River” and of course no Graeme set would be complete without a nod to Mr Michael Chapman, but his time with a local flavor as “Postcard of Scarborough” rang out around the Swan. Thank you Graeme and by staying for the second half you dodged the blogger bullet.
A new face but becoming an infrequent guest in the form of Jess France’s sibling who with a borrowed guitar, pick and tuner entertained us with a Belle and Sebastian number “Piazza New York Catcher” Having sat out the remainder of the clan tonight he then launched into a rousing version of a Creedance classic “Bad Moon Rising” before lulling us with a song reminiscent of the sadly departed Lou Reed as his rendition of Kurt Weil’s Walking on a Pretty Day” The genes are there and you need to keep this up jess. Well done.
Another young man Joe Hill made a return visit tonight and we had a couple of Radiohead numbers. After a bit of a hiatus as nerves rattled Joe settled into a groove with “How to Disappear Completely” and “Fake Plastic Trees” Nice to se you back Joe and no need to be nervous around us.
Pat Hebbet was next up and yet again a new face with a different style “Catherine Kiss Me” I though he was coming onto my wife before realizing it was a song by Franz Ferdinand. Welcome to The Swan acoustic Session Pat and along with Jess and Joe it is nice to see and hear some new blood. Excellent.
Andy Brown, had patiently been sat for a couple of hours awaiting his turn and sitting comfortably gave us “After The Goldrush” so two Neil Young numbers tonight. A self penned number next “Long Hot Summer” an I am Kloot number “ Northern Skies” and a sinalong to finish with a flourish as “Fire and Rain echoed around the room. Well done Andy and thanks for your patience.
The night isn’t complete until James Porter our resident jukebox entertains us and so tonight James saw us into the night with Paul Simon’s “Take me To The Mardi Gras” before bringing us and the evening to a close with a Bee Gees number “To Love Somebody” It may have been late but the marathon session left me feling quite fulfilled and I felt I had had a pleasant evening in wonderful company and had been fully entertained, so until next month Keep on coming down to Swan Acoustic Session. BCW