Well it seemed like an age since we were
turning into the carpark of the swan, Jan being a five week month and all that.
Nigel’s smiling face was the first thing we saw as he was ensconced in front of
the fire looking very well after his voluntary leave of absence from ale for
the month of Jan. The rest of our merry band then trouped in in their usual
fashion in ones and two’s. We had a new face and an old friend popped back so
in all we had 9 musicians which was a
great start.

Blogger and Mike kicked us off with some
hastily prepared tunes feauturing Banjo, whistle and bouzouki. “The concertina
reel “set followed on with “The Starting
Gate”. Thanks mike a short practice but it worked. In the second Spot the
Blogger hammered an old goatskin with a stick whilst warbling “The Blarney
Roses” before doing the “Famine Song” which I must remember to change the key

The Gibson Brothers marked their return to
Addingham by wrecking the music stand and scattering their music or as Larry
commented “We spoilt the mood” They did however give us two cracking songs in
their diverse or is that perverse style Ha! Leonard Cohen’s “In my Secret Life”
was followed by a very unusual Chris De Burgh song written in 1994 to
commemorate the anniversary of the D day landings “Up here in Heaven” basically
reminding us that there are no enemies once we die, we are all the same to our
God. In the Second spot Larry and Adrian
gave us a John Fogerty number “who will stop the rain” and rounded off their
spot with a Willie Nelson number “ Time of thePreacher”

Frances White was next up and has rapidly
become a regular and another Addingham first we had two different harps Frances
plays the lap Heart and regulars of this blog will be aware Andee plays the
large harp, however Frances was up first with the Theme from “The Pirates of
the Caribbean” and a lovely tune “The boys of Ballisodare” (settlement of the
oak by the waterfall) a place I have spent many a happy time at a pub called
The Thatch. Great stuff Frances. In the second spot Frances gave us a version
of “The Little Mermaid theme” and an old Irish session tune “The Blarney

Our new face was up next in the form of
Stuart Marson who proceeded to announce he hoped he was welcome as he was
originally from Lancas…… I can hardly bring myself to write it, but its that
place our mothers told us never to go to………. Lancashire!!!!! And then bugger me
I thought I was in the middle of Spartacus as one by one these closet
Lancastrians all showed their fealty for one and other. Stuart however now
resides in North Wales so this little insurrection was quickly brought to heel
as Stuart commenced his spot with self penned songs. Unfortunately to rub salt
in my raw Yorkshire wounds he started with “Over the Lancashire Hills” a
tribute song about a Blackburn singer Cathleen Ferrier a famous contralto from
Blackburn who even has her own Society named after her. This was followed by a
song about a man I had never even heard
off Walter Tull. Not only was he the English leagues second Black player playing
for The spurs, but also the first
coloured Captain in the First world war where he died on the front in France and his
body never found, but not before winning the Military Cross. Sadly this was
never awarded as due to his colour Albert was abused for his colour both in his
football career and although rising in the ranks at a time when this was
unheard of for a coloured person he was refused his M.C Stuarts song “Brave
Walter Tull” captured the pathos of this man who in spite of all his adversity
died a hero, and I for one am grateful for being made aware of this brave man.
In the second spot Stuart entertained us
with a song about Highway men who scoued the roads of Northhamptonshire robbing
Rich and poor to keep their familys
alive”Close to the Wind”tells this story. He rounded up his rare excursion to
Yorkshire with another self penned song “all my Life” Excellent stuff Stuart
and you are welcome anytime you are in these parts. We will have passport
control clear you for entry.

My comrade from earlier Mike Craig was up
next with a Steve Earle song done as only Mike can with aplomb “The Mountain”
this was followed by a new song from a duo called “Civil Wars” previously
unheard off by the blogger but rapidly learned as I was to accompany him on
this lovely song. Thanks Mike for introducing me to them. However I will have
to take into account the fact that you are a Lancastrian in any further

Not a Lancastrian but American Andee was up
next in our cosmopolitan mix with harp*2 we were given a lovely version of a
scotish song “Black is the colour” which being played on the harp gave it an
ethereal sound not usually heard on versions by Hamish Imlach or Christy Moore.
Andees went straight into “Nelly I’m afraid I’ll not gain your favour’ and
rounded off her set with a lovely rendition of “She moved through the fair’ and
“Cooleys Hornpipe’. Welcome back and a lovely set. (counseling is available for
those married to lancastrians please seek advice from L.A. there is no need to
be afraid now we are all aware) Andee skipped over Mike who having been out for
a while was reluctant to reume. We however were treated to “Down by the Sally
Gardens”, “Kittys Wedding” and finally “Amhran Na Leabhar” The song off the
books Perfect!

A welcome return to Brian Rhodes an
excellent musician conspicuous by his absence lately but bursting into song
with ahis version of an old Donovan number “Gold watch Blues” and a Loudon
Wainwright III number “Deleware” and as Brian quickly pointed out a man who was glad he wasn’t Irish! (I will
let you work it out) Brians second spot consisted of Lindisfarnes “Meet me on
the Corner” and wrapped up neatly into a singalong with “Fiddlers Green” Great
stuff Brian don’t stay away too long next time.

Graeme was our next singer and as he was up
early for a long day we unfortunately only had the one spot from him but two
great numbers kicking of with Steve Earle’s “Fordsworth Blues” and a welcome
return to Michael Chapman as Graeme or is it Michael gave us “One Time Thing”
Graeme leaving early was another first for Addingham and I hope it doesn’t
become a habit..

That’s all folks, see you in a fortnight

Posted on February 7, 2013 .