CANT SEE THE TREES FOR THE WOODS
Well it was a quiet carpark as we pulled into The Swan, mind you it was only twenty to eight when we arrived an unheard of early. I had already received two missing in action notifications from Mike Craig and Chris Thompson, and therefore was doubtful as to who would turn up. Should have known better as minutes after Kath and I arrived an old friend and muso in the shape of David Wood turned up. Dave is an old friend and as Kath reminded me was the only other person left standing alongside yours truly on my wedding night, we were the last ones to leave the bar complete with a last drink in hand.
One by one the others turned up and even James porter was early this time (due in part to a 4am start today) Larry ,Adrian, Frank (another Wood) Graeme, Gloria Made it to the starting gate and so in time honoured tradition and setting the bar as low as possible, the blogger took first spot. A Gerry and the pacemakers song “Don’t let the sun catch you crying” was the opening song and Adrian informed me as to the story behind it (He wrote it after a fall out with then girlfriend and sent it to her on a cassette and proposed, they married three months later) good job he was singing it then! This was followed by a Jon Allen song “Joanna” a favourite of mine, in the second spot I managed a self penned number “The Famine Song” and a first for me a finger picking song by Ivan Drever entitled “I will be there” a song I gave to Kath when we first got together and performed by the man himself to Kath on our last holiday in Orkney. (I would like to say my version was better but sadly that was not the case.
On with the show and David Wood (who is an excellent pianist /guitarist) and resplendent with his black Yamaha guitar performed two songs by two classic artistes but ones that I had never heard. A Brian May song was first recorded by Queen on their best selling album, the track was “Thirty Nine” performed with Gusto and I have to say not having heard David sing, with an excellent voice. His next number was by George Michael and again not a track I am familiar with “Something to Save” again excellently delivered and a pleasant contrast. David hosts an open \mic at the “Café Lux” on the last Saturday of the month in Pudsey so if you fancy a go head on down. Sadly David had to trvel home so we didn’t have the opportunity of a second spot, maybe next time.
The Treacherous Larry and his trusty sidekick Adrian were next, treacherous? Well they have always been called the Gibson brothers for obvious reasons. Tonight what does Larry turn up with?............ A Collings………… I blame Graeme for this influx of Collings models. Anyway we were treated to a brace of Tom Paxton songs from the newly named pairing which consisted of a musical intro before “Annie’s going to sing her song” except she didn’t but Larry and Adrian did. Before their second offering from Tom who as Larry sang in the intro to their previous song was 75 and still going strong. “Cindy” was next. This was a very nice change from the usual Tom Paxton numbers covered by Musos the Tom Paxton standards but in the second half no doubt chastened by the episode of the Collings, Larry who normally sings lead and Adrian does the harmonies reversed roles and Adrian sang the lead in Chris De Burghs “Snows of New York” Well done Adrian a blow for Gibson guitarists worldwide. They then finished their set off with “Help me make it through the night” Is this a cry for help from the abandoned Adrian and Gibson? Only time will tell. Well done Larry and Adrian.
Our other early bird next James Porter aka the human jukebox with a vast catalogue of tunes and songs a Michelle shocked number as first out of the terminus in the form of “Russian Roulette” before he announced he was doing a demented irish number at least that’s what I heard, James then patiently explained it was an Iris Dement number entitled “You’ve done nothing wrong” I’m glad we got that sorted as there’s no way that title would apply to us demented Irish! In the second spot James did one of my favourites and the first song I heard him do al those years ago, the Rolling Stones “The Spider and the Fly” before finishing off with a rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Man of the World” He was glad he came as he went home with an extra instrument in the shape of a mandolin (I want to se you playing that soon James)
Another Wood, and fast becoming a regular but sadly deserted by his fellow harpists Frances and Andee. Tonight Frank was flying solo with his lovely harp, and as we had some time was giving out information about the harp to our fellow musos. Franks first offering was a couple of Scottish tunes Farewell to Fiunary” and into a lovely tune that I sing a song to called “Mist covered Mountains” This was featured in the Film “Local Hero” the soundtrack by Mark Knopfler. Frank then went to a classical track Pacelbels “Canon in D” which sounded lovely on the harp. In his second part Frank a recently learned version of Willie Nelsons “Always on my mind” before rounding off with a tune from the famous Turlough O’Carolan “Si Bheag, Si Mor Little hill and Big Hill allegedly a story of a fight between two Faery Forts in……… you got it a little hill and a big hill. Well done Frank and I cant wait to see you turn up with the concert harp.
Gloria made a surprise visit tonight as the last of her flute pupils didn’t turn up and allowed her to scoot across to the Swan. Her opening number was a variation of Babylon an old English folk song that has gone through many interpretations this was Gloria’s “The Bank robbers Wife” set in Sheffield played as only Gloria can and watched avidly by David who also plays in altered tuning. A tune collected in Leeds by Frank Kitson (I presume its not the same Brigadier Kitson famed for his anti terrorist literature?) entiltled “Green Bushes” I love the sounds that altered tuning allow guitars to express so much more than standard tuning but seeing as I struggle with standard I will forgo the urge to try it. Gloria then entertained us with “The Night of the Night out” a peculiar song about a night out in Leeds and featuring taxi drivers etc, excellent stuff and as if Pacelbel wasn’t enough for our varied troop tonight Gloria entered the classic arena with a Purcell number, an operatic Aria no less “I Attempt from Loves sickness to Fly” a very nice ending to a great spot as always from Gloria.
Last and certainly not least by any means Graeme Morell an safe in the knowledge he didn’t have to do the blog relaxed into his evening. Graeme is a very accomplished guitarist in the vein of Michael Chapman John Hiatt etc and recently Reg Meuross whom both of us are hoping to se this Thursday at The Topic folk club Bradford (Irish club Rebecca Street) and as a result of this Graemes first number was a Reg song entitled “Sound of Hallelujahs” before a song from a reader of our blogs and will no doubt be happy to regather Graeme into his fold as Michael Chapmans “It aint So” preceded by an intro entitled “Uncle Jack” on a roll now Graeme was soon back into his Michael stride as he continued into “Scholarly Man” before rounding up with “Kodak Ghosts” allegedly this tune was disputed by Robert plant claiming more than a nod to their Stairway to heaven oh Joy. Suffice to say a very talented end to another night at S.A.S Lets look forward to the first one in June and don’t forget the Swan Beer Festival at the beginning of June. That’s all for now BCW
PS there was no Dave the MC this week and no notice so We hope all is well.
pps sorry due to above absence there was no pictures