Advisory note: Any spelling mistakes,grammatical and factual errors and intentional or unintentional slander are to be ignored..
After the previous well attended gathering of 2 weeks previous tonight looked like it was going to be a much more low key affair so I volunteered myself for blogging duties hoping for an easy nights scribbling. A few late arrivals dampened my blogging enthusiasm and my failing eyesight and ears meant a challenging evening and several days of trying to piece together a reasonable account of the nights events.
Sporting a rather hippiesque multicoloured necklace Mr Brian Wylie kicked us off with Joanna by Jon Allen and Since you went away by Kris Delmhorst. If I remember rightly I think Brian said this song is from an American TV program called “Banshee” and that there was some sexist element in it's choice by the producer as for some reason he stipulated he would only use a song written and performed by a man for the programs titles? You would not get away with that in today's world! (I might have got my facts muddled?) Brian's guitar playing and especially singing have really come on in the months that I have been on a Swan acoustic sabbatical. His prowess on mandolin, tin whistle and bodhran are not given enough of a showcase in my humble opinion. Mrs Wylie should also demonstrate her mandolin and vocal talents.
Next like some biblical prophet we welcomed Andy for the first time to SAS and I made my mind up before a note was sung or played that I'd like to see and hear him again. A purveyor of dry self effacing humour Andy's short preambles before songs were enough entertainment on their own. Van the man's And it stoned me and a song title I unfortunately could not decipher by I am Kloot were his opening offering. All done in a kind of quirky unique style.
Next Chris Thompson doing a song by Richard Thompson called Persuasion and Love will tear us apart by Joy Division although this interpretation was based on a folk version by The Oyster Band. Anyone know where the name Joy division originates?...........no not the Magdalene nuns for sure (see part 2)........look it up on Dogpile......Google is taking over the world! Chris plays some very tricky chords and you can see him visibly and hear him audibly hit his stride mid song as he warms up.
Rob and Caroline are a team clearly on the same wavelength. They rolled out Train Song by Todd Snider and then Dan Seals All that glitters is not gold ? That seemed to be the title as it was the hook but as I am now mutton jeff and was too shy to ask for the umpteenth time “what's the title of that one?” I can only guess. Rob plays very understated guitar and with immaculate timing. His and Caroline's voices blend really well.
My turn Chris Patrick. (I must admit that CP is actually dead now.(no tears need be shed) I have another performing name but for SAS I'll stick with CP) I played Painting faint memories and Till the cows come home....Mooooooo!
Jon Nixon was obviously out to impress this evening. I had already noticed his usual smile seemed a bit wider as he strode in.........why?.........ah............6 strings are no longer enough. As he pulled out his newly purchased 12 string beast of a guitar his pride was clearly bursting at the seams. Are 12 string guitars bigger than a 6?.Maybe his mind was elsewhere or he had just seen something I hadn't but that guitar was further away from his body than usual? Wish you were here by Pink Floyd ( not for John Daure) and then the Stones Wild Horses resonated as no song has done before at SAS
I don't know how many strings a harp might have but sadly for John It's certainly more than 12 so as Frances went under the spotlight with her electric Harp (Judas was not shouted out) Mr Nixon’s thunder was truly stolen.
Just around the river bend by Allen Rankin (from Pocahontas) then Fig for a kiss an Irish jig brought the kind of atmosphere to The Swan that only a harp can. To me it's a very melancholic sound that really does harp back to the past (terrible pun) like very few other instruments do. Very nicely played.
Graham with tablet/ I pad/ Kindle/ Whatever? safely perched on the new SAS music stand (apparently bought with the help of donations from participants) quickly found the appropriate page and began playing Jonny Cash's Folsom prison blues. The light from his Tablet/ I pad/ Kindle/ whatever? Illuminated him like a mini Super Trouper (God I love Abba). I also love the line from Folsom prison blues “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” The Master as Graham likes to refer to him as (Michael Chapman) wrote Full bottle empty heart which was as usual performed expertly.
BW recommenced the music with The Magdalene Laundry by Joni Mitchell a tale that casts yet another dark cloud on the Catholic faith of which I belong but I swear to Jesus Mary and Joseph I have nothing to do with good or bad nuns or laundry that is clean or dirty unless it's my own. He finished his musical contribution with a happier Irish theme The Continental ceili by Christy Moore.
The Prophet Andy returned with Don't you want me baby? by the Human league and Hello Louise which I think he also said was by the 80's Sheffield New romantics. Thanks for trying us out Andy.
Chris Thompson back with a couple of his own compositions She never knew him and Sweet nothings. I notice a difference when someone performs original material and I am sure I demonstrate the same trait when performing my own stuff .I could not tell you what it is but there is something. No difference between the Chris of part one and part two both were excellent.
Rob and Caroline on song with a Buddy Miller tune I Can't get over you and then the more up tempo and humorous Tennessee Plates by John Hiatt which of course refers to the plates on a car rather than the dinner table. I am starting to get into this Tex/Mex country stuff thanks to these two performers.
Blogger back with yet another new love song (yawn,yawn) If you were to go ? And then inspired by Rob and Caroline's Tennessee plates I delved into my not so distant back catalogue to give a first performance at SAS of Are you the victim of a hold up? “Astride a horse with such aplomb and she can shoot with dead precision”.
Frances returned with harp having frightened Jon Nixon into an early exit with all those extra strings.
Maid at the spinning wheel was followed by Merrily Kissed the quaker's wife. This was far too brief a plucking as both songs were extremely short but really well played. I did not detect any nerves in Frances's playing although surprisingly they and the need for intense concentration were the reason the songs were not spun out a bit more (another bad pun). No need to be nervous me thinks. I will not elaborate on split trousers and busking revenues up or down as this is a family web site.
Graham concluded things with Northbound 35 By Jeffrey Foucault. I did ask for clarification on the spelling but it was not the Christian name spelling I was concerned about Graham. I pad /tablet/ kindle/ whatever? was banished for Mississippi Blues No 2 which I am guessing is a traditional anonymous offering. Graham tends to mesmerise us all when finger picking as his prowess around the fretboard just seems to be better each week. Must practice an awful lot? be naturally gifted? or a bit of both? Michael Chapman beware!
Finally a mention for the new black Gouda cheese like music stand .You look fantastic!
There we have it. Thank God it's over. As usual the evening was great but documenting it was incredibly hard for my brain cells. It's done now and the pleasure of the night itself makes everything worthwhile. Thanks to one and all.