So a small but merry band of minstrels gathered round on a dark and cold January night by a roaring fire and with pints in their hands. Some familiar faces, one new face, we kicked off with Mr "John Cleese" Wylie doing "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" which as all you Monty Python fans now was sung in the closing scene of Life of Brian ("He's not the messiah!"- yep, that's the fellow). This was followed by "Bad Moon Rising" a la Father Jack Hackett after too many whiskeys, a very entertaining rendition inspired by Brian's former neighbour Anthony. (More of this song later...)
Leon Sienkiewicz, by contrast, followed with two soulful, reflective Bob Dylan numbers (you see, he loves Mr Dylan really despite the satire!!) - Glory to the Day and Only a Pawn in this Game, both sung with great emotion.
Our resident composer extraordinaire Chris Patrick sang two self penned numbers: "If You Were To Go" (the title of which I eventually wrote down correctly after some slight grammatical confusion) and "Our Journey's Just Begun"- I don't think I have seen so many chord changes in one song, I lost count at 30 and that was about halfway through!!
Blogger (ably supported by Pete and entourage! ;)) followed with two Irish songs "Off to California" and "Rights of Man" (title of which was guessed by Kath, full marks!) then "Just around the Riverbend" from Pocahontas. It is not often I am happy with my own performance but it went well! :D
A new face to the Swan, Joe Ellis gave us a Leonard Cohen number ("to balance out the happy songs") 'One of us must be Wrong' followed by a self-penend song 'Something Isn't Right'. Great voice and songwriting skill! We were to hear more of Joe in the second half.
Jesse White (he's three years younger then the blogger in case you're counting) played "Under My Thumb" followed by -oh yes- 'Bad Moon Rising'!! Jesse having turned up a little way into the first half had no idea that Brian had already shout- *cough* sung that song and so was greeted by a barrage of laughter from the audience which was most definitley at the situation not a comment on Jesse's excellent playing!! Ever the professional he didn't bat an eyelid at all!
After a short dash to the bar we all settled down for the second half Which Brian staretd off with "Hey Baby" with some of us loudly joining in with the "oohs" and "aahs" at the appropriate moments (sometimes you just have to!) and "Knocking on Haven's Door" which was most definitely COVERED by Guns and Roses but WRITTEN by Bob Dylan. I don't know many things about music pre 1992 but I do know that one :)
Leon followed with "Candle in the Wind" an absolutely stunning song sung excellently which was written by Elton John originally about the death of Marilyn Monroe but re-released in 1996 after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales staying at Number 1 for seven weeks and raising millions for charity in the process. Leon then switched to "satire mode" and delivered a rewritten rendition of "a song I heard on radio 4 but can't remember the name of"- he had rewritten the lyrics to be about poeple that move to Ilkley from the big cities and consider themselves country folk! Cutting, sharp and brilliantly done (even if you did take the mickey out of my beloved Booths!!)
Chris returned with two more self-penned numbers "Pull Yourself Up" and "We've Got a Lot of Catching Up to Do" - I am always envious of this man's voice and music and he properly belted them out!!
I played "Under the Sea" and "Cruiskeen Lawn" (nothing like a good old drinking song). Joe Ellis followed with Bob Dylan's "You've Been on My Mind". Great stuff- please come again Joe!
Jesse played Kurt Vile's "Waking on a Pretty Day" which reminded me a little bit of the Kinks meets Mark Knopfler- very nice. James Porter a latecomer to the evening then gave us (afterchecking out the 'self-tuning' Swan pub Guitar) Iris DeMent's "You've Done Nothing Wrong" (a classic always done well by James) and Ewan McCall's "My Old Man".
Leon rounded off the night with a Jesse Wainwright song, Yankee Lady.
Thanks to those of you that came and those that didn't you missed a good'un! See you in February!