A pre-emptive strike

It all started about 2 weeks ago when we decided to walk from home in Ilkley to Addingham and back (for those that have not done this circular walk it is highly recommended). The half way point is, quite logically, Addingham. As food is served at the Swan on Sunday's we made this our watering hole.

During the excellent lunch (great food and good prices), Mrs M and I talked about the upcoming visit of her sister and husband (Tony). The girls had tickets to see Riverdance so the topic was what Tony and I would do with this brief moment of freedom. It was then that by chance I picked up one of the beer mat like adverts that the Swan leave on the table listing upcoming events at the pub. Staring out at me was Saturday 18th October - FRIGGA. "Never heard of them" I thought to myself but we could perhaps give it a go.

Roll forward to the last SAS session (as always, a very enjoyable event). Towards the end of the evening MC Dave announced that coming to the Swan was the band of our multi talented organiser / website manager and all round good egg (not a reference to his head!) Brian W. The name of the band - yes, you guessed it - FRIGGA. Decision made - the Swan on 18th October it was.

Soon the waiting was over, the excitement reached fever pitch and we walked through the door of the Swan (slightly more in control than when we went back out of it!). Pints of Mary Jane in hand we grabbed the table kindly vacated by said band. Barely had bums managed to park on seats when came the immortal words from Brian, "you are doing the blog on Tuesday", staring me straight in the eyes with a look that says "don't even think about saying no!" (those that have been press ganged into doing the blog will know exactly what I mean).

We all had a fantastic evening with a good atmosphere, good beer, good music and good company, topped off by a young lady thinking that I must have been Tony's son (I have of course been calling him Dad ever since!)

So that explains the circumstances of me doing tonight's blog. One advantage of having a few day's warning is that you can get started early, in fact everything up to now was written before the evening started, but from now on it is "live" - here goes:

Brian & Mike

Brian & Mike

Fairly quiet here at 8.40pm but nevertheless Craig & Wylie kicked us off with a couple of jigs - Blackthorn Stick & Kesh. I must tell you during their warm up a wit in the audience asked "Can't you play it any faster?" to which Mike quickly replied that somewhere in the middle of the tune Brian usually does! The jigs were followed up with Lover's Waltz (A A Bondi) - a very nice version with Brian adding a lovely mandolin accompaniment. A few more people in the pub now.



Leon took over with a couple of songs by the American songwriter Jesse Winchester, the first which was Dangerous Fun, followed by Glory to the Day. All I know about Jesse, from a brief glance at Google, is that he moved to Canada to avoid the draft during the Vietnam war (as did many). Nice songs - I will have to listen to more - perhaps Leon will educate at future SAS evenings.

John and Ian

John and Ian

A couple of fiddlers up next in the form of Ian & John. I don't recall hearing a violin duet at SAS before? First tune was Tanhair Donlamb Kesh (not a good night to be doing the blog!) followed by King of the Fairies. A most enjoyable offering.

Blogger's turn now - Eagles' Tequila Sunrise followed by Mike Absalom's Ecclesiastical Cheesecake Walk. As I am blogging they were most definitely the highlight of the evening!

Sue and Graeme

Sue and Graeme

Sue was summoned forward from the back of the room to sing a couple of songs accompanied on guitar by yours truly. Eva Cassidy's Songbird and Sting's Fields of Gold were beautifully delivered vocally and well received by the assembled masses. I did my best to keep up - always tricky when you have never practiced.



James The Jukebox Porter sang Hank William's I can't help it I'mStill in Love With You and a traditional song called Tramps and Hawkers which I initially misheard as being byFrank Sinatra! All good stuff from James as usual.

Jeremy & Brian

Jeremy & Brian

A welcome return of the duo Jester B with The Southbound Train Going Down (Graham Nash) and then The Boss's I'm On Fire - both great to listen with excellent harmonies.


A surprise return to SAS after a long absence in the form of Nigel Smith who was coaxed into performing a rendition of Jolene on the pub guitar. The loudest voice at SAS? Hurt by Johnny Cash was the second offering that the baying crowds persuaded Nigel to perform.

Interval and chance to replenish glasses.

Same order in the second half which was all good, so briefly:

Craig & Wylie - I Can See The Pines Dancing by A A Bondi followed by Jackie Colemans Reel & Star of Munster

Leon - Bob Dylan - I Shall Be Released and Don't It May My Brown Eyes Blue by Richard Leigh

Ian & John - Si Bheag Si Mhor and Dennis Murphy's and John Ryan's polkas and Kerry Polka (fortunately Brian typed those names in for me! I even got a translation and meaning of the first title!)

Jester B - Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles) & Flowers Never Bend In the Rainfall (Paul Simon)

A latecomer (and a newcomer as far as I am aware) in the form of Paul stepped forward to play a Bob Dylan song that he never actually recorded himself (Bob that is, not Paul) - Wagon Wheel. Now one of the things about coming late is that you have no idea what went on before. Paul's next offering was Jolene by Ray La Montagne. This was a very different version to that performed by Nigel earlier on in the evening but equally enjoyable.

Blogger - John Hyatt's Till I Get My Loving Back and Michael Chapman's One Time Thing (there had to be an MC song isn't there somewhere.

Blogger stayed in position to accompany Sue again on Meet On The Ledge (can't remember if that is Sandy Denny or Richard Thompson) and Summer Time.

The Jukebox finished off the evening with Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Carole King) and Everybody's Talking (Harry Nielsen).

Well it turns out the Jukebox didn't finish the evening after all as Paul who missed the first half (and it was not too late in the evening) came back to do another turn - Richard Schindel - Are You Happy Now? (The name of the song not a question for readers), Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny C and Have A Nice Day by the Stereophonics.

A really good evening with some fantastic entertainment. Be there next time on 4th November. My fingers hurt now from typing all this garbage, so I will get this posted using the pub wi-fi so it gets to Brian before he gets home.

Graeme M

Posted on October 21, 2014 .