Well as often said you never know what awaits you when you walk through the door of the Swan. Tonight was just going to be one of those after St Pats day wind down but fate had another idea for S.A.S. As we pulled into the car park a group of unknown people were already heading for the pub. As Kath and myself entered there they were all four strangers ensconsing themselves in the corner. Introductions were in order so it was hello to Nigel, Howard, Dave and Andy AKA Fox Corner a 4 piece band with Guitars including a lovely old twelve string, Fiddle,Mandolin, Mandola and Harmonica. As the rest of our merry troupe of players found their seats this band of troubadours were encouraged to set up and play. With subtle vocal harmonies and even subtler musical harmonies "Four Strong Winds" went wafting around the pub, written by Ian Tyson and recorded by him and his wife in the 60's as well as another canadian Neil young. This version was all Yorshire with a smattering of North-East but cracking all the same. This was followed by "Manchester Rambler" by Ewan Macoll and a perfect ending with "My Grandfathers Clock" by Henry Clay Work(1876) who also wrote "Marching Through Georgia and as the Fox Corner quartet returned to their seats we eagerly awaited their second set.
Blogger and mike up next with "Westport Races" and a brace of tunes that went down well with our passing audience last week in Bradford "Jackie Colemans" and "The Star of Munster"
A nice Welcome Back to Leon who as normal is usually first here these days. Leons first offering was a lovely scottish ballad nicked by Christ moore "Black is the Colour" and continuing the Irish theme rounded his first spot with "She \moved Through the Fair" It has to be said that Leon thinks his guitar is quiet but I personally think it is perfect for his voice, and a perfect blend of voice and instrument.
Andy Brown was next and Andy brings his own interpretation of songs both his own and some standards. A somewhat shy performer he never the less turns up and performs in his own inimitable style. An 80's classic as "Through the Barricades" by Spandau Ballet was followed by Andy's interpretation of Johnny Cash's "Hurt" Thank you Andy and more to come later.
Frances White complete with entourage was quickly set up with the help of her roadie, and was straight into the "Blarney Pilgrim" followed by "The Garryowen" although she may call it by a different name. Frances had just attended a harp workshop and was full of praise for the tutor and stillfired up with this she rounded her spot for the night with Two bracing tunes "Off to California" and "The Rites of Man" Sadly it was a short set this week from Frances, however she has promised to stay next time and do the blog. There you go you heard it here first so it must be true!
Graeme Morrell was next up this evening and returning to Michael Chapman mode(Hi Michael) he does read our blog you know! "The Prospector" from Michaels' Life on the Ceiling LP. Graemes second number was I'm sure he called it"Thats A long Title for a song with no words" Sadly Mike had to go at the end of the first spot but at least we had two from MC before he went. Well done Graeme and well performed as always.
A welcome return to Gloria tonight who had managed to finish early from flute tuition to introduce us to a lovely green guitar and an amazing box of tricks. "Mna Na H'eirrean " or Woman of Ireland was originally a poem by an Ulsterman Peadar O'Doirnin and set to music by the Master Sean O'Riada Famous for his concept recording The playboy of the Western World. This was followed by "A Stor Mo Chroi" done beautifully. A quick change to the flute and a nod to mike Craig and off they went guitar and flute with "House O Connaught" "Kerry Reel" and rounded off perfectly with "The Sligo Reel"
Mike then stayed on the floor to bring our first half to a close with" Crooked Jack" by Dominic Behan of the infamous Behan brothers and then accompanied by the blogger Mike sang a lovely version of "I courted a wee Girl" Well done as always Mike.
Second half commenced with a slightly smaller troupe. Fox Corner now in tight order dressing commenced our second spot with an old Irish rebel song done as a tune with a great arangement "Boolovogue" followed by "Cold and unfriendly Way" with lovely harmonising and saving the best to last a cracking song written by a Bradford lad Nicky Newsome "When I were a Lad" Excellent stuff lads ,tight as a drum and please come back soon.
Mike and Blogger next with "The Masons Apron" followed by "The Blackthorn stick" and rounding off with "The Kesh Jig"
Leon up next and keeping the St Pats theme moving forward sang a classic wherever Irish people get together "Danny Boy" and then a song I've only heard Leon do "Wild West End" by Dire Straits. Great stuff Leon.
Joe Ellis who had stated previously he was only listening tonight was encouraged up and gave us the lovely song "Peggy Gordon" and on borowed guitar finished his spot with Somethinhg Isn't Right. It was worth the wait Joe.
It Fell on Gloria to bring the night to a close in fitting style and an oft sung song of old "The Rocks Of Bawn" and finished the night for us all with "When First I went To Caledonia" and thus fully sated but tired we all wound our weary way home. Thanks to those who stayed to the end. It was a long but hopefully a grand night BCW