Well to quote one of our musicians tonight “it was an eclectic night’ having had a few quiet nights and actually feeling a bit despondent about the dwindling numbers over the past few sessions, it was heartening to see some fairly newfaces, some old faces and even some from ages ago.
We left it informal and basically sat up to the open fire and around the tables. Brian was up first as is tradition, and setting the bar low. Looking round the room there was a collection of instruments, Ukelele, Bodhran, Whistle, numerous guitars, a harp, an accordian and voices aplenty. “Blarney Roses” was Brian’s song with a bodhran back beat and then a tune pinched from Achill Island whistle player Des Cafferkey, Des pinched it from an African band and we renamed it “Westport Races” in the second set it was time for an often overlooked instrument in Brian’s instrument array, as a ukulele was pulled from its case. “Brown Eyed Girl” a popular Van Morrison song was followed by a Waterboy song “Fishermans Blues”
Next up was another uncommon instrument on our night played by a not unfamiliar Julian, with his recently refurbished Accordian we had a self accompanied song by Cyril Tawney “Grey Funnel Line” were followed bya mix of old and new as “Mozarts Waltz in G” made famous by Michael Turner before rounding of with a second tune composed by John McCusker after leaving a Canadian harbor “Leaving Friday Harbour” was seamlessly played. I believe that julians spot in the second half started off with a Carolan tune turned into a sailor song “Patrick St” a street to be wary off in Dublin if you want to hang onto your money or even your trousers! Excellent stuff as always Julian!
Next up was a relatively new face who has become a regular attender of late, Peter Lloyd who usually turns up with a classic guitar, brought along a recent acquisition in the shape of a lovely little tanglewood steel strung. A classy track up first with Cat Steven’s “Wild World” and then into a fantastic acoustic version of a glam rock classic Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize” what a version! With no Rob or Caroline we still had one of their songs as Peter gave a rendition of a Ryan Adam’s number “Sweet Carolina” before rounding of his spots with a Neil Young Number “Old Man” Excellent stuff Peter and the new guitar sounds great.
A welcome return for another little played instrument and its exponent in the shape of Frances White and her lovely harp. Frances had a recent lay off through illness from playing but that fact was not apparent tonight, as in truth her playing is coming on great and becoming even more polished. Frances’s first tunes werefrom Turlough O’Carolans anthology “Carolans Welcome” and “Carolans Concerto” were played with aplomb. In the second half which we seldom see Frances play in due to her having to travel home, we had “Come West Along The Road” and rounding off a excellent set with An Caislean An Oir” or “The Golden Castle” Excellent stuff Frances and Well done and really nice to see you again.
A mixed duo next in the sense that we had both then single performances from an old favourite but seldom seen duo as Dom and John(O’connor & Jenner) sat down to play and a welcome treat it was first up was “Dream be Dreams” by Jack Johnson. John then carried on this spot with a self penned number “Bitter and Cruel” Then it was Doms turn and a Coldplay number “In My Place” before back to John to round the first spot off with another self penned number”Look at Me” lovely stuff but these two were only part way through. Second spot led by John and “Dark End Of The Street by James Carr. Back as a duo and a classic irish song “Spancil Hill” before John finished the spot with a popular song “Sally Free and Easy” Great stuff boys and don’t leave it so long next time!
Our resident jukebox next as James Porter straps on his guitar and recants any number of songs but tonight Matthew it was”I Can’t Stop Loving You” a la Don Gibson. A KirstyMacoll B Side next as James sang and played” Young Peoples Hearts” In the second half we had a nod to Kirstys dad the famous Ewan Macoll the one time Jimmy Miller to give him his real name. There can be no doubting his prestige in the folk world and James song was no exception “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” written by Ewan for his soon to be wife Peggy Seeger. James then finished his spot with a topical song in light of the recent events “Paris by Clive Palmer Well Done James you never cease to amaze with your encyclopedia of songs and tunes.
Graeme Morrell was next, there is nothing new one can say about Graeme and excellent guitarist and singer and with or without his trusty ipad can rattle off a library of songs not unlike James, no Michael Chapman to open tonight but a Billy J Kramer song “Bad To Me” and then a modified version of an Eagles Classic “Peaceful Easy Feeling” made even more special by the different timbre and tone and speed! A Crackin version Graeme. In the second half we eventually had to succumb to a bit ofMichael Chapman played as good as the man himself. Close your eyes and I defy you to tell whether it is the man himself! ”After All This time” led almost seamlessly intohis final offering “Shuffle Boat River Farewell” Excellent stuff Graeme. I think we should invite him and let him have a night off listening to you play his material!
Last but certainly not least was a man who was ensconced as a regular performer with his friend Chris in our fore runner “Addingham Acoustic” Having moved from the area for a while and now like a returning prodigal son Ian Taylor unpacked his guitar. We had an earlier message on social media to inform us it was the anniversary of the passing of a Lindisfarne Stalwart Alan Hull, but that was for later, first up was a song by The Rails form their seven track E.P and “Australia” Now then the main feature as well as 20 years since Alans death it was Rod Clements Birthday so what better tribute than “Meet Me on The Corner” In the second half Ian carried on with his promised theme and Alan Hull;s “United State of Mind” and what a perfect end to a brilliant night as Alan Hulls “Winter Song’ echoed around the room and we made our way home with ear worms from the material we had heard tonight. Well done everyone and thanks you for restoring my faith in the world of muso’s who never cease to amaze me
See you all next time? BCW