We were a small but select group of troubadours who found their way through the November fog to the Swan this week – and we made the most of it – we got 3 goes each! I haven’t been able to get to Swan Acoustic for a while and was made very welcome and given the pen and paper to do the blog. Welcome back, Pam Johnson! So not only did I get to do the blog but I got to go first so I set myself up with a nice cup of tea and then launched into ‘Rock and Roll’ by Waking the Witch. I never tire of playing it so I hope no-one tires of hearing it. It is one of my few happy(ish) songs. Next up from me was ‘Santa Fe’ by Eilen (pronounced Eel-en but not as in ‘Ee by ‘eck’) Jewell.
Following those love songs Andy Brown (as in the colour) sang a couple of classic songs - one about a love affair going horribly wrong and one about a dead horse (his words): Tim Hardin’s ‘Reason to Believe’ and Christy Moore’s ‘Ride On’. Great stuff
Graeme Morrell was there sans I-pad and discovered his Set List App was just blank pages so without a safety net or anything he wonderfully delivered Ralph McTell’s ‘In Some Way I Loved You’ and Al Stewart‘ `Old Admirals’.
James ‘Human Jukebox’ Porter was up next with his usual surprise contributions – this week – Michelle Shocked’s ‘Russian Roulette’ and Clive Palmer’s (once of Incredible String Band fame - he didn’t stay with them, he went off to India and Afghanistan so the band must have been a tough gig).. Always a delight to hear James.
So sooner than you think it was the second half and your blogger moved from love songs into her comfort zone of bitter sad songs. Lucinda William’s ‘Cold Day in Hell’ is about as uncompromising at it gets and ‘Cold and Bitter Tears” by Ted Hawkins showed us why a lack of emotional intelligence can be a man’s undoing. Listen out for the line about the washing up.
Andy entered the sad songs stakes with a song that won the ‘Most Depressing Song Ever Written” award in a popular poll – ‘Nothing Compares to You’ by Prince and then cheered us all up with a loud and raucous (his words again) rendition of one of his own songs – a 3 chord thrash titled ‘Undressed to the Nines’. Always good to hear a self-penned song.
Graeme, using an open G tuning (he had to tell me that) and lots of fancy harmonics, moved into full Michae Chapman mode and sang a song from Chapman’s The Rainmaker album called ‘No Song to Sing’ followed by ‘Bons Temps Roulez’. Wonderful.
James stuck with the Clive Palmer groove with ‘Empty Pocket Blues’ – known to me and I’m sure many others as ‘The Kettle Song’ and then moved to Fleetwood Mac and ‘Man of the World’ . How does he remember them all?
To finish off the evening before heading out into the swirling fog we each did one more song. From me – Lucinda got another outing with my fave ‘Am I Too Blue’, Andy gave us Bob Dylan’s ‘Love Minus Zero No Limits, Graeme retuned and sang Chapman’s ‘Kodak Ghosts’ spooky stuff with guitar magic, and James ended the evening with The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. Look forward to seeing David’s pics from a lovely evening in a fab pub. Thanks all. See you again soon.