After a fair amount of chaos and with rebellion in the air a select few gathered round the wood burning stove in the front room to decide how we were going to organise the events in the absence of our usual leader Mr Wylie.
Rob Watkins was elected to kick us off and, pub guitar (the one fettle do by local legend Peter Barton including the addition of the Swan inlay at the 5th fret) removed from wall and safely ensconced in the capable hands of Mr W we had Warren Zevon's Carmalita, ably followed by Evening Blues by Dave Alvin, both delivered in the laid back style that Rob makes his own.
John Waller took the opportunity to delve into his own composition back catalogue and presented us with "Never Again", a song about overindulging in alcohol (perhaps a little too much detail in that one John!). "Listopad (in Mirogoj)" (fortunately John wrote that down for me!)' this was subtitled Memories of A Year Spent in Zagreb 1970-71 was the next offering reflecting on life in the eastern block - really good stuff John.
Ian Taylor having moved home up to the north east now finds that he is working back down here and commuting from the North East. This situation does have the advantage that Ian is now able to partake of our musical soirées once more. Boo Hewerdine wrote Follow My Tears for Eddi Reader and this was beautifully delivered with some harmonies from Pam Johnson (obviously warming up her vocal chords in preparation for her upcoming slot). This was followed by a superb version of Elvis Costello's Allison.
Pam Johnson, all ready warmed up, started with Waking the Witch's "Rock and Roll and Then Some". In contrast to the soft love song just performed, A Cold Day in Hell by Lucinda Williams showed the other side of the coin.
Leon S (not sure of the spelling - looking back at previous blogs neither is anyone else!) started with a new one to him, but I'm sure known to all present was CSN (&Y?)'s our house, which I believe was written by Graham Nash for Joni Mitchell,and a great performance it was as it takes guts to attempt that one. Bob Dylan's Girl From The North Country rounded off the slot nicely.
Blogger next with a dark John Hiatt song Hold On For Your Love. followed by a song about Thomas Moore and his difficulties caused by Henry VIII, Man of All Seasons by Al Stewart.
I had thought that was it for now, but Sue Hardman had appeared behind and offered to sing a couple of songs which I accompanied her on. Richard Thompson's This Old House and Leaving on A Jet Plane were admirably delivered.
During the interval Rob had to leave and as he was giving Leon a lift so we commenced the second half somewhat depleted (but good news from a blogging viewpoint!). This meant that John Waller kicked off the second half with the second (but not last) Al Stewart song of the evening The Dark And Rolling Sea. Now when I said that was not the last Al Stewart song I was thinking of my upcoming offerings - turns out it came much sooner than expected as John's next song was The Ballad Of Mary Foster from Al S's Love Chronicles album (which brought back memories of my (unsuccessful offering at the 1971 Filey Butlins Staff talent competition).
From the new Lucinda Williams album, Pam J gave us "From The East Side Of Town" followed by Speed of The Sound Of Loneliness by John Prine which was accompanied by most of the audience (some voice, some guitar).
Ian T started his second spot with Richard Thompson's Persuasion. Joke by Boo Hewerdine completed his second set. There is a definite theme of recurring songwriters tonight!
Blogger continued the AlStewartFest with Where Are They Now and If It Doesn't Come Naturally.
Sue H came back with accompaniment from yours truly again and sang Tom Paxton' s Last Thing On My Mind and then Al overly version of Sandy Denny's Who Knows Where The Time Goes.
This left just time for one more song from each of us. John W sang Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now, Pam J sang the unaccompanied song The Wild Mountainside by Douglas John Richards (although it sounds like it could be a traditional song), Ian T followed with Rab Noakes' Tomorrow is Another Day, blogger with Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight (appropriate title considering the quality of the music we have had tonight) and Sue H finished us off with the classic Summertime.
A great informal and relaxed evening. Be here next time on 17th Feb.