Due to a birthday party in the main room we were forced to play sardines in the snug. Still it kept us nice and warm with 11 performers and one spectator there was plenty of warmth around on a cold night.
Yours truly ended up with the blog as Capt Wiley had to impersonate a taxi driver just after 10pm and it was the same Capt Wiley who started things off with Richard Thompson's How Will I Ever Be Simple Again (words unfortunately in smaller than SAS regulation font 14) which was followed by Only The Rivers Run Free.
James The Jukebox Porter was second up with Moody Blues Nights in White Satin which he has performed many times before without any problems but tonight he decided to play all the right chords just not necessarily in the right order! Normal service was resumed for his next song - The Rollings Stones Spider and the Fly. The gremlins got well and truly vanquished!
Pam Johnson duetted in harmony with Cath Harvey on The Desert of Your Love written by said duo and very good it was too. A very seasonal Bright Star was their next song, again self penned, and also available on their CD which by chanced happened to be available in the foyer at the ve,Roy reasonable price of £5 (all proceeds to charity) - judging by their performance tonight it must be an absolute bargain!
Andy Brown was our next performer with (in characteristic bitter and twisted style!) one of his self penned songs I Know I Shouldn't Love You But I Do. Richard Ashcroft's They Don't Own Me followed - never heard of this song before (or Richard Ashcroft come to think of it). Well done Andy.
A twelve string guitar and harmonica means it is time for Phil Greaves, starting with Springsteen's Little Pony Girl with added Free section at he end. The self penned Soldier Boy came next, a song about the Iraq war and which has been recorded and had a modicum of success in the Neil Young anti-war song charts!
Window now open wide for fresh air.
Ian Pucknell was making an all too rare visit and started with Dave Abraham's You Found Someone To Love You. Much discussion ensued with stories about encounters with said Mr Abrahams who hails from these parts. This was followed by Bruce Coburn's Diamond. Ian gets the Biggest Hat On The Night prize. Well done Ian.
At this point we were informed that there was space in the main room so a brief hiatus ensued during which we all relocated.
Next up, and first in the re-arranged format (we have now lost the "clockwise round the room order" but those with a keen memory kept us in check) was Alex with a song introduced as being from the 70's - the 1470's! - The Coventry Carol. Nothing quite so modern for Alex's next song (unaccompanied) as we went back to the 60's - the 1360's with the Boars Head Carol. Some wag asked Barry if he remembered it from when the song was released - people can be cruel!
Barry Lane followed in usual country style with Just Like You by Peter Wernick & Hot Rize on his lovely D45. Barry's second song wasYou Don't Even Know Who I Am by Gretchen Peters. Both delivered in Barry's laid back (almost horizontal) style.
Blogger up net with a Roy Orbison twist, firstly The Travelling Wilbury's End of The Line followed by Pretty Woman.
Nigel Chapman, still not quite recovered from the beers at the afternoon funeral, started with Wild Rover which had much vocal accompaniment. The Gambler ( the song, not Nigel) was second up from Nigel, once again with much audience participation. Relative novice Nigel is gaining confidence with each week and is certainly not out of his depth at SAS.
Intermission, Messrs Wylie and Chapman (Nigel not Michael!) depart.
Pam & Cathy started the second half with another self penned duet of really high quality No One Does Xmas Like We Do followed by Merry Xmas From the Family (well it is December!) by Robert Earl Keane. One more number was sneaked in - My Rock and Roll And Then Some by Patsy Mattheson - lovely.
James up with a point to prove and a Leonard Cohen song Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye. A sigh of relief all around - the Jukebox has been fixed and normal service has been resumed! The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Ewan McColl completed Jame's excellent work for the night.
Phil up next for his second set, starting with Santa Went A Courting was followed by a self penned song Getting Old. A couple of well presented songs.
Alex now, this time in the "real" 60's with The Beatles' Strawberry Fields. Paul Simon Slip Sliding Away completed Alex's set - 80's? (nice harmonies from Pam & Cathy). Not sure if any other performer at SAS has ever covered such a wide time span of music .
Ian Pucknell , getting rather warm in front of the fire, sang Streets of London (which originally started life as Streets of Paris) with audience participation. Alan Taylor's Lady Take Your Time was a lovely song to finish this particular performers work.
Andy Brown joined in the early Xmas spirit with Fairy Tale of New York. Fortunately Pam and Cathy were available to play the Kirsty McColl part. It was also fortunate that it was after the watershed! To complete Andy sang Cannonball by Damien Rice.
Penultimate performer of the evening Barry sang Bill Clifton's I'm Rolling On, finishing with On Your Way Home which was sung on record by Patty Loveless but written by Ronnie Samoyed and Matraca Berg.
Blogger finished the evening with Raining In My Heart and The Timewarp (Rocky Horror Show) for which the audience refused to dress in character! What?- No Michael C?!!
A really great evening.
A reminder that the last SAS of the year is on 20th December - don't forget the Christmas theme!
Pictures to follow