By the Fireside

Brian aka Blogger

With the Swan changing hands there have been some changes and a bit of redecoration and even a bit of evening food, you never know until you walk through the door who or what are going to be waiting. So Back again and there was a nice group of people already at the tables when I arrived and with some guitar cases on show it was game on. There were people ensconced in the main room so we set up at the fireside table before moving into the main room just as everyone had settled by the fire. Now we normally try to move the blog around the group but there was no chance of anyone volunteering tonight so BCW was taking the notes tonight.



The Blogger was up first and had brought his trusty blarge and whistles with him instead of the usual guitar. The only time the guitar comes out is to the sessions but the other instruments are usually reserved for gigs out with the bands.



The whistle was the first one out tonight and as “The Lonesome boatman” resounded around the bar it even brought some people in from the other rooms to have a listen. This was followed by a couple of tunes on the Blarge which is a nine stringed instrument made by Stefan sobell “The Jackie coleman’s reel “followed by “The Star of Munster” This now freed me up to make the notes for the blog.


Vic Longbottom, one of the early birds was next up. Vic has a way with the blues and country and tonight was no exception. “Shes just funny that way” from the twenties by Gene Austin and even covered by Frank Sinatra. A blues number next from vic “The Weeping Willow Blues” excellent stuff and from two great genres.



Julian and his newly acquired box were up next, now Julian is a fair Chanter as well as an excellent accordion player. So we had some tunes first on the box “The Three Sea Captains” and “The Wakefield Hunt’ and “The Boys of the Puddle” Julian then showed his versatility with a song accompanying himself as he recanted “Dimming of the Day” a Richard Thompson song. Great Stuff Julian.




So far we had a bit of Irish, Blues, Folk Rock and now it was time for a bit of country from Barry Lane. Barry usually pulls some classics from his bag of songs and story songs. Tonight Barry gave us “A Song for Life by Rodney Crowell and then “Cheap Whiskey” by Jim Rushing & Jim Gordy Jun. two story songs and as I grew up listening to my mothers records this was a trip down memory lane for me. Well done Barry.


Alex Moore was next up with his own style of songs and a good range in his voice, Alex informed the audience of the history of Clapton and Harrisons song “Badge” which truth to tell I was unaware of this fact. Another modern song from Alex as The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” so far we have covered quite a few genres and we still hadn’t finished. Well done Alex,


Our very own human Jukebox James was next up and James was straight intoa song he mentioned to me and Kath at our last outing “The Curragh of Kildare” a beautiful song done just as beautifully by James. A Ricky Nelson Song to round his spot up as James gave us his version ofRickys “Lonesome Town” yet again James amazes the assembled throng with his encyclopedic range of material. Great Stuff James. To round off our first half we had none other than Graeme Morrell a guitarist with exceptional picking fingers and again mention was made of his desire not toreplicate material previously performed. I have not heard a Tom Paxton song for a long time and tonight Graeme put that to an end as Tom Paxton’s “Annies Going to sing her Song” before rounding his spot off with his version of a Rod Clements number “Stamping Ground” Rod is one of the founder members of my favourite band “Lindisfarne” and along with Alan Hull wrote some fantastic songs including “Meet me on the Corner.




Graeme had no sooner put his guitar away when we started the second half and this time it was a big whistle tune as the Blogger cracked open the second half with a self penned tune “Crolla’s Reel written for a sadly departed colleague from the Wild Geese. Graeme was then invited to accompany the blogger as he gave his rendition of “Dirty Old Town” written by the plastic scot Jimmy Miller. Graeme has never accompanied Brian before in singing and he didan excellent job. Vic was next up again witha Bluesy song by Blind Willy Johnson “Soul of a Man” anda Hank Coughran song “A Little Bitty Tear “ made famous by people like Burl Ives and delivered brilliantly tonight by Vic.


  • Julian then strapped his device on and we had a couple of laments, first up was “Ashokan Farewell” (a favourite of mine and Kaths) andNeil Gow’s Lament for his Second Wife. Then filling his lungs he gave us a rendition of a Steeleye Span number “The Summer Lady” written I believe in collaboration with Terry Pratchett no less. Great playing and singing.


Barry then up next with a sad story song “Golden Guitar” a father and son song that would bring a tear to a glass eye!  And with the body count rising his final song was “He stopped byLoving her today” by Braddock & Putnam a classic1


Alex returned for his second spot with his version of “Ruby Tuesday” before finishing off with a Beatles Classic “Let It Be” Get yourself back soon Alex and Vic


James got his guitarout for the last time tonight and with a pocket watch theme, not sure whether this was intentional on his part we had “Gold Watch Blues” which I believe was a Donovan number and rounded off with asong “Empty Pocket Blues” by Clark Palmer Great stuff as always James

Now to our final muso tonight Graeme and we still hadn’t had a Michael Chapman Number, was this to be rectified? Well……. First up we had another Eric Clapton number “Tears in Heaven” written by Eric after the tragic death of his toddler son Conor.  Then ….. wait for it………. A Finale song from Graeme a la MC“Only Pretend”  great finish Graeme, and as David our M.C David thanked our troupe we all gathered our gear and headed off into the night already working out the material for the next session at The Swan in Addingham. BCW


Posted on April 12, 2016 .