Well October was a washout for us attending S.A.S as we didn’t manage one of them, we were determined to make up for it and arrived mob handed on a crisp November evening. We had the offer of a lift to The Swan by J.P so with both of us able to have a tipple we loaded up the car and off we went. There were a few diners in when we arrived and lo and behold there were a few old and several new faces to greet us in the big room.
Introductions were made and a special bonhomie to Rosie Clegg who had travelled down from Settle for the evening complete with her own Roadie(only joking).
Having got everyone and instruments, we were ready to begin, at this point its usually “Blogger” to start to set the bar low for the evening, but tonight was different. Tonight we had three people to start as JP, Kath and blogger started the proceedings with a Stephen Fretwell number “Run” performed by JP and accompanied by Kath and Blogger. The shift to Kath to sing a Pete Lane Song “Wishing Chair” Pete is a Halifax singer songwriter(Lager Barrels) and Kath did justice to her version of Pete’s Song.
Our Resident juke box was next James Porter, A Sam Cooke number to begin “Bring it on home to me” a short trip over the border to Scotland for a Paulo Nuttini number “Last Request” which I misunderstood when James was announcing it. Well done James.
A new face next up was John Caven who was already ensconced in the bar when we arrived and was made welcome. An Elvis song was John’s opener and as he said it was in his Good Years which I believe was the Sun years “Mystery Train” have to admit I had never heard this particular song before but it left me looking it up on google, where I discovered it was recorded in 1955 and released a year later. A self penned number followed named “CrocagatorBlues” a crackin song and it was nice to see a new face adding to our numbers at The Swan. Well done John please come on down next time.
Rosie who had set her stall up in the corner was the next in line, Rosie, husband and I have bumped into each other all over the place and I was very pleased to see them turn up tonight for our session. Rosie is a very accomplished musician both on her own and with various other bands and duo’s. Tonight though it was Rosie, her voice and guitar. A NanciGriffiths number first “Gulf Coast Highway” this was followed by a Number by Sara Watkins an American guitar and fiddle player and her song “Me and You” was well performed here by Rosie. Excellent stuff rosie and thanks for popping in, please don’t leave it long before making the journey down to see us.
Our resident countryman next in the shape of Barry was next up and first offering was an original Carter Family song from I believe 1927/1929 “Cannonball Blues which Barry announced he had been performing since 1962 at The Famous Topic Folk Club, Barry loves to sing what I term story songs, which to be fair a lot of country stuff is. Barry seems to have a knack of remembering songs most of us have either never heard of or forgot. “Don’t Tell Mother” is a good example as a young man who had a wreck didn’t want his mother to know he had gone to meet his maker with whiskey on his breath. Well done Barry.
Phil was next on to begin closing the rough circle that enclosed me in the corner. Phil plays a mighty 12 string and sometimes a harp for that added punch. His first song tonight was a U2 number “All I want is you” a great version of a marmite band song because you either hate them or loathe them. This was a great version though.Phil also has a penchant for T.Rex songs and his final song of the first spot was ”Cadillac” and ironic song bearing in mind cars featured in a lot of Marc Bolans songs but he didn’t drive and was unfortunately killed in a car accident. Great stuff Phil.
Rounding off our first spot was none other than our finger picker extraordinaire Graeme Morrell, as Graeme was last in and knowing off the proximity of Remembrance Sunday he first had to query if I had done my spot. Having ascertained that I had only accompanied Kath and JP, Graeme commenced to perform a Reg Meuross number that we both do for this sad weekend “And Jesus Wept” a story of the brave first world war heroes who were shot by their friends on the high command’s orders for”Cowardice”, “being absent” or having what we now know as P.T.S.D a great song and one that is permanently in my repertoire and performed here by Graeme who plays it a lot better than I am able. Closing off the first half with a Bob Dylan number or as he is effectively known to our gathering thanks to Larry as “His Bobship” Graeme rounded our first spot off with “Buckets of Rain” Excellent as always Graeme
We had a brief break and then went round again in roughly the same order, opening the batting was the blogger with a Goats don’t shave number “ Closing Time” ably accompanied by Kath and JP, who then went onto perform “Writings on the Wall” and rounded off with “Ride On” it may have been rough and ready but we enjoyed it.
James was up again, this time with a fine brace if songs. First up was a Ewan McColl song “My Old Man” a song I haven’t heard James do before, and to finish his spot we had a crackin Paul Simon number “Slip Sliding Away”
The talking stick was then passed to John who gave us a Nick Drake number “Joey” before finishing with I believe another self penned song “Edmonds in The Bar”
Graeme up now and what do we get? A classic! “Bonnie and Clyde” by Georgie Fame and rounds off with a Michael Chapman number which had no name and in the Irish would be classed as “Gan Ainm”
Rosie next and out of respect for the distance travelled was asked to do three numbers, and a fine triple they were. A Jeni Hankins song was up first “Tazewell Beauty Queen” “Across the Western Ocean” was next, to finisher had, and I hope I got this right “ Nobody Likes Him Anymore”
We were almost round full circle now and Barry was our penultimate act tonight and with a local guys song a Stu page number “Can’t Sing The Blues” and a finale in the form of “Halfway Home Cafe” a Ricky Skaggs number, a favourite of mine.
Phil by a due process of natural selection was duty bound to round our evening off. A self penned number “ Who do You Think You Are” and a classic to finish off a lovely evening a Woody Guthrie number “Gambling Man.
That brought another night at Swan Acoustic Session to a close