24th October 2010
A very good turnout this week with half a dozen new faces and a wealth of talent. Joe
Migdal started the proceedings off on his harmonium, singing traditional song 'Riding
down to Portsmouth.' This is about a sailor who get deceived by a lady of the night into
losing his valuables and gaining a social disease.
Joe is followed by Bernard Pilgrim on English concertina and accompanied by Maureen on
guitar, playing several sets of traditional tunes: The Belfast Polka, Marquis of Lorne,
Walter Gidley's Walz and the Three Hand Reel. Always a pleasure to hear some great
melodies rendered so skilfully.
Clive and Linda, aka Ploughman's Lunch sang a song by Harry Lauder, which was also
sung by the Yetti's: 'It's a fine thing to sing' All about the virtues of singing and keeping
They followed this with the seasonal song 'My Lady of Autumn' by Dave Webber, in fine
Next we were treated to solo guitar playing by Brian Eastern who played a couple of
numbers with technical expertise: 'Chesapeake' and 'Waltz for Rebecca'. Worthy
reproductions of the originals by world-renowned Al Petteway. We hope he will come
Foxen followed with Margaret playing hammered dulcimer and John on concertina for the
first song: 'The Idiot' by Stan Rogers. A man goes west so that he can work and says
maybe he's an idiot for wanting to have the freedom of his own wage. This is followed by
humerous song'The Nurse' with Margaret in the female part. A male patient wants a kiss
and she gives all the reasons why not, such as duty calling etc. Finally saying she shouldn't
be in bed with him at all! As always, Foxen entertained us so well.
Paul Ballantyne followed, playing twelve string guitar. Firstly 'It's a hard life where ever
you go' by Nancy Griffith. A very evocative song about teaching children prejudice and
what it will do to them. He follows this on 6 string guitar with Richard Thompson song
'Down where the drunkards roam'. Another thought provoking song about troubled people.
We were then treated to a surprise visit from Jinski, a duo from Newcastle who both play
guitar and sing. They are Steve Jinski and Dave Kennedy. They played two of their own
compositions 'Goodbye Lucky Guy' and 'Take that Train'.Their performances were very
appealing with a seamless and beautiful blend of guitars and voices. Their details can be
found at www.jinski.com.
Tone Deaf Leopard amused us with 'Terry the Second', a spoof on 'Terry' by 'Twinkle'
about a girl who like to spray graffiti and gets caught. Terry waits at the prison gate three
months later. After this some hot moves and percussion from Sue as Trevor plays skiffle
guitar for 'Sister Mister'. Lovely stuff.
Ben Little then plays some pieces of his own improvisation based around some well known
songs and tunes. In the Bleak Midwinter sneaks up on the audience in the first one. He
then works with When a knight won his spurs, and The Seven Stars, a traditional morris
tune. His solo guitar phrasing gets better all the time.
Paul Steele gave gritty and heartfelt performances of some rock numbers: Running back' by
Thin Lizzy and '1916' - that's how it is for a soldier. by Motorhead. I really felt how it
must have been in the trenches for two underage solders dying and wanting their mothers.
Only one interval today as lots of performers.
Joe began the second half singing with harmonium, traditional song 'Lowlands of
Holland', all about a young man being pressed to go and fight and taken from his marriage
bed. Joe added some atmospheric sounds of canon fire at the end to good effect with his
loop station. Tradition can involve technology.
Tone Deaf Leopard sang The Suit Song, advice from Grandad about the lasting properties
of a good suit, a good friend and a good woman.
Raffle - Jinski kindly donated a CD.
There was much jollity and cries of 'fix' as tickets were drawn.
Bernard and Maureen played us some traditional tunes, some from the Morris tradition,
and were then followed by Ploughman's Lunch singing John Barleycorn. Always good to
have songs we can all join in with.
Brian Eastern played a beautiful traditional tune to follow called 'My Darling Asleep' and
it seemed like a lullaby to me.
Foxen sang 'Fightin and Feudin' by Derek Brimstone and mentioned they had heard it in
the Toad Hall Folk club in Ilford many years ago. That may bring back some memories.
Margaret made assertive use of her tambourine to highlight points in this comic song about
a feuding couple.
Paul Ballantyne sang a favourite by Richard Thompson with strong and rhythmic guitar
backing: '1952 Vincent Black Lightning' a tale of star-crossed lovers and the motor bike
that brings them together.
Ben Little played a plaintive and beautifully executed solo guitar piece, followed by Paul
Steele playing 'Broke Down' by Slaid Cleeves, an American singer songwriter.
The afternoon was rounded off for us by Jinski, who sang three songs: Live Long in the
Day, lots of gentle advice that could be given to a teenager about their typical problems.
'My Father's hands' and finishing with the lively 'Whatever happened to the weekend'.
Their songs were varied and all were greatly enjoyed. Thus finished a fantastic afternoon.