Friday February 21st 2020

Friday Feb 21st 2020
“Club Scandal as Free Beer Calamity Takes Toll.”.
From our own correspondent Orcas Wield
Swirling wind and rain greeted those brave enough to attend last nights club, Jeff Blythin apologised and blamed his home-made Cottage Pie.
Ruth and Andrew being away A.W.R. took over proceedings and immediately pointed to the table supporting the multitude of Beer bottles, but more on that later.

The Club’s Conscience Brian Bull took to the stage resplendent in his boyish good looks, whoops wrong night, let me check my notes, ah yes here we are. Brian started the night off with the story of The Alabama and then treated us all to the song, good chorus singing was hard around the hall; a reflection perhaps of the audience’s determination to have a good night irrespective of the crap weather outside. Brian originally hails from Burton Upon Tent, recognised for its Brewing capability, and he was delighted to see the Artist’s Beer Table was loaded with nectar brewed in Wales and recognising this fact performed ‘Corn Barlys Ioan’. The Beer Table obviously had an effect upon Brian as he told us about Cyril Tawney (1930 – 2005) who was renowned not only for his song-writing skills but also for his beer and spirit consumption and the upshot was an excellent performance of ‘On a Monday Morning’, this correspondent can say he has never heard Brian deliver a bad version of this great song.

Onto the next performer, Mike Hawkins; resplendent in one of his many striped T shirts, whoops wrong notes again. Mike Hawkins strode to the stage like a man on a mission, that being get on and get off with a free bottle. As per usual his dulcet tones brought a peace to the audience with renditions of ‘The Streets of Forbes’ and ‘Carrying Nelson Home’. Horatio (what sort of parents would give their child a name like Horatio, more of that later) Nelson was bundled into a large vat of brandy for the journey back to Blighty after dying on HMS Victory, but by all accounts, they had to refill it three times before docking at London.

The Lowden Despoiler, Alun Rhys Jones, was already queuing up for his bottle and was distraught to learn he’d have to sing for it. Splendid renderings of Run river Run and Adieu My Lovely Nancy sufficed, although the change in key half way through the second song threw Messrs Blythin and Scofield the rest of the audience happily managed to sing along.
Jeff Blythin up next, a hush fell over the audience as the wind had stopped howling, you can’t really go wrong with Rennies. He regaled the audience with Dirty Old Town although he forgot to sing the first verse again at the end of the song, obviously distracted by the Beer table. He told us he’s determined not to sing the same song twice this year and so far, has lived up to his word but watch this space. Don’t Think Twice was followed by a dash to the table.
In-between performances A.W.R. was giving the audience facts regarding On This Day in History, I didn’t know it was Robert Mugabe’s birthday.

Next up for a bottle was the pleasing return of Andrea Burns, all the way from Portland Oregon, that’s the one in the U.S.A. not the one near Llantrisant. She’d brought along her 14-year-old son Dylan, an accomplished violin player. Andrea faultlessly sang ‘Twas on One April Morning’ and then told us how ‘Young Men Are False’, (Hmmm, well I didn’t think I was but other opinions are available). She then introduced her son Dylan who played three great tunes, one Americana and two Welsh. Obviously, a talented lad who will hopefully keep on playing the violin and could one day end up as good as Tom McConville.
A.W.R. discernibly inspected the Beer table and announced ‘The Beer Break’. “Round the back for the Brandy” was once again heard from the rough quarter of the room, with Messrs Blythin and Scofield making a hasty dash for the exit.

The very Rev. Thomas Gwyn Williams had the second half ‘Lions and Christians’ spot and ‘In My Craft or Sullen Art’, by Dylan Marlais Thomas, was given the Reverend’s usual respect and accomplished delivery. Stuart Scofield had requested a John Betjeman poem ‘Youth and Age’, ah the good old days. Stuart said that he used to read it on the wall at the Montague Arms in Beaulieu, I didn’t know Stuart Scofield could read.
After Rev Williams it was back to the running order of the first half with all performers giving of their best
The night was finished off with Andrea leading the assembled throng in a rendition of the world’s most famous hymn, namely ‘Calon Lân’, there’s lovely.
I have just been informed by my Editor that I can not mention the Beer Scandal as it is now Sub-Judice; I apologise to my readers but ‘the loo is the loo’ as Inspector Clouseau once said.
John Shepherd is away in Cambodia, he’d heard there were a few cases of Coronavirus there and he’ll drink anything.
So signing off, as ever your faithful servant, Orcas Wield.

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