Friday July 31st 2020

Review 1.8. Covid 19 Rules for Folk Clubs.

These are supplementary additions to the existing privations that we are currently enduring.

  1. You are allowed to listen to anything by Bob Dylan, on your own.
  2. You can listen to John Denver provided that you are outdoors.
  3. You can listen to the Grateful Dead within your bubble, provided that you use hand sanitiser.
  4. You can listen, with one other household, to anything by Show of Hands- if everyone agrees.
  5. You may listen to Keith Price, providing he has a mask on, and has been pre-booked.
  6. You can listen to an accordion in your own bubble.
  7. You can listen to the damper song with two other households, on mute.
  8. Any two households can contribute to the chorus of any sea shanty provided that the tide is high and the households are not in England.
  9. Banjo playing will not be allowed.
  10. Any bubble can share with any other bubble, any song by John Prine.
  11. Each pre-booked turn (see app) must start with a cover of Head ,Hands and Feet.
  12. Country Roads can only be played within two households and cannot be visited unless in Wales- and don’t park on the roadside!
  13. All versions of The Boxer must be played with gloved hands.
  14. People returning to the Folk Club from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they have been keel-hauled, when the quarantine can be reduced to 7 days. NB Stuart and Edna are exempt.
  15. Damsels in distress should maintain social distancing unless said damsels have been surprised by a squire not wearing a mask, or, have heard a nightingale singing in a valley less than five miles from their hovel.
  16. Thirty people from any one club can meet outside, but, no songs featuring death, disaster, drink, whales, Wales, women or pestilence can be sung (in G).

These measures are vital and necessary to provide and perpetuate the lunacy that folk clubs provide. Remember, with your help, and both hands, we can find the north-west passage. Stay safe, save face, Space will provide.

John Shepherd got us off, or I should say raised the tapes, with the Bladon Races and the ever popular Jez Lowe’s Small Coal. Young Hawkins was dicing with death and trying to mix it with a lady from north of Carlisle. Only one winner there. The water is wide was followed by the American Stranger. Bee gave us her poem what she wrote when in the sarf o frangz. Very sweet it was too.

Not sure I fully understood the midwife toad and its habit of carting all the children around. John Warburton is, by now a regular, and better still, a regular treat. Self penned songs and Donavan covers, yes! T Gwyn’s video this week was the sober, but necessary, reminder of the 45th anniversary of the Miami Showband Massacre. David H next, who was in receipt of property advice from Glenys sang two songs wot I didunt no.

Gaffer, don’t you love him? I was equally befuddled, bemused and bamboozled by his verbal callisthenics. The trick with the lego bricks underpins a staggering memory and a consummate performance. John Killion, fresh back from checking social distancing rules at the Rugby Club, continued our understanding of Sam Hall and gave us Away with Rum, appropriately enough on the anniversary of the cessation of the famous navy rum ration. I’m guessing that the w/e papers will not be as useful as this blog, in filling our brains (!) with useless information. Alun brought the first half to a close with his usual exemplary performance and delivery.

Halfway, and now is as good a time as any to re-emphasise the sterling work of the two drivers of these evenings. John and Alun put a great deal of time and effort into make these evenings the success that they are.

Natasha had joined us by now and her video was enjoyed by all. A favourite of hers called People are Gonna Talk. Well done Natasha, and thank to ARJ for the technology. There followed a brief (thankfully) shoutabout with regard trying to teach Natasha a bit about accents and English. With contributions (and overwrought accents) from John, Edna, Alun and others. I’m sure the poor lady was confused, especially when we all tried to guess random Russian words that we read on T-shirts in our youth. Mercifully, Alun finished us all off with a geography lesson from Ireland ably assisted by all low lying settees.

BTW, Ashley hasn’t done his homework. I am preparing the following notes in advance, so if by some superhuman effort, he has stopped the cat from eating his homework, then I will be eating humble pie accompanied by grovelling apologies. Two, I have in my hands, Wheel of Fortune by The Flatlanders. Superb performers, a heavy hitting triumvirate of Joe Ely, Jimmy Dale Gilmore and the legend that is Butch Hancock. I make no apology for the recommend, because you may love them.

From just such a random rec. I discovered both Sonny Landreth and Bruce Cockburn so, give The Flatlanders a go, you never know! Three, the wonderful and powerful voice that is Cris Williamson is my new discovery this week. She is unknown to me and has a fine, fine voice. She was discovered by me because her Song of the Soul was used as the end-credit track on the 8th episode of my other TV rec. this week, which is Mrs America. Now, I have to admit to being an ignoramus when it comes to US politics, but this nine parter about the Equal Rights Amendment in the late seventies is a corker. Cate Blanchett, Tracey Ullman, Margo Martindale and the lady, who plays Crazy Eyes in OITNB, and others, combine to tell an astonishing story of the fight for equality amid the enduring power of men. We always moan that there is nowt on box, but this series is well worth a wallop.

Here’s the link to last night’s session:

See you next week. EmmCee

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