Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday 20th April 2018.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on April 21, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

 Thank you to all for an excellent turnout at 7.30 for the AGM with all the usual reports and elections; no matter how hard EmCee and Alun try, it’s dull, but necessary for us to be run democratically. The club is in really good shape, although we are still in need of younger members. The AGM bit finished at ten past eight and we launched into a regular singers night. Should there be an apostrophe anywhere in “singers”? I’m unsure as to how the word is being used. A night consisting of singers or belonging to singers? I digress.

Mike opened with Raglan Road , Aragon Mill and then Blood Red Roses, which he knows I detest.

I had to capo a couple of frets higher after Val kicked me in the nuts following last week’s tampering with the photo she’d taken. I’d spent much of the week at home digging up the rubbish the builders had buried. How did the Tesco trolley get there? My failure to practise was evident.

If you click on the picture you will get an enlargement (beats Viagra) to see Brian with his lifetime achievement “Cluck” Award for services to Folk Music and Agriculture. He’d been off for the past 2 weeks with Man Flu; his family even got as far as laying him out in the wooden box, but more about that later.

The Mountain Oyster Band were out in force with recorder, cello, guitar and a converted dustbin which made the whole room vibrate. Some of the ladies enjoyed the sensation. A pleasant change from the usual fare and very entertaining.

Alun took advantage of Mr. West’s absence and sang one of my favourites; not only is it a John Denver song but it contains a double negative -“We don’t live here no more”. The man ain’t got no culture. The Mingulay Boat Song got us in good voice for Kimber’s Men next week, this may hopefully be in their set.

Hazel returned for a delightful solo spot with her cello to take us to the break.

The £25 Snowball was won by Gillian. I’m sure she will invest it wisely.

Geoff Durno opened part 2 with a Woody Guthrie singalong leaving just Jeff to complete the lineup of first time round.

Jeffrey hadn’t been to see the German pox doctor this week, but sang “I don’t want no cornbread, peas or black molasses”, presumably they aggravate his piles. “Johnny Miner” was a bit too fast for my taste; I suspect he was on a promise and wanted to be home early.

We had time for one more each. Brian had a new old song. As many of you know, Brian has a small temple at the bottom of his garden where he worships an effigy of Martin Carthy; every day he places offerings and ritually sacrifices his neighbours pets or his grandchildren’s tropical fish. He had had a vision whilst delirious with Man Flu and decided he must share this murder ballad he’d learnt from Mr. Carthy with the world. Invigorated by this enterprise, he climbed out of the wooden box before his family could screw the lid down to be able to share this gem of a song with us. “Sheep Crook and Black Dog” now has a rival.

It’s a return visit by Kimber’s Men next week. They went down really well last year and the place will be packed.

Here’s the M.O.B., courtesy of AWR



Friday 13th April 2018

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on April 14, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

Friday the 13th – unlucky for some. Unlucky for Geoff Durno who had to do the opening three. Tonight’s compere was Andrew the younger; Andrew the elder had been for his morning swim when he was caught having a pee in the pool. Apparently the attendant shouted at him so loudly he nearly fell in. He was helping the council with their enquiries and unable to attend. Ruth was down the Bingo. Geoff’s set included a Gordon Lightfoot song I hadn’t heard before, “The old man’s come home from the forest” – not, as Alun thought, about an orang-utan. “Empty Chairs” ended a lovely set.

Mrs. Hawkins little boy had a large and very lively crowd singing with “The old grey funnel line” and a shanty.

With Ruth otherwise engaged, the photos were down to me. As I struggled through my set, I spotted Val moving to my seat and picking up my camera. Not a bad effort for first time I suppose, perhaps a little more attention  to composition, focus and aperture may have helped.

Jeff had been to a “proper” doctor this week; he’d had some physio and no fingers up the bum. He now has a cold however. His second song featured a gob iron solo without the aid of a harmonica. Don’t ever say you don’t get your two quid’s worth at Tynewydd.

Alun was knackered after a busy week tuning pianos. As CEO of North Wales leading piano tuning company, he has been hit hard by the numpty vote on Brexit, as most of the tuners he employs were from the EU, particularly Germany, – one of his songs had the night’s best line – “your pretty little hands cannot handle our tackle”.

T Gwyn had been watching the Games from Down Under (particularly the women’s gymnastics and the beach volleyball). He was inspired to read us some work from Aussie poet Banjo Paterson and then one from Ruddy ‘ard Kipling, the poet on Viagra.

Margaret and Edna managed the raffle without incident, and drew a round of applause when they drew Andrew Pritchard’s number out for the Snowball. Being absent, it will roll over to £25 next week.

AWR gave us the rare treat of one of his poems to start round 2, when we all got a couple each. A visually impaired performer, new to the club sang “Happy Birthday” for Frank – I’m too polite to say his age, but he’ll be 80 if he makes it to next year. Frank still runs his little hardware shop on the corner of Cefndy Road and Vale Road, where he can be seen every morning in his brown cotton coat opening up to sell fork handles, ‘ose , peas etc.

Talking of old gits, does anyone know what’s happened to Brian?

Before I go there was a big “hugs and get well” for Stuart from everyone; we want to see you back at the club fit and well asap.

Next week it’s AGM so try to get there for 7.30 – if we’re not quorate the club folds! Singers night will start about the normal time.

In 2 weeks we have a return visit from Kimber’s Men. This is one not to miss and it will be very busy. Here’s a taster from last year.


April 6th 2018 (54th anniversary party)

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on April 7, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

A packed house of people busting a gut to enjoy themselves and stuff their faces with butties had turned out to help us celebrate 54 years of Rhyl Folk Club (beware of cheap imitations).

Jeff was still having major problems with his shoulder and announced that he was now engaged to the lady German doctor who had given him his prostate examination, as she had had his ring on her finger (thank you to someone at the back for that one). His set included “Get your hands off her”, many of us will still remember Ted doing this while simulating some sort of sexual activity, utilising a pair of borrowed ladies shoes as a prop.

Adrian sang a song about Robin Hood, but sadly not the “Richard Greene” version; excessive graphic violence.

Keith Price, our favourite scouser, had pawned his guitar midweek to raise the bus fare to be with us. I took pity on him and said he could borrow mine, possibly not a good move with someone from Toxteth. He did a Hank Williams song about a wooden Indian (the ones who took scalps on a Saturday morning at the Odeon, now called 1st race or native American or something pc.). He then picked up his fiddle and did a song without words, sometimes called “a tune”.

Me next. It’s always difficult to follow someone really talented, so it was a relief to find I was on after Keith. “I’m Gonna Be” at least gave some of the audience the best workout they’ve had for months.

Geoff Skellon had brought a 50 odd year old guitar made by his brother, but didn’t play it. He had a handful of schoolyard songs from Lancashire, which had me crying in my beer as I was transported to my childhood in N.E. Lancashire in the arse end of what was, still is and always will be a dirt poor area of Britain.


Always try to live in a marginal constituency. Burnley was always a rock solid Labour seat, so a Labour government would never spend any resources there as the votes were guaranteed, and the Tories would never spend money on the flat cap wearers who train whippets and light their farts and would rather have a prostate examination than vote for them. Rant over.

Alun sang one of his mam’s favourites, “Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn”. Beautiful. At one point I was afraid he wouldn’t get through it.

Mike had to follow that. The only song to be able to come close had to be his version of “Who knows where the time goes”. I don’t like being nice about anybody, but… .What a talent.

An extended break followed, with a table full of food and a cake. Ruth asked me to light “the candles” while she took the photos. Didn’t tell me that the tall ones contained material capable of a self sustained chemical exothermic reaction did she? Singed my eyebrows! With Ruth and Val sacked as number drawers, the task fell to Glenys and to be fair the raffle prizes seemed more evenly distributed. Snowball rolls over to 2000p next week.

T Gwyn settled the now very raucous crowd down with Betjeman’s “Indoor games near Newbury” – only mild suggestions of a sexual encounter.

Geoff Durno was a bit transatlantic with “Paradise” (Mr Peabody’s coal train) and “Do they have guitars in heaven?”. No.

Andy Gallagher also brought back memories of the latter stages of the club’s time at “The Bee” with “A pub with no beer”  and in the case of the Bee, no light bulbs or toilet paper.

Geraint had travelled up from Twickenham to be with us. His first song mentioned “Montgomery” – will there be a club weekend away this year? Hopefully, but I don’t know. I need to have a get-together with Alun and Wendy to organise a treasure hunt, probably taking place in June. “Wild World” featured the talents of the aforementioned Mr Jones on accordion.

Rather than put a selection of turns to eat up the last 20 minutes, EmCee decided that Keith needed the practice and made him do three before we all finished with “Wild Mountain Thyme”.

54 years of the club now clocked up, but if you look through the photos, although some have aged well, you won’t see many of pre- pensionable age. And where are the women?

Here’s Keith.

Friday March 23rd 2018.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on March 24, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

Much of the first half was taken up by EmCee’s Parish Notices re. the AGM and 54th Anniversary bash, but Alun eased us in musically with a couple of gentle ones with guitar before launching into “One black one, one white one…” (Ash Grove) running in to a jolly little ditty about forced childhood emigration to Oz.

Jeff’s not a well man as we know, but he also discussed many of his physical problems, notably his prostate examination by a German doctor. I quietly suspect he may have enjoyed it, despite his comments. The photo shows him reliving the moment when the finger went in. Nice set.

Mike sang “Courting is a pleasure” (but not as great as a quickie behind the bike shed) and later “Lord Franklin”, but the 3rd verse must have got lost on the ice.

It took considerable time to explain to Brian that he didn’t actually have to stay up till 1.00am tonight to move his clocks forward, but he seemed unconvinced. A new addition to his repertoire was Jez Lowe’s “The Wrong Bus”; almost certainly the only comedy song ever written about the Battle of the Somme, but which really works.

I’d been having trouble with Natwest this week, and Ralph McTell’s “Red Sky” contrasts the hard, barely scratching a living life of the hill shepherd with that of the overpaid couldn’t-give-a-monkey’s tossers with their mega bonuses bankers. It’s ok, I feel better now.

T Gwyn wasn’t happy about his granddaughter being brought up in Reading (other faceless towns are available) and probably never to be a Welsh speaker, so he indulged himself with a poem in his native tongue about war before letting us all join in with much of “The green eye of the little yellow god”.

This took us to the break where an air of optimism prevailed as the raffle was drawn; Ruth had been sacked as number-drawer and Adrian bloody West wasn’t there. Adrian has used his accumulated winnings to form a heavy metal band known as “Black Iliad”. Last week he discarded his shirt, shaved and oiled his torso and tied a bandana round his head. Now known as “Blade”, he is thrashing a drum kit with (short) Morris sticks. Folk’s loss is Heavy Metal’s gain. Or vice versa? Val drew the numbers but as she purloined a bottle of wine, I doubt she’ll be given the job again. The winner of the Snowball wasn’t there so it rolls over to £15 on the 6th April – THERE IS NO CLUB ON GOOD FRIDAY.

The second half was a stunner, with everyone on top form for a couple each. Amongst a plethora of goodies we were treated to two classic songs; Brian sang “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” whilst Alun did “Streets Of London”. You’ll never tire of either of these songs or hear either delivered as well as they were last night. Alun is on at the end.

No club next week as many will be suffering from a surfeit of chocolate (and others fish?). In the absence of the usual drivel from me to fill in your potentially empty lives, why not investigate the website’s other pages? “Profiles of Personnel” will tell you all about the heroes who turn out rain or shine every week; have a look at “T shirts on tour” to see the corners of the globe where we’ve been to spread the word? Loads of stuff to read on the site, or listen to some classics on our Soundcloud site (via the link on the Homepage). Next clubnight 6th April, 54th Anniversary (with butties).

Friday 16th March 2018

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on March 17, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

A bottle of “Famous Grouse” had been brought in for the “sound man”, but as Jeff wasn’t there, it went into the raffle, but more of that later.

I opened with three with an Irish theme (Paddy’s Day 17th), while the latecomers shuffled in.

It’s always good to see Terry McKenna and always better to hear him. Take a cloth to your guitar, Terry – look at the fingermarks! There’s one of his songs at the end of the blog.

Adrian had disregarded all the begging letters and was still gloating with the untouched £20 in his pocket from last week. He did the Dunne song, as it were.

Alun was all set to do “Spanish Lady”, but I’d beaten him to it. When we were kids, liquiroce was known as “Spanish” – what was that about? Was it just a Lancashire thing? “Adieu Sweet Nancy” was a better replacement.

Mike had a new song, called “Last Trip Home”, about the demise of the big farm horses. I regard all horses as vicious, unreliable animals. However when cut into 1 inch cubes, dusted in flour, well browned and done for 6 hours in a low oven with wine, stock and the usual aromatics, they are meltingly tender. Nice song and I’m sure you’ll be word perfect next time out Mike.

Brian had another t shirt from his collection, heavy with the scent of naphthalene. This one featured “Let it be” so guess the year (sorry, no prizes).I enjoyed tonight’s WW1 ditty “When this bloody war is over”, although the original wasn’t “bloody”, but some of Brian’s audiences may be more sensitive than the one at Rhyl. He rounded the song off with “The Last Post” on his concertina. Alun assures me (and he knows this sort of stuff) that this was the American version of “Last Post”. May need to change it Brian.

Geoff Skellon’s Lancashire dialect set went down a storm last night. I can offer a translation service for a very reasonable fee.

That took us to the break. Jeff won the Snowball but wasn’t there so it rolls over to a Grand next week.

The whisky. We couldn’t bloody believe it. Adrian bloody West won it. Makes Jacob Zuma look above board.

T Gwyn gave us Adrian Henri’s “Tonight at Noon” and some Betjeman before we launched into a second set each.

Lots of chorus songs from everyone, notably “Molly Malone” from Alun and “Rose of Allendale” from Brian. Adrian sang “The Barley Mow”, which contained nearly all the Imperial liquid measurements, except “firkin”; a surprise, as Adrian’s songs almost always contain some sort of firkin or other.

EmCee was waxing lyrical about his new book, “The History of Cholera”, but he didn’t give away the ending for those who were still to read it.

Don’t forget the club is closed on Good Friday and the 54th Anniversary (with butties) will be on the 6th April. The “raison d’etre” of the club now sadly seems to be merely the support of Adrian West’s lavish lifestyle. April 20th AGM., April 27th, Kimber’s Men.

Here’s Terry.

Friday March 9th 2018.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on March 10, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

The snow had melted (at least on the coast), Tynewydd has a new boiler, I was back from Colombia with a new cocaine supplier and we had special guests “Wet The Tea”. All was well with the world (till we drew the Snowball number).

Brian admitted he was using the club solely as a practise ground for a forthcoming (cash in pocket) WW1 event and rightly got some abuse. He was wearing a Chuck Berry 1992 Tour t-shirt; how that man looks after his clothes.

Alun sang a hiraeth song which had the Welsh speakers crying in their beer before suggesting that his O’Carolan tune “Fanny Power” was in some way connected to International Women’s Day. Mike cheered us up with “Streets of Forbes” where the bloke gets shot to pieces, and there was the usual forgettable spot from me. It would get better.

Guests WTT consisted of Andy1, playing banjo and bouzouki, young Kieran (maybe Ciaran?) on bodhran and what Alun assures me is called a Cajon (with an accent on the “o”), a sort of bass drum in the form of a wooden box, and Andy2 who did the banter and the singing as well as playing guitar, whistles and flute. You don’t need to be Brain of Britain to suss out that this was an Irish influenced band.

Overall we had a good mix of songs and tunes, with faultless musicianship; signs of a mis-spent youth practising instruments when they should have been out playing footie, robbing houses or shagging the girl from number 23 who’d do the business for a tube of Smarties.

“Parting Glass” was probably my favourite of the night, but some of Andy2’s own songs were also excellent – well above the level of the average “here’s one wot I ‘rote on Wednesday when my dog died” which we so often get. AWR has selected one of these for our track of the week which you can hear when you’ve trawled through this drivel.

A high powered “Early Morning Rain” (not as good as my version, but other opinions are available) took us to the break.

The 5 Alfrescos each won a raffle prize. Come on, that’s just taking the piss! Worse was to come. Adrian West won the 2000p Snowball. Go through his pockets, Liz, to eek out the housekeeping or he’ll booze it away.

Part 2 started with Geoff Durno who played a Mozart waltz with Brian on concertina. Presumably to make our guests sound even better than they were.

Jeff sang two in A minor (that’s a key, Andrew) – presumably he’d learnt a 4th chord this week. Jeff, to be fair, had done an excellent job with the sound this week and gets a House Point; getting the levels right for such a variety of instruments is no easy task.

Adrian’s windfall had not gone down well with the audience and he received a “mixed reception” when he got up for a couple of songs.

A second stonker of a set from WTT finished off the night, sending home lots of smiley faces, despite the outcome of the raffles. I would be very surprised if we didn’t have them back next year.

It’s a requirement that we tell you that the AGM is on the 20th April. You’ve been told.

Here’s “Wet the Tea”


Friday April 18th 2014 (50th Anniversary).

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on April 19, 2014 by Rhyl Folk Club

apr_18_3_rr cutoutApr 18 8 rrWith a capacity crowd and a long list of singers, Andrew rolled up the sleeves of his K.F.C. shirt (other take-aways are available) and got off to an early start. If you want to see everyone who sang, look at the collage at the bottom, the list is too long to mention everyone in the blog.

apr_18_4_rrIt was a delight to see and hear some of the “old-timers” who had made the effort to be at the club on our 50th anniversary. Darryl got “premature clap” when, merely pausing in his song to take a swig from his pint of Chilean merlot, some of the audience thought (wished?) he’d finished and put their hands together. I owe a great personal debt to Darryl for his encouragement when I first started at the club over 25 years ago. If you think I’m crap now, you should have heard me then! apr 18 16 rr

Hadyn Smith, looking very dapper, first sang at the club in 1966, and despite having to be somewhere else on the night managed to turn up to give a moving version of “The Fish Finger Blues”.

I’m not sure how Brian got through “All the little chickens”, with the wall of sound of farmyard animals coming back at him. Brian looks almost as young as ever (due to the picture in his attic), but alas, Jeff seems to have now stopped exfoliating and using his moisturiser and is showing 6 of the 7 signs of ageing; the only one he fails to demonstrate is rigor mortis. Jeff has been doing much of the graft for the club for years and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. That unfortunately doesn’t stop me taking the piss.apr 18 14 rr

Thanks to all the ladies who provided the food and to everyone who brought stuff for the raffle. Except Mike Hawkins. Those who read last weeks summary may remember he returned a perfectly good bottle of booze which he then won for a second time. Sure enough it returned again this week. Hopefully it has now gone to a good home where it will be treated with more care and respect.apr 18 9 rr

It was fitting that young Mathew finished off the evening, after hearing the people who had carried the club through it’s first 50 years. Billy Connolly once likened life to a bus journey, where people keep getting off, sometimes before their stop. Over the years we’ve lost a few; Mike Hand, Kristen, Lindsay and of course, Ted. Due to the demographics of the club, it’s inevitable that more of us will be standing up and ringing the bell and we seem unable to attract a younger element to come and have a laugh on a Friday night, with the predictable end result of Mathew singing to an empty room (or a row of urns). We hope Mathew got his parents back to the home safely.

Guest night next week – Peter and Barbara Snape.50th collage finish

apr 18 21 rr