Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday July 10th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 11, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Hey ho and away we go; I’m giving John a break today, so don’t expect erudition, education or jokes. BTW, this report is not subject to a monopoly. If you would like to contribute a rendition of what went on, then please speak to John Shepherd. I’m sure he would welcome a hand every now and again. You don’t have to be Pulitzer Prize standard, as you can see from my meagre offerings, just tell it like you see it and bung it in an email to Beniar, and hey presto, you’re in print. There is no reason that we can’t have a precis in cymraeg. In fact we should be more inclusive all round. So, two things to think about, 1. Have a go at the blog report one Friday. 2. Get someone who can parley vous to give us a translation for proper bilingual report, or just a few paragraphs in welsh to keep those who would prefer to see this in their own language.

Right, so that’s the drum banged, and I wasn’t going to say anything about Gaffer’s braces.

Anne and Frank were in early, as was Adie and turns –various sound-checking with a loon. I had made a note to admonish ARJ, but John Warburton kindly stepped in with the correction, I would have given him a hundred lines as well! Irish indeed!- Maryhill, Glasgow is the birthplace of Donovan. John S kicked us off with a geography lesson and two tales of the sea, or dying, which going round Cape Horn or rowing over sand-bars can be a precursor to. Today’s first lesson was going to be about the number of acorns able to be carried by a Jay in its gullet. You will be pleased to know that I may do that for homework. Today’s lesson is about the etymology of “cocky” and includes reference to Mike H and his fine rendition of Now I’m Easy. A cocky, or more correctly a cow cocky is Australian or NZ slang for a dairy farmer. And cocky’s joy is not what you think it is. Check it out in Chambers. Mike’s second offering was the Song for Ireland. Nick Jackson up next with When I’m  Gone by Phil Ochs and a true (?) story about a redundant Rotherham gardener, whose ingenuity with both dibber and bulb placement did not go down well with the authorities. I have spared your blushes with regard cormorants, flatulence and the benefits of orchidectomy on male cattle.

T Gwyn next, with a poem in welsh and a railroad song by a big mate of Woody Guthrie.  Margaret Mead was in late, as was Roly.

Ashley was in late (again) and not done his homework (again).

I leave that sentence so I can cut and paste it next week, saves me typing.

Normal background checks having been done and Chas and Jan were in too. Gaffer next with stories of heavily laden maritime transport going down off West Shore. Cracking braces. I have no time to research the etymology of bitter. As in four bitter and six bitter. I am a huge fan of bitter, so after my research, I will let you know. Early indications seem to suggest that it may not be the same as a hop-based fluid sold widely. This six bitter (hyphen?) was about avoiding the revenue men in the west country. I am happy to report that he had it away on his toes ( on a horse) in the morning.

Dafydd and Bea next up with a cornucopia of verse in both languages. Llewelyn and an alphabet soup sounds like a menu item in a posh estaminet.

Advert: Like-minded chums with Tuesday diversions in mind should check out Dragons Breath zoom meeting. Usual rules apply: 3175777448. Pswd 653326. It is a good night according to the webmaster. Accordingly, a double offering from both Mr and Mrs Warburton. John, having corrected ARJ in his false belief in the Hibernian roots of Mr Leitch, gave us Donovan’s Why do you treat me like you do? Carol had a fine bit of whimsy regarding a wayward goat and other travails. John finished off his set with a fine version of Steve Knightley’s Cousin Jack.

Geoff Durno’s appendages were in recovery sufficient for him to entertain us in grand style with a H Andrews song Take a little time. Harvey A is the one wot wrote the Rhymin’ song that we all love and mis-time to collective delight each time Geoff does it. Catch a boat paired up Geoff’s turn. Sheila up next. Lots of the spoken word tonight and no bad thing either in my view. And we haven’t finished the first half yet!

Sheila had more cheerful fare for us tonight with Mrs Ayres and her dentist’s national anthem, followed by an outrageous plan to preserve the ozone layer, the flatulence tax by John O’Neill, may be just the thing to reduce greenhouse gasses- or not! John Killion continues to look better and we are all happy about that. More words, if any were needed, on the benefits of beer. You’ll have no arguments from me lad! Sam Small up before the C.O., was next, trying to mitigate his part in a fracas caused during a drinking session. Surely not! ARJ brought a full to the brim first half to a close with the aforementioned Donovan and the perennial Streets of London.

Drinks break, down on one knee and we are off again. Mike rambling and Nick tasting the delights of Sutton-on-Sea. T Gwyn and the haunting Butch Hancock number If You Were a Bluebird. Gwyn mention covers by Emmylou Harris and Joe Ely, but I think the version by Butch himself on the Joe Ely live at Liberty Lunch is one of few songs which are better when sung by a man. Just sayin’.

Any word starting with onycho is liable to excite anyone but Gaffers refusal to offer pedicure as a condition of marriage has a certain attraction. JW gave us his self-penned paean to proscribed substances before Mr D’s in praise of tea. Where is Rick? John K had a true story (he says) of the problems experienced by the Oldham Rangers who discovered that they had no beans in their snap.

ARJ finished off with adverts for male cosmetics (Lynx-geddit?) and thanked all and sun-dried for their efforts , noting the welcome plethora of spoken word contributions in both Welsh and English.

A loon also suggested a conversational free-for-all after the final number. This was contrary to the advice of all Johns and quite a few others. They were right! It was utter chaos- the conversational equivalent of herding cats- still we all had a good laugh….. and Natasha enjoyed it.

Here’s the recording :-



Friday July 3rd 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 4, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

This week’s version comes from Lesley.

“The View From The Gallery”

Well here we go, my first RFC Friday night blog. Another typical British summer’s night, rain lashing and wind blowing, but a night of music and fun to look forward to.

The gallery was filling up with all the usual suspects Aussie John, Glenys, Adie, Izzy, Andrew and Ruth, Auntie Ann had been to zoom night classes and had mastered the camera, lovely to see her and Frank live on screen.


John S. started with an unusual combo of Lancashire Lads and The Lancashire Fusiliers (think he wanted to get in 2 for the price of 1), followed by Ralph McTell’s Naomi, a lovely song. Next up was John Warburton form Dragon’s Breath Folk Club (visit their club on zoom on a Tuesday evening). A pair of his own songs, Romany Rye, a take on the Raggle Taggle Gypsies  and other similar folk songs, and Warm Glow. Congratulations to John (and is it Carol?) on their 48th wedding anniversary.

Mike Hawkins sang Come by the Hills and Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where the Time Goes, always a treat. This week Sheila made a background guest appearance, Mike claimed she had been distilling Gin in her absence. I’ll have some of that Sheila. This prompted some audience participation in the gallery, where Ash was seen running his own illicit still. Watch out for those angels Ash, they’ll be coming for their share.

Two videos from T Gwyn, Dark end of the Street and a poem in Welsh Mi Gerddaf Gydda Thi, which reduced Alun to tears. Nice country and western shirt Gwyn, and good continuity, same shirt on the vid and the night. (or do you subscribe the John Shepherd school of couture, If I put it on on Monday it’ll do till Friday.) The infamous “Gaffer” Ferris was back with us with a history offering describing Stonewall Jackson’s Suppository – don’t think about it- and a song that can only be sung by a native for fear of lynching, Boring Boring Bodmin. I marvel at how he thinks them up, as Aristotle said “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness”

Alun, or rather Wendy had uncovered an old song (she found it under a pile of stuff destined for the charity shop) by James Henry Miller AKA Ewan Maccoll, lovely evocative lyrics, but didn’t catch the title. He followed this with a Laughing Len song, Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye. Well done Alun, hopefully your new fibre broadband has made the techy stuff easier this week.

Bea rounded off the first pass with one of her own poems entitled Rabbit World, the story of a rabbit haunted (or was it hunted) by a farmer and some of today’s less ethical farming methods. Brilliant Bea, it is so good to showcase some female talent.

Back round again JS did my favourite Burn’s song, Ae Fond Kiss, and later another by Bernard Wrigley, but we’ll gloss over that kind of innuendo.

Perhaps the highlight of the second half was a video, a blast from the past. Rum Bum and Concertina with the fondly remembered Ted leading Mingulay Boat Song, back in the time when Alun had the strength to squeeze a full size accordion, while in the gallery Chas and Jan sat in front of a picture of The Bees Knees. Maybe there are more of these gems hidden down the back of the sofa.

John Warburton had 2 more, one of his own and Donovan’s Catch The Wind, while Mike went to Old Maui and then Over The Hill and far away, will he back in time for next weeks session?

Back in the Gallery, Sally and Peter had been trawling the net and found Catch the Wind referenced in a 1530 sonnet “Whoso List To Hunt…” by Thomas Wyatt. We can only wish for bandwidth enough to multi task up here in the back of beyond.

An unexpected live spot from T Gwyn (his broadband being relatively stable tonight). Billy The Kid, dedicated to EmmCee and some of Betjeman’s “Indoor Games Near Newbury”. The mention of Wendy initiated some discussion in the gallery around “flying” dreams and whether they involved wacky baccy and LSD, but anyway, Alun claimed that they were better than Google Maps in that you could swoop in and out at will.

Gaffer, alias Doug Springer, questioned Napoleons shooting ability and then using his medical background declared Admiral Benbow fit for work and Alun finished the night with his Little Pot Stove and Ar Lan Y Mor – with more key changes than are good for the average man.

All in all an excellent night. Thanks to all who came, singers and audience, you all add to the experience. Come back next week.

Here’s the link to the recording.



Friday June 26th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on June 27, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

This weeks version of events comes from EmCee.

Another week in lockdown and first up to girls queue was auntie Ann with John R waiting his turn at the head of the boys line. Ann is going to need someone to jiggle a few buttons in order to get the dash cam functioning. At this house we use the shout and scream at the screen system. It is comprehensively unsuccessful, but you just feel better. I have heard reports that a nine year old child has been used to good effect.

So, its early doors all round , and Ann (M.S.) has signed Adie in without the chocolate orange, but Edna is both resplendent and triumphant in her Liverpool shirt. 30 years and we strolled it in the end!. Roly was in too, but with lighting issues I’d say. We have cured our shadow existence by moving the light behind our settee. Glenys was a tonsorial triumph and Ashley hadn’t done his homework. Chas and Jan were the candidates for the late book this week, and they should know better! Also late, but with a good excuse, was Natasha. Moscow is a bloody long way, but we have this week been globetrotting from British Columbia to Moscow and Nantglyn, to say nothing of Rhydymwyn.  I think the confusion over Natalia’s name is one of using an affectionate shortening of her given name to Natasha, I think. It is a bit like us saying Aluncariad –me duck.

Anyway, off we got with John and this week’s word Doric. Nothing architectural but a scots variant indicating origins in NE Scotland – just saying. And Mike Harding’s King Cotton. Mike H next with K.Rusby’s Cruel, and then the Grey funnel line. Dafydd next with a Welsh poem in saesneg. Helen Shilladay ( always a treat ) gave us RM’s tomatoes and peppers (rev) and one about sheep.

Helen whalewatching , British Columbia

The Club “get well soon” card has worked its magic and JK was up to push young Sam Small to front and centre with one about having tea with royalty and another about theft of musical instruments. Both were probably Court Martial offences. Nice to see you back John. BTW, Natasha has promised a contribution next week- hurrah!

It was at this stage that tinterweb went belly-up at Beniar, but luckily John knows a technical wizard, so all was restored tout suite. T Gwyn video footage followed and the very sad tale from J Prine about young love. BTW (2) Alun is going to try and get some old footage of Rum, Bum and Concertina to fill the half-way video slot soon. Now there’s a prospect! Watch this space.

Second half kicked off with a poignant reminder from John of our good friend and sadly missed chum, Val who passed away last August. Her tireless work for the Dementia charities was a credit to her. The, so called, Alzheimer’s Song , about dementia, deterioration and demise by Mikey McConnell is a song to get us all thinking.

I forgot to mention David Hytch’s contribution via a couple of Hank Williams numbers. I have a cd of the “lost” recordings of Hank Williams, and it is well worth a listen. David also gave us a couple from his Bobness, so a perfect pair there in my view. Helen had a June Tabor song before  Rolling Home ( all 4,700 miles of them). Powderfinger, Loving Anna and a couple more from the accordionist brought us to 10.30. BTW (3) I have just finished a book, where, central to the story was a glass armonica. Never heard of it, never seen one before (Google obliged), just saying.

See you all next week. Hey ho. A

Here’s the recording :-

Friday June 19th 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on June 20, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Jeff wasn’t with us tonight as he’d had a bad day at work. Paper rounds are tough on ageing limbs.

AWR announced that he’s leaving the club but is prepared to carry on with the Friday night sessions. Our very visible online profile is very much down to his efforts and he will be missed.

Tonight looked like being Cornish night. I opened with songs from Cornishmen Mike Silver and Steve Knightly, then, bugger me if John Warburton didn’t follow with two more from the peninsula.

At this point Chas and Jan appeared on the gallery, seemingly from Stonehenge, in their hippy outfits, waiting for the Solstice. Possibly, they’d had a “mushroom” omlette for tea. Peace!

Mike and David Hytch both did excellent spots, but there’s still a problem with David’s guitar sound, which is a terrible shame.

It’s Jeff’s birthday today, and I’d had a significant one last week. I’m still patiently waiting for the wisdom that comes with old age. Despite being married for over 30 years, Lesley still gets uppity when I borrow her toothbrush. Anyone know another way to get shog dite out of the soles of your trainers?

One of the few people older than me and still breathing is Nick Jackson. Hands down worst lockdown haircut so far, Nick. Featured a couple of his own songs tonight.

Then we were off up the Orme to our real Cornishman. Gaffer’s rough translation of the Welsh classic Bugeilo’r Gwenith Gwyn (watching the white wheat) suffered from a transposition of carbohydrates and ended up “I’d sooner have you than a plate of chips” (at 50 mins on the recording – don’t miss it).

Alun somehow had to follow that. He was playing his tenor (or £9.99) mandola. A refreshing change from endless guitars. How about the banjo next week? “Sold Down the River?” Despite rumours to the contrary, I’m a big fan of the banjo.

A couple of weeks ago Andy Gallacher was wearing a cracking pair of tartan trews; this week he was naked from the waist down as his kilt was at the cleaners. It looked like his sporran was there though.

Mel and Dafydd concluded the live turns.

There were recorded items from T Gwyn and the Bull twins but nothing again from Moscow – has someone offended Natasha? Time for one more each from those appearing “live”. Or as alive as some of them get. An ambulance had to be called to the Ostanek’s as Mark seemed to have passed away on the settee.

Hopefully we’ll be back next week.

Friday June 12th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on June 13, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

This weeks version of events comes courtesy of EmCee :-

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a quiz is easy, when you know the answers.
I’ll start at the beginning; actually I’ll start in the middle. T Gwyn kicks us off in the video section with the (black) Chair from Birkenhead, followed by a lovely rendition of the Guy Clark classic- Let Him Roll. This deals with the perils of old age and sex workers in Dallas, about which, more later. It was Brian Bull who set the cat among the squabs with his mention of Stan Tester (I know, I know). He gave us Man in the Moon and I sought a little background information whilst the evening progressed. Well, as you may know, the great god google can and does an awful lot in milliseconds. It could not, however, come up with young Stan. Frustration piled on frustration, giving way to swearing and general bloody-mindedness until I googled the tune. I need say no more, but I will. I am now much better informed about Brighton, Bandonions, Uruguay and ladies in preposterous high heels with equally preposterous long legs. By the way, his name is really Lewis and I will leave it to others to find “scanteloper” in a dictionary. Next up was BB junior. Richard gave us a more recent offering from his Bobness. Two questions here, what advantages does a “cut away” guitar confer upon the player/listener? And (2) how does AWR know that the song has been covered 459 times? Richard’s offering was described by our host, Jeff, as “diamond”, I agree. Thanks again to AWR for his technological convolutions to bring us this entertaining slot just about by the beer break time.
Right then, we now og to the beginning. JB in the late book, but sporting a natty set of cans, Adrian with connection issues that were, according to T Gwyn exacerbated by Jeff translocating to the East wing of Blyther’s Mansion, down in the valley below. Anything that starts off with Jimmy Rodgers is bound to be good and get better, and so it turned out. The webmaster had time to nip out to tinker with the website and see the lady from Dallas, and be back in two minutes. Mike joined in with a couple of tunes, including the one about the demise of the working horse. John was in more sombre mood, considering his dad’s birthday, his own, next week and his Loudon on Thursday, a series of descending numbers. Gaffer Ferris was trying to deceive us into believing he was a dead springer spaniel, but we were not so easily fooled. There were a few attenders this evening looking to form a pogonophilia sub-committee, but the chair would have to be taken by Gaffer. Barratt the younger has a way to go yet, as his dad has told him. Gaffer expostulated at length on his efforts to form a Geoff Durno Appreciation Band, but found that few wished to join him. So he did the grandfather clock one that Geoff was going to do. Yikes! Then the quickie history of the origins of the Great War. You need to listen carefully, but it is all there, and as good as Mel’s rendition of Hamlet.
Geoff up next, with his set-list in tatters thanks to Gaffer. He still managed a fine pair of tunes. ARJ had to explain declension and mutation to Jeff before his cymraeg version of a S and G classic, then a Mary O’Hara song, The Parting. How does Zoom arrange the thumbnails?, just a thought. Technical hitches caused by Andy Gallagher’s tartan trousers (he wasn’t wearing them) meant David Hych was next with a nice couple with spare guitar work. This left AG with enough time to get his Big Train running.
Rolling round to the Lord Gallt Melyd, more Bobness in the form of Spanish footwear, whilst Mike had Aragon Mill. John, wishes his days away until Thursday with Alan Taylor’s Roll on the Day- a proper chorus song. Mel had got dressed up to Roger the cabin boy and we all raised our hands to the joys of losing various parts of our anatomy, which is a risk factor if you want to be a pirate, a pirate.
Gaffer’s final offering of the evening was another history lesson about el Duce. With an iddy-umpty approach to the perils of pasta, pizza, plans and prosecco that encapsulated that part of the history of Italy. A marvellous cultural break and thank you Gaffer. Geoff did Anna Marie and David did the one about moving through the fair. I’ve got this with a lady doing it , but I can’t remember who. I remember the Who, of course, but, where was I?- oh yes Alun finished off with the joys of the N17.
No Natasha tonight and Ashley has not done his homework for two weeks now. Notwithstanding those shortcomings, a fine evening’s entertainment and one enjoyed by all. Many thanks to our host Jeffrey, (those cans will have to be returned to AWR). Big up to AWR, as always, for bringing it all together- and holding it there! I’m off to do a bit of research on Jimmy Rodgers and if you need a small introduction then I recommend Same Train, different Time by Merle Haggard. Which reminds me, Jeff, we haven’t heard If I Could Only Fly for ages? See to it- boy!! Or my office!!
See you all next week, when John Shepherd will not be the age he is now.

Friday June 5th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on June 6, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

What a week. Started with blistering temperatures and people scared to mix because of the virus; ended with Autumn rain and wind, crowds oblivious to the virus, protesting against racism and then back with Madeleine McCann. All was well, however at Rhyl Folk Club.

While we were waiting for Jeff to empty his bladder and get another beer to refill it, T Gwyn read a piece remembering Tiananmen Square (31 years ago!). When Jeff returned he chose the first spot but hadn’t clicked “the blue box” and consequently his guitar sounded like he was playing in a bucket of water. Normally he sounds like he’s playing in a bucket of dog turds. To be fair, there was some exceptional playing on his second number.

David Hytch is always worth a listen. It’s frustrating that we can’t get his sound right. “Della and the dealer” – big tick.

Geoff Durno was again struggling with his hardware, and his John Prine song was a bit coming and going (there was to be more of that later), but thankfully he got sorted for his second half spot.

We’ve got a new laptop and I’m writing this tosh from the kitchen today. Lesley is struggling with a recipe – can anyone help us with one of the ingredients, called “left over wine”?

Mike was remembering D Day with Eric Bogle, with Sheila’s hand making frequent appearances in shot to reach for the booze. Zoom, KY Jelly and alcohol – the Holy Trinity of lockdown. Many of us are doing on line quizzes – do you know you can fit 63 Earths inside Uranus? One day, I hope to be mature enough to say this without laughing.

I’ve known Andy Gallacher for 25 years and have been spelling his name wrongly all that time (with a “g” for the “c”). Cracking pair of strides you had on last night Andy.

Natalia usually joins us from Moscow at about 9.00. On the chat column, people were trying to explain how to pronounce “Dafydd”. I suspect she thought we were taking the piss.

A couple from me included “The Valley of Strathmore”, one I’ve got earmarked for my funeral; with a “zero” birthday coming up in a fortnight, it makes sense to have things organised. In my spare time this week I’ve built a high tech weather forecasting unit. Seems to do the job.

Alun had bought himself a new guitar for his birthday. He is asking for suggestions for a name – it’s a mahogany Takemine parlour guitar, never raced or rallied. There was “Cummings and Goings” – will this be a song sung by Folkies in 2120? Answers on a postcard……

There was a (welcome?) return for Nicholas L Jackson and Bill Caddick’s “John o’ Dreams”Many frequently point out that I spend much of my time taking the piss out of Nick. And? Lesley and I couldn’t decide if he’d had a DIY haircut or he was going for the slicked-down “spiv” look. Anyone want a Cortina engine? Mk4. Or a case of Uzbekistan fags?

The blog will be a bit late out this morning, as I’ve just had Keith Price on the phone. He’s been on one knee half the week (it seemed a popular thing to be doing) and would I send someone round to help him stand up.

Jeff was able to take a break from MCing as AWR played a series of recordings sent to him this week. First was T Gwyn with “Aberdaron” and a Len Cohen song.

There were more subtitles for Natalia. This week she sang a lovely Russian folk song about a sea captain, accompanied by a pair of beautifully decorated wooden spoons (not dishwasher safe).

Next up was Richard Bull with a cutaway guitar (a Stratocaster next week?) Excellent stuff Richard. It’s about time you got shut of the old bloke – he’s holding you back.

In fact, the old bloke was next, his finger now unfortunately having recovered enough to play concertina.

Time for 1 each from the live performers. As I said earlier, Geoff Durno had mastered his sound; so much so that Glenys moved position to sit in front of her magnificent Grandfather clock (with a cuckoo that pops out on the hour) for Geoff’s horological song

Breaking News :- for those from Rhyl, it is understood that the woman who works Parrys’ Corner, who had been furloughed by her employer, is now back working, with full PPE and a Dyson, offering limited services.

Courtesy of AWR’s hard work, here’s last night’s recording.

Friday May 29th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on May 30, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

In these unprecedented times, we are all doing things differently, as our Zoom folk club
evenings can testify. So, I make no apology to giving a plug to the PSB programme (BBC4 and iPlayer)
which is “the History of Country Music”. Nine, hour long episodes, about music and its development
in the USA. It touches on all aspects of music, given the huge melting pot that it dips into and is
never less than entertaining. Ideal lockdown stuff, though no mention of Joe Ely or Butch Hancock.
In another added bonus to this week’s report, I can reveal that Andrew WR has worked his
magic and we have the technological extravaganza from last evening and (how do you underline in
word?) the live performance of those nice young men from Wrexham (??  probably closer to the Mersey? – JS)- Wet The Tea, when they
visited the club in 2019. A veritable cornucopia of entertainment awaits, well done AWR and well
done Jeff for MC duties.

Alun came early and went early with bandwidth issues. His new router and laptop appear to
be incompatible with the world of Zoom. Maybe he could beam a couple of tracks to Andrew WR as
insurance, in case of similar issues next week.
I am happy to report that we had a few new faces last night as well as a first for the club. An
outside broadcast from Moscow!, Andy G was back, Chris was asleep, Jeff was dispensing advice to
the lovelorn in Pentre Llyn Cymmer and Mike H kicked us off with everyone’s favourite Jockey Cap.
Mike finished off the opening with Raglan Road. A belting (or is it banging?) start.
David Hytch weighed in next with Dylan and Little Richard, Andy had two Johnny Cash
standards. John Warburton preceded his own” Dragons” with a song by a man who played guitar on
David Bowie’s Space Oddity. So there! Mel has obviously got this Zoom business taped. He can
change his background and make people appear. Chas has also been doing his homework too,
because it looked as though he was caressing a somnolent Chris Ruane- ugh!. Mel gave us the usual
high quality fayre. Lindisfarne and Jeremy Taylor’s Jobsworth. Next up were the Brighton duo,
Charlotte Oliver and Richard Spong with a self-penned number and glorious mud. Charlotte has a
very impressive looking concertina (if, indeed, it is a concertina) that Brian Bull would be envious of,
I’m sure. Best wishes to you and yours Brian. Keep well and we hope to see you soon.
We are well into the evening with Jeff keeping all his balls in the air. John Shepherd next
with Jock O’Hazeldene after the Ralph McTell number- Factory girl. More new faces, this time from a
little nearer Wales. Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer are from Staffordshire (and Stuggart) and it was a
pleasure to hear them. Two lovely melodies, one written in and about Ireland, the other more
serious, tackling the homelessness issue. Jeff quickly put them on notice for the second half.
Jeff popped up next with a couple including a Tom Waits song about being able to cadge
cigarettes of good-looking girls. Geoff D was on the Streets of London before a new (to me) one that
Dafydd does Leonard Cohen and T Gwyn has Guto Benfelyn. Gwyn’s second was the Johnny Cash
favourite written by Pete Lefarge- the Ballad of Ira Hayes. The image of a weather-beaten JC was
used on the cover of the Bitter Tears album in 1964, subtitled Songs of the American Indian. The
album was re-released as a “various artists” in 2014 called Look Again to the Wind, with stalwarts
like Emmylou Harris, David Rawlings, Steve Earle, Gillian (hard G) Welch and Rhiannon Giddens
among others. It is a splendid album and one that you should Spotify in these lockdown times.
Next up was our first, very first Muscovite turn. Hello Moscow and hello Natasha. She said
her song was about a horse and a man, so I guess it was a Russian version of Pancho and Lefty. Or
was it Lefty and Pancho?. Anyway, Natasha promises to be back next week with some instruments
and has promised a rendition of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring using a box of Swan, a bread knife and a
blue biro.
We had just time for one from John S, a L Bart one from the duo from Brighton. Did I
mention the huge concertina? Brian, log on to see Richard and Charlotte, maybe you’ve seen them
out and about? Paul and Karen finished what was a rather splendid evening. From Mike Hawkins to
Auf wiedersehen- me duck, we were hugely entertained by all concerned. Once again, many thanks
to both AWR and the Lord Gallt Melyd. See you next week, and don’t forget the two recommends
this week. Stay safe and stay well.


Friday May 22nd 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on May 23, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

This week, your happy-go-lucky ray of sunshine returns with the blog, to remind you that it’s only a month till the nights start drawing in again.

With the soundchecks done, MCJeff threw himself to the lions for the first set.

img337 smallA couple from me followed, the second with a good thigh-slapping chorus to burn off a few calories from the excess booze. Last week, Lesley had asked “How many drinks a week do you have?” What I thought to be a witty riposte – “I’m an alcoholic, not a bloody accountant” didn’t go down as well as I’d hoped.

Alun sang one with a vague link to Whitsun and Mike was lamenting Lord Franklin and his tinned food (look up the history).

In between turns, Jeff was reading more of his agony aunt correspondence, notably from Myfanwy Carburettor (mother of Dilys Fuelinjector); I would disregard Jeff’s advice – I believe a wire brush and Carbolic soap to be more effective than scrubbing it with Anusol. Try both? The brushes need replacing after a few week’s use.

Mel had been entertaining us all night with his quick-change backgrounds, but now had to sing. “A Pub With No Beer” was no stranger to those of us who used to frequent The Bee – no beer, no light bulbs, no bog roll and, eventually, no landlord.

“Loss of Taste” has been cited as a symptom of a Coronovirus infection. This won’t be much use to some who join us on Zoom on a Friday as, judging from the stuff they have in their homes, they have never had any taste whatsoever.

T Gwyn got some stick on the chat column in this respect- some of the paintings on his wall could frankly have been done by a child. Excellent laid back songs from Gwyn again this week.

I look forward to Ash’s contribution each week. Last night he got off to a dodgy start when his cat tried to climb on his guitar headstock and mate with it.

David Hytch is another very welcome and refreshing addition to the “turns”. Tonight he was playing “slide” on a Dobro. You need a proper microphone David, the sound doesn’t do you justice.

There was verse from Bee and Dafydd. Dafydd had also provided an excellent X word on our FB page this week. When will I receive my £25 for completing it?

Back again in a round of one each. We hope to have an extra extra special treat next week if Natasha, our Moscow correspondent, can record a piece for us to play (time difference means it’s late for her and the other residents may be less than cheerful if she starts singing at just gone midnight).


Philby, Burgess, Maclean…..Roly?

Mel rounded off the night in fine style with a medley of sloppy smoochy songs from yesteryear. Remember the end of the school discos, lads, when they played a slow one at the end; there would be girls dancing on their own and you had 3 minutes to decide “Chippie or a shag?” (wishful thinking, it was always the chippie).

Excellent work from Jeff and AWR in bringing together another fun night; Andrew has got the recording out in superquick time, the link is at the end.

EmCee says he’ll blog next week which should be a more informative account of the evening.


Friday May 15th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on May 16, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Right, here we go. The club are anxious, as always, to be as inclusive as possible and to spread the
news of the good times to be had in the folk club world. To that end, your usual reviewer has asked
for volunteers to give the usual (and usually excellent) Saturday morning PM. That’s not post
meridiem but post mortem, I’m babbling already.
There is a lot going on at these zoom gigs, it may look calm on the surface but, rest assured,
that someone is paddling like mad to keep all the balls in the air. Andrew the younger is the
technical brains underpinning this remarkable transformation of live to virtual. The old guy in the
funny hat is busy calling everyone to order and trying to create the illusion that he is both in charge
and knows what he is doing.
An array of black screens periodically comes alive to reveal a static image of a person or a
couple whose identity may or may not be revealed (or, indeed genuine). Every now and then, the
images may be replaced by silly pictures whilst the incumbent goes off to see to their sourdough
Anyway, the man with the hat (not, The Man in the Hat) calls up a list of the next turns in
some sort of pre-determined order based on God only knows. This does not presage an outbreak of
Beach Boys covers. Thus Jeff makes a start in “radio phone -in” mode and intersperses various
problems of a personal nature from contributors out and about. Some of the advice given is suspect
as well as implausible. Jeff kicked off with a rendition of the second track on John Wesley Harding,
and a Jimmy Rodgers standard involving incarceration.
Mike Hawkins is next with a Peter, Paul and Mary song before Euan McColl’s paean to the
gypsy caravan. The usual rich performance of Mike’s voice was supplemented by Mel’s variable
back-drops which he seemed to be able to change at will. Pictures of fruit and caravans, no, I don’t
know either.
Alun was up next, in a world of his own, with apposite and heartfelt altered lyrics for the
times (unprecedented-obv) we are in. Just a small note, we are all immunologists now, but vaccines
are not grown, but, cultured. Just sayin’. The second song involved small trees and heavy armoury
Geoff Durno had a belting version of the Bobby Sands song which pleaded for his early
release, unsuccessfully, unfortunately. He never did get back to Derry. The second one, I’d never
heard before. You get this sloppy reportage with unpaid volunteers.
Mel and his constantly changing back-drop gave us a R. Digance number about money,
followed by a politician’s standard retort litany which I’m happy to make clear here.
David Hytch followed his Alan Taylor song with the regretful reminder of John Prine’s death.
So many artists have covered so many of his songs. He will be missed.
Jeff came back on with a Noddy Holder hat this time, whilst I was casting my eye around the
zoom (geddit?), Alice and David do not have the Datsun Cherry in the living room, Aidie had
forgotten his chocolate orange and Chas and Jan have a pair of Joey and Chandler chairs-I think. Roly
was in, John was on sound only, Dafydd and Bee live behind a stained glass window, Glenys has
more animal hats than is healthy and Tgwyn has also got silly hats. Stuart and Edna, I couldn’t hear
your tambourine-man. Oh, and hello Natasha all the way from Moscow.
TGwyn had an ancient poem about battles long ago in Rhuddlan, before an Incredible String
Band number. I like the picking style of playing, if that’s what it’s called. I also like Ashley and it’s
about time too. These last two came in via whatever it is called and rejiggled by young Andrew as if
by magic. It’s all to do with bandwidth and BT monopoly. But it does mean that you can all have a go
if you want. And that’s the important thing. I’m thinking here of Margaret and Roddy, go on, make a
little video, get in touch with AWR and he will guide you through the magic. Nothing from Brian this
week, we miss you.
John Shepherd next, and definitely no mention of the dreadful joke between Kate Rusby’s
Maid of Llanwellyn and McTell’s peppers and tomatoes. Glenys did her best with the hats and Chris
was determined to do his Colonel Haji.
Bee read some poetry before Dafydd assailed us with something whilst I went to see to my
sourdough. He introduced his contribution with the admission that he could demonstrate the truism
that not all Welshmen are choristers. That man has never lied to us.
We turn round at this stage and go backwards. Ogdna. As I said at the get go, I’m new to this
and am trying to keep it both brief and informative. Proper journalism, accuracy, humour and good
spelling will all come with practice. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Etc. See you all next week at a
zoom near you.

Here’s the recording :-

The life and music of John Shepherd

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on May 9, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Warts and all,