Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday 11th September 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on September 12, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Being busy last night, helping John muting and un-muting and generally being his technical guru I had little time to note who sang what, where and when, so today’s blog has no relevance to what happened. It is rather tongue in cheek and based on a song covered by that famous American folkie Pete Seeger.

Rather than read it, you must sing it to the original tune.

Little boxes on the laptops
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the I pads
Little boxes all the same

There’s a Mike one and a John one
There’s a Moto 8 and an Edna one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the boxes
Though some went to University
They were all put in little boxes
And they all came out the same.

And there’s Doctors and Dentists
And a bloke who keeps animals
And they’ve all got Aran jumpers
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on their instruments
And drink from pewter tankards
And they all join in the choruses
With fingers in their ears.

And some they play guitars
And some they play harmonicas
And they all sit in their boxes
And they all look just the same.

And some they sing traditional
And some they read poetry
I hope they’ll be back next week
And they all do just the same.

There’s a Welsh one and a Scottish one
There’s an Kentish and a Cornish one
But I’ve had 10 pints of cider now
And they all sound just the same!

If you want to know what really happened you’ll have to wait and see if Alun has time to put the recording on You Tube when he returns from his well earned holiday.

It’s here!

Friday September 4th 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on September 5, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Back to school and no moaning. Everyone will be expected to be smart and in uniform. Clean shoes, no heels – girls, ties, berets and caps – boys. Double music on Friday. All pupils will need a geometry set with 6 inch ruler and compasses. Blotting paper may be useful. Please note that ARJ is NOT allowed to have a pencil-sharpener; he has form with regard bladed articles. John S will deputise as Head Boy until young Hawkins can find his white plimsolls. Glenys is Head Girl, provided that she stops rolling up the waist-band of her school skirt to above the knee status. Detention awaits anyone talking, sniggering or chewing gum. The Head, Mr Williamson will give everyone the week-end Orff, except accordion players- obv. Homework is at the end of this lesson. No copying or cribbing will be tolerated. I’m frightened to ask about Ashley’s homework.

A puff now ( geddit?) for Dragons Breath. Tuesday zoom sessions are increasing in popularity and may be accessed in similar vein to ours. ID is 3175777448, with the passcode 653326. Get in and get on. We will see you all there on the 15th if all goes to plan. Thanks to Head Prefect Roly for the heads-up on this one.

Away we go. Wait for the bell. First off the bus is Mike Hawkins. Dylan starts us off, always a winner. And today’s useless piece of information, the lyrics of Times they are a’changin’ were sold for $422,000. Next time that Miss sets you an essay for homework, you would do well to remember that maybe, maybe one day….. Next was the Month of January, which was a sorry tale of exploitation of the working class. Nowt changes eh?

A debut now, welcome to Stuart’s first turn. A Donovan number, Catch the Wind. Splendid stuff Stuart and well done you- gob iron and all! A first class effort and we hope that it is not the last.

Dafydd was up before Bee. Gerallt Lloyd-Owen’s poem Cilmeri. It is near Builth Wells. Bags of alliteration with the death of the last Prince of Wales. Bee gave us Dad; it was a poignant love story about the relationship of family. Phil is another welcome newbie, all the way from Northumberland.

The Andy Hill song, Tailor of the Dales was a treat. The day’s work was 7 yards of dry-stone wall building which, having seen the intricacies of same, is a fair way. This was followed by another we’ve not heard before, and a treat indeed. The pastiche of the S and G classic was an absolute treat and a warning about over-consumption and lock-ins. More please.

T Gwyn gave us the title track of maybe the second best Little Feat album, Dixie Chicken. Time loves a Hero for me Gwyn.  John Betjeman was first though, quite right too.

Gaffer next with another tale of history. This one about wells. It was also a variation of the Dunn song made famous by Adrian West. A farmers tale next, I think.

Chaz and Jan had us all agog with anticipation. A credit to Dave Costello and a cover of the Christy Moore classic –Missing You. Again we are so pleased to hear new contributions and songs we don’t hear often. Another new face, another welcome fresh injection in Ian Campbell. Ian is from Sevenoaks in Kent. A fine pair of tunes which were, sadly unknown to me, and I couldn’t get ‘em via google.

John brought the first round to a close with Billy Austin. And he only killed one man. So the evening’s first half starts with His Bobness and ends with Steve Earle (and Eric Bogle). And the bits in the sandwich were a real entertaining mix. I’m within an ace of closing this revue right here and now on the basis that it couldn’t get much better, Kalashnikov’s notwithstanding.

The Head Boy took the lead for the truncated second half. The isle of St Helena was Mike at his best. Dafydd gave us Dylan Thomas’s poem about the loss of his father. Rage against the dying of the light. Ian had put some chords to a Harriman poem. No good asking me how he does it. Chords are what you get when you are making cheese. Phil Harley was next with a tale of a talking dog.  Rex the sheepdog was tonight’s best joke.  Prancing with sheep and the antics of Uncle Jasper and the ewes or “ Youses” was another pleasure. Name any breed of sheep, they ended up in the bedroom with Uncle Jasper. T Gwyn with a Mike Heron song. You know what you should be, a nice little song that we like to hear. Gaffer had his entry in the army recruitment song competition. It involved selling pickled onions off the back of a van in Afghanistan. I suspect it was not a winner with the C.O.

Jan at the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech

Chaz and Jan or more precisely Jan, took us back to nursery rhymes with Migldi Magldi and very good it was too. This song is covered by Cerys Matthews on her Tir CD. Brilliant!

Mike describes a happy press gang song.  Not sure that there could be anything happy about being press ganged. John found his cleanest dirty shirt and gave us his take on Me and Doris McGee. Then a standard Scottish song about the end of the night ( in Caithness). An evening well worth a dram afore ye go. May your God go with you.  (Unintelligible Gaelic following……..).

Thank you all for your various contributions and good offices all round. We have had a splendid evening and you are all to be roundly thanked for your input. And John Shepherd did ok, good job Lesley was there.

This week’s homework is short and sweet. Ashley should look away now. Six songs to be uncovered via six clues in crossword style that should not prove difficult. All songs are Club standards.

  1. Valediction to precious metal. 8,2,3,4.
  2. Eternal new arrival.                   7,5.
  3. Eden with fowl infestation.      8,2,3,6.
  4. Relation with a small ball.         6,4.
  5. Sleep well with Ernie upset.     9,5.
  6. Any moral upset, right.             2,3,1,3.

Usual rules apply, best joined up writing, no prizes due to Covid.

Emm Cee.

Here’s the link to watch it all again :-

Friday 28th August

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 29, 2020 by deputyfolk

A double-butted sort of evening, you might say. A manganese-molybdenum, carbon steel sort of night which will ensure strength, flexibility, durability and go-faster stripes all thrown in. Le Tour starts today and our welsh representative will be unable to join the peloton due to difficulties with his bottom bracket. ARJ has, instead opted for the less famous Tour de Grande Cumbrae, which will have fewer entrants but nonetheless, a keen contest.

Green jersey aspirant John Shepherd has had his chain-ring checked and his back cogs are greased and ready for spinning.

King of the Mountains in the spotted jersey is hotly tipped for stardom and Mike Hawkins has been polishing his cotter-pins and making sure his cleats fit.

T Gwyn was away having his headset aligned with Uranus and Dafydd meanwhile opts for the security of the Sturmey Archer hub gears ( 7-speed mind). Further references to chain-gangs, dynamo, links, tape, saddle-sores etc. etc. are inevitable as we pedal along through the evening.

But, we start with an apology. Previous reports from this correspondent have call Bee, Bea.This will cease now that I have realised my error. Sorry.  So, first to be counted out for the time-trial was JS, who got into his cadence right quick with a R McTell number that was preceded by a tune about a small town in Aberdeenshire ( with a castle) and a good-looking lassie. Michael had a puncture caused by a broken nail. Those bloody farmers are a menace. A loon zoomed in late all the way from the west coast. No yellow jersey yet. A  Donovan song, Colours, opened Mike’s first session followed by a song by Ewan MacColl’s I’m a free-born man. Mike had the points leader’s green jersey on. ARJ gave us a medical report on his left thumb. Bladed article 1- ARJ 0. And it will always be thus.

Dafydd gave us Dylan Thomas’ poem,” The force that through the green fuse drives the flower”. Next was a poem of a type called Emlyn? You get alliteration, 4 lines and 30 syllables. A restrictive narrative that is a bit like a Haiku. There are competitions in this form.

Julia was next, a lady- hurrah! We had the pleasure of the Richard Thompson Down where the Drunkards Roll. Then a Cat Stevens number called Sad Lisa. Splendid stuff Julia and please return next week. ARJ was watching the rear wheels of the group from the sag wagon. John Warburton came to the front with a song about drowning. First fatalities of the evening I think.  One about barges or was it bargees next up? Glenys was a bit late, but had a good excuse. Note that Glenys has requested the return of Gordon. Carol was up next with “I think I’ve caught a cold”. A lament for how things are at the mo. Chas and Jan have something in their saddlebags, maybe for next week, if the 3-in-1 works.

Gaffer’s prodigious memory was next. After his forensic examination of ARJ’s photo, and his few tips on Photoshop he came over all necessary about the price of fish- I think!

The second was a story about the Jones clan, from Wales, apparently. Morris, possibly . Maybe Morlais. Anyway Nick Jackson next, freshly returned from his career on BBC South Wales, and a new haircut. Cyclists are supposed to go faster after shaving their legs. I’m not sure that a trim is going to add much to his PB times. Nick started off playing by ear. A Dick Ridley song. Maybe Wrigley. Whoever, ‘tis NJ himself. A song about outer space followed. About an old-fashioned chocolate bar.

David Hych was sounding OK and got off in country style. A song by G Lightfoot that I’ve not heard before. Jim Reeves was next with a heartache following me.

Natasha was in and promised a poem in the second half. Red cards were brandished before ARJ. Not sure why or what the transgression was but we had a parting written by Mary O’Hara. She moves through the fair was next. The identity of the man from the Bee what used to do this was a topic for debate. Answers on a postcard etc.

There followed an experiment in unison on the union canal and the waiting for the starter to fire his gun- BANG. The king of the mountains was next on the big ring to get through the fields of Athenry. A new song for Mike and very nice it was too. A real double-clanger, and I pass the baton on to Mike for another rendition soon.

Natasha gave us a short explanation about her poem. She tried to explain the context of her rendition of the legend of Cinderella. “If Cinderella were a Liberal”. She borrowed a few lines from Jaberwocky and it was lovely to hear. More please. And soon.  Julia had a little one by Cat Stevens called Into White from the Tea and the Tillerman album. John continued the Stevensfest with Father and Son. A sort of tandem presentation. Double butted like. Carol had a more serious poem for her second session. We don’t know, and indeed, we don’t. But ARJ wanted to put it to music. We will see. Gaffer next and someone called the police, as it were. The gendarme to be precise. These public servants do such fine service over the entire course of Le Tour.

Nick Jackson finished us off in fine style with a Bob Geldof joke about an Orang Utang who has no friends. Said ape was looking for love, anywhere, wherever, whoever. And it made the papers, the ape found true love. Another fine and varied night with a real enthusiasm all round. A big thank you to John and Leslie for keeping the wheels turning and the spokes were as tight as a drum tonight. ARJ shared the recording link somehow- I don’t know either. Plenty of downhills and stuffing the Echo up yer jumper. May the wind be always at your back.

Sharp eyed members will see that we have eschewed the array of photos of the usual suspects. The six images are of parts of well-known CD covers. No prizes, just an exercise in recall.

See you next week, EmmCee  (and below is the recording of last night’s fun.)

Friday 21st August

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 22, 2020 by deputyfolk


No banjo players have been harmed in the making of this algorithm.

It’s that time of year, and we await our exam results. We are fortunate, in that our results have been automatically enhanced, in that any and all grades assigned from English Exam Boards have been, quite rightly , ignored.

John Shepherd’s attempt to crowd-fund his application for Stage 1 Butchery Skills has, unfortunately, proved disappointing. The University of Fray Bentos (Abattoir Studies) were unimpressed with his CD grades. On a more encouraging vein, Mike Hawkins has been accepted by the La Scala School of Motoring.

We kicked off with a couple from Mike. Poor old Franklyn, he had a hard life. Then Love’s Farewell. John’s by now obligatory history lesson preceded a fire in the glen. Those crofters had as hard a life as Franklyn had. Glenys’s favourite was next. She is anxious to return to work and was on the nettle wine with Ralph McTell. Aunty Ann had taken the tea cosy off Franks head, Edna had combed her hair and all was well, if the bloody printer works!

Gwyn gave us a poem about someone he used to know (from Bethesda?). John Warburton was next up with a pair of guitar pickers using chord sequences (as if I know what they are) on new strings- no expense spared here! Margaret was in and her name went straight into the late book.

The prospect of the loins being uncovered by the Jenkins duo failed to put people off. A song about a man who couldn’t roll cigarettes from the Potteries. That’s the man not the cigarettes. BTW, the loins are not viewable from the front. Dafydd read an ode from the seventh century. An early nursery rhyme. David H was very late, as too was Sally. Gaffer told a joke about work-shy Vatican employees. A song followed about France, Napoleon and other nutters just before quarter-past six.

Stuart still refuses to share the crisps. I hope the printer goes off-line. That’ll learn ‘im. The next one was about failure to pay taxes in the New World and exploitation of the indigenous population. Not much changes eh? David Hych was next. A domestic story of love and loss about which he didn’t give a damn. His second was a sorry tale of confusion about a man out of his depth when confronting his life with and without the assistance of his wife. Alun gave us the West Wind. A fine tune that was a pleasure to listen to. I will learn it for next week. Ralph McTell’s Maginot Song finished us all off and set us to put kettle on and make sure the awning was secure. Gaffer made his second joke of the night, a paronomastic reference to Loudon guitars.

Second half next, phew. Mike did Raglan Road, one of John’s favourites, and many others of us, too, to boot. Storm had a poem and a song. Seeking no return. And a western tune. Another RM song from JS which was in dropped D (as if I know what that is).  But I know how to spell capodastro. Alun was “barod” with Gwyn doing a Guy Clark classic. Desperados waiting for a train. I, once again, bang the drum for the double CD of Guy Clark songs by various artists. It is called This One’s for Him. It is a real treat. The best and loudest shirt prize-winner was up next with Steve Knightley’s Cousin Jack, a rousing version! We have now a convoluted and unusual explanation of the welcome appearance of Natasha, via a mutual friendship between Alice and David’s daughter’s friend, Karen. At least I think that was it. The Jenkins are proving a real bushel hiding pair. The Fear of Ikea with its Billys and Svens was one which we will want to hear again, I’m sure.

Bea had a fine poem about the trials of dysgu cymraeg. Declensions and mutations nearly killed me in the second form, but Bea said it better. Gaffer stayed with the Napoleon theme, but with a time shift to the St Helena days. Not only fine rhyme but historical accuracy too. A real art.

Dave H had a version of City of New Orleans. A Steve Goodman song made more famous by Arlo Guthrie but then I’m more likely to attach this to the master C/W star, Willie Nelson. Storm had both a poem and a song as well as an update on the deeds of daring do that those guys who were supposed to be building a wall, were actually, allegedly, spending the dollars on. It pays to be kept informed. Glenys has been asked to value Dave H’s house in the picture. I think, if it gets a roof, it will be worth more. An archive performance from 2008 by the super-group Rum, Bum and Concertina followed various birthday good wishes to members various.

A good night was had by all. Sent to bed with a greenback dollar.

Thank you for coming, see you next week.


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



Friday 14th August

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 15, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Aye aye, fit like? I’ll give you a clue, it’s not John or Andrew this week.

Well we’ve had a funny old week here, Mondays’s bad weather left us with no internet and me on the phone to BT for what seemed several hours. The man they promised never arrived, but the emergency internet thingy did and we were able to participate using a mini hub and a slightly iffy 4G phone mast connection. This did however, involve me hanging out of the window, balancing the receiver whilst standing on one leg and humming the theme tune to Casey Jones. Consequently I missed some of the nights entertainment so like John’s, some of the content of this blog may be less than factual.

Starting with 3 of the regulars, John got the evening underway with Bonnie Ship the Diamond and The Soldier, (I haven’t heard this one before) it was a bit of a tear jerker and left me feeling he must be softening in his old age. Mike Hawkins then gave us Geordie, which he now accompanies with guitar and Ewan MacColl’s The First Time.  Mike, your guitar playing is coming along really well. T Gwyn’s video contribution was Twch Bach Y Clo, (translates literally as The Little hole lock) and a live John Prine number. Top marks for the man doing this weeks Geoff Durno tribute (that is digitally impaired)!

At the start of the night we seem to have been plagued by an echo, echo, echo, now some may say that this was somewhat distracting, but I reckon it was just so good you heard it twice. The scout masters from Rhyl were tried and found guilty of having 2 devices connected in the same room. Now, while this may not have been the cause, we are only too happy for them to take the blame.

A new face, always welcome, Phil Harley, all the way from Northumberland, a distance easily travelled on the internet. He gave us a couple of songs with North East connections, My Lad is Ower Bonnie and a combo of something to do with Jowelling? listen to the recording at the end and he will explain it, and Rap Her to Bank. Phil runs an online club in Alston on the first Tuesday of each month if anyone would like the details contact him at

Is there a collective noun for a collection of bearded gentlemen? (answers on a postcard please, or in the comments) If so, then it could be applied to our next 4 contributors. Dafydd, Gaffer, Dave Hytch and Storm.

Prizes go to; Dafydd for the shortest poem of the night; Gaffer for the best subtitles; Dave for the greatest number of key changes and Storm for the best protest song.

John Warburton, once Mock Mayor of Penzance,  and runner of another Tuesday night club, Dragons Breath next. John sang a Donovan song requested by Roly, tighter underpants would have helped him reach the high notes. His second, The Seagull, was in a key more suited to his baggy trousers. All requests are welcome by the way, as long as they are polite.

Alun’s set included a virgin offering of The January Man, lovely. The first round was finished off by Paul and Karen, who had joined us late having had a better offer of a meal out earlier. The Peat Bog Soldiers in German and English made the club truly multi-lingual (Welsh, English, German, Geordie and Cornish!). Tell the Folks Back Home I’m Famous was sung for everyone Paul knows in Stoke.

With so many contributors, there was only time for half a round, is that a semi circle, a hemisphere or even a semisphere? Anyway Phil claimed his was alright in the kitchen, which is no excuse as that was where he was sitting this evening. Dave H sang a song about corruption in US politics, we were waiting for Storm to reply, but apparently he had nipped out to get some kippers for his tea (the problem with the time difference). John W sang a song to his missus (were we intruders in some strange dream?) and Paul and Karen were stuck in a pub lock in- worse places to be. Alun got his box out for his Welsh finale of Ar Lan Y Mor.

Ash was missing last night; we missed his chat and backdrops and the “domestics”, but hopefully he’ll be back next week.

Although there wasn’t time to talk to many of the audience tonight and we can’t see them in the you tube recording there were at least another 18 faces in the little boxes. Thank you all for joining on the night, seeing everyone there really makes it feel like going to the club and if you aren’t able to make it live, or if you are so sad you want to hear it all again, here is the link to last nights recording on Youtube.




Friday 7th August 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 8, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

Anyone arriving late at last night’s session may have thought they were at a ZZ Top gig, with some very impressive beards on display.

Mike’s was a very neatly trimmed affair and he wasn’t in the running, but his songs were, as usual well above par.

Someone once described my set as being “as interesting as watching a badger decompose”, so I suppose it was an average sort of performance from me. I’m not old enough to need to shave yet.

The prize for length of beard went to Storm, who was joining us from Massachusetts, where it was mid afternoon. Storm has been a songwriter and poet for most of his life (probably growing the whiskers for the same time) . His first set comprised “Rural Lad” (poem) and “Diane’s Tune” (song). Throughout the evening (afternoon?) he also added loads to the chat. Excellent.

Ash handed his homework in (late). He’d been learning “Travis Picking” on guitar. This is a very disciplined style requiring perfect thumb rhythms on the bass strings and is much harder than it appears. (That was very interesting John, get on with it). Unfortunately we only got the one verse of “Streets of London”, so he still gets a detention.

About this time, Julia (Jools) joined us from Colwyn Bay and we had an interesting chat. Originally from Brum, she’s obviously another hiding out in Witness protection. Look forward to seeing her back.

Lesley got her fiddle out tonight for our version of Scott Skinner’s “Music of Spey” This tune was written in 4/4, but we play it as a slow air in 3/4. Might as well claim it as our own really.

John Warburton, entertaining as always, sang Fairport’s “Meet on the Ledge”; haven’t heard this for decades, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Carole W’s poems are always intriguing. “Bafflement and Confusion” had sun and moon, tides, stars and dentists. I seem to live in a permanent state of bewilderment these days, even more so in Lockdown, with more time to ponder life’s greater questions :-

Q. If I turn the light off is my shadow still there?

Q.If a man speaks, in a deep forest with no woman to hear, is he still wrong?

If Gaffer was runner up in beard length, he wins on bulk and width. Tonight he was kitted out in his Sidmouth Festival gear – knitted woollen multicoloured pants and a giant bow tie. Tonight’s first song featured fascists, with the moral “Don’t overload your light aircraft with luggage”

T Gwyn’s poem was “Let me die a young man’s death”. Sorry, Gwyn, you’re way past that.

Alun completed our first lap. He had a load of stuff in Welsh for Natalia, our Moscow correspondent, but she had a family thing on tonight and couldn’t be with us. Sod’s Law Alun, do it again next week.

I’ve made much of hairiness tonight, but let’s not forget the less well endowed in that sphere. Adie’s barnet was showing the first signs of recovery; last week his skull was polished like the polar ice cap and I spotted a fly donning a pair of crampons to walk across it.

The second half included a couple remembering the Hiroshima bomb. Storm contributed his “No Nukes Prayer” and John W gave all he’d got with Donovan’s “The War Drags On”. Lesley gave us a piece about the Doric dialect of the Aberdeen area. Presumably due to living with a git from Burnley for over 30 years, she’s lost her accent which is a shame.

There was no instalment this week of our favourite soap “Ash gets it in the ear from his missus”, which we all look forward to so much (usually about 10.00 when she finds he has transgressed some unwritten rule earlier in the day). Hopefully next week.

There was good stuff a plenty this week; possibly the most memorable were the No Nukes from Storm and Gaffer’s “Hughes and the two arseholes”. Intrigued? Have a listen.

Friday July 31st 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 1, 2020 by deputyfolk

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

Friday July 24th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 25, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

This weeks blog comes from your Scottish Correspondent, so expect some degree of patriotism and a few odd words.

The concept of the virtual folk club is becoming more of a norm now, but it is still a bit odd sitting in the sound check with only half a dozen people until, suddenly at 8.00pm the screen starts to come alive with little boxes, familiar faces appear, chat starts and it looks like another good night.

This week saw a first for our zoom club, when I managed to find my fiddle and accompanied John to Santiano. Microphone sharing not ideal, but perhaps better that you didn’t catch all of my bum notes and hear too much of my shaky right hand (I think I prefer to merge into the background somewhat). John followed with a less aggressive Scottish song The land o’ the Leal, where a grief stricken father hopes to be reunited with his child in the land o’ the leal (loyal) heaven. I know, you never knew he had a sensitive side!

In the gallery, Roly, Karen Yveline and others were all there, Carl was in early and Ian and Kate had swapped seats for a wee while, nice to actually see you Kate.

A couple from Mike, including Carrying Nelson Home, which we had heard already this week in the Dragons Breath club on Tuesday, both great versions, I have to say its hard to beat Mike’s. I was somewhat confused and failed to understand why he had to “weather Fred Astaire”.

T. Gwyn was next with Be wna i? or What will I Do? followed by Madame George, both the sound and the song were lovely, but the video was, like T Gwyn, absent. It did, though, let us concentrate on the singing. Bring the note from your Mam next week Gwyn.

John Warburton and Carole are a welcome addition to the club, John, a self confessed ageing hippy, sang a cat Stevens and one of his own, for his wife about the benefits of a great big hug, something we are all missing during this strange time. Carole’s poem, Sennen (cove) was just lovely, set to music by John. Why is it that some people have more than their fair share of talent?

I will mention here the benefits of the virtual folk club, the home comforts of our own sofas, beer, tea, coffee and as many comfort breaks as you like. Pets are allowed and Carole was spotted knitting, I think it was the dodgy jumper John W was seen wearing in the second half.

Chas in Helsinki

Jan in St. Petersburg

Chas and Jan Jenkins had accepted their homework challenge (Ash take note) and gave us the full version of their”family” song No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues. They claimed it was unaccomplished, but I beg to differ. The diction was of course perfect, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from a Speech and Language Therapist. More of the same please.

The foreign section next, with a sonnet Llyn y Gadair in English and Welsh from Dafydd and a video from Natasha, our Russian member. Not technically a folk song in the traditional sense, the love interest in this case being an accountant, not the usual blacksmith or itinerant wanderer. But a lovely song and so nice to hear our 4th female participant of the night- watch out lads, there’s a takeover a brewing.

John made his first dodgy comment of the night here (please note I have no control of what comes out when he opens his mouth), when he applauded the beauty of the Russian language, which he claimed was finer than the Welsh. He may be able to see the complaint letters coming, but will he see those knives from behind?

Alun was next, both his songs had false claims of sorts. The sad rendition of Perhaps Love he said required  proper hanky’s which he claimed real men don’t use. There was waving of so many white flags in the gallery I thought we had a full team of Morris Men. He then insinuated in Slip Sliding Away that not many would remember the days of working at jobs and collecting pay another false allegation, as it seems we had just as many workers as retirees in the gallery.

Roger Lee proudly followed Alun with an excellent rendition of Edgar Marriott’s  The Recumbent Posture and something about boomerangs being frisbees for lads with no mates. And then John Killion with  Sam Small and a song by Jeremy Taylor, We Plough the Fields and Scatter, he only knows a couple of verses, if anyone out there knows more, speak up.

The second half followed, more songs and poetry, along with a few mysterious happenings. John was extolling the virtues of our new Amazon echo device. Alexa was activated in homes all over the gallery when he mentioned the “A” word.

Mike mistakenly said something about not being a fan of some “silly scottish words” in Jock o’ Hazledean. I’ll give him a few– “scunner”, meaning to take a strong aversion to. Eejit and Glaikit spring to mind too, but I’ll leave you to look those up yourself. It was no coincidence when his video suddenly went off, was it Karma, or did I know where his internet exchange was?

Another good night, lovely to see so many people in the gallery, some of them regular and some of them new, how did they find us and more to the point why do they come back, we must be getting something right . Keep returning everyone you make the night.

The link to last night is here.







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