Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday September 8th 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on September 9, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

At 8.05 it was looking a bit thin in terms of singers, but by 8.15, our cup runneth over and EmCee had to get his finger out. Mike opened with three; one bloke shot dead, another dead from starvation on the ice and someone making moonshine. A couple from me before Adrian had a bloke shot by firing squad. How we laughed!

A couple of lads (Andy and Andy – EmCee got confused with a puppet show from the 50s) had travelled down from the Wirral. Basically Irish influenced music, these two could really play – their sets included use of bouzouki, banjo, guitar flute and whistles. Hopefully we’ll see them back.

What could improve the relaxed style of Geoff Durno? His Lowden, now returned from the factory. Beautifully balanced, sweet as a nut. His set was further enhanced by “the tosser from Burnley” who again speed skated round the room during Geoff’s song from Starlight Express, unfortunately flooring Sheila who was out and about with her tray of Kia Ora, choc ices and Mivvis.

Neal and Shereen are probably the biggest crowd pleasers who visit the club. I’d met Neal in Llandudno last month and he’d said he thought their material wasn’t “folkie” enough for the club. Bollocks! Tonight they had Alan on bass as well. Went down a storm. 

My readers are always interested to know what fashion icon Shereen was wearing. Tonight she had carefully chosen a black vest from Damart’s stunning Autumn Collection.

This took us to the break, where tonight’s prizes included a bag of cat litter (unused).

Jeff had been doing a cracking job with his knobs tonight, despite being distracted by his copy of “Concertina Players’ Wives”, and opened part 2 with a very ambitious bit of picking on guitar.

There was more from everyone in the second half with prominence being given to Andy-Andy and the Jones trio. For a couple of songs, Shereen took out her maracas and shook them about in time to the music. “You’ve got a friend” and “She’s leaving home” left me feeling peaceful and serene; a strange sensation for me but I’m sure it will soon pass. No club night next week so don’t turn up, but back on the 22nd with the Snapes – very popular last time they were here – remember the dancing newt?

AWR has scraped the bottom of the barrel this week and put one of mine on Soundcloud.


Friday September 1st 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on September 2, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

The Saturday edition of The Beano of the folk world is back. The first thing that hit you as you walked in Tynewydd (apart from Sheila’s fist, as you tried to get in without paying) was the splendid new backdrop; in midnight blue skilfully run up by AWR. A big improvement, and “thanksverymuch” to Andrew. Andrew also thought Carole’s bunting was a bit grubby (!) so he gave it a good scrub and now it’s fresh as a daisy with no creepy crawlies living in it.

Brian was put on first. He’d been away for a couple of weeks, performing at the American Circus, out past Sainsbury’s. His act there consisted of performing with wild animals whilst dressed in clown’s shoes and playing concertina. Same as most Friday nights for him.

Adrian then sang “Brisk young widow” in what was obviously too high a key.

Alun’s bad taste in shirts continues to amaze. His attempt at Brian Bedford’s “What’s the use of “stuff” ” was almost very good.

Lovely set as always from Mike. We haven’t heard him on Soundcloud for a while so the link will be at the bottom – “First time ever I saw your face” will drop your blood pressure better than Beta Blockers.


A couple from me, including a new one, “The Soldier”. Nice chorus – shame no bugger joined in!

We’d missed Mel over the last couple of months. Tonight we had the “shanty porn” in it’s entirety. He’d been trawling the lower reaches of the internet for some new material and had come across “Coconut surprise” by someone called “Dick Wrigley”. Mr. Wrigley is better known as Nick Jackson and he wrote the song about 25 years ago, but hasn’t sung it for at least 10 years ‘cos he now hates it. It was great to have it resurrected with Mel’s interpretation.

Tony was on holiday from Kent and popped in looking for an open mic night with his guitar. He seemed to have a really good night, not expecting a bunch of pensioneers to be so raucous and, well, frankly filthy. We enjoyed his sets, the Ray Charles number being my pick of the bunch.

Jenny’s leg is getting better and it was a joy to see her back. She was able to stay the whole night – a decision she was about to regret.

Jeff had previously said he’d be late as he had “marital obligations” to fulfil ( Janet’s birthday treat). In the event he was only a couple of minutes late. Excellent set, with 2 songs padded out to 20 minutes by banter.

Ruth and EmCee had been away for a few weeks, filming the S4C version of “Love Island”; this seemed to mainly involve smearing laverbread over various parts of their anatomy on Anglesey. The sadly -out- of -practise EmCee thought we had just time for one more each, but quickly found himself with 20 minutes to spare. Brian threw a strop as HE’D ALREADY PUT HIS GUITAR IN IT’S CASE!!!!!  He then admitted to being “very fond of Tony Rose in the 70s”. It was still illegal then wasn’t it?

Mel then finished off what had been a splendid night with three.

Singers night next week but WE ARE CLOSED ON THE 15TH.  Here’s Mike.

Friday July 28th 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 29, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

The North Atlantic jetstream continues to fire a succession of low pressure systems at the UK; yes it was pissing it down yet again. We did however have some returning old friends to cheer us up. For those who missed Tuesday’s treasure hunt, there’s a report elsewhere on the website – thanks again to Andrew and Ruth for organising another fun night.

Mike opened with acapella Dylan (Bob, not Thomas), before Alan Ewing sang what was to be one of the many Canadian influenced songs of the night.

Alun had been practising “Hiring Fair” this afternoon and had broken a string. If God had intended you to “bend” strings he wouldn’t have made ’em straight would he? He also did one about Woodstock which left me confused as I thought that was the name of the bird in the Snoopy cartoons.

Tonight’s special treat came all the way from the far side of Canada, negotiating the North west Passage where Franklin had failed. Those of you who use our Facebook page will know that Helen is one of our regular participants there, despite being several thousand miles away. Tonight she was here in the flesh and sang “Magdalene laundry” and “I’d rather be tending my sheep”. Many in Wales would rather be doing something else to their sheep – thankfully Jeff wasn’t there to comment.

At this point could I request that can opening be done between songs. It’s not much to ask is it? Bloody annoying for the singers when someone pops open a beer while you’re singing. Rant over.

Adrian’s electric blue t shirt was advertising some jazz event he’d been attending in the South of France. He also seemed to have been exposing his body to an excess of UV rays. Either that or he had American Tan popsox under his sandals. He repudiates the allegation that  the fires in the region were caused by his carelessly discarded fag end.

Some of the women in the audience thought I was “pleased to see them”, but it was just my treasure hunt winner’s medal in my pocket. Did I mention that I was on the winning team? After living here for 40 years I’m learning to gloat like a Welshman.

We had not one but two Banjo Paterson poems read by T Gwyn; Gwyn introduced us to his work a couple of years ago – always goes down well.

Time for a couple each after the break and a join-in to finish.

Both Ruth and myself will be either away or busy during August; also I need a break from trying to think of something to write every Saturday morning, so there will be an absence of blogs for a few weeks. There is a whole load of entertaining stuff on the website, so make use of this instead. “T shirts on tour” and the “Profiles” sections are always well worth a view.

AWR will still be picking “track of the week” on Soundcloud. This week it’s Helen with “I am a brisk lad”. Vegetarians and animal rights groups may need counselling. The club will be there every Friday and Jeff will be back.


Friday July 21st 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 22, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

Jeff was away having combined electrotherapy/ colonic irrigation for his Tourette’s/persistent bowel problems so someone else had to be on the desk. Val was unable to find the “On” switch and was quickly moved on by AWR.

EmCee resumed “the system”, commonly referred to as “the alphabet”.

Alun was wearing the shirt from hell and wasn’t driving, but more of that later. His opening salvo was “River run”, one written by “Dai” Donovan and the cheerful one about the mass hangings.

To stop us enjoying ourselves too much, Brian’s beheading song was preceded by a nice little ditty about selling wives; thirteen shillings and a penny seemed to be the going rate (just over 60p if I have any readers younger than 50).

So, we’d had A,B, who was C?  None other than long lost Colin, now free from his life as a sex slave after being trafficked to deepest Lancashire in his youth. His frame now enhanced by years of a diet of black puddin’, tripe and Moorhouse’s Beer, he could still knock it out on the mandolin. The set of jigs you can hear now.

Geoff Durno had brought a sick note but had lost it or blown his nose on it. He wanted scarlet ribbons for his hair. Grecian 2000 would be more use Geoff.

If you look at the website Homepage (not now, later!), at the bottom right hand side you will see a “Folkcast” banner. There’s loads of stuff to be had there. In the July 15th podcast, AWR explains the bizarre story behind “Maid of Llanwellyn”. This is then followed by me singing it. The Folkcast version is not “enhanced” by the Rhyl Farmyard Chorus however. I discovered last night that nobody appears to be able to do “goat”.

Mike sang “Blood red roses”, a “shanty” written for the film “Moby Dick”. Other sexually transmitted diseases are available.

I hadn’t had time to practise yesterday as much of my day was spent foraging roadkill to feed to the Jacksons – a free meal was the only way to entice Nick back for a second visit. His  guitar bits in”St. James Infirmary Blues” are legendary. Sort of.

At the break EmCee said he was off “to pick up a woman”. I understand “Skankey Agnes ” is still doing the business for 75p on the prom, although our chairman was actually spotted loitering around the station.

In the event we were left to drift, with only rudimentary knowledge of the alphabet to steer us to 11 o’clock.

T Gwyn depressed us with some very heavy Dylan (Thomas), and we all then sang one more each. Geoff Durno’s cowboy song (as I remember, recorded by Hank Wank and Brenda Buns) was outstanding, but not fit for “Soundcloud”.

We were left with a further 10 minutes to fill, so an alcohol fuelled Alun enticed several unsuspecting souls on to the stage to help with “Wild Rover”. Superb. Thanks to all involved for giving it a go.

Tuesday is Treasure Hunt night – starts at 6.00 from Morley Road car park.


Friday July 14th 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 15, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

With a large selection of “turns” to get through, despite a few absent regulars, EmCee started promptly with a threesome from me.

With the crap out of the way, he moved on to Alan Ewing and his new mandolin. “Marie’s Wedding” was reminiscent of the White Heather Club on amphetamines.

Alun had been out shopping, and was resplendent in his new Hawaiian shirt, recently acquired from “Man at Tenovus”. “Islay” was marred by the Rhyl seagulls outside joining in the chorus a couple of bars late.

Brian restricted his first half set to guitar accompaniment. Always a blessing. His “Just as the tide was flowing” came in at a nice jolly tempo though.

I’ve spent 3 years trying to get Nick Jackson back to the club. Nick was  beautiful as a child, but it was a terrible accident that left him as he is. Despite his (well deserved) reputation  for forgetting words, the ageing folkie turned in an excellent set. Many years ago we used to make paper planes, set them alight and throw them at him whenever he sang “Deportees”. Sad but true and very childish. And dangerous. Bloody good fun though.

John Taylor had come along to hear Nick, but also entertained us greatly with “Capstick comes home”.

There had already been some great chorus singing, but Mike really brought out the harmonies with “Lowlands”.

This week Jeffrey was discussing the observation that herbivores defaecate in the standing position, whereas carnivores (and omnivores) do it in the crouching position. I’m round at the zoo with the Jacksons tonight – I’m sure we’ll discuss this fascinating topic further. More great chorus stuff with “Speed  of Loneliness” and “Bojangles”.

I don’t know if Colin had been to the club before, but I hadn’t seen him. Played what appeared to be a child’s 4 string guitar.

Mel took us to the later than usual break with some shanty hard core porn and a song suitable for the first week of the Proms, seemingly about Isabel, who made love in the Albert Hall.

As I’ve said many times in this column, EmCee has a difficult, thankless task. There was no way he was going to get everyone on again in the second half, but he put together an immensely entertaining concoction.

T Gwyn settled us down with the cultural bit, including “Another Country”.

Nick was back with “Colin” and “The Highwayman”; I’m putting this on at the end as my fave of the night. **Spoiler Alert** – it doesn’t end well and you may need counselling if you’re affected by the outcome.

Mel “loves a good bum on a woman”. Don’t we all.

Brian brought his concertina out of his box for his second set and got us back in singing mood.

With perfect timing, EmCee put Jeff on with several other miscreants to round off an excellent evening, with four part harmonies, the lot.july 14 end

Singers night next week. Sorry if the photos aren’t up to the usual as Ruth had been away servicing Chris Froome’s electric bike for the mountain stage in France.

Here’s Nick.





Friday July 7th 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 8, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

Look at the happy smiling faces of those children. These are children from the Chernobyl area, growing up in extreme poverty and ill health, shunned by their government. We were privileged to have them entertain us (and win our hearts) for a few minutes last night. They sang “If you’re happy and you know it” in English and another song in Ukrainian. Afterwards we all felt a bit flat as our own trivial niggles fell into perspective. Thanks to Margaret for arranging their visit to us.

Mike had the unenviable task of following on when the children had left. “Who knows where the time goes”. I could listen to that every week. Club shirts were very much on view last night. This week Roly had posted several photos of himself with his shirt following “The train they call the City of New Orleans” route across the USA (or Trumptown” as it is now known). There’s one on the “T shirts on tour section on this website.

A couple from me before Alun (also attired in a club shirt) ; “The Queen and the Soldier” you can hear when you reach the bottom of the page. This week the Queen has been given an 8% pay rise, presumably she needs to get extra help in now Phil the Greek is no longer able to do the Hoovering.

Maureen’s first was a song about greedy landlords, but the second was a lullaby, possibly not a good idea with an elderly audience past their bedtime.

Jeff had had the shits again. He thought it was due to the “whatever needs using in the fridge” omelette he’d made, but he’d also come across a recipe on the wireless (being Wimbledon time) which said “Heap strawberries on a plate and pile cream on top”. Keep the pile cream for your haemorrhoids in future Jeff. There seems to be a rumour that I don’t like “Jesse James”. Untrue. I used to get bored out of my brain when Rum, Bum and Concertina did it week after week after week at the Bee. Good song.

Adrian was bedecked in what EmCee described as “cargo culottes” and canvas shoes. A cursory glance at a weather chart would have shown him a cold front passing over North Wales this evening and, yes, it was pissing it down. The performance of his final song was marred by having choked on his beer following the gob iron interlude.

The raffle was somewhat abridged as much of the stuff had been given to the kids (not the booze!). Alun also organised a whip round that brought in just shy of £150. The generosity of our members never ceases to amaze me. Thank you everyone.

T Gwyn opened the second half – one in Welsh and then some Betjeman.

Brian was then invited to do three. He spent much time complaining about the stage stool (make up your own gags). Apparently it was uncomfortable against his bony arse. I’ll never forget his first song. But I’ll try.  He made up with “Tom’s gone to Hilo”. Almost.

The night then fell apart culturally with contributions including “Martha”, “My old man’s a dustman” and “The chicken song”. Altogether a very varied and thoroughly enjoyable, if thought provoking evening. More of the same next week with hopefully the addition of one Nicholas Jackson MBE. Don’t forget, if you want to book your Treasure Hunt place, £10 to be in by next Friday.

Here’s Alun.




Friday 5th May 2017

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on May 6, 2017 by Rhyl Folk Club

Friday night saw us run out of chairs as Tynewydd was packed to the gunwales for our guests Kimber’s Men; or maybe they’d all come to hear me?

It appeared to be my turn to open, followed by Mike, who carefully steered clear of anything nautical, and then Alan. Brian had returned prematurely – the story of his life according to his missus. Unfortunately he had his concertina with him. His first song mentioned a lady “giving relief”, then “Greenland Whale Fisheries” had Neil Kimber reaching for his pen to scratch it off their list.

As expected, Kimber’s Men performed mainly  acapella, with songs of the sea, but a couple of guitars, a harmonium and eventually a piece of scaffold pipe hammered flat at the end to provide a mouthpiece and tuned to D (possibly). I’d noticed that there was also a bodhran on the stage . Bodhran players and philosophers both perceive time as an abstract concept, so it was probably best left alone; I suspect it was kept as some sort of pet and they’d taken it out for the day, although a trip to Rhyl is hardly a treat, even for a bodhran coming from Halifax.

“Chicken on a Raft” was always going to be a mistake. They were taken by surprise as many in the audience demonstrated their ability ( or lack of) to imitate poultry.

“Don’t take the heroes” finished off the first half. Beautiful song. Where had the time gone? There’s no list of songs as I couldn’t be arsed – too busy enjoying myself.

The usual mega raffle saw me win buggerall yet again and part 2 opened with Henry, a newcomer to the club (I think  he said he’d come to hear me but I may have misheard). Alun followed with “Ar Lan Y Mor”, the 2 key changes taking it to castrato levels unobtainable to most. Despite the day’s setbacks, Adrian turned up and predictably entertained us with gratuitous violence and smut.

Kimber’s men to finish the last 45 minutes. Despite coming from Yorkshire (the wasteland to the East of Lancashire), they were drinking cans of Boddies. Why? Timothy Taylor’s “Landlord” is widely available here. These are the sort of people that nick chips off seagulls.

The night flew by and even the people who normally only come to the club for the wife swapping found themselves belting out the choruses (chori?). As well as the impeccable singing there were plenty of good gags (and a few others) with great banter with the audience. What’s not to like? The night ended with “Mingulay”; apparently you could hear the chorus in Llandudno.

We never found who the bodhran player was, but we may next time, as there surely will be a next time or Jeff gets a good kicking. I’ll leave you with a clip from YouTube, but it’s not a patch on the atmosphere at Tynewydd.

Next week we have a singers night with proceeds going to the Chernobyl Children.