Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday October 11th 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on October 12, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

Alun was back from France. Still officially in hiding under the witness protection scheme, for the benefit of the drug gang who wants him in the footings of a motorway bridge, his safe house is 23 Railway Cuttings, Gronant. Stand in MC, AWR, who did a great job last night, put Alun on first. A couple with guitar before an unaccompanied song from Breton called “Le Pays”. My French isn’t what it used to be, but the gist seemed to be “we’re a bit different from the rest of you down here”. Possibly they marry their cousins and have a restricted gene pool? Think Anglesey or the Llyn peninsula.

Mike carried on where Bob Fox left off last week with a John Tams song, “Love Farewell”; I don’t remember hearing it before but it was very nice.

FREE BEER!!! Yes you heard it right. FREE BEER.

AWR had brought in a case of Welsh beer – a bottle given to anyone who gets up to perform. Singers, players, strippers, joke tellers, it doesn’t matter what you do, just do a turn up front and pick a bottle.

Three from me next. Shami Chakrabarti says that having to listen to “Sheep Crook & Black Dog” infringes my human rights. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the song, it’s the tune that’s the problem. I sang a few lines in the style of the Club Singer, with a jolly 4 chord turnaround accompaniment. Most agreed this was a big improvement. The one dissenting voice mumbled something about “Puff the Magic Dragon” so I did this as my third song. Normally people tap their feet to the beat of a song, but in this instance I noticed Brian tapping his forehead against the table. With considerable force.

When the St. John’s man had finished with the concussion tests, Brian staggered up and sang “The Blantyre Explosion” This is one up from “Sheep Crook”. But only one. The rest of the set was quite jolly to be fair with plenty of chorus bits for us.

Jeff’s preamble was to read from his soon to be published autobiography. The solicitors will be queueing up. My brief says I can’t reproduce any of it here due to the certainty of litigation.

The Break.

“Puff” reminded T Gwyn of his teenage lust for Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) back in the 60s. This left him with no alternative but to read Betjeman’s “Myfanwy”. Sadly, Mary died 10 years ago from leukaemia. Peter Yarrow was convicted in 1970 of shagging a 14 year old, but was later pardoned by Jimmy Carter.

CE1D3B13A5AC451FB6AAD305B8877189[1]Adrian was missing tonight as he was in Bangor for his annual Morris reunion. The rest of his Morris team call him “the god of Morris dancing”. Presumably because he moves in mysterious ways.

A couple each before Alun and Jeff rounded off what had been a very entertaining evening – thanks to AWR and all the singers. Next week’s request is for Jeff to sing “If I could only fly”, hopefully in his Orville suit. A special night to come on the 25th, when it’s “Sing somebody else’s song” night. We are all invited to “do” a song which normally another singer at the club knocks out, for a different “take” on it. “Sheep Crook” anyone?

Thanks again to AWR for holding the night together, bringing in the beer and recording and editing Alun’s “Farewell She”.

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Friday October 4th 2019 (Bob Fox)

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on October 5, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

Have we ever had a “turn” from the Northeast who failed to give us a great night? I think not. Tonight we had the very welcome return of Bob Fox.

The usual suspects served as foreplay before Bob’s first set, which lasted for almost an hour. An array of material, including some seldom heard Ewan MacColl songs and some from “Warhorse” (Bob was the “Songman” in the production for several runs), all richly sung with accompaniment from nimble fingers on guitar.

Bob explained that he had to learn to play the melodeon to get the “Songman” job. I’ve often looked at a melodeon and thought “pressing a few buttons while you squeeze it? Can’t be all that difficult? Even Keith Price can manage it”. Now, knowing how it works – perhaps not for me. Several John Tams songs made their appearance in the set, the first half ending with “Rolling Home”, which we all belted out, some of us in tune.

Following the short break, Brian, Geoff S and Mike did one each to warm us up for part 2 (Brian sang Sheep Crook & Black Dog but I’m trying to erase it from my memory). Alun is still in Witness Protection till next week, but if the murderous drug cartels want him – he’s in France.

More of the same in part 2 from Bob, the second half having more of a Tyne & Wear flavour. Loads of banter, which we love at Rhyl and an endless supply of chorus songs, although Bob berated the audience for their inability to manage anything much more than 2 short lines. Our lot struggle to remember their names.

One of the most popular songs of the night was “The Whitby Tailor” – where the bloke goes on the booze before going out(pre-loading) so he’s half cut when he meets the girl. He then suggests cross dressing and it goes downhill and tits up from there. “Farewell Johnny Miner” was the “last” song of the night (I remember Nick Jackson writing “Farewell Johnny Major” after an election), with “Sally Wheatley” sending us home with a song in our hearts. A privilege to have such a talent at our club. I’m not known for being pleasant or kind to anyone –  I’m a Northerner, I don’t take prisoners – but what a great night. Only criticism? Get a bloody shave, Bob!

Here’s a Youtube clip of Bob singing “The Snow Falls”. Sorry about the shorts, not in my control. You can catch Bob and the other Pitmen Poets at the Brindley Theatre, Runcorn on Oct. 29th.

Friday September 13th 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on September 14, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

My apologies for arriving late, (Mike was already up front), with a belly full of Balti . Tynewydd was full and it was only my fiery garlicky breath that found me a seat as people cleared away. Being disorganised, I haven’t written down what Mike sang, but there was no guitar and it would, as always, have been good.

Jeff was having trouble again with the piles (I can’t spell haemorrhoids), so stood up to play. A couple of rousing chorus songs to get us going. The committee have now allocated funds to buy a special stool for Jeff,as we know he is a martyr to his bum and his “bits”.

We had been suggested to Alan McMahon (hope that’s right) as a good night out by Mel (the cheque’s in the post). A fine big voice, giving us yet more to join in with and a wonderful song about would-be murder in Belfast. Please come again, Alan.

Geoff Skellon next. Apparently he reads this garbage every week and extrapolating from my mention of goldfish last week he arrived at the Rawtenstall Annual Fair. He also had a guitar with him tonight.

Geoff Durno was promising to look out some John Prine songs. He knocked one out tonight, before a very relaxed version of “Lesson too Late”.

It’s been some months since we saw Rick. Sadly still no haircut. “Barrett’s Privateers” gets more animated every outing. Good to see you back, along with Delora.

It had been going so well up to now. The rabble from the Indian had now got onto the list. I stumbled through “Hiring Fair” before losing control of the audience who were belting out their best Old MacDonald noises in “Maid of LLanwellyn”.

There was me, my mum, my dad and my gran and a bucket of vindaloo. There was also Nick Jackson and Andy Gallagher (and a couple of rough women).

Nick always seems to go down well at the club. God knows why. Probably the sympathy vote. He started off acapella and wasn’t put off when some moron near the front sang his chorus as “….clitoris clatteris coal ‘ole cavalry….”.

Andy Gallagher was brown nosing to my missus and Karen J by doing requests – “Coffee Black” and “Late in the Day”. Not bad, (grudgingly).

Things then started looking up as Abby came to the front.

 

A young person and a lady to boot. She’d been persuaded to come by her nan (Edna). Let’s be honest, would you argue with Edna? A gorgeous set, leaving us wanting more.

Edna was having a “significant” birthday and a cake was brought out.

Unfortunately, I was too stuffed full to find room for any, having mopped up any remaining curry from everyone else’s plates with the last of the garlic naans.

T Gwyn took up his customary position, opening part 2, with some Shel Silverstein and, in complete contrast, Tennyson.

EmCee reckoned we would just have time for one more each and with all the authority of a garment label that says “Hand Wash Only”, decreed that there would be no long intros,no twiddlin’ and no jokes. In Jeff’s defence, it wasn’t a joke ‘cos it wasn’t funny.

“Cheap Flights”, from me, was last week’s request song. EmCee drew out Mel to sing “One Friend” next time (if he’s there). I’m none too pleased as I put that one in and I won’t be there. Don’t forget we’re having a week off next week, so don’t turn up. Otherwise it’s back to normal on the 27th, to be followed a week later by the wonderful Bob Fox.

AWR hasn’t sent me anything this morning so I’ve dug out a clip from his YouTube channel of Abby from a couple of years ago.

Friday September 6th 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on September 7, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

Back with a regular photographer and MC (EmCee was bestowed with that honour by King Edward V11), the start was delayed as Margaret gave us an update on the future of Tynewydd as a Community Centre – there does appear to be a good chance of the Centre continuing to function. Brian went straight in with two chorus songs, followed by “The Mower”,the story of an electrical rotary appliance with inbuilt grass collector.

New face Graham sang an unusual medley of several songs in different styles, all rolled into one, accompanied on guitar and gob iron. Things ground to a halt when his mouth organ clogged up with spit, phlegm or whatever. The harmonica is possibly the word’s least hygienic instrument (NEVER borrow one), with the possible exception of the didgeridoo, which requires anal breathing to produce the continuous flow of air down the tube. What can you expect from Aussies?

Mike had his glued his guitar back together after last week for “Come by the Hills” but it wasn’t needed for “Raglan Road”. Always special.

I made a fair job of cocking up Ralph McTell’s “Easter Lilies”, but having forecast a transportation song from Brian in last week’s blog (and been let down)  was forced to dredge up “Jamie Raeburn’s Farewell”, about a Glaswegian shipped off to Lobotomy Bay for thieving, where he probably learnt to play the didgeridoo.

Jeff had brought two guitars with him this evening.

He played a superb vestapol (a tune that sounds like a train) on his newly refretted  Takemine. The frets and the fingers all appeared to be in the right places at exactly the right time.

Geoff Skellon was in fine form tonight.

He sang about his sister Sarah “getting a chap”, before reciting a Cyril Fletcher “Odd Ode”. I remember Cyril Fletcher being on the telly in a program with Esther Rantzen, but I’m buggered if I can remember what it was called. Geoff is proof (not that it’s needed) that music stands are unnecessary and in many cases, actually hinder performers.

Gareth, an infrequent visitor, played some memorable tunes on fiddle, with a bit of vocal thrown in. Almost like Tom McConville.

Dez is always a welcome treat. Many of the songs he performs are his own, but not to be confused with the “here’s one wot I rote last Wednesday when my goldfish died” stuff we have heard too often from budding singer/songwriters. This is quality stuff.

The Break.

T Gwyn had made some effort with a razor on his face this week. One from Oz about a bushranger, (“The Wild Colonial Boy”), who was shot while playing the didgeridoo. His second was a lovely piece (but no lust or young lady’s underwear) from Betjeman called “A Bay in Anglesey”, which featured the word “sussuration”. Impress your friends tonight when you drop that into a sentence.

I’ve just remembered, it was called “That’s Life”.

Andy Gallagher was accompanied by Dez on an unknown tune.Whatever it was it was actually very good.

Time for one each with an extra from Brian with the request spot, “The Call & the Answer”. Next week’s request is for me to do another by Fascinating Aida – if you’re really pissed off with Brexit, PLEASE have a listen (WARNING, it does contain some naughty words) to the three posh ladies singing “So sorry Scotland”.

If I’d known Brexit was going to drag on for so long and end up making this country some sort of banana republic, I’d have taken the trouble to learn it.”Cheap Flights” will be available next week.(as will an appearance by Nick Jackson).

Otherwise it was one each with Jeff risking his reputation by letting me join him for “Mr Bojangles” to finish. I noticed everyone was still singing it as we were packing up – couldn’t have been too bad.

Here’s Dez with a Steve Earle classic

Friday August 30th 2019

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 31, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

Tonight was never going to be a “normal” night. Last Saturday we lost Val, Alun’s big sis, when her candle gently blew out while leading a group of ramblers above Conwy. No words can say how much we all miss her.

Jeff was compering tonight and decided we should have the standard folk club sets of three for a change (3 songs or a max of 15 minutes, 2 falls or 1 submission). Wanting to get the crap out of the way first he was snookered as I’d opened last week, so he volunteered himself. Still, it was good to hear you sing whilst sober, Jeff. Once again he’d plundered the Dave Costello songbook, with “Crazy Man Michael”. This is no reference to Mr Gove, who is not so much crazy, simply a tosser.

We seemed to go for years with female singers a rarity. Last night, t’other Val got her light out from her bushel. After an understandably nervous start she quickly settled down and sang us a lovely set. “Emerald Green” was one of my favourite songs from last year, when “Risky Business” introduced it to us  ; Val delivered it perfectly.

Mike again started off with guitar. Unfortunately he’s again using excess nutmeg on his rice puddin’ as a hallucinogen and wound up trashing the instrument Pete Townshend style at the end. (Maybe it was me on the drugs?)

I’d put new strings on my guitar this week, but it didn’t prevent bum notes creeping in. A few weeks ago Stuart was complaining that no one sang any “Meatloaf” at the club. I corrected that last night.

We are still getting suggestions in the box – please keep them coming, we’ll discuss them in depth at the next meeting. One from a couple of weeks ago was “Ban the wearing of shorts”. That gets my vote. I doubt the “offenders” will give a toss. Adrian has been having problems with his neighbour/fence interface. If his cat  defaecates in next door’s garden, he deserves problems. “The beggar” was at least lively after Napoleon whining about being exiled.

“Streets of London” is one of the best songs written in the 20thC.. Why Geoff has to meddle with the tune is a mystery. “Nearer to Nettles” is a Jez Lowe song from about 25 years ago, but still sadly relevant today. Almost a very nice set, Geoff.

At 9.30 Jeff decided it was time for a wee and a raffle.

Christina started part 2, with “Bridge over Troubled Water”, then Pete Seeger’s “Little Boxes” and, a flashback to her time in the Guides, “Kumbaya”. Lots to join in with there.

It had to happen, probably sooner rather than later. Brian was back on poaching. He’s got the request spot next week with “Call and the Answer”. William Hill is giving good odds on “Transportation” being back in the next fortnight.

Is T Gwyn growing a beard, or is he just a scruffy git, couldn’t be bothered with a razor before coming out? “Yr Eira Ar Y Coed” (the snow on the trees) was one of Val’s favourites.

With just 20 minutes left, only time for a few singles.

Thanks once again to Jeff for MCing on such a difficult night. See you all next week.

 

Friday June 14th 2019

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on June 15, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

As a special treat this week , the blog is being written by me, Robshaw. I believe an honest appraisal will come as a breath of fresh air when compared to the drivel turned out each week by that toadying sycophant, the ex dentist.

The supposedly regular but seldom present EmCee turned out this week and promised some great music. He didn’t mention anything about the dross we had to wade through before the good stuff came.

The first turn was a fat lad called Alun double barrel Jones. I remember someone with a similar name from years back, but he was a thin lad with dark hair and played a proper accordion, not the glorified Stylophone (batteries not included) that this bloke had.

His set quickly passed and he was followed by a Mr. Adrian West. Ex teacher. Having experience in this field, I can tell you that teaching is one up from a paper round. A 5 hour day and 3 months paid holiday. As Mark Knopfler once said, “Money for nothing and your chicks for free” (generally frowned upon if you taught at a primary school). Also, apparently, a Morris dancer. Speaks volumes.

Me being dead for getting on for ten years, I no longer have to worry about John Shepherd fixing my teeth, although to be fair he wasn’t the butcher everyone else said he was. What could only be described as an error strewn set. He’s had that guitar for 29 years this month, you think he’d have had time to get some lessons. Mike Hawkins wisely missed John’s set by nipping out to the bog.

Mike Hawkins. Couldn’t be arsed to play an instrument, although to be fair his singing wasn’t bad. His first song came with the chorus in Portuguese and French. A bit pretentious and doomed to failure with the numpties in the audience. Nelson would be turning in his barrel of brandy. At least we drowned him out in the chorus of “N W Passage”.

We were fortunate tonight that the bloke who plays the dreadful concertina was away again, presumably still got the shits. The next “highlight” of the night was a Jeff Blythin, who, in contrast, had verbal diarrhoea (I always have to Google that word for the spelling). Most of his allotted time was taken up recalling his mis- spent youth. It was so long ago, I’m surprised he can remember it.

A few weeks ago, a fiddle player called Jim turned up. The half wit of an EmCee got his name wrong; a bit of a slap in the face really. However Jim must be fairly thick skinned and is obviously at a loose end, living somewhere near Bala, and turned up again with his fiddle. Ever considered learning some songs, Jim?

We thought it would never come – the Beer Break. This week’s star prize in the raffle was a rubber chicken with a squeaky valve stuck up it’s  arse (or do they have a cloaca?), brought all the way from Kiev by the trainspotter.

It was Margaret’s birthday.

Her mate Edna had brought a cake in, but had to settle for one candle for each of her ten years. Edna demonstrated the knife skills endemic in all Scousers as she carved up the cake with a large blade she happened to have on her person, imagining it to be an Everton supporter.

All too soon the break was over.

T Gwyn did some tuneless songs, often described as poems. One was mildly amusing.

Thankfully, there was only time for just one each in the second half, plus two from Andy Gallagher, who had turned up very late to be certain of missing John Shepherd.

Andy spent his formative years in the Strathclyde area, but despite having spent much of his later life in civilisation, he still appears to have only a tenuous grasp on the English language. Sub-titles would have helped. At least he put Jeff’s guitar in tune. One of Andy’s offerings was a Scots poem; without the subtlety of Betjeman, it was pure filth and innuendo.

Probably the highlight of the second half (indeed the night) was when the woman with the camera “played” the rubber chicken, almost as out of time as the ex dentist’s song she was accompanying.

Still waiting for the good stuff to arrive, it was time to bog off home. Despite all the crap, I somehow managed to have a good night; I had a couple of wet patches on my fur – one on my leg from laughing and a damp cheek after the fat lad with the Stylophone played “Mrs Robshaw’s Fancy”, a tune he’d written for my mum. That’s all from me, “Robshaw”. My podgy furry fingers find it difficult to use a keyboard, so it will be back to the usual flunky next week.

 

 

 

 

Review of 2018

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on December 28, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

No club this week so no blog, but AWR has put together some of the highlights (and a few lowlights) of 2018. WELL worth watching.