Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday February 21st 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on February 24, 2020 by deputyfolk

THE RHYL FOLK CLUB JOURNAL
Friday Feb 21st 2020
“Club Scandal as Free Beer Calamity Takes Toll.”.
From our own correspondent Orcas Wield
Swirling wind and rain greeted those brave enough to attend last nights club, Jeff Blythin apologised and blamed his home-made Cottage Pie.
Ruth and Andrew being away A.W.R. took over proceedings and immediately pointed to the table supporting the multitude of Beer bottles, but more on that later.

The Club’s Conscience Brian Bull took to the stage resplendent in his boyish good looks, whoops wrong night, let me check my notes, ah yes here we are. Brian started the night off with the story of The Alabama and then treated us all to the song, good chorus singing was hard around the hall; a reflection perhaps of the audience’s determination to have a good night irrespective of the crap weather outside. Brian originally hails from Burton Upon Tent, recognised for its Brewing capability, and he was delighted to see the Artist’s Beer Table was loaded with nectar brewed in Wales and recognising this fact performed ‘Corn Barlys Ioan’. The Beer Table obviously had an effect upon Brian as he told us about Cyril Tawney (1930 – 2005) who was renowned not only for his song-writing skills but also for his beer and spirit consumption and the upshot was an excellent performance of ‘On a Monday Morning’, this correspondent can say he has never heard Brian deliver a bad version of this great song.

Onto the next performer, Mike Hawkins; resplendent in one of his many striped T shirts, whoops wrong notes again. Mike Hawkins strode to the stage like a man on a mission, that being get on and get off with a free bottle. As per usual his dulcet tones brought a peace to the audience with renditions of ‘The Streets of Forbes’ and ‘Carrying Nelson Home’. Horatio (what sort of parents would give their child a name like Horatio, more of that later) Nelson was bundled into a large vat of brandy for the journey back to Blighty after dying on HMS Victory, but by all accounts, they had to refill it three times before docking at London.

The Lowden Despoiler, Alun Rhys Jones, was already queuing up for his bottle and was distraught to learn he’d have to sing for it. Splendid renderings of Run river Run and Adieu My Lovely Nancy sufficed, although the change in key half way through the second song threw Messrs Blythin and Scofield the rest of the audience happily managed to sing along.
Jeff Blythin up next, a hush fell over the audience as the wind had stopped howling, you can’t really go wrong with Rennies. He regaled the audience with Dirty Old Town although he forgot to sing the first verse again at the end of the song, obviously distracted by the Beer table. He told us he’s determined not to sing the same song twice this year and so far, has lived up to his word but watch this space. Don’t Think Twice was followed by a dash to the table.
In-between performances A.W.R. was giving the audience facts regarding On This Day in History, I didn’t know it was Robert Mugabe’s birthday.

Next up for a bottle was the pleasing return of Andrea Burns, all the way from Portland Oregon, that’s the one in the U.S.A. not the one near Llantrisant. She’d brought along her 14-year-old son Dylan, an accomplished violin player. Andrea faultlessly sang ‘Twas on One April Morning’ and then told us how ‘Young Men Are False’, (Hmmm, well I didn’t think I was but other opinions are available). She then introduced her son Dylan who played three great tunes, one Americana and two Welsh. Obviously, a talented lad who will hopefully keep on playing the violin and could one day end up as good as Tom McConville.
A.W.R. discernibly inspected the Beer table and announced ‘The Beer Break’. “Round the back for the Brandy” was once again heard from the rough quarter of the room, with Messrs Blythin and Scofield making a hasty dash for the exit.

The very Rev. Thomas Gwyn Williams had the second half ‘Lions and Christians’ spot and ‘In My Craft or Sullen Art’, by Dylan Marlais Thomas, was given the Reverend’s usual respect and accomplished delivery. Stuart Scofield had requested a John Betjeman poem ‘Youth and Age’, ah the good old days. Stuart said that he used to read it on the wall at the Montague Arms in Beaulieu, I didn’t know Stuart Scofield could read.
After Rev Williams it was back to the running order of the first half with all performers giving of their best
The night was finished off with Andrea leading the assembled throng in a rendition of the world’s most famous hymn, namely ‘Calon Lân’, there’s lovely.
I have just been informed by my Editor that I can not mention the Beer Scandal as it is now Sub-Judice; I apologise to my readers but ‘the loo is the loo’ as Inspector Clouseau once said.
John Shepherd is away in Cambodia, he’d heard there were a few cases of Coronavirus there and he’ll drink anything.
So signing off, as ever your faithful servant, Orcas Wield.

Friday February 14th 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on February 16, 2020 by deputyfolk

With Mr John Shepherd on his travels in Coronivaria,which,for reasons known only to himself, calls Cambodia, but, WE know eh! I was Shanghaied (oops) into writing a few virus free (oops again) notes on Friday nights events. I think Sheila is sourcing some bio-haz masks for his return!
As it was Valentine’s night,the Hall was awash with Lurve,Wine and Chocolates, all we needed was for Barry White to make an entrance in a long white flowing robe, and we would have had the full hit. Mr Jeff Blythin was on first,noting that he now drinks Carlsberg Lager, which, if Carlsberg did Folk Clubs,they would probably be———– The lager must be doing him the world of good, as he informed us he went on an 11 mile hike, but, unfortunately came back with a Baker’s Cyst. How the conversation then descended into describing a displaced Scrotum is something I am still struggling with. But he did come up trumps with a great rendition of a Dave Costello classic, Sweet Little Mysteries. I miss Dave.
I became further confused when Mr Adrian West came to the front, his first song was about the Sherwood Forester, and me being a naive rail fan thought he was going to sing about the steam loco that passed through Rhyl a little while ago. But no, this song was about Robin of Lincoln Green, who was decimating the Sheriff of Nottingham’s finest with some well placed arrows. Things got no better when we had a Long Stick tune about mayhem, we then had the usual innuendo (filth) about Twanky Dillo and the sap rising.
Mr Alun Rhys Jones then restored some order with two lovely songs, the first was last week’s request, Silver Dagger, and then Alun sang Lisa Lan.I’ve heard some good renditions of this song by a few notable Welsh Folk Artists and Alun’s version is up there.
Mr Mike Hawkins seemed in melancholy mood, as he sang about someone leaving their loved in The Early Morning Rain to catch a big 707, my favourite ‘plane. Flying on a Pan Am 707 is an everlasting memory for me. Mikes next song was again about people leaving their loved ones, this time, it was a boat load of squaddies off to do their National Service in Germany.
Jim was on next to give us a couple of Airs on his Violin/Fiddle?? EmCee got embroiled in a somewhat heated discussion with the gathered throng about the correct name. The result EmCee nil audience one.
Mr Brian Bull then came to the front,and showed he was down with the kids by wearing his Jimi Hendrix T-shirt. I was disappointed that he didn’t play Hey Joe, and All along the Watchtower whilst plucking his Guitar strings with his teeth! Heh-Hoh maybe next time.
After the beer break, which for Valentine’s night was awash with wine and chocs, T.Gwynne came to the front, and in a poignant moment read one of Val’s favourite poems. At this point I should like to mention thet the tribute night for Val will now be on the 13/3 with Alun now doing an extended spot on the 6/3. The next poem from T was about dangerous liaisons between Dan Mcgrew and Lou, not going to end well.
It was then time to repeat THEE list,which,according to EmCee,was running to skeedule!! His (mis) pronounciation of the word,prompted another robust discussion with the audience, he was put right by Mr West saying the c is silent, unless you are from America. The result,EmCee nil Audience Two.
Mr Alun Rhys Jones returned to the front, and did his level best to emulate Mr Geoff Durno, by also dispatching his Lowden guitar to the canvas. WARNING to Mr John Shepherd, these things always happen in 3’s!
Mr Aidrian West returned, and belying his now Irish citizenship,sang the Patriot Games. Mr Blythin was now into slack gussets on ladies tights! Words fail me, as I cannot add any observations to that on a page such as this!
The last song of the evening was a rousing affair, with most of the Audience on the stage. All in all, a good night was had by everyone.

Thanks to Roly for this week’s blog.

Friday February 7th 2020.

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

As I parked up outside Tynewydd, I was aware of a very hairy occupant in the next vehicle – could it be “Gaffer”? And Lo, it came to pass that it was Gaffer, and there was much jubilation throughout the land, but more later.

EmCee put Mike on first and he quickly whipped the crowd to a frenzy,  first with a Ewan MacColl (Christened James Miller – what was that about?) song and one by John Tams which was new to us and very nice it was too.

Jeffrey had been practising a song by Blind Reverend Gary Davies, the visually impaired fire-and-brimstone preacher from Pontypool, called “Death don’t have no mercy”. Poor grammar and not many laughs. Similarly there were few laughs in the Leonard Cohen song that followed.

Adrian revealed that he was soon to become an Irish citizen. The wave of euphoria which followed was short lived when we realised it was a paper exercise and he wasn’t actually going to bugger off and live there. On the bright side, he had learnt a couple of Irish songs which had a bit more life than his usual fare, although the words to “Kelly the boy from Killane” evaded him after the first line. “The Jolly Tinker” contains a “right falouraladdy”; much preferable to pulling a foetus from the left side of a Queen, so we should be thankful for small mercies.

I sang a couple to remember my dad; few things give as much pleasure as hearing a chorus come belting back at you (with harmonies to boot) at a high level of decibels. Lovely.

EmCee’s “word of the week” was “apricity” – the feeling of warmth from the weak winter sun. EmCee’s favourite dinosaur it can be revealed, following a Freedom of Information request, is the Thesaurus. Spellcheck underlined “apricity” as it hadn’t heard of it either. Incidentally, the man who invented Spellcheck died last week – may he rust in piss.

Then it was the legend that is Gaffer Ferris, former GP and full-time Cornishman, who writes the most bizarre but excruciatingly funny songs you will ever hear. Where’s Cecil Sharp when you need him? I’m not even going to try to tell you what his songs were about. Many in the audience had tears running down their legs.

Alun had to follow. His New Year resolution of avoiding Americanisms went with the rest of them, down the pan, when he dug out an old Springsteen song.

With loads more still to come, EmCee called the beer break.

Plenty of good news this week. I’m off to Cambodia for a few weeks so you won’t have to listen to me at the club and it’s more than likely there won’t be a blog till mid March (Ruth is also away at some point). Next week we (you) will be having Andrea Wild pop in (all the way from Trumpland) to do a couple of songs, along with her son Dylan who will be playing the fiddle. Later this year, our old pal Helen hopes to be coming over from Canada, so there’s more to look forward to.

T Gwyn’s first one passed me by (Cymraeg), but I enjoyed Alfie Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar”, read as opposed to being sung.

Mel was in sparkling form, first with Jake Thackray’s “On Again On Again” and then (all my Christmases were coming at once) “Joyce the Librarian”.

Brian’s face was looking a bit patched up after a discussion in Wetherspoons. You should have seen the other fella! He is probably the only person to ever wear coordinated shoes and vest. Great chorus songs.

We still hadn’t heard from Geoff Durno. After last week’s mishap, he was back with the carbon fibre guitar – AWR has edited one of Geoff’s for the track at the end.

EmCee judged the time perfectly for a round of one each and a grand finale ( where Adrian was attacked by Robshaw).

I’ll be in Phnom Penh next Friday, 7 hours in front, but you’ll be in my thoughts. A bit.

Here’s Geoff.

Friday January 31st 2020

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on February 1, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

EmCee made it clear from the start that with only 3 hours of EU membership remaining, no one was to mention the “B” word and we pretty much managed it. With few injury problems tonight, he was able to choose from almost a full squad. The one exception was Mr. West who was either in Dublin seeking political asylum and an Irish passport or chairing the AGM of the Flat Earth Society (as mentioned in last week’s blog) held in Los Angeles (perilously close to the edge). Here is a photo of December’s lunar eclipse posted by the FES.

Alun was greeted by one of the loudest receptions ever heard at Tynewydd (taking the piss); his set included last week’s request “Ride On” and Mike Hand’s “Pilot Whale”. In my list of “People who have enriched my Life”, Mike would be in there; still much missed.

Mike Hawkins sang his Scottish songs from last week if he’d been there, if you follow my drift. Still too Anglicised, Mike! Good to see Sheila back, even if she could only clap with one hand.

Brian had obviously spent too much time in front of the mirror choosing his outfit for tonight, but, to be fair, really cut a dash.

In his first song, “The Bald Poachers” obviously didn’t need a haircut. Neither did Rick, who’d had a  half metre slashed off his barnet this week and was looking all the better for it.

A couple from me passed without any major cock ups (or highlights) as we all anticipated Jeffrey’s return.

I’d heard the gag before, but some hadn’t. “You are my Sunshine” would probably never get on to Brian or Adrian’s list, but is always good for singing along to.(It’s a prepositional verb, get off my back before you all start).

With a full list to get through, EmCee was forced to bring T Gwyn on before half time. Tonight he gave us Dylan Thomas’s “Poem in October” and a rare poem-with-a-chorus, “Home James and don’t spare the horses”, containing the wonderful line “…she wore a rat in her hair”.

During the break, EmCee drew next week’s request – Jeff to sing “I’ll be your baby tonight”, so get practising your harmonies. Always a winner. The request box is starting to empty, so keep putting ’em in.

Rick had a superb gag, which was a bit too subtle for many and some jug band music.Another few inches off wouldn’t have gone amiss.

While Geoff Durno was adjusting the mic to accommodate his towering height, the audience were screaming out as his guitar, leaning against the backdrop curtain, fell to the floor. It would have been ok if he’d had the carbon fibre job, but tonight he’d brought his baby Lowden (best part of 3 grand’s worth I’d guess) made from the finest Irish 3-ply.

Unfazed, he sang “Lady of Antwerp” (that’s a place in the EU) and a John Prine number, separated by the tune “Planxty Irwin”, which still sounded lovely despite the splinters sticking out from the back of his guitar. He reckoned the tune was the equivalent of someone else doing a short stick dance every week. Fair enough, I suppose.

Jim the fiddle hasn’t been to see us for a while. Lacking the physical attributes of our fiddle player from last week (I’m still waiting on the promise), he nevertheless turned in a creditable performance of Scottish tunes.

After last week’s debacle, EmCee double checked the time remaining, divided it by the number of turns and said “One each, no twiddlin’ knobs or jokes (especially no knob jokes). PERFECT TIMING!

There’s a Committee meeting in a week and a half – if you’ve anything to raise see someone next Friday.

Special mention has to go to Rick for his no-holds-barred rendition of “South Australia”, but AWR and myself decided that you were going to get Mike as track of the week. I will never tire of hearing this.

 

Friday January 24th 2020

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

A pre Burns’ Night special. Also pre St Dwynwen and Chinese New Year, but more of those later. Illness and surgery had reduced our numbers slightly, but we had Pritchards again. Basically the idea was for everyone to do something with a Scottish theme.

Adrian (local co-ordinator for the Flat Earth Society – members all around the globe) couldn’t be arsed to do any Scots songs so he made a West Highland Terrier out of balloons.

Alun, by contrast had risen to the challenge.

“Lass of Glenshee” and then “Lizzie Lindsay”, which was preceded by a few bars of “Miss Rowan Davies”, Scottish to the core despite it’s apparent Welsh name.

Brian only got as far north as Keswick with Derwentwater’s farewell;  an uplifting story  about  a bloke  who  had  his  migraines  cured.  By  an  axe. To be  fair,  “Parcel  of  rogues”  was  written by  Burns  and  isn’t  an  easy  tune  to  master.

A couple from me – Dougie Maclean’s overrated “Caledonia”, which earned him a King’s ransom from Tennents’ lager (other tasteless gassy beers are available) and “Ae Fond Kiss”, courtesy of tonight’s main man.

This brought us to tonight’s star turn. We were privileged to have Lesley in our midst again. What a talent! Drop dead gorgeous with it. (Ok, I’m on a promise)

“Ailsa Ann Anderson” was the fiddle tune, followed by a tale of the cat from Bowmore distillery, delivered in her gentle Aberdonian tones. The bloke accompanying her on guitar was a bit of a waste of space.

Mel was a late arrival, but he had the tale of the Sleeping Scotsman who woke up with a ribbon tied around his “appendage”. An awful gag tonight.

The Break.

I’ve again been pondering life’s greater issues.

Q). If the earth is flat, what’s on the other side?

Q). Why do lemon drinks contain artificial flavourings, but shower gels contain real lemon juice?

Q). How does Vaughan Gething keep his job?

Dafydd had nipped out and returned with a bottle of Jura malt for the raffle. Margaret won it. Bitch.

The second half continued with T Gwyn, desperately in need of a shave and a haircut, treating us to a Welsh verse for Dwynwen and a Burns’ piece called “The Fornicator” – filth, reminiscent of Betjeman.

Geoff Durno was struggling to think of anything Caledonian, but eventually came up with Kilbowie Hill, a Robin Laing song. Basically Raglan Road with different (but better) words.

At 9.50, EmCee decided that there was just time for a round of one each. At 10.10 he realised that we would finish by twenty past. Thanks to the inherent flexibility of “the system” this was changed to two each.

As Geoff began the last song of the night, we were startled by what sounded like automatic gunfire from outside. An absence of bullet riddled corpses in the road made us realise that it was the Chinese restaurant over the road setting off fireworks.

I sang “Will the turtle be unbroken” as last week’s request – next week it’s Alun with “Ride On”.

As a tribute to the great fornicator from Ayrshire, if you’re short of something to do, here’s “Ae Fond Kiss”.

 

 

 

Friday January 17th 2020.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on January 18, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club

According to EmCee, I was first up on Jan 18 last year, so he thought I should open tonight. Will that be me done for the rest of the year, then?

During our 2 week lay off at the end of last year, with Friday nights and Saturday mornings free, I was able to ponder the bigger questions in life

:- Q. – Why is there a “d” in fridge but not in refrigerator?

Q. Why did God give the ability to regenerate limbs to salamanders?

Q. Who actually let the dogs out?

With the crap now out of the way, there was a bit of quality from Alun. “Down too Deep” is one of my favourites, followed by “Hull, Halifax and other places that play Rugby League” (a faster, more exciting version of the public school game).

Mike failed to explain what “As I rode out” was all about, so was lost on me, but I was happy to Roll on down to Old Maui.

Q. Do we live in a jar, with holes in the lid (stars?) so we can breathe? If so who turns the lid round, making the “stars” appear to move?

We had a young person (ie. one with a discernible pulse) in our midst. Tom, from Preston has not yet learned that you don’t get lippy with the bloke from Burnley if he’s the one who writes the blog. “Lost Cause”. I think that was the name of the first song. I bet you’ve never seen Tom and Louis Theroux in the same room.

Tom was then joined by his responsible adult, Chris, when they nicked my combination of “Last Leviathan” and “The Diamond”.

The Preston pair had arrived with our old chum, Annette – don’t see enough of her. How come on a night packed with “turns”, we could only manage one of the female persuasion? Come on girls. Annette’s Irish accent still can’t compare to Alun’s , however – work at it a bit harder! Her second half song was one she said Rod Stewart had been doing. I was disappointed when it wasn’t “Hot Legs”, but something about an Irish bloke getting shot.

Brian, it is reported, will be even older this year. He sang a song about an arranged marriage between a very young man (boy) and an older woman. Didn’t end well (ie. traditional) when the poor lad soon ended up the wrong side of the turf, shagged out.

Q. Could you suffocate in a Bag for Life?

Forever young Jeffrey took us to the break with “Moonshiner”. Not the jolly Clancey Brothers version I grew up with, but very good all the same.

My comments on the Sussexes last week caused some interest.

I now have details of what went on this week when the inbred family got together to discuss “the problem”.

T Gwyn was, as usual, back in the Lions and Christians spot with a poem from Banjo Paterson – “Clancy of the Overflow”. The Overflow was a sheep station, not a sewage outlet.

Time for “ones” each in the second half.

Requests are back! Don’t get over excited – next week it’s for me to do “Will the turtle be unbroken”. Was someone taking the piss? It’s also “Scottish Week”, so get practising your Scots’ songs and your Rob Roy accents. I will try to persuade the missus to bring her fiddle or read something in her native tongue.

 

Review of 2019

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on January 1, 2020 by Rhyl Folk Club