MC for the night Jonathan Klein got the evening off to a great start with a gentle and moving rendition of “Carrickfergus”. He then introduced ‘Nomad’ to the stage. Al, Heather and Glen performed “Beggarman”, “For Ireland”, “Bally Desmond”, “Jock Stewart” and “Ride On”.
MC Steve West got the evening underway with an example of a broadside ballad “Young Sailor Cut Down In His Prime” before inviting songwriter Geoff Robinson to the stage accompanied by Jon Rowson on violin. Geoff sang four of his own songs; “Achin’ Heart”, “The Blind Fiddler”, “A Fine Turnaround” and “‘Scuse Me For Laughin'” and the folk standard “Man of Constant Sorrow”.
Then it was time for our special guest Claude Bourbon to grace the stage in his trademark rattle-snakeskin boots. He sang and played songs mainly from his latest CD “Anthology”, a double CD collection of songs and tunes from the last ten years. Included in the the set were his extended version of “Summertime” and “Alamansa”.
After the break and raffle Steve sang one of his own songs “The Lie” and then introduced local troubadour Nick Hayward Young to the audience. He plays guitar through a loop machine which is something a little different for us but his did not detract from the performance. Singing numbers mainly from his most recent CD, he performed songs including “Raglan Road”, Sandy Denny’s “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” and his own “Deception Valley”.
For the remainder of the evening, Claude performed his second set which included “I Need A Love That’s Real”, “How Do You Stretch It?”, a “We’ll Meet Again”/Bolero mash up(!), “There’s a Storm Coming” and always one of my personal favourites, “Sitting On A Cliff”
We chased away the winter blues with a fantastic, varied collection of songs and performers, and a few newcomers to spice it all up.
MC Henry Campion got the evening started with Marc Cohn’s “Walking In Memphis” and “Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones. Next up was Steve Moorhouse. He sang two of his own songs; the first an ode to Lenny McLean, ‘The Guv’nor’, famous street fighter, called “Giver Of Pain” and “Crash & Burn”.
Following Steve was Mike Cole. With his accordion, and accompanied by Steve Moorhouse, he performed “Handsome Molly” and “The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant” (words by Pete Coe). Then Sean Brophy took to the stage to sing Mark Knopfler’s “Romeo & Juliet” and “Roof Is Leaking” by Phil Collins. Sean remained on stage to accompany the first or our newcomers, Hannah Snellgrove. Hannah sang “What Can I Say” by Skinny Lister and “If I Leave This World Alive” by Fogging Molly”.
The penultimate act of the first half was another newcomer, Tom Croft, our youngest performer of the night. He sang his own version of Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and “Highway Patrolman” by the Boss. So, to finish the first half, Nomad. Al, guitar/vocal, Heather, violin/guitar/vocal, sang “Call To The Wee Girl”, “The L & N Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore” by Johnny Cash and joined by Jim Brown on banjo and Steve West on vocals; “Wagon Wheel” by Bob Dylan and Keith Secor.
After the break and raffle another newcomer, Larry Callan. He performed two Leonard Cohen songs; “Ain’t No Cure For Love” and “I’m Your Man”. Next was Jim Brown. On his new banjo he performed “Napoleon Crossing The Rhine” and “Hand Me Down Your Walking Cane”.
Next on stage were Pete & Cis who run Milton Ukelele Strummers Klub (MUSK) and meet on the last Tuesday of the month in the New Milton Memorial Centre. They sang Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” and “It’s Alright”, written by Mike Moran and Dennis Waterman and the theme song to the TV series ‘New Tricks’. Following the ukes another uke player, Martyn Tanner. He performed John Prine’s “Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness”, “No Regrets” by Tom Rush and “September When It Comes” by Roseanne Cash.
Then it was time for Jonathan Klein to step forward. He sang two of his own songs; “Naked In A Deckchair” and a brand new one hot off the press, “Miss Your Touch”. Finally, to complete the evening, Henry returned as performer. He sang a little music hall ditty: “A Boarding House”, “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Forever Young”. A great end to a great evening. Next time, 2nd March, a very special guest, the wonderful Claude Bourbon. If you have any interest in guitar playing, you need to see this man!
MC Mike “Furry” Atack got the evening underway with two Furry Lewis songs before inviting “Professor” Jonathan Klein to the stage. He performed four of his own songs in his own delicate style; “Winter Child”, “Everything I Build Falls Apart”, “If I Could Make One Wish” and “Devil And The Deep Blue Sea”. Next up was Jim Anderson on his accordion accompanied by Dave Read on guitar. They played various tunes from around the war period from America, France and Belgium, a set of Irish dance tunes, a Jimmy Reed song “Baby What You Want Me To Do” with Dave on vocal, and finally “Nola”, composed by American Felix Arndt in 1915 as an engagement gift to his fiancee, Nola Locke and considered to be the first example of the “ragtime” genre. (Felix’s mother was related to Napoleon III don’t you know!)
After the break and raffle, “Mississippi” Bob Long took over MC duties as poor Mike retired due to feeling unwell (furryitis?) and sang “Stockyard Blues” by Robert Wilkins before introducing Sean Brophy to the audience. Sean sang David Gray’s “This Year’s Love”, “Downfall Tonight” by Del Amitri, and “Roof Is Leaking” by Phil Collins. Following Sean was John Scott. He performed Hal Ketchum’s “Old Soldiers”, “Til I Gain Control Again” by Rodney Crowell, and Raymond Froggatt’s “Wings On My Heels”.
And last but not least, Ian “W” Brown. He performed three of his own songs; the moving “Aunt Margery”, “Me Too” and a song he co-wrote with Steve Knightley, “Thanks For Turning Up”, a most fitting end to the evening.
It was fitting that our first performer tonight was one of the founding members of the new Lymington Folk Club, Tony Parry. Now living in the depths of Sussex, he runs his own club in Uckfield. His first song was Paul Openshaw’s “Ikea”, followed by Buffy St Marie’s “Big One’s Get Away” and “Only You”, a big hit for The Platters. This led to an encore; Leadbelly’s “Take This Hammer”.
Next up were ‘Dr Feelbad’. Derek and Geoff performed “Carrickfergus”, “Speed of the Sound of Lonliness” by John Prine and “The Contender”, written by Jimmy McCarthy about Irish boxer Jack Doyle and most famously covered by Christy Moore. Then it was time for the first set from our guests, Wikkaman. Their songs are infused with the myths and legends of darkest Dorset and performed with a good deal of theatre thrown in. The songs come mainly from their new CD “Wessex Tales”; “Badbury Rings”, “Painted Man”, “Hangman Jack”, “Moonfleet”, “Wedding Tree” and “Church Ope Cove”. A brilliant first set.
After the break and raffle, Henry Campion kicked off the second half with “America” by Pail Simon, James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes” and David Gray’s “Babylon”. Following Henry was accordion maestro Jim Anderson. He performed a set of Strathseys and Reels, a set of waltzes from Scotland, France and Bolivia, and joined by Dave Read on guitar for a French musette.
For only the second time in the club’s history, a jazz combo took to the stage. Yes, Jazz! ‘Vanessa’s Villains’ consist of Vanessa on vocals, Derek on bass, Steve guitar, and Richard on sax and maracas. They performed a German song in English “By Me You’re Okay”, “Autumn Leaves” and “Honeysuckle Rose”. Then it was time for Wikkaman to return to the stage to finish the evening. They performed; “Abbotsbury Abbey”, “Chesil Beach”, “Portland Harbour Lights”, “Tank Town” and a rousing “English Civil War”.
MC ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long got the evening going with two Robert Johnson songs: “Little Queen of Spades” and “Travelin’ Riverside Blues”, Memphis Minnie’s “Hoodoo Lady” and “Feels Like Going Home” by Muddy Waters. He then asked fellow LF&B activist Mike ‘Furry’ Atack to take to the stage. He sang “That’s No Way To Get Along” by Robert Wilkins, Woody Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man”, “Yellow Dog Blues” by Sam Collins and “Falling Down Blues” by…. Furry Lewis (of course!).
Next up were Calum & Tom who play blues under the name of “Two Tones Down”. These two young guys shouldn’t be able to play the blues so well, but they do. They rocked through “Hey, Hey”, “Nobody Knows You”, composed in 1923 by Jimmy Cox, the blues standard “Key To The Highway” first recorded by Charlie Segar in 1940, and “Hoochie Coochie Man”, written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954. The final two featured Tom’s exhilarating slide guitar. Bob then introduced Jon “The Don” Rowson to the stage. He performed Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell”, loosely based on ‘St James Infirmary’, “Going Down Slow” by Lightning Hopkins, and he then took up his fiddle and was joined by Gill on guitar for “Shake Hands And Tell Me Goodbye” by Mississippi Sheiks. To finish the first half, Bob led a jam session featuring some of the performers on “Just A Dream” by Big Bill Broonzy.
After the break and raffle, Glen Wright was invited to the stage. He played “Buckets of Rain” by Bob Dylan, “Sun Going Down”, his own lyrics based on a Robert Wilkins tune, “Amazing Grace”, first published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton, “They Call Me Lazy” by Lazy Lester, and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, originally recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson in 1937 as “Good Morning, School Girl” as an uptempo blues with an irregular number of bars, and although identified with ‘Chicago blues’, it was a product of Sonny Boy’s west Tennessee roots. Following on from Glen was “Hawaiian” Pete Gabony. He sang “It Ain’t One Thang Baby It’s Two” by Chris Thomas King”, Blind Alfred Reed’s “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live”, Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster”, and Memphis Minnie’s “When The Levee Breaks”.
And last but certainly not least, ‘Big’ Al Whittle. He started with a Dave Van Ronk song (the name of which escapes me!), and followed with a Jimmy Reed mash up “Bright Lights, Big City/Let It Roll”, “Winin’ Boy Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton, Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Matchbox Blues” “Diggin’ My Potatoes” by Washboard Sam and finally and appropriately, “Goodnight Irene”, a blues standard first recorded by Huddie Lebetter in 1933 but of much earlier origin.
In terms of the quality on offer, this was one of our best nights ever. The standard of musicianship, creativity and bonhomie were fantastic.
MC Henry Campion got the evening of to a fine start with a stirring rendition of “Times They Are A-Changing”. He then handed over to ukelele popsters, Ukerjax. Pete, Cis, Tony & Jan performed “Addicted To Love” by Robert Palmer, “Goodbye Girl” by Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook of ‘Squeeze’, “Here Comes The Rain Again” by the Eurythmics and Bob Marley’s “Wait In Vain”.
Next on stage was Roy Clayton, accompanied on djembe by Jan Anderson. His first two songs were his own; “Entitled” and “Boiling The Sea”, and the third “Stand By Your Guns”, a traditional song arranged by Seth Lakeman and featuring backing vocals by Steve West. The penultimate act of the first half were an acoustic blues duo we have seen once before and hope to see many times in the future. Tom is just 18 and Calum 17 and they play the blues under the name ‘Two Tones Down’. Tom is the lead vocalist with a voice way beyond his years and both are super hot on guitar. They performed two of their own songs; “Beachcomber Blues” and “This July”, before finishing with a blistering version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride ans Joy”.
To finish the first half in foot tapping style, Don and Friends. Don & Michelle (fiddles) and Greg & Jill (guitars) played some ‘Old Tyme’ classics for us; “Lazy John”, “St James Infirmary”, “Darling Cory”, and “John Henry”. We needed a break to get our breath back!
After the break and raffle, Henry sang “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” by Neil Sedaka, and “Wild Mountain Thyme” featuring backing vocals by Steve West. Ukerjax returned to the stage for two numbers, the first a medley of “Tide Is High”, “Rudy” and “Sit Down” and finishing with John Peel’s favourite song, “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones.
Steve West sang “The Leaving of Lymington” (!), and “Lambs On The Green Hills” before Henry completed the evening with “Mr Tamborine Man”, his ‘Not scrumpy!’ cider story and Trevor Crozier’s “Trouble Over Bridgewater”, “Country Roads” by John Denver and much audience participation, and when we thought that was the end, he came back for a well deserved encore and sang “Let It Be” again with everyone joining in. Wow! What a night!