MC Jonathan Klein presided over an evening of familiar faces but playing in new bands. He got things underway by performing one of his own songs, “Babylon”, before inviting Steve Moorhouse and Hannah Snellgrove to the stage, for the first time at our club as a duo. Hannah on guitar and whistle and Steve on mandolin played “Thirty Foot Trailer” by Ewan MacColl, Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl”, the traditional “Tell Me Ma” and “Forty Pound Wedding” by Skinny Lister. Then Laura came to the stage and with her accordion performed a set of mainly sea songs including “The Skye Boat Song”, “Mull of Kintyre”, a hornpipe called “Steamboat” and “La Mer”. To finish the first half, the first of our debut bands. ‘The Elderberries‘ consist of Huckle Berry (aka Geoff Langton), Holly Berry (aka Carole Puttick), Blue Berry (aka Derek Ayling) and Raz Berry (aka Steve West [The Hobos]). The played an Irish traditional song “Carrickfergus”, “Moon River”, famously sung by Audrey Hepburn in the film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, ┬ácomposed by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer and winning them an academy award in 1961 for best song, “I Wanna Be Like You”, a song from Walt Disney’s 1967 film ‘The Jungle Book’ and written by Robert and Richard Sherman, and “You Are My Sunshine”.

After the break and raffle, Jonathan sang two more of his songs; “Running For Love” and “The Angel Song”. Then it was time for ‘Ukejax‘ to hit the stage. This four piece ukelele band consist of Pete, Cis, Tony and Jan, and they started with Steve Miller’s “Abracadabra” followed by “Hotel Yorba” by The White Stripes, “Ooh La La” by the Faces and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”. Jon Ellis took up his tin whistle and performed three tunes including “Ashoken Farewell” by Jay Ungr. I’ve been trying to get Maurice Pearce to play at our club for some time and tonight was the the night. Well known locally in blues circles he chose the role of singer/songwriter to sing songs from his CD “On Jubilee Road”. A song about the closure of the coal mines in the Midlands from a personal perspective having lived up there during those times, a song about watchmaker John Harrison who against the odds social and otherwise provided a solution for the problem of longitude, a song inspired by a trip to New Orleans and the title track.
And finally, our second debut band of the evening, ‘Acoustic Friends‘, consisting of Geoff Robinson (guitar/vocals), Jon Rowson (fiddle), Jim Brown (banjo/vocals [The Hobos]), Dave Broom (mandolin/vocals [The Hobos]) and Max Hooper (double bass).They sang “Blind Fiddler”, Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”, Geoff’s “Coming Home”, “Roseville Fair”, another of Geoff’s “A Fine Turnaround”, “Man of Constant Sorrow” and as an encore “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” with much audience participation, singing and playing! A splendid end to a splendid evening.
Next time… Wednesday 1st June…. special guest…. Jimmie Lee Morris. Not to be missed!

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