Due to an electrical problem at the Thomas Tripp, there were no ceiling lights! However, the candles made for a lovely atmosphere which may be repeated for the future!

MC Jon Ellis got the evening underway on his mandolin with “Black, Brown and White” by Big Bill Broonzy, then switching to tin whistle for two waltzes, and then back to mandolin to perform “The Maginot Waltz” by Ralph McTell. Jon then introduced bluesman Trevor Bambridge to the audience. Living in Andover and working in Lyndhurst, Trevor played guitar and harmonica on “Walk In My Shadow” by Free, a country blues instrumental and a country blues standard, “Nine Pound Hammer”.

Following Trevor was the main support of the evening, Bruce Watson. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Bruce is a much travelled performer with many CD’s to his credit and songs covered by such notables as Eric Bogle. He opened with one of the best openers I’ve ever heard; “The Importance Of Being Bruce”! Next was “In The Time It Takes To Sing This Song”, about the destruction of the Amazon. “The Man and the Woman and the Edison Phonograph” told the story of Bruce’s great-grandfather’s recording the voice of the last woman known to speak the Tasmanian aboriginal language in 1903 and at the end of the song, his wife, Jill, played an excerpt of that recording. Quite a moment!

Then it was time for our special guests ‘Milton Hide‘. Jim & Josie Tipler come from just north of Eastbourne, Sussex. Jim (guitar/vocals) and Josie (cahon/clarinet/mini xylophone/vocals) performed Jim’s songs; “You’re Better Off Dead”, “Riding The Whale”, “We Say It All The Time”, “Little Bit Alike” and “All Gone South”.

After the break and raffle, ‘The Elderberries‘ started the second half with “Hard Times” by Stephen Foster, “Rememberin” by Steve West and “Erie Canal” written by Thomas S. Allen. Bruce returned to the stage for his second set. He sang “The Old Bush Dance”, “The Ballad of Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener” about the hanging of two aboriginals for the killing of two white whalers, the first hanging in Melbourne, a song about holidaying in Queensland where it rains a lot, hence ‘Queensland Wet’, and “A Thousand Acts of Love”.

And finally, Milton Hide’s second set; “I’ll Dance For You For Tuppence”, “Spacetime”, “Found Drowned”, a song about our obsession with social media and an encore; “A Little Peace of Mind”.

A truly marvellous evening. Next time, 2nd October, is an “Open Floor” but in the meantime, at Milford Folk Club, on 12th September, we have a joint venture bringing you the wonderful Claude Bourbon.

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