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!