In front of our largest audience for some time, MC Jon Ellis took up his banjo and performed two songs from the era around the American Civil War; “Southern Soldier” by Charles White and “Nelly Gray” by Benjamin Hanby. Following Jon was bluesman Mike Atack. He sang “Cannonball Blues” by Furry Lewis, Blind Willie McTell’s “Love Changing Blues” and another Furry Lewis song, “Skinny Woman”. Next up was accordion player Mike Cole. On what would have been Ewan McColl’s 100th birthday, Mike performed “Shoals of Herring”, two reels; “Huntsman’s Chorus” and “Cock O’ The North”, and Tom Paxton’s “Bottle of Wine”. For our next performer this was his first appearance at Lymington and hope it won’t be his last. Dom Prag is a young man based in Netley Abbey with an accomplished, distinctive guitar style. He played Richard Thompson’s “Vincent Black Lightning” and two of his own songs; “Brighton Song” and “Chemicals”. Jim Brown is well known to the Lymington audience as a solo performer and as a member of The Hobos. On his £6 car boot sale guitar he sang Woody’s “Pretty Boy Floyd”, “She Thinks I Still Care”, written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy which became a No. 1 hit for George Jones in 1962, and the traditional “Fare Thee Well”, a.k.a. in America as Dink’s Song or Dink’s Blues. To finish the first half in grand style, we had Southampton folk legend Brian Hooper. Brian has been ‘mine host’ at the Fo’c’sle Folk Club for many years, and the club, this year, quite incredibly, is celebrating it’s 52nd year! He sang the blues standard “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor”, and one of his own songs, “The Beaulieu Auto Jumble”.
After the break and raffle, raffelmeister Steve West sang “Wild Flying Dove” by Tom Paxton and “Young Sailor Cut Down In His Prime”. Dick Etherton is one of our local musical treasures. We don’t see him often enough. He performed Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies”, an acapella version of “Sweet Lark” and “Georgia On My Mind” by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell. Next onto the stage was Steve Moorhouse. He sang three of his own songs; the first was a moving tribute to a forgotten relative, Harry, who died on the Somme in 1916, “Ballad of the New Forest Hobos” and “Sweet Rosemary”. We haven’t seen Paul Nichol and John Roseveare for a while, so it was great to have them here on our anniversary night. Paul on guitar, and John on resonator/slide, played blues standard “Sporting Life Blues”, Paul’s “Frozen In Time”, and the “Long Black Veil” written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell, and now a standard having been recorded by many artists including Johnny Cash and The Band. And finally, and most appropriately, Brian returned to finish the evening. He sang his own “Hippo Song”, a brilliant, thinly veiled commentary on the ‘establishment’ (very relevant the day before the election!), acapella another of his compositions, “Looking For A Girl Called Ali” and “Rolling Home” by John Tams.