MC Steve West kicked off the evening with his “Christchurch Smuggler” before inviting Rich Smith to the stage. He sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to John Travolta (!), and two Joni Mitchell songs; ‘A Case of You’ and ‘All I Want’.
Believe it or not, this was Mikey Ball’s first visit to the club. He sang Springsteen’s ‘The River’, ‘Long Black Veil’ written by Lefty Frizzell, and one of his own, ‘Our Lives’. Next up was Mary Dore. We haven’t seen her for a while but it was good to see her again. She performed the traditional ‘Mary Don’t Weep’, her own ‘London Bombs’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘Help Me’.
For the remainder of the first half, our special guest, master storyteller, Paul Openshaw. He sang songs about Mr & Mrs Grumblybottom, the Homeward Flight of the Swallow, Bengal Tiger Spotting, and the dangers therein, When The Boot Goes In, a powerful perspective on religious intolerance and bullying, memories of a trip to India, railways and food, not always a good combination, and a commentary on the Can’t Believe Its Not Butter industry! A brilliant set.
We needed short break after that, and after the raffle, SW sang “Standing In The Gateway” before introducing our ‘Enry, Henry Campion. He sang two of his own songs; ‘Close To You’ and ‘Straight Jacket Blues’. Another performer we haven’t seen for a while is Chris Pugh.
It was good to once again listen to his powerful voice and impressive songs. He gave us ‘River’ and ‘Man Above I’. Mikey returned for a second set, singing two songs from his latest EP; ‘Home To You’ and ‘Wishing Well’ and ‘Seagull’ which featured on the very first Bad Co. album.
And to complete the evening, Paul returned with more stories of everyday life including one about ‘her’ cup of tea, and then a very poignant song about a veteran returning to the Normandy beaches 70 years after D-Day, ‘It Could Have Been Me!’, another song from India concerning the Indians interpretation of the Highway Code influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of peaceful non co-operation, The Bucket Song featuring his Grandson, a song about Jumping Jack Thunder, Weymouth’s very own Elvis interpreter and finally a song for his daughter – “striving to be some-one when there’s no-one quite like you”. Another great set to complete a thoroughly enjoyable evening.