...First of The Month. ( And no returns. Though we hope the newbies will give us another shot next month, after what was another highly entertaining evening).
It was the Wednesday after The Ragged Bear weekend at The Queens Hall. We were hoping we might use that momentum as a springboard to nurture further the modest green shoots now appearing at NFC. And so it proved. Just around the 40 mark attended and whilst nothing like we used to pull in, that was encouraging as Storm Ciaran raged outside. It was nice to see one or two new visitors and some old friends like Keith Donnelly, Des Patalong, Bob Brooker, Jon Harrington Steve Redshaw and Andy Jones returning. It's encouraging to see such artistes and performers among any Folk Club audience.
There were still gaps and missing faces as we began but small steps as they say. Winter Wilson were the star attraction on Wednesday -and they they certainly were that-Star quality through and through. After a Canadian Tour and a triumph at Costa Del Folk (where they had joined Benjii Kirkpatrick our October guest), Kip Winter and Dave Wilson are rightfully a big name on the National and International Folk Scene. In most towns their appearance would be a sell out. But this is Nuneaton. Even so it was nice to see most of the tables filled before the night got fully under way.
With Phil Benson indisposed, Bits and Pieces took a rest and I opened solo, sporting a huge baseball cap which was not to maximise stage presence but to protect a head wound. I am currently having medical treatment for an unwanted lump. ( No: I have not been kidnapped by aliens). Yet. I sang "If It wasn't For The Houses in between," "Donkey Riding" and "Vigilante Man." Music Hall, a Shanty and a Woodie Guthrie Protest. song. Light and shade indeed. That's a poppy on my cap by the way. I couldn't think where else to pin it.
Tyburn is now a duo. Hedley and Jan still create a lovely sound though with Jan's excellent vocals complimented by Hedley's wonderful fiddle playing. They played a mixture of covers and Jan's original material. She's a talented songwriter and a very underestimated singer in my opinion. A deceptively mellow style but she does occasionally let go to reveal the Inner Rock chick. This was the best I'd ever seen and heard them. A good mix of songs, carefully arranged. They had a deserved ovation at the end of their set. This photo below like all those featured here is by Ray Buckler. An NFC stalwart.Craig Sunderland followed. He was just recovering from a heavy cold and The Toon were playing away at Old Trafford. Even so he gave all that up for us. How kind! We kept him supplied with scoreflashes as he introduced us to his latest acquisition a rather impressive Cittern. Bob Brooker seethed away silently. in the auditorium Bob has also been poorly and has also bought a Cittern. Fingers crossed we'll be hearing that one too soon. Imagine: Twin Citterns! It will be like Wishbone Ash or Thin Lizzy, won't it!