Well I dunno about that Will, but a splendid evening took place last night on your 450th birthday. At Bedworth Rugby Club, helping to raise funds for the 2014 Bedworth Folk Festival. Standing room only, a good sum raised by a generous audience and nine excellent floor spots preceded us doing an hour which simply flew by! Good also to see a sprinkling of people who'd supported us at The Shakespeare, turning up again for more just a week later. It was good too to finally meet up with Pete Clemons. Arnie and I had been friends with his late brother. Nigel, or "Eliak" as we knew him, was a good friend to the Rock Parrot, with and had a fabulous record collection which Pete has inherited.The first half was taken up by Malc and Gill Gilsenan with Dave Parr, Joe Roberts, Sue Sanders,(pictured below, left), John Kearney, Claire Latham, Dave Fry, Phil Benson, and Des Patalong. With the ever cool Terry Wisdom and Jan finishing the first half. We had self-penned material, skiffle, shanties, acapella, guitar and fiddle duos, comedy and traditional. The sort of (FREE) eclecticism which makes SOME Folk Clubs so bloody marvellous. Highlights for me were the ever-improving Claire Latham. (pictured below). We had two raffles-one serious, one silly.
BPS started the second half with an impromptu a cappella tribute to Rod Felton.( seen above, left) Roddy was a good friend to local Folk Clubs, and he really GOT our material. He died recently and his funeral takes place next Tuesday. I sang the first verse and chorus of Roddy's lovely composition "Curly." before we kicked off. I reckon he'd have loved that.
And then, exactly as Roddy would have wished, it was on with the mayhem. A five piece Black Parrot Big Band were joined occasionally by Sue Sanders on Fiddle. Sue was understandably reluctant to take the stage. With several of us Big in every sense, there simply wasn't room for her. So she fiddled adeptly on "Beduff Bank", "The Septic Monkey" and one or two others, from behind a pillar. Claire Latham became the 28th musician to get an honorary Parrot membership, by adding some sensitive percussion to the already tender and lyrical "If I were a Goat." Interestingly, this song seemed to leave the Shakespeare punters in Cov. nonplussed last week. We finished it amidst silence. Last night, a near capacity crowd bleated along empathetically. ( I think that's the right word).
Another personal highlight was "The Whistler". Having distributed instruments of a very low calibre amongst the audience, it is always entertaining for a performer out front to see and hear their attempts to toot in the right place, and to take on the instrumental verse when we hand it over to the. It never, ever gets any better than dire, and that's the way we like it. It creases me up.
Other songs included our own "Gravy Train" The Odeon " and "Down Our Street." With all choruses echoed enthusiastically. Dave got took short during the intro to "Albert Balls" but he managed to return from the Conveniences just in time to do some windmill guitar during the verses. Just to prove we could be semi-serious, we also did " All Over Now" and " Lakes of Ponchartrain."
We finished (as we normally do nowadays) with " What a Folking Liberty," the saucy chorus courageously and skilfully negotiated by a ribald audience. For an encore, we sent them home misty-eyed with " Need Your Love So Bad." Though I say it myself, following up all that tomfoolery with a bluesy love song, one written in the 1950's and later arranged to a waltz time, was a masterstroke.