Monday, 30 June 2014

I'm Seldom Sober

      Which of course is not a personal statement, but a lyric from "I'm A Rover. " A reference in fact, to one of the many rousing songs knocked out by Sly Old Dogs and Friends last night during their monthly bash at The Bell in Leafy Warwickshire. Yes, it was a tough call (not!) to miss those Leicester poseurs Kasabian on t.v.  live at Glastonbury, and to drive instead, over the North Warwickshire Corniche from Wolvey to Monks Kirby. I met only a couple of rabbits grazing during that brief journey through idyllic countryside. Amidst views which ASC renewables will despoil for ever, should they not be sufficiently opposed. Seven 131m tall wind turbines at Cloudesley crossroads  will certainly put a blot on this landscape:
   Contemplating thus, I was in a pensive mood as I parked up. There were some other oddly poignant moments last night. The "Gaffer", Paco, rushed excitedly in from bar duty during the second half with his spoons. Intending to join in, as he often does. But the running order afforded him no opportunity to clack the cutlery together enthusiastically, in that inimitable Anglo-Spanish rhythm he often adds to songs like " Gypsie Laddie O." At the end of the night those spoons lay alone, forlornly and abandoned on a white table cloth. Still, he seemed not to take it personally. He still brought salvers of roast potatoes out for supper, later on.
   Bob Brooker, was wearing shorts in the McBrooker tartan that would make Piglet have to go and have a lie down. Bob also initially seemed a little subdued. Following his adventures at Alcester Festival last week, where he ended up hospitalised, that's unsurprising. But he soon livened up, especially when someone told him that Colin Squires was selling his own CD's.
    Sue Sanders ran through some solo jigs and reels and fiddled away merrily (or sadly, where appropriate), as accompaniment to lots of other songs. Borrowing Colin Squires's guitar, she also bravely sang one of Mr. Fox's darker works-"Elvira."
   Carol Gillespie obviously enjoyed last month's session, as she was back for more. She sang some lovely songs including an Eric Bogle one which was a tribute to The Fallen. George Holmes did a couple-not that regular a guest, so it was good to see and hear him. Gerry Bailey turned up, expecting to be joined later by his mate Nigel. But Nige never arrived, and Gezza was forced to improvise. He was persuaded to do one solo and then sat in with Bob and Martin Bushnell on a very nice instrumental. Cheryl played and sang a couple of songs,one of which was an interesting arrangement of "Need Your Love So Bad. " Colin Squire, Martin Bushnell, Pete, Bob and Richard Ryder all had a punt at doing songs individually. Banjo Dave Evans, when called upon, dashed away on some lightning banjo work, and the Resident Orchestra strove gamely to keep up with him. John McIntosh told some jokes which had us guffawing for ooh, two or three seconds.
     I kicked off with "All Over Now," as Bobby Womack, its author, had passed away on the previous day. The audience had a good go at singing the choruses, and the House Band tackled it with gusto,too. Especially Tool, who put down a very tasty electric bass line. In the second half I did our own song " Down Our Street." It had gone well here previously-and the choruses were again, well sung. In the third half (always sounds funny saying that) I wheeled out a BPS rarity-"The 30 foot Trailer. " We used to do this occasionally, long ago. I've always liked this Ewan McColl song, and again, it was accompanied by musicians and singers enthusiastically.  
    Next month's Sunday session will be brought forward to the 20th July, to accommodate the thousands of Folk Cognescenti who on the following Sunday (27th) will be going to that annual celebration of regional musical Apartheid, Warwick Folk Festival. For the zillionth time, Black Parrot Seaside will not be joining them, for reasons only Dick Dixon knows. (ask him?)  However, we remain distinctly unbothered about the latest in a long line of snubs, as that same day, we will be hosting an afternoon of Folk and Acoustic Music just over the border at Market Bosworth RailAle Fest. 
So there.