Who would have thought that, on a Sunday Night, you could have 17 different musicians, playing a diverse range of acoustic music to a large audience in the depths of leafy Warwickshire? Yep. 17. Count them : Colin Squire, Pete Willow, Bob Brooker, Nigel Ward, Richard Ryder, Banjo Dave Patterson, Carol Wilkinson, a fine guitar player called Eddie, Syl Cullen, Boo Cullen, DragonHead, (two of them), Sue Sanders, Jan Richardson and Mahendra Patel, and little old me. Oh!...did I miss one out? Ah yes...the redoubtable Mr.Sean Cannon. When you consider that regular Dogs Paul Kenny, John "Tool" McKintosh and Martin Bushnell were missing-it was a remarkable turnout.
I try to weave the word "eclectic" into all my Blog entries, but really, last Sunday night's "Sly Old Dogs and Friends" session at The Bell, Monks Kirby was exactly that. Instrumentation included guitars, (at least!) three banjo players, mandolins, a melodeon, two percussionists, tin whistles and two fiddle players. Mr. Cannon was prised (non too reluctantly) away from his fish supper to give us a few tunes. In fact, he gave us several.
We had songs from Ireland and Scotland. We had Cajun, Country and Blues. We had self-penned, trad. arr. and handed down. We had instrumentals, jigs, reels, and laments. We had a capella and we had the massed choirs of Monks Kirby. Sometimes the nights here get so busy that Paco, the Gaffer, doesn't even get time to play his spoons. But he did duet rather movingly with Sean on a song they sang entirely in Spanish. It was that kind of night
I first of all sang two folk songs written by Black Parrot Seaside's recently deceased founder member, Graham Caldicott-"Blueland Boy" and "Dirty Gertie." The latter one we still often do. In the second half, accompanied by honorary Parrot Sue Sanders, I tackled for the first time in public, a song called "All The Good Times." We'd both previously expressed and admiration for this song. It features on the album "The Gypsy" by that excellent electric Folk Band Mr. Fox. In the third half, with the emphasis towards Ireland unmistakeable, I took another opportunity to warble the lovely (until I got hold of it) "On Raglan Road."