Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Loose Cannon

On the hottest July day EVER yesterday in most of the Midlands, the thermometer was still reading 33c outside at 8pm as Nuneaton Folk Club got under way. The long awaited debut of Coventry-based Dubliner Sean Cannon drew a massive crowd, and we were nigh on capacity at around 120 souls as we approached the start. 
Webby (right) had the sauciest shorts , revealing a fine set of pins for a 98 year old 
   Beforehand we had lots of behind the scenes excitement, as Sound Man Tom Veasey and Guvn'or Jules wrestled with the P.A. It finally stuttered into life just before the start. The heat both inside and outside was intense as we began. It was either get roasted and bitten outside watching the Outdoor Stage, or boil in the Sauna of the Top Room. So crowded was the room that some folk sat on the floor at the front of the stage, hippie-style. Far out. 
     We had a few announcements before the music began. Contributors were thanked for their £500+ donations to The UHCW Neo Natal Unit. We lamented the sad passing of Rich McMahon who would have been on the bill that night. Ginnie White was presented with a Justin Bieber Annual to commemorate her enrollment as The NFC's 150th Facebook Page recruit. 
    Then Nunc kicked us off with a couple of tunes, " Cold Haily" (which it wasn't) and "After The Goldrush." They would return as NuncNey in the second half, with John Kearney guesting on "Bring It On Home."
" Bring it to me..Bring on home to me...Yeah!"
   In tribute to Pete Slaughter, the SJ Matanza Band made their debut. John Kearney and Dave Parr joined Pete's daughter to celebrate the old boy's 75th Birthday. Pete is a regular at pretty well every Folk Club in the area. 
    John Kearney remained on stage to add a couple of his own songs, suitably attired in a beach shirt. It was clear from the way the audience belted back the refrains from John's inimitable version of "Downtown" that a classic night was in store. 
John and one of his fans
More debutantes next, Fray'd Knot, a local Ceilidh Band with a dazzling array of instrumentation.  They got  feet  tapping, and a few spontaneous clapping accompaniments broke out. The 'Knot very kindly donated some Sperrins Beers to the raffle.
Zak Knight leads The Fray'd Knot ensemble.

    regular (and popular) guest Bob Brooker then weighed in with three songs.  He also donated a raffle prize. Bob stayed on stage after his set because he was also guesting with Comharsa, who warmed an increasingly excitable audiece up with a set of  traditional tunes. Including the Irish Rover which got everyone roaring the choruses. Fronted by Mick Stanley, it was good to see him finally making his performing debut there, with friends and family around him, after his disastrous previous experience in Bond Street. (He got run over, outside and ended up in hospital!). 
        To great applause, Sean then turned in his first set. He kept the audience chuckling with his anecdotes, and tapping their feet with his songs.
     Daisybell warmed up for Sean's second half, with three well-crafted and beautifully harmonised tunes. And then the Maestro returned, and he damn near brought the house down with a varied selection of songs and tunes. Hot as it still was, no-one wanted to leave!So we made him do a few encores. No-one needed much persuading. 
Sean and a moodily-lit Geoff with a fan between them