Thursday, 19 November 2015

Top Twenty Night at Warwick

A cracking night along the A46 on Monday, with Warwick Folk Club's annual Top Twenty Bash. A host of Stars on 45 admirably compered by Norman Wheatley, took us through  a  packed programme of nostalgia, with individual performers and sketches breaking up the evening.
      Mr. Wheatley opened proceedings with " Sunny Afternoon" and " Mr. Bojangles."  Mike Moyes  then followed with " Daydream Believer" and Peter Paul and Mary's " In The Early Morning Rain."  I was due to be there as part of Nunc,  in which case we would have done "After The Gold Rush "  and Fairground Attraction's "Perfect." This was not to be however, so in solo form I did Billy Bragg's " Between The Wars" and an effortless segue of "All Over Now " and " Rave On" which I introduced as " Rave Over Now."
     Sue Harris went easy on herself, selecting " Killing Me Softly" and " You were always on my mind," as her opening gambit.  Ian Dyson did  remarkable things with a banjo before Peter Wimpenny introduced us to a unique interpretation of Dave Berry's " The Crying Game." Rik Middleton, creative as ever, treated us to  Pat Boone's " Love Letters in The Sand" and Abba's " Fernando".    Maggie Coleman did "Farewell Angelina", which charted for Joan Baez in..and "Scarborough Fair."

      In the second half, Robin Kaye, shorn of his more famous brother Danny, made an ambitious tilt at The Moody Blues' " Nights in White Satin'" and followed that with another easy project," The Sounds of Silence."The incomparable Chris Tobin crooned " Alfie," and then accompanied Sue Jefferies on the Springfield's hit " Island Of Dreams."

      During the second half,  Martin Day treated us to " Ghost Riders In The Sky."  What MD did not know was that when I first moved from the City to the country, in 1987, each Friday night, the chorus of this song would echo eerily across the Anker Valley for hours after closing time, as the Cowpokes and Sheep herders of North East Warwickshire staggered nostalgically home from the aptly-named Bull's Head. So another happy moment for me.
     The inappropriately named Melancholy Brothers did a fabulous arrangement of  The Byrd's " 8 Miles High,"  and followed it with a Roxy Music cover. 
       Breathless, we sat back as Keith Donnelly growled  lout a basso profundo cover of Lee Marvin's " I was born under a wanderin' star.'  Keith does a highly recommended alternative parody of Ghost Riders-" Ghost Eiders in The Sky", about spooky geese, but he chose on Monday to follow his opener with Dean Martin's " Gentle On My Mind."
Ian Pittaway finished the evening, with an extraordinary version of "Bob The Builder", played as a Galliard, on a Lute.
     After an evening packed with memories and good audience singing, as the Tumbleweed drifted up the deserted Castle Street, we made our way home and dreamed of our Youth. 

burn; Canadian charts, 1971)