Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Jingle All The Way

       Gosh, what a hectic week (or so!) it was, musically.  Not one but several recording sessions finally completed at Anker Radio studios, of “Anker Folk.” Which I know, from conversation on line and in person, some people are actually listening to. (Thank you!) Three hours of broadcasting now “in the can” and ready for transmission. Next one goes out on air on 8pm Boxing Day-but if partying that night-it's available on Listen Again-as are most of the other shows. Our latest session on Monday included a few surprises for listeners, plus tracks from Pentangle, Lindisfarne,Shirley Collins, KC Jones, Show of Hands,Dougie McClean,Si Barron, Tim Hardin, Kate Wolfe and Phil Hare.
     Family commitments meant I missed (again) Steve Hicks and Lynn Goldbourne at Bedworth Folk Club last Wednesday night. One day I'll catch them-but I understand it was another good night.
    Last Thursday, The Hawkesbury Trawlermen finally made their first recording- a bit of “Blow The Man Down” performed “live” at The Lord Hop in Nuneaton. Whence we had settled,following the Annual Works Christmas Dinner of The Nuneaton & District Elderly Gentlemen's Binge Drinking Society (Folk Club Branch). Held this year at The Cedar Tree instead of Wetherspoons. It was a  good turn out, health and family ties considered, but really, if you are not going to have any Real Ale on,with three pump clips turned round before 1pm and nearly a dozen grizzled Old Folkies in, you are looking for trouble. No tip for them-except get the barrels on earlier. 
NADEGBDS  All smiles before the trouble started. 
    By the time we'd decamped to The Hop, we'd already carelessly lost a couple of personnel, but, lubricated by some of Barry's fine collection of Cask Ales, we rehearsed upstairs, bellowing our way through “South Australia,” “ Hanging Johnny” “Haul On The Bowline,” “ John Kenakanaka” and many more. To my surprise, the customers were quite impressed. We got several plaudits before Ale,Turkey,Sprouts, Roasties,Stuffing  and Yorkshire Pud began  taking to their toll. The Hop had kindly left out a tray of Stilton,black pudding and other titbits, and soon a few Trawlermen began to nod off. 
David Parr as Father Jack.
     John Meechan and Phil Benson then left,depleting us even further, but when Film Director Lee Price arrived, we managed to get a soundtrack done for his Feature Film “Frettin'” first take. Good job really.
   John Kearney and I had rehearsed and then recorded “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy,” with Lee the week previously. That was also a quick run through and again: job done, first take. You could see Lee was chuffed on both occasions. The World Premiere of “Frettin' “ takes place at The Abbey Theatre in March. An all-ticket event where, I'm delighted to reveal, Nunc will be providing  musical entertainment “live.” Including as many songs with Nancy in them as we can find.
JK toasts another successful recording
       Next up was Friday night and it was Hawaiian shirts out again although,this time with a Christmas motif,for Nunc returning once again to The Twisted Barrel in Coventry.. A cracking night all round at Fargos Village, with excellent contributions from Glyn Finch, Laurence Lam, James Richards,Tom Wilson,Izzy Derry and David Goody.
         David's business cards describe him as a “Purveyor of Ukele Based Absurdity “ and his set list did not disappoint. A racy version of “Straight Outa Earlsdon,” and a raging lament about why Batches are called batches but only in this part of The Midlands. Caustic comment on the rape of Coventry City by Hedge Funders and a song about The Ring Road followed. All good, local, witty stuff, confidently delivered at a hell of pace, with furious chords punched out from what appeared to be a home made guitar. Kind of like the bastard Hellchild of a union between John Cooper Clarke,Seasick Steve and Sleaford Mods.
David Goody. Nice hat.
         Nunc mixed up some Christmas songs with stuff from the current set. “Fairy Tale of New York”, “Bring It On Home,” “All Gonna Die Some day” and “Angel from Montgomery” were among songs well received.
Happy Nuncmas

      Tom and James each ranged through an eclectic range of material before Izzy sang some songs, which got the audience singing along nostalgically. Nicely crafted arrangements of “Ring of Fire”, “Big Yellow Taxi” and “ Valerie” for instance. We've persuaded her to come out to NFC in February, for a floor spot.
Izzy Derry
        Sunday night saw John Kearney and I joining the throng at the Wood Farm Brewery for a Festive Sly Old Dogs and Friends session. The Full Pack, with Pete Willow,Paul Kenny,John McIntosh, Richard Ryder, Bob Brooker, (eventually), Martyn Bushnell and Colin Squire. All on top form,so The Craic was well maintained. This time they did not run out of beer,(though none of their own). The Hobgoblin,I have to say, was very well kept. 
     Lots of guest performers besides us. Good job I did not do "Syd's Bags" or "Albert Balls" as Alan Birkett did the original versions of both! I did "Dublin In The Rare Old Times" and "Smells Like Christmas". ( Of which-by request-more later). It was lovely also to see (and hear) John Morris again and to meet some of his family. John was in fine voice, and gave us two wonderful songs exercising that distinctive voice of his.