Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Club ...

Some of us went along to the Amberley Acoustic Music Club at The Black Horse in Amberley on Tuesday evening.
You might recognise these accomplished musicians ...

Behold - Beheld!

(Sorry - Roger is a bit blurred.)

They were particularly good ...

We heard several of David's self-penned songs, brilliantly accompanied by Mick and Roger on various instruments.
David's composition, 'When the Spring has Come', is a remarkable piece of musical poetry that could have come from the pre-industrial era.
'In No Strange Land', based on a poem by Francis Thompson (1859 – 1907), arranged for music by Roger and informatively introduced by David, was captivating.
Mick's fiddling for 'In the Smoke' took us all through the wardrobe into another dimension.

I had just one disappointment:
'Beheld' only got one set.

Then ... there was a lovely lady who looked a lot like the Jane that we all know.
She sang twice.
Here she is, accompanied by Roger, singing 'Leaning on the arms ...'

(Roger looks better now, don't you think?)

Now, Amberley is a good 20-30 minute drive from Chichester, and parking near the pub is limited.
You can get there by train, but it's a long and dangerous walk to the pub along dark, narrow roads from Amberley station.
You can return home by train, but, if you stay till closing time, that would involve a sleep-over at Ford ... not good!

Let not the above discourage you ...

It is a delightfully homely venue in an ancient building.
The English-speaking staff are welcoming, you don't need to show your passport and the establishment accepts British pounds.
The food coming out of the kitchen looked extremely appetising, and one of our number had to be restrained when she espied the potato wedges!
The outside toilet facilities have a certain rustic charm.
The club convenors are very friendly and they invite floor-singers.

Altogether, it was a most enjoyable evening.
So, let's keep an eye on this -

Perhaps we can arrange a minibus next time, because the overnight facilities at Ford railway station are non-existent.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Calling all guitar-teachers ...

Here's an opportunity for you to share your expertise ...

One of our participants who lives in the city is looking for some tuition.
This person writes to me: "I have bought [a guitar] and my ambition is to be able to strum a few tunes."

Anyone willing to take up this challenge may contact me via and, given your mutual permission, I will arrange for you to make contact.

By the way, we have not talked about money!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Being The 23rd September, 2011 ...

So there we all were at the Guide Hall again, excitedly waiting to find out who would be MC.

It was Berry who announced that he has been rather unwell recently.

If you look really carefully you can just see Berry here who is admiring Ken’s guitar that seems to be held together with string and elastic bands …

Ken wishes it to be known that he wasn't actually there.
Did anyone notice?

It was an evening marked by such remarkable performances that it becomes almost trivial to publish the song list. 

Anyway, for those who weren't there, here it is …

Annan Water: Colin
Tears in Heaven: Mark
'Twang': Heather
The Snows They Melt the Soonest: Lynda
Washed in the Blood of the Lamb: Jane & Roger
Who Knows Where the Time Goes: Margaret
No Regrets: Roger
Out of the Blue: Mick
Galway Shawl: Molly
How Deep the Father's Love: David
Lonesome Polecat: Tony
Five-Foot Flirt: Andy
Million Nightingales: Suzanne
Afraid of Losing You Again: Phine
Grey Funnel Line: Nigel
Constant Billy: Bill
Girl: Paul
Cityest People: Lucy
Marie Elena: Berry & his music machine
Another You: Margaret
The Blackbird: Colin
Crying in the Rain: Mark
Till There was You: Chris
Love Will Keep us Alive: Lynda
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms: Jane & Roger
On the Wrong Side of Midnight: Roger
The Rambling Pitchfork: Mick
Where is Love: Molly
Fiddler's Green: David
What Shall I Write: Phine
Westlin' Winds: Nigel
As Tears Go By: Lucy
Mary Skeffington: Paul
Cheatin' Heart: Berry & full cast

Here was an evening overflowing with supreme talent.
Many thanks to Berry, (who didn't look all that poorly!) for maintaining a semblance of order.
My personal and special thanks to Nigel for 'Westlin' Winds': a performance that reassures me that at least one person reads this blog.

Actually - thank you to everyone, of course.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Classical Gas

Here's Mick ...
classical gas
Click that link above now, and hit 'play'.
('play' is the -> thingy to the left of the wave-form.)
It will not damage your hard-drive, and you won't regret it.


More to come - maybe.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Being The 16th of September, 2011 ...

Angela demonstrated authority and took control with the bell tree ...

Despite that there was much frivolity, lively banter
... and music!

The Beard Song: Angela
The 'Prentice Song: Roland
The Bergen: Colin
150 Days Out From Vancouver: Eddie
Dance Me to the End of Love: Jane & Roger
I Need your Love so bad: Roger
Adieu to Old England: Mave
Such Usage in Heaven: Ken
(I stand corrected. Ken's song was entitled 'Little Vagabond'.)
Life Gets Tee-jus: Tony
Farewell to Tarwaithie: David
Spellbound: Mick
Make Believe you Love me one more time: Phine
Country Roads: Gerry
The House that Jack Built: Paul
Look What They've Done to my Song: Lynda
I am Weary, Let me Rest: Angela, Roland & Colin
Dancing with You: Eddie
Young Roger Esquire: Roland
I Live not where I Love: Colin
Jolene: Jane & Roger
Lay me Down a Pallet on your Floor: Roger
Frying in the Rain: Mave
Lord Franklin (according to Les Barker): Ken
Good Night my Angel: David
Three Polkas: Mick
Bye Bye Love: Gerry
Dream Seller: Lynda & Paul
Moonshadow: Paul

Then we all went home for some peace and quiet.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Annie's Gig ...

We will all recognise Anne Winter, a regular and welcome participant at the City Folk Club.

Annie has a booking at The Chichester Folk Song Club on Tuesday 20th September, 2011.
She will be performing with multi-instrumentalist Dean Hobbs.
You'll find more details by clicking here.

Shall we all go along?
8.30pm at The Four Chesnuts, Oving Road, Chichester.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Here's a forthcoming event that Angela would like to publicise ..


Come and ‘let yourself go’ for the day, whether you sing in a choir, at church, at a folk club, or just in the privacy of your bathroom!  We are going to sing some gospels, spirituals and world music and will also focus on improving our singing with good breathing techniques and learn about how to interpret a piece well.

You do not need to read music as we will be taught songs ‘by ear’.
Led by Michael Harper

For Get Vocal Chichester – Community Choir
Sunday 9th October 2011
 From    10am  -  4pm                     
At North Mundham Village Hall,
School Lane, N.Mundham, Chichester, PO20 1LA 

Only £20.00  - To book please contact:
Angela O’Brien  01243 601183 

·         Michael Harper is an international singer, teacher and workshop facilitator.  He has sung opera and in concerts throughout Europe, in China and in the U.S.  Here, he is well known amongst community choirs as a member of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network and particularly as being a dynamic co-director of Sing for Water London.
·        He studied at Virginia Commonwealth University, received a Master of Music Degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he also did further doctoral studies.  Though trained in classical music, Michael grew up in Virginia with a rich tradition of spirituals and gospel music. Reflecting his roots he sings and leads workshops in traditional spirituals and gospel with great gusto and a warm sense of fun.
·        Based on his experience as a professional singer and an experienced teacher he offers advice through interpretation on how to sing well and get the best out of a piece of music. “My aim is to discover and expose each person’s own abilities to find the song in themselves whether it be opera, Lieder, folk song, soul, blues, jazz or any other style. There is a natural flow that is present in everyone.”
Use the internet to see and hear Michael in action leading a massed group of community choirs from across the UK at the Thames Festival. Google: Sing for Water London 2009 Part 2. Then you’ll know what a great day this will be!
Tea/coffee and a bottle of water for each participant will be provided.
Please bring something for a shared pot luck lunch. 

Directions: Village Hall is just behind North Mundham School on B2166 between
 Runcton and Hunston,  South of  the A27 Chichester Bypass and has its own car park.

(Money raised over our costs will be donated to Water Aid and St Wilfrid’s Hospice)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So ... when does autumn begin?

Those television weather reporters seem to be in some disagreement.
Is it when the weather suddenly turns bad?
Is it when leaves fall from the trees?
As early as 1st September I heard one of them talking about autumnal weather.

Teachers and students hold that summer ends when they return to school.

Astronomically-minded people contend that autumn begins at the equinox - 21st September.
(Well, that would be 21st March in the southern hemisphere.)

Now ... does it matter?

Here's a seasonal song from the pen of Robert Burns (1783):

Now Westlin' Winds

Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns
Bring autumn's pleasant weather
The moorcock springs on whirring wings
Among the blooming heather
Now waving grain, wild o'er the plain
Delights the weary farmer
And the moon shines bright as I rove at night
To muse upon my charmer

The partridge loves the fruitful fells
The plover loves the mountain
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells
The soaring hern the fountain
Through lofty groves the cushat roves
The path of man to shun it
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush
The spreading thorn the linnet

Thus every kind their pleasure find
The savage and the tender
Some social join and leagues combine
Some solitary wander
Avaunt! Away! the cruel sway,
Tyrannic man's dominion
The sportsman's joy, the murdering cry
The fluttering, gory pinion

But Peggy dear the evening's clear
Swift flies the skimming swallow
The sky is blue, the fields in view
All fading green and yellow
Come let us stray our gladsome way
And view the charms of nature
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn
And every happy creature

We'll gently walk and sweetly talk
Till the silent moon shines clearly
I'll grasp thy waist and, fondly pressed
Swear how I love thee dearly
Not vernal showers to budding flowers
Not autumn to the farmer
So dear can be as thou to me
My fair, my lovely charmer

Here's Dick Gaughan's rendition from 1983 ...

Click here for his chords and notation.

Will somebody sing this at the club soon?
... just for me?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Being the 2nd of September, 2011 ...

In the chair: Dogsbody.
Present: 17 other friendly people including a new face: Laura's friend, Ian.
Ian came armed with a heavy-metal instrument that looked a bit like this:

It was so heavy that Lynda had difficulty lifting it!

Absentees: Several.
Apologies: None!

Any other business:
Oh, yes: these were the 'doings' ...

The Seeds of Love: Colin
Alexandra Leaving: Lynda
Motherless Children: Ian & Laura
The Circle Game: Angela
The Wild Goose: Roland
The Leaves of Life, (Seven Virgins): Roger
I will always love you: Jane & Roger
Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes: Duncan
Candy Man: Mick
Carolina on my mind: Mike
Bright Fine Gold: Mave
John Barleycorn is a Hero Bold: Nigel
The Last Thing on my Mind: Margaret
I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song: Lucy
Don't Care Where They Bury my Body: Paul
Babes in the Wood: Ken
All among the Barley: Colin
The Little Pot Stove: Ken
Last Train from Bacup: Mave
The Galway Shawl: Lynda
Heart and Soul: Ian & Laura
Five Years' Time: Angela
Little Black Horse: Roland
Lost Lover Blues: Roger
My Bonny Lad: Jane
Bringing in the Sheaves: Duncan
Khosidl: Mick & Mike
Dead Skunk: Mike
The Wind that Shakes the Barley: Nigel
Both Sides Now: Margaret & Paul
I Don't Know how to Love Him: Lucy
Hey Jude: Paul
Blue Moon: Ian & Laura

Perhaps the most memorable chorus came from Mike and is worthy of documentation here:

Dead skunk in the middle of the road (x3)
... Stinking to high heaven.
(Loudon Wainwright III)

However, it is inappropriate to single out any individuals ...
You were all good!

Now, don't forget ...
Don't come next week (9th) because we won't be there!