Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Birthday!

The City Folk Club is 8 years old today, having started as "Folk on Friday"
at the Richmond Arms, West Ashling in 2004. Expectations run high for a
hooley of unparalleled extravagance at the next meeting, but it's far more
likely to be the usual stuff. That'll not be a problem, for it's usually
pretty good stuff.
Best wishes to all those who've contributed to the continuing success of the club.

Dick's Maggot ...

Is that a tune title?
Actually, yes.

A couple of CFC's improving concertina-players will be attending a workshop in Lewes on Saturday.
We are invited to get our heads round this tune ...

Roland is offended by the title, and we struggle to find the notes.

However, elementary research indicates that 'maggot' derives from a lost dialect of Irish gaelic for 'fancy' - you know: 'sweetheart' and all other romantic terms of endearment.
(Citation required.)
I hope you all feel better now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Being Friday the 24th February, 2012 ...

It took Dogsbody several hours to dry his copious tears of gratitude for the aforementioned card and regain emotional continence.

So, what were the 'doings'?

First, Berry, in charge, said, "I don't know whether I'm coming or going ..."

That augured well for the evening!

I Wonder Where You are Tonight: Berry & Paul
California Dreaming: Lynda (Mamma Cass), Mike & Mick
All I Want is You to be my Bride: Angela
Farewell Dearest Nancy: Roland
Georgia on my Mind: Mark
Christian Island: Laura & Lorna
Stately Southerner: Colin
Kerfunken Jig: Mick
Brave Wolfe: Roger
I'm Going to do it All Someday: Mike
New Burying Ground/My Time of Dying: Max & Sylvia
When I'm Gone: Nigel
Heartbeat: Paul
Bear Dance: Lorna & Lorna
Honky-Tonk Blues: Max, Sylvia & others
Foot-tapper: Berry & Mark
The Latest Flame: Paul & Max
If I Could Beg, Steal or Borrow: Lynda
Anchored in Love Divine: Angela & Paul
Coast of Peru: Roland
My Heart Will go on: Mark
Trip to the Cottage: Lorna
Over the Hills and Far Away: Laura
Daddy Fox: Colin, Angela & Roland
My Soft Fading Memories of You: Roger
Frog Went a-Courting: Mike
It'll be all Smiles Tomorrow: Max & Sylvia
Peggy Gordon: Nigel
Time Drags By Real Slow: Berry
Lark in the Morning: Laura
Are You Missing Me?: Angela, Roland, Paul & Colin
Greensleeves: Mark
Love Will Keep us Alive: Lynda
Hush Little Baby: Mike
Fields of Athenry: Nigel
Your Cheatin' Heart: Berry & full cast

There was no yodelling, no songs about trains, just one or two polysyllabic words ... and only a couple of recorded deaths.
Everyone was enraptured by Mike's dissertation about the slow loris.
Here's Nycticebus coucang ...

He's not sure whether he's coming or going either!
Beware of this cuddly mammal.
He/she will rub his/her toxic axillary perspiration on his/her teeth and then bite you.
... Then you die!
That must be true: Mike said so.

In spite of all that, everyone went home from another splendid Friday evening at the City Folk Club feeling extraordinarily happy.
(If you didn't, kindly address your complaint to your general practitioner.)

My Valentine Card

Following an absence of two weeks, I arrived early to set up the hall.
I opened the club’s property box and discovered this colourful fabrication:

Actually it was much bigger, but my scanner will only accommodate A4.

I considered discarding it as rubbish, but, on unfolding it, I found it contained a veritable plethora of loving messages, hand written on post-it notes.
(What a good idea, Angela!)

Thank you, so very much, everyone.

I don’t believe in St. Valentine, (nor does the Catholic Church celebrate his feast day,) but it was moving to receive all your kind appreciation.

I almost wept.

On Fridays I am surrounded by some truly wonderful people.
Thank you; I love you all too.

(Yes, Berry, you as well!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Here's Mick ...

Here's sunset at West Wittering ...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Being Friday, the 17th of February, 2012 ...

Angela documented the following performances:

Kissing is a crime: Angela
Love Letters Straight from the Heart: Berry
Sweet Mystery: David
Forever and the Same: Howard
Sea of Love: Jane R.
Automatic Mama: Duncan
Roll on John: Roger
Rambling Boy/Snorkel: Mick
The Constant Lovers: Mike
I keep forgetting: Les
Amazing Grace: Jane W.
Flash Company: Jenny
Gin you Kiss my Wife I’ll tell the Minister/Round with a Health to Glorious Wellington: Bill
Let There be Love: Lucy
Her Father didn't Like me Anyway: Paul
Bird’s Advice: Angela
Somewhere my Love/Lara’s theme: Berry
Morecambe Bay: David
The Ballad of the Woggler’s Mouley: Howard
All Things Beautiful: Jane R.
Blow  the Man Down: Duncan
St. James’ Infirmary Blues: Roger
The Bride’s a Bonny Wee Thing: Mick
Don’t Close your Eyes: Les
Fathom the Bowl: Nigel, with glorious harmony from ‘the company’
Once I had a Sweetheart: Jane W.
Holmfirth Anthem: Bill & Jenny
Will The Circle (crazy wild jam missed a treat Mr T!): Bill
Solitude: Lucy
Dream Lover: Paul
Seven Golden Daffodils: Berry
The Mule Song: David (One day we may even manage the chorus!)
Scotland the Brave: Howard (on what I believe he said his wife had described as his ‘tremendous organ’!)
Dance Me to the End of Love: Jane, Mick & Roger

Angela went on to write as follows:

Thanks to David...who managed to open the front door:
  • to Berry/Brenda/David/Nigel/Bill/Jenny and Roland who helped to set up the room,
  • to Paul for scribing the above most efficiently and legibly in the dark,
  • to Jane for handling the funds and locking up.
I had a great time...hope everyone else did too.
Afraid we didn’t start ‘bang on’ time as the MC decided to wait for a couple of late comers – including the Scribe!

Despite Ken’s absence we did not lack for banter as Berry was on sparkling, if rather cheeky form...don’t think he’s heard what teachers do to naughty boys.
Oh, and he’d like love letters please from any ladies who’d care to write them to him as, apparently, he didn’t get a Valentine from Brenda.

Bill professed himself to be ebullient, after leading us all so tremendously with 'Will The Circle ...' No one would have any doubts about the truth of that. It was a magnificent loud shout of things being fixed and seemed to be heartily enjoyed by all.

Aside from that some CD’s of superb provenance changed hands.
We did all go home quietly at the appointed time.

Now I must look up that word 'ebulliant'.
How can I achieve ebullience?
Is it painful?

Being Friday, the 10th of February, 2012 ...

Well, what happened in Dogsbody's absence?

I have to thank Lynda for this song list:

I’m only Sleeping: Paul
The Wall: Lucy
Farewell (Kate Rusby): Lynda
Fakenham Fair: Roland
The Birds were Singing of You: Angela
The Deepwater Rover: Eddie
Trail of tears: Les
Hobo’s lullaby: Roger
Gipsy: Mike
Sweet Laraine: Tony
The Bold Princess Royal (another version): Nigel
Going to the West: Max & Sylvia
Dreaming my Dreams with You: Sylvia & Max
Your Song: Margaret
What made Milwaukee Famous: Paul
There will Never be Another You: Lucy
Dainty Davie: Lynda
Gentlemen of England: Roland
Sweet Fern: Angela, Roland & Paul
Dancing with You: Eddie
Walk with Me: Les
Lost Lover Blues: Roger
Genesis Halls: Mike
Three Score and Ten: Nigel
Davy Louston: Max & Sylvia
Pull Down Lads: Max & Sylvia
He’s Gone and Leave Me: Margaret
Swiss Maid: Paul
White Rose Filling Station: Les
Bring us a Barrel: Nigel

Here's a Swiss Maid:

Was there yodelling?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Whilst we were away ...

Dogsbody was absent for two weeks and demonstrated his dispensability thanks to the efforts of several deputies.

Whilst on group-holiday in the S├╝dtirol he came across a very competent accordion player named Daniel. Daniel had built his own instrument that exuded a growling bass to die for. He played several traditional Tyrolean melodies to which we freely yodelled between mouthfuls of apfelstrudel.

Then there was ‘I love to go a wandering …’
That went well, and I thought fondly of Ray.

“Do you know any English tunes?” someone asked, whereupon we heard the introductory strains of ‘Wild Rover’.

Oh, joy!
Dogsbody made eye-contact with a new-found friend, Nick, and together we launched forth with the lyrics.
Daniel understood the twirly-finger signal for ‘repeat’, and everyone joined in a final chorus.
There was some half-hearted applause for our company.

Daniel gave an enigmatic smile, tinged with sympathy
... and said nothing!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

King of Rome

No, I don't mean the Pope!

So who else pressed that 'red button' on the TV remote-control to watch last evening's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards?
This was one of several highlights ...

Next time Lucy sings this we'll have to import a brass band.
I want some tubular bells!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Being Friday, 3rd of February, 2012 ...

Dogsbody accepted the blame for everything this evening – even the cold weather!

We began music in a small gathering at just after 8.15pm.
(Actually, the hall clock is 2 minutes fast.)
Once Dogsbody’s starting turn was over the populus swelled to 14 thermally-clad humanoids and a stuffed penguin.

If you weren’t there, you missed an evening that included several ‘Nancy’ (*) songs:

William Stone: Colin
Legend in my Time: Paul
Never Again: Lynda
Rosin the Beau: Roland & Mick
In the Pines: Angela & Paul
Breathing Air: Dave
Angel of no Mercy: Les
The Ridings/Ashover Meet: Lorna
Blues in E: Mick
*Banks of the Nile: Roger
If I were a King: Tony
*Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy: Nigel
The Saucy Sailor: Colin
I Wish I was 18 Again: Paul
Boot-Sale Blues: Dave
Psalm 23: Tony
Don't Tell me You're not in Love: Les
Trink, Trink ... and something I can't pronounce: Lorna
Rambling Pitchfork: Mick
Things about going my way: Roger
*Farewell my Lovely Nancy: Nigel
Don't Send my Mother to Prison: Ken
Herb in my Father's Garden: Mave
Here's a Health to the Company: Colin
Both Sides Now: Paul
Banks of the Ohio: Lynda & Paul
Bold Princess Royal: Roland
Are You Missing Me: Angela & Paul
Barges: Dave
Baby's in Black: Les
Fairy Lullaby: Lorna
Rag-Picking: Mick
Dimming of the Day: Roger
*Pleasant and Delightful: Nigel & full cast 

Angela’s song, ‘In the Pines’, was not about Nancy.
Instead, being about a very long train, it had Dogsbody in raptures again.

The longest train I ever saw
Went down that Georgia line ...

Somewhere in the above list, Angela sang Clinch Mountain Home, accompanied by Roland, Paul and much yodelling, but Dogsbody forgot to write it down.
That's because he became overwhelmed when somebody suggested it was about a Swiss train ...

... but it wasn't!

Everyone who craved exposure was exposed - without removing clothes.
Most of us got three opportunities, and music finished at 11.00pm precisely.

See ... it can be done!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What time does The City Folk Club start?

I am often asked this question.

The answer is …

 That’s 20.00 hours. 

For the past year or so it has become apparent that nothing much musical happens for the first half-hour, and some people seem to assume that we don’t really start until 8.30pm.
That is not true, and can be confusing for new-comers who can sometimes be observed to sit around, shuffling nervously, wondering what's going to happen. 

So, here’s the official timetable:

8.00 – 8.15 - Meet and greet, tune-up

8.15 - Music starts

11.00 - Go home in absolute silence!

The door is nearly always open from 7.30, and of course we understand that some people cannot arrive so early, but hereafter your MC will no longer hang around waiting for a 'critical mass' to accumulate.

Is all that dictatorial?
Perhaps, but I trust there will be no more confusion.

Addendum, 3rd Feb:
Oh dear, my overflowing in-box testifies to the fact that the above clarification has generated consternation in some quarters.
Please understand that I intended no criticism of our delightful MCs.
I personally apologise if that is what has been perceived.
On the contrary, I am truly grateful to them for their cooperation and sensitive facilitation of some smashing evenings of music.
Naturally we must respect MC’s discretion, but the message is this:
Start on time; you’ll all get your opportunity to perform; then we can get home before Saturday!