This year, sadly, it proved impossible,and they were unable to do so. Colin Squire gamely picked up the baton and ran with it, taking over organisation, publicity and compering. Thus it was that we gathered last night together in The Lord Leycester Hospital Warwick to entertain an enthusiastic audience.
|This is Colin, Squire.|
At the same event in October last year ,John Kearney and I appeared together as JAG. We enjoyed it so much we were crossing our fingers that we'd be invited back and as luck would have it, we were-this time as Nunc. We had two slots, one in the first half and one in the second. We were honoured to be accorded the privilege of finishing the evening with our final set. To say we had a good time doing so is a massive understatement.
Also appearing on a star studded bill of local Folk talent were The Thrup'nny Bits, Daisybell, Allan Richardson,Highly Strung and Colin Squire himself.
What a venue! I've admired it often from the outside, but the hall we played in was simply stunning. It had stone walls,high ceiling and a squeaky stage. So care was needed from all of us with performing without a P.A.-but what an environment to sing and play in! The pictures here give you some idea of the size and age of the hall. With cartwheel-sized garlands beneath the ceiling lights, a lovely wooden floor and the audience seated in an attentive crescent of humanity,it looked very attractive.John was also invited to play a first half set solo. Which he did, admirably, reminding all of us what a great songwriter he is with "Agincourt to Abbeville" and the like.
|Mr. Kearney's solo spot.|
It was good to see some friendly faces in the audience as well as all those Literary cognescenti. Most of them seemed to be having a lovely time. Although with Literary types you do sometimes look out from the stage and see an utterly inscrutable expression staring back. But Max and Marilyn followed us over from Nuneaton Folk Club the previous night
Terry and Jan were simply time-defyingly brilliant. Both looking very elegant,and Terry seamlessly weaving my joke into his stage patter. " One of my friends asked me if I remember this place being built," he quipped, before knocking out Djangoesque riffs and runs. Jan's singing remains an example to us all. I love their CD.
|Jan & Terry getting a Swing On.|
The Thrupp'nnies delivered their usual selection of wit, wisdom and humour with elan and panache. Des, being the wise old wordsmith he is, gave the audience a potted history of each of the songs. On the rare but treasured moments when The TB's are vulgar, it is a bit like a Great Auntie belching behind a china teacup. All in the best possible taste and delivered with a naughty twinkle in the eye. Their classic parody of "Breaking Wind Suddenly" to the tune of "Blow The Wind Southerly" got everyone tittering.. Their material encourages hearty audience singing, and I confess to belting out "The Wren," their Christmassy alternative version of the very similar "Pleased To See The King," with festive gusto. ( Blimey-Tesco have got Christmas cards on display already so why not?).
|Thrup'nny Bits. They blamed the dog. But we knew it was them|
|Allen Richardson is Moving On|
I happen to know from reading today's messages that there was a little bit of a mix-up beforehand between a couple of the Daisies of Daisybell (# great name!). This meant that Ginny was there first, fresh fragrant and organised, and the others arrived a little later and I have to say looking a little flushed. Having got confused by Warwick's Gyratory system. ( It happens! Bloody nightmare!) But it did not show in either of their two excellent sets. Again, many of the numbers they sang I have aired on the wireless. They play some fascinating instruments as well as singing so sweetly and so melodically. You might think that they were just three pretty faces but some of us know-there's a LOT more to it than that. Enjoyed "Miner's Winter" and "This Wheel Is Broken." especially. Classic songs.
|Daisybell in fine form|
And so at the end of a most pleasant evening, the entire Company assembled on or at the side of the stage and Mr Kearney led us all in a sing-song with his Irish Rover fusion with Bob Marley's "Don't Worry." Is that the last this venerable old building has seen of us until next year? Watch this space. maybe not.