Welcome to the Dragon Folk Club

Welcome to the official blog of the Dragon Folk Club, which meets for a singers night every Friday at The Bridge Inn, Shortwood, Bristol. Everyone is welcome whether you sing, play or just listen.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

VE Day 2015

Thumper and Vera - photo by Simon Meeds
This week's session was on the seventieth anniversary of VE Day which marked the end of the Second World War in Europe, and the day after the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania which contributed to the eventual participation of the USA in the First World War. This meant that there was plenty of excuse for the singing of songs on a military theme.

We were joined for the first time in a while by occasional visitor, Ed, who brought along four friends, two of whom were Eleanor and Paul who together with Ed made a group, Ed Hanfrey et al.

Colin was the MC for the evening and politely asked Mike to start of the session, which he did with The Jolly Waggoners (Roud 1088).

Apparently Derek had earlier walked in on guitarist, Steve G telling Ed and friends that he (Derek) disliked guitars. To confirm the point Derek sang Don't Let Guitars Into Heaven (Biggs Tinker).

Through the evening Ed Hanfrey et al played several of Ed's compositions: Turnabey Hall, The Light That Illuminates All (about a friend who disappeared after a magic mushroom trip and returned a changed man), The Likes Of Me, and Hope Is The Name On Its Bow.

There's a rule in the club that people in bands also have to sing on their own. Paul was forgiven since double bass solos are rare but both Ed and Eleanor had to produce. Ed sang the well theme-matching Stories Of The War. Eleanor's first solo contribution was Antler. She introduced her second by saying something I had never heard anyone say before, though my father primed me with an interest in the subject: she dedicated her song Untitled No 1 to a friend who had recently left to join the French Foreign Legion - she wouldn't be seeing him for five years and hoped he would be OK.

The story of Eleanor's friend inspired Roger to sing The Goodbye Song from White Horse Inn (Ralph Benatzky - "I'll join the legion, that's what I'll do").

Simon (not to be confused with our regular Simon M), another friend of Ed's and member of local shanty group The Harry Browns, sang some unaccompanied songs: Fruits of Seville by Harry Browns founder member, Ian "Nobby" Dye; Towersey Fair (John Conolly) and Old Maui (Roud 2005).

Contributions obviously on the war theme included Simon M singing The D-Day Dodgers (Roud 10499; Lance-Sergeant Harry Pynn) and Jimmy Spoons (Mike Harding). Derek sang Banks of Sicily (Hamish Henderson) and the rather gruesome Kriegie Ballad (Robert Garioch) about the life of a POW. Colin came up with As The Lusitania Went Down (Arthur J Lamb, F Henri Klickmann) and If The Sergeant Steals Your Rum Never Mind.

Roger, tending towards medleys, fitted in The Soldier (Rupert Brooke) and Roses Of Picardy (Frederick Weatherly, Haydn Wood) in a single slot.

Guitar virtuosity was provided by Steve G whose offerings included Bert Jansch's version of Blackwaterside (Roud 312, Laws O1) and Keith G who gave us Midnight Rider (Gregg Allman, Robert Kim Payne).

When Colin asked Phil to sing his final song it was Cigarettes, Whiskey And Wild, Wild Women (Tim Spencer) based on the version performed by Red Ingle and the Natural Seven including the spoken parts for which he gave Roger a script. Unfortunately Roger barely noticed the script and while Chris tried to fill in some parts it eventually disintegrated and after Phil told a rather non-PC anecdote, Colin called an end to the evening. No harm was done, I hope. After all, we're not a very PC crowd - it's difficult to be so where shanties are often sung.

Here's a selection of the songs sung during this session.

(Number of people present - 14, of which 13 performed)

1 comment:

  1. What an great night it was. www.reverbnation.com/edhanfrey