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, 20 July 2016

Louder than usual

The knocker-upper man
Last weeks session was slightly unusual for us in that our venue at The New Inn was somewhat taken over by people who would usually be at The Old Inn (the pubs have really original names in Westerleigh) which was closed for refurbishment. While they were fairly loud at times they were at least reasonably appreciative of our efforts in the main and in any case they had dwindled to a memory by the break.

Colin was naturally Mc and for a change kicked off the singing himself with General Guinness, which seems as good a place as any to start even if he wasn't actually drinking the black stuff.

I think there was some skulduggery going on, maybe trying to test the resolve of the non-folkies in the bar when Derek sang Molly Bawn (Roud 166, Laws O36) and Mike sang Haul On The Bowline (Roud 652).

Richard made it an evening at least partially of self-penned songs, including among his offerings Come Mess-Mates Pass The Ashtray Round and High Street Banks.

But as far as the Old Inn regulars were concerned it was Hilary's voice that made the evening: "voice of an angel" one said, and she regularly got standing ovations from outside the club circle. I certainly wouldn't want to minimise the quality of Hilary's offerings but it's just not the sort of reaction we are used to at the Dragon Folk Club where subdued appreciation mixed with gentle(ish) ribbing is the usual reaction. Hilary charmed them with White Rose Of Athens (Manos Hadjidakis, Norman Newell) and Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) before being politely asked by one of the last stragglers to step out of turn before he left the bar. Derek kindly allowed her to delay his turn with One Day At A Time (Marijohn Wilkin, Kris Kristofferson). Surprisingly Richard said he had never heard this last song sung in anything but Welsh. The linked performance by Marilyn Sellars represents the fact that she made the original recording in 1974. The song has been covered a number of times including by Scottish singer, Lena Martell, who took it to number 1 in the UK charts in 1979.

Lesley's first song of the evening was The Old Miner (Roud 1136) and Roger gave us Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kosma, Johnny Mercer).

Steve G was the second favourite singer for our visitors and started his contribution with Jolene (Ray LaMontagne). Simon brought the tone down with Jake Thackray's Isobel Makes Love Upon National Monuments and Derek brought it down still further (arguably) with Ned Flanagan's Gander.

Tony played his concertina with accompaniment from Hilary on autoharp, and in the case of Rakes Of Mallow also from Derek alternating between spoons and (synthetic) bones. I have to say "synthetic" since Derek is vegetarian but that doesn't stop our canine friend Indy from having an equally unnatural interest in them.

Among Terry's songs for the evening was The Knocker-Upper Man (Mike Canavan).

Steve G recommended to us The Milk Carton Kids who provided his last song of the evening, Michigan (Kenneth Pattengale, Joey Ryan) and who he described as a modern Simon and Garfunkel. Apparently he and Jo are practising this song but Jo was unable to join us so we heard it as a solo.

At the end of the eving it was left to Simon to close business with When All Men Sing (Keith Scowcroft, Derek Gifford).

There will be no theme again this Friday but I understand we may be joined by customers of The Old Inn again, so come prepared to sing heartily, but above all join us for a fun evening.

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

(Number of people present - 12, of whom 11 performed)

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