Also new to the club was Paul Regan who has obviously got to the age were he can stand being seen out with his Dad, at least when its dark outside. Paul performed some wonderful songs including his tribute to the tall ship he recently raced in Stavros S Niarchos. We look forward to hearing Paul again, he was superb.
The Wednesday night sessions at the Alison Arms continue and there have been a number of new faces recently along with visitors who have been passing through the area. The regular stalwarts have made up the bulk of the nights and it has been rather pleasant having most of String Shack attend each week. As with the Saggy Bottom Girls it is hard to get all four members of the groups together at one time for leisure only but they all try their best and the Alison Arms Folk Club have had the benefit of seeing them most weeks of late. String Shacks talented young violinist, Elliot, is soon to start music college (and we wish him all the very best on his studies) so sadly we may not be seeing as much of him as we would wish over the next few weeks. However, the rest of the group continues apace and their repertoire is growing all the time.
Other regulars have been branching out locally and there has been a mixture of new instruments and songs appearing weekly. The Alison Arms Folk Club seems central to the many and varied other folk clubs in the area so we get lots of visiting singers from other clubs too. This all makes the folk scene locally a very friendly and welcoming place and we pride ourselves on not being cliquey in any way. All are welcome to our sessions, whether a singer or a listener, and it would be great to see more folks visit.
The Saggy Bottom Girls started the evening's proceedings off with songs, old and new, some written and composed by themselves. One is always aware of the sense of fun the Saggy Bottom Girls get out of their singing and tonight was no exception. Their inimitable style - for style is what they have - comes across both while they are singing and also when chatting between songs. Their introductions to songs are entertaining in their own right. So it was that a good night was started off and warmed up very agreeably for the visiting Antipodean folk group Cloudstreet.
Cloudstreet usually only has two members (Nicole Murray and John Thompson) but were accompanied by another singer/song-writer cellist - a great artist in her own right - Rebecca Wright. What a cacophony of song and sounds they made up as the night progressed. Flutes, guitar, bells, cello... all added
to the uniqueness of this Australian folk band (who will not be seen again on these shores for another two years) and the diverse folk tunes and songs they presented on this wonderful night. They seemed really thrilled with the origami Koala Bear that Sandra had made and mounted on the stage for their arrival. They took it down at the end of the night and, as far as we know, it is now residing happily with Cloudstreet in Australia. Marsupial mutterings apart... it was a great night!
It will be a while before we can see Cloudstreet again in the UK and, whilst I can thoroughly recommend you seeing their live performance, I also commend the Saggy Bottom Girls as being most entertaining and well worth a visit if they appear near you. It was a great night. A mixture of great songs, great people and a meeting/making of friends old and new.
A fantastic night, we were joined by Zoox from the deep South. Thanks for coming along and bringing such wondeful music, the Contra-Bassoon and Tenor Sax were both firsts for our folk club.
We also had Derek Gifford, Joan Blackburn and the Saggy Bottom Girls as well so the standard of music was a cut above the usual.