Singaround - Wednesday 10 September 2008

ImageImageTo add to usually eclectic blend, tonight we had a surprise visitor from the Scottish folk duo Brand New Dey with Alan Brand calling in to spend the evening with us playing some traditional, old and not so old songs. We enjoyed his fabulous guitar playing behind great song performances.

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.

Recent News Update

ImageApologies for the lack of updates recently. Things have been quite busy on the local scene and plans are being drawn up for next years Free Folk Festival. It all takes times that can be in short supply sometimes and it is a shame the updates have been casualty. Here is hoping this is part way to a remedy...

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.

Cloudstreet and Saggy Bottom Girls make for a great night

ImageOn 10th August an event was held in the upstairs room of the Alison Arms which brought together the local and vocal Saggy Bottom Girls and the Australian self composing folksters, Cloudstreet . On quite an inclement night the event was not as well supported as had been hoped - and it was the peak of the holiday time too - but those who missed it really did lose out on a great night.

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.

Celebrate Australia, 10 August 2008

Last chance to experience Cloudstreet in the North-West until 2010, still tickets available on the door. Just turn up and we will accommodate you. Any questions please call Simon 07815 289323.
As insufficient numbers have registered we regret we have had to cancel the planned workshop.

Singaround 23 April 2008

The singaround on Wednesday 23 April was graced by the presence of the Saggy Bottom Girls, but the surprise of the the night was String Shack, out for their first performance it was great to see the gelling together so quickly, Everyone enjoyed the songs and tunes they gave us. Look forward to their main stage appearance at the Folk Festival in June.

Free Festival 2008

For information about the fantastice free folk festival click here or select the Festival from the menu on the lefthand side.

Jiva to join us on Wednesday 27 February

 A brave pair from Northumberland are joining our singaround on Wednesday 27 February 2008. You only have to look as far as the biography on their website to realise just how brave they are,  not only did they get re-acquainted via Friends Reunited but they are willing to tell the world. Wondering what they sound like, look no further than their Myspace site. We look forward to meeting Jimmy and Val and to sharing music with them.

Zoox to visit singaround on 23 January 2008

ImageWho you say, Zoox I say. This is what they say about themselves "Zoox (Linda Game, Jo May and Becky Menday) are a superb trio serving up a cocktail of new melodies and traditional tunes with a delicate balance of strings, wind, percussion and voices. Be prepared for a fabulous array of instruments from contrabassoon to congas." Should be fabulous evening with the three of them joining the singaround. Check out their website and support their visit up north by going to one of their spectacular gigs, Sandbach , Chorlton and Northwich in the same week they visit us.

Singaround - Wednesday 23 January 2008

 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.

You can still catch Zoox by going to one of their spectacular gigs,  Chorlton on Thursday 24 January and Northwich on Friday 25 January.

Tony and Kate visit

ImageWe enjoyed the company of Tony and Kate, stalwarts of Maghull Folk Club for our first singaround of the year on Wednesday 2 January 2008. Not only did we hear some great songs and tunes from them but also enjoyed their harmonies on songs others sang. Tony Gibbons is the mainstay of the band Garva and also runs a session at the Wheatsheaf, Rainford - if your interested give Tony a call, his number is on the Maghull Folk Club website (link above).