The latest Newsletter is here, and the latest pictures can be found at http://eastdevonfolk.jalbum.net
Photos of all the events can be found in abundance on our Album website, and some Guest Nights have clips on YouTube... just search for, as an example, "Lucy Ward at Jurassic Folk".
Starting with the most recent....
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 20 NOVEMBER 2013
Peter began the proceedings extremely promptly at 7.45 saying little in the way of notices and without much ado. He began with a song he has not done before in this format called I Laid Around and tried very hard to get the audience to sing chorus as he tended to forget it.
He then had great pleasure in introducing our famous friends from Honiton, the Amycrofters. They began with a traditional folk song which Bob Dylan did about 24 years ago called Froggy Went Awooing to which we all ahhummed very loudly. Next June, up to some of her tricks, persuaded two lady volunteers to join her on the stage. Her plan was to perform Three Drunken Maidens which is a folk song from the Isle of Wight. They all did with extreme aplomb having been given wigs and props (in the form of bottles and tankards) which certainly helped them with their antics especially when they were joined by Adrian with a most becoming pink wig. Well done, an absolute hoot.
Then a quickly sobered up Adrian minus his wig gave us a song done by many people but most successfully by the Searchers called Love Potion no. 9. His second song was called Sam Stone by John Prye about an American GI back from Vietnam. Excellent Adrian, thank you very much.
Peter then took the opportunity to do his Parish Notices including the fact that certain changes would be taking place after the Christmas party on 18 December. He then called upon Ceri who sang Mary Hamilton which was a very lovely and very long song that she has not sung for a very long time. She followed that with another Scottish song which she was taught by her grandmother called Banks and Braes which was also very lovely, thank you Ceri.
Now for something completely different .... our special exponent of medieval rock, Mike G. Mike’s first song was by our now familiar John Campion called My Sweetest Lesbia which must be the oldest ode to love and peace as it was originally written some time in the BC. (What does that mean... Before Cameron?) His next song was The Weight written around 1968 by The Band who were Bob Dylan’s backing group for a while. He attempted in vain to divide the room into three sections for the chorus bits.
Annie next with a song called Ye Mariners All which she sang unaccompanied due to the fact that her finger is out of action and in a splint for 8 weeks.
Malcolm came on with his banjo and was joined by Ceri for a song they both know, but different versions of, called East Virginia Blues learnt at different times in America. Then Malcolm on his own with his guitar this time, a song by Shep Woolley who was around in the 1960/70's and was to the navy back then what Cyril Tawney was in the 1940's. It was called Down by the Dockyard Wall.
Pressing on with Mike (Mr Cool)New next with James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James which we all love. Then James Taylor’s version of Candy Man. All jolly good Mike, thank you.
Then ..... we have the our “surprise”. A couple who we first knew from Priddy Folk Festival days, No Fixed Abode otherwise Una and Tony who came all the way from Shaftesbury tonight. As we are by the seaside their first song was about a boat which set sail from Southampton. Una sang while Tony played the guitar. Their next song Sweet Ballerina was about a ballroom dancer friend who developed arthritis. Very wonderful, thank you.
Rushing on .... Chard’s most illustrious folk singer, Nic Parsons, gave us a song he got from the Tea Cups’ CD when they were here and he thought was brilliant. However, he then remembered that he knew it anyway but not done it for years. It was called Too Ra Lay. His next one with a little chorus called Cousin Jack, another favourite.
Then Peter introduced Devonbird. Their first song was one of their own new songs about a grandmother who lived on the Moors and was about the sea wrecks on the north Devon/Cornish coast. Merrily Kissed the ? Wife. Then Tenpenny Bit, a medley of tunes jolly good for a jig along. They will be back to finish off the evening and now, our famous very short interval.
To open we had Annie’s Orchestra (consisting of Annie singing, Mike guitar, Adrian mandolin and Peter harmonica). They began with Crying in the Rain and having got the miserable one over with they performed Everybody’s Talking from Midnight Cowboy. Then they were joined by Helen and her fiddle and Graham on bazouki (I think) for Rock me Mama. All very good, thank you very much Annie.
Mike G with another of his great interpretations, Canshee based on a very old English tune about masturbation (oh gosh, what will Mike come up with next?) all in real Mike style.
Next, one from the Amycrofters, a singalong for which we were provided with song sheets. The Amys certainly excelled themselves tonight. Then one from Malcolm and Ceri, one which he knows and she does not, Lord Franklin. And Nic with one with a chorus as we were in such fine voice, Ring a Ring of Roses.
What a lovely evening, and now the delightful Una and Tony, No Fixed Abode, with Eileeen Oge in Irish. Una sang on her own basically two hymns from the days when she used to go around all the churches in Ireland as there were not many folk clubs in those days. Very beautiful indeed.
To finish off the evening Devonbird, of stage, film and radio fame, with Fare Thee Well and three jigs and a song The Brae about Kath's Scottish ancestry, as her family came down from Scotland and settled on the edge of Dartmoor. Thank you very much Devonbird for closing the evening and thank you to everyone for coming - performers and audience and especially to Ivor, our Mr Chairman for setting the room up for us - we haven’t seen him for ages. And, thank you to our surprise guests, No Fixed Abode.
Jurassic Folk Guest Night on 6th November 2013 with Louise Jordan
In contrast, the last Guest Night on 6th November was full of brilliance and light: Louise Jordan was our prime guest and her technical command of her voice, guitar and piano shone out for all to see and hear, and I'm sure if she'd brought her cello that would also have lit up the room. From the precision and perfection of her technique I had always assumed that she must have had a formal musical education to conservatoire level, but afterwards she told me that she hadn't, and certainly the undeniable warmth of her presentation comes from within herself. Her voice is remarkably powerful and no doubt could easily reach the back of the gallery at La Scala without a mic, if she had the opportunity to grace that establishment. But the important thing is she writes and performs some very good songs and it was a joy to be able to listen to her at Jurassic Folk.
And we were also very fortunate in having our two support acts, Misty Roses and Two Hunts & a Gamble. Sue King, who magnificently carried out her other role as our knob twiddler for the evening, and Peter Fung who together are Misty Roses are coming along in leaps and bounds since their recent formation a couple or so months ago and they provided a perfect start to the show. Brother & sister Ian & Cath Hunt and Phil Gamble are also a new collaboration, having risen phoenix like from our old friends and much loved accapella group, HGT, after the very sad loss earlier this year of David. It is quite uncanny how quickly Cath has been able to meld into the group and make it sound as if they'd been together for years.... which I suppose, in some way they have.
I have posted videos taken on the night of all three acts on Youtube, and you can access them by asking for "Misty Roses at Jurassic Folk" or whichever one you are seeking, except that I haven't yet been able to make the 2H + G tracks public yet because they haven't given me permission yet...... can one of you do so, please? And of course Jolly's pics of the night are all up on the album website.
and now back to.....
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE ON WEDNESDAY 16 OCTOBER 2013
Peter welcomed an unusually small attendance this evening saying he would dispatch notices later on. Also unusually, he would do two songs to start the evening off (hurrah) and in celebration of our excellent summer (weather wise) he began with Summertime, an all time favourite, and how about those high notes ? He followed that with an old favourite of everyone's called Zoom, Zoom, Zoom which he wrote about one of his sons when a little boy. Great stuff.
Peter then called upon Adrian who reported that the Beer Blues Festival was very good and should not have been missed by us all ! His first song was a John Pride song called Speed of Sound of Loneliness. He followed that with a "proper" folky one called Rare Old Town. Thank you very much Adrian.
Now Peter took the opportunity to give out Parish Notices - Louise Jordan our next guest is on 6 November at 8.15 and our next "singers" night is on the 20 November at 7.45. Flyers of up and coming events could be found on the table at the back of the room.
Then it was a very welcome back to the Amycrofters after their world tour (a family visit to South Africa actually) and Andrew announced that they would be doing two songs both on the frivolous side. The first song had no connection with anyone in the room but was a very funny one about George and Nancy and cross dressing called the Drag Queen Blues. The second was not to be taken too seriously either and was learnt from a lady called Jen, in the Swan in Sidmouth about various automobile accessories called Plastic Jesus. Thank you both very much indeed.
Peter was in bon mot mood tonight and took the opportunity to give us a couple while Dave and his "band" came to the stage with a couple new to him. First 18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses and then a Johnny Cash number Sunday Morning Coming Down. All accompanied by his foot operated tapper (drum?) and an elaborate tambourine. Thank you very much Dave.
In complete contrast Peter invited our Colyford Nightingale, Annie, to come up. Annie sang Port Mahon by Sydney Carter and sung by Nadir Cahoosh. Her second song was a Bill Caddick song Johna Dreams. Very lovely Annie.
Now from the sublime to the rivetting (Peter's words) Mike New. His first was one he has done before but not for a while, a Burl Ives song called Buzzing of the Bees, or Canyon Mountains ? followed by Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi. Great Mike, thank you.
Next our favourite thespian, conjurer, juggler, musician et al, Tony Reader brandishing a brand new instrument. Actually, he went on to explain that it was one (of many) hanging on his wall at home which has now been made to work after visiting a man in Bristol from whom he was buying a banjo mandolin and discovering that they shared a lot in common. This new instrument turns out to be a dulcimer but not quite the same as Annie's and only suitable for American Apalachian tunes. He gave us John Barleycorn. Then he produced his hurdy gurdy which required a lot of tuning, finally giving us a tune called The Dromedary and I must say that it did sound very North Africanish. Amazing Tony as ever.
Rather than more bon mots Peter then gave us a very special poem called Spot of the Antarctic by Les Barker - especially for Mike Rocket, who was espied in the audience and reminded that he had promised to bring his band along soon... two years ago... very funny of course.
Now welcome to Itchy Fingers and Twitchy Feet and the stage was instantly cleared of instruments !. With banjo at the ready we had Wake Up Wake Up followed by another miserable (their word) song from the film Oh Brother and I didn't get what it was called. What a treat for us all again.
Next Peter called upon Chris Smith who visited us last March but circumstances had been such that he had been unable to come again until tonight. First a John Pine song and again I failed to get what it was called but it was followed by I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter and Aint She Sweet. Brilliant, thank you Chris.
It was with great privilege that Peter now welcomed Two Hunts and a Gambol. Ian and Phil have been joined by Ian's sister Cath and they began with two Hardy songs Bearded Barley followed by Bringing in the Sheaths which had a chorus. How very wonderful.
To get things going for the second part of the evening Annie's Band (Annie, Mike, Adrian and Peter) gathered and at the risk of sending everyone to sleep began with a Woody Guthrie song Hobo's Lullaby which Peter led with the singing. Very lovely indeed. Next, When you Say Nothing At All. Their third song was a Robbie Burns number so that we could all join in with most lustily called Ye Jacobites by Name with a superb piece of pipe (actually a penny whistle, but thank you Hil) playing half way through. Thank you very much Annie and her orchestra.
Dave next with another but without his foot band which was a Cliff Richard song Travelling Light.
The AmyCrofters with a medley of four tunes: The Glendale Train, Rocking in Roselie's Boat, Smoke on the Water and Swiss Miss. Thank you very much June and Andrew and it is very good to have you back.
Tony Reader next, after a couple of Peter's jokes, singing Lowlands Away - very excellent. He took the opportunity to promote Kiss Me Kate which is coming to Axminster at the Guildhall on 20 - 23 November and in which he, of course, stars.
Itchy Fingers and Squeeky Feet came and gave us another brilliant performance but I did not get the name of it, sorry.
With time for another of Peter's specials Chris Smith returned and so as not to be too folky he performed You Got Me Singing the Blues - gosh, I could sing along to that .... thank you Chris and see you again soon we hope.
To finish off the evening for us we had Two Hunts and a Gambol but we must take the opportunity to pay tribute and remember Dave Trezise in doing so. They began with Bring the Sheaths by John Tams and then another harvest song, not about wheat or barley this time, but fish - very wonderful. Then a Quaker Apalachian song Bright Morning Stars Arising.
This brought a close to our October session with rather fewer people than usual but the quality was there nonetheless. Thank you all so much for your contributions and a reminder: Louise Jordan on the 6 November and Singers' Night 20 November all at the Grove.
I have a P.S. from George - he is available for recording sessions if anyone is interested - a full explanation will be on the website (....when he tells me what to put up).
Photos of the night by Jolly will be found on the album site.
...and now to.....
A really satisfying guest night on 2nd October featured Paul Downes & Maggie Boyle, and a great support spot by Cross Border.
Listening to Paul & Maggie envelopes you with pleasure, giving you a lovely warm feeling. They are not flashy, or loud but underneath the seemingly effortless delivery lies a lifetime of musical emotion. The appeal of Maggie's singing is difficult to pinpoint, she doesn't rely on technical brilliance, but her voice is absolutely spellbinding. She sings her heart out and it really gets to the nitty gritty of the song. And likewise her flute playing, simple and just so beautiful.
Paul complements her perfectly with his distinctive voice and brilliantly unobtrusive guitar. It is only when you drag yourself away from the song and listen to what he is doing on the guitar do you realise how technically advanced it is. He even brought out the banjo on a couple of songs which allowed him a bit more prominence, but that is what a banjo is for, is it not?
And five piece Cross Border's opening spot was absolutely delightful. Their repertoire, which includes self penned pieces, is well chosen as it makes the best use of the individual talents within the band, which is developing into a very fine, professional sounding outfit: We'll hear a lot more from them in the future, I'm sure.
So what more could you want...? A really enjoyable night!
and next.... Hil's report on the Singers Night of....
JURASSIC FOLK 18 SEPTEMBER 2013
Next, all the way from Covent Garden, Doreen. (embarassed) Her first piece we all know so we could join in with Bob Dylan's Blowing in the Wind and she followed that with another we all know, a traditional Scottish song Will Ye Go Lassie Go.
Then, our foremost exponent of medieval rock, Mike G. However, Mike chose not to do a medieval song and instead sang Hey Mr Tamborine Man, another for us all to join in with. But... then .....not being able to leave the 17th century alone, he sang a song about Cardinal Wolsley.
In complete contrast Annie came and gave us Ramble Away, a cautionary tale which should be sung by a man but there we go. Then a song called Stanton Drew which tells of how the standing stones in Stanton Drew in Somerset came into being. Jolly good Annie, thank you.
Next Peter called upon Malcolm who, with his banjo (devil's frying pan) did a song by Ewan McColl in the 50's and is a ballad to John Axton called Shoals of Herring - another we all know. His next song was called Now I'm Easy by a Scottish fellow who emigrated to Australia. (Eric Bogle, if that's any help, Hil?)
Chard's most famous singer, Nic Parsons came next and straight from a summer full to brim with festivals during which he resurrected Merlin's Song which he sung unaccompanied. It was very different. His next song had a chorus but I failed to make a note of what it was. However my notes do say it was brilliant ! ( probably In Search of the Dirty Black Coal?)
Chris Bolton, a face from the past, in that we first saw him in our very early days of Jurassic Folk six years ago and we welcome back. His first song was one written for Tree Aid, a charity helping people in West Africa solve the problem of droughts by planting trees which helps the situation at the same time providing food and the material to make things. The words are set to a Woody Guthrie tune. Chris's next song was about working on the railroad for a dollar a day. All excellent.
Olly and Jo next having developed into an orchestra (i.e. a trio) calling themselves Itchy Fingers and Twitchy Feet. They performed a Woody Guthrie version of a well known song which I failed (again) to get the name of but with Jo's dancing was totally brilliant. Then a song called Cindy which is designed to make us all move in one way or another.
Having suitably depressed us we were then able to welcome a friend that Greg brought along, Ben Norcombe who gave us traditional songs, the second he used his guitar much like a drum, laying it flat, thank you very much Ben.
Next, the treat and surprise of the evening, on their world wide tour from the North East of England a warm welcome to the Tea Cups, an acappella foursome. Their first song Tis My Delight on a Shiny Night. Then, a sea shanty (because they are on holiday by the seaside), Shiny Oh! Then the most happy of folk songs, Early in the Morning. How very wonderful.
To complete the first part of the evening Peter could only ask up the Bard of Seaton, Ted Dowse. He gave us a poem first, its premier, giving us an explanation that its origin based on George Parker Bidder born in Mortonhampstead in 1806 and known as the calculating boy who invented the swing bridge. Then he gave us a new song (all these world wide premiers) Stuck in a Groove. Thank you Ted as always.
Well, it is certainly quality as well as quantity tonight. Ted and Doreen began the second section of the evening with a very special duo act - and then I got quite lost but Ernest Austin, Dr Thomas Augustin, The Mask of Alfie and 1710 - 1778 all came into it but ... a very special version of Rule Britannia was performed - the last night of the proms eat your heart out. Very amazing.
Nic Parsons gave us a song from Llantrissant about William Price who was a vegetarian and a nudist and had lots of children by all and sundry, he was also the originator of cremation. We do learn a lot at Jurassic Folk!
Pressing on, Malcolm with Ceri this time, gave us I Was Homeward Bound.
Chris Bolton with a song about a garden party by Ricky Nelson, It's All Right Now. (Actually, I think it is called The Garden Party?)
Next Itchy Fingers and Stinky Feet (as Peter announced them) with a Stephen Foster song celebrating a boat which goes up the Mississippi. They followed that with a Rod Steward song and the dancing was truly magnificent.
One more from Greg to cheer us up, one he has not done in public before. Something by Andrew Gold, Never Let Her SlipAway, and very nice.
Time goes on and time for Ted with a song about his most favourite performer (guess who?) - an Elvis/Ted special which we always enjoy. Thank you so much Ted.
Before inviting the band to finish off for us Peter said what a wonderful evening and thank you all for your contribution and especially thank you to Adrian for starting off the evening, a thankless task. With no more ado welcome back to the Tea Cups. They gave us a pirate song (lots of Arhhs) All For My Grog ??? originally a children's song by Judy P. Goodenough??? Then one by Tommy Macum called Journeys End. They announced that they would be playing two more gigs, at East Chinnock and Chafcombe village hall before going back to university. Their last song Too ra lay. Thank you so much Tea Cups, folk song is in jolly good hands in young people like this..
FAKE THACKRAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH 2013
What an uproarious night we had at the last guest night on 4th Sept, courtesy Fake Thackray! Fake, or to give him his real name of John Watterson, gave us an evening of rib-tickling nostalgia for those of us who remember the late, great Jake Thackray, and for those that had never heard Jake, and there were a few, a voyage of discovery, enlightenment and a new found joy. John is no Jake, and he doesn't pretend to be, but he puts over Jake's songs with great style and precision. So important with Jake's songs, every syllable of his sometimes convoluted lyrics could be heard so nothing in his brilliant use of words could be missed, and as for his guitar playing... he's got Jake's quite technical style off to perfection.
To add cream to the cake, Sue King brought along her duo with Pete Fung, which she has evocatively named "Misty Roses", and they provided a couple of excellent support slots which impressed the audience a great deal, and no doubt this collaboration will go from strength to strength. And thanks also to Sue for also doing the knob-twiddling all evening in her usual unflustered fashion..... talk about multi-tasking...! And, although size is not that important, we had the biggest audience all year apart from the unbeatable Gadjo..!
the Summer Special on 7th August 2013
There isn't anything we can say about this night that hasn't already been said everywhere else, i.e., it was a superb night! A full house, great music, lots of dancers, a visual and aural feast. We'll have them back, you bet!
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 17 JULY 2013
At just after 7.45 Peter rang the gong and welcomed everyone in his usual inimitable manner (oh I don't know, anybody could imitate it.... but who'd want to...?) and started the evening off with Big Yellow Taxi and for once, hooray, followed it with a second song, Old Man River - wonderful.
He was then able to call upon multi instrumentalist, Adrian. As he comes from "up country" he felt like singing Hay up me Duck followed by a Tony Barrett song Special Day.
Next Peter called upon Dave with his "band". The "band" being an ingenious foot operated contraption consisting of drum and tamborine calling for extraordinary co-ordination I would have thought. Anyway, he chose two new songs for him, first a Johnny Cash song called Casey's Last Ride and secondly one by Steve Black called The Way of the World. Apparently Dave's son, Alan West, has brought out a CD and this song is on it and as Steve had been complaining that Dave never sings his songs he thought "tonight is the night".
To bring a bit of class to the proceedings, Peter invited Doreen up to give us a couple of her specials. Her first song was I Leave My Heart in an English Garden which she encouraged everyone to join in with - what a performance. Her second song was from 1921 called And Her Mother Came Too.
Mike New lurking in the back came up next with a couple of ditties using his very old but newly restored guitar which he has had since 1964. His first song was Take It To The Limit and his second Lucille - very good
Claiming to be suffering from the heat, Ceri followed Mike and despite that managed very well to remember all the words of Will Ye Go. For her second song Malcolm came up to accompany her with his voice and guitar and they sang When Johnny Kneels and Kisses Me.
So, Malcolm being already on stage, stayed to sing a song called Newfoundland which he had heard on Radio Wales on a Sunday evening. Then, changing instruments - to a banjo apparently called the devil's frying pan by Mike Harding ! - and giving us a bit of history about 3 chord folk songs, obsession and banjo solos and vinyl albums, he sang a Woody Guthrie song called Tom Dooley which had been recorded in 1964 by the Kingston Trio. Very excellent Malcolm.
Then came Anita with something completely incorrigible and marvelous but NOT A POEM! She borrowed Doreen's stand with its built in light and set herself up with Adrian - she with her autoharp and he with his banjo and performed Devil's Dream. Brilliant Anita - why ever would we all want to go home I'd like to know ? Her second song was about a young lady discussing what she is going to wear to the fair, called My Young Man. Anita excelled herself this time, together with her "young man".
To progress the evening with more of the extraordinary stuff, Mike Gee came to the stage. His first song is one that has previously been performed by the Amycrofters and by Anita but this would be Mike's version ... of .... Raggle-Taggle Gypsies-o. His second song he has been working on for months and is still working on, is called Come Again Sweet Love by John Dowland. - the Lennon and McCarthy of the Middle Ages.
We now had the lovely surprise of the evening in the form of Olly and Jo. Olly played his guitar and Jo tap danced to Alive and Kicking, and then Olly played his banjo while Jo danced to Cuckold Hen. I may have got all that wrong but I am right in asking how absolutely amazing was that? Dancing to die for. What a treat, thank you both so much.
Annie was asked to follow that but as always she came up with the goods and gave us a cultured tune and song Up With the Larks in the Morning, great Annie.
Before the interval the Bard of Seaton, Ted was called up saying what a charming evening so far. He gave us a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald: first you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink and then the drink takes you. This was a warning pre-amble about drinking oozo which led to a wonderful poem about the perils of drinking too much of the stuff. Then we had a long story (of course) about Midsummers Day, St Agnes and The Long Day Dance and Handel's Harmonious Blacksmith.
Annie's Orchestra began the second "half" of the evening, that is Annie, Mike New, Adrian and Peter. Peter led them all with Bottle of Wine and everybody joined in the chorus.
Dave came to give us another song, Star of the County Down. Doreen with an Ivor Novello song We'll Gather Lilacs in the Spring Again, great. Then Ceri and Malcolm sang It's Good to See you.
Adrian with a bit of a banjo tune which was written as a fiddle tune for Northumberland clog dancing called Ricket Fire Dance. Then Mike with a Bobby Darren number Thinking About Things which we were all able to join in with, brilliant.
Then Peter had great pleasure in inviting Olly and Jo to do a couple for us. First a tune/song learnt from some Americans called Shady Grove and that was followed by a freestyle tune called Cindy - Olly was on his banjo again for these, the banjo has featured very strongly this evening.
A reminder from Peter that there is no singers night in August but we do have our August Special with Gadjo on Wednesday 7 August at 8.15. Then Ted was invited up to finish off the evening for us. We had another of Ted's stories about train journeys and his favourite film Casa Blanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and a song called Here's Looking At You. For his finale he called for Mike to join him. The song was written by Dr Polemiss who wrote Can't Get Used to Losing You but this one You Can Save the Last Dance For Me was written for his wife.
Thanks to all for coming, performers and audience, and particularly to Olly and Jo who came along for the first time from the Exeter area.. See you all on 7 August for Gadjo, otherwise our September concert on 4 September with Fake Thackray at 8.15 and our singers' night on the 18th at 7.45. Enjoy the summer..
Singers' Night 19 June 2013
You'll miss Hilary's brilliant and idiosyncratic reporting as she has escaped this month's offering and has left the reporting to Anita. You have been warned but please read on….
Peter opened the evening's extravaganza with a Stan Kelly song - 'Liverpool Lullaby'. A good one to get us all listening properly. Great to have you back in your regular spot, Peter.
Next came one of our multi-instrumentalists- Adrian with a John Denver number 'Sorry'. He followed this with a 1959 hikt from Ricky Nelson 'There'll Never be Anyone Else' The select audience were soon into the chorus. Thanks, Adrian. Brilliant as always even though he claimed he had the remnants of a rough throat.
Our Classical Classy Lady, Doreen was next with a special light on her music stand so she could see her score clearly. She generously offered to lend the stand to anyone who required it. Her first offering was a Scotish traditional song called 'Turn ye to me' and she followed this with a 1940's French song which she chose to sing in English 'Hymn l'amour' - I think that's what it was called. Super, thanks, Doreen.
Dave was next and gave us 'Broken Heart Penny Arcade' and then an instrumental medley of Jim Reeves songs which included ' Put your Sweet lips a Little Closer to the 'Phone' and was supported throughout by the Jurassic Chorus siinging along quietly. Lovely Dave, thanks.
Peter introduced the next artiste by saying he had been accosted by a young lady (see Hilary - you turn your back and what happens!) who wanted to give us a poem or two. This was Simone - she had been entertaining people on Beer beach. After asking us whether we were visitors to Seaton she launched into her first song about a seagull written when she was at a picnic in Torquay. Then she gave us the first song/poem she wrote when she lived in the Gower and this was about her boyfriend going off with someone else. This was followed by another poem 'Avis' and then another song 'Because he wanted to' this was a song Simone wrote and sang to her father (or was it grandfather?) on his deathbed. Thanks Simone.
Our expert on 'Renaissance Rock' Mike G was in the spotlight next. He gave us a song from John Dowland's 'First Book of Ayres' of 1597. Mike told us that Dowland desperately wanted to be Queen Elizabeth the First's lutanist but every time he applied he was turned down. When he was refused he went touring round Europe (in a huff?) leaving his wife and family behind. The song 'Now O Now I Needs Must Part' Mike said was not exactly as it had been written - but boy, it was an excellent rendition. Mike's next offering was (and here I got rather confused - sorry Mike) a traditional song of 1790's about Pills to Purge Melancholy. The song was 'Blow away the Morning Dew'. A chorus song as well. Thanks Mike.
Fran and Anita were next. Unfortunately Anita still had a bit of a frog in the throat and wasn't sure what her singing would be like. Their first offering was a song from the 1680's which had been cleaned up a couple of times, was now sung in schools but still had plenty of double entendres (I hope the school children don't notice!). This was 'The Keeper' The audience, aka Jurassic Chorus, allowed themselves to be split either side of the pole for the Jackie Boy - Master chorus. Thank you, you were all brilliant and have instigated a 'Poles Apart Song' for any other artist who requires a split chorus. Mike New was asked to join them for the next song. This was from Tyneside and has been called the National Anthem of the River Tyne. Again, one that everybody knew 'Weel May the Keel Row'. As each verse and chorus was repeated, Jurassic Chorus had plenty to get their teeth into. Fran and Anita thanked Mike New for agreeing to accompany them again. ( Needs a medal to put up with us in rehersals.)
Peter demonstrated his good grasp of logistics as Mike New (aka by Peter as Mr Smoothie) stayed on stage to give us two songs that mentioned or had a connection with deserts - it had been the hottest day so far this year. (Our only one? I hope not). His first song was by the Eagles, 'Peaceful Easy Feeling' a lovely one, Mike.
He then told us of one of his claims to fame. As a youngster he grew up on a council estate in Watford. Over the railway tracks (no jokes about the wrong side of the tracks, thank you) there was an American base. Some of the lads asked Mike to give them guitar lessons - they later formed a band, America, and had a huge hit with the second song Mike sang, 'A Horse with No Name'.
Next Peter introduced Honiton's Premier Folk Dance Band, the Amycrofters. Their first offering, 'Maggie' had June playing the accordian - wow two multi-instrumentalists in one night! June and Andrew then gave us their amusing and action packed version of a song to an Agony Aunt re-christened Dear Liza Jane. This was a request from a lady how she could make herself more attractive to men, primarily by adding 2 inches to her bust. June had asked if anyone had the answer but was disappointed that by the intercval only one person suggested anything and that was to have 2 inches from her bust! Thanks Anmycrofters, superb as always.
Tony Reader was our next entertainer who gave us his usual amusing introduction even though the traditional song 'John Barleycorn' was about death and resurrection. He explained that he was around the London folk clubs in the 60's and came across many of the 'Names' in the folk world. He asked us all to join in the chorus of 'Lowlands' . He wasn't very impressed with our first efforts (was this because some of us had a slightly different tune ingrained in our brains?) so asked (No - told) us to have another go but louder . Being obedient Jurassicers we did have a go but whether this was to Tony's standards we weren't informed. Thanks Tony, woke us up as always.
Next we had man whose devotion to Jurassic Folk can know no bounds. Ian is from Walsall and was here last year on holiday when he joined us for Singers' Night.This year he made sure his holiday was the third week in June so he could visit us again and, Mr Southall, we are very glad you did. Ian sang a song by Stan Kelly and ? Winter 'Four Pounds a Day' about the building trade. His next song was 'The Prophet of Bordesley Green' He explained that Bordesley Green was an area of Birmingham. This song should have had a kazoo accompaniment but as he hadn't got a kazoo would we all imagine the noise he was making was a kazoo. It wasn't that far off Ian! Thanks very much for joining us, sorry your wife didn't feel like singing - perhaps it will be both of you next year?
Our own Colyford Nightingale - Annie- then came to give us two chorus songs. The first one was a sad lullaby/lament about the Highland Clearances called'Smile in your Sleep' and the second was 'Caravan' about the freedom of the road and getting away from a partner. Excellent as always Annie. Thank you.
With the interval looming who else could finish the first part of the night but The Bard of Seaton himself. As Peter pointed out, he had been absent for about a couple of months and had not brought a note of excuse from his Mother. He started off making a serious economic point with the help of a plastic tray decorated with a loaf split into a Union Jack style and marked 'Loaf of Hope and Glory'. Ted went on to explain in his own inimitable way and with a slice of bread cut into various pieces (yes, you did read that correctly) where all our money goes in the European Union or the European Rip Off Club. Hilarious but perhaps a little too close to the truth? We then had another Ted special as he treated us to a new song about one of the world's greatest train journeys. He said it came out in a slightly Mexican style because of the title 'Peco ..Rama…Garden' Fantastic Ted, thanks.
Peter then introduced us to the long awaited and famous interval - a short one tonight as there were more fantastic artists clamouring to perform for us. The audience became even more select for the second session as it seemed cocoa and bed had been calling very loudly to quite a few of the audience. To be fair, some of them had quite a journey to get home.
Tonight a new duo was born - Doreen and Ted. Ted said this song was one his Dad used to sing to his Mum because she liked it. Ted thought Doreen may know it - of course, she did. We had a wonderful rendition of 'The Sunshine of your Smile'. Thanks Ted and Doreen, looking forward to more of your duets.
Then we had another performer we haven't seen for ages, welcome back, Mitch. His first song was 'A Painter of a Different Kind'. I think that was the title or was it 'Colour My Life'? Whatever the title it was good to hear Mitch back with us and on form. This was followed by a guitar instrumental medley of songs. I think I heard 'And I love her' and 'Classical Gas'. Oh dear I wish I knew more titles of these terrific songs and tunes people play and sing at Jurassic Folk - but I'm learning. Mitch left the stage and was called back by Peter and audience to do one more. This time a blues tune 'What kind of Favour' (I think).
Next up was Fran singing an unaccompanied solo 'And So it Goes' a Billy Joel song about a relationship break up. A lovely, haunting song. Great, Fran, thanks.
A complete change then to the Amycrofters Plus, theat's the Amycrofters - Andrew and June, joined by Adrian on banjo and Anita on Bodhran. The dance tune medley was Darling Nellie Gray, Log Cabin, Jolly Coppersmith & Silver and Gold. Great folks, thanks.
Tony Reader then came back singing a children's song. He taught us a verse in 3 languages, Russian, English & International sign language - apparently not quite the same as British Sign Language. Thanks Tony. Something different as always.
Wow what a second session we were having and it continued in the same excellent vein. Next was Ian, our holidaying refugee from Walsall. He sang one of Jake Thackeray's songs called 'The Castleford Ladies Magical Circle'. Don't assume all little old ladies are harmless! Then we had a song about Wigan called 'Uncle Joe's Mint Balls' these are sweets that really do exist. Thanks Ian. Great offerings tonight. Hope to see you and your lady next year.
The evening closed with our own Bard of Seaton- Ted Dowse, who else? He finished the evening for us with that lovely song of his 'Elvis is Still in the Buiding'. The Jurassic Chorus was at its best following Ted's lead on the dynamics of each chorus. Beautiful Ted. Thanks.
Peter then thanked everyone for coming, performers and audience alike. Well, I thought it was a good night - wherelse can you get such variety, quality and not have to pay an entrance fee?
Next month I hope you will be regaled by Hilary's reporting, rather than my ramblings.
Thanks for that Anita, and now we go back to
Guest Night on 5th June 2013 with James Findlay
And now back to 15th May, and here is Hilary's factual take on the events at....
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 15 MAY 2013
Peter opened the evening with a song about seduction and a lady and a blacksmith called Two Magicians which had a chorus we were all able to join in with.
Adrian followed him whose first song was another with a chorus for us to join in with called Rambling Boy and he went on to do a Tom Paxton number written for Mississipi John Hurt and called John Hurts. All very good indeed.
Next our very own soprano lady, Doreen, to do the classical spot. Her first song was Count Your Blessings by Reginald Maudling which she told us her mother used to sing rather well. She followed that with Wild Mountain Side by Richard Douglas. Brilliant thank you Doreen for your touch of class.
Next Dave who came up to sing a Merl Haggard song called In My Next Life. Apart from accompanying himself on the guitar he had a very natty little tambourine machine which he operated with a foot pedal. Very ingenious. Next a singalong song by Dan Williams called You're my Best Friend which was apparently popular in Ladram Bay where he had performed the night before. Thank you very much Dave and his one man band.
Next our girl band, Fran and Anita who wanted everyone to be in good voice. Their first song has been around since the 1760's and undergone many versions. However they have chosen an easy version which has a verse and response style. It is called The Derby Ram and was wonderful. For their second song they enlisted the help of Mike New with his guitar and sang a song made popular by Steel Eye Span called All Round My Hat
As Mike was already on stage it was convenient to call upon him to do the next spot. He began with a request for a Tom Paxton song (it must be a Tom Paxton night) called It's A Lesson too Late for the Learning and EVERYONE knew that ! His next one was written by Loudon J Wainwright the Third called I Slept Through the Night, a Pretty Good Day so Far.
To bring some sanity to the proceedings Annie was called upon: Annie said she would do just one song tonight as it was one she has been wanting to learn and do for a long time. It was a local (ish) song from Piddletown in Dorset and very poignant called I Live Not Where I Love. Lovely thank you Annie.
Next Malcolm with a Eric Bogle song called Goodby My Nancy Oh. Next a Corries song done by Mary Black in the past, called Sweet Rose of Allan Dale.
Fresh from his success on the boards of the Northcott Theatre where he performed in Guys and Dolls, welcome to our friend Tony Reader. As part of his performance in Exeter he marched about the stage banging an enormous drum and with reference to that before replacing his aged drum back in the garage he brought it along to Jurassic Folk for our pleasure. Tony always likes to give us a bit of a story and on this occasion the drum has caused him at the age of 69 to look back on his life and realise just how much he has done and it was time to write a book - perhaps. He had trouble finding a song just for the voice and a drum but found a Victorian one called, appropriately, Let There by Drums by Sandy Nelson. My notes tell me that Helston Dance came in here somewhere but they also tell me that it was brilliant ! Next one Jolly Rumbolo. Thank you Tony for making such a unique effort.
Next, Mike G was welcomed up to do his bit and in the meantime Peter gave us a couple more bon mots. Mike said it was time for some Renaissance rock and some Renaissance heavy metal. His first song started off as a folk song in the 1560's and then went classical and has been done by many people over the years and even, latterly, by Jim Moray with an electric version but Mike was giving us his version of My Lord Willoughby - very good. That was followed by Thomas Campion's Never Weather Beaten Sail.
Rushing on ..... a gentleman we have seen once before with his dulcimer and hurdy gurdy, Damian Clarke. He explained we would all know the tune of his first song but that he would be singing different words, called Cambrick Shirt (or Scarborough Fair). It was a most lovely version. His next tune was an Irish song Ned of the Hill which was a homage to people who stand up for what they feel is right. Thank you so much for bringing along your dulcimer Damian.
To start the second quarter of the evening Annie's band were invited up, that is Annie, Mike New and Adrian. Annie used her tom tom to great effect to accompany their first tune Dance Dance, Just Want to Dance the Night Away which was wonderful. Annie reminded us all that we forgot that it is our 6th anniversary - unbelievable (not that we forgot, but that 6 years have gone by so quickly) - so their next song was dedicated to Jurassic Folk, So Here's to You. Adrian played his mandolin for this. Thank you so much Annie and Band.
Next, Nic Parsons who had such trouble getting to Seaton from Chard due to the road closure at Musbury. As he had just got back from a workshop of mining songs on the Mendip Hills he decided to continue with the theme and he left his guitar behind in order to do more traditional songs. The first Ballad of Jimmy Steel was about coal mining and his second song, not about mining but called Sheep Stealer. Thank you very much Nic as ever.
Then we had Honiton's most favourite band, the Amycrofters. They said it had not been planned but both their songs involved gypsies. First, Black Jack Davey which has been done by the Incredible String Band in the past on vinyl but their version was going to be one they found on Youtube. Their next one was about a man who thinks about his first love called A Gypsy Woman in spite of having a loving wife and children.
Next Peter called upon Chris Ostler who we have seen before a couple of times and to start he sang a song from Light House, a simple melody called You and Me with a bit of love which was really nice. His second song was one of his own about distraction called Show Me the World.
Mike G then came up with one of his own specials about frustration and called I Thought I'd Write a Song.
With great pleasure, an artiste we are always very glad to see, Greg Hancock, with a song about people talking bullshit called Sorry. Then he gold us a story about an experience in Exeter at an audition to busk in Princesshay and was asked to perform a cover song (they had not appreciated his own) and did one he had not performed for a very long time called So, Take a Good Look at My Face. Thank you very much Greg. We didn't hear if you got permission to busk ?
At last coming to a conclusion very late in the evening, Peter asked Damian to finish off for us with his hurdy gurdy. This he did with a tune/song called He Who Will Not Merry Be which was very excellent.
What a most FANTASTIC evening, thank you all for coming and see you all at the concert ! on Wednesday 5 June, doors open 7.45 and concert starts 8.15. Failing that, our next singers' night will be Wednesday 19th 7.45 start. All at the Grove.
Thanks for all that, Hil, and now Peter reports on....
Tim Edey on 1st June, 2013
I am really sorry for those, who for whatever reason, didn't make the Tim Edey night, as it was without a doubt the most musically exciting night that I have experienced for many a year. At the end of the evening I called the man a Genius, and on reflection I can no reason to rescind this accolade. The audience seemed to agree, and after we'd had encores and finished late, while the sound system was being dismantled, Tim and Peter Gazey sat down and started playing again, egged on by the fans!
And to cap it all, we had great support spots from Sue King, who, fresh back from Padstow May Day, gave us some most appropriate songs for day, and the highly individual Paul Openshaw who impressed us all with his quirky songs and fine guitar playing. And additional thanks to Sue, who as well as opening the night, also twiddled the sound system knobs all evening.... and this on her Birthday!.... what a trouper!
Jolly's super pics of the night are now up on our album website.
Next let's go for the April Singer's Night....
Jurassic Folk at the Grove - 17th April 2013
First, once again a big thank you to our Mr Chairman, Ivor, for putting out the tables and chairs so perfectly - it is such a huge help.
Peter welcomed everyone in enthusiastic fashion and with the promise of another scintillating night in store. A reminder that we have Tim Edey as our next guest on Wednesday 1 May and if anyone would like tickets we have them for sale. Peter bowed out of his usual opening spot (boo, moan and groan) and invited Adrian to do that honour. He sang Ebo Girl, a song about the girls who hang about the night clubs in Las Vegas waiting for the boats to come in . His second song was called Withered and Died.
Our next performer, Dave, has visited us before but not for a very long time and it was when we were still in the smaller room. It is always good to see people return and his first song was Irish about the Confederation and called When you Leave ?? You Can Never Come Back which was very nice. His next one was another Irish number called Rose of My Heart.
Now for something completely different, Peter called upon Doreen, our classical nightingale. This song was written in 1759 by Handel and called Silent Worship but Doreen informed us that it had nothing to do with religion ! She followed that with a Louis Armstrong number specially for Peter, What a Wonderful World which was written in the 1960's - and we were all able to join in, excellent Doreen.
Next, Honiton's most favourite band, the Amycrofters. June having tried to go off with Adrian's mandolin, settled with her own and she and Andrew performed Jeremy Taylor's Ag Pleeze Daddy written in the 1960's. June did a splendid job of explaining that Jeremy Taylor was a South African comedian, singer songwriter and she interpreted all the special South African elements in the song for us. Their second song was from an English CD of John Kirkpatrick's called Adieu to Old England.
Next a warm welcome to Robin Nancarrow who it is good to see whenever he can make it. His first song was called Pierre and Louise about a mercenary solder from Brittany which Robin wrote while on holiday in France and after reading too much Frederick Forsythe. It was very very good. His second song was about pilgrims and was called Cry Freedom (pilgrims old and new, ancient and modern).
Next our girl band, Fran and Anita who began by thanking all the hummers for their support in helping to sing Men of Harlech last month. As it is Anzac Day at the end of the month their first song was an Australian one, "a sweet little number" The Drovers' Dream, very good and funny. Their next song was made famous by John Denver called Country Roads and with this they were joined by Mike New on his guitar.
As Mike was on the stage he was invited to remain there for his spot. He began with a similar song to Country Roads sung by the Kingston Trio, a John Stevens song and the name of which Mike had forgotten - then remembered but by which time I have lost the plot and the name of his second song ... but .... Otis Reading, Franscisco Bay, the 1960's, the Monkeys and Cheer Up Sleepy Jean all came in to it ! All jolly good stuff .
Next our harmonica virtuoso, Johnny Gudge who played us two tunes back to back, first Come Back to Sorento followed by Osso Mio. Thank you Johnny and then for a little change he played a Welsh tune, a rugby song no less in true Max Boyce tradition Sospan vach....
Peter then called upon Mike G (whilst giving us one of his special bon mots). Mike began by giving us a traditional 1580/90's song which Fairport Convention did years ago called Matty Groves. Then in true Mike vein he gave us another song by Campion (man of the moment apparently) and one he claimed was work in progress. This one was called When To Her Lute Corrina Sings. Very magnificent.
Peter welcomed back a young man, Chris, who came last month when we were only able to give him one song. His first song this month was by the Levellers called Another Man's Cause and came about due to the influence of listening to the radio with his Dad when younger. His second song was fresh off the press and one that he had been writing over the last few days and the percolation of words and music finally culminating in Nature's Traffic Lights.
Our Colyford nightingale, Annie, next (Peter's latest bon mot: Broken pencils are pointless?) with Come All ye Fair Tender Ladies which went to America from Ireland. Her second song The Cuckoo ? and her version was an amalgamation of three other versions, American, English and European. (Actually I think I have got that wrong....)
Greg Hancock was then invited to close the first part of the evening before the interval. Two songs in the same key and he explained that a lot of his songs deal with the theme of rowing with your partner - very depressing although his second song claimed to be less depressing about a long time ago in 1981 and going to folk clubs Nick Jones went to. This song was made famous by Nick and is a song by Harry Robertson, a Scot, about the whaling industry and written in the 1950's called The Little Pot of Stone.
After the Interval we had the pleasure of The Orchestra, conducted by Annie and made up of Peter, Annie, Adrian and Mike New. They began with one of my current favourites, Jock Stewart and was very excellent. Their next one was by the Bellamy Brothers called Let Your Love Flow. Thank you very much Annie's Orchestra.
Next Johnny Gudge with one of his special medlies. Then one more from Dave which was another John Denver song Leaving On a Jet Plane.
Next a bit of excitement from Fran and her choir. James Taylor's That Lonesome Road and she asked Annie and Mike to join her for the harmony - what an achievement!
Chris with another of his own songs written a year or so ago about the shock to the system felt when moving from Exeter to university in Leicester, called Lamp Lights. A nice bit of whistling at the end.
Again a collaboration, the Amycrofters Plus, i.e. Adrian with his banjo and Anita with her bodrhan. They played a group of tunes namely Dingle Regatta, Sweets of May and Coconuts - A lovely bunch of ! What an excellent finale and to finally finish off the evening Greg with a brand new song well out of his comfort zone - a Happy Tune !
AND thank you all for coming, performers and non performers alike, and a VERY BIG thank you to everyone who helps clear up at the end of the evening. Lots of hands make light work and that sort of thing and it is all much appreciated.
Do come to see Tim Edey on 1 May, concert starts 8.15 and advance tickets are £8, phone 01297 20064. Otherwise our next session is as usual the third Wednesday of the month, 15 May at 7.45 here at the Grove.
Lucy Ward on 3rd April 2013
Lucy Ward did not disappoint at the guest night on 3rd April, she was magnificent, at least as good as she was last year... probably better if that was possible, and although we had a very good and appreciative crowd it is very difficult to understand why we were not packed out: She has been on a tour in Britain recently mostly to sold out venues, she is in great demand for festivals both in the UK and abroad and with airplay in any and all folk media she receives critical acclaim wherever she goes.
There is no one better anywhere on the international folk scene in either quality or presentation, and we were very fortunate in getting her to play at Jurassic, so where were the discerning music lovers of East Devon.....? It would be most interesting to know. And my gripe is nothing to do with finance, as we covered her very modest special fee, but purely that I am rather amazed that so many people missed such a great and developing talent, so... it's their loss, not ours.
A really great night also included two support acts of great quality, firstly the the trio DevonBird that includes our old friend Robert Wheaton who gave us a great start to the evening with some fine songs and instrumentals. Then secondly there was Greg Hancock, who we heard first at a Jurassic Singers Night, and were so impressed with his individual approach and style that we immediately asked him for this guest night. I have just put up pictures of the evening taken by Jolly on to the album website, and very shortly I hope to put up some videos on YouTube after I get permission from the artists concerned.
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 20 MARCH 2013Our dear Mr Chairman, aka Ivor, has been doing us proud again and put out all the tables and chairs for the last few sessions and we do thank him very much and appreciate it whenever he is able to do it.
With a ring of the bell Peter welcomed everyone to the latest Jurassic Folk, gave out the notices and reminded us all that our next guest on 3 April is Lucy Ward and not to be missed. Also our May guest is Tim Edey and, by the way, he is large as life on the cover of this month's Folk Roots. Peter opened the evening with one of his favourite ditties, Tom Lehrer's Rickety Tickety Tin.
Then, to raise the tone he invited Doreen to come up and her first song was a Robbie Burns number which we all know, My Love is Like a Red Red Rose. Her second song was written in the 1940's called There But For You Go I and she asked if anyone knew which show it came from ..... answers after the song please. However, no one knew and the answer was Brigadoon.
Peter then called upon Adrian who sang a Tom Paxton number Annie's Going to Sing Her Song. His second contribution to the evening was a clog dance tune played on his banjo called Wicked Fire Dance.
Next a welcome back from their world tour of Brittany, the Amycrofters. Andrew introduced the first song without a title on the basis that it would become obvious but just to let you know, it is called Bucket on his Head and it is hoped that no one from the NSPCC was present. It was very funny by the way. Their next song was about Mary Hamilton, the Queen's Lady in Waiting, and her daughter - lots of lovely singing from June.
In complete contrast, Mr Mike Gee who apologised for not being Mitch (who had booked this slot but was unable to come apparently) and we were very happy that he was not Mitch. So, with a Ted request knowing Mike's present preoccupation of dabbling with renaisance songs, he sang the 16th century Wolsey's Wilde which we can now almost sing along with. Next another Thomas Campion song, this time Follow Your Saint from the 1600's. Thank you Mike for your originality as ever.
Next to be called upon, our very own Girlies, Fran and Anita. Anita with one of her excellent long introductions and a nod to St Patrick's Day about a zooalogical park in Dublin. There are lots of versions of the song they are about to sing but this one was based on the Dubliners' version but I didn't get the name of it (my notes have let me down - again). Next something for the Welsh about a 7 year siege of Harlech Castle. Then we had lots of explanations of origins etc. culminating in Men of Harlech being sung along to with great gusto, particularly by Ted immitating a Welsh male choir, and was great fun. Thank you both.
Then Peter asked Annie up which turned out to be Annie, Peter and Adrian. Mike New who is normally part of this "band" was unfortunately laid low with a tooth problem, we wish him well. In the meantime Annie had problems of her own in that her guitar was badly out of tune on account of the fact that Gerry had fallen over it in the car park. Gerry had apparently recovered but the guitar took a bit of TLC and then they were able to perform a Robert Burns song Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon. Then Annie on her own with her dulcimer and a Peggy Seager song When I Was Single, a version from the Apalachian mountains.
Then Malcolm with a song by Shaun Tyrell called One Stary Night. Then a story about ex patriots and saint days and festivals and Phoenix, Arizona and rebel songs and this one a rebel song from 1745 Ireland and it was very excellent.
Peter then asked for Malcolm's other half, Ceri, to come up and she performed a song she wanted to have a go at but was unsure about and it was called Don't Get Married - we could see why she was concerned ! Her second song I wish ??? and something about Love - there was obviously a theme here.
Steve Waters next with a song he wrote some time ago called For You followed by another he wrote Far From the Wars about things we learn during our school days and then later reassess as adults.
A warm welcome to Judy who has been with us before and we are very pleased to see back. Her first song was a traditions Irish The Mountains of Morne. Her second song by Ian Tyson called Four Strong Winds. Very lovely, thank you very much Judy.
Getting closer to the interval we had a surprise, giving a warm Jurassic welcome to Greg who has not been before. He sang Bed Times all about getting older and how the concept of bed times changes from when a child and when older, and older, and older ... His next song, another of his own, Don't Expect It All to Make Sense. All very excellent, thank you Greg.
With only one person to take the slot before the interval, our very own Ted Dowse and he gave us a poem related to St Patrick's Day and for the Irish Patrick O' Really O'Reily which was extraordinarily funny (of course). Then he sang us a song, a new one, completed yesterday and inspired by his favourite movie which he has seen at least 20 times, called Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart.
To start off, the Amycrofters with a story about buying a mandolin for June in Torquay leading to a set of three tunes with the mandolin in mind called Sproats of Berny Boozle, Salmon Tails and Adam Buchan, thank you both very much.
Anita with something special as always and stories of conspiracy theories, the Black Country dialect and accents and about marrying .....
Lurking, as he is wont to do, Ben emerged and sang us a Chuck Regan (punk and folk) song called The Boat. Thank you Ben and good to see you.
Next the first of two new Chris's... First Chris Smith with a very lovely song Seven Golden Daffodils which he sang unaccompanied and his next song by John Frine, a Canadian, a Heady Dance. Wonderful.
Next, as a duo this time, Malcolm and Ceri with a Bob Dylan song. Followed by Steve Waters giving us another song about when things go wrong called Trap. Another wonderful song.
Then the other Chris, Chris Ostler with a song of his own called Mystery of History. Thank you very much, please come again when we can give you more time.
Greg next with a Bill Caddick song called The Cloud Factory followed by another one of his called Happy Tune (but miserable lyrics).
No one but our friend Ted could end the evening for us which he did with usual aplomb. He said how marvellous it is to have such a brilliant selection of music in an evening. He explained that his father sang (also his mother) but was nuts and this was a song about his Dad and his secret. Thank you Ted as always.
A reminder about the very brilliant, not to be missed, Lucy Ward on the 3 April here at the Grove, concert starts 8.15 and the doors open and 7.45. Then we have our next singers' night on Wednesday 17 April starting at 7.45 - see you all there.
And next to the Guest Night of 6th March with
A truly excellent night was enjoyed at the last Guest Night on 6th March, which featured Boo Hewerdine. Boo obviously has his own cult following which were represented on the night by several new faces and he did not disappoint them. His songs are very wide ranging, and written as they were for different individual artists such as Edi Reader, Mary Chapin Carpenter & The Nashville Bluegrass Band they varied between folky, bluesy and straight pop.
But whatever the song content, his performance, delivery and patter made them all relevant and listenable. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was when he rashly invited the audience to take the floor and dance with the prize of a free CD being awarded to the most entertaining performer. Jolly was called upon to make the judgement and he was faced with several contestants who, while not necessarily in the first flush of youth,let enthusiasm smother any lack of technique, and one even attempted the notorious Grove Pole!
Two excellent support spots were provided by the fine individual sound of Exeter based The Boys from Melbourne Street, and the masterful songs and guitar playing of Steve Waters. Both had previously attended our Singers Nights, and it is from this bountiful pool that we are very lucky to be able to draw such talent for these occasions. All this has been recorded in pictorial format by Jolly and can be seen on the album site, and several performances are also up on YouTube... just search for "Boo Hewerdine at Jurassic Folk" or whichever artist you are seeking.
And many thanks also to Brian Bennellick who stepped in at the last minute to look after the sound desk for us. Brian is very much involved in the newly started Culm Valley Music & Performance Club at Uffculme, and you may like to check this out at http://www.culmvalleymusicclub.co.uk.
.... and next the Singers Night of 20th Feb....
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 20 FEB 2013
Now for something completely different in the form of our girl band, Fran and Anita with apologies for still being a bit croaky after their lurgies. More love songs, it is brilliant that so many have taken Peter's suggestion to heart, their first one about a small town in Aberdeenshire called The Bonny Lass of Five ve ho - a bit of giggling went on. Apparently there was a time when it was quite common for ladies to run off with gypsy men and their second song was about just such a lady written possibly in the 1950's by Leo McQuire called The Gypsy Rover - needless to say we all joined in -very very excellent.Next Peter invited Steve Waters up who we have seen before in the past and who said it was nice to be back but coming from Honiton? .....and love songs? ...... His first song was one he wrote and called Her First Smile which was so nice. This was followed by another sort of love song which he wrote when his son was born called Learning as we Go, about how much we learn about ourselves when watching our babies - all lovely stuff.Now we called upon Ceri who could not decide which love song to sing but began with "Call of the ?" (sorry, didn't quite catch it..) Her second song was called The Rose which I think we have heard before and is very nice Ceri, thank you.Next we had a surprise and a treat in the form of a band called The Homesick Gypsies. The first song the lady of the band, Stef, wrote and sang and could possibly be called a love song, If You Don't Like the Music ..... very excellent. The next one called It's Got to be You which again was written and sung by Stef - the fellows accompanying her played double bass and guitar.Then welcome to an old friend who now lives in Bristol and doesn't come this way very often, the singing vicar, Laurie Burn. He had not come armed with love songs but his first song is one which he loves. It is a Ralph McTell song which was written in 1984 as a tribute to Joseph States who came from Jamaica and was a man of great faith. It was very good. Laurie's second song was not a love song either but the love of his life, his wife Karen, would be joining him to sing. It was a story about Patrick Cotter who came from Ireland to live in a salt cellar in Bristol when 17 years old . He was 8' tall and this is a tribute song called The Bristol Giant. Laurie and his family used to live in Kilmington but have now moved to Bristol and run a folk club in the cellar of his church. Thank you very much both.Next a duo we have not had the pleasure of hearing before called Lazibyrd but they had been to Laurie's cellar, and we remember Sharon, one half of the duo, from Priddy. No love songs this time but their first song was called Open the Door - what a treat to have a fiddle. Their second song was called There She Goes. Both very excellent, thank you so much for coming.The only person to bring the first three quarters of the evening to a conclusion, none other than the Bard of Seaton, Ted Dowse. Firstly we heard story about Devizes and the market there and money and the devil so we had a poem and song about the story - a real Ted special. Next a song from a movie from a book which Ted went to see thinking it sounded good but was a load of rubbish but something good must have come out of it in the form of a song called The Singer not the Song which is dedicated to all singers but this evening it is particularly dedicated to David Tresize. On this note, or several notes, we had a short interval.To start the last quarter of the evening Ceri and Malcolm as a duo came up and performed If You Needed Me which was excellent.
Next the wonderful Daphne and her minder,Simon, danced through the throng making a lot of noise finally arriving at the front, a tune about a tom cat wanting to fight all night and a bull dog hugging a hound, brilliant, thank you very much Delta Blues Man.
Steve Waters came up again with a song called Try, very good.Then Lazibyrd again (Peter now and throughout the evening gave us some of his very special "jokes") sang a song called Under the Stars, a lovely little song in Peter's words, thank you for coming.
Ted regaled us next with a song in remembrance of the Tsunami but written 25 years before called Some of Them were Dreamers - wonderful Ted.
What a marvellous variety of artists this evening and at this pointHomesick Gypsies were invited to finish off the evening for us. Not fitting into any particular genre their first song was a bluesy I Love that Man followed by Come on Down Boys, Gather Around. Thank you very much indeed for coming such a long way.
Thank you to everybody for coming and what an interesting night.Come again to the next guest night to see Boo Hewerdine on 6 March at 8.15 (doors open 7.45) and the next singers night on 20 March at 7.45. All here at the Grove.
Then back to the guest night on 6th February....
STEVE TURNER AT
It was a really lovely night, with a modest (in volume) audience being treated to some really first class and surprising performances. You may have got used to me saying that we are constantly being surprised, but I can't apologise because it's the truth!
who broke all tradition by doing his spot in one single stint. He explained to me afterwards, "I wanted to try something different and on a theme, a sort of music theatre piece." Tony, who is of course not just a singer and musician, is an actor, juggler and conjuror continues, "Having been to many folk and acoustic clubs over many years and listened to endless lengthy explanations of the history of a song or tune and the history of the performer with lots of anecdotes and jokes lasting 10 minutes then followed by a 5 minute song repeated 5 or 6 times, then a break, and then more of the same in the second half, I often think, 'get on with it', 'I just want to hear music and song please'."
Well, you may or may not agree with his critique, but you've got to hand it to him for trying something different, and it jolly well worked as it it made a splendid opening to the programme.
Then the main guest, Steve Turner, came on and sang songs with an absolutely die-for voice, which we knew about, and played the concertina and citterne with complete mastery, which we also knew about, but what was surprising here was the erudition and humour with which he introduced his songs. I am sure even Tony will have enjoyed the relaxed way in which he moved from piece to piece, and the audience clearly appreciated this as he was applauded very loudly at every opportunity. This was traditional song the way it should be, not stuffy and boring, and Steve is a master at the art.
And what can I say about the other support spot provided by Axmouth's own boy band, Hunt Gamble & Tresize? They filled the room, both physically and aurally, with great songs and the precision harmonies for which they are renowned. There will be a some YouTube clips of their performance up shortly, and so if you missed this you can find them by searching for "Hunt Gamble & Tresize at Jurassic Folk" or something similar. And ofcourse, there are, pictures of the evening, courtesy Jolly, on the Jurassic Folk Album Site.
...and then back to the January Singers Night...
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 16 JANUARY 2013
as faithfully recorded on her scroll by Hilary...
Welcome to the first singers night session of the new year, 2013, and for the first time ever at 5 minutes to start time, Peter and I wondered if anyone was going to turn up. But thankfully all was well and the room began to fill - possibly a mixture of January weather and confusion over our start time which I have to admit takes some getting your head round. Our concert nights on the first Wednesday of the month has a start time of 8.15 and our singers' nights on the third Wednesday of the month begins at 7.45 - all brought about by the vagaries of the Co-Op parking restrictions.
Peter began with another new song to him, a Cyril Tawney song with a chorus called Five Foot Flirt which was very good. (gee... thanks Hil...)
Next on the itinerary was Honiton's most famous band, the Amycrofters. Their first song was very well known, There's a Tavern in the Town, in the Town.... or was it Adieu ? Their next song was by Rock Sham, I'll Tell me Ma. Andrew said they felt the need to catch up with everyone else and research the origins of the music they perform and so have begun googling - watch this space.
Ceri next with a new song Once I Loved. Consequently she thought she might have trouble with the words but all was well and fine and it was very lovely. Her next song is called Once I Had a Sweetheart which is another lovely song and one we have heard her sing before.
Malcolm then sang a song he has not performed for ages by Jim Reynolds called The Tinker. His second song was written by another Irishman, Pete St John called Rings and Rose which he accompanied with his mandolin. He informed us that this mandolin is a very special design, costing a lot of money, and that this is the only song he uses it for ..... time to do something about that one might think.
Next Mike New was called upon keeping up the moral theme with a Nancy Griffiths song called Gold Coast Highway which was very good. His next song he has not done in front of an audience before and from his youth is by Eddie Cochrane called Cut Across Shorty. Mike always comes up with good songs, excellent.
Colyford Nightingale, Annie, sang a really good old English folk song which Jackie Oates had sung so beautifully the week before. It is called Brig Fair and very lovely. Her next song she claimed to be a bit silly but still she loved it, called The Hedgehog Song from the Incredible String Band.
Annie was followed by our harmonica virtuoso, Johnny Gudge with a joke about horse meat which went down well. It has been a little while since he sang this song about coal and music which is something the Welsh and Yorkshire people have in common and is known as the Welsh National Anthem of Cardiff Arms Park Rugby. Followed by the Yorkshire National Anthem On Ilkley Moor Bar Tat.
Peter had espied lurking about at the back our own favourite hurdy gurdy and its master, Tony Reader. He appeared with his usual story telling about false teeth and all sorts and about taking risks and sang us Fi Man Fi which was brilliant. With that he brought out the hurdy gurdy and tales of auditions for matters South Pacific and the forthcoming production of Guys and Dolls by the Exeter Musical Society. We must all go and see him at the Northcott in April.. (oh.... must we...? Peter)
Margaret Lyons sang a song, Poor Old London, which she began writing a few years ago and she is still not quite sure about but she need not fear ..... excellent. Next good old Lord Franklin which we are becoming quite familiar with as he seems to be quite popular.
The last and very brilliant act before the interval is none other than Ted. Slipping over when walking into Town provoked one of his special stories about when Adam met Eve and Isaac Newton and gravity and a weak force. Another thought provoking song, this time about how the world seems to be all out of sinc...
To start off the second part of the evening, we had a special treat by way of a band who came all the way from Exeter, calling themselves The Boys from Melbourne Street, otherwise known as Colin, Dave and Keith, or otherwise known as three more fossils to add to the Jurassic Folk euthanasia saga tour. They began with a song about the environment called Planet Blue which was wonderful. The next one was a romantic tragedy, panic at 1 oclock in the morning called Monsieur Conciege. The next song was about Spider Man, not about his antics but about his relationship with Mary Jane - that had a chorus, and finally a blues song called Long Train (getting the girl). We can look forward to hearing this boys band again soon as they have been booked for the support slot for Boo Hewerdine in March.
Malcolm and Ceri together this time with a song especially requested by Jean called Spinning Wheel, and then the Amycrofters came up with their instruments and gave us a lovely medley for folk dances - Nellie Green, Log Cabin, ? , and Silver and Gold. June was playing her newly acquired banjo/ukelele, great.
Peter then called upon human firework Simon, with Daphne, his steel guitar, who gave us a most wonderful performance, dancing about among the audience giving Daphne her wings. A jolly winter blues number called Dallas and calling upon Johnny with his harmonica and the drums and bass guitar to join him with Just Like a Woman - well, that woke us all up.
Annie was unenviably left to follow that which she did of course in her own consummate style, The Fair Maid Reign based on a very old English carol, and to finish off the evening none other than Mr Ted Dowse with a Leonard Cohen song Tower of Song dee dum dum dum .... which we were all able to join in with.
So thanks to Hil for compiling that account of the evening, which now takes us back to...
Jackie Oates at Jurassic Folk, 9th January, 2013.
What a lovely night it was, as all of you who attended will surely agree. Jackie Oates was simply at her magnificent best, and we were treated to a perfectly balanced programme of great songs and exciting instrumental pieces. We all expected (well, I did, anyway) to be soothed by Jackie's beautiful voice and complementary fiddle playing, (actually a five string viola, to be technically correct) but we were stunned (well, I was, anyway) by the fantastic guitar (and several other stringed instruments) playing of Tristan Seume. I was aware of his name and the regard in which he is clearly held by his fellow musicians, but I was not prepared for his brilliant but sensitive vituoso performance live, a quite perfect backing for Jackie too: definitely one to watch and follow. And to match all this we had as the support artist Mark Waistell who has a fine voice, impeccable guitar style and a bucket load of highly listenable songs in his armoury.... all in all, as I said before... a lovely night!
Pictures of the evening ( thanks Jolly) can be found on the album site, and no doubt there will eventually be some YouTube clips when I get round to it....
And now, back to the Christmas Party!!!
As faithfully described by Hilary....
JURASSIC FOLK 19 DECEMBER 2012
What a jolly Christmassy scene with lots of chatter and clatter and kerfuffle and bonhomie amongst which Peter managed to begin the evening's proceedings. He did this with a welcome and reminder that tickets for the Jackie Oates concert would be available during the interval. As, he claims, no one else likes to start the evening off, he began with a song he has not sung before and which has a line for everyone to join in with. It is called Peg an' Awl which is a song to do with shoe making, and to help him along George joined him on double bass.
As Peter's number 2 slot had not yet arrived he invited number 3 slot, Doreen, to regail us with some of her specials. She began with the tune of Greensleeves sung with different words. This was followed by Little Donkey - all very lovely, thank you Doreen.
Mike Tidball came next with last month's seasonal song, Roy Orbison's Pretty Ribbons of Blue and for his second number he invited his wife, Jackie, to join him in Me and My Drum, rup a tum tum..... Brilliant, you must let Jackie sing more often Mike.
Judy who came earlier this year from Exmouth was warmly welcomed next and she said it was nice to be back. She began with a sad song, recently learnt, called Little Orphan Girl. Her second song, a gospel song, called Old Gospel Ship, thank you very much Judy.
Rushing on ... as Peter said ... with the Amycrofters who began with a song which has been sung by many, called Rock on my Soul and it all became very raucous. Their next number was written in 1962 and sung by Pete Seeger in 1963 as a social commentary on how people were brought up to conform called Little Boxes, however the Amycrofters' version was very different... it culminated in Andrew producing several different little boxes which were presented to Peter, Hilary, Jolly & Ivor (Mr Chairman), and the boxes contained individual and very appropriate presents.. !! What a lot of hard work and thought and originality... it was a wonderful Jurassic Folk Special for which we THANK YOU a great deal. We shall have to find some way to respond in kind, as Andrew & June contribute as much as anyone to the success of Jurassic Folk, and we'd also have to include Mike & Jean and Marion who play an essential part by distributing and sticking up all the posters.... thanks to you, too.
Annie next, with Anna to help her, sung a Columbian Christmas song in Spanish, another sad song about a little boy waking up on Christmas morning asking his mummy where his toys were, and Peter joined in on the charango, and Mike New on the guitar.
Malcolm and Ceri next who had chosen to sing one song each rather than two together. Malcolm came first with a song about an incident which happened in history back in 1852 when Sir John Franklin went into the arctic and found the North West Passage but was never seen again. Ceri came next with something completely different, Old Flames Cant Hold a Candle to You. Lovely, thank you Ceri.
Mike, otherwise known by Peter as Machine Gun Mike, with just one song Puff the Magic Dragon which was a real pleasure to hear. However, he was persuaded to sing another and as last month he sang a song by Thomas Campion he thought he would do another, this time called Care Not to Please Ladies.A big hand next for Simon, recently moved to Beer, with his National steel guitar named Daphne. I didn't get the name of his first tune but the second was a blues A Good Understanding. A quite extraordinary, lively and wonderful performance, we must see you again Simon.
Rather alarmed at having to follow that, our lovely girl band, Anita and Fran came next and Mike New was brought on to join them. Beginning with a 16th century, or possibly much earlier, Christmas Carol which has been done by many including Steel Eye Span, called Gaudete sung in Latin. This followed by the 19th century Sans Day Carol, otherwise known as the Holly Bears a Berry. Thank you both very much.
Rushing on... (again) .... calling upon Nic Parsons on his first anniversary coming to Seaton who sang Waltzing Matilda which was very lovely. His second song with a chorus Fancy Me, Fancy Free.
The Bard of Beer, Frances next, having sorted out a pair of specs, with two Christmas poems. The first Mums the Word and the second Hanging Offence. Thank you very much Frances - neither will be heard again until next Christmas !
Christmas time and with it a special Tony Reader performance, truly magnificent as one would expect from a true pro..... with props of a Chinese Prayer Stick, pom poms, magic wands and an Exeter Musical Society round. We can rely on Tony to come up trumps, thank you so much.
Johnny Gudge and his harmonica next with Jingle Bells followed by a Franz Shubert version of the Ave Maria. Most Christmassy, thank you Johnny
Robin Nancarrow came with no apologies for his unlike Christmas songs beginning with a Steve Earl song called Nothing But a Child closely followed by My Old Friend the Blues - wonderful as usual.
We cannot finish the first half with anyone other than Ted, the Bard of Seaton, with one of his tales in the form of a poem about the gentry and toffs at Christmas in Sherborne - a very gentrified part of the country - most interesting. He followed that with a song originating again from Sherborne and the Christmas story figures of Joseph and Mary. Excellent Ted, thank you.
An interval for mingling and eating (as it is Christmas) with all the cakes and other goodies that had appeared from all directions.
The second part of the evening was devoted to songs from the songsheet that had been spread around the room led by Annie's renowned orchestra, "One Foot in the Grove". Apart from Annie the band comprised Mike New, Adrian, Mike G, Ted and Peter who had brung along the string bass for an outing. A right royal rumpus ensued, and tunes that got the OFITG treatment included Children Go Where I Send Thee, Every Day, The Rebel Jesus, With a Little Help from my Friends, We'll be Keepin' Christmas, Dream a Little Dream, Stand By Me, Things, Proud Mary, Route 66, and finishing up with a nice gentle The Parting Glass.
So, all in all, a very jolly time was enjoyed by everyone, performers and audience alike. Thank you all for putting in the effort and coming along and helping to make it such a good evening. Now, we look forward to 2013 and our first guest of the year, the very special Jackie Oates, on Wednesday 9 January. Doors open at 7.45 and the concert starts at 8.15. Tickets in advance from 01297 20064 at £8 and on the door at £10. This concert is closely followed by our usual singers' night on 16th January starting at 7.45 and, of course, entrance is free. We look forward to seeing you there. A very happy and prosperous New Year to you all.
... next is the Guest Night on December 5th with Thill Collins
Thrill Collins are a trio, guitar, string bass and cajon, with all of them singing lustily. They have adapted a wide range of pop-songs by giving them the skiffle treatment, and they certainly make a joyful sound. As it was known to be pretty lively stuff we had left a nice space in front of the stage for dancing, but unfortunately nobody availed themselves of this, probably a bit shy as there really needed to be a bigger crowd so they wouldn't stand out. But the boys gave us a good show, and the only criticism might be that they would have benefited from a greater variety of tempo and mood.... but I guess if everybody had been up dancing you wouldn't have noticed that, so it is a shame there wasn't a better crowd to enjoy it.
Support was provided by Honiton's most popular band, the Amycrofters, and for the occasion Andrew & June were augmented by Adrian on banjo and Anita on bodhran, and for one special number, those very popular dancing dolls, Sam & Sandy...!! They were well appreciated, and if you missed it you can catch some of both bands on YouTube, just ask for "Amycrofters at Jurassic Folk" (or whomever you want to see), and also there are lots of pics on our album website provided as always by Jolly.
.. and now we go to
the Guest Night on 7th November and
the Singers Night on 21st November
The Guest Night on the 7th was a cracker: When you hear Jim Moray's various albums you tend to wonder how his songs could stand up live without all the sophisticated arrangements and backings that he incorporates on the discs, but amazingly they do. It is in no small measure due to his passionate delivery and undoubted technical mastery of all the various instruments he plays, and it was a great pleasure to hear him again in his solo, stripped down mode. The Grove PA system had a little trouble in coping with some of the sounds emanating from the guitar, but I think we have learnt what to do in the future.
And ofcourse we had the added bonus of a last minute addition to the support slots in the form of Paul Downes & Maggie Boyle, who were just about to embark upon a nationwide tour. Maggie was suffering from a bit of a cold but that didn't seem to affect her singing and flute playing which was, as always, quite sublime, and, in the short spot available, Paul adopted the role of accompanist and backing vocals which he does to perfection. And if this were not enough, starting the evening we had Lewendon/Palmer, otherwise Karen & Jon, two thirds of the Lucy Lastic Band, and they provided us with several sets of lively dance music which made us all want to get up and take to the floor!
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 21 NOVEMBER 2012
as reported by Hilary
Peter opened the proceedings with one of his special songs - this one telling a story of just rewards called G'ma's Old Armchair, as he'd heard it by Frank Crummit which Peter first heard when living in India as a child. He told us it had a chorus, the words of which he then promptly forgot...
Peter then had great pleasure in introducing Honiton's most famous band, the AmyCrofters. They reported that there was no trouble on the roads from Honiton (this was the day of the rain and floods). They began with Why Does It Have to be Me? for which thank you very much, and then a medley following in the steps of the Beetles: Maggie May, one of their usual dance steps and another with a chorus.
Next to the stage, Mike Tidball and whilst he was assembling himself Peter gave us one of his most dreadful bon mots. Mike gave us a song for December written by Willie Nelson which became a hit for Roy Orbson called Pretty Paper. His next song was by Elvis Presley, recorded in the 1960's called The Girl of My Best Friend.
We have a preponderance of Mikes at Jurassic Folk and this time Mike New was welcomed up on to the stage. He explained that his ability to lose the words to songs has been passed quite successfully on to Peter and began with Early Morning Rain, word perfect. Next Alison Crowse's version of a 1960's song called Baby Now that I have Found You.
Next our very own girl band, Anita and Fran which now seems to be turning into an orchestra in the form of Adrian. Anita is so wonderful with what she comes up with and manages to give us the whole background to her songs and poems. Their first song came about because it is St Andrew's Day on 30 November (hurah) and is about John Claverhouse otherwise known as Bonnie Dundee. In 1689 he led an uprising and was eventually killed in battle. The song has a chorus and is called Bonnie Dundee. Next another Scottish song with Adrian playing his banjo (he played his guitar for the first song) called Marie's Wedding with a chorus we were able to join in with.
Now for something entirely different, Mike G. Ted had apparently requested one of Mike's renaissance songs. So his first song was from the sixteenth century and the time of Henry VIII called Wolsey's Wilde done in semi traditional fashion ??! Next a really classical song written in 1601 by Thomas Campion from a Latin ode about a Roman's secret mistress called My Sweetest Lesbia.
Next Ben, not seen for a while, with two of his own songs. The first called Rebuild and Destroy and the second Catching Smoke with some oh so clever guitar playing - quite an amazing performance.
And now for something entirely different (again - everybody is different), Tony Reader escaping from his thespian activities gave us a song about the seasons and months of the year by David Goulder. This was followed by a performance in the music hall tradition from the 1960's (the 1960's seem to have featured quite a bit this evening) but going back to the 1840's referring back earlier to 1707 about Jack Hall who was a petty thief and was hanged at Tyburn. It was performed around the Halls by Sam Hall, but tonight performed by Tony and was brilliant - of course, a true professional.
It was really good to welcome Robin Nancarrow. He is usually among the audience at our concert nights but hasn't been along to sing for us for a while. He spied George (home from Barcelona for a few days) and said how much he enjoyed Gadjo (didn't we all! ). He began with a love song I'll Ask Valentine and followed it with an environmental song All Night Long - oh so good.
Rushing on towards the interval Peter called upon the delectable Annie with a song from the Appalachian mountains written by a lady in her 90's called One More Mile. She accompanied herself on her dulcimer.
Before introducing Ted, Peter did his advertising spot to encourage everyone to come to our Christmas guest night, Thrill Collins, a band who have re-invented and re-vigorated skiffle, which should be great fun so do give it a try. With that our very own Bard of Seaton, Ted Dowse, finished off our first half for us with a poem about how each generation thinks they have cracked it and got the answer to the world's problems and how, actually, we all know nothing. He then sang his favourite hero Elvis song Elvis is Still in the Building in great Elvis style.
What better to start the second half of the evening than Annie's band - that is Annie, Peter and Mike New on this occasion (Annie's band varies in its occupants). Peter led the first song I'll be your Baby Tonight with Annie and Mike as backing. We were all able to join in with the chorus. Getting into the swing of Christmas, Annie led Proud Mary with Mike and Peter joining in followed by another good old chorus song, Yellow Bird also led by Annie and Mike.
Fran with another, this time a traditional sea shanty about tots of rum called The Lass who Loves a Sailor. Thank you Fran who managed unaccompanied all the high notes beautifully and bravely.
Mike Tidball told us a story about his motorbike and motorhomes as a lead up to Route 66 which he said the Rolling Stones did in the 1960's.
Robin with another historical story about an eighteenth century masked ball where a quick murder takes place of one James Penhallow, the local Lord . The song about the demise of James Penhallow was called Two Silver Buttons.
Ben gave us another of his specials, and Andrew and June aka the AmyCrofters came up with a medley of four traditional tunes: New Leaded Ship, Blackberry quadril, Paddy Carey and Sir Edmund McKensie of Procton (it will be a miracle if I have got that right!). Very lovely and danceable - I was only sorry not to be able to.(Morton's neuroma op... look it up, if you want..)
Steve next with a song about two steeplejacks, Steve Ball and Johnny Taylor. Steve was asked to turn a poem about them into a song which he did and it is called Johnny Taylor and had a chorus.
Before the last act Peter reminded everyone about our next guest night on 5 December at 8.15. Our Christmas singers night/party is on the 19th at 7.45 and do come suitably attired in festive hats and tinsel or whatever you have to hand.
With that, Ted came up with a song he obtained from his brother's grand daughter (his grand niece) called I'm here in the Ukon.
Thank you all for coming, performers and audience alike, and please come again, particularly come and join in with the Christmas fun.
And now we go back to the October Events...
JURASSIC FOLK 18 OCTOBER 2012
A welcome from Peter who explained that he would open the evening as usual but not as usual with one song, but with two. He has recently been branching out with two new (to him) instruments and songs to go with them and wanted to try them out on everyone so the suffering could be shared. First he played the concertina with the Oggie Man by Cyril Tawney which isn't really about Oggies but about things not lasting. Very haunting and lovely. The next instrument - new to everyone except the Amy Crofters who experienced this performance at the Blue Ball on Sunday when Peter was dressed most spectactularly as a pirate - is a Charango, from Bolivia (brought into our household some years ago by a girlfriend of one of our son's who had been travelling in South America and languishing - the Sherango that is - ever since without proper strings but amusing small visiting children). Anyway, the song was The Good Ship Calibar, a seafaring song hence its airing last Sunday.
Mike Tidball was called up next who sang an early 1970's song called First and Last. His next number was by Deep Blue and called Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Peter apologised for the background "hum" which was being investigated but in the meantime he invited Fran and Anita up with a number which goes back to the 1700's written by Thomas John Dipden who wrote lots of operas and plays and wrote The British Taft (?). Their song is a potted history from the Romans to the 1800's full of national pride and called Tight Little Island - what an epic tale. Mike New then joined them (as it went so well last time he did) and they chose to sing a John Denver song called Annie's song - thank you all very much. Mike was then invited to stay put and give us one on his own and he sang Evangeline - very beautiful.
Mike Gee came to the rescue and switched off the "hum". Brilliant, thank you Mike. Peter then introduced Dave from Beer, visiting us for the first time at the instigation of his friend, Margaret, who knows us of old. He sang If I Could Turn Back Time, a love song, followed by another love song The Way You Hold my Hand. Thank you very much for coming Dave.
Next, Honiton's most famous (and only!) Band, the Amycrofters. Andrew and June arrived with lots of furry animals and a tail to accompany their first song, How Much is that Doggy in the Window - from the ridiculous to the more ridiculous, or at least hilarious. But their next song was I am Going to Roll in my Sweet Baby's Arms - excellent. They then did a commercial for a Barn Dance to be held on Monday 29 October in Offwell Village Hall at 8 oclock - Dress up for Halloween.
Welcome next to Paul who has not been to Jurassic Folk before and has travelled a long way to get here. He began with a song he wrote for his neighbour (before the neighbour wrote it for him) called Mr Grumbly Bollocks which became Mr and Mrs Grumbly Bottom and so the story unfolded - he apparently sang it at their Jubilee Street Party. His second song was from Ireland about the time they travelled and stopped to camp in a farmer's field and told the tale of the conversation that took place - it was hilarious and brilliant.
Next Peter called upon band leader Annie to do one on her own before the band performance. She chose a seasonal song looking at things from childhood, a story which came from Tony Capstick and performed by many but Annie put her stamp on it, Mr Punch and Judy Man - a song about the seaside in days of yore.
Peter then called upon our friend from Chard, Nic Parsons who gave us a hunting song which he said was a modern hunting song although I am not sure about that. Next, one that Jed Grimes sang here a couple of weeks ago called Sheep's in the Meadow, Crow on the Cradle - very excellent.
A great privilege to invite Margaret Lyons up but not before another couple of Peter's "funnies". Margaret explained that as it was close to Remembrance Day she would sing a song inspired by her grandfather who won an MC and wrote books about his experiences which Margaret read and consequently wrote a song called Flanders. Her second song was another war song, The Grey Skies of England.
How very good it is to see Rob joining us again who we have not seen since June. He expressed his pleasure that we are not a fundamentalist folk club and can encompass pop songs as well as anything else, so he sang Wild Horses which was very lovely. Then a Cindy Lauper song called True Colours.
To start off the second part of our evening, Peter invited the Amycrofters back who were joined by Anita on the bodhran. They performed a transatlantic medley of tunes which were very jolly.
Next Nic Parsons with one of his ditties, this time a funeral song to cheer everyone up before they had to brave the elements (the rain had been coming down in stair rods on and off all evening).
Dave next with another of his songs about the great mystery of love called This Mystery.
Anita came up with one of her epic and most wonderful poems. This time her explanation was longer than the poem which I began to follow but quickly got very lost but to do with the 600th anniversary on 25 October 2015 of the battle of Agincourt in the 15th century, by Sir Arthur Conen Doyle called Song of the Bow - Anita comes up with the most amazing things.
Paul next with a gardening orientated song about a wormery - very excellent, thank you very much for coming Paul.
Margaret with another song, this time one in memory of her brother who died a year ago. How very lovely.
Rob without his tenor guitar, a song called Half Past Two which was about things that keep you awake in the night - gosh how we know about that !
Next, to finish off the evening Annie's Band consisting of Annie, Mike and Adrian but while waiting Peter did a few more of his specials. They performed a song that has many versions and had been causing Annie nightmares, Dream a Little Dream of Me. No more nightmares Annie, that was really good. They then did a very appropriate song in view of the weather, called Have You Ever Seen The Rain and finished with a Scottish song, Lizzie Lynsy, with a chorus.
That's it ...... see some, or all, of you at our next concert featuring a great favourite, Jim Moray, on Wednesday 7 November at 8.15, not to be missed, and then at our singers night on Wednesday 21 November at 7.45 .... all here at the Grove. Thank you all for coming and see you soon.
and next to the October Guest Night on the 3rd with Jed Grimes
First, we had a lovely guest night on October 3rd with Jed Grimes, all relaxed and peaceful. Don't get the idea that it was boring, it was certainly not, but Jed is so laid back in his own engaging Geordie style and has such great voice that one felt one could happily sit back, close one's eyes and listen all night to the sound as it wafted you away. He makes you feel like we were all just chums sitting around the kitchen table and having a chat and singing the odd song or two. And his guitar playing was unobtrusive but so perfect for the context of each song. Thank you Jed for a great evening. Of course Peter had a bonus in as much as he took Jed over to Bradninch Folk Club the previous night so he was able to garner twice the pleasure.
And thanks also to the two support acts, Malcolm & Ceri, and Nic Parsons, both of whom made an excellent contribution to the evening. Malcolm also deserves thanks for coming to the aid of Jed, whose guitar pickup started failing due to the battery running down.... and I didn't even know that pick-ups had batteries! Anyhow, Malcolm kindly loaned him his box and so the show was resumed with just a very minor interuption.
Then while we're in October, we really must mention two other events we went to, first the performance of the "Ryme of the Ancient Mariner" performed by the Shanty Theatre Company (based at Lyme, I understand) at Colyford Memorial Hall on Saturday 13th. The whole thing was done "in the round" with a most cleverly constructed set. Besides the play and the action there were lots of songs, costumes and puppet (in the form of the albatross), altogether a most engaging evening presented by a very talented bunch of actors, singers and musicians.
And the other on the following night was Sue King's Pirate Night at the Blue Ball, Sidford. Jonty Depp in full regalia as Capn Jack Sparrow was the MC and also sang a few songs, and various other groups and choirs, mostly suitably clad in pirate style, presented a cutthroat seafaring programme. Jurassic Folk was represented by Peter, who's earings made out of cutout CDs were much admired, and the Amycrofters and both contributed a suitable song. A most jolly evening, well done Sue!
and now back to
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE SEPTEMBER 2012
As usual, Hil has jotted down her version of the proceedings, and if you find one or two unusual song names, you'll probably guess which song it is....
Peter began by warmly welcoming everyone to this our first session of the season and our third birthday... wey hey. He then sang a song he has not performed before although he, like the rest of us, has joined in with the chorus many times over the years - Jug of Punch, very well known and beautifully sung.
He then introduced Doreen to us, our very own super soprano, who sang I Give My Love a Cherry and Twelfth of Never followed by a famous Irish folk song All Through the Night.
Next Mike Tidball was invited up whose first song was Long May You Run. He followed that with a number by Show of Hands called Crazy Boy
Next we had Adrian with his friend "Clive the Voice" who sang us a Paul Robson song, just like Paul Robson, called River Stay Away from my Door - what a fantastically deep voice - Adrian accompanied him on his guitar. Clive then sang Blanco Massacre House of McDonald, again with Adrian on his guitar. They apparently used to perform together regularly.
Now the illustrious Amycrofters but in the meantime Peter felt the deprivation of his famous bon mots needed dealing with and gave us a couple to chortle (or not) over. Andrew explained that his next song was about children who are always asking Daddy questions he does not know the answers to - Why, oh Why ....... Because, because, because ! The next song was about sheep shearing "Down Under".
Mike New next with a song he has never done before and had dug out only yesterday, written by Carol King and Mike chose James Taylor's version to sing of Up on the Roof. The next song was one for us all to join in with, Olivia Newton John's Down by the Banks of the OHio.
Our famous girl band was sadly missing Anita so Fran, on her own, played safe and sang La Morna for us, which is lovely and we were all able to sing along. Next, from the 1960's, another favourite, Fran's very tender version of House of the Rising Sun. Thank you Fran.
Next, the last, but not least, of the Mikes, Mike G aka Machine Gun Mike. Peter attempted another bon mot at this point which went wrong but was consequently much more funny than the original. Mike began with Willow, Willow which is a traditional late 16th century English song adapted by Shakespeare for Desdemona to sing in Othello. He then sang Only You, a 1980s pop song written by a band called Yazoo and sung by Alison Moyet. Brilliant Mike, thank you.
Ceri next with a song especially for Ted - a Leonard Cohen song called Lady Midnight. She explained that the song tells a story so it does not matter that it is being sung by a lady. Next Ceri sang Silence and Tears by Lord Bryon which she had heard sung by Martin Wyndam Reed in Bideford.
At this point there was a localised distraction with a spider however Malcolm was invited up next with a song written by Eric Bogle, Nice and Easy. Next a favourite written by Irish Shaun Terryl, One Stary Night - a lovely set.
Peter then called on the first of the Chard lot, Johnny Gudge but managed another bon mot in the interim. Johnny gave us a bit of a jig with stories of his visit to Ireland followed by another little piece of music from across the water, a medley of all things Irish.
The second of the Chard lot, Nic Parsons fresh from doing the festival season, began with a traditional song from the 18th century Come all Yea Young Fellows Bid Adieu to Virginia. He then sang a very touching war song about Bosnia - a rarity.
We were then oh so pleased to welcome back Annie after months of tending to her husband, Gerry, who is now on the road to recovery after major heart surgery. She sang us a song by Maddy Prior who wrote four songs about the seasons. This one was about winter and also about caring, called When Long Shadows Fall. Really good. Next, Dance to your Daddy but a more unusual version from Ireland. Thank you so much Annie.
With that, welcome to the Bard of Seaton, Mr Ted Dowse who gave us a joke to begin with, followed by a wonderful poem written specially for Annie and Gerry called Have a Heart (Gerry and the Pacemakers!) - Ted excelled AGAIN. (So you can all enjoy it, we've added it to the jukebox at the top of the page). He then told a long story which I didn't quite get to grips with, involving a dyslexic Old Mac Donald and Oranges and Yellows, grandchildren who did not want to know and John Gay Beggars Opera born in Barnstable and Kind Ways, the motto of Hind Hayes school build in Street by the Clarke family where Betty (Ted's wife) went to school. I ee, I ee, oh.
With the first section of the evening over, a short interval of about 10 minutes followed.
To begin the second section the Amycrofters gave us a medley of familiar tunes including The Leaving of Liverpool. Mike Tidball next with a number by the R olling Stones called You Better Move On.
Doreen next with another Scottish tune by Robbie Burns called Winter of Life, Fran and Mike together (how nice) with a song from the 60's and 70's Moon Shadow by Cat Stevens - excellent.
Chard's answer to Larry Adler, Johnny Gudge gave us another medley of tunes, very lovely, and Malcolm and Ceri together this time sang for us Catch the Wind by Donovan. Thank you both very much.
Next Peter called upon Adrian's friend, Clive the Voice who delighted us with a Flanders and Swan number called The Hippopotamus Song - magnificent. So, to Nic Parsons to follow that with Do the Match Again, a pub crawl song.
And to finish .... the Finale Gang .... Mike, Mike, Adrian, Annie and Ted all together with Hotel California, a pop song from the 1970's USA. Written and sung by The Eagles but here for Jurassic Folk their very own special version. Wonderful, thank you very much indeed.
Thank you all very much for coming and thank you particularly to Ivor, Mr Chairman for all his help with the chairs - we did miss you last time. The next evening will be guest night, with Jed Grimes on 3 October at 8.15 and the next singers night will be on Wednesday 17 October at 7.45, see you there.
And now back to the Guest Night on 5th September with Mike Silver!
A night of blissful music, the sort that makes you feel warm and cosy and loved. Not that many of Mikes songs don't have edges to them and sometimes deal with uncomfortable themes, but they are presented with such sensitivity and musicality that you can always ultimately see the light at the end of the tunnel. He doesn't leave you with the problems, his songs point the way to the answers. Mike is blessed with a voice you could never tire of, and a fabulous guitar technique, while never flashy, providing absolutely everything the song needs. It was a night to savour and recall with pleasure.
The audience of around 60 or so also enjoyed support sets from Jennifer McAteer, a young lady singer and guitarist with some promise who was suggested by Mike and lives in Devon, and our very own (well, we like to claim her) Margaret Lyons who lives over the border at Charmouth but delights us with her high quality singing, songs and guitar playing whenever she has come to our Singers nights.
There are YouTube clips of Mike and also Margaret performing on that night which will give you an idea of what you missed if you were not there and provide pleasant memories of what you heard if you were there, and the easiest way to find them is just put "Mike Silver (or whichever of our guests you seek) at Jurassic Folk" in the search box and they'll come up. And also there are photos taken by the indefatigable Jolly (to whom lots of thanks) on the usual Jurassic Folk Photo Album.
The Summer Special 22nd August with the Amazing Gadjo!
Well, our Summer Special certainly turned out to be so.... Jurassic Folk will never be the same again after the seven piece band Gadjo descended upon it on Wednesday night. From the moment they took the stage it was quite clear that the crowd was in for something very special, and they didn't disappoint. Visually a riot of colour met one's eyes, from the generously bedecked microphone stands rampant with flowers, to the flamenco style skirts of Emma and raunchy bustle outfit of Fraggle. But all this would be nothing without the music, which soon had everyone up and dancing, be they youngsters, and some were very young, to middle aged and beyond. The actual music is difficult to describe as it doesn't pigeonhole very easily, but it encompassed songs in a variety of languages, dances in a variety of styles as the Cumbias were balkanised and the Skas whipped into boogaloos ( you see... I'm in there with all the cool lingo...). A capacity crowd showed their appreciation in no uncertain manner and as they left at the end of the evening there wasn't a single face without a smile on it. I've included a couple of pics with this but there will be a lot more on the album site presently ( thanks, as always to Jolly.)
But let us move on to the future... from the fantastic to the sublime... Jurassic Folk embarks on its new season of Guest Nights with a very special songsmith, Mike Silver. Mike is a superb songwriter, masterful guitarist and captivating performer with a voice that is as warm and inviting as the fire in the fireplace on a cold winter's night. Many of his songs have become standards in the genre, such as "Old Fashioned Saturday Night", and others have crept in to the Top Twenty such as "Not a Matter of Pride" which was played widely on the radio by Terry Wogan and others. Mike Silver's songs are of longing, love and loss, perceptive and thoughtful, with haunting melodies and heart stopping lyrics born of the soul.
Support on the night will be provided by two separate fine singers, Jennifer McAteer who is being brought along to Jurassic for the first time by Mike, and Jurassic's very own Margaret Lyons from over the border in Dorset who continues to make a big impression with her songs and singing.
As always, it all happens at the Grove, Seaton, with doors open at 7.45pm and the date is Wednesday, 5th September. Advance tickets at a modest £5 are available from the website www.eastdevonfolk.org or by phoning 01297 20064, as is any further information you may need.
And just to make sure you have it in your diary, the first Singers Night of the new season is on Wednesday, 19th September, to which all are very welcome and is, as usual, free admission. We welcome all types of performers but to ensure you get a spot it's best to give us a call beforehand.
And finally, I have been asked to let you know of a very worthwhile event which has been organised by Jurassic Folk member Elaine Hawkins.
I am sure that is quite enough for now, hope to see you at whatever event you choose to patronise....
And now to our last Singers Night...
Which turned out to be a night of first time collaborations, as faithfully recorded by our trained scribe, Hilary.....
Due to having a month off it feels like a very long time since I wrote you all a report. And .... it is more than a week ago since our singers night on the 18th but a lot has been happening since then in the form of parties and christenings and hot weather and Sidmouth Festival stuff but here is to testing my memory and at last putting pen to paper (so to speak).
Peter began the evening by welcoming everyone and a particularly warm welcome back to our own Mr Chairman, Ivor, who has been conspicuous by his absence of late. He is invaluable in setting out chairs and tables and knows where everything comes from and where everything goes. Peter then went on to sing a song with a chorus called Will the Circle be Unbroken? which was very lovely and unfamiliar to me.
Peter then called upon "illustrious" Adrian who sang a blues number for us to join in with - Nobody Wants You when you are Down and Out. He followed that with one he has done once before by Tom Paxton - I Can't Help but Wonder Where I am Bound. Thank you very much Adrian.
The AmyCrofters regaled us next, this time with the accordion the right way up (I missed June playing hers upside down last month, what a pity). Andrew had adapted the English Country Garden (which we all know) with words of his own and very wry and funny they were too. Brilliant. Then he performed It's a Lesson too Late for the Learning, made of sand ....made of sand ... Thank you Andrew and June for songs that we can all join in with.
Mike Tidball came next and I have in brackets in my notes that Peter did one of his bon mots "ha ha" - need I say more ? Mike sang a Show of Hands number Crazy Boy (he, as well as us, had to miss Show of Hands at Abbottsbury earlier this month because of the weather on that notorious Saturday). He followed that with a Neil Young song called Polka Holkis.
Anita and Fran, or Fran and Anita came to the stage while Peter did another Bon Mot. Fran explained that the choice of their songs tonight was based on the fact that it was usually summer in July. However, as we all know it hasn't exactly been summerish but nevertheless they persisted with their choices- Pleasant and Delightful and we were all able to join in the refrain at the end of each verse. Brilliant. Next, another familiar one which began life as a hymn and then Cat Stevens took it on and turned it into a folk song called Morning is Broken. Peter thinks they have been practising ?
Peter called upon Malcolm, meanwhile giving us another couple of bon mots. He sang a Dubliners number from their first album called Peggy Gordon. Then we had a bit of a story about a train crash near Buxton in the 1950's and Ewan McCall and Radio Folk Ballads and things which my memory is unable to dissemble but I know that the next song is called Shoals of Herring which I love. Then, his partner in crime, Ceri, came up with a poem by Lord Byron - We'll go no More a Roaming.
Mike New next and while he was getting himself organised, Peter did another joke (???). Mike performed a Jackson Brown song called One of These Days and then Evenings.
Johnny Gudge with his famous harmonica and a little bit of Ireland with a jig reel. He followed that with a medley of aires from Scotland - all familiar tunes.
Another Mike, this time as in Machine Gun Mike, with a request from Ted for the song Wilsons Wild followed by Go From My Window which originated in the 1500's and has been performed by Steel Eye Span, Eliza Carthy, June Tabor et al, however none of these versions were quite like Mike's !
Peter was very pleased to welcome Brian and Gwyneth. Whilst tuning up Gwyneth did a little special version of Tom Paxton's The Last Thing on my Mind and then all ready, their first song Ride On by Christine Waugh. A protest song inspired by Paul Downes. Then a Phil Oakes song which he wrote before he died (he'd be quite unusual if he'd written it after he died...) There But For Fortunes. All very excellent.
Peter then gave out lots of notices - a pair of tickets for the Trowbridge Festival were going to the highest bidder, a brilliant concert by Gadjo on the 22 August (you must all come and dance) and a competition for busking in Seaton.
Ted came up to do his usual special before the interval and talked about his Grandma who he never knew and for whom he had written a tribute 25 years ago. Then my memory fails me, as does my shorthand but I have something about Fran and Granny Sunshine and the weather. But I also have in my notes that it was very funny Ted, thank you. Ted's next song is by Bob Dylan, a more recent and less familiar song called All I Want, All I Have is this Dream of you.
Peter and Andrew and June began the second half with a song, he was surprised to have heard, that had been performed, amongst others, by Martin Carthy (!!!!) called Cigareets and Whisky which was very good. Andrew claimed it was a privilege to play with Peter..... ( Thanks, Andrew, the fiver's in the post...)
Adrian with one of Richard Thompson's songs Withered and Died., thank you very much Adrian.
Andrew and June next with Another Little Drink which would, perhaps, have been more appropriate before the interval. Thank you both.
Mike Tidball with another, this time a song Eric Clapton did a while ago called Wonderful Night.
Anita - without Fran this time - with some of her very very special poems. One by Charles Anson about a castle and very mixed up bits of history. Then another poem by William Weeks from 1932 who wrote with a Devon dialect - whatever, I was crying with laughter.
Malcolm and Ceri together this time performed If I Needed You (or was it You Needed Me?) Thank you very much indeed.
Mike New next with something a bit obscure from my notes. A song called Four and Twenty by Freddy Neal then changed to Three Score and Then Some - for obvious reasons ???
Johnny Gudge, who called upon Adrian for back up, sang about famine in Ireland called The Fields of Athen Rye - a great favourite, thank you Johnny and Adrian.
Mike Gee with a Bob Dylan number, Sit and Wonder Why Babe. Brian and Gwyneth who usually perform with a third member when they call themselves Cross Border, performed a song from their new album which is called First Steps, and the song is called I Still Cry written by a Swedish lady. It was very sad and very lovely, thank you.
And now the ultimate act of the evening, Mr Ted Dowse who told a very naughty joke and then a true story about a very caring man and great song writer confined to a wheel chair who took his wife dancing and then wrote this song for her : Don't Forget Who is Taking you Home, Save the Last Dance for Me.
What a tremendous finale. Peter gave lots of thanks to everyone and wished them good night. See you all next time, after a month off, which makes it Wednesday 19 September at 7.45 at the Grove. In the meantime, do not miss our summer special concert with Gadjo on Wednesday 22 August at 8.15 at the Grove, and then the Guest Night on Wednesday 5th September with Mike Silver.
A magnificent evening all round with, as I remarked earlier, lots of instances of people joining together in new combinations (no, not that, missus) to make music, and surely that's what it's all about... great fun. It was all recorded pictorially by super-snapper Jolly and can be found on our album site.
So next to....
Paul Downes on July 4th
The guest on July 4th was the quite magnificent Paul Downes. He presents an enigma because, as you listen to him, you can't help thinking why is not a performer of his calibre much better known?
Fortunately he is known well enough to have attracted a good audience at Jurassic Folk, who were treated to an evening of complete bliss. It is difficult to highlight any particular aspect; he plays immaculate guitar in a huge range of styles, his voice has that quality that makes you think you just want to listen to it all night, and his choice of material ranges from the well known to the unheard of, and includes several quite brilliant songs of his own.
All in all, he is the unshowy but complete master, the Roger Federer of the folk world.
As if that were not enough, support on the night was provided by two other consummate performers. First, Jurassic's own Bard of Seaton, Ted Dowse, who led the audience into amazing adventures in song and prose of fantasy and humour, an absolute one-off. Second was Bob Kirkpatrick from Broadmayne, over the border in Dorset, himself a fine singer, guitarist and songwriter, and in fact our guest Paul Downes sang one of Bob's songs in his set.
Altogether, an evening that left the audience feeling that the world was a lot better than when they came in. Some pics are on the Album site, and various video clips will be appearing on YouTube
Next, let us recount to you the happenings of
First - Guest Night on 6th June with Jess Morgan
We had another excellent Guest Night on Wednesday 6th with the highly talented Jess Morgan. Jurassic Folk Guest Nights are turning out to be real corkers, evenings of sublime music, and this session was no exception. Jess, all the way from Norwich, was an absolute gem. Tall and beautiful she may be, but these qualities are only a small part of the package. She writes songs of great individuality and sings them in a style totally her own which cannot be categorised. They cover all facets of human emotion and experience, happy, sad, funny, and she has the touch of the classic songwriter in the way that evocative phrases grab the mind and stick like a leech in the memory. Although comparatively unknown at present she is clearly destined for great things and the audience loved her.
Top class support that evening was provided first by another great songwriter, Robin Nancarrow, who's beautifully constructed songs and impeccable guitar are always a joy, and secondly by Axmouth's boy band, Hunt Gamble & Trezise, who sing with such force, gusto and sheer blissful harmony that it is no wonder that any microphones within earshot tend to retire to a safe distance. There are lots of pictures by Jolly on the album site, http://eastdevonfolk.jalbum.net/ and several clips on YouTube taken on the night, just find "Jess Morgan at Jurassic Folk". There are also some clips of HGT on YouTube for your enjoyment.
Next - Wednesday 20th of June, Singers night.
In the absence of our scribe Hilary this month, your correspondent for all the action is me, Peter. I'm afraid the description of all our gracious performers will therefore be lacking in the polish and inspiration usually found in this column.
Peter started off the evening as usual, having with great difficulty managed to clamber onto the stage, poor chap is getting a bit beyond it. He sang the well-known folk song Two Magicians, which retails graphically the way the good old traditional lusty blacksmith achieves his wicked way with a fair Lady.
Amycrofters on next, with June sporting for the first time an accordion in competition to Andrew, and I have to say she showed up very well. First we had the saga of the three Billy Goats Gruff, all through which the cackling audience was admonished and laughing as Andrew claimed it was serious. Then they did a little muddly I'm not quite sure what it all was, but sounded good.
Next we had Doreen, who in her inimitable style, first gave us the Skye Boat Song, and then then the Roses of Picardy, and the audience joined in lustily with both of them.
Then Mike Tidball, a new performer at Jurassic, came up and sang a couple of songs on his twelve string, but I'm afraid I didn't catch their names but they sounded very nice, and welcome to the Jurassic fold, Mike, we hope you will become a regular.
Fran, this month without Anita, popped up and sang the first song she ever sang at Jurassic Folk, the tale of Tim MacGuire by Leon Rosselson, and finished off with The Wind in The Willows... well, I don't know the correct name, but that's what the chorus starts with.
Mike New then took the stage with the old Eagles favourite, Take It Easy, and followed it up with a song by Loudon Wainwright III, but I didn't get the title.Malcolm started off with a seafaring song which was possibly called South to Australia, and was good to join in with. Then he sang a song by Jack Dimeche from Southern California which sounded like One More Song, and again was good to hum along with.
Then came Ceri, who singing unaccompanied gave a magnificent rendering of the Galway Shawl, a song with particular significance to her, and followed it up with Will Ye Go Love, another lovely song, and both elicited some nice harmonies from the audience.
The scene then changed to Machine Gun Mike G who announced he was just going to do one.... well, you could understand that as it was quite a long song which turned out to be his own re-writing of the classic song called the Sick Tune originally made popular by John Dowland (1563 -- 1626) English composer, singer, and lutenist (OK, I looked that up) and Mike made it into a surefire epic, just remembering all the words would be beyond most mortals.
Tony Reader then took the stage with his hurdy gurdy and got us going with Who's the Fool Now, and then gave us a lengthy disertation on Leon Rosselson, (see above) and then played a hurdy gurdy number which had nothing to do with him whatsoever.
Robert then arrived on the stage armed with a new instrument he'd just bought in a rash moment in Bridport, allegedly a tenor guitar but resembling more a bass ukelele. Anyhow, he worked out a way of tuning its 4 strings and presented a couple of songs on it, first, Wooden Heart from old Elvis, and then a song he wrote called I think, Dagenham Swamp Blues, which was hilarious.
Next it was as always a pleasure to hear Margaret Lyons who is now coming pretty regularly over the border from Dorset, and we're jolly pleased about that. She sang first one of her own songs about George Mallory and his attempt on Everest back in 1934, and then gave us a song called No More Freedom (I think) and both were magnificent.
The Bard himself finished off the first half (well, threequarters) after his usual fantastic ramblings, first with a song which I think is called Spring which we could all have a go at the chorus, and then sang a most unlikely saga about the celebration of midsummer's day at St Agnes in Cornwall, which carried all the hallmarks of the Bard's unique talent in that the whole song revolved about the fact that the second half of the celebration was all backwards!
Interval.... at last
Unusually, nudged by the mention that it was due to be MidSummer's Day tomorrow, Peter actually got to sing another song and of course it was Summertime, assisted very much by the audience.
Then the noble Amycrofters did another of their medleys and despite inviting everybody to dance it clearly was too late for our audience to comply so we just stamped our feet along with it all.
Fran then came up and do Crazy in great style and was nobly assisted by the audience.
Then Malcolm & Ceri, who appeared earlier separately, did a couple of songs, Steal Away and then The Water is Wide which we all joined in with.
Ian, on holiday from the Midlands in Beer, came on to do a couple of unaccompanied humourous songs, Boil That Cabbage Down and the Transplant Calypso. Great stuff, definitely come again, Ian.
Tony brought his hurdy gurdy back to the stage, and after "tuning" he played a number called The Dromedary and it certainly had the desert aura about it, you could easily envisage the belly dancers.
Robert came back having borrowed Ted's guitar to sing the lovely Tom Waites song, Ruby's Arms, by request of Ted. And then Ted finished off the night himself with another song we all hummed along with called Sail On.
And so we managed to get finished before 11pm and everyone went home to their Horlicks... what another great Jurassic night!
And now to Guest Night - Sunjay Brayne, May 2nd
It was an extraordinary night at Jurassic Folk at the Grove, Seaton, on May 2nd, with two major and highly contrasting performers entertaining a highly appreciative crowd. Starting off there was Big Al Whittle, who is big in every sense, with his individual and uproariously funny songs, such as "Buster, the Line Dancing Dog". One listener wrote afterwards " ..my first really good laugh in a while, Al. Thank you very much.." Big Al is a seasoned entertainer and is probably three times the age of the main guest of the evening, Sunjay Brayne, who's tender age of just 18 belies the maturity of his guitar playing and singing. His genre may largely fall within the "blues" category, with his powerful, resonant guitar accompanying songs with strong lyrics and evocative story lines, and if he is as good as this at 18 the mind boggles at what he might achieve as he develops. The weekend after appearing at Jurassic Folk he went on the win the Young Performers Award at the prestigious Wath Festival in South Yorkshire, and is clearly someone to watch for the future.Next, over to Hilary for her blow by blow account of the May Singers Night....
And then we have...
JURASSIC FOLK AT THE GROVE 16 MAY 2012
A welcome to all from Peter who began the proceedings by singing Cindy which I havn't heard for ages and was much enjoyed. Peter then called upon one of our stalwarts, Adrian, to take up the cudgel. He started with a bluesy number Trouble in Mind by Muddy Waters which was excellent Adrian. Next he sang a song by a Scottish group called Runrick who are a heavyish folk group called Every River.
Peter then made the announcement he forgot earlier, that it is OUR 5TH ANNIVERSARY BIRTHDAY and that June and Andrew had brought along some goodies to eat in the interval by way of a celebration.
Peter then called upon Doreen who came up and sang Oh No John,No asking that we all join in with the chorus - which we did with gusto. Then another Scottish tune called Down in the Glen.
Another member of the august house band, Mr Mike New, was called next who thought he would sing appropriately Rainy Day People as we are getting so fed up with our current weather. Then he sang a Freddy Neal song the name of which he failed to give me but was very good.
Next the providers of nosh and entertainment, the AmyCrofters. Andrew sang us an old familiar song Land Lubbers Lying Down Below - below, below ..... Sorry, I don't know its real title but we all very happily joined in and was another I havn't heard for ages. Then he gave us a trio of tunes, the first called My Love She is but a Lassie Yet, then I was supposed to recognise the next two - all with a Scottish theme (in vogue this evening) that sounded like the Gay Gordons to me and something to do with On Top of the ?? Sorry Andrew I have let you down AGAIN ... !
Anita then came with one of her very special poems. This one in recognition of the recent Shakespeare celebrations and is a soliloquy by a cat which was very funny, of course. Then another funny sent to Anita by her sister in law who lives in Edinburgh called Repent Oh Scottish Sinner - where ever do these come from ?
Like a volcano, Mike Gee was called next but while he was getting sorted, Peter gave us three of his special "jokes" to make us laugh and then Mike began by singing Happy Birthday to Jurassic Folk followed by In Aint me Babe. He then sang a little folk song from the 1520's/1530's.
Johnny Gudge, the wizard with the harmonica, thought he would do something Welsh to move away from all things Scottish - namely Sospan Fach. Then, because he comes from Yorkshire, he gave us On Ilkley Moor Bar Tat (which means without a hat) - a great song to join in with, thank you Johnny.
Then our one and only Bard of Beer, Frances, with some of her topical poems. Firstly her once a year special anniversary poem for our 5th which is just wonderful, and then a new one penned at the eleventh hour called The Bully - thank you, thank you Frances.Nic Parsons, another of the Chard contingent sang a song from the Battlefield Band, the name of which I couldn't gather... His second song was the Taste of Nancy Miles from Ireland - wonderful Nic, thank you.
Next Peter called upon Ceri who sang The Rose which she dedicated to a friend of hers who unfortunately died before Ceri was able to perform it so it was rather lovely and poignant. Then Scotland reared its head again with Red is the Rose. Very lovely.
Rob came next with Carolina - another favourite which he followed with a bit of fun, Right Said Fred which was the first time he had played it in front of an audience. We all enjoyed it.
Annie and her orchestra came and organised themselves while Peter announced a few commercials - anyone wanting to add themselves to the mailing list and to advertise our next guest in June, Jess Morgan who is not to be missed. The band, namely Annie, Mike New, Adrian and Ted then performed The Black Watch from 101 Scottish Songs. Then a song for us all So Here's to You by Alan Bell to say thank you to everyone who makes Jurassic Folk function so well - audience, performers and organisers. THANK YOU Annie.
Just one more delicacy before the interval, namely Ted Dowse. He gave us a poem about birthdays (not ours as Frances had already done that) and his friend John and his mobility scooter. Then a world premier of Frances' song about our famous local smuggler, Jack Rattenbury with a chorus - Ted's tribute to France Lee.
With a clanging of the bell Peter brought the house to order and introduced Robin Nancarrow who perched on a stool and sang A boy with Chocolate on his Face. Then with simmering Graham Greene oppression Across the Silver Sea set in the Far East midst alcohol and aggression. Good stuff, Robin.
Peter then called upon the AmyCrofters to give us a second stint with three dance tunes - Andrew has me completely foxed - Hillside House, Back up and push and Hurah Hurah, Marching to Georgia ....
Johnny Gudge with two Irish tunes, Irish Eyes and Smiling followed by another familiar one - it was getting very late by now. Mike New also had a medley beginning with Someone Like You and followed by two more whose names escaped me! Nic Parsons also came up with an extra song and Peter had a couple of bon mots. Ceri sang Butterfly which was lovely, thank you. Then, before Ted with the finale Rob gave us Hank Williams' Jumbili.
So .... with this auspicious 5th anniversary Ted brought the evening to a close with a joke he got from Paul Downes (who we will see in a couple of months) about Christians and Buddahs, and a song he is anticipating will be his BIG hit... Elvis Remembered, he is still in the building. (George will record it for you Ted) Thank you very much Ted as always.
See you all next month for our singers' session on 20 June at 7.45 in the Grove. In the meantime we have our guest concert on the 6 June at 8.15 featuring the intriguing Jess Morgan.
So that's May done and dusted, and photos taken during by the indefatigable Jolly all of all the events can be found at http://eastdevonfolk.jalbum.net and video clips can be found in increasing numbers on YouTube.