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So far Chris Birchall has created 354 blog entries.

Week 10 – The Lockdown Blues

By |May 28th, 2020|0 Comments

Having had a nostalgic visit to The (virtual) Feathers, the previous week, we were virtually arrested for virtually breaking and entering, so this Thursday we ended up broadcasting from Ruthin Gaol!

It wasn’t all bad; we had three square meals (well, three square slices of dry bread actually), but best of all we were treated to some great music from all you lovely Ruthin AllStylers who’d obtained visiting orders to come and entertain us.

Rosie and Meri, from Bwlchgwyn, got things underway with a medley of lively tunes on fiddle and guitar, followed closely by Adi Nixon, Robin the Busker, Carol Roberts and a whole string of others, far too many to mention.

Well, okay, we’ll mention one or two…

Click to enlarge the PlayList

Previously a frequent visitor to our real club nights, Mike Whittaker made his first ‘virtual’ appearance, as did Sam Moorcroft, formerly of the band Clwydian Rangers. Mike sang one of his own songs “Love is Everything” and Sam served up a tasty helping of Damian Rice.

Doug Pemberton was someone else we used to see at The Feathers albeit in the audience, never in front of the mic. Tonight though, he rectified that situation with the Warren Zevon song, appropriately titled for these strange times, “Don’t Let Us Get Sick”.

And whilst we’ve had the pleasure of Gill and Ian’s company for the past few weeks, it was great to see a remotely recorded collaboration that included the other members of the Jabberwocky band, Mick and Gilly.

One of the club’s longest-standing members Tom Degney was his usual busy self, accompanying wife Lynda and fellow band member Richard (who, incidentally, has also earned his long-service award). And the third member of the Tom, Dick and Harry band, Harry himself, gave us a lovely rendition of “Sporting Life Blues”.

It seems unfair not to mention everybody who but as the playlist above testifies, there were thirty-nine fabulous songs from no fewer than forty-nine performers counting the duos and distancing collaborators. And amongst those gems, it has to be said that John D Loudermilk’s “Little Bird”, sung a Cappella by Cath Bryan, was a joy to behold.

With their weekly saga, “Lockdown with the Eastwoods, “Wendy and Richard have been going above and beyond in the entertainment stakes. In this episode, Wendy discovered the “hidden camera” with hilarious consequences, prompting the song “Welcome to My World”.

Wendy, of course, was one of the first to introduce us to the beautiful songs of Edwina Hayes and our regulars will remember that lovely evening, a couple of years ago when we had Edwina perform an intimate concert for us at The Feathers.

Imagine my delight, therefore, when the lovely lass from Yorkshire agreed to record a couple of songs, especially for our virtual music night.

And so, Edwina opened the second half of our evening with “Just Another Bend in the Road” and then in the finale spot, she treated us to “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”.

Week 10, The ̶l̶o̶c̶k̶-̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ locked-in edition. May 21st

Last week we had a nostalgic visit to The (virtual) Feathers – and we were virtually arrested for virtually breaking and entering 🙂 . So this week we are broadcasting from Ruthin Gaol. ► As always, wind to 5 minutes in, for the start of the show.

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 21 May 2020


Week 9 – The Nostalgia Show

By |May 20th, 2020|0 Comments

Yes, nine weeks into this infernal lock-down, we decided we were entitled to start feeling homesick for what has been our club’s beloved home for the last five years, so our setting this week was back at The Feathers.

Luckily, we have no shortage of photographs and video footage, and we were even able to take everyone on a sentimental journey from the pub’s front door, through the main bar (with a wave and a smile from the lovely Zakhia), down the passage and into the function room – complete with ambient chatter and sounds of musicians tuning-up, taken from recordings of previous gatherings.

And to add to the authenticity, almost all of the regulars ‘turned up’, including the Tom, Dick & Harry Band, and making his first online appearance since the lockdown, it was great to see and hear Harry Robertson, who treated us to one of his wonderful home-grown songs “Going Down Slow”.

Another first ‘virtual visitor’ was our good friend John Williams, who beamed-in from Birkenhead with his faithful cello mandolin to perform Jason Isbell’s “Traveling Alone”.

The number of online collaborations is growing apace too, as many of you are getting to grips with the technology. Tom Degney has got it all sussed out, as have Alan Thompson and his sister Linda. A new one this week was a duet from the two Robins who brought us “Wagon Wheel” from miles-apart in a video produced by Denbigh music photographer George Frost.

In the continuing hilarious saga of ‘Lockdown with the Eastwoods’ ,Wendy was doing her level best to socially-distance from Richard by locking him in the garden shed!

Starr Guest
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that we’d neglected to remove the entry on the website calendar for the night’s scheduled concert “Gary Edward Jones introduces David Starr”.  Well, we left it in place for a very good reason.

The Colorado-based musician was due to have played at the club as part of a UK tour but instead agreed to join us via the wonders of the interweb, enabling us to fulfil the promise.

David Starr

So for the evening’s finale, we first had a song from Gary Edward Jones – not just any song but a brand new one, “Coming Back Around”, which was receiving its first public airing. Gary then introduced our ‘Starr turn’.

After delivering a lovely message from his home music room in Colorado, vowing to come see us in person next year, David sang us his lovely song “Beauty and Ruin” followed by a couple of tracks recorded at his local Arts Centre prior to the lock-down.

David was also due to play a fund-raising gig at The Tin Shed, in Treuddyn, on Sunday and I’m delighted to say he fulfilled that promise with a 90-minute live-streamed concert which raised donations of over £700 on the night for the local charity RENEW in aid of refugees stranded on the Greek island of Leros.

It was a lovely end to yet another wonderful three hours of music from our very own musical community in which every single one of you are the stars.

May 14th -The Nostalgia Show

May 14th – The Nostalgia Show(Oh, to be back at The Feathers..).

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 14 May 2020



The Music is Stayin’ Alive

By |May 14th, 2020|0 Comments

I’ve had to endure years of being impersonated by that BeeGee, Barry, but now we discover that his late brother, Maurice, had been impersonating Jayne. And you have to admit, the resemblance is uncanny!

I must say, it was refreshing, not having to wear a silly hat, so thank you, Jayne, for ‘taking it on the chin’ for team Birchall.

Silliness aside, we had yet another fab music night with songs from forty performers and an audience of up to one hundred at any given time on the Facebook page (subsequent views reaching almost 500) plus 107 Thursday night views here on the website.

The evening opened with Swinging Geoff Hollis ‘Shining Down on Sennen’ as the sun shone down on his garden. It continued with a whole raft of songs ranging from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Glen Campbell to the Stereophonics and the Foo Fighters; songs from every corner except, as it happened, from the BeeGees.

Midway through the evening our ‘hidden camera’ revealed another episode in the “Lockdown with the Eastwoods” saga. Top marks to Richard and Wendy for the fun and entertainment.

It was good to see John Sellers back, this time with the Rag’n Bone Man song, Human.

There were, of course, the usual self-penned gems from the likes of Lizzie Pegler and Peter Leslie and, taking us up to the finale, we had the beautiful and moving “Birdsong”, written by Linda Griffiths and Alan Thompson, before Anthony John Clarke and Julia closed the show for us.

A huge thanks to each and every one of you for your songs and for helping to keep our musical community staying very much alive.

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 7 May 2020

We’re Still Standing

By |May 6th, 2020|0 Comments

Well, AllStylers, you did it again!

There we were, sitting in Elton’s humble abode. He didn’t turn up but you all did; forty performers and up to a hundred listening/watching at any given time.

At the time of writing the show has had 535 views and it’s gratifying to know that your music is giving pleasure to so many during these strange times, as well and fostering a fabulous feeling of community.

Robin Spreckley bringing sunshine into our lives

We really are so lucky, having so many talented musicians associated with the club, most of whom were either regular or frequent visitors to our music nights at The Feathers. But it’s also nice to see some new faces from the locality discovering us via the wonderful medium of t’internet.

This week we welcomed Bwlchgwyn duo Rosie and Meri into the fold, as well as Emma Neale, whose mum Penni had been trying to persuade her to come along to the club for ages.

We had Steve and Christine Scott join us again from their ‘lockdown hell’ in Teneriffe, and it was good to see Rhyl’s Mike and Rosa back with us.

Wendy and Richard still haven’t discovered the ‘hidden camera’ and their antics this week were absolutely hilarious.

But the entire evening was just jam-packed with fabulous songs, far too many to mention individually, but just look at the playlist (right) to get an idea.

So hey, let’s do it all over again this Thursday. Join us at 8.10pm on our Facebook page, or here on the website.

Keep well, keep safe, and keep making music. xx

Rewind last week’s show. Go 5 minutes in, for the start

Wind on to 5 minutes for the start

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 30 April 2020

Nobody’s Knocking at the Door

By |April 28th, 2020|0 Comments

Okay, so nobody was knocking at the door but do me a favour, open the browser and let ’em in ♫♪

Jayne & Chris ‘locked-down’ in The Cavern

And let ’em in we did. During Thursday evening, there were up to 107 people watching the live stream at any given time and as of today, it had logged up 627 views. I think it’s fair to say, the virtual Cavern was virtually packed to its vaulted ceiling.

We had hinted that the theme might be The Beatles, at least, in terms of the setting and the tee-shirts we’d be wearing, without thinking everybody might assume they had to do a Beatles number.

It could have gone badly wrong with everybody sending in the same few songs. In the event, that didn’t happen and we had a nice rounded selection of songs from the Fab Four in amongst a goodly number of non-Beatles offerings.

Tennessee Waltz

Thirty-nine songs in all, sandwiched between an opening song about music festivals by the inimitable Anthony John Clarke at 8.10 pm and the wonderful Tennessee Waltz in the finale spot at just after 11.00 pm, when Jimmy and Sarah Lou premiered their brand new song “One Cowboy Cowgirl”.

Every song was a gem in its own right. There were some great covers and some fabulous originals.

There was lots of fun too, including another “hidden camera” episode in the AllStyles ‘reality show’, Lockdown with the Eastwoods. Poor Richard; just seven days after facing the prospect of being buried alive, wrapped up in a carpet, this week he was tied to a chair being interrogated for stealing the last toilet roll!

One of my personal favourites on the night was Pete Kirkham’s brilliant re-write of Paul McCartney’s “Someone’s Knocking at the Door”, which gave a name-check to practically every member and contributor to our wonderful music club.

Thank you all for being so supportive and enthusiastic. It’s really important to keep our musical community going during these troubled times.

Watch again
Wind on the 8:5 minutes for the start.

Wind forward to about 8.5 minutes for the start

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 23 April 2020

April 16th Virtual Singer’s Night

By |April 20th, 2020|0 Comments

Broadcasting from the bottom step of Ozzy Osbourne’s staircase, this week, we had thirty-nine songs from our club regulars and guests and some mighty fine ones there were too!

There was another hidden camera clip in our reality show “Lockdown with the Eastwoods“, a Ruthin AllStyles debut by Corinne and Foster and we had the mighty Merry Hell in the finale spot with a fabulous new song, written by John Kettle in honour of the heroic NHS workers in the front-line against this horrible Covid-19 virus.

The Wigan and Chester based band recorded their parts in self-isolation but not only that, over 150 fans became the Social Isolation Choir and contributed to the song’s Key Workers’ Chorus. John expertly mixed hundreds of tracks and the band’s violin player, Neil McCartney, got creative editing the video. It is a fabulous song, wonderfully executed.

Next Thursday, who fancies a Beatles theme?

Fast forward to 8.5 minutes for the start of the Iive stream

Our April 16th Virtual Singers' Night. (Fast-forward past the first 8 minutes to get to the start)

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 16 April 2020

Here is the full playlist.

Virtual Music Night – April 2nd

By |April 5th, 2020|0 Comments

We had another great evening at last Thursday’s Virtual Music night with almost forty songs from many of our regulars and some of our occasional visitors, plus guest appearances from Anthony John Clarke and from Sarah-Lou and Jimmy Rae, aka Tennessee Waltz.
Now you can watch it again in its entirety.
► Slide the progress bar forward to about 9:30 minutes for the start of the show, which was opened this week with a song from Anthony John and his lovely wife Julie.

►To watch again: The live stream start at 10 minutes in◄

Posted by Chris Birchall on Thursday, 2 April 2020


And here is a list of the running order in case you want to fast forward to find certain highlights…

Join us at 8.00pm Thursday for a Great Music Night

By |April 1st, 2020|0 Comments

Last week’s show was hosted by John and Yoko from their bed. I wonder who it will be this week?

The weekly Ruthin AllStyles Folk & Acoustic Singers Night has become a firm favourite in the music lovers’ calendar, attracting performers and audience members from all North Wales, Cheshire and beyond – and we ain’t going to let no pesky Coronavirus stop us!

Instead, we are holding a Virtual Online Singers’ Night

Huge success.
Last week’s show featured songs by over thirty performers and up to a hundred people were watching the live-stream. By the weekend, it had received over 350 views.

This is how it works...
Use your mobile phone to film yourself singing and upload it to the Ruthin AllStyles group page (or to your own profile and then share it to the group).

You could do just one, or as many as you like but please upload each one separately. You can upload them any time during the week. They will not appear on the page, instead, they will be held “awaiting admin approval”.

Then, from 8.00pm onwards on Thursday, we will stream them one after the other so we can all enjoy a music night from the ̶i̶s̶o̶l̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶ comfort of our own homes.

We will also keep a conversation thread open so we can enjoy a bit a banter …and maybe a joke or two 😉

See you Thursday at eight 🎸🎼🎤.

Click here to join us. The music starts at 8.00pm.


No Music Night at The Feathers Tonight. Join us ONLINE instead

By |March 19th, 2020|0 Comments

The weekly Ruthin AllStyles Folk & Acoustic Singers Night has become a firm favourite in the music lovers’ calendar, attracting performers and audience members from all North Wales, Cheshire and beyond.

Sadly, the damn Covid-19 virus has forced us to suspend our meeting for the time being. So, instead…

We are going to hold a
Virtual online Singers’ Night

As you may have heard, we have reluctantly decided to suspend our weekly meetings in The Feathers for the time being.

Meanwhile, we are going to meet up on Facebook instead, to share and enjoy each other’s music online.

This is how it will work...
Use your mobile phone to film yourself singing, and upload it to the Ruthin AllStyles group page (or to your own profile and then share it to the group).

You could do just one, or as many as you like but upload each separately. You can post them any time before Thursday evening as they will be held “awaiting moderation”.

Then, from 8.00pm onwards on Thursday, we will stream them one after the other so we can all enjoy a music night from the ̶i̶s̶o̶l̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶ comfort of our own homes.

We will also keep a conversation thread open so we can enjoy a bit a banter …and maybe a joke or two 😉
See you Thursday at eight 🎸🎼🎤.

Click here to join us. The music starts at 8.00pm.


Not to be sneezed at

By |March 16th, 2020|0 Comments

Not knowing how many or how few would turn up for last week’s music night, we set up as normal. Well… almost as normal.

In terms of infection control, it was decided that if we are being advised to wash hands after touching a doorknob, then kissing an SM58 microphone that might have been sneezed upon, is a big no-no.

With that in mind, we set up the condenser mics to be positioned midway between the guitar height and mouth height about two feet in front of the performer.

The result was amazing. Just one mic per performer and no DI. the result was good clear sound from both the vocals and the instruments.

All in all, we had a good evening, with eleven performers and a total of nineteen in the room.

Dave Ryder opened both halves. We had a new face turn up in the form of poet Geoff Skellon, who entertained us with monologue, poem and song, all with a wonderful helping of humour.

And in the finale spot, Geoff Durno enlisted the help of Richard Ruthin and Tom Degney.

The roll call was: Dave Ryder, Chris Birchall, Robin Spreckley, Lynda and Tom Degney, Geoff Skellon, Joe Lyon, Neil Martin, Richard Ruthin, Steve Juckes-Hughes and Geoff Durno.


As I write this, the government announcement had come through regarding gatherings in pubs, clubs, and theatres, so it is with regret we have decided to suspend our weekly meetings for the time being.

We will keep you up to date with the situation via the website, Facebook and our newsletter.

Keep safe, everybody, keep healthy and above all, keep making music.