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.


Much Music, Two Birthdays and a Cork Hat

By |March 11th, 2020|0 Comments

Birthday boys, Dave Ryder and Joe Lyon

Okay, so the music bit is fairly straightforward: Thursday nights at The Feathers are always blessed with much music. It is, after all, Ruthin AllStyles Music Club’s reason raison d’être.

So what about the two birthdays?

It’s all got to do with the Birthday Paradox. Well almost. You see, statistically, If you have a room of just 23 people there’s a 50-50 chance of at least two people having the same birthday. In a room of 75, there’s a 99.9% chance of at least two people matching. Seems far-fetched doesn’t it? But it is, in fact, true; follow the link above if you don’t believe me, it’s fascinating.

Neil Martin

Now here is the caveat. Although we had twenty people in the room, messers Ryder and Lyon share the same birthday week rather than the same birthday day. But that didn’t stop us from marking the occasion in the time-honoured fashion by singing Happy Birthday and bestowing chocolates upon them.

…as a hatter!
When it comes to Cork Hats, Neil Martin not only wears them well, he sings about them too. In a song written very much in the style of Leonard Cohen, during his protracted French campervan holiday, Neil told us the tale of buying the hat, of the lady who sold it to him and… well, shall we say the parts he left out were there to read between the lines.

Penni Neale and Enid Toft

Penni was back amongst us, recovering remarkably from major surgery, with a voice sounding as sweet as ever. We kept her busy, accompanying Enid, as well as doing her own spot and ultimately returning to the stage for an encore in the finale.

Tonight’s roll call:
Alan Thompson, Lynda and Tom Degney, Neil Martin, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, Glyn Hudson, Richard Ruthin, Dave Ryder, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Pete Kirkham, and Cath Bryan.

What… Thursday Already!

By |March 4th, 2020|0 Comments

Neil Martin

Blimey, time goes fast when you’re having fun. Just now it seemed like last Thursday was yesterday and here I am, writing this just one hour before next Thursday.

I’ve been so busy with boring stuff like trying to get a straight answer from my insurance company after a minor prang in the car, I keep tripping over myself coming back in the opposite direction.

Thank goodness for music and by the same token, for Thursdays too. So as much as it sounds as if I’m complaining, I’m not really. Running the club, with my lovely wife Jayne, is something I really look forward to. We are so lucky having such friendly people, both musicians and audience, who support and contribute to, the local live music scene.

This week, we were delighted to welcome Neil Martin back from his Motorhome Adventure in Northern France, going wherever the Mistral Winds blew him.  He came back with ten new songs, four of which we were privileged to be amongst the first to witness.

Alan Thompson and Linda Griffiths

We heard a new song too, from Linda Griffiths and Alan Thompson. Touching words written by Linda following her recent visit to Auschwitz, set to a fabulous score by Alan.

The rest of us did covers. There were some mighty fine ones too, including “The Wild Rose” by our very own Kylie and Nick Cave coupling, Cath Byan and Pete Kirkham.

Robin the Busker busked, Lynda, Tom and Richard dished out a helping or two of Americana, I did Neil Young’s “Old Man” and Joe Lyon gave us a lion’s share of Mersey sounds.

Having kicked off both halves of the evening, we dragged Neil Martin back on stage for the finale to give us a much needed Cohen ‘fix’, to which we all said (and sang) “Hallelujah”.


Eighteen Wandering Minstrels

By |February 26th, 2020|0 Comments

Dylan Burns

It was another evening of fine music down at Ye Olde Feathers Inn with no fewer than eighteen wandering minstrels – some of whom had wandered a little farther than others.

We are accustomed to welcoming musicians from outwith the lovely Vale of Clwyd. Indeed some of our regulars travel from the North Wales Coast, Tom and Linda Degney for instance, who make the journey from Rhos on Sea each week, come hell or high water.

Wrexham, Chester and The Wirral are not too far either it seems and last week we had a visitor from Porthmadog.

Dylan Burns and his mum Andrea

This week’s long-distance award, however, goes to young Dylan Burns and his mum Andrea who wandered into the Function Room after a mamouth 4,739-mile journey from Portland, Oregon, on the west coast of the US.

They had made a couple of stops along the way, one of which had been at the Gwersyll Yr Urdd centre in Glan-Llyn, near Bala. It was all part of a trip to show Dylan the country of her birth.

Dan Smith

Fourteen-year-old Dylan did an instrumental spot on his fiddle in the first half and after the break, accompanied Andrea who sang us a lovely song in Welsh. It seems Andrea has been keeping the language very much alive since emigrating to the United States in her twenties.

Another youngster playing at the club for the first time was Dan Smith who sang to his own accompaniment on the ukulele.

It was good to see Alan Thompson back at the club with his beautiful self-penned songs. And Enid Toft too, who’s usual accompanist, Penni, is currently out of action through illness. We are all looking forward to Penni’s return but in the meantime, it was good to hear Enid singing a duet with Richard.

Angharad, Lyn and Laura were also in good voice, providing us with some truly lovely close harmonies.


Maybe it’s my age but this bewildered MC can never remember what is the latest version of their band name, so I shall call them “Mamma G and the Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered Bebop Brunettes”.

Suffice to say, we’d had a varied and bewitching range of music and it fell to Deborah Jackson and Skeet Williams to fill the finale spot, which they did in fine style with their own song, “The Trouble with Wanting”, the catchy chorus of which had the whole room joining in.

Tonight’s Roll Call: Robin the Busker, Dan Smith, Chris Birchall, Lynda and Tom Degney, Richard Ruthin, Enid Toft, Glyn Hudson, Bewitched Brunettes, Robin Spreckley, Joe Lyon, Alan Thompson, Skeet Williams, Deborah Jackson, Dylan Burns and his Mum, Andrea.

Thirteen on the thirteenth

By |February 17th, 2020|0 Comments

John Williams

Luckily our music nights take place on a Thursday, not a Friday. Not that I’m superstitious, touch wood, because it was too wet to go hunting for a four-leaf clover. And anyway, I might have lost my rabbit’s foot scrabbling about in the dark.

What a fine music night it turned out to be, with luck having nothing to do with it.

Amongst the musical baker’s dozen was a ruck of regulars, some welcome returnees, a couple of new faces and a clutch of impromptu collaborations.

The wizard of the Wirral, John Williams is always a welcome sight when he can make it to our club, busy as he is with festivals and guest appearances all over the show. It was he who got the evening off to a fine start with a couple of songs with his four-string tenor guitar. Later in the evening, John swapped this for his trusty cello mandolin and recruited Tom Degney for some banjo accompaniment.

Lizzy Pegler

As usual, Tom was in demand, accompanying Lynda and collaborating with Robin Spreckley as well as taking his place in the Tom, Dick and Harry band. During all of which he was seen brandishing guitar, mandolin, banjo and dobro.

Lizzy Pegler was back, for the first time this year as was Chester musician Will Riding. Both treated us to some of their fine own home-grown songs.

Two new faces graced the stage. The first was Bill Melis who hails from Porthmadog, followed by Denbigh guitarist Stewart Jones.

All in all, it was another great music night at The Feathers.

The night’s roll call: John Williams, Robin Spreckley, Lynda and Tom Degney, Bill Melis, Lizzy Pegler, Chris Birchall, Will Riding, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Stewart Jones, Joe Lyon, Tom, Dick & Harry.

Richard Ruthin, Robin Spreckley and Tom Degney

The Dirty Dozen

By |February 12th, 2020|0 Comments

Joe Lyon

Well… Perhaps not dirty as such, in fact, you could say our twelve musicians cleaned up in terms of approval from an appreciative audience in the ‘comfortably full’ function room.

Richard Ruthin showed a clean pair of heels. getting the evening off to grand start singing “Across the Great Divide” with Tom riding shotgun on his trusty dobro.

Making an appearance after a few weeks absence, Jim Cole imparted a Scottish flavour with the ‘Margaret Waltz’ on the fiddle, followed by Dave Ryder who performed “In My Time on Earth” from the Waterboys latest album.

Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” was Pete Kirkham’s opening song and Glyn Hudson was in an a-Cappella kind of mood with the traditional folk offering “Bunch of Thyme”.

Tom and Lynda Degney

Lynda Degney took us over the Irish Sea with the Tim O’Brien song “Colleen Malone”, and we know it must be true because Tom followed up with “It’s a Sin To Tell a Lie”.

Joe Lyon “Tried To Tell Us We’re Too Young”, before “Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon”. Geoff Durno sang “About Mary” and then recruited Richard and Tom into his impromptu band for “First you lose the Rhyming”.

“Mr Bojangles” and “Need Your Love” were my contributions, the latter with added Degney Dobro.

Pete Kirkham and Robin Spreckley

Robin Spreckley gave his recently updated mandolin it’s first airing since being worked-on by Geoff Rowlands, by opening his set with a fine instrumental. Then he was joined by Pete Kirkham for “I Shot the Sheriff”.

We were taken up to the break with two lovely ballads from Cath Bryan, “Blame It On The Sun” (Stevie Wonder) and “I Am Titanium” (David Guetta).

Another song each in the second half took us cleanly up to finale time and the honours fell to the hastily formed Geoff Durno Band – comprising Tom, Robin, Richard and Geoff – who sent us heading off into the night to the “Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia”.


Sweet Sixteen

By |January 28th, 2020|0 Comments

Tom, Dick and Harry with Enid Toft.

Not that anybody was singing the Billy Idol or Chuck Berry songs with Sweet Sixteen in their titles, nor were any of this week’s musicians even close to that age. But there were sixteen performers and the sounds were sweet.

Bill Malkin

First Time Back
Amongst them were a few we were seeing for the first time this year: Glyn Hudson gave us some a Cappella sing-alongs; we had some tasty self-penned numbers from Bill Malkin and you’d go a long way to hear sweeter harmonies than those generated by brother and sister duo Linda and Alan Thompson.

It was good to hear Enid Toft singing again too. With her usual accompanist, Penni, currently laid-up, Enid leaned on the Tom, Dick and Harry trio as her backing band.

It was a lovely night of sweet music and the task of bringing it to a close fell to the aforementioned band, who sent us home with a great version of the Willburies song “End of the Line” still ringing in our ears.

This week’s roll call: Lynda and Tom Degney, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Glyn Hudson, Alan Thompson and Linda, Brian Peters, Pete Kirkham, Cath Bryan, Bill Malkin, Dave Ryder, Tom, Dick & Harry, and Enid Toft.

Next Week: Sarah Lou and Jimmy Rae, aka Tennessee Waltz, will be entertaining us with two 45 minute spots. At the time of writing, there were just ten non-members tickets left on WeGotTickets. Members can get their usual concession and there will be limited floor spots, so, by all means, bring your instruments.