Happy Melodic New Decade part 2

By |January 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

A Selection from 2015 – 2016

 

Happy Melodic New Decade part 3

By |January 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

A Selection from 2017 – 2018

Happy Melodic New Decade part 4

By |January 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

A Selection from 2018 – 2019

Pan’s People, a Musical Walking Stick, Cool Lights, Hot Sweaters – and Cake

By |December 18th, 2019|0 Comments

What a bumper turn-out for the Ruthin AllStyles Christmas Knees-up. Fifty party-goers filled the function room at The Feathers with fun, laughter, cake crumbs – and music of course, provided by no fewer than twenty-two performers.

And did you ever wonder what happened to Pan’s People? Well as you can see from this clip, reminiscent of a 1970s Top of the Pops, they were alive and kicking, busting some cool moves to the sound of Harr E King Robertson’s cover of “Stand by Me”.

The music was as varied as the fancy headgear, with a good seasonal sprinkling of Christmas songs. Brian Peters had a whole percussion section strapped to his right foot to accompany his bluesy resonator. John Rowell was kept busy accompanying all and sundry on his six-string fretless bass, before joining Jane Allcock (right) on her crumhorn, which closely resembles an upturned walking stick.

Jane also plays flute, recorder and a whole raft of wind instruments in an unlikely yet harmonious pairing with John’s bass guitar.

Skeet Williams was much in demand too, playing his beautiful new acquisition from Derlwyn Guitars and duetting with the equally beautiful Deborah Jackson.

Amongst many others, the night also included a lovely laid-back instrumental from the fingers of Mark Thatcher, some rousing originals from a tenor guitar-wielding John Williams and a contemporary protest song from Hugh Rowlands.

During the break we consumed a mountain of delicious sandwiches, courtesy of local caterer Ayşe Aydın, augmented by a multitude of buffet items brought along by our members. Plus, of course, the delicious Christmas Cake baked by our singing pâtissier Glyn Hudson.

Joanne McKinstry, from the charity RENEW, gave us an insight to the plight of the refugees.

RENEW
As well as having food, fun and games, I’m proud of the fact the club was also able to help those less fortunate than ourselves by donating the night’s door and tea money to RENEW (Refugee Essentials North East Wales). This is a  local charity group formed to support refugees in crisis by sorting donations and sending much-needed items for refugees fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

We were able to donate over £150 to the appeal which is sending emergency aid for more than 1000 refugees, mainly women and young children, currently living in flimsy summer tents on the Greek island of Leros.

The night’s shakers and movers…
Glyn Hudson, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Chris Birchall, Mark Thatcher, Lynda and Tom Degney, Joe Lyon, Penni Neale, Wendy and Richard Eastwood, Skeet Williams and Deborah Jackson, John Williams, Brian Peters, Hugh Rolands, Cath Bryan and Pete Kirkham, Vicky and Paul Riley, Luis Riley, Jane Allcock and John Bass, Harry Robertson.

Don’t forget, there is no music night on the 19th – so you can indulge in some late-night Christmas shopping. We’d like to wish you all a very Musical Christmas and a Harmonious New Year. We’ll all meet up again at The Feathers on January 9th.

Trans-Atlantic Hook-up

By |December 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Gary Edward Jones in New York’s Time Square

So how cool was that…? Having Gary Edward Jones join us for our Singers’ Night – all the way from Times Square in New York!

As many of you will know, Gary is touring his fantastic “Something About Simon” show as part of the “Fringe Encore” in New York this week following the show’s successful month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This Thursday, he took a break from an afternoon of sightseeing (which included merry-making with Minny Mouse and Spiderman) to phone us during our mid-evening break at The Feathers, when we were able to chat with him over the PA system. This delighted our audience and was an extra treat for the week’s birthday boy John Parry and birthday girl Jayne Birchall.

Wow. Isn’t technology wonderful. I can still remember the days when my Mum and Dad would have to book an expensive five-minute trans-Atlantic telephone call months in advance. Now it can be done at the drop of a hat whilst walking arm in arm with a Disney character 3,298 miles across the ocean.

Sell-out Shows
The intrepid Scouser turned Ruthinite has been playing to sell-out audiences all week which, it seems, have included some VIPs of the music world. I can’t say too much at this stage but it does sound as though these performances at the New York Soho Playhouse could well be just the start of Gary’s ‘American Tune’.

Revival’s Pete Kirkham and Dave Moore

As for the ‘Ruthin Tunes’, these were aplenty with songs from a pair of Robins, from Richard Ruthin and his out-of-town friends, from half of Chester’s boy band Revival, from the ever-present Degney Duo and from songbirds Neale and Toft.

Plus, of course, many solo performances from the likes of Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Cath Bryan, and from Steve Juckes-Hughes, who played us out at the end of what was a super evening.

This Thursday is our Christmas Knees-up – a Singers’ Night with a bun fight.

The club is laying on a surfeit of sarnies and a mountain of mince pies but if you feel you’d like to contribute something to the buffet table, do bring along a small offering of nibbles – but nothing that requires cooking. 🧁

Bring your instruments and maybe a Christmas song or two. Fancy Dress/Silly Hats optional.

Please note the earlier start of 7.30pm.

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November 28th Singers’ Night

By |December 4th, 2019|0 Comments

Ian Wooley, Richard Davies and Tom Degney

The function room at The Feathers was host to another great night of music, with eleven musicians performing solo and in various impromptu collaborations.

Penni and Tom

It was Ian Wooley who got the evening off to a start, later joining Tom Degney and Richard Ruthin, prompting a touch a déjà vu as I introduced them as the Tom, Dick and Ian band.

Tom, of course, performed with his good lady, Lynda, as well as Joining Penni Neale on his trusty dobro. And Penni, in turn, followed up by accompanying Enid Toft both on her guitar and with some lovely backing harmonies.

Catrin Francis

It was nice to welcome Catrin Francis back to the club. She said she wasn’t going to sing tonight – but we were having none of that – and she provided us with some lovely Acappella songs.

Glyn Hudson, Joe Lyon and that Birchall bloke were all flying solo.

Having just eleven acts meant we all had a second spot after the mid-evening break to entertain the two dozen audience in the room.

Robin Spreckley

Finale Time
Then it was down to the irrepressible Robin Spreckley to take us up to the close with some of his home-grown songs, that are very much a window on the world and its present political climate.

Next Thursday, the 5th of December, is another Singers’ Night.

I have a feeling it might be a busy one, so arrive early to get your name down for a floor spot.

Music is the Icing on the Cake

By |November 27th, 2019|0 Comments

The evening began well, with Joe Lyon leading the way for ten musicians to serve-up two songs each in the first half.

Then, after those twenty tasty tunes, things got even sweeter as cake was served during the break to the strains of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

The blower-out of candles was Jim who was celebrating seventy years on the planet, the most recent of them as a regular attendee of the Ruthin AllStyles Music Nights, together with his wife Barbara. The couple discovered the club shortly after moving into the area a couple of years ago and have become loyal supporters, hardly missing a club night since.

Jim is a keen walker and this was reflected in the decoration conjured-up by our resident singing pâtissier, Glyn Hudson. It was a work of art almost too good to cut into but all twenty sweet-toothed people in the room were glad we did.

Another song each in the second half proved that you can have your cake and eat it too. There was some tasty teamwork, with Linda Griffith providing harmonies for her brother Alan Thompson and with the two Robins perching at the microphones for a chirpy collaboration.

This week’s line-up: Joe Lyon, Robin Spreckley, Robin the Busker, Geoff Durno, Chris Birchall, Glyn Hudson, Pete Kirkham, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Alan Thompson and Linda Griffiths.

Remember Remember the 7th of November…

By |November 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Cath Bryan

There was no trace of gunpowder, no treason (unless you count the odd Boris quip) but we did plot to make our music night go with a bang.

Following a day of incessant rain, our music night could have turned into a damp squib but our regulars were having none of that, with a dozen musicians turning up to brighten the night sky, plus a goodly number of audience making for a comfortably full room at The Feathers Inn.

We lit the blue touch paper at 8.00pm sharp with Catherine Wheel Bryan sending us into a spin, after which there was an impressive display from the likes of Richard (the rocket) Davies, and roman candles Pete Kirkham, Geoff Durno and Mike Whittaker.

Enid Toft and Penni Neale lit up the sky with some lovely harmonies and Robin (the sparkler) Spreckley almost set his mandolin on fire delivering some meaningful tunes.

There followed, a fountain of melody from Joe Lyon and some fine fortissimo from fire-crackers Tom and Lynda.

Well, I think I’ve run out of puns, so I’ll stop banging on now.

Yours truly.
Bonfire Birchall

Next week – the main guy will be non-other than Phil Bates.
But please note that this concert is now sold out and we do, I’m afraid, have to keep to the maximum numbers allowed in the room. So if you didn’t grab a ticket when you had the chance, we’ll see you at the next Singers’ Night which is November 21st.

 

Twenty-One Today

By |November 6th, 2019|0 Comments

Bill Malkin and John Sylvester

What I mean by that is, there were twenty-one singers today.

There was indeed a birthday celebration, however, although not a twenty-first because it was exactly twenty-three years ago, to the very day, that Ruthin AllStyles Music Club was founded.

The then Feathers Folk Club was started in the very same room by Llinos and Campbell Finnie on October 31st 1996, changing its name to Ruthin Folk Club after a few short months and moving on to what turned out to be a string of alternative venues before coming back to The Feathers in January 2015. You can read more about its history here.

With a room that was comfortably full with an audience of thirty-two, the opening spot, for both halves of the evening, fell to Chester musician Bill Malkin and his friend John Sylvester, from Aberystwyth. It was Bill’s second appearance at the club and first time for pianist John with whom he performs as a duo.

Alan Wilkins

There followed a string of excellent performances from a number of our faithful regulars, old and relatively new.

Local musician Alan Wilkins Joined us for what was his third appearance at our current venue, and from further afield, Bill Hackwell made a return visit whilst on a short break in Ruthin. Back in the July of last year, Bill was one of four walkers who looked us up whilst on a stop-over during a hike along the length of Offa’s Dyke,

It was good to see (and hear) John Evans again too. He came along tonight with his former ‘Red Hill’ bandmate Alan Thompson, who also entertained us with a floor spot.

John Evans

Bob Hall was back in a-cappella mode after a few weeks absence, as was violinist Jim Cole.

John Williams too. This Wizard of The Wirral is always a welcome addition to our music nights with his home-grown compositions sung to the accompaniment of his cello mandolin or his tenor guitar.

And as the evening was drawing to a close, we called upon Neil Martin to provide us with a dose of Leonard Cohen before he heads off to spend the winter months touring France in his campervan.

We wish him Bon Voyage.


Jayne and Chris get scary for the Halloween Music Night

This week’s roll call: Richard Ruthin, Enid Toft, Penni Neale, Lynda and Tom Degney, Bill Hackwell, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, John Williams, Bill Malkin and John Sylvester, Dave Ryder, Alan Wilkins, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Jim Cole, John Evans, Richard Eastwood, Pete Kirkham, Bob Hall, Alan Thompson, Neil Martin.

 

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Singers’ Night October 24th

By |October 30th, 2019|0 Comments

Jane and John Bass

Geoff Hollis

It was another busy night at the club – not least for John Bass and Tom Degney.

Both, of course, feature in the Tom, Dick and Harry band but John also appeared in his duo mode with Jane for some lovely ‘wind and bass’ numbers and Tom was alongside Lynda for her set. But also they were both as obliging, as always, when asked to accompany several other performers on the night.

Geoff Hollis made a welcome return, following a summer of festival-going, and it was lovely to hear Enid singing again with Penni providing the accompaniment.

It was a full evening with a fine mix of styles and genre from the fifteen performers and the Tom, Dick and Harry band who gave us a grand send-off at the end of the evening with a rousing version of the Travelling Wilburys classic, “End Of The Line”.

Tonight’s Roll-Call: Lynda and Tom Degney, Chris Birchall, Glyn Hudson, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Jane and John Bass, Robin Spreckley, Neil Martin, Geoff Hollis, Joe Lyon, Enid Toft, Penni Neale, Tom, Dick & Harry with John Bass.