Another late finish

By |October 23rd, 2019|2 Comments

The function room at The Feathers was comfortably full and with no fewer than twenty-seven performers a wide and eclectic range of musical styles, the promise of a wonderful evening’s entertainment was well and truly fulfilled.

On occasions when we get these kinds of numbers, however, we might have to implement some sort of ‘first come first served’ system where the later arrivals get to do just the one song, to keep within the terms of the venue’s live music licence. Not to mention the fact many of us have to be up for work the following morning.

A core group of our regulars provided everything from Contemporary Folk to Blues to Country. Our quirky friend Karen White provided a helping of Kirsty McCall songs on what was her second visit this year before heading back to Australia, and it was good to see Geoff Durno back, making his first public appearance since his operation,

Mike Kendrick rode in on his “Llanfairfechan Horse”, and Skeet was kept busy providing accompaniment for Glyn Hudson and also for Deborah Jackson who sang a brand new song co-written by Skeet and herself. Alan Thompson also introduced us to a brand new self-penned song “Firebird”.

On what was their first visit to Ruthin AllStyles, we were delighted to welcome, from the North Wales Coast, Neil and Shereen and their bassist Alan. They gave us lovely covers of songs by Aretha Franklin and Paul Simon and also said some nice things about our lovely club.

Bluegrass was very much to the fore when another band made their Ruthin AllStlyes debut. Although Jules Pellatt has appeared here a few times, he was joined this time by Tony, Richard and Johnny, collectively known as the Helsby Mountain String Band.

When the time eventually came for the finale spot, it was Gary Edward Jones who stepped to the mic. His first song was one of his own, “Walk You Home”, which he followed up with the most amazing version of the Rod Stewart classic, “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It”, in the style of Jack Johnson. (below)

If you want another helping of Gary, he is doing a concert at Rhyl Folk and Acoustic’s new venue in Llanddulas next Friday (October 25th) and then on November 30th he brings his “Something About Simon” show to Denbigh’s Theatr Twm or Nant.

Tonight’s Roll Call: Richard Ruthin, Vicky Riley, Richard Eastwood, Geoff Durno, Lynda and Tom Degney, Neil Martin, Dave Ryder, Glyn Hudson, Helsby Mountain String Band (Jules Pellatt, Tony, Richard and Johnny), Karen White (the quirky one), Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Pete Kirkham, Cath Bryan, Skeet and Deborah, Paul Riley, Neil and Shereen with Alan on Bass, Mike Kendrick, Alan Thompson and Gary Edward Jones.

A Baker’s Dozen

By |October 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Thirteen musicians were the recipe for another great evening of music at the Feathers.

There were several collaborations. Cath accompanied Pete, who in turn accompanied Cath.

Penni was kept busy accompanying, in turn, Enid, Neil Martin and Robin Spreckly. And as always, Tom was on hand to accompany Richard, Lynda of course, and anyone else who might welcome the sound of his banjo, mandolin or dobro.

The full line-up for the evening was: Pete Kirkham, Dave Ryder, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, Lynda and Tom Degney, Jim Cole, Chris Birchall, Cath Bryan, Robin Spreckley, Joe Lyon, Richard Ruthin, Neil Martin.

Click the ► below to hear the lovely song written by Cath Bryan which got its first public airing.

Don’t forget, Next Thursday (Oct 10th) we have a concert by Anthony John Clarke. The evening will start at the slightly earlier time of 7.30 pm with a round of floor spots. Just £4 on the door (regulars get their usual concession)

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness…

By |October 1st, 2019|0 Comments

Peter Leslie

We may not have had any Keats, nor even any spoken poetry at all for that matter, but we did herald the coming of Autumn with some wonderful music.

There was the usual broad range of covers from folk and country greats such as Dylan, Cash, Kristofferson and Jerry Jeff Walker – all poets in their own right.

Of course, we are lucky to have some exceptionally talented local songwriters amongst our regulars.

Peter Leslie opened both halves of the evening with songs he wrote on his favourite beaches in Create, “Gazing out to Sea” and “Sea of Clouds”.

Richard Eastwood

Alan Thompson gave us a song he co-wrote called “Julie”, Robin Spreckley delivered a home-grown protest song called “Taken for a Ride” that reflects the current political situation, and Neil Martin gave a first public airing to one of his own beautiful and heart-rending songs “Lies”.

Together with band members Tom and Richard, Harry Robertson got feet a-tapping with his upbeat “High High High” and then in contrast, the lovely melodic waltz-time song, “When I Danced With You” for the finale spot.

We had a couple of novelty moments too.

Peter Lesley fitted a capo on the fifth fret and proceeded to play a tune ‘Boris style’, fretting the strings above the capo position. In contrast to the Westminster buffoon, however, Peter was using a partial capo that allowed three of the strings to remain open and the effect was quite stunning as his fingers ran effortlessly up on down the fretboard.

Penni Neale

Having that afternoon had injections in her hands, Penni Neale didn’t want to overdo things, so for one of her songs, she sang “From a Distance”, a cappella, accompanying herself only on the bodhran which she played with remarkable effect using a hairbrush as a beater!

Tonight’s line-up: Dave Ryder, Lynda and Tom Degney, Jules Pellatt, Richard and Wendy Eastwood, Alan Thompson and Linda, Robin Spreckley, Robin the Busker, Chris Birchall, Peter Leslie, Joe Lyon, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, Neil Martin, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Tom, Dick & Harry

Click on the ► below to hear Neil Martin’s lovely cover of Mr Bojangles

Last Song of the Summer

By |September 24th, 2019|0 Comments

Terry Allen

With Monday’s Equinox, heralding the beginning of Autumn, it meant that Thursday’s Music night was the last one of the Summer and the honour of singing the final song of the season fell to Terry Allen.

The Wrexham musician ended the evening with the great Woody Guthrie song “I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore”. It is a song that is (sadly) just as relevant today as it was when Guthrie wrote it some sixty years or so ago and Terry has brought it right up to date by adding a few words of his own to reflect the world that we live in today.

Click the ► below to take a listen.


Then and Now
It was good to see Steve Bailey back again. His unaccompanied traditional folk songs echoed back to when he first took an interest in the genre at the age of thirteen, back in the seventies, choosing two Peter Bellamy songs, “Biker Hill” and “Oak, Ash and Thorn”.

Vicki Riley and Luis Riley

Our youngest performer was someone who is just thirteen at the moment. Luis Riley only began learning guitar four months ago and it is great to see not only how well he is progressing but also how confident he is to get up and perform in public.

After Singing “Bad Moon Rising” exactly 50 years on, since the Credence Clearwater Revival version was at number one in the album charts, Luis went on to accompany his mum, Vicki, on the Eagles classic “Hotel California”.

After two songs from each of fourteen performers, our Random Generator drew half a dozen names out of the electronic hat during the remaining half-hour to complete another evening of great live music.

Tonight’s Performers…
Richard Ruthin, Lynda and Tom Degney, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Steve Bailey, Luis Riley, Vicky Riley, Cath Bryan, Alistair Irving, Dave Ryder, Pete Kirkham, Terry Allen, Neil Martin

Don’t forget to get your tickets for next month’s Anthony John Clarke concert. Get them online or at the club next Thursday. They are just £4 – and don’t forget, Regular members, get their usual concession.

Six of One, Half-Dozen of the Other

By |September 16th, 2019|0 Comments

Pete Kirkham

Yes, the performers totalled an even dozen, with an equal number of men and ladies and, with almost double that number in the room, it made for a terrific atmosphere.

It also meant that, unlike many of the busier nights we’ve been having recently, everybody had two spots each, providing an eclectic mix of three dozen songs, with Wendy’s encore in the finale ramping it up to thirty-seven.

And although it wasn’t planned, it turns out that everyone who performed, except Birchy himself, fell victim to the Hairy Photographer’s lens.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Richard announced that he and Tom were going to do “Baker Street” and apologised for the lack of a saxophone player.  Quick as a flash, Lynda jumps onto the stage to perform the saxophone solo on her kazoo.

Tonight’s Roll Call…
Chris Birchall, Lizzy Pegler, Alistair Irving, Pete Kirkham, Cath Bryan, Glyn Hudson, Lynda and Tom Degney, Richard Ruthin, Penni Neale, and Richard and Wendy Eastwood

October 10th – An evening with Anthony John Clarke

Tickets are now available

Non members £4 from

Regular members concessionary tickets can be purchased on any club night

They Came by Land, Sea and Air

By |September 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Robin the Busker with Tom Degney and Mark Thatcher

Just a short write-up this week. Suffice to say it was another great night of music with twenty-three musicians and almost forty in the room.

We were delighted to welcome a new face, as Rhys Davies made his AllStyles debut. Coming from Bala, you would have expected Rhys to win the ‘long-distance’ award (or at least share it with Tom & Lynda). He was trumped, however, by John Williams of Birkenhead, who in turn was trumped by Karen White, who had travelled some 9,500 miles to sing for us.

Rhys Davies

Karen, the Quintessential Quirk (take a look at her website), spends a few weeks visiting family in the U.K. every year and always makes a point of joining our music nights. Tonight she treated us to the songs of Kirsty MacColl.

It was good to see our ‘Mr Blues’, Brian Peters, again and also Mr ‘Give Prostrate the Finger’, Hugh Rolands, who’s songs carry a health warning to raise cancer awareness.

Robin ‘the busker’ Wynne Jones was back in our midst after a summer on the rolling seas (well okay, the calm canals).

Everywhere he moors his narrowboat, Robin makes a point of doing a busking session to raise money for charity. Most recently, the Cropredy Folk Festival was his point of focus, boosting his contribution to Cancer Research to over £12,000

Tonight’s Roll Call: Chris Birchall, Hugh Rolands, Lynda and Tom Degney, Richard Eastwood, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Glyn Hudson, Luis Riley, Mark Thatcher, Rhys Davies, Dave Ryder, Neil Martin, Robin the Busker, Richard Ruthin, Vicky Riley, Alan Thompson and Linda, Karen White (the quirky one), Joe Lyon, John Williams, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, and Brian Peters

August 29th Singers’ Night

By |September 4th, 2019|0 Comments

Joe Lyon

Fifteen performers plus almost the same number of audience made for a great atmosphere and another varied night of music and mirth.

It was good to see Mike Kendrick again, taking time off from gigging with his bands, the Dansette Alligators and the Shambolics, to do a floor spot at the club.

He arrived on foot this time, leaving the Llanfairfechan Horse in its stable 🙂

Joe Lyon got the evening underway with the Scott Walker classic, “Lights of Cincinnati” with Mark Thatcher accompanying on bass.

Mike Kendrick

Thirty-four Songs
Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was the thirtieth song of the night, delivered by Penni Neale accompanied by Tom on dobro. We’d all done two songs each and so we fired up the Random Name Generator to choose four performers to fill the remaining twenty-five minutes.

The last of these was Alan Thompson who sang one of his own lovely songs, “Try”.

Alan had also been busy during the evening filming and kindly compiled this little selection of clips:

Tonight’s line-up: Lynda and Tom Degney, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Richard Eastwood, Cath Bryan, Pete Kirkham, Mark Thatcher, Dave Ryder, Chris Birchall, Alan Thompson, Mike Kendrick, Joe Lyon, Richard Ruthin, Neil Martin, Penni Neale

A Photo Essay of a Busy Club Night by Sharon Cheema

By |September 2nd, 2019|1 Comment

This lovely Canadian couple, Sharon Cheema and Ian Hanchet, took some great photos when they visited Ruthin AllStyles recently.
Click the little blue [ f ] below to view them.

The numbers game

By |August 28th, 2019|0 Comments

Pete Kirkham and Cath Bryan

I have an app called List-Maker on the tablet we used for club nights. It’s a handy way of entering the names of the performers, ordering them into a running list and ticking off each one once they’ve performed.

If someone’s name is in the app, it doesn’t need entering again as they can just be slid up the list into the current week’s lineup.

Tom Goodall

There are currently 136 names on that app, all of whom have performed at the club at some point since we ‘went digital’ almost three years ago.

I’ve often joked about having nightmares in which all 136 of them turn up to do a floor spot on the same night.

Over the years, numbers have varied from a comfortable dozen to a manageable sixteen, only occasionally edging up to the twenty mark with its consequential late finish. In the last month, however, the performer numbers have been sixteen, seventeen, nineteen, twenty and twenty-eight.

This week there were twenty-three. Not that anyone is complaining, of course. In fact, week after week we get nothing but positive comments at the end of the evening from audience and performers alike as well as in the comments on social media. Despite only getting one floor-spot each when it is as busy as this, it is rewarding to be part of such a fabulous evenings entertainment.


A Prompt Start.
On a practical level, I do think we need to ensure the music starts at 8.00pm on the dot and not dilly-dally in between slots. Everyone can help by making sure their instruments are tuned ready and to that end, I will ensure that you are all pre-warned about the running order.

We will always strive to give everybody a spot but whenever the numbers look like taking us past the 11.00pm finish (the venue’s music licence requirements), we may have to limit some of the late-arrivals to one song.

New faces this week were Keels, who came over from the Wirral to sing for us, Dave Ryder from Prestatyn and Catrin who is one of Skeet’s guitar pupils.  She didn’t play tonight but instead treated us to her lovely singing voice, accompanied by the maestro himself.

This week’s roll call: Jim Cole, Jules Pellatt, Ron Stevenson, Lynda and Tom Degney, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Mark Thatcher, Lewis Riley, Deborah Jackson, and Catrin with Skeet Williams, Keels, Tom Goodall, Neil Martin, Dave Ryder, Pete Kirkham, Cath Bryan, Peter Leslie, Wendy and Richard Eastwood, Harri Owen and Paul Riley.

Young and Not-so-Young, Near and Far

By |August 21st, 2019|0 Comments

Steve Juckes-Hughes

We started nice and early just in case it was another busy night …and it was!

In the end, nineteen performers played to a room that was ‘comfortably full’ with an audience of thirty-four. Everyone had a seat and room to breathe.

There was even more room to breathe after Ninja Jayne ejected a drunk who had wandered through from the bar and insisted upon gyrating to the music, talking loudly and generally spoiling people’s enjoyment.

Having seen the Ninja in action I don’t think anybody will ever again dare to talk during the performances. Now you know why I am so well behaved! 🙂

Wendy Eastwood

Haha… to be fair, in the main our audiences are very respectful, reserving their conversations for in between the songs, which is one of the things that makes performing at the club such a pleasure.

It was Richard Eastwood who got the evening underway and he returned later for a couple of duets with Wendy to open the second half.

As well as the ‘usual suspects’ we had four new faces. Local musician Steve Jukes-Hughes made his AllStyles debut, as did Paul Riley, his wife Vicky and their 13-year-old son Lewis. All turned in cracking performances and we certainly hope to see them again soon.

Skeet Williams and Glyn Hudson

Our long-distance award winner, Ian Hanchet returned again this week for one more excellent floor spot before jetting back to Montreal. we trust he and his lovely wife Sharon enjoyed their stay in North Wales and hope they will come an see us next time they visit.

We managed to fit everybody in, overrunning by only eleven minutes this week, with a finale spot by Alan Thompson and his sister Linda that was well worth waiting for.

Once again it was a special evening. Let’s do it all again next week 🙂

The Riley Musical Family Album

Tonight’s roll of honour…
Robin Spreckley, Mark Thatcher, Mike Hastings, Chris Birchall, Wendy and Richard Eastwood, Glyn Hudson, Paul, Vicky, and Lewis Riley, Peter Leslie, Jeff Jones, Ian Hanchet, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Skeet Williams, Deborah Jackson, Joe Lyon, Alan Thompson and Linda Griffiths.