The weather was grey the day before Black Friday. But by evening, the stars came out and descended upon The Feathers with rosy cheeks, bright eyes and happy hearts.
And never mind the dubious Black Friday Bargains, what better deal could you get for a quid than an evening in welcoming surroundings with friendly company listening to no fewer than eighteen musicians perform an eclectic repertoire of live music?
Peter Leslie led the challenge to ‘colour-in’ a grey Thursday with “Ruby Tuesday” followed by a trip to the “Other Side of the World” with a lovely cover of that very K. T. Tunstall song.
Tom Degney painted a verdant tapestry with “The Road to Dent”, written during a holiday in that lovely part of the Yorkshire Dales, and Jim’s colouring book went even further north for the purple heather hues of “Twilight of the Shetlands” played on his fiddle.
John Ryder lamented lyrically about ‘When the meadow grass is turning brown’ in his cover of the Joni Mitchell song “Urge for Going” and Lynda coloured them green once more with “Plant Your Fields”.
Joe kept his colours primary with “Blue Songs on a Red Guitar” and Geoff went a cappella with the Earl Brown arrangement of Elvis’s “Peace in the Valley” before taking us on a sentimental journey with “Dance with my Father Again”.
Okay okay, enough of the colour puns!
There were three dozen in our audience tonight and it was lovely to see a few new faces. Two of these belonged to Cath’s parents who were visiting from Devon and I couldn’t help noticing how proudly they were smiling as she delivered a lovely set which included “We Are Young” and the Imelda May classic “Big Bad Handsome Man”.
No new faces at the hot end of the microphones this week, but it was good to see – and hear from – a couple of guys we’ve missed over the past few months.
First of these was Stephen Croft who enlisted the crooning skills of John & Ros Ryder to provide the oohs and aahs as he sang “Your Mother Should Know” before venturing into Neil Young territory with “Harvest Moon”.
And it was nice to welcome back Mark Thatcher too. Mark accompanied Stephen on bass (as well as others during the evening) before swapping four strings for six to sing Steely Dan’s “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number” and the John Martyn song “Hurt in Your Heart”.
Ron (from Wrexham) Stevenson had braved the Nant-y-Garth pass to make his third appearance at the club. Ron is a self-confessed Fivepenny Piece fan and Ee bah gum he did a reet gud rendition of a couple of the Yorkshire band’s 1970s songs including the classic “Ee bah gum burr’ah’m cowd”.
It was a busy night but I managed to squeeze in “The Balad of Lucy Jordan”. Ros and John transformed into Donny and Marie with “I’m Leaving It All Up To You”. Penni wowed us with “The Nearness of You” before wowing us even higher with “Stairway to Heaven”.
The first Christmas song of the season came in the form of a lovely a cappella version of “Wish Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with some quite wonderful harmonies, by Richard and Wendy Eastwood. Then Wendy sang “Tennessee Waltz” before doing some mighty fine yodelling in “Never Heard old Camp Cookie Sing”.
All in all it was a terrific evening’s entertainment and a great follow-up to last week’s excellent night of Merry Hell. Richard had opened for us tonight with an up-beat “Games People Play” and “He Was a Friend of Mine” and it was Robin who sent us home in rip-roaring style with a finale of “Whiskey in a Jar and “The Belle of Belfast City”.
More of the same next week folks!
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