There were forty four in our Easter Parade, nineteen of whom were minstrels, folk singers and balladeers as we promenaded the night away at The Feathers last Maundy Thursday.
The ‘Maundy fourpence’ took the form of choccies on the tables, and two chocolate bunnies joined the wine in the raffle.
The real reason we were gathered of course, was for the music, and it was Hugh Taylor who led the proceedings with a nice helping of bluesy goodness in the form of “Lady Franklin’s Lament”.
Next up was Dave from Cyffylliog singing the Del Amitri song, “Nothing Ever Happens”. He was joined by Cath Bryan on backing vocals, and later in the evening returned the favour, providing guitar accompaniment as she sang Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Lorde’s “Royals”.
We had the Hollies’ “Bus Stop” from Colin Campbell, Bob Neale bade us “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life”, and Lynda Degney asked us to “Wait a Minute” because “The Answer is Blowing in the Wind”.
Next up was Richard Davies with a hastily altered set list that would include “Detroit City” in honour of a couple in the audience who were visiting from that very place.
Enid and Neil sang songs from Clapton and The Monkees, Joe Lyon sang two of his favourite Searchers songs, Chris treated us to a touch of Tommy Steele, and Penni Neale sang songs by Ryan Adams and Christina Olson.
To take us up to the break we had an inspiring set from Gary Edward Jones, opening with the lovely Paul Simon classic “Kathy’s Song”.
Then, just as we thought the music could not get any sweeter, he sang one of his own songs “Oceans”, joined by his wife Elizabeth adding some lovely harmonies. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this beautiful song. Take another listen to the clip on this page.
More blues from Hugh Taylor as he eased us into the second half of the evening with Bob Dylan’s intriguingly titled, “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”.
Then we welcomed Elizabeth back on stage in the guise of her alter-ego ‘Elfin Bow’. She has recently been making a name for herself all over the North West, Wales, and beyond, with numerous radio appearances following the release of her self-titled debut album.
Elfin Bow is also actively enriching the local music scene with a series of monthly Sunday afternoon folk concerts at Rhewl Pavilion, last weekend’s featuring a collaboration with our own John Bass. With a couple of new pedals added to his armoury, there were some interesting haunting new sounds, never before heard from John’s six string fretless bass, as he accompanied Elfin Bow on two of the tracks from her album, “The First Red Leaf Of Autumn” and “Sweet Johnathon”.
Pete and Di were up next with the Louis Armstrong classic, “Wonderful World” and one of their rousing Irish jigs, the flute and guitar combination sounding as good as ever.
Songwriter Mike Whitaker sang about tales of “Sea Shells” and “My Old Man”, then Tom Degney sang “St Louis Blues” before being joined by Lynda for “Easter Parade”.
Then before we knew it, this terrific Easter Parade of music had arrived at finale time and we brought Elfin Bow and John Bass back to the stage for more beautifully written and performed songs that have been described as a fairytale experience for grown ups, and pastoral psych-folk with an undercurrent of electronic ambience.
After “Daffadilly Down”, she swapped her guitar for a mandolin and sent us all on our way with the lively sing-along “Prairie Madness”.
[one_half last=”no” class=”” id=”soundbite”]Oceans – Gary Edward Jones
[one_half last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Elfin Bow and John Bass – Soundbites