That firm hand belonged to our host for the evening, Richard Davies, who struck the first chord at 8.15pm, singing Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.
He certainly wasn’t lonely though, because for his opening set he was joined by Harry, Tom, John Bass and Raphael on harmonica. Then he gave us a rousing rendition of Memphis in the Meantime.
“The Band” remained on stage for Harry’s set which included She Thinks I Still Care and All of Me.
Next up was Raphael’s solo spot. It was nice to see him back for a second visit since moving to The Feathers and he treated us to some cool slide guitar blues with two self penned numbers My Old Denims and Live with Yourself.
Another performer making his second visit of the year was George Live who sang Imagine and then rocked the night away with Lana and Nadine.
As well as playing banjo and mandolin with “The Band” Tom also took to the guitar to accompany his good lady, Lynda. After a lively Ring the Bell, they did Montana and Alison Moyet’s Only You.
Joe gave us Woman and Four Strong Winds and Chris’s set included Neil Young’s Old Man.
Ros sang Chanson D’Amour and declared “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To”, and John sang Pennies from Heaven.
Penni is actually from Denbigh, although she does have a heavenly voice as witnessed in her renditions of Adre, Dirty Rain and Christine Aguilera’s Beautiful.
In fact we had heavenly voices aplenty tonight, the next belonging to Cath Bryan who gave us two songs that she’ll be singing at the Llangollen Acoustica Festival at the weekend: Morning Sun and Video Games.
A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square (or Well Street if you want to be pedantic) but nevertheless sung beautifully by Glynn. By the end of a set that also included the American parlor song Hard Times Come Again No More, she had the entire audience singing along too.
Accompanied by Wendy, Richard used his rich baritone voice to tell us he was Born Under a Wondering Star, and then Wendy did the Edwina Hayes song Bend In The Road followed by If Wishes Were Changes (Nanci Griffith). We wouldn’t wish to change anything except perhaps to hear more of Wendy. Well that wish comes true next week when she will be performing an extended spot for us with – she tells us, teasingly – “a few surprises”.
For the past several weeks we’ve had new faces turning up at the club and tonight was no exception. The new face belonged to Paul from Llandudno. Or was it Philadelphia? Or Sanfrancisco? Or… Well he finally revealed the truth as related this globe-trotting crisis of identity in a highly amusing song entitled “From New Jersey” . He also revealed himself as a fine guitarist and a great story teller. His “mash-up” medley of songs from several decades, seamlessly intertwined, brought the house down! He promised this first visit will not be his last — and we’ll hold him to that!
Finally, as host for the evening, Richard Ruthin got to do the finale spot. With “The Band” back on stage he gave us an absolutely superb version of Baker Street. I have to say Raphael’s harmonica more than made up for the lack of a saxophone and in fact the authentic sound produced by these five musicians took you right back to 1978 when it was booming out of every transistor radio in the land. If Gerry Rafferty was listening in from his tartan cloud, he would have approved.
The audience bayed for more so Richard and Co sent everyone home happy with an enchore of Sea of Heartbreak ringing in their ears.