Back on dry land after busking around the waterways of Wales and England, Robin took charge of the tiller this week to host the Ruthin AllStyles Singers’ Night.
He launched the evening with one foot obviously still on his narrowboat, singing Fisherman Blues and Christy Moore’s I’m a Sailor, before navigating the evening’s course with his endearing wit and humour.
The first act he introduced was birthday boy, George, who sang Crying and then Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.
Next up was Joe. And whereas George was lyrically tearful, Joe was lyrically wistful; first singing Dreaming and then See You In My Dreams.
You can see a pattern developing here can’t you. It’s one that was continued by Bob who followed up Woody Guthrie’s Vigilante Man with Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Then Chris did songs by Passenger, Suzanne Vega and Van Morrison; Glyn gave us Love is Pleasing and Leaving Nancy by Eric Bogle; Lynda went for a Walk in the Irish Rain before getting High on a Mountain, and then Richard Davies rode into town with the Broke Back Mountain theme, He Was a Friend of Mine.
Tim is someone who keeps surprising us with something new. We’ve seen him do everything from Welsh Rock to classical Bach on his guitar, and many a jaunty jig on his border bagpipes. This week he went a cappella for a Lancashire folk song, did a rocky little number on his ukulele and finished off with a fine tune on the fiddle.
Mike Kendrick rocked it up with John Hyatt’s song Like Your Dad Did and What Made Milwaukee Famous (Jerry Lee Lewis).
Mike also introduced young Dan Roberts to the club. With some exceptionally mature guitar work for someone his age, Dan treated us to Radio Head’s Don’t Leave me High and Dry, an original song of his called Deity, and finishing with the Bright Eyes’ indie folk song First Day of my Life.
Another first-timer at our club was Tom Goodall from Kinmel Bay. Tom put a unique and original twist on Pete Abbott’s Windy Harbour and then sang two of his own compositions Britney and Mother’s Hug. Both beautiful songs with touching, meaningful lyrics.
Phew! This review is becoming almost encyclopaedic! But d’you know, it was such a special evening – one of the best we’d had in a long while – that I don’t want to miss anyone out. Every single act turned out excellent sets. Ninteen performers in all, including the ‘unsung’ heroes Tom Degney and John Bass, and we played no fewer than 44 songs. The audience numbers reached into the mid forties, resulting in many journeys to the main bar for extra stools!
As we approached the end of an excellent (and extended) evening’s entertainment, Penni Neale played a lovely set culminating in Stairway to Heaven. Wendy sang Brown Eyes Blue and was joined by Richard for Only With Your Eyes.
Then for the evening finale, Enid chose Universal Child followed by Bob Dylan’s Is Your Love in Vain, accompanied as usual by Neil’s fine guitar playing.
Thanks go to Robin for keeping everything ship-shape and apologies to everyone who got home half an hour later than usual. It was a long night but well worth it.
See you all next week!