Reviews 2015

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Anthony John Clarke and Friends

Les Jones 13 November 2015

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A visit from Anthony John Clarke is always a real pleasure in so many ways not the least of which are the music and the humour. Tonight was to be no exception. It all began with a three song spot from resident band Nothing to Prove and two songs from club favourites Velvet Green. A great start to proceedings. A poetical introduction from Bryn Philips brought AJ to the stage accompanied on this tour by the wonderful Dave Pegg – multi instrumentalist and foremost bass player with Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention. From that point on it is impossible to describe the fun that was had by all including I am certain the artists themselves so I am not going to try. Wonderful stories from both AJ and Dave (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to call him Peggy even if we are both Brummies). Old songs; new songs and even some new jokes – well almost. All this of course interspersed with the obligatory Woodman heckles and asides. (Quote: AJ. “There you are Peggy I told you we didn’t need to worry about finding any material”). There were about 8 songs in the first half. I say about because I was enjoying myself that much that I may have forgotten to write some down.

The second half was begun as is the tradition on such occasions by two self-written songs from Bryn the first of which “The Angel’s Share” was suggested to Bryn by the lovely Julia Porter – half of the AJC song writing team and AJ’s wife and soul mate. After the first couple of songs AJ and Dave were joined on stage by annA rydeR (that’s how she spells it) and Noel LeLongue both accomplished musicians and performers themselves, for the rest of the set. Noel told me afterwards that neither of them had heard the songs before and improvised it all. Amazing. There were two dedications in song during the sets – the first Maginot Waltz by Ralph McTell in acknowledgement of Armistice week and Killaloo a traditional song and great favourite of Jimmy Montieth-Towler a long-time friend who’s funeral it was this week.

Once again I am unable to be certain how many songs were played in this half because I forgot to note them all down – certainly 8 but definitely more. Although we have seen him many times before I felt that tonight’s performance was one of the best I have ever seen. All the artists sat for the whole performance and the atmosphere was wonderfully relaxed. (Yes even Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke). If you missed it the tour continues for a while – see AJ’s website.

Tonight was the 13th November 2015 and while we were enjoying ourselves the people of Paris were being attacked. I know that AJ and Julia love Paris and Dave has a house in Brittany. I feel sure they will not mind if we retrospectively dedicate the night to the City and all its residents.

Peuple de Paris - il était pour vous