Reviews 2006

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Anthony John Clarke
Trevor Durden 29 September 2006
An appearance at The Woodman by Anthony John Clarke is an event to which we look forward with great anticipation and last Friday was no exception. 

It had been about 15 months since Anthony John's last visit; during which time he has launched his new CD 'More Tales About of Nuns and Tattoos' and a goodly sized crowd were eagerly looking forward to hearing not only the old favourites but also Anthony John's new songs.

Taking the stage together with the delightful Elizabeth Van de Waal, Anthony opened up with 'And He Took It', a fine example of his 'patter' songs that was delivered with machine gun speed and precision. This style of song must be one of the hardest to write but Anthony John has achieved an almost 'Gibertesque' mastery of the technique. 

The evening continued with 'The Best Time of Your Life' and 'The Impossible Song' both from the new CD. The audience were in very good voice and needed little invitation to sing a chorus or two but could we believe a chorus of 'Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch?' If you weren't there on the night, you try singing it! We were then treated to 'The Only Life Gloria Knows', one of my favourite songs, before 'Millionaire Pie' and 'Two People'. By the time Anthony John sang 'What Brings You Here Tonight?' we were all in no doubt! 

The second half kicked off with the mischievous 'Changes' This song contains probably the best line ever written. No! I'm not telling you, you will need to buy the album to find out. The versatility of Anthony John was demonstrated to the full, by moving on to the beautiful 'The Wrong Way Round' followed by 'The Broken Years'. If there has been a more poignant song written about the troubles in Ireland then I have yet to hear it. 

The evening moved on a pace with 'I Just Laughed' before the inevitable but nonetheless eagerly anticipated 'Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke'. I must have heard this song hundreds of times but it always makes me laugh, usually in different places each time I play it! As a total contrast we then had 'If It's All The Same To You Michael' a song of great tenderness that showed that Anthony John is a master of the art of constructing a song. 

All too soon we reached the final song of the set, 'Spray A Little Perfume' which was greeted with well deserved and prolonged applause that demanded an encore. Anthony John and Elizabeth gave us 'Quiet Gifts' a truly wonderful song from Paul Evans, to finally end a superb night's entertainment.

Anthony John and Elizabeth never fail to produce an enormously entertaining evening and this was no exception. 

Anthony John is, without doubt, the best thing to come out of Ireland since Draught Guinness and Bushmills Whiskey.