Woodman Folk Club - Reviews
14 May 2010
|Trevor Durden||Click on photo to see larger image|
Sickness, holidays and work commitments meant that a fair few of the Woodman “regulars” were missing, but a collection of new faces ensured that Alan would have a sizeable and appreciative audience.
Our revered leader Ian Munro started the evening with the Jesse Fuller classic “San Francisco Bay Blues” to be followed by “Latchkey Lover”. The ever reliable Dick Woodhouse told us the tale of “Leopold Allcocks” followed by the broken token song “Fair Maid Walking in Her Garden” Our very own Mr Bryn Phillips, polished as ever, gave us “Man On The Run” described as a cross between Ronnie Biggs and The Fugitive before concluding the supporting contributions with “Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?” a song of local legend.
So to the main event.
Without a great deal of preamble Alan took to the stage with his Lowden guitar and started off with the instrumental “Canmore” that more that demonstrated that we were in for a great evenings entertainment. From one of his own compositions Alan moved seamlessly into the traditional song “The Deserter” with “Men Of Harlech” as a play out. Alan was now well into his swing giving us “One Step Forward”. For those of you who remember Keith Hancock the song was reminiscent of “Lads Night Out!”
By now Alan was well into his stride and “Maybelle” was his next offering; a song about women of the night played in a jazzy blues style. This was followed by “Something’s Got To Change” and then a piece of good old rag time with “Alvadistan” To follow these pyrotechnics Alan moved into Brubeck / Jansch territory with a truly delightful instrumental “ Five Four You.” The very plaintive song “The Tramp” paved the way for the final song in the set “Empire Building” that tells of the perils of being a songwriter.
The interval was followed by the raffle and, for once, Ian got it right and I won!
The second set started with “You’re There” an upbeat love song with hints of Mississippi blues. Then came what was, for me, the highlight of the night. I know that I am an old traddie at heart but I defy anybody not to be moved by Alan’s sensitive interpretation of the sealing ballad “Davy Lowston.” To raise the tempo Alan moved into 5/4 once again for an instrumental with distinct Balkan overtones (Sorry I didn’t get the title). Once again switching styles, Alan played “Maybe This Is A Good Time”. Described as his “Pop Song” Alan asked for percussion and we were not going to disappoint him!
A song of doom and depression – Alan’s words, not mine – gave way to more doom and gloom with the Sacred Harp Song “Hard Time Travelling”; this was followed with a touch of gospel in the shape of “Precious Memories” The Si Kahn classic “Mississippi Summer” then gave way to more 5/4 with the song ”It Was Just A Fantasy” with the dire warning line “So young for affairs of the heart”.
So! All too soon we had reached the final song; “When I Think Of You”. This is a song dedicated to his wife and is both moving and sensitive.
To great applause and shouts of more Alan retook the stage and gave as a great version of the Oysterband favourite “Hal An’ Tow” with appropriate percussion and chorus singing that signified that all present had a great evening.