The night started with the usual array of Woodman talent Dick, Keith, Bryn, Nothing to Prove and Velvet Green, all giving superb performances. Then we moved on to the main act our friends and avid Woodman supporters Billy and Lozz.
This was the second ‘feature ‘night from Billy and Lozz and gave all at the Woodman a chance to see them in full flow. Open mic spots clearly aren’t enough to appreciate the shear scope of Lozz’s guitar playing. From the delicate beauty of
'Ard Times to the intricate picking on such songs as Ragtime, and Alley Pally. The texture and depth he gets from his playing leads to the inevitable queue afterwards for origins of his ideas, all his own, all unique and mesmerising. When listening to the lyrics again there is the sharp contrast from the humour of Alley Pally or the new favourite Gerald to the poignant heartfelt songs such as
'Ard Times and Rain about two young friends in the 2nd World War. The pair open up their own lives to the audience in songs such as Dexys ( about Lozz’s experience) or the anthemic Oldbury Mon based on Bill’s great grandfather. Then there are the narratives, some based on fact
- Drovers, Gypsies or the folklore narratives of such as Boy and Bricklayers Daughter.
Often guitar and voice are one instrument Lozz’s ability to ‘read ‘ a mood and capture pace and texture allows vocal or spoken word to weave within the notes. I haven’t mentioned Cut Diggers about migrant Irish workers, and Sway which is very traditional in feel.
Finally within all this music are the blokes themselves, that magical look that Lozz gives out when Billy has committed one of his many sins of talking while Lozz is tuning up or coming in at the wrong time, and the little dance/jig of Billy’s, which is just his way of saying I don’t care I’m enjoying it. Rooted in Black Country tradition and working off each other as is only possible when they know each other well as people and as performers. Full of Black Country throwaway humour and banter with the crowd it was a great night and long may they continue at the Woodman and on a bigger stage.