Reviews 2017

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Bob Fox

Bryn Phillips 28 April 2017

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 “I’ve never written a song myself - I just sing other people’s songs” he said, half way through the first set. When you think about it, he’s in a minority, as most of the professional acts who appear at the Woodman feature at least some of their own songs in their repertoire. Instead he chooses the best songs by some of the genres top songwriters, along with some of the best traditional songs. Each one was delivered perfectly with excellent guitar accompaniment and a voice which is acclaimed as one of the finest on the folk circuit.

What was remarkable, was that he did not have a prepared set list, and instead asked for requests. He has an extensive catalogue of songs, and as the requests came out, he just performed them, one after another, flawlessly. We had Ralph MacTell’s “Peppers and Tomatoes”, Jez Lowe’s “The Wrong Bus” and “Greek Lightning”, Ewan MacColl’s “The Song of The Iron Road”, Jimmy Nail’s “Big River”, Johnny Handle’s “The Ballad of Jack Crawford” along with a number of traditional songs that I always associate with Bob Fox; “The Whitby Tailor”, “The Rambling Rover”, “Water of Tyne”, “The Galway Shawl”, “Sally Wheatly”, and “Celebrated Working Man”. This is by no means an exhaustive list as I hadn’t planned to write this review and so I didn't take notes. However when I checked up I found that the last Woodman review of Bob Fox was back in 2004 and so I thought it was high time for another.

As well as being an acclaimed interpreter of songs, he is an accomplished performer with an imposing stage presence. Also, he had that magic ingredient that all performers need – he was enjoying himself, and relished the audience participation. I was particularly impressed by the way he managed to get the audience singing along to really complex choruses. That only works if the audience really wants to join in – and we did!

It was a tremendous evening and I’m looking forward to seeing his return to the club.

Support was provided by Velvet Green, Dick Woodhouse and Bryn Phillips.