Reviews 2016

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Gary Edward Jones

Les Jones 14 October 2016

Click on photo to 
Click on photo to 
see larger image

I began my review two weeks ago by saying: ďI cannot believe it has been nearly 18 months since we last sawĒ. Insert Gary Edward Jones and itís still true. We last saw him on 17 April 2015. How time flies. As was said before itís difficult unless you know to say if GEJ is a man or a band or indeed both. He is in fact more than these he is also a composer who writes the vast majority of his own material plus songs for others as he demonstrated to us in the second set. Hailing from Liverpool he is of course a natural comedian who has an engaging personality. The ensemble (see how I got out of that one?), very much changed since the last visit, consisted Gary on guitar and lead and backing vocals; Elizabeth Jones (now Mrs Gary rather than fiancťe and an act in her own right as Elfin Bow) on Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar and lead and backing vocals; Skeet Williams on guitar, banjo, very bad jokes and Welsh pronunciation of Rhyl (Rule sic. which will help when or if we go there next) and finally James (Jay) Christian who I have to mention didnít say much if anything but provided beautiful support on Bodhran and Cajon. Each beat was understated and fitted exactly into place on each song.

Whilst electrics were being rearranged Skeet treated us to his wind joke. Donít get me wrong here it was ecologically sound and since he gave us more later, I think it turned out to be his best of the evening.

There were nine songs in the first half. Thatís All segued into Bang Bang Bang so subtly that if you didnít know you would have never noticed. The next song titled Half to Death was particularly memorable for the brilliant percussion at the beginning. Elizabeth gave us her beautiful rendition of the traditional, Black Is the Colour which preceded, Dreaming and a superb Skeet Williams guitar solo. Oceans was inspired by the death of Aylan Kurdi and was written from his motherís perspective. Mr Lonely Times was followed by Vampires (no I am not going to rephrase it) and the set concluded with Real Life Paradise. Throughout we had been entertained by stories and song background, Skeetís cock eyed joke (no, you donít want to know); The desert island golf clubs joke and a very interesting talk on the pros and cons of real nails against false ones which was much appreciated by the guitarists present. It might be interesting to bring Skeet back to give us a more in depth insight into the subject on another occasion.

The second half began with Elizabethís setting of the Sandy Denny Who Knows Where the Time Goes followed by my personal favourite song Is This Real Ė which is track 5 on the Cabinet Maker cd. There followed the haunting Free Falling; The Wisdom from Elizabeth in her Elfin Bow guise Ė an online version of which is to be found on You Tube - The Narrow Boat Sessions. With time running out before the witching hour they gave us All I Want Is You; Walk You Home and the last official song a Richard Shindell/Gary Edward Jones version of the Pete Seeger classic Waist Deep in the Big Muddy. Despite the late hour it was impossible for them to leave without an encore Ė Summer Wind. Thank you guys it was great.

Roll on the next 18 months.

Support was provided by club stalwarts (I hope I have the definition right); Barry and Corinne and Dick Woodhouse and in the second half Bryn Phillips.

A wonderful time was had by all.