Reviews 2016

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

John & Emma Richards with Jim Sutton

Les Jones 22 January 2016

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A sell-out crowd, standing room only. What more can that tell you about the popularity of John Richards. He has been to the club more times than can be remembered over the years and he still brings in the crowds.

In 2014 he said that he was going to give up performing but as last night showed that didn’t last very long. The band was stripped down to John on guitar and bouzouki – well I thought it was a bouzouki I forgot to ask him. If you think differently have a look on his website. Let me know what you think. Anyway, John was joined by his daughter Emma on vocals and backing vocals and James Sutton on keyboards and a magnificent upright bass (no not at the same time).

The band gave us two superb sets of mainly self-written songs by John; as well as a couple of covers. Easy’s Getting Harder – Iris Dement; Blessing in Disguise – Clive Gregson both sung by Emma. Included in both sets were poignant songs like Hall Sands and the Foundry Man’s Daughter and a new song as yet unrecorded Yellows and Blues about the longing for the return of Spring. Undoubtedly the best title of the night award goes to “Never Trouble Trouble” which continues “Until Trouble Troubles You”. Ever reliable Google (which out of interest has just agreed to pay £130 million in back tax to HMRC) says the phrase has American origins – a poem and an album title – who am I to argue. But the prize for best collaboration surely goes to The Smuggler’s Song with music by John and lyrics by Rudyard Kipling. Google failed this time to show whether Kipling knows of this. To be fair I suspect not.

After an hour and a half, the audience still refused to let the band go without an encore. So when given a choice of If You Walk You Can Dance or Home Is Where the Heart Is – the audience chose both. A great end to a wonderful evening with friends. Don’t leave it too long to come back John.

As usual excellent musical support was provided by club regulars Velvet Green and Barry and Corrine (BaCos to me until they tell me different) and our MC Mr Bryn Phillips who each gave us two songs. Thank you again.

Enjoy Yourselves. We did.