Reviews 2014

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Liz Simcock

Bryn Phillips 25 April 2014

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It is always nice when a new artist turns up at the club, and this season we have had a varied selection of new artists, some local and some from further afield. Tonight we had Liz Simcock, a singer songwriter based in London. She sometimes performs with accompaniment from Boo Howard and Dave Ellis, but tonight she was on her own.

I knew that we were in for some good music as I had previously heard her songs on Spotify and YouTube, but it is always much better to watch a live performance. As she sang her first song “City Girl”, which was a nice way of introducing herself, I was reminded of Christine Collister, particularly in the careful voice control and clarity of the lyrics. Most of the songs she performed were based on her own experiences with inevitable introspection. None more so than in the wonderful Letisha Boccemski, which is an anagram of her name. Letisha is her confident alter-ego telling her to ignore the unwelcome advice that performers always seem to attract. The lyrics were nicely put together and well worth listening to:

“Letisha Boccemski says "What do they know?
Have faith in yourself and just go with the flow”

A song like that is a good way of deflecting well meaning advice and good to do early in the evening. One of my favourites was “The Bouzouki and The W3”, a bluesy number telling the story of how she left her Bouzouki on the W3 bus and didn’t get it back until three days later. A catchy tune with some catchy clever lyrics to match. Another song which again had that bluesy feel was “Pink and Silver Sneakers” a deceptively simple song with some very clever Dylanesque rap style lyrics. This was one of those songs that had been worked on for hours and hours with the rhyming picked over until it was exactly right:

“But seeing is believing and believe me when you see me
You’ll believe it, it will leave you without any doubt at all”.

As the first half progressed she built up a warm empathy with the audience and was quite relaxed with the usual club banter. She had made a hit with the audience and in the break everyone was commenting on what a nice person she was, and asking why she hadn’t been to the club before.

Although there was only one song with a chorus before the break, she made up for it in the second half which contained several songs giving the opportunity audience participation. The first song that got everyone going was Harry’s Eyes. She got us all singing the refrain over and over again until we put in some harmony, and once satisfied with our performance she launched into the song. It takes a lot of confidence and skill to get away with this, but she did, and we loved it. Following on with this success we had The Knitting Song with the chorus which started off with: “ Knit One Purl One, knit two together” which she admitted men aren’t so keen on singing, but of course we did.

All in all it was an excellent evening, which was pervaded by a relaxed feel-good factor. We enjoyed her company, her music and her songs and we are all looking forward to a return visit.
Support was provided by Dick Woodhouse and Bryn Phillips.