Reviews 2019

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Mike Silver

Woody* 27 September 2019

Click on photo to 
see larger image

Hi Woody here again. The second night of the 2019/2020 season and my second review. This time it is club favourite and regular visitor Mike Silver, all the way from Cornwall to see us on his way further north for a series of gigs. This time he brought with him his wife Julie; more of whom later.

It is exactly a year to the day since his last visit and his 11th in the last 20 years. I also noticed from my lofty perch that as usual he encouraged several new visitors to come to the club just to see him.

Mike has “been in the business” since the late 1960’s and has the unique record of being the first solo artist (apart from the man himself) to sign for Elton John’s Rocket Records in 1973. He is a consummate guitarist who puts so much skill and feeling into what he plays. I could listen all night just to his playing. His songs are exquisite, beautiful tunes and meaningful lyrics on all manner of subjects. That said – it was one of those nights when not everything went to plan; the occasional lost of lyrics; a guitar that refused to tune and an announcement of the wrong song at one point. This was where his true professionalism showed through and all was smoothed over making a bit of fun out whatever it was.

Despite being a prolific songwriter himself he sang several songs by others – One Too Many Mornings/Bob Dylan; Paris and The Amber Room/The late Ewen Carruthers with whom Mike wrote two songs. The second The Power he also sang. In the first half he sang Jackeroo – which if I have this right he wrote about Martyn Wyndham-Read who at the age of seventeen emigrated to Australia on his own and found himself at the end of his journey in an outback town all alone. In the second half he sang one of Martyn’s songs Cock of the North for which he had put the words to lyrics written by the wife of an Australian fisherman. Late in the second he was joined on stage by his wife Julie. It was here that the always reluctant Julie was encouraged to announce the song John Condon only to find that it was not the right one. Nonetheless she handled it well and they went on to start with the Brad Paisley song Whisky Lullaby; John Condon and the aforementioned Cock of the North. They made a lovely duo. Throughout the evening we were treated to any old favourites; When The Spirit Shakes The Tree; Jack Dances; JCB; Never Too Late; The Devil’s In The Detail; and the wonderfully moving Pretoria; plus, a brand-new song How Much Is Enough, a phrase Mike picked up somewhere, possibly from his dad.
The much-wanted encore-Not A Matter Of Pride- was the cause of the problems with the untunable guitar; causing him to have to change it for another. Good job he had brought four with him. He finished to rapturous applause. And quite rightly so.

I should also mention the wonderful support provided by Velvet Green, Baz and Coz and of course “Your MC for the evening and a wonderful songwriter in his own right” Bryn Phillips.

So, here’s me, Woody, signing off for this time. And as usual;

A wonderful night was had by all, here’s to the next one.

* Notes taken by Les Jones, who also typed up the review, but the views expressed are 
  those of Woody, the club mascot.