Reviews 2016

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews


Les Jones 8th April 2016

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Gary Wilcox and Phil Hulse are Wilcox:Hulse and very good they are too. They were firstly introduced as Wilcox Hulse - without the colon – error. The colon is very important as many of us know and none more than in giving the lads stage name that little something different. They were introduced secondly as Wilcox:Hughes – error. I might have said that MC Bryn Phillips was having a bad night but as he keeps doing it perhaps it’s a ploy on his part to get things rolling with a laugh. It worked.

Anyway Wilcox colon Hulse were once two thirds of Queensbury Rules but tonight the gloves were off – Get it “Gloves off”. Ah well. A really nice pair of guys who gave us 14 songs and an encore in their two sets. Most songs were self-penned and could be taken home by means of the collection of CDs for sale in the interval.

They started with "The Cooper’s Lad" during which we were encouraged to play our various shakers. A refreshing break with tradition there I thought. Next came, "From The Top Down" followed by "Upon", a song about Stoke Upon Trent – which you don’t get very often. "Gallows Humour" was played on Bouzouki after some discussion as to where the instrument came in the pecking order of those to have the Mickey taken out of them. It was never finally resolved but of course the Banjo was top/bottom of the list as usual. "My Love’s in Germany" was a beautiful acapella song. "The Year of  ’42" and "Don’t You Love Me No More" finished the first set.

A brand new song "Lichfield Fair" began the second followed by a song written by Gary Wilcox about one of his pet subjects the environment, "Stand Softly". "Little Saturday" was a song about Wednesday. Apparently in Finland the inhabitants go out and have a drink or 10 on Wednesday evenings because they cannot wait until the weekend. It is therefore called Little Saturday. Me I’d have called it Wednesday or Keskiviikko in Finnish. I have forgotten to mention one of the most important matters of the night. Amongst the W:H fans who came with them was Chad whose birthday it was that day. I think he enjoyed it by the look of him. The song was dedicated to him and of course we sang "Happy Birthday to You" for him after the interval.

"When Young Men Went to War" was part three of an impromptu trilogy, started off by Bryn Phillips' "Are You All Cowards", and "The Call of The Laughing Dove" in his spot after the break and "High-speed" was about the HS2 which if it ever gets built will cut a giant swathe through parts of Staffordshire. You may wish to know that although only 1000 homes will be directly affected by the line there will be another 24000 homes whose value will be affected or made unsaleable because they are so close to the line. "Unsung" is about achievers who are often forgotten such as Alan Bean – the fourth man to walk on the moon. "Victory Avenue" would have been the last song had it not been for the encore "Beds Are Burning" a cover of the Midnight Oil song of some years ago about Australian Aborigines.

A great pair of guys who were accomplished musicians songwriters and sang beautiful harmonies. I would see them again.

Support was ably provided by Nothing to Prove and Velvet Green to start the evening and Bryn Phillips after the break. A wonderful time was had by all.