At The Prince Albert, Frieth, England


Despite it being a proper old pub with excellent beer, the Prince Albert is usually empty by the time we arrive on a Wednesday. So we were surprised to find several drinkers in the pub when we got there this week. After some debate and shuffling around, we settled in the end which isn’t full of tables. It was so much of a squeeze that Steve kept disappearing into the restaurant area (his ’dressing room’) to get a seat.

Probably as preparation for our St Georges Day session at The Old Ship, we had an unplanned English focus this evening. The English tunes were started off (during the shuffling) by Dave H on melodeon with Young Collins & Princess Royal. Simon and Dave F’s added Steamboat / Rambling Sailor, Speed the Plough / Jenny Lind and, with Roger on harmonica, Scan Tester. Roger kicked off Seven Stars on guitar. At one point, Dave H, Simon, Rosie and Roger R were all playing melodeons.

Stuart took us to Dartmoor with The Bellringers, and Simon and Dave took us back later with Show of Hands’ Widdecombe Fair. Dave’s contribution to the south coast thread was his own song Smugglers’ Moon.

Once again, Richard Thompson failed to turn up for the evening, so Karen deputised for him by singing Dimming of the Day with Roger and Crazy Man Michael with Steve.

Dick’s songs for the evening were Let Union Be, the lovely Limehouse Reach and Walking Your Bulldog. Roger R sang Green Grows the Laurel and The Rosabella, a shanty apparently collected in North Somerset. Vicky’s only song for the evening was Rose In April with her own excellent guitar accompaniment - it was worth waiting for. Other songs were Dave H’s Oil, Little Vagabond (with words written in 1794 by William Blake) from Delia, and He Must Have Been a Mormon from John.

We had a trip across the channel for Valse Eric Rocher and a French schottische from Rosie and Alan and Canale en Octobre from Roger.

The more contemporary side of the club surfaced with Billy Joel’s Piano Man from Dave F and Simon. This song was used to good effect for a Viennese waltz on Strictly Come Dancing by Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy, which is about as far from a folk club as can be imagined. Rosie and Alan followed with John Lennon’s Across the Universe and Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make it Through the Night. More contemporary country music came from Karen and Steve with Steve Earle’s I Ain’t Ever Satisfied.

To finish off, we couldn’t resist revisiting Saturday’s St Patrick’s success. Karen and Roger led Jolly Beggarman, onto which Rosie added the reel The Wise Maid. Steve and Dick led an unaccompanied Molly Mallone, then Karen, Rosie, Steve and Roger completed the evening with Look at the Coffin.

Next week, we’re at T J O’Reillys in Marlow Bottom, where we’ll have more space but the beer will be nowhere near as good.

You Might Also Like