Wednesday 27th August at TJ O'Reilly's


Wednesday saw a hard core of enthusiasts at TJ O'Reilly's ( and lets face it you have to be enthusiastic to go there) with the noticeable absence of a number of thoroughly selfish holidaying members and boat trippers. We refer of course to Alan, Rosie and Martin (France followed by Norfolk Broads), Simon (the Iberian Peninsular) and Madame Hemmingham (swanning off on the Queen Mary 2). The die hards were Dave, Norma, Jennifer, Steve, Alison, Dave, Stuart, Helen, Dick and last but by no means least, Roger.

Dick decided to go round a different way for once, catching Roger unprepared, so Dave Heath treated us to the melodeon tunes John Collins and The Princess Royal, with which various members joined in. This was followed by Steve's rendition of the Garth Brooks number "Everyone Now and Then" and Dave Fenner accompanying himself on mandola did a very pretty version of "Dusty Diamond Dealer" ( authorship unknown). Mrs F then treated us to a splendid rendition of Maggie Holland's "Black Crow" accompanied by her dutiful other half. Surprise visitor Helen then sang to her own guitar accompaniment "The Fisherman's Song" by Andy M Stewart. Stuart then reminded us what a good guitarist he is by accompanying himself on the timeless "May You Never" by John Martin. It was then Dick's turn to produce another song of unknown authorship, "Monday Morning". Dave H's 2nd contribution was the splendid self-penned "Let Smiling Be Your Banner". Not to be outdone in the self-penned department Steve then gave us his "Sweet Music". Dave and Alison, digging deep into a repertoire from long ago, then played a mandola / duet concertina rendition of the "Balkan Hornpipe", illustrating just what a fine concertina player Alison is, after which Dave took up the guitar again whilst Alison sang Richard Thompson's "Never Again".

Also not to be outdone in the self-penned department, Helen gave us her very own "Grey Dawn" and Stuart, coming into great form, played a lovely instrumental "Papa George" by his hero Tommy Emmanuel! Continuing the anonymous theme, Dick gave us the splendid but otherwise unknown, "Hares on the Mountain". At this point Roger, having not played anything due to missing Karen so much, was persuaded to launch into Turlough O'Carolan's "Si Bheag Si Mhor", which enjoyed a spirited contribution from Helen on concertina.

Reminding us of our energy needs, Dave H sang the topical "Oil" (self-penned) and Steve then reminded us of Les Sullivan's song writing talents with "Five Pounds". Dave and Alison continued with their excellent contribution to the evening's entertainment by giving us a song that most of us had never heard before they did it, from an arrangement by Nickel Creek, "The Hand Song". Huw Williams's "Rosemary's Sister" by Dave H brought us back to Helen again with the traditional "Fair and Tender Ladies". Stuart then reminded us all of his previous expertise in the field of classical guitar music by giving us the beautiful "Prelude in D Minor" by some bloke called, apparently, J S Bach.

Finally the irrepressible Dick brought us all back to earth, and a very enjoyable evening to a close, with "Tom Brown".

Next week we are at the Belle Vue in High Wycombe, where they gave us such a fabulous welcome when we played there at the end of July. So do come along for another great evening.

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