Mr Humphries Railway revisited at The Prince Albert


Once again, we had an almost-full complement of the usual suspects and filled the pub to overflowing. We just managed to get two turns each.

Congratulations were due to David and Alison for their Silver Wedding Anniversary on Tuesday. Had we known in advance, we could have prepared some suitable material. As it was, Rosie came up with the reel Silver Spear (With Sally Gardens) in the break and Delia added the Anniversary Waltz.

Among the many highlights of the evening was a song called The Sun it Goes Down, in which David, Simon and Alison each sang a verse. They’d learned this number when they performed in Steve Heap’s production called Mr Humphries Railway, with which they toured Sweden and the south of England in 1982. I’ve been provided with a contemporary photo of some of the cast, and am open to offers not to publish it here, especially from the member dressed in the Saturday-Night-Fever-meets-Sunday-Morning-Cardigan outfit. I suspect that this number will pop up in Chesham on 8th.

Alison also sang Sally Ann along with Done With Sin and Sorrow and later Sally Rogers’ Lovely Agnes. David was surprised that I didn’t recognise his song. I think he told me it was by John Martyn, so it was probably Dive Deep. Simon led the assembled musicians in Oscar Wood’s Jig and Dark Girl Dressed in Blue.

Also digging up old material were Richard and Andy. As well as Down Where The Drunkards Roll, we heard:

  • May I Rest My Mind While (I think)
  • Could Not Take My Eyes Off You (usually sung by Bob)
  • Still I Love Him (that I know from The Bothy Band as ‘Do You Love An Apple’)
Martin and Kerraleigh (AKA The August List) are getting more impressive all the time. This evening, they played:
  • Black Night by Holly Golightly (best known to me from her cameo appearance on The White Stripes Elephant)
  • Vessel in Vain by Bill Callaghan
  • Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis
  • Stormy Weather by Nina Nastasia
In preparation (i.e. rehearsal) for our country-flavoured gig at The Dog & Badger on 1st December, different combinations of the as-yet-unnamed 5 piece band played:
  • Here In California (Kate Wolf, who’ll probably get 3 songs in our set)
  • Take Me Home Country Roads (Roger has yet to get the round glasses for this)
  • Lowlands
  • In The Jailhouse Now
  • I’ll Fly Away
Other contributions were:
  • Dick: Dido Bendigo (presumably because there was a shooting or hunting group in the pub when we arrived) and Limehouse Lass
  • Delia: Look What They’ve Done To My Song Ma (a hit in 1970 for Melanie)
  • Jim: Oh Boys Oh, Maid of Bethnal Green
  • Bob: Do You Wanna Dance, written and recorded by Bobby Freeman in 1958 (it’s rumoured that Jerry Garcia played lead guitar on this), but best known by brits of a certain age from the Cliff and the Shadows’ version in 1962, Tim Hardin’s If I Were A Carpenter
  • Gerry: John Lennon’s Julia, Dougie Maclean’s Down Too Deep
  • Steve: Nanci Griffith’s Gulf Coast Highway
  • Rosie and me: Schottische A Bethanie
  • Ian: Flying Dutchman
We have our first visit to the Dog and Badger at Medmenham next week. Please come a long to make the evening a success.

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