Five Martins, two Dans, four Easter songs, two John Denver songs and two obscurities at The Dog & Badger


The Dog & Badger was doing good business on Wednesday, but had kindly put reserved signs on the tables at the end at which we usually gather. We had a very good turnout and, as we squeezed in to the limited space, we made sure that all three Martins, two of whom were playing Martin guitars, sat in a row.

Here’s what the Martins (in descending age) played and sang:

‘Bledlow’ Martin: Al Stewart’s Year of the Cat (which took some of us back to our times at university, when it was playing at every flat you went to) and Tim Hardin’s Reason to Believe. This song was the original A side of Rod Stewart’ massive hit ‘Maggie May’

Martin and Kerraleigh (The August List): Crow Jane (trad but learned from Holly Golightly’s version), Grand Dark Feeling of Emptiness (Bonny Prince Billy), Sweetheart Rodeo (Dawn Landes) and Happy (Jenny Lewis)

Martin Jackson (on a brief visit home from Derby): Steely Dan’s Peg (with Rosie), Jace Everett’s A Little Less Lonely, Alice in Chains’ No Decision

Martin J also accompanied Rosie (who had an accompanist upgrade for the evening) on Joan Armatrading’s I Really Must be Going. This excellent torch song was not originally released in the UK, only on an EP on the continent which also, incidentally, contained Rosie, Joan’s hit single (well #49 anyway) about a transvestite.

The other rock obscurity of the evening was David’s rendition of Steely Dan’s Here at the Western World. This is another super song that’s not on a mainstream album, just on compilations.

We also had some Easter songs: Seven Virgins (The Leaves of Life) and Easter Draws Near at Hand from Ian, Joseph’s Son from Debbie and Pace Egging Song from Simon.

Terry sang Forest Lawn (I Want To Go Simply When I Go). I was surprised to find out that this was written by John Denver, whom I associate more with songs like Follow Me, sung later by Glen (who only got one turn - sorry Glen).

For me, the two contrasting highlights of the evening came near the end:

  • Terry’s version of Shep Wooley’s hilarious parody of You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille.
  • Alison and David’s beautiful version of Steve Prothero’s The Swallow. This was a ‘pin drop’ moment. The attendees of Maidenhead Folk Club might be lucky enough to hear this on 29th April.
The other songs were:
  • Albatross and Hop Picking (Dave)
  • Billy Bragg’s New England (Rosie and me - guess who’s got a St George’s Day gig)
  • Adieu to Old England and, in a key to attract the local bats, Raggle Taggle Gypsy (Delia)
  • She Loved a Portuguese and Fatal Glass of Beer (Dick)
  • Mixed Morris Dancing and Pat Pong Girl (Patrick)
  • The Crow on the Cradle (Alison and David)
  • The Sun it Goes Down (David, Alison and Simon)
The tunes for the evening were:
  • Teahan’s Favourite/Maggie in the Woods (Rosie and me)
  • Up the Sides and Down the Middle and Oscar Wood’s Jig (Simon and David)
  • One I didn’t catch the name of and The Bear Dance (Stuart and Delia)
We’re at The Belle Vue in Wycombe, next Wednesday, 7th April. In the meantime, there’s The Bottom Line gig at the Dog & Badger on Tuesday 6th.

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