The vital few at The Belle Vue


Fewer of us than usual turned at The Belle Vue this week, partly because there had been a Bottom Line gig at the Dog & Badger the day before. Nevertheless, we all dug deep and managed to pull together more material than we thought we’d have to play.

Martin and Kerraleigh made their first visit to The BV, and made the most the opportunity to share part of their growing repertoire, including their own impressive songs Garden Ray, The Old Rocking Chair and Petrified Forest. I was very taken by The Low Anthem’s To the Ghosts Who Write History Books (what a great title). We also heard This is not a Test by She and Him (not a great name), Isobel Campbell’s The Circus is Leaving Town, PJ Harvey’s White Chalk (about Dorset rather than the Chilterns) and Settling Song by Nina Nastasia.

We also had an original song from Glen – At the Dawn of my Day. However, her most notable contribution was Gary Richard Tigerman’s.Seduced. Given the lyrics, and the fact that she was sitting next to Dick, it was natural that hands would wander and the number would end with a kiss! Her other songs were John McCutcheon’s Stone by Stone and John Denver’s Kissing You Goodbye.

As usual, Dave’s songs were his own. Tonight’s were (in my opinion) two of his best; Tolpuddle Men and Nova Scotia. He took us back to the Pegasus by playing Young Collins & The Princess Royal - we used to play them pretty much every week. He also added Morgan’s Run.

On the subject of The Pegasus, Dick used to be accused of singing Bring Us a Barrel every week. Tonight, it was part of his ‘greatest hits’ package that also included Limehouse Reach, Fatal Glass of Beer and Man in the Moon.

Sadly, Jimi Hendrix’ material doesn’t feature often in our evenings so Martin’s version of Angel, from the last Hendrix album Cry of Love, was much welcomed by me. His other songs were Scarborough Fair, David Francey’s Lucky Man and Carol King’s You’ve Got a Friend (in the James Taylor style).

Ian’s songs were Harvey Andrew’s Unaccompanied, about the Jarrow marches, the sea song Radcliffe Highway and The Back Streets of Glasgow. John contributed May The Turtle be Unbroken and Ghost Riders in the Sky (who probably didn’t write history books). Being without Rosie, I had to inflict three mandolin tunes on those assembled. They were the jig Ships in Full Sail, O’Carolan’s Draught and the English country dance tune Jack Robinson (with Dave’s assistance).

Clive, who runs the BV Open Mic on the second Sunday of the month at 3pm, encouraged us to attend, before borrowing a guitar and singing John Sebastian’s Younger Girl,

We hope to have our usual good attendance at the Prince Albert next week.

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