Meet me around the corner at The Belle Vue


An interesting collection of groups meets at The Belle Vue, including a Book Club and a Knitting Group. To accommodate them better, Alan the landlord is in the process of turning the ‘darts’ area around the corner from the main bar into a more separate ‘snug’. We were encouraged to try out this new area this evening rather than play in the main bar; the darts’ players took the area at the bottom of the bar.

As only five of us were there at 8:40, this seemed like a good plan. However, not only did we get enough of a turnout of regulars and occassionals to fill the room, there were also two couples who’d come specifically to listen. It didn’t seem right to leave them straining to hear from the bar, so we shuffled up and squeezed them in, even though that involved one of them sitting on the floor. So we had a cosy evening.

The welcome surprise of the evening was the appearance of Douggie Brown and friend Issy. Douggie started with one of Peter Bellamy’s settings of a Kipling poem (if anyone recalls what it was called, please let me know). Second time around, Issy (with D on the guitar) played a set of jigs (93 not out, The Plane Tree, The Turnpike) on the concertina. Douggie also got to sing ‘Grandy Berk’ (with what Terry called ‘funny fills’ on the melodeon) and Rambling Sailor.

I was surprised to see Martin and Kerraleigh - they’d played at The Marlow May Fayre on Saturday, the Crowne Plaza Beer Festival (£4.50 a pint!!!) on Monday and The Dog and Badger with The Bottom Line Three on Tuesday. Not only that, they have the small matter of a trip to USA next week to sample some music, maybe buy a guitar and see some sights. And to get married too. Congratulations in advance to them. Apart from Nina Nastasia’s Odd Said the Doe, this week’s collection of songs had fairly conventional names: Further North by Jonathon Rice; Walk a Mile by Holly Golightly; Kerosene Hat by Cracker and Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

Other contributions were:

  • Terry: Leon Rosselson's Single in Spring, Dylan’s Now ain’t the Time for your Tears, Shel Silverstein’s (via Doctor Hook) Freakers’ Ball
  • Dick: Daddy Fox (that had been borrowed from him last week), Man in the Moon, She Loved a Portuguese
  • Andy and Richard: Drinking Gourd, Banks of the Bann, The Band’s The Weight, Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight and their instrumental version of Over the Rainbow.
  • Rosie and me: Three polkas, two mazurkas (with percussion in 3-time as the darts thudded into the other side of the partition behind us), You Go to my Head (via Billie Holiday), Fishing Blues (via Taj Mahal), If Love is a Red Dress (Maria McKee via Pulp Fiction)
  • Simon: Always to Galway, Year comes Round Again, Shepherds’ Hay
  • John C: Its Going to be One of These Days, Lily the Pink
  • Clive: Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out
We’re at The Prince Albert next week (9th). As always, arrive early for a good seat (or, perhaps, any seat).

Clive’s Open Mic is at The Belle Vue on Sunday 13th, starting 3:30ish. Rosie and I went to the last one and got to play five songs - about two more than we’d expected.

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