Hot and sultry at the Prince Albert


Well, Prince Alberts should be hot and sultry, shouldn't they? Okay, forget I said that. There was some sort of a warm-up jig or two that most instrumentalists joined in, even Izzy. I was still finding my pen at that point, so I never did hear what they were. Dick Frost kicked off with "Bring us a Barrel". The chorusers are really getting into those six-part harmonies, there. Delia sang "Bury me beneath the Willow", and Stuart sang "Oh you New York Girls (can't you dance the polka)". We got some good choruses going on those too. What's the Acronym? EJITC. Everyone joined in the chorus! Ye gods, this internet stuff is taking off. Or catching on. One or the other. Then it was Dougie and Bob, a lovely combination of fiddle and guitar, an entertainment in itself while Dougie was getting his guitar out of the fireplace, and later when they were playing musical chairs, or perhaps it was falling between two stools. They played "The House Carpenter" first (in Dorian, or possibly Doreen), and then "Living in the Country". Alan and Rosie were next. They played two "easy polkas" Teahan's Favourite and Maggie in the Woods. (They played the same ones last time I did the blog. I expect they thought I wouldn't notice. It does make it easier for me! )Then Rosie sang a Joan Armatrading number "I really must be going" to Alan's accompaniment. It brought a tear to the eye. Then it was me, doing the best I could with two jigs on the pennywhistle: "I do not Incline" and "Tousle your Kerchief". Martin and Kerralee showed us how it was done with a number by Jonathan Rice "Further North", and one of their own compositions, "Twenty Four Letters". These guys get my vote. They are blogger-friendly and showed me the titles on paper! And I loved Martin's ornamental bottleneck. Kerralee is getting good on that harmonica accompaniment!
Around about this time there was an influx of cricketers, so the buzz of chat from the other end of the bar increased perceptibly. Not that it affect us, at all.
Marty played "Cousin Jack" – I think it was on his tenor guitar, but I can't be sure. EJITC! Richard and Andy played "Carrickfergus", on guitar and low whistle and singing with a fair amount of joining in, since it doesn't actually have a chorus as such, but everybody knows the words to that one. Don't they? Simon had snuck in by that time, looking like a dirty stop-out, and played "No-one ever had a brother like Martin" on his accordian. EJITC again.
We had come full circle back to Dick again, who obliged with "Twas on an April Morning", without a chorus but a certain amount of joining in anyway. Delia got a lot more joining in with "Messing about on the river." There is a certain skill in choosing a song with a nice simple refrain. Stuart sang "Pleasant and Delightful". Some of us know the chorus to that one, too. Or the words. One or the other. Maybe both. At any rate we can repeat the last line like a good 'un.
Now Dougie and Bob played a pair of French Canadian Reels. But they didn't tell me which ones. Not blogger-friendly, guys! Black mark! Their second number was the Ballad of Eddie Baker, with a joining in chorus. Now see, if they were blogger-friendly, I wouldn't mention the mild memory-lapse... could have happened to anyone... I have these memory lapses myself... and they're contagious... but I remember the bone-shaker/muck-spreader. Can you have a bone-shaker-muck-spreader? Obviously you can.
While the raffle equipment was being found, Alan played the Pernod Waltz on his mandolin. Lovely stuff. A very curious tune. I've got that in my pending file. I must have another look at it. Rosie sang "The Grass is Blue" to Alan's accompaniment. Sad songs they're playing. Anything you need to share, guys?
Then I had a go on my Native American Flute. They don't call it NAF for nothing... Quoted the Skolion of Seikilos, which is the oldest tune I know. It's the wrong thing to do on a NAF, but arguably the right thing to do at a folk club.
The Raffle was a Triumph, with an matching image being picked in fewer than ten goes! John won! (With a Xylophone.)
Martin and Kerralee again, playing their own composition, "We live in the valley", and one by Bonnie Prince Billy "Ease Down the Road" . "A song of Infidelity and Drunk-driving" as Martin said. See? Keep in with the blogger and you get verbatim quotes. Fail to do so and your witty story may be lost to posterity... No, I don't bear grudges...
Marty used his other guitar to play "Old Friends", a melancholy folk-club-ish one. Nicely done. John regaled us with the original traditional version of "Pinball Wizard", a cheerful delight after the distressing rocked-up version by that pop band. Can't remember the name... the who? Richard and Andy combined to play "Mrs McGrath" and followed that up with "To Welcome Paddy Home". Simon took out his accordion again to play a couple of tunes, the second of which was "the Prince Albert" which I find variously described as a hornpipe and a scottische. If that's the tune he was playing, which it might not be. The serious instrument-players were joining in, anyway. SO there you are.
Dick Frost wound up the evening with "She loved a Portugee". That put the cap on the session.
I'm getting the hang of this blogging business, I think. Song titles in 12-point Times New Roman on plain white stationery, for next time, please. Bitter, since you ask, and I'm happy to accept halves. I'm not proud. You *can* get a good write-up!

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  1. Fred is too modest - lovely NAF playing!