Allan Taylor’s visit to the
Woodman on Friday was long overdue, having never played the new Woodman
venue. This consummate performer enthralled his audience throughout the
evening with his own songs and excellent guitar, starting with ‘Brighton
Beach’ and planned his set to cover five decades of his life beginning
in Brighton and following him around the world from America and back to
Europe. The song’ Long Line of Lovers’ moved us to Greenwich Village
followed by ‘Syracuse and Albany’ with a Latin American influence.
Only three songs into his set and we had already decided to buy his CD!
He returned us to Europe in the 1970’s with ‘Crazy Amsterdam’
explaining that he spent a lot of time in bars and cafes writing songs
about the stories he heard and the people around him. ‘The Mission
Hotel’ and ‘Los Companeros’ were the next in his set.
After performing ‘Back Home To You’ off his new album, he changed the
pace with ‘Pearls and Wine’, a gentle song about a lady of 85, who was
a pearl stringer, after he heard about the death of her husband.
Back to Paris, we heard ‘Creole Girl’ written at the same time as
‘Brighton Beach’ while he was touring the bars there. He was
influenced by Deryll Adams, Alex Campbell and Rambling Jack Elliott who
sang on the streets Paris and paved the way for folk clubs. A book by Jack
Carraway inspired Allan to get out onto the road and thank goodness it
He closed his set with ‘It’s Good To See You’ a song covered by many
and recorded in 10 languages and once sung to the Pope in German, Latin
And English. Which makes Allan a papal songwriter!
Of course he played an encore, a new song, ‘I’m Going Home’. Most
Having not seen Allan Taylor for about 28 years, I realised just what
we’ve been missing. We will not miss him next time around. At least for
the time being I can listen to his CD!