Reviews 2010

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Allan Taylor

Sue Matthews 21 May 2010

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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 did. 

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 appropriate.
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!