Reviews 2016

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Clive Gregson

Les Jones 13 May 2016

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I have decided for this review to only use words and phrases that are true and honest and most of all can be understood by the reader. Therefore, when I say that once again that Left Bank 2 by the Noveltones faded into the ether, what I really mean is that Derry who is a sound man (?) switched it off. Get it?

Contributors to the Woodman Team are flexible, though stiffening with age, so when Derry joined Nothing to Prove for their set Paul of Velvet Green sat on the sound desk (?). As resident band NTP claimed four songs instead of the usual three, but only to make the first song Happy Birthday a dedication to Paul – remember him on the sound desk? – for his anniversary on Tuesday next. No mention was made of an age but a fiver my way will secure the information if you are that desperate. The audience of course joined in and how beautiful it sounded as did the couple of chords the band got right. Velvet Green followed with just two numbers as there was no one else with a birthday and adaptable Derry resumed his role on the sound desk.

There is a real pleasure in writing these reviews if for no other reason than I have to recall the evening to do it. In this instance I am listening to a Clive Gregson live cd and imagining I am at the Woodman at which Clive is a regular if not frequent visitor. He came first in 2002 and the last to date 2013. I personally had never seen him perform until tonight. Oh what I have missed. I have to admit to liking good guitarists. Clive fully qualifies and some. From Buddy Holly to gentle love songs. I could have listened all night – in fact that’s what I did now I think about it. More than this though, he writes amazing songs and sings them so well. An amazingly powerful voice which meant him standing back from the microphone.

The first half went very quickly it was so good – 10 songs all new – which are intended for his next cd – he goes into the studio in September which means we have to wait until the end of the year for it. Can’t come soon enough. He apologised for “practicing them” on us. Believe me it was a privilege. Watch out in particular for Brand New Me; One in a Million and the Birthday Song. The latter is only a working title written on 4th January 2016 – Clive will be pleased to receive any cards and gifts you may wish to send his way in 2017.

The break was brought to a halt as usual by two self-written songs from Bryn before he conducted the raffle – no baton. Prizes were a Clive CD; the obligatory bottle of wine (so customary or fashionable as to be expected of everyone or on every occasion.) and rather more unusually 1.50 kilos of potatoes. Won by our own Keith Mansell. The other prizes went to more deserving souls.

Clive’s second half was if possible even better than the first. Ten more songs including the much deserved encore. This time he played his “hits” –which had been recorded by other artists as well as Clive. I Love This Town by Nanci Griffith for whom Clive worked for a number of years during his time in Nashville. Northern Soul by Smokie. All Just Talk by Nancy Gerber but more recently Matt Cardle – X Factor winner and seller of many many cds. Clive was curious as to how a young person such as Matt had heard his song – Matt’s mom is a big Clive Gregson Fan. Good old mom – excellent taste. Fred Astaire was recorded by Dennis Locorriere of Doctor Hook fame and Clive’s favourite version by Norma Waterson, matriarch of the traditional folk family Waterson-Carthy. We’re Not Over Yet by Mary Chapin Carpenter much loved by the audience. Not Fade Away written by Buddy Holly (just in case you didn’t know) was preceded by a lovely story about Clive’s time on the BBC Radio Folk Show with Mike Harding. The idea was that they would played songs from Clive’s Ipod and he could talk about them – unfortunately the iPod only contained 1950s 1960s rock ‘n rock, so he talked about some songs they thought he might like. He has not been asked back. The final songs were My Kind of Girl; Glen Campbell and Antidote for Love. The encore he sang without the aid of amplification down with the audience and chose the last song he ever played for his mother. There was nothing to do after that than go home.

As was usual – A Wonderful Time Was Had by All.