Reviews 2008

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Full House
Bryn Phillips 16 May 2008

It’s always good to get a new acts on at the Woodman. They're always fresh and sometimes a really nice surprise. This year we’ve had a few new acts and without exception they have all fallen in the “really nice surprise” category, and Full House were no exception.

The band comprise five musicians, or six if you include their Scottish van driver, who is a fine accordion player in his own right. He did a support spot, but didn’t appear on stage with the band (“there’s enough of a cacophony up there without me joining in”) – shame really it would have been nice to have a couple of numbers with John included. But back to the band. They had a wide range of instruments including guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, melodeon, fiddle, drum, bodhran and whistle which they switched between effortlessly with minimal time wasted getting set up between numbers. Only once did Nick pick up the wrong instrument only to be told by Dave, after he realised his mistake, “I wasn’t going to tell you, it would have been more fun that way!”. Not surprisingly, armed with a vast number of instruments, they played quite a few instrumental numbers, which went down very well, with the appreciative Woodman audience. They also came up with a varied and good selection of songs. Their interpretation of John Tam’s “Harry Stone”, was exceptional, and their “Queen of All Argyle” was one of the best renditions I’ve heard. In fact there was quite a lot of the Scottish influence in their performance – no doubt influenced by their van driver – good to hear in a band from Cheshire! They also had a few self-penned songs in their repertoire which went down well and they even included a local flavour by doing the John Richard’s song “Did You Like the Battle Sir”. 

What struck me about the band was that they enjoyed the evening, gave a relaxed and effortless performance and had good rapport with the audience. I also liked the way, just before the encore, one of the band tossed his wallet to the (teetotal) van driver, who got in a round of drinks for the band ready for when they left the stage. Pints all round. Now that’s something you don’t often see nowadays, with many folk performers sipping bottled water. The important business settled, they  ended with an up tempo gospel song, “We’ll Fly Away”. 

Well done Ian, another good booking! Once again, a night to remember with support  provided by Ian Munro, Bryn Phillips, Paul Matthews and John Watson.