Reviews 2018

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

The Gerry Colvin Band

Les Jones 12 October 2018

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As the chimes of Left Bank Two by the Noveltones faded into the distance there began perhaps one of the best evenings I have experienced at The Woodman to date.

It began with two songs from John Hoare; the thought-provoking Anthony John Clarke song The Broken Years followed by John’s own song La Rana Loca. Named from a bar John and Carole frequented until it closed. (Having re-read the last sentence, I notice it can be read in two different ways). I refuse to change it. To further our enjoyment, we had two songs from Velvet Green both written by Paul. Rainy Days and I Don’t Want to Leave. After the break Bryn Phillips also gave us two of his songs I Couldn’t Believe What They’d Done and The Blues Keep Rolling. He of course oversaw the drawing of the raffle. After the normal three prizes Gerry produced another ticket to find who would have just missed a prize. He then told the "unlucky" person that they could choose a CD from his collection - so, lucky after all! Okay it sounds Loca, but you had to be there.

The rest of the evening was taken up by The Gerry Colvin Band:

Gerry Colvin: Lead vocals, guitar and general mayhem
Trish Power: Backing vocals, accordion and the butt of several jokes
Lyndon Webb: Backing vocals, guitar, 12 string guitar and mandolin
Jerome Davies: Double Bass and Hollow Bodied Electric Guitar.

All night I had been frantically writing notes so that I could give myself a chance of putting down in the review what had happen during the previous night. Despite the notes and my memory, it is difficult to know where to start or finish. In desperation I re-read my review of April 2016. Problem solved. I was younger then and more able to put it together, so I have done what I have never done before or will need to do again. I copied the review to today. I says all that I could want to say and captures the evening perfectly. I have of course changed any necessary detail, removed anything which did not happen and included that which did. Feel free to compare and contrast.

How do I explain the phenomenon that is Gerry Colvin? Humorous – yes. Talented musician – yes. Excellent songwriter – yes. Totally unique – definitely. Okay so he is accompanied by three other talented musicians; a fact acknowledged by Gerry on several occasions during the evening – more I think than I have heard from any other artist, together they are excellent, but as happened several times throughout the evening each one of them supported Gerry singly and created a whole different feel to the music again. I have to mention particularly one number which feature Gerry and Jerome on bass. I don’t have the words I would really like to describe the song, but the performance sent shivers down my spine and probably that of many others.

During the evening I could have been listening to music in a folk club; a country and western club; a little jazz club on the left bank in Paris and so many other places. We heard songs entitled; One More Week; I’m Postponing My Rehab ‘Til Tomorrow; The Man with The Watch; The Tragical Conceit of Millbank and Kat; Fate’s Fast Car; Johnny Cash Shirt; The House of the Setting Sun – which I have heard before and nearly brings me to tears; The Detective Song; Someone Else’s Shoes; God in A Bar; title wise, my favourite could have been, “Dad You Complete Bastard” but it had to be changed to “Feathers Falling from Angels” as it was still inside the watershed and we had children present. Pity that. I should also mention The Bell and the encore The Neverendum.

But all this is only one quarter of the Gerry Colvin that I saw tonight the rest really does remain very difficult to explain. Whatever I say cannot possibly convey the man but here goes. Great voice; wicked sense of humour; enthusiastic; energetic beyond belief but also able to produce songs which encompass all that and a poignancy and understanding of some difficult sensitive subjects. He is above all deeply appreciative of the part his audience plays in the evening and of the efforts of his band as an ensemble and as individuals. I lost count of the number of times he said, “Thank You”. No wonder the club was packed with both regulars and Gerry’s fans who had travelled some distance to see him.

Perhaps, as before, this is where I should end. I usually say something like a wonderful time was had by all. And it was. If you missed this evening I am sorry for you, but I recommend that you take any chance you get to see Gerry Colvin. He was “Inexplicable”.