Reviews 2018

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Liz Simcock

Les Jones 16 March 2018

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One of the great joys of music especially live music, is when you discover someone new. Tonight, I had that pleasure. I had of course heard of Liz Simcock from club members and others here and there, but I had never seen her perform. What a pleasure it was. According to the club archives, Liz last visited the club in 2015, but I was off somewhere exotic at the time, so I missed her. Another life long regret since she is not only a wonderful singer, a relaxing style of playing guitar and bouzouki, but a lovely sense of humour, an engaging personality and if I may be permitted to say it a smile that lights up the whole room. Between songs there was the usual banter which she joined in. I noticed she seemed to be getting into the feel of the club when she said “You’re mad aren’t you” or words to that effect. I thought yes, she’s got it.

She claims that unlike more productive writers such as Clive Gregson, with whom she has recorded an album and is touring again shortly, she only writes a song on average every six months. This may be the case but each one is well worth the wait. There are songs about life, thought provoking songs, personal reminiscences and some which are just plain funny. Yes, well worth the wait. Liz is not overly possessive of her songs either as any time there was a chorus not only were we invited to join in, but we were given line by line lessons, so we could contribute fully. Okay Liz I admit that your habit of changing one of the lines each time the chorus came around was challenging but trying to remember four lines was a challenge for an audience of our mature years anyway it just gave us an excuse to get it wrong.

We were given two “spasms” as Derry would say consisting songs from her four cds. Each had a short introduction by way of explanation I could not take note of them all but here goes:

Friday Night Train Home; Dancing with You; Scissors Cuts Paper;
The Sand That makes The Pearl – a tale about the end of a relationship;
Long Crawl Back – which Liz thought may have “to the light” on the end – but it doesn’t. Amazing when you can’t remember the names of t your own songs: Walking on Eggshells. Cromer Pier – written when Liz was playing gig near Cromer and came from the line – Wish You Were Here, Cromer Pier – poetic that; The Time of My Life ended “The first spasm.

In the interval Dick and I cornered Liz and made a couple of requests. I apologised because my request I knew was played in DADGAD which would mean her having to retune at some point. I need not have worried as she played the first four or five songs in DADGAD – made the retune worthwhile.

City Girl – my request; The Long Haul; Stepping Back in Time; To Dance Like You Do – written after seeing the duo Jig Jaw at a club – an acappella group who also step danced; By the Way – exchanges of text messages when staying in remote places and missing home; The Bouzouki and The W3 – Dick’s request and an excellent one too. My favourite of the evening – I am listening to it now. A humorous tale of Liz’s misfortune when taking her new bouzouki to a Luthiers to have the strings lowered. It all turns out right in the end but I never did find out if she ever got the strings lowered; I Want to Go Dancing Tonight – a new song not on a cd at present – got a lovely little chorus; Got to Keep Walking – would have been the last song had we not refused to let her go until she sang an encore; Pink and Silver Sneakers – which on the surface says a lot about her dress sense but has a deeper inner meaning of course.

The evening began on a somewhat darker note when during the first number in NTP’s five song set all the lights went out. There were of course several suggestions as to why that was and some innovative use of mobile phone torches before they were restored. NTP gave us; I Will Do; Just What You Have Done; Gold watch Blues – written by Mick Softley and recorded by Donovan; Debbie’s lovely version of the Karine Polwarth song Follow the Heron; And somewhat different for the band and in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day they finished with I’ll Tell Me Ma. Bryn delighted us and Liz with his Throckmorton Coat. Now that’s a chorus.

All that I can say now is:
A Wonderful Night Was Had by All.
Here’s to The Next One.