Reviews 2020

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Pete Kelly

Woody* 24 January 2020

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Hi, Woody here and since this is the first review I have written this year, may 2020 be a happy and folk full year to you all. Before I go on let me just mention my friend Willow. We have been hanging around together for a little while so it was only inevitable really that she should come to the club with me to see what it is all about. Thank you so much to everyone who has made her so welcome, as indeed you do with everyone who attends the club.

Right, now on with the review.

The evening open with Dick Woodhouse performing two songs from the much missed Jake Thackray; The Blacksmith and the Toffee Maker and The Hair of the Widow of Bridlington, a song which contains more lyrics than the title even suggests. Lucky Dick was aided by his brand new iPad scrolling system which practically played the songs for him. Dick was followed by a special guest support, the lovely Emma Langford, sitting in for the absent Nothing To Prove. The Paul Simon classic Slip Slidin’ Away was followed by Don't Go by The Hothouse Flowers. But after two songs she did and went back to the audience; pity really, more would have been nice.

So on to Pete Kelly. Always a welcome visitor to the club; indeed he has guested with us nine times in the last ten years. This evening, however, has to be one of, if not the best. Beset as it was by several, if not many examples of mishaps and memory lapses about, which guitar he was meant to be playing, or where he had put his glasses the whole evening merged into one huge session of hilarity and music.

All the songs were written by Pete over he says, the last 38 years. Many were requests – mainly it seems from Paul Matthews, but he says only three. I can only go on what Pete said. Or can I? The first half went something like this: A Good Day – a song of consequences. Barefoot on the Shore – the second of a two song story of love by the seaside – requested by Megan. Pete donned his dad’s cap and changed his guitar to sing The Raid – a sad tale of the 1916 “accidental” zeppelin raid on Wednesbury, which destroyed property and lives – realising his error he swapped back his guitar. It really was that sort of evening. – Paul’s request. There followed the reading of Pete’s old school reports which contained some interesting phraseology from his teachers and poor predictions for his future considering he became a deputy head and later an education adviser. After another guitar change he gave us Racing With The Moon. Something he suggests we all try. Paul requested Room of Dreams and Kim Lowings – not there to defend herself – was blamed for giving him the inspiration to write Build Me A Boat. He finished off the set with a great join-in song about Grandad’s Lead Guitar.

Bryn opened up the second spasm with Hard Seat Thin Cushion Blues – the theory being that the worse the act you are watching the harder the seat is. Doesn’t happen here I wouldn’t know. He led the way to the raffle with I Love The Black Country.

And so to the second set from Pete Kelly. Much more hilarity and his own songs. The Folk Club; The poignant The Bells of War; The Tipton Pony – requested by Keith and accompanied by Debbie on Bodhran. Derry replaced Debbie to play bass on Reservation Road and a story about Pete’s trip to Montana. George Kelly – requested by Paul led us into Cowboy For A Day which is preceded by Navajo Waltz. Here we had Dick and John Hoare doing their best to sound like horses by playing coconut shells. Far be it from me to comment. There was of course an encore; the beautiful and very appropriate Time To Go Home. And we did.

So, once again, this is me, Woody, (and Willow), signing off for this time. And as usual.

A wonderful night was had by all, here’s to the next one.

* Notes taken by Les Jones, who also typed up the review, but the views expressed are 
  those of Woody, the club mascot.