Reviews 2016

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Mick Bisiker, Nigel Ward & Chris Radley

Les Jones 15 January 2016

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I had thought that this first review of 2016 would be simple. Three musicians Mick Bisiker – Guitar and Bouzouki; Nigel Ward – Fiddle and Guitar; Chris Radley – Electric Bass. It started off easy enough an excellent set by club residents Nothing to Prove and a couple of delightful songs from Dick Woodhouse in the course of which only three people died. OK so in addition we did have to listen to NTP’s Paul explaining his absence from the club last week. I don’t think we really need to know the full reason but Bryn has promised to publish a photo on the website which features the club’s resident model Megan displaying her “Movicol T Shirt”. Enough said.

Despite having spent hours advertising them on the website and other internet means no agreement seems to have been reached as to what tonight’s guests were to be called. Their association with the club goes back a number of years. Hailing from Birmingham initially they did go under the name “The Band of Rack and Ruin” but since the drummer was not present this seem unfair so there followed some debate about a final name. This may seem boring but believe me watching a group of adults trying to make a simple decision was highly entertaining. And was there any agreement? No. So at various times throughout the evening they were known simply by their first names; Rack and Ruin, Rack and Ruin Acoustic, and Rack and Ruin unplugged. There may have been other names but….

What I am finally getting around to saying is that no matter what we call them they were three excellent musicians who played a selection of songs both traditional and contemporary; self-penned and by other writers; sung mainly by Mick with supporting vocals from Chris. These were interspersed with a wonderful selection of fiddle tunes from Nigel. Not all of them were named on the night but certainly in the first half were; Alan Hull’s Winter’s Tale; She Beg She Moor/Sweet Rose of Allendale; Ball and Chain; Both Ends of the Street; and Love on the Streets.

After the interval Bryn opened the second half with a blues song thought to be about Josh White and the self-penned Tomorrow the Sorrow Begins about the last ship built on the Tyne.

The band silently took to the stage during the drawing of the raffle following Bryn’s usual “subtle” hint and launched into the second half which was equally as good as the first if not better. Examples were the band’s interpretation of The Bonny Light Horseman”; more excellent fiddle tunes from Nigel and several self-penned songs from Mick one of which he wrote when he was 16. The evening finished with a superb version of The Two Magicians and an encore - Who’s the Fool Now?

Overall a great evening full of music from three musicians who blended so well and exchanges of banter both to and from the stage. It should not I think be so long before they return.