It was an unusual night at the Woodman, with for once, new faces outnumbering the Woodman regulars. Whenever this happens you know that the guest has a bit of a cult following and in addition puts in a bit of effort to send out emails and fliers to their fans. This is so important and it’s a shame that not all of our other guests go to the same effort.
The evening started off with Bryn (that’s me!) who did a couple of songs, followed by Velvet Green (Sue & Paul) who finished off the evening warm up with three songs, all of which were well received by our new audience. Then it was time for Red Shoes. The last time they came was as a duo, but this time it was as a fully fledged band – Carolyn (vocals), Mark (guitar and vocals), Tony (electric guitar), Busby (guitar and backing vocals) and Bert (drums). With Derry working his magic on the mixer desk the overall result was a very well balanced sound. They started off with “Only a Fool” and I thought that Carolyn’s movements were going to be a little inhibited as the stage was littered with Busby’s collection of ducks and storks/herons. Nevertheless in the next number, “Through The Window” she said “Get your Shakers Out” and I realised that the onstage wildlife collection was not going to be too much of an impediment to her unstoppable energy! A couple of numbers later they launched into “Two Sisters” which is their own take on the traditional ballad. Carolyn told us that it was being used as the basis of a musical that was being produced. It’s a great version of the song and if it’s anything to go by then the musical will be definitely worth seeing. Although Carolyn does most of the lead vocals, Mark is also an accomplished singer as was made evident in the upbeat number, “Something Wicked”, towards the end of the first half.
After the interval, we were in for a treat. Without any introduction “Them Good Ol’ Boys” took to the stage and did a great selection of rockabilly numbers. They (Bert, Andy and Percy) have a new addition to their line-up since I saw them last. Sue. No, not a boy named Sue, but a young lady. Hmmm – Them Good Ol’ Boys might consider a name change perhaps? Sue makes a great addition to the band, adding a new depth to the vocals.
Then back to Red Shoes. The second half was even better than the first, with a good selection of songs, in a variety of tempos. They performed “Someday We’ll Meet”,
a song dedicated to Sandy Denny, “The Well”, a new number, “White Dress” along with several others including “Celtic Moon” and “River
Rea”. Previously I had always thought “Celtic Moon” is the number that defines the band with the haunting infectious refrain; however, “River Rae” is coming close. Carolyn introduced the song saying to the audience “You’ll know when to sing”. And we did!
Apart from the excellent music the band had a good rapport with the audience – towards the end Carolyn asked “Where’s that heckler? Let’s have a go at him”; they did; Terry gave as good as he got and after a bit of good natured two way heckling they ended the evening with “The Last Dance”. Good all round entertainment -
Get them back, Ian!