Reviews 2022

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer

Woody* 28 Oct 2022

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Hi everyone Woody here again with a review of another fabulous night at the Woodman Folk Club; and as the chimes of Left Bank Two by the Noveltones faded into the distance Chris Irving took to the microphone to make the usual odd corny remarks – none of which, thankfully, were recorded. Phew.

The evening kicked off with five excellent songs from “singer songwriter in his own right” Mr Bryn Phillips. "The Ghostly Ironbridge Ferry", arranged around a poem written by Sheila Turner, followed by "Dracula" set us up for Halloween next week, and these, together with the very sad, "The Telegram" were lifted from Bryn’s songbook – "Songs To Die For" published in 1999 but no longer in print. His third song, "Around and Around" was an embellishment on a true situation he observed in a real life supermarket and is very funny. He rounded off his set with the ever popular "SatNav Sally" – complete with the French verse and chorus. He did try a Dutch version once and asked if anyone in the audience spoke Dutch – “Yes I do”, said Kip of Winter–Wilson, the guests for the evening. He’s not done it since. The audience would have liked more – Sing "Dead Man Ride” asked one member but alas… no.

Chris asked for another round of applause before introducing the main act for the evening, Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer, which drew another round of applause.

Paul and Karen were last at the club in 2017 “before something got in the way” said Paul. I missed them on their last visit so tonight was an opportunity for me to catch up with their progress as a duo. Paul and Karen are as I say a duo, which you may have guessed already, but did you know that they are a married couple of 7 years? Okay so you did. Karen comes from Sachsenheim in Germany, an area famous for making wine, some 698 miles away from The Woodman. Paul comes from Stoke On Trent which is only 45 miles away and famous for drinking it. Paul plays guitar and Karen a small selection of recorders – tenor at one end and her brand new Bass recorder at the other; plus some added percussion occasionally. They have a wonderful on stage presence, interacting to make fun of each other, such as Karen’s origins and anything else that occurs to them. They have truly developed as professional performers since I first saw them several years ago at various club open mics, when they were getting known around the circuit. They sang a mixture of serious and funny songs – self penned and covers; ranging from "Diamonds and Rust" (Joan Baez) to George Harrison’s "Here Comes The Sun", a Colum Sands translation of Goethe which he strangely entitled "Goethe’s Song", " Coberg Street" by Jimmy Crowley – which gave Karen her one chance to play the bass recorder and a John Spillane composition Clare Moon. Of the covers, the most noteworthy was "Peatbog Soldiers" written in a concentration camp and smuggled out for the rest of the world to hear. All the others were self-penned I think. They have recently released their latest album which features at least 8 of tonight’s songs including "The Rejected Song Writers Club", "The Ballad Of The Queen Of The May", the poignant "What If My Pockets Were Empty" and the closing number/album title, "Aufwiedersehen Me Duck".

Of course as is usual the final number is never the final number, especially tonight when the audience demanded an encore. What surprised me was that Paul, it seemed, was genuinely surprised at this and they needed to discuss what song to sing which turned out to be a lovely song he called the Christmas Song which was written by him about how he feels when Karen is not there. "I Hate It When You’re Gone".

And so, another evening came to an end and the audience wended their way home to return another day. I shall conclude as normal by saying

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.