Reviews 2018

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Will Morgan

Les Jones 12 January 2018

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Well here we go again another year another wonderful Woodman Folk Night and another set of reviews.

Will was last with us in January 2016 – I was much younger then as was he. Age however has not dimmed his performance the stories he tells nor the way he acts on stage. For reasons which are totally my fault I have not seen Will since then. He is still as wonderful as ever.

Derry had prefaced the evening with some rather astute adverts on the Woodman Facebook page which describe him to a tee.

“A leg-end (sic) in his own lunchtime is Will, a master of the witty retort and comic song and a wonderful interpreter of the Jake Thackray back catalogue most of which are funny lyrically anyway, but Will has the ability to add his own touch and his anecdotes just increase the hilarity…performs traditional songs, monologues and tall stories all of which adds up to a great evening from a great entertainer.”

He claimed, and I have no reason to doubt that he had a cold. This gained him some sympathy from the audience and although in fairness he did find it necessary to suck Fisherman’s Friends periodically it did not seem to impede his performance.

I should mention at this point that he was accompanied by Ian Dempsey-Robins on Electric Bass and Accordion. Albeit not at the same time.

In the first half we had: Songs from the inimitable Jake Thackray; The Blacksmith and the Toffee Maker and Our Dog which hadn’t got a bloody clue it seems. The traditional German Clock Winder; Gerry Rafferty’s City to City; Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia. He kicked of with two monologues from Rob Wilton and later gave us the Mike Harding – Ackroyd’s Funeral. The first half finished with with another Mike Harding contribution – this time Ladies Man – WAH WAH. At which point we all needed a rest from the laughing.

Suitably rested we treated to Ian on the accordion this time – no bass – with a piece entitled amazingly The Old Accordion. What a coincidence. The Frog and the Vicar (Song not real-life) were followed by Tortoise – slowly and more serious song Rubenstein Remembers from the pen of Ewan Carruthers. Georges Brassens was a French singer who inspired Jake Thackray. The Gorilla is Jake’s translation of Georges’ song Le Gorille. Just as anti-establishment in either language. Mumps – a saga of the tripe rush told the tale of rivals in love Spotty Bum and Dangerous Albert. Will reckoned its reception proved the rule that a Woodman audience will clap anything. All in the Song by our friend Anthony John Clarke lead us into the final Song of Old Egypt with accompanied Ahh, Ahhs and much sounds eastern.

The much cheered for encore began with Whiskey in the Jar and segued neatly into Will’s version of The Who’s Squeezebox.

Eventually we realised we must go home and had to let him stop.

The evening had been kicked off to good start by our own Mothing to Prove who sang Paul’s version of the traditional Geordie song Byker Hill; Stealer’s Wheel’s Stuck in the Middle and Dougie Maclean’s Turning Away.

Velvet Green maintained the momentum with two delightful songs. Coming Home to Me written by Ashley Hutchings and The Night We Broke Away music by Paul and lyrics by his friend and co-writer Tony.

After the break Bryn Phillips treated us to The Nail-maker’s Ungrateful Apprentice and his Facebook song.

It was all bound together by Bryn who did his usual magnificent job as compere.

And now of course there is little else for me to say than:

A Wonderful Night Was Had by All.

Here’s to The Next One.