Monday, 24 December 2012

Paul Vile in Twickfolk's stocking

'Twas the night before Christmas Eve, when all through the Inn,
Not a guitar was a stirring, not even a mandolin.
The chicken wings were placed by the side with care,
In hopes that Gerry and his ukelele would be there.......'

From Top left - Chris, Pete London, Paul Vile, Rowena Gee, Florianne, Mary,
Dave Mills, Gerry Evans, Bernadette, Bob, Ed, Glenn and Doug Brown.
It was with some sadness that I fought my way through the rainy night to be at Twickfolk's 2012 curtain call. I have to send my final choice of paintings to the printers this week in preparation for the exhibition. So this would be my last chance to feature some excellent musicians and hang out with a great bunch of people. I knew it would be hard work too because it was Singers Night. Everyone who attends get the opportunity to sing/play at least 2 songs.

There were several performers who stood out for their skill and panache, too many to name them all here.
I've tried to write as many down below. Special mention must go to Paul Vile, who I know as the unflappable sound technician at Twickfolk but displayed such tenderness in his singing and delicate touch on the mandolin. Dave Mills was irrepressable with his percussion led tunes.

I have been very lucky to have been welcomed into the heart of Twickfolk over this past 6 months and I'll miss them. Gerry's vision and hard work, Sue's musicality and charisma, Sara's quiet confidence and warmth, Paul V's wit and sound knowhow, Paul M's straight talking, design and bonhomie, Jutta's intelligent conversation and good company AND Robert's encouragement and publicity skills. Thank you.

Please come along to the exhibition on the 27th January 2013 at 6pm and help celebrate 30 years of this fantastic Folk club with me and Twickfolk!

Twickfolk Seasonal Singers Night menu -

Dave Mills - Daydream Believer & Singing the Blues (Melvin Endsley)
Bernadette - Down by the Salley Gardens
Gerry Evans - Christmas in Prison (John Prine) & White Christmas
Sue Graves - River (Joni Mitchell) & Last Night (Lynn Miles)
Rowena Gee - Sweet Bells (Kate Rusby) & Spencer the Rover
Chris - 'Red Nose'
Sue & Doug Brown - Lets fall in Love (Cole Porter)
Pete London - Merry Xmas Everybody
Bob and Margaret - Do they know its Christmas (Bob Geldof & Midge Ure)
Glenn - A 15 year old took my woman blues
Mary - Dear John (John Denver)
Paul Vile - Winter Song
Florianne - Les Champs Elysees
Dave - House Boat poem
Ed Fordyce -  The Pains of Love and You're No Good (by Clint Ballard Jr)

Have a Great Christmas and a brilliant 2013,

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Outbound to Wonderland, Ireland and Provence

'Impressive' - Garry Smith

 Last Sunday (16/12/2012) at Twickfolk wasn't a 'Runaway Train' of a night, more of a mystery tour that took us to places all over the Northern Hemisphere.
Our departure was courtesy of the ever impressive Garry Smith. As you know this is the 3rd time in 6 months that I've drawn Garry (left) and he still remains one of my favourites during the art residency. His tune 'Outbound to Wonderland' was named after a sign you'll see travelling through the Boston Metro. Wonderland was a Greyhound Track (1935-2010) and both Garry's song and performance capture the imagination (like the sign itself).
Next we had the spoken words of Racker Donnelly, who's Yuletide Suite animated both the audience and Racker himself to a near state of flight.
The main draw of the evening took a while to get up to full speed. Despite Duck Baker's tentative start I immediately warmed to him and hugely enjoyed his western swing tunes and especially 'The Blackbird'. We we're then joined by Helen Roche, who style doesn't immediately engender itself to the audience. Her thin delicate face and slight physique leans away from public as though she'd just got an umpleasant whiff of the Twickfolk crowd. This impression doesnt last long. As she sings she pulls you further in towards her. We started our journey in Scotland and Ireland, took various detours through Provence and end up at our final detination with Satan via Germany.

Next week is Twickfolk's Christmas celebrations with a seasonal singers night. Percussion aficionado Dave Mill's has promised me a cracker (of a song).


Duck Baker

Helen Roche


Racker Donnelly

Monday, 10 December 2012

Twickfolk Quality Street - Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston

Apologies now for this sweet laden blog post, it must be the first wiff of Christmas that has addled my brain.

Twickfolk was awash with colour and flavour last night (9/12/2012) as an assortment of performers took to the stage. As you know I've found myself at Twickfolk via years sketching on the jazz circuit, so I felt very much at home upon seeing the double-bass propped up in the corner as I arrived, but before the main act of Miranda Sykes (left) and Rex Preston we we're treated to 3 floor spots.

Firstly Sue Graves was like an Orange Creme with her silky voice and sunny disposition. Second up was the Toffee Deluxe of Doug Brown who gave us plenty to chew on with his accordion playing and weighty lyrics. The third and final floor spot belonged to the red haired Daria Kulesh who like a Strawberry Delight presented us with a refreshing and vibrant explosion. Unfortunately we heard just one of her own tunes, 'I Want Attention!' and like most sweet things I was left wanting more!

Then we we're treated to the Quality (Street) of the evening. Miranda Sykes (Bass/Guitar) and Rex Preston (Madolin/Bouzouki) had such a varied repertoire I didn't know what to expect next. The songs were all well crafted and the skill and depth was appreciated by the packed house. Just like a Milk Chocolate Hazelnut, Miranda Sykes gave us a smooth flow with her bowing followed by chunky substance with pulse driven bass lines. Rex on the other hand was a Caramel Swirl of excitement playing with such speed and verve. The two tunes that made an impression upon me were 'Only One Way' and 'Turn to me'.

It was a great night.


Rex Preston (below), Daria Kulesh (right)