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Montcuq 2 November 2010
2010 has been a very interesting year so far in that it saw my last three gigs in the UK, an increasing amount of playing here in France and the continuing development of the Cahors Folk Club.
The gigs in the UK in the Spring were great fun and, for the second time Chris and I played a joint gig at the Hinckley ACT club. We’ve worked together before of course, but usually its been "my" gig with Chris doing part of it with me. Hinckley was a real double act and did I have to work?! Chris’s pieces on mandolin had me concentrating very hard indeed and I do believe there was some amusement at what the audience saw as me being pushed very hard. There was a good turnout and the whole thing went very well.
The second Leicestershire gig was at the Kirby Twins Acoustic club run by Jamie Arkless and Neil Rabjohn. This one was a three-way header with both Dave Kirk and Lyn Geddes doing sets. It’s always a huge pleasure to work with Dave as we go back a very long way and as for Lyn, what can I say? She’s a fabulous player and sings beautifully and it was fun to end the evening all together. I must also mention what a lovely player Jamie Arkless is and our version of Angi was well received.
Back in 1958, our family moved from Stevenage to Leeds and it was shortly after the move that I started to go to the Topic Folk Club in Bradford. I soon became aware that there was a world of music out there (I had been wholly focussed on the skiffle groups that I had played in up to that point) it was down to the Topic and the guests that were booked that I began to play seriously. Over the years, I have played at the Topic many times and it was lovely when Rahel Guzelian asked if I would like to work there again in the Spring. I told her that I was finishing gigs in the UK and that to end at the club where I first started would be marvellous. And so it was with nearly 70 old friends and colleagues turning up. Happily, Chris wasn’t working with Maire and so they were both able to be there and he and I finished both sets. Absolutely great fun and I will treasure the Topic Folk Club T-shirt that I was presented with.
The gigs with Mike Griffin here in France have gone well and we were very pleased to be invited to play as part of the Cahors Blues Festival in July. We’ve also gigged at restaurants all over the Lot and the music has gone down well. Our Folk Club continues to attract large audiences every month and our guests have produced a wide variety of great music to the enthusiastic pleasure of our audiences. Perhaps the wine and pizza we serve during the interval helps!! If ever you’re over here in the South-west, do try and make the club on the last Friday of every month.
Most recently, of course, Chris’s new solo album, "Still Getting Away with It" has been released and I can only say that it is just brilliant. As I said above, I was thrilled to be asked to be part of it and to play alongside Arty McGlyn and Paul Buckley as well as Chris. Do get a copy - it really is one for the collection.
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updated 2 November 2010
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