most 2nd & 4th Weds., each month
at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley, SOUTHAMPTON SO14 6SF
26 Jun 2019
An unpromisingly hot, near midsummer's, evening didn't augur well for a busy musical evening [with 20 mins. to go, the room was deserted, usually not a good sign], but people poured in, esp. from the New Forest area, for in one of our “home-made” music events. At one point, before we'd got going, it sounded like a Lymington area Reunion meeting! First to turn up were ex-guest Jonathan Klein and poet Con Connell (last here when JK guested, some 14 months before); though Southampton-based, JK runs a monthly Sunday afternoon singaround IN Lymington. They were followed by Lymington Folk & Blues Club* administrator (and showrunner of much besides, round that area) Steve West, with his wife Carol, both Guide Dog newbies; then by Sally Spicer, long-tine friend of co-Organizer Jon Ellis, both of Lymington.
With several other regulars present, we made a start, only to be joined by occasional visitor (and future guest) John Meriton, all the way from a hamlet north of Cranbone. Later, Caroline Cottrell appeared with her fiddle, and performed duos with relative new regular, flautist Glenn Turner, a partnership they're working on [we look forward to more such]. Finally, Terry White (a bar-regular, and very occasional putter-of-his-head-round-the-door, from our days at The Richmond Inn) has migrated to the Dog and become a semi-regular FOCSLEr. As he's only ever previously attended as a listener, and he slipped in with his usual lack of ceremony, I was a bit surprised to see him later moving an unfamiliar guitar out of harm's way, and discovered that it was his own (and that he'd turned up expecting a quiet night [as, frankly, had I] on which to publicly début his guitar / singing skills!) Under a certain amount of persuasion (and by then with 17 other people in the room), he gamely overcame the fact of the presence of several very accomplished performers, and acquitted himself pretty damn well, with a Mississippi John Hurt style piece (maybe by MJH), especially capturing the ragtime feel brilliantly. Understandably, it got the loudest and most sustained applause of the evening (I expect the guest-level performers were all taken back to their first terrified efforts at presenting themselves to the public, and sympathized!) We gladly welcome another musician to the fold, but you've set yourself a high bar to follow that with, Terry.
We were also treated to a wider-than-usual variety of spoken-word offerings, including Shakespeare sonnets; and a poem about the ups (and mostly downs, being of that period) of being a Saints fan [that's the home city's football team, in case you're reading this from way distant]; and a duologue spoofing the officialdom that would nowadays get in the way of the operation of the Battle of Trafalgar (!) All this in addition to our stalwart poetry-readers Julia Blincoe and Jutta Manser.
By pushing the end-time envelope a little, we were able to get round the room twice, AND invite an extra song from each of our three rarely-visiting performers. Seems everyone had a great time, including M.C. Paul Clarke.
* this also meets on a Wednesday, alternating with FOCSLE Music's calendar. FM's pattern was dictated by Jon Ellis' being a co-founder of the later manifestation of LF&BC, and thus having a commitment to it on its own meeting nights.
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