I just had to say this...
Last night, I had arguably the best experience and evening's entertainment in a folk club of my entire life and career to date... and I have burnt a bit of rubber over the time!
I am now convinced - despite the hundreds of really brilliant clubs in this country (and more power to their elbows!) - for my money, the only thing better than a typical night at The Ryburn Singers' Club is an absolutely spectacular one!
Last night's was one such.
It has to be said, there are some things about it that were typical, mind, like for instance - the floor singer line-up reads like a who's who of English Folk Music!: Chris Coe, John Adams, Annie Dearman, Chris Manners, Sylvia Needham, Vikki Appleton-Fielden, Peter Norman, Tom Bliss, Dave Eckersley, Sue Burgess, Bob Butler, Sue Van-Gaalen and Dave Bishop who all put in stunning performances... I even had a warble myself with Sylvia and John... and then... AND THEN, as if that wasn't enough, came the chosen guests for the evening - Chris Foster and Bára Grímsdóttir who quite frankly were something else! I know them both and their work very well, but, I'm not going to try and describe what they do, other than it's an authoritative mixture of Icelandic and English traditional singing and music... and it's as good as it gets! If you're a club organiser reading this and you haven't had them (as it were), I am moved to strongly recommend that you fit them in next time they visit these shores, they are just wonderful!
What was particularly amazing last night was that (and this is extremely rare) the usual Helmsman and principle driving force behind this bench mark event, Pete Coe - wasn't even there - because his services were unsurprisingly but mournfully, required elsewhere! Had he been there I'm sure the rate-ommeter would have gone off the scale! That having been said, and again not surprisingly, Chris Coe did a fantastic job of replacing him and with the delectable Annie Dearman, delivered an outstanding duet performance of The Bonny Bonny Boy - which I would have travelled the distance to hear on it's own!
One last word, Chris and Bára are exactly the kind of artistes that folk clubs are for and why I go and have been doing for 40 odd years! Equally, Ryburn Club is the epitome of the way to present the genre today and long may they all continue. What a night!
Go to Chris and Bára's myspace site for more info:
Ryburn 3 Step website: