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Working men's clubs, UK

06 Jun 21 - 04:30 AM (#4109014)
Subject: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Big Al mentioned Miner's welfare clubs on another thread which set me off down memory lane. I well remember the Pendlebury Miner's Welfare as being the place to go in the 70's but I don't recall seeing any real big names there. This piece in the Irish Times has a good short history of the phenomenon they became, particularly in the North East of England.

Al mentioned the domestic Country and Western scene that thrived in these clubs and I guess there must have been some showcasing folk music at times. Anyone have any memories of such?


06 Jun 21 - 03:35 PM (#4109074)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Well there were definitely folkbands who had that sort of vibe - I'm thinking Fivepenny Piece.

Hamish Imlach worked the Scottish holiday Camps - until someone from head office said he was too Scottish.

In more recent years Bob Stokes, the Dublin Busker played the holiday camps. His brother was John Stokes who played bass for years in The Bachelors - who were regulars at The Talk of the Midlands Club in Derby.

Bob Williamson the folk comedian did Lancashire WMC's. I remember him telling me that Brownsville Banned were too way out for the WMC's - though they were very popular in the more showbiz folkclubs.

There was definitely great confluences.

The English Country scene received a massive shot in the arm of talent when the disco craze drove out the Irish Showbands in the late 1970's. The Irish guys were brilliant musicians.


06 Jun 21 - 04:01 PM (#4109077)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Yes! I had forgotten Fivepenny Piece. Maybe the Houghton Weavers as well. I would also assume that if Bob Williamson did WMCs (and cameos in Peter Kay's Pheonix Club :-) ) then Bernard Wrigley, Mike Harding, Jasper Carrot etc. may have done so too?

You have kicked off the earworm "Don't cry for my old Cortina" now!


06 Jun 21 - 04:37 PM (#4109084)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Backwoodsman

Dave, don’t forget Jack Hudson’s appearance as the detective in Peter Kay’s ‘Phoenix Nights’. He didn’t get to play and sing in the show, but it was good to see his face.


07 Jun 21 - 06:23 AM (#4109143)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Big Al Whittle

What I forgot to say was that The Bachelors, at one time, were very much part of the Dublin folk scene.

John Wall, the Leeds agent , who ran the Nashville club. Told me of the times he used to book Christy Moore to do his club and dig his garden for a fiver.

Also he used to book Johnny MacEvoy. I think he'd had the hit over in Ireland with Muirsheen Durkin, and Noel Murphy was doing it in the clubs over here.

If you look at MacEvoys work at the time - it runs from Shores of Amerikay to Hickory Wind - traddy to The Eagles. I don't think the distinctions can be quite as sharp amongst musicians over in Ireland.

But we English, we take our class system down every avenue.


07 Jun 21 - 07:37 AM (#4109160)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Backwoodsman

”ff you look at MacEvoys work at the time - it runs from Shores of Amerikay to Hickory Wind - traddy to The Eagles”

Sounds OK to me, I still drag ‘Hickory Wind’ out from time to time.


07 Jun 21 - 07:39 AM (#4109162)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Backwoodsman

Oops! Should have been...

”ff you look at MacEvoys work at the time - it runs from Shores of Amerikay to Hickory Wind - traddy to The Eagles”

Sounds OK to me, I still drag ‘Hickory Wind’ out from time to time.


07 Jun 21 - 08:16 AM (#4109163)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: GUEST,Modette

'tis Johnny McEvoy, so it is.


07 Jun 21 - 09:11 AM (#4109171)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Do you remember The Hillsiders C and W band. They were massive in WMC's at the time.


07 Jun 21 - 10:32 AM (#4109179)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Backwoodsman

Yep, The Hillsiders were extremely good, and made quite a few BBC Radio appearances, IIRC.. Also very good were ‘Carolina’ (including my friends Pete and Veronica Capaldi, plus a great pedal-steel player whose name I’ve forgotten), and a Doncaster band, ‘The Daltons’ (the main singer being Marilyn Smith, Sheridan’s mum) - both bands were very popular in the WMCs in Notts, Yorks, Leics, and Lincs.


07 Jun 21 - 12:09 PM (#4109193)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Backwoodsman

”The English Country scene received a massive shot in the arm of talent when the disco craze drove out the Irish Showbands in the late 1970's. The Irish guys were brilliant musicians.

Was it the disco craze that put paid to the Showbands? My recollection is that the Miami Showband assassinations in 1975 was the beginning of the end, when it became too dangerous to travel the roads late at night, but it was 46 years ago, and my memory gets hazier seemingly by the day!


07 Jun 21 - 12:10 PM (#4109194)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Backwoodsman

And you’re right, those guys were fabulous musicians.


07 Jun 21 - 12:28 PM (#4109196)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I'm only going from what people told me. I'd never been to Ireland at that point.


08 Jun 21 - 07:35 AM (#4109319)
Subject: RE: Working men's clubs, UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Did you do WMC's, Al?