This year has got off to a great start. Like most in my recent history it started in Plumstead at my Sister’s. After seeing in the New Year with her and my Mum we went outside to watch the fireworks over the Thames. This year seemed a lot more vibrant than previous years with the fireworks being all around us and going on until about 20 minutes after midnight. Having enjoyed the spectacle we started the long dark drive back to Norfolk. It was a nice clear and mild night and we were home in a couple of hours.
The 2nd saw The Limes session in Fakenham kick off with the usual suspects, songs were sung and fun was had.
Fellow London Irishman Eamonn O’Brien looking very dapper.
Rob smiles while Nita prepares to perform.
Alastair Robinson plays one of his beautiful self made guitars with wonky frets.
Percy gives us a bit of Mando.
Two of the four other members of ‘Zilch’ (the first band I was in back in 1988) visited me for the day on the 4th and turned my front room into a recording studio. Bass player Nick drove from Brighton and guitarist Leo from Berkshire. We did a little recording and played live together, went to the local for some lunch before they headed home. It was great to see them again and incredible that even though we hadn’t been in the same room for nearly 10 years it was like we’d never been apart.
The annual Wassailing ceremony and Folk session in Elsing on Saturday the 5th was the best yet, very well attended and The Mermaid pub put on a super spread of food for the few of us supplying the music, thankfully I had decided to put off any weight loss resolutions until February.
North Elmham Folk Club got off to a good start on the 6thwith Host Jenny Cunningham performing a guest spot with Theresa on Piano, John Dollery on Sax and a wide range of other musicians and singers. My very good pal ‘Comrade Ken Conner’ informed us all it was the late Sandy Denny’s birthday and so we performed a version of ‘Matty Groves’ together in her honour.
Monday the 7thPunkfolkers got back into the Burgh Castle Studio for some recording, it was a little cold in there and we mostly focused on the Stuart Forester song ‘Who killed the Queen’ our Punky, Reggae Calypso spin on it soon warmed us up nicely.
Knowing I was going to be visiting my mum I decided to pay a visit to see my Uncle in Attleborough who is a fine baker and so I asked could he do me a dozen scones to bring down to my mum? but when I turned up at his house the following day to collect them he had not only baked us 24 scones but also a boiled fruit cake. While in Attleborough I decided to have a nose around the charity shops. I bought a wide range of items but the two most outstanding have to be these…
RPM club is a monthly meeting of music lovers at Elsing Village Hall. There is a guest album which is chosen by a different member each month and a theme. Each member choses a song to play based on the theme, all formats are acceptable but obviously vinyl is favoured. This months theme was ‘The Poster On My Teenage Wall’ and I chose The Sex Pistols ‘No Feelings’ and the guest album was chosen by Jayne Bown and was by Birds Of Chicago.
I wont say anymore about the amazing 10th but here’s a link if you wanna read about that one…
A trip to Charlton for some shopping and an afternoon tea with my Mum was in order on the 11th and that was thoroughly enjoyable.
Saturday the 12thwas the family gathering for my Mum’s 84thbirthday meal in Woolwich. Four generations of Morrisseys’, Prietos’, Princes’ and Gallaghers made it a fantastic day. Lifelong friends Viv and Rich Stevens also attended bringing the total guests to 29.
Although back in Norfolk in time for the annual FOND (Friends Of Norfolk Dialect) Panto I was just too tired to attend and opted for a quiet day with Julie who was under the weather with a cold before heading back to Burgh Castle for more Punkfolkers recording on Monday the 14th.
By Wednesday 16th I was full of flu and too ill to attend The Limes session or Breakfast Club on Thursday.
First gig of the year was on The Albatros ship docked at Wells-Next The -Sea in North Norfolk on Saturday the 19th still being full of Flu Julie did the driving so I could just focus on getting through the two and a half hour long performance I had to achieve. I’d made myself a hot smoothie containing Lemon juice, Root Ginger Apple and Kale and once all set up on the good ship Albatros I took a big gulp of hot smoothie and had a brilliant night, the ship was packed and it was a truly great start to the year’s gigs. No sooner had I packed up and got back in the car and I felt awful again, and this time it wasn’t leaving. Monday came and Punkfolkers recording got cancelled.
Having a drop of brew to beat my flu on board the good ship Albatros.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent resting and trying to recover in time for Thursday the 24th and a booking at Lowestoft Town Football Club for the Waveney Constituency Labour Party. It was a lovely venue and a lovely small intimate appreciative audience who I’m glad to say bought more than their fare share of CDs.
The last weekend of the month was bliss! Just Julie and I doing as we please. Saturday 26th we went to the Cinema to see ‘Stan & Ollie’ which we both really enjoyed. We went to the early showing and followed it with a take away and on Sunday we mixed it up a bit and went out for dinner before heading home to watch a couple of Films. Well Julie managed one and a half but I managed four. First we watched Irish comedy ‘Damo & Ivor’ it had some funny moments but had none of the charm of ‘Young Offenders’ and all the crude vulgarity of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ so I wouldn’t recommend that one. Next was ‘Us & Them’ and English tale of Class and aspirational conflict with plenty of menace and a little violence. Jack Roth (Tim’s Son) is the lead and is a chip of the auld block as an articulate thug with anger issues. There were moment’s reminiscent of ‘Performance’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange’ so right up my street. Without pause I started ‘Michael Inside’ which restored my faith in the ability of the Irish to make great films telling great and harrowing stories. Gritty realism is my thing and this was a perfect example. A poor young lad gets wronged by his local drug dealing peers and ends up going to prison and the sequence of events that follow make for thought provoking and not too predictable stuff. After these two heavy weight dramas I finished the night with some light U.S. feel good pulp in the form of ‘Dumpling’ a sweet film about a Dolly Parton obsessed, fat young woman, who much to her mother’s and everybody else’s disapproval enters a beauty pagent. Great light hearted fun full of drag queens and Dolly Parton songs. Just what I needed to alleviate thoughts of violence and grim reality.
Monday 29th was back Punkfolkin’ in Burgh Castle. The evening was marred by technical problems but we got there in the end and got a reasonable guide track down for the album version ‘Angry Man’ two more songs to record and we’ll have the bones of the album down.
I was quite tired having not slept well for a couple of nights and getting up early. On Wednesday morning there was a heavy frost and I got caught in a stupid traffic jam in Dereham for about an hour due an idiotic accident. About 11am I was resting in bed and for some reason gazed at Gumtree on my phone next thing I’m up dressed and heading for Swaffham to buy a guitar. Swaffham has some great charity shops and by the time I got home at 4pm I was £99.50 poorer however I did manage to bring home a 1965 Eko guitar, 2 Shirts, a pair of Gola trainers and 34 vinyl LPs.
I replaced the strings on the new 60’s Eko guitar and about 8pm I set out for the last Limes Session of the month. It was very icey so I was very carful driving to and from Fakenham but it was worth it. It was a lot of fun and the Eko was most certainly a hit.
Thursday was even more icey than the day before but as it was the last day of the month I headed back to Fakenham for the Breakfast club and had a great big breakfast with all my lovely pals.
Well I’ve a couple of things planned next month the first being another trip to Far East (Lowestoft) this time for a gig at Waveney Folk Club as well as a trip or two to London again. Thanks for reading and I hope you found my month amusing, lets see