The Bishops Stortford Acoustic Club

at South Mill Arts Centre

1-3, South Road, Bishops Stortford, Herts. CM23 3JG

 

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January to June 2024

2023 Complete

2022 Complete

2021 Complete

 

11th JULY 2024

TENNESSEE TWIN

Last time at the SMAC we were delighted to welcome back TENNESSEE TWIN to the stage to give us a great set of authentic Americana/New Country. We were also treated to a combined set from Vic Lennard and Paul Simmonds who decided that by combining their talent would result in a fantastic prelude to our Headline Showcase.

As a Headline Showcase Tennessee Twin have few equals. Victoria and Geoff are one of the reasons that live music will always be relevant. They write songs and perform those songs with a clarity of vocal performance with a musical background which is just a perfect counterpoint. They are the epitome of Americana/New Country.

 

The packed audience were entranced by not only the performance but also the narrative of how the songs came from an idea into the complete song.

 

They are engaging performers, who have lives outside of music and these influences guide their music.

 

Geoff and Victoria gave us full 45 minutes of their music to the absolute delight of the audience, which was packed to the rafters.

 

Earlier we had two regular support spots and one “Super support” spot. Many thanks to Stuart Nicholson and John and Danny McCarthy for brilliant spots including a fantastic Beatles Medley. However, the highlight was the surprise combination of Vic Lennard and Paul Simmonds. We had them down to do 4 songs each but they decided that they would like to share the stage and spread a little combined music.

Once you get to know a little about them, the duo was not that much of a surprise. They have known each other for 35 odd years with Vic producing an album for Paul many years ago. Quite frankly their combined spot was musical brilliance with Paul, who has spent his life as a professional pianist and singer, demonstrating that there is no substitute for talent. Vic’s songwriting and performance is always a delight. Coupling their songwriting talents, the performance rushed by and we hope we see them both individually and as a duo again.

 

Many thanks to the staff and volunteers from the SMAC who make our exceptional audience so welcome.

 

20th JUNE 2024

6 ACTS – 4 SONGS

 

Last time at the SMAC we had not only 6 Acts performing 4 songs each but a real treat with Host and M/C Greg Camburn performing two exceptional tunes. So many of our performers are gracing us with original songs that we are fast becoming the go to place for original music.

 

Pat Crilly and Greg Camburn

Pat and Greg are exceptional performers who combine to make such beautiful music. There is an instinctiveness in their music that marks them as brilliant. Pat writes songs from his years of experience in life, love and all points in between and Greg adds that essential musical interlude that completes and raises to an incredible level. Their set was the expected mastery of music and performance.

Jo Clack

Jo has a fantastic inventive song writing brain that moves from between so many subjects and his songs reflect his interest and concern for the world in general and his little piece equally. Jo gave us his usual selection of original music which compels attention. His set was, as ever, a delight

JONO

Jono What more can you say? They are an accomplish group who perform soft rock as well as not so soft rock with aplomb, style and fantastic musicianship.

Jono cement their reputation every time they play and are a fitting band to close a brilliant evening of live music

All My Trials

Developing into a “Must See” band, All My Trials are growing in stature and reputation that is both deserved and expected. They have a font of original music that captures the audience and refuses to let their attention wander. Musicianship is high on their list of accomplishments but their total performance demands and gets the respect of the audience.

Alex Bayly

Alex is a young player going places. His makes wonderful music is developing into another “Must See” performer. His soulful singing has a wonderful counterpoint in his cracking guitar playing and is much appreciated by all Another fantastic set by this young man that was easy on the ear.

Trina Read

Trina is a delightful player as well as being an inventive and engaging songwriter. Her writing is a delight with incredible songs that move everyone with a heart who hears them into tears. Her set proves that she is developing into an astounding vocalist and her widened repertoire results in performances that bring a real variety and depth into her performance.

Many thanks to Greg Camburn who acted as Host and M/C for the evening and to the staff and volunteers from the SMAC who make our exceptional audience so welcome.

 

 

5th JUNE 2024

DOUBLE HEADLINE SHOWCASE

 

One of the real treats at the moment is that we are able to run Double Headline Showcases when we can invite two groups of musicians to perform in one evening and offer a real diversity of genre and offer a substantial set for them to Showcase their talents.

 

Last time we were able to bring two very diverse groups of players but with an underlying theme of excellence to the stage at the SMAC as well as having a list of fine players to support them

 

We were delighted to welcome back Cut the Mustard and the Big Buch Band, both of whom we have welcomed in the past and continue with the diverse and highly entertaining musical evenings

 

CUT THE MUSTARD

Cut The Mustard are Dave and Martin and have been regular visitors to the Acoustic Club over the years and always welcome visitors. Specialising in Ragtime, Blues and All Time Good Music is just the start. Dave Oxley has a sensational voice as well as provided accompaniment to the music with various percussion instruments as well as being a fine blues harp player. Martin Kazac is a master guitar player who specialises in a finger-picking style. Often attempted by others but rarely bettered, the way Martin picks out tunes is entrancing. Together they make a complete sound that both enthrals and invigorates the audience.

 

As ever, they delivered a set top full of almost everything, light-hearted music, soulful tunes and all around musical excellence. As ever their set was a triumph.

The Big Buch Band are a moving and developing collective. Starting off as an outlet for two friends – Chris and Richard – they are continually growing and developing their repertoire as well as the almost perpetual change in their line up. The Band are a Good Time Band and played a variety of music that is hard to beat. Lots of tunes that are sometime not played but the Band presents them front and centre and will engage the audience in a positive and much appreciated manner from the audience.

 

Host and M/C for the evening was Greg Camburn who gave us a couple of tunes and the support sets were Kevin Johnson, Richard Holder and Daisy Wilcox.

 

A fantastic evening of wonderful music, much appreciated by the audience.

 

30th MAY 2024

6 Acts – 4 Songs

 

 

I keep saying that the 6 x 4 evenings are getting better and better. Which is easy to say but can be hard to prove. Its only when we get the comments from not only the audience but the players as well, regarding the quality of the music on show last time. Every single act was at the top of their game and played wonderful music all around.

 

 

 

Shorelines

We opened the evening with Shorelines appearing as a 6 piece band with a new guitarist and a stand in singer. But no matter, their repertoire of reimagined classics is as sound and musically pleasing as it could be. They have that close harmony and musical talent that makes the set go oh too fast

 

Peter Crossley

Northern Exile Peter Crossley has been “Down Souf” for a while and when he is not playing solo he can be found doing all sorts of things with a fiddle and Pat Crilly. However, when Peter plays as a solo artist with just his voice and guitar he is one heck of a performer. His songs hit home with a laser like focus and when he sings a cover he puts a new edge to it. A fantastic set.

 

 

 

Vic Lennard

Vic is becoming a most welcome regular player at the Club. He always has a story to tell and a song to sing. His experience is reflected in his songs and his songs reflect his life and experience. He has long experience in the music industry and this reflects in the quality of his songs and his performance is always polished and professional. He answers the questions as to what he is eloquently. Is he a poet? A songwriter? A Social Campaigner? A Revolutionary? The answer is yes, all of them.

 

 

 

One after 909

Colin and James Frid are a father and son duo who specialise in being exceptional at delivering music. Colin has been one of our regular performers but when coupled with James’ exceptional guitar work they deliver classic songs in a brilliant manner. Last time they produced exactly what was expected. A cracking set of, as is usual, 50% Beatles. Colins fine voice as ever brings a level of harmony and calm whilst James retained his position as one of the premier lead guitarists in the area.

 

 

The Valaitis Brothers

It is a very long time since we last saw and heard the Valaitis Brothers at the Acoustic Club. The last time they appeared, according to St Delboy of Peckham, “Knocked ‘em bandy” with their performance. As they said, this was their first performance for ages and thought they would like to come back to where is all started for them. It was great to welcome them back and their original music has developed beyond compare. Their maturity as song writers and performers is evident from their first chord to the last. A terrific set and looking forward to welcoming them back for a longer set soon.

 

 

Jay Williams

Jay Williams is one artists who has grown and developed over the years right in front of our eyes. That development is now at the point where he is up there with the very best. He is adding musical strings to his bow by expanding into piano  but his song writing is developing at lightning speed to exceptional. Closing the evening of fantastic music, his set was a triumph.

His debut EP will be out soon and we will feature this when it becomes available.

 

16th MAY 2024

DOUBLE HEADLINE SHOWCASE

Westwood Ho! and Clark and Johnson

Back from the wonderful evening at the Belgian Brewer where the lovely audience raised over £550 in aid of St Claire Hospice in memory of Dave Denny, we returned to the SMAC for a Double Headline evening with the glorious Westwood Ho! and Clark and Johnson. We were also blessed with two supporting acts The Archduke (introducing his new persona was Tom Dulieu) and the long-time friend of the Club, and for a couple of years the person who ran the Acoustic Club, Jess Brett.

 

Westwood Ho!

The band was making their debut at the club and it has to be said despite it being a long way from Enfield and it has taken them a while to visit.

It is bit of a lucky lottery as to who and what instruments make up the Band on the nights they play as Westwood Ho! are described as a collective, but their ethos is the same. They write the vast majority of their music and then form and develop them into well rounded songs that can be performed by the collection of players that go to make up the band.

Last time we saw them as a 4 piece and what a performance. New music is always a delight and when the music and songs are good enough, the music will demand and retain the attention. It is a fair reflection that the band really captured the audience and held them enthralled with not only their highly individual performance as well as the anecdotes that linked the performance brilliantly. Many thanks guys. A belting set.

 

Clark and Johnson.

Tony and Karen have been playing to audiences around the country for more years than can be reliably remembered and doing it with a panache and verve that marks them stand out from. Karen has one of those delightful voices that can turn on a sixpence from traditional folk music to re-imagined hits and popular songs from a number of decades. Tony is a master of his trade, not only providing an exquisite accompaniment on guitar and bouzouki as well as backing vocals. Sometimes he takes the lead, but it matters not, their music is delightful and always keeps the audience spell bound with their stories especially when they venture into original music which is a revelation.

As ever, a terrifically accomplished set with so many highlights it was embarrassingly good. Thanks and see you soon.

 

Jess Brett

Due to her other commitments, we have not seen or heard Jess performing for a while. Two rapidily growing children, a change of town and a new business venture have all conspired to reduced her time available to dedicate to performing. However, Jess returned to the Acoustic Club and what a cracking performance it was She still plays and sings with authenticity and manages to pick just the right song for the occasion.

The Archduke

The Archduke is the new persona for Tome Dulieu and he brought with him his new songs. A new way forward with different musical influences has resulted in a great new single and a new album in the background bring a new offering from him. It was a welcome return and re-enforced his place in local music, at the top table

Many thanks to all our players for a superb evening, the Staff of the SMAC for making everyone so welcome and of course the audience for coming out on a wet night and fully supporting live music.

 

2nd MAY 2024

BLUES NIGHT

AT THE BELGIAN BREWER

In Memory of Dave Denny

In aid of St Clare Hospice

 

Last time at the Acoustic Club we had a very special night remembering the wonderful man who was Dave Denny.

When we planned this evening, we liaised with Dave’s family to make sure it was a fitting tribute to the man who was a husband, father, grandad, uncle and friend. Added to this was a talent and a knowledge for The Blues. Dave loved the Blues, and this was evident in every bit of music he played.

 

Its fair to say that he was much loved and well missed by all those people who listened, joined in and helped him in his quest to raise money for St Clare Hospice, which he did with his usual outstanding success.

 

“Mine is bigger than yours and

I have more strings too!!!”

Dave with lifelong buddy Jeff Carpenter

A packed evening of players and an equally packed audience arrived with hope and joy for a tremendous evening to celebrate the life and music of a great friend and Blues Mastermind Dave Denny.

 

We had a full evening of over 2½ hours of live music – not all the Blues – but an lot!!

 

Our list of players were all good friends of Dave but one of the real highlights was the performance of The Fog who haven’t played since 2020.

 

Bill Tarran

We opened the evening with usual Host and M/C Bill Tarran. Bill and Dave go back a long time musically  with Dave introduced his friends and players and spent all his time expanding Bill’s knowledge of the Blues. Which was a wonderful experience! Bill gave us 3 blues songs on the first of the shiny guitars on display through the evening.

 

HANAKO WARD

Hanako teamed up with her teacher Jeff Carpenter to delight us with 3 tunes which demonstrated just how far she has developed in such a short period of time. A regular performer with Dave over the years their performance was personal and heart-felt. Hanako and Jeff have been delighting us over the years and this performance was just for Dave. Hanako has played with Dave and Jeff and with the Fog but their was a poignancy paying tribute to a much loved collaborator

 

 

DAN STARR.

Dan is a man who can evoke the memories of the slide guitar better than almost anyone. He arrived with a less than shiny National Steel Guitar and amply demonstrated that there are few who can match him on authentic slide guitar and delta blues His voice one of those powerful voices essential to delta blues as well as the panache and technique to make people sit up and listen. Fine exponent and full blues package will always be the hallmark of his performance. Dan was joined by Grant Howard on mouth harp.

 

STEVE INGREY

There are Bluesmen, then there is Steve. Steve’s reputation as a bluesman is well deserved as he gave us a masterclass in Delta Blues. His signature guitar playing and his wonderful voice combine to give a set that will linger long in the memory.

 

 

THE FOG

The Fog were for many years the doyen of local music. Jeff, Graham and Frog added an air of excellence every time they played. Over the years they contributed so much to the music scene and Jeff, in particular, added so much to Daves recordings.

Having not performed since before COVID did not matter! From first to last they were as we all remember – brilliant originals and cracking musicianship. Thanks very much for coming back together to celebrate Dave Denny

BLUES INC

As Stortford’s premier Boy Band, Blues Inc have led from the front in so many ways. Growing from a duo to a very solid 5 piece they have grown along with their repertoire of songs. The trouble for the band is that they are separated by miles and miles these days. However. a brilliant set, leaving it all out for the audience to enjoy and was nothing better for the joint founder of the club Drew Bonnington to close a tribute night to one of our favourite and much missed players

The evening was an outstanding success with a packed venue all keen to listen to the music and sample the Belgian Brewers fantastic range of authentic Belian Beers.

 

Over all we raised £595 from ticket sales and contributions from the sale of Blues CD’s that came from Dave extensive collection. This has been donated to St Clare Hospice. Thanks to everyone who supported us for such a magnificent support.

 

One final thought must go to Dave’s family. They have asked us to pass on their thanks to everyone who came and supported the Memory of Dave Denny.

 

18th April 2024

6 ACTS – 4 SONGS

It is a wonderful thing about having so many great local musicians is that we get to opportunity to Showcase their talents in a formal gig with great sound curtesy of Jay Warner of the SMAC and a highly appreciative audience. Our 6 Act evening really are a terrific opportunity to hear a diverse and stunning range of talent.

 

In fairness, we were delighted to welcome a group of musicians who interchange between groups and duos who explore so many genres.

 

We were delighted to welcome Ali Cossor and Brian Harvey who regaled us with an outstanding display of musical dexterity on various musical arrangements and instruments. With originals and covers they opened the evening in grand style.

 

Ali Cossor and Brian Harvey

D ‘n A

After Ali and Brian, there was a quick reshuffle and Ali stayed on and was joined by Dave Oxley as DnA. A change of personnel and a change of mood. Dave and Ali specialise in close harmonies putting new life into classics. Not quite the American Songbook but a tremendous set of delightful music.

 

Quite frankly the comparison with pub pool was inescapable as then Dave stayed on and was joined by Brian Harvey and Mark Gamon for a stripped down set as Sky West. As a band, Sky West are an originals band with the very occasional cover, but whatever their choice, they perform with a verve and gusto that stands as a testament to their prodigious musical talent.

As an opening hour, Brian, Ali, Dave and Mark gave us delightful musical miscellany to the evening.

 

Sky West

Martin Day

We then welcomed the effervescent  Martin Day to the stage. Martin is the traditional singer songwriter and he delivered his usual fast paced set of self-penned songs that had the audience fully engaged.

 

Next up were a trio we are always happy to welcome back the Acoustic Club Stage. Paul, Si and Verna are rapidly becoming a wake-up band. The message is, Wake Up, this is a terrific group!! Over the years Paul has appeared at the Acoustic Club and a couple of years ago started combining with Si on bass. About a year ago Verna (Of Why Not fame) joined as vocalist and with a few rehearsals it was clear the combination of their talent results in a performance that is much greater than the sum of the constituent parts. That is the rule for all the great bands – think of the Beatles before Ringo. What a great set.

 

Paul, Si and Verna

Runaway Jukebox

Our closing act was Runaway Jukebox. We saw them a little while ago where they lived up to their name and gave us a belting set of covers. This time, they said they were moving away from covers and into originals and they wanted to see how it goes. Well guys it was brilliant. They gave us 4 originals that fully developed and showcased their individual performances which was a fantastic closing to the evening.

 

Many thanks to all our players for a superb evening, the Staff of the SMAC for making everyone so welcome and of course the audience for coming out on a wet night and fully supporting live music.

 

 

28th March 2024

Tom Ryder and Joe Hazell

With the

Young Players

 

There are times when it seems impossible to actually remember a better night of music, but last time was one of those special moments in the twenty odd years of the Acoustic Club.

 

Hello Acoustic Clubbers

With a headline showcase of Joe Hazell and Tom Ryder as well as a full list of young players we were treated to a brilliant evening of music. It was such a delight to see and hear Tom Ryder back on a stage, where he belongs, performing songs that he and Joe have perfected over the years. It must be acknowledged that our young players were exceptional. They are a collection of rising stars who have performed over several years with their collective musical talent growing and developing beyond measure. It was also a pleasure to welcome the emerging talent of Max Laverne for the first time.

 

Of course. It is a real bonus for them all to have role models of Joe and Tom both of whom started their musical journeys on the same stage as they have.

Tom Ryder and Joe Hazell

It is no secret that Tom has not been well recently, so it was a real treat of all his family, friends and everyone to welcome him back to the Acoustic Club sharing the stage with his life long friend and collaborator Joe. These guys have been playing the Acoustic Club for longer than anyone else other than Drew Bonnington and Keef Jackman the founders of the club. They have taken enormous strides over the years not only as consummate musicians and writers but as people. They started as two friends at school practicing everyday in the music room and started playing in many guises. Solo performances, The Kazans, Koasis and then off in to various duo’s and combos along the way. Through the last 20 odd years they have remained the most loyal of friends and the most reliable of performers. Tom is an accomplished journalist as well as the founder of Retune and Joe has become a highly sought after session guitarist, member of one of the best Rolling Stone Tribute Bands as well as his most recent band The Exile Club. However, it takes very little persuasion to get them together to perform as a duo. Suffice to say their set was a delight, with their individual take on classics, as well as their own songs which are outstanding.

 

Their set was a tribute to their past and their future and passed all too quickly.

 

A hearty welcome back to Tom. It was a delight to hear you play and perform again.

 

Our support player list a real musical miscellany demonstrating that Stortford has no fears when looking towards the future of live music. We were delighted to welcome back Hanako Ward, India Purdy supported by her dad on guitar, Alessandra Freeston, Archie Eastlake and Ronnie Scott, Danny McCarthy and first time player Max Lavergne.

 

         

        HANAKO                           INDIA                    ALESSANDRA

         

ARCHIE & RONNIE                   DANNY                          MAX

 

Many thanks to Jay for the Sound management, the staff of the South Mill Arts Centre of looking after us so well and the Management of the SMA for the new stage, in use for the first time and had the desired effect – the people at the bar could see the players!!.

 

 

21st March 2024

CLEAN SNEAK

 

What a glorious evening of brilliant live music at the BELGIAN BREWER. A terrific array of varied talent topped off with a fantastic hour long spot with the ever impressive CLEAN SNEAK.

Hello Acoustic Clubbers

With a hearty welcome from Nick and his team at the Belgian Brewer and the promise of superb music, the first day of spring brought a relatively balmy evening and some pretty hot music. Our support players were a fine mixture of styles and genres and our headline showcase too hot to trot!!

 

CLEAN SNEAK are a highly experienced band of great friends who play to enjoy and enjoy to entertain. Their set was heavily weighted with blues and there is a reason that they brought a substantial and enthusiastic band of loyal supporters. By the end of the evening, they had markedly increased that following!!

With real commitment they gave us a fine selection of blues standards and classics featuring T Bone Walters, BB King and so many more legends. As promised it was a truly an eclectic mix of material encompasses 50’s swing right through Chicago and Delta Blues and on to their take on more up to date material as well as the odd R’n’B and acoustic roots classic.

Our support player list was a shorter than normal but we enjoyed a quite varied list of performances from Bill Tarran – Host and M/C, Richard Holder, Jo Clack, Kevin Johnson and Jonny Brewer

Many thanks to Nick and the staff of the Belgian Brewer for such a great venue and even better beer!

 

29th February 2024

6 ACTS – 4 SONGS

 

Last time we were delighted to welcome back some friends to the Acoustic Club stage. The first problem we had to deal with was Paul Boothwas unable to play because he lost his voice and there were plans afoot but these got changed when we started. A very happy bonus occurred as one of our audience was blues legend Steve Ingrey and without too much prompting he agreed to take the spot. Get well soon Paul and we are looking forward to welcoming back real soon.

So on with the music, and what a great night it was!!!

 

ALI COSSOR

Opening the evening was the delightful Ali Cossor. Over the last couple of years Ali has been taking tentative steps towards a solo career that is now officially blossoming. She normally plays and sings with a number of combo’s but it is as a solo performer that she really hits the spotlight hard, and the spotlight, like the rest of us, loves her performance. Her voice is clear and her confidence on the piano is growing exponentially. She has no fear and plays the songs she like and we love as well. It is always a pleasure to hear her interpret Amy Winehouse and the music was a delight.

COLIN FRID

Colin is one of our favourite players. He has the ability to select the right song, at the right time including his wonderful use of open tunings. Colin has made many songs his own, even those he interprets in a distinct style that will seamlessly change from song to song. Colin has a stage presence that has been developed over the years of playing and it is a pleasure to welcome him every time.

MIKE EXCEL

Mike demonstrates that he has lost none of his bite and his compelling use of language to express his inner most thoughts. The doyen of Hertford-based writers and performers, delivers his music with a smile, and an earnest performance that engages the audience almost magically. Mike delivers better than most postmen, more often with a customer satisfaction that is evident from the reception he gets from his audience.

STEVE INGREY

There are Bluesmen and then there is Steve Ingrey! Steve has developed a style that is all his own and, despite struggling with an unfamiliar guitar, delivered authentic Mississippi Blues that had the audience entranced with his performance.

Steve had arrived as part of the audience, ready to listen and catch up with his friends but readily agreed to give a performance of real blues when invited to fill a slot.

Blues playing is a life long journey and Steve’s dedication to the genre is formidable. He plays like he was there at the start (which would be impossible as he is so young and sprightly) but he has the ability to transport you to a sheeban bar in deep Mississippi listening to a master player. Many thanks Steve.

MELANIE QUINN

Mel is a “one off” in the very best sense of the phrase. She is an original songwriter with a sincere delivery and humour that is as infectious as it is hard hitting. She writes belting songs about things that matter to her and delivers them in a unique style - almost in a narrative style – that is most endearing.

Since she last played at the Club she has developed impressively and at the same time gaining a solid reputation for originality. Mel delivered a magical set of her songs delivered by her. Who could want more?

CIDER AT YOURS

Richard and Beckie are a well rounded duo who sometimes do originals but recently they have drifted into Country and Western in a big, big way. The truth is they are very good at it and evoke the wide expanses of the western plains and the perpetual heartbreak that come from those lonesome places.

They are fantastic musicians who put their heart and soul into their performance and are always capable of tugging at the heartstrings – which is exactly what C&W is all about.

A terrific closing act for the evening

 

 

Thanks to everyone who came to support your community club and enjoy some excellent music as we KEEP MUSIC LIVE.

 

Many thanks to the SMA Staff for a great job done and making everyone so welcome and the Sound Engineer for a brilliant job done.

 

 

15th February 2024

M G Boulter

It was a delight to welcome back to the Club MG Boulter along with his accompanying bass player Paul for another fantastic evening of a very superior class of live acoustic music

It was a delight to welcome MG back to the Acoustic Club. It is always a delight when we were able to sit down and listen to his fantastic songs, that are original, targeted, personal and just downright excellent. He makes no apology for singing about where he lives, along the estuary northern coast of the Thames in the musical hotspot of Westcliffe/Southend. Accompanied by his good friend and fantastic bassist Paul, the 45 minute set literally flew by and before we knew it we were on the encore which was not only well deserved but eagerly anticipated by the large and appreciative audience.

 

Many thanks to Matt and Paul for such an original and entrancing set. MG will be releasing his new CD in the summer and we will review it and let those who have been converted to the Southend Sound know how to get a copy.

 

We were delighted to welcome a fantastic group of supporting musicians.

Many thanks must go to Paul Booth, Hanako Ward, Stuart Nicholson, John McCarthy and we were treated to a real added bonus with an extra special 4 song set from Pat Crilly and Greg Camburn.

 

Many thanks to all the very large audience who turned up on a foul night and were rewarded with some fantastic music.

 

Thanks also go Jay for great sound and to the staff of the SMA who make the evening seamless

 

1st February 2024

6 Acts 4 Songs

What a wonderful night we had last time at the Acoustic Club. Our 6 acts format that gives the players a little more time than the usual floor spot and allows them to expand their repertoire and to share new songs as well as theirs and our favourites.

 

Last time we were delighted to welcome back a couple of favourite acts as well as 2 new ones.

 

Wild Roses

We were delighted to welcome back Wild Roses to the Acoustic Club. Last time they came as complete unknowns but after last year’s first time set expectations were quite high. Quite frankly they exceeded expectations and gave a fantastic set that was full of expression and just great quality music

Vic Lennard

Vic is one of those players who everyone looks forward to and armed with his new guitar he did not disappoint. Vic will switch from a self penned song with a back story that is compelling to an original version of a familiar cover in the blink of an eye. As ever de gave us a professional set that was built on his long experience and cracking talent

Lily Martin

Lily has many strings to her bow and that is not limited to a great stage presence, a voice that can flip between haunting to soulful blues and all the way to her own fantastic songs. Last time she demonstrated again that she can work with others and produce wonderful music and she was accompanied by Dan Titus on guitar.

Faradena & Julian Woods

Faradena Afifi is a gifted musician. She excels on violin but he collaboration with Julian Woods has given a new direction and new repertoire for her to explore. HE set was compelling as she alternated between keyboards and pizzicato violin and some haunting melodies, fantastic vocals topped off with a solid and subtle bass from Julian.

Guy Pearson

In the introduction I did for Guy last time was very nearly right, but the thing I missed out is that he is a near neighbour of the SMA and lives about as close as you can be without incurring parking charges. Guys set was a full bodied affair and it is a wonder that we have not heard of him before. A cracking set and we look forward to more in the future.

Elinor Jackson & Dan Titus

Elinor Jackson and Dan Titus are a very much accomplished duo. Elinor if fulfilling the promise she has shown over the past few years and developing into a highly accomplished singer. Dan is one of those players who appears to have been around ages and can always be relied upon to produce great songs and great covers. Combined they have a style that is just a great idea. The set was a triumph.

 

Many thanks to all the very large audience who turned up on a foul night and were rewarded with some fantastic music.

 

Thanks also go to the staff of the SMA who make the evening seamless

 

11th January 2024

DOUBLE HEADLINE SHOWCASE

Last time at the Acoustic Club we were delighted to open the new year at our new main venue with a Double Headline Showcase featuring Rhys Wilson and Runaway Jukebox.

 

Rhys Wilson

Rhys Wilson is one of those players that is unmissable. He has many strings to his bow in that he plays with so many different bands and combinations that it is a bit of a special treat to find him performing a solo set.

 

Last time, as ever, he did not disappoint. His set was the perfect description of a Rhys Gig. He is a fantastic writer with an eclectic list of themes and subjects and he brings a vast experience of performing and enthralling audiences. His set was enthusiastically received and his latest album was available to get a permanent reminder of what a damn fine performer he is. Many thanks for a great headline spot and looking forward to the next time.

 

Runaway Jukebox

Runaway Jukebox are a band who mix popular classics with the occasional self penned song. To be honest this is not a novel formula but what they are is a great example of what can be achieved if three people put their mind to providing top quality entertainment in the form of non-stop music. They are a stunning trio and as a counterpoint to Rhys, they are the perfect foil. They are really, really good at playing and singing and created such a great feeling around the large audience and induced foot tapping and smile inducing music. They are a great Good Time Band and lets hope we see them again soon.

 

Many thanks to everyone who supported us with support spots. It is always a please to welcome and listen to Richard Holder, The Maystones, Mike Johnson and Colin Frid.

 

Many thanks are due to Jay and the staff at the South Mill Arts Centre for theirs great work on the mixing desk ensuring all players had the very best of sound as well as making sure the SMAC is a welcoming and friendly environment