Friday, October 25, 2013

FOLK AT THE PITTS HEAD - COVENTRY


03/16/2007 (transferred fromthe Hobo Vox blog - now closed)

FOLK AT THE PITTS
CLUB REVIEW FROM COVENTRY'S FOLKS MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 1978 BY PETE WILLOW


The club is thriving as ever, recent guests being Mick Stuart, who included a lot of early blues and ragtime pieces

Folk at the Pitts with Mick Stuart playing that we don't often hear him play. He coped admirably with some
wild, but enthusiastic chorus singing from the audience. That was October 2nd. A fortnight later we had Kevin Demsey playing to packed room, having arrived at ten because of having to cope with football match traffic on his way back from his guitar class in Kenilworth. Kev was as good as ever, supported in some numbers by Dave Cooper. Dave Bennett was guest on October 30th and again the room was crowded after initial fears that some might be tempted to stay and watch Monty Python which was on the box that night! It was good to see Dave doing two excellent spots (or blemishes) instead of just hearing him play just the occasional number in between others acts at the Dyers Arms. All three acts will definitely be re-booked to appear in the near future.

Singer's nights have had a good atmosphere lately although it would be nice to see more singers and audience there. We usually find that the first hour is shared only by two or three singers and then by 9.30 we have to fit a lot in. Nevertheless the standard of the music is very good, but that's no surprise when regular singers include Mick Stuart, Pete Rigg, Rod Felton etc.


TIME TABLE FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS IS AS FOLLOWS -

Nov 13th - Black Parrot Seaside - innovators of Dull Wave, a shattering new artform as portrayed by this trilogy of combined etherialism, cosmic musicology and silly poetry.

Nov 20th - Singers Night / Workshop

Nov 27th - Tom Patterson and Dave Moreton, talented duo from Birmingham, specialising in traditional style music and original songs. Tom, born in Newcastle, plays guitar and sings and Dave plays some good instrumental guitar. They also play classical material. Visitors last year to the Woolpack Folk Club in Rugby may remember Tom as an occasional floor singer of unsurpassed excellence.

Dec 4th - Singers night / workshop.

Dec 11th - Special concert night featuring Inchiquin. A new local band with impressive line up; Lernie MIlhone Vocals, guitar, whistle. Cathie Keenan - Vocals, guitar, keyboards. Pat Kiely - fiddle, guitar, banourria, meleodian. Brendan McGranaghan - Mandolin, Bouzouki, guitar. Tommy Connolly - step dancing, whistle, fiddle. John Freeman - bass, vocals, guitar, mandolin.

Dec 18th - Party Night.

Dec 25th - Closed for Christmas.

Jan 1st - Closed for New Year Hangover!

Jan 8th - Gibb Todd (To Be Confirmed).

Folk at the Pitts meets every Monday Night at the Pitts Head, Far Gosford St. Coventry. The club is usually run on an informal basis with no stage or PA system. Admission being 30p each evening. December 11th will be an experimental concert night, using a stage and PA with admission being 50p. If the concert is successful, we'll probably try three or four a year, booking name acts.

Pete Willow

More of these editorials about the Pitts head can be found in the pdf copies of Folks magazine which can be found on this site.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Bull's Head Folk Club



THE BULL'S HEAD FOLK CLUB - BRINKLOW - COVENTRY 1978
Article from FOLKS magazine Issue 4 Nov / Dec 1978 by Pete Willow and Jane.


http://bullsheadbrinklow.co.uk/
Brinklow fortnightly - Friday Nights -

The club opened on Friday 13th October, which far from being unlucky, proved to be an excellent singers
night with some high quality music being played to a packed room. Singers included Mick Stuart, Rod Felton, Al Wright, Pete Willow and Mick Tiernan. All in all a promising start for the club and it's nice to see that interest hasn't waned since the opening night.

On the 27th the guests were Pete and Sheila Rigg and the room was full to capacity, so that we had to put up Full House signs by 9.30pm! The atmosphere was very relaxed with Pete and Sheila on top form, playing some of their classic numbers, including Coalsmoke, The Owl and the Pussycat, He was Craze and some nice solo performances by each of them. Sheila singing her beautiful version of For Free and Pete playing an excellent ragtime guitar piece called Grace and Beauty. The variety of instruments they'd bought with them, mix and seven string guitars, mandolin, quindolin and double bass, meant that they'd had to ensure that thirty five strings were in tune before they began their set!

Some nice floor singing that evening included singer-songwriter Steve (Ollie) Barson, Maurice Kenny, Rob Armstrong Jill from Stafford and the very talented Karen Kileen from Nuneaton Folk Club, who, at ten years of age, must be the youngest folk club organiser and singer in the country.

We're very thrilled with the way the club has progressed so far and we're grateful to all musicians, singers and audience who have made it so successful. More superb evenings to come, we're sure, with Country Life appearing on 24th November (local trio with good arrangements of unaccompanied singing using traditional and modern material), Martin Jenkins (to be confirmed) on the 8th December and a Christmas Party on the 22nd December, featuring the New Modern Idiot Grunt Band, with food, goodies and a special Christmas prize for the raffle.

Into the new year, we have amazing Downes and Beer on January 5th. Floor singers are advised to come early if they want to play on this evening!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DOWN COUNTRY BOYS

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together and welcome the Midland's first bluegrass band, the
Down County Boys”. There was a smattering of applause as the four twenty-something's launched into their first number in a seedy Coventry pub back in the mid Sixties."

The full history (and much more) of the Down Country Boys is on their website above.



Music Marathon, Coventry Arts Umbrella Nov 1969


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tribute to Folk-Comedian Dave Turner - The original British comedy folk performer


This post, like many on here was originally the Hobo Vox blog 09/17/2008 and then archived on Typepad when that blog shut down. It's now on here! Dave Turner was from Nottingham but had close associations with the Coventry folk scene...Thanks to Carol Dickens some of the material here.

Tribute to Folk-Comedian Dave Turner - The original British comedy folk performer


"Now Maggie Thatcher tells me

You gotta make some money

If you want to live in this land of milk and honey

But honey dried up

and the milk's gone sour

It's very hard to make the bread without the flour

Sometime I wonder what I'm a gonna do

Cos there's only one wheel on my wheelie bin blues."

To the Tune of Eddie Cochran's - Summertime Blues

By Dave Turner (From his My Space - http://www.myspace.com/daveturnernottingham

Influential folk comedian Dave Turner, author of many hilarious clawpicked satirical songs, passed away at
66 early in  September 2008. "He was the original British comedy folk performer," says brother Pete Turner. Although Dave was from Nottingham, not Coventry, Dave had associations with the Coventry folk circuit and was a friend of Coventry's top folk artist and guitar maker -Rob Armstrong (known for his own comedy song via The Modern Idiot Grunt Band - duo with Rod Felton in the 70's. This a small tribute to man and his music and I do recommend you have a listen to some of Dave Turner's songs on the new My Space site - they are very well performed and hilarious! you can visit the site HERE .

As didn't know Dave personally, the material in this tribute has come from his partner - Carol Dickens and from his My Space site, but having listened to his songs on My Space, this is the passing of a very special comedy and folk talent who will be well known to many Coventry folkies.



FROM THE DAVE TURNER MY SPACE

TRIBUTES have been paid to a pioneer of the comedy folk scene.

Dave Turner, who died at the weekend aged 66, influenced the likes of Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrott
and Mike Harding during the 60s and 70s as one of the first folk musicians to introduce comedy into his live shows.

"There will be a bit of Dave that will carry on forever," says folk singer Fred Wedlock, the man behind the 1981 hit The Oldest Swinger In Town.



"They'll sing his songs forever and even if they don't sing his songs people will be listening to singers who were influenced by Dave. People like Jasper Carrot, Mike Harding and Billy Connolly. And myself."

Wedlock, who recorded two of his songs – The British Bobby and Robin Hood – met him in the mid-70s on the folk circuit. Click here!

"He stayed with me when he played in Bristol and I'd stay at his flat above a launderette in Hyson Green when I played in Nottingham."

He adds: "He wrote some very funny songs and he was a lovely, friendly, generous, gentle bloke. And a bit of a hippy, really."

Friends and contemporaries also included Jake Thackray, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch.

"He was the original British comedy folk performer," says brother Pete Turner.

Dave Turner was born in The Meadows and lived in Canada from the age of 10 -15. He worked as a miner for a number of years at Wollaton Colliery.

"He wrote songs down there," says Pete.

"I remember one about a pit pony that he looked after that he thought was being mistreated.

"But that was more of his serious ones. He was better known for his comedy songs.

"He started doing comedy folk on stage after listening to a record by an American called Jimmy Driftwood called Very Unfortunate Man."

He was already performing in folk clubs as part of a duet but was too nervous to go solo. During a gig at the Nottingham Folk Workshop in Heathcote Street in the early 60s, his musical partner left the stage.

"He said 'and now Dave will do a few solo songs'. He was bricking it," laughs Pete.

"But he did Very Unfortunate Man and everyone loved it. That was it."

As well as being a regular on the local circuit, Dave would tour the UK's folk clubs, playing the same clubs as Connolly, Harding and Carrott.

He also appeared on a bill with Tom Jones.

"Jasper Carrott banned him from the club he ran in Birmingham because he was too popular," says Pete.

Dave, who suffered ill-health from the early 90s, ran the Folk, Blues & Beyond night at the Running Horse for years and would introduce acts at the Golden Fleece's open mic night up until six years ago.

"About four years ago he contracted shingles in his right arm and, due to severe nerve damage, was unable to play the guitar again,"



And From Carol Dickens

Dave was a popular 'folk comedian extraordinaire' of the 60s and 70s, a friend and contemporary of Jake
Thackeray,  Fred Wedlock, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Anne Briggs, Billy Connelly and many more.

He supported some major bands of his era, including 'Spirit' and 'the Crazy World of Arthur Brown'. A brilliant self-taught guitarist and artist, he influenced many other musicians.
Later he ran 'folk, blues and beyond' at the Running Horse and at the Golden Fleece. He was still introducing acts at the 'Fleece' open mic night up until about 6 years ago. Sadly about 4 years ago he contracted shingles in his right arm and ,due to severe nerve damage, was unable to play the guitar again.

If anyone has any 'Dave Turner' stories to tell or photographs to show you can contact us on here and we'll pass a message on to Carol or you can leave a comment below.

41 mins of live Dave Turner




Comments




I knew Dave very well when we lived in Nottingham back in the late '60s. I tried a few years back to get in contact with Dave but I couldn't find any way to get hold of him, and now that I have just found this site I am really sad that he is no longer with us, and that I never will. I have many lovely memories of Dave, and a great deal of material about him including live recordings that I made of some of his performances. I will be most happy to expand on all this if Carol or anyone else who is interested would like to get in touch with me at peter@eastdevonfolk.org

Posted by: PeteJurassic | 01/07/2012 at 05:15 PM