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Gary & Vera Aspey

10th October 2018

The prospect of a great night was there. What is new and fresh combined with huge experience .

Corrie Shelley with Les Hilton and Steve Shelley opened the evening with Gary and Vera Aspey closing.

Corrie with the Guys played songs from her next self penned album (in the recording stage). Corrie is a great song smith, with the clarity of the voice of an angel.  Les plays a subtle backing on 6 and 12 string guitars with Steve the new addition putting down interesting percussion helping to tell the story.

The one and only problem with Corrie's set is trying to pick a favourite.  From all the great new songs my personnel favorites would be Alice which tells the story of Stephens Mums tragic journey and the heart tugging, Recognition, painting a picture of life with dementia  stunning!

And so to the break, time to top up drinks and draw the raffle, good to see Corrie's friend continuing the tradition and walking away with a prize !

Then the second half, with Folk Greats Gary and Vera a difficult set to summerise.

 Brilliant musician ship with Vera playing Accordion, squeeze box and guitar and giving superb harmonies with the man who is Gary.  With his stories, jokes, & passion for Lanky history, great singing voice and his ability to keep contact with the audience at all times, you have to wonder how Vera keeps on playing.

From what was a great set, (I laughed and sang all the way through) it is very difficult to pick a favourite, but I will try.  'Top o'th Egg' rang true, My dad used to eat the egg I got the sliced off top.  'Grey's The New Blond ', there is hope for us all, the very funny 'Dog Fat' apparently it cures all aliments.  Great piece of playing from Vera with her squeeze Box playing Bonapart.  What a way to close the set, 'They Dont Write Them Like That Any More' (extended version ) great harmony from the audience, and more stories.

Then all too soon its time to go home.

Thanks to Corrie Shelley ,the Band, Gary and Vera ,the Conservative Club , Karen and all the good folk who came to watch.

Another great gig with The Over Hulton Folk Club.


Chloe Jones & Travelling Strings

5th September 2018

Another great evening of music and entertainment to kick us off after the summer break with a double header.  Chloe Jones opened the evening with some delightful singing, guitar playing and self penned songs.  She captivated the audience from the off.  Chloe, who had been over in the States during the summer, played with that professional air, keeping the set list as much of a surprise to her as us.  My particular favourites of the evening were 'The summer of our Lives' and another who's title evade me but was about loneliness whilst travelling .  She has a voice that reminds me of Carole King, and is a lady of some talent...

Then after the usual break for beer, food and raffle (with a good natter along the way) the Travelling strings joined us and kept us entertained for the rest of the evening with a great variety of songs.  Although I think One member light due to injury, they gave us some great guitar based entertainment and not just a little banter.  Most of the tunes were classics, with pretty much everyone in the room knowing the words to most of them and able to sing along.  Folk songs, Beatles, the sixties, modern, pretty much something for everyone.  Points were also being awarded for the odd random question on a song, artist or intro. 

Oh, and Our side of the room won !!! (Despite some quite blatant cheating from the other half)

All in all a great way to start back after the Summer, and looking forward to the future months with anticipation.   

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Manitoba Hal & Ric McFeegle

13th June 2018

What another brilliant evening of music at the Over Hulton Folk Club on Wednesday.  The talented Ric MacFeegle, singing a collection of his self penned songs, followed by the Canadian Blues Maestro that is Manitoba Hal.   The club-room was laid out in comfort with seating around small tables and with the bar to one side, which by the way had a couple of excellent guest beers.  The room is an excellent space to hear and see, with a wide space and a central point for the stage area making the sound spread evenly across the whole room. 
Ric who, fairly local as coming from the other-side of Wigan, opened proceedings with around 45 mins of original self-penned songs all played on his unique and custom ukulele.  Many of the tunes are based in events or incidents around Ric’s life, from watching a single falling feather, to riding the rattling train home, ‘the old last train from Manchester at night’ after a jar or two in the town.  The variety was huge, one minute funny, the next very dark and thought provoking, all delivered with a rough gravely tone.  Excellent..

After the usual ‘raffle’ which fortunately the club manage to keep brief and efficient, Manitoba Hal took to the stage.  One man and his Ukulele………   
There were times when you would ask, ‘where are the band playing with him?’  It is astonishing how with one small 4 stringed instrument Hal can fill a room with music.  Most of the songs played again were self penned, although there were also some blues classics thrown in, St James infirmary Blues being my Favourite.  The ease with which Hal plays his Ukuleles  and with a seriously great voice the tunes kept rolling out, even with a few audience participation moments such as the song Peel away.  If you have not seen Hal perform, and you enjoy a blend of blues / country blues music you should make the effort to get to see him.  The songs were played on a Cigar box (number plate style) uke, and what looked to be a resonator baritone ukulele, and what a sound they both make.  Building up loops for some of the songs, adding percussion, bass-lines, rhythm and lead parts, the sound was brilliant rich and full.  So good we bought his new album.. 

The club have done brilliantly in booking the Canadian who is over on his UK tour, well done, and thanks to all at the club, Ric and especially Hal for a fab evening. 

Oh, if you see Manitoba Hal is on somewhere, I suggest go and watch, you will not be disappointed. 


Bernard Wrigley

Wednesday 16th May 2018

For the two people in the Country who haven't  heard of Bernard, He is an actor, musician, poet and writer,  frequently in the soaps and acting in theaters and that is his secret , his stage show its just so varied beyond belief.

May be when a singer says I will read a story from My book You may think oh no! But not with Bernard his stories / poems are just so funny.

Even a simple change of instrument from bass guitar to accordion has the audience in stitches as he explains how the grumpy old accordion sulks if the guitar is played to often.

Not only can Bernard keep the audience with his sharp humour, but his version of 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square' showed what a great musician he is.

Several songs had a chorus and as the evening wore on the singing got louder.

One of his songs tells the tale of the Saturday Cowboys which I remember from the far away days I watched The  Auld Triangle, I didn't realise was written by Bernard and Dave Dutton.

The evening closed with a great version of 'Liverpool Lou' which I'm sure had everyone singing in harmony, it filled the room with a beautiful sound leaving everyone with a smile on their face and a happy feeling inside.

An excellent evening thanks to Bernard.

As always thanks to The Over Hulton Conservative Club for being so welcoming. Special thanks to Andrea and Karen for their Stirling work behind the bar.

Review by Brian Jones

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Virginia Kettle and The Dreamkeepers

4th April 2018

What a fantastic performance by Virginia Kettle and the Dreamkeepers last Wednesday night at the club. Virginia opened the evening with a solo set, and immediately captivated the audience with her vocal and attention to detail, with songs including 'Growing, Growing Gone', 'Sweetly Sleep No More' and 'Nobody Knows' After a short interval she was joined by 'The Dreamkeepers': John on Acoustic Guitar, Nick on Bass and Neil on Fiddle.The composition of the songs, the subtleties in the guitar picking and the sheer enjoyment of the band, in particular Nick who acts out a tableau to certain songs, 'Bury Me Naked' 'Butcher & the Vegan'.  With chocolate prizes being awarded by Virginia for the best swaying to 'Bury Me Naked'.The sound in room was amazing thanks to Simon and his attention to detail.. We look forward to seeing Virginia again next year when Merry Hell play for us in February, and I'm sure we'll have the Dreamkeepers back to soothe the soul and enchant the ears :)

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