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Singers' Night - 27th June

A Crail Folk Club Singers’ Night is a thing to behold, even to participate in. They come from far and wide to join in this warm-hearted folk social and a warm welcome is assured. And there’s no checking your folk credentials at the door, anyone with a song, a tune, a whistle, a poem, a tale… anything goes. We haven’t had step dancing yet, but I’m sure it would be appreciated.

There are performers, but of equal importance are those who just come to listen for without those ears it would be performers playing to performers which might seem a little closed.

The setting is the back room of the Community Hall which is perfectly folksy. Out front, in the hall we have show biznis… the glitz, the glamour, the curtains, the smell of the greasepaint etc. In the back room we have fluorescent strip lighting. But, you know, that unstudied retro charm works beautifully - you could be in a little hall on a remote island where the warmth is real, no smoke and mirrors.


Denizens of the Singers’ Night sit in the round at tables, the occasional beer or wine is imbibed. Generally, in a clockwise direction everyone is invited to perform one song, then next and so on until the evening ends; usually two or three rounds are achieved.

And what do we hear? Well, let’s see. Barbara marked the passing of Francois Hardy with a moving Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles.

Ian reminds us how good a writer Jez Lowe is… actually, I suspect he just likes the name Lowe because I’ve heard him sing a Nick Lowe song at previous Singers’ Nights… I’ll be watching for that now.


Richard and Riikka… well, what can you say? Riikka haunts us with a song in her native Finnish accompanied by Richard playing a wee harp and a whistle – at the same time. Consider me transported to a place of winter darkness and midnight summer sun. Almost like Nico… but cheerier.


Damon’s Bonny Lass O’ Fyvie always draws a tear and Brian’s call for backing vocals on Easy Like Sunday Morning was duly and entertainingly obliged.


As ever Duncan’s authoritative bothy ballads set feet a tappin’ and mugs a grinnin’.


We mustn’t forget the lady holidaying in Crail who impressed with Stevie Nicks’ Landslide, then with encouragement sang a beautiful song she wrote when she was 13!


Finally… Johnny... always handy with a sea shanty. I do think that would be wonderful thing to overhear about oneself... perhaps over the aisle at Morrisons. You might hear ‘aye, he’s handy with the tools’ or ‘aye, he’s handy in a fight’, but ‘aye, he’s handy with a sea shanty’ would be a touch surreal and something to overhear!

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