18th February 2011

Letham Village Hall

After the disappointment of having to cancel the Bevvy Sisters gig due to the awful weather, we were really looking forward to blowing the winter blues away with Letham Nights 16. We had Buckley’s Chance and the Howie Fyfe Experience booked to entertain you. The crew had bought in the beverages and snacks, the hall was looking as classy as ever, Geoff the sound guy was ready……… when we got the call……. Buckley’s Chance singer Syuzan had been struck down with a bad case of food poisoning and would have to cancel. They were “gutted” not to be able to play such is the reputation that Letham Nights has earned. We will reschedule, that’s a promise. We, on the other had, didn’t have time to be “gutted”, a few phone calls later we had arranged for half of the Moonzie Allstars and the very impressive Mick Prichard, self confessed ”South Yorkshire’s premiere ”sighted” blues man”. David Adam, from the Moonzies, came all the way down from Blairegowrie to play for us. Mick was attending the gig anyway but brought his guitar and vocal chords along with him. The Howie Fyfe Experience were able to lengthen their set accordingly. I have to say at this point “Well done to everyone involved, out of adversity, it’s amazing what can be achieve with a positive attitude”, thanks again to Roy, Claire, Michael, Mick, Emma, Zoe, Leo and Geoff as well as all the musicians mentioned earlier.

The Howie Fyfe Experience kicked off the proceedings with a first set, plucking from the very rich sea that is Americana, a varied and diverse selection of well known and lesser well known songs. Written by or made famous by the great and the good,  John Prine, David Allen Coe, Bobby Bare, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Steve Earle, Gram Parsons, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen to name a few. Songs including Speed of the Sound of Loneliness; Lafayette; You Never Even Call Me by my Name; Miller’s Cave; Streets of Baltimore; He Lays in the Reins; Willin’, were the highlights amongst great songs of the first set.

 A short break to allow the Clap and Tipple to fill everyone’s glasses was followed by the birthday celebrations of Lynne. Lynne, Sharon and friends have graced us with their presence on almost all of the Letham Nights held over the two odd years we have been in existence. This was followed by Mick Pritchard. Mick had already graced the stage at the open mic section of The Loveliest Night of the Year event. He played a short set, having been asked to play just hours before the show started. Four songs, two covers, Neil Young’s Harvest Stack ‘o’ Lee by Mississippi John Hurt, one self penned Minnesota Bound and a brilliant rendition of “The Bear Necessities”, the reception to this almost like an encore. I have to say Mick is becoming a force to be reckoned with, his performance has come on in leaps and bounds since his last appearance in June. Great guitar picking and a versatile, powerful and soulful voice really wowed the crowd.

 Geoff and David, after a short break performed a “Half Moonzies” set, the musicianship, the songs and the chemistry between Geoff and David was electric. Great interplay between the Cumbrian Pipes, whistle, guitar, bazouki and percussion (Yes, there were only the two of them on stage) ensured the crowd rose from their seats to dance a jig during their set. They roared through 9/8’s, Mutt and Bear (David’s creative use of a loop pedal, multi layering the pipes), AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie and Good Bye Bertha (from the Moonzie AllStars debut CD Hypnagogic)

 The Howie Fyffe Experience performed their second set which was more upbeat than the first, exactly what the crowd wanted. The dancing continued as Copperhead Road; Splendid Isolation; Long Black Veil; Wild Horses; Do Bad Things; Worry Too Much; Jezebel; Bible and a Gun; Wine Do your Stuff; Poncho & Lefty; Peaceful Easy Feeling; Keep Your Distance; Two More Bottles of Wine were rattled off.  Some of the best Americana songwriters songbooks were lovingly rendered by Ned |Geddis, Guitars, CC Campbell, keys and fiddle, Pete MacLeod, bass and Colin Maclean on percussion. Ned brought out quite an evil looking black and chrome Fender Telecaster during the set which seemed right for the encore, Six Days on the Road and You Aint Goin’ nowhere.

The Clap and Tipple bar was left with much less stock than when they set up, all that dancin’ is sho’ ‘nuff thirsty work. Once again the bar was kept busy all night, well done every one, once again fabulous wines and Scottish beers and Organic Ciders, all as locally sourced as practical.