Six Hands In Tempo
Sunday 16th October 2011
The Poppy and Pint, Pierrepont Road,
Lady Bay, West Bridgford, Nottingham.
We had yet another terrific night down at the Poppy on Sunday, thanks to a double-header guest night and an unbelievable turnout of visitors from near and far (very near, and very far - our nearest walked about 100 yards, our furthest travelled visitors were from Hereford!). Every seat was sold before we opened the doors, and there were about 20 more standing at the back!
Lucy Ward and Six Hands In Tempo were the special guests, and it was down to Six Hands to start the night rolling. Six Hands are attached to the six arms of three guys who have been playing and singing in the region since the seventies. The Six Hands line-up (of Al Harris, Dave Proctor and Steve Bailey) was very popular around the clubs in the '80s, both locally and around the country. After a period of other projects they re-formed about 5 years ago for Southwell Folk Festival, and get together whenever they get the chance. Tonight we asked them to do two spots - one either side of Lucy's performance - and they treated us to a lovely exhibition of their special mix of humour, great guitar playing and singing. The songs were mostly from their 'Old Hands' CD, released to celebrate the band's 'second coming', and included: When I take my Sugar to Tea, Triplets, Falling in love again (with Steve Bailey as the Sex God), Eric Clapton's 'Layla' and, to finish, a medley of all those Cowboy TV themes we all remember too well from our youth (Big Country, Bonanza, Good Bad & Ugly) put together into a package called 'Great Westerns'.
The meat in the Six Hands sandwich was the lovely, talented and incredibly popular Lucy Ward, who played a beautifully balanced 40 minute set of songs taken mostly from her recently released and highly acclaimed CD 'Adelphi has to fly'. Lucy has come a long way since she started singing at the age of 14 in a Derby folk club - she is now playing to packed houses at clubs and festivals around the country. She writes most of her own songs, plays guitar and concertina, and has a warm and bubbly personality that holds audiences to every word. Tonight, Lucy sang us some of her own arrangements of traditional songs (such as The Two Sisters : The Wind & Rain) mixed with a selection of her own songs, including the local tale 'Alice in the Bacon Box' about a woman's efforts to stay out of the Shardlow workhouse; and the heart-rending 'Bricks & Love'.
Both Lucy and Six Hands went down a treat, and the audience called loudly for more! With only a few minutes' notice, tonight's stars came together to finish the concert part of the night with a rousing 'House of the Rising Sun' - a great finish to a terrific concert!
After the excitement had died down it was on with the final hour of the night, when we have our regular post-concert sing-around for those who want to stay until the pub throws us out. As usual, there was barely enough time to give everyone a turn - we are always amazed at the number of locals who want to perform for us, and by the quality of some of the singing and playing.