28 November 2010

Final Friday Session for 2010

The final folk club session for 2010 was the NFFC at its best - a wide range of styles and offerings, the spirit of community that is more talked about then realised, and a couple of very fond farewells.

The music - Simon Leverton got things started with 'Do re me' the dust bowl song of Woodie Guthrie telling of the need for money and of life's reversals of fortune - most apt. This kicked of a whole series of singer / guitarists including some original material which was a lovely relaxing way to start the night. Then Maureen, who has been going to Alison's uke class, played her first solo performance (Sunshine) and got the whole crowd (of over 55 people) involved and active in creating this lovely mood for the night - gentle, friendly and calming, so that the worries of the world faded into the distant background. What a lovely way to begin you solo career Maureen!

More songs, and poems, a few announcements, and then before the break the folk club paid tribute to Rob Durbridge for his beautiful contributions to the folk club in song, and we were able to wish Rob and Wendy all the very best for their permanent move to the country (Landsborough). Rob and his banjo have introduced us to many songs over the years, but it was his version of 'Changi Banjo' that has always brought the audiences to a standstill, and more than once drew a tear. It was lovely that Rob played this song for us - just beautiful. After the break Rob assembled the Barber SHop Chorus who all happened to be in the right place at the right time, for one final song before Rob and Wendy drove into the darkness of the night. 9 male voices, 4 parts, and a beautiful arrangement is impressive at any time, but when unexpected its power was quite dramatic. Bravo to Danny and the men! Rob and Wendy will be back from time to time and so it was not an ending, but an opportunity to recognise their contribution and to realise that it is lovely to be part of a group with such talent. All the best Wendy and Rob for your country life and we look forward to seeing you regularly, distance notwithstanding.

After that? More songs, some bush orchestra tunes (thanks Alistair and Catherine) and then another tribute of sorts. Greg O'Leary and Helen are heading off to New Zealand to cycle for 6 weeks and so we were able to wish them all the very best through song (Daisy, Show me the way to go home, Maori farewell) and poem from Gail, and even a joke from Steve. All the very best to you Helen and Greg - we wish you a fantastic trip (may there be more hills going down than up, may the wind be at your behind etc) and we look forward to seeing you back in Newport in the new year.

One final observation - for those interested in such things. There was about 50 people at the session, and we finished as always at 11pm. However when we did finish, people just sat - as if soaking up the warmth of the evening, and the fellowship that was so evident in the room. There are only 10 of these sessions for the year, and Friday night provided a very satisfying end to 2010. See what happens next year!

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