Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Plank spanking

a young man spanking his plankLike a tortoise who's discovered roller skates, I've finally caught up with the live folk music scene. Last night, for example, I attended an open-mic night in London's gloomy Gunnersbury, a mere 40 years after Bob Dylan became a household name.

I can't say it defied expectations. There was a sullen teenager singing about "back in the day" when he "walked the highway". In reality, his main activity 'back in the day' would have been crying because he wasn't allowed a Wagon Wheel.

Another set featured two men playing a woefully inept series of blues covers to a wildly appreciative audience of their girlfriends.

Oh, and there was a middle-aged couple who did a song about Mexican painter Frida Kahlo that went "you painted roads and things / and little children / throwing stones at / a baby goat" (I may have made that last bit up, but the chorus really did go "Oooh, she was good").

Anyway, what really struck me was the atmosphere. All the acts were incredibly supportive of their 'rivals', and there was plenty of advice and praise going round. Some of the songsters were even worth listening to beyond the first couple of bars.

In particular, featured artist Ellie Myles, who sounded a bit like Natalie Imbruglia wrestling Jerry Hall; and the wistful tunesmithery of the enigmatically-monikered 'Dogboy' (although I have to admit a little bias here - he's a mate, and under any other circumstance I'd have mercilessly ripped the piss out of his not-at-all-based-on-kinky-sex stage name).

As is the way these days, they both have some songs up on myspace, and you should have a listen. Support live music, man. Etc.

  • Ellie Myles
  • Dogboy

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