The Bishops Stortford Acoustic Club

at South Mill Arts Centre

1-3, South Road, Bishops Stortford, Herts. CM23 3JG

 

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8th December 2021

Thursday’s Band

 

Thursday’s Band are one of the UK’s most intriguing acoustic bands – consisting of a unique combination of guitars and strings brought to life by intelligent original song writing

 

Coming from an eclectic background that includes folk, country, blues, cajun and orchestral music, the band includes Mark Gamon (guitar, vocals and songs); Matt Kelly (fiddle, viola, mandolin, vocals and songs); Dave Cammish (bass) and Rhys Wilson (guitar and vocals).

 

Their songs are new and in keeping with their overarching ethos, originalinality. They combine so well and as they have been performing together over the years, they play with an intuitive combination that is so delightful. Their set was a combination of four players at the top of their game and brought a deal of delight from the audience.

 

The current line-up is relatively new, Thursdays Band has always been a moving feast, always building, developing and learning and looking forward to the next opportunity to see them again.

 

Thursday’s Band have released two full albums, and they are available from

 

www.clunkandrattle.com and www.thursdaysband.bandcamp.com

 

24th November

6 Acts - 4 songs

 

 

 

Mark Gamon

Mark is one of those players who seems to pop up everywhere - with good cause. He is a talented song writer, plays a pretty mean guitar, a fine singer and a born collaborator. Rather than as part of either of his Bands it was just Mark, his guitar and his songs we were delighted to welcome him back and the set was a rare delight.

Terry Hiscock

How do you start to explain the wealth of talent that is Terry? The principal singer and songwriter with 70's Electro-Folk-Rock band Hunter Muskett now enjoying a well deserved revival, Terry is a sought after solo performer in his own right. His performance was typical Terry; thoughtful, insightful and delivered in a style that is his own. His observations on life, history and music were as ever treat.

 

 

 

 

Linda Moylan

Linda made her first appearance at the Acoustic Club on the recommendation of Ian and Del of Crayon Angels, both of whom provided backing music and vocals.

 

Off the Record music blog stated "Linda is an amazing vocalist with a great command of her range. If you haven’t heard Linda before, then fix that mistake now.” We got that opportunity last week and we are converts. A debut of note and thanks Linda for performing

 

Tom Ryder

Tom wears so many hats at times it is difficult to remember that despite his musical associations (of which there are many) he remains a stand out singer and songwriter. Last time he combined with Greg Camburn on a couple of his songs, he again proves that there is no substitute for class, of which he blessed with so much. We are already looking forward to the next time when he teams up with Greg and long time collaborator and friend Joe Hazell at the Christmas Concert.

 

Geoff Carne

Geoff treats every audience to his unique way of looking at things and his view is reflected in the songs he plays. He is a real troubadour of the old school being part of a tradition of observational songs which are just spot on. It was a pleasure to welcome him back to Stortford and the Long Room where he gave us some highly original and enchanting songs. Geoff relies on his ability as a songwriter and player to take you to the reality of his songs. Just a damn fine set!!

 

Cider at Yours.

What can be said about this very local duo that has not been said before? They are one of the finest purveyors of Musical Magnificence that can be found (well certainly in Hertfordshire). Richard and Becky produced a unique sound which it turns out was the first gig for ages and ages. Their music is personal, sometimes amusing but always compelling and it was great to welcome them back to the Acoustic Club.

 

 

10th November

Jo Ash

 

 

Last time we welcomed back to the Long Room the individual talent that is Jo Ash. Jo was supported by her long-time collaborator, writing partner and guitarist Mike Wheatley.

During lock down Jo has expanded not only her musical horizons but also, in some part her musicality. She has developed her talent in producing music to such a level that she is able to record and produce her music. There is nothing as worthwhile as self-producing music. There are no compromises and the music sounds exactly as the artist envisages it when writing and performing.

 

Jo's latest EPs are reviewed on the Acoustic Club website, but they are very much worth listening to. Her unique style and performance were, as ever, a mastery of music that is so emphatically Jo Ash.

 

Many thanks to Jo and Mike for a Headline Showcase that was a treat for everyone.

 

Support was provided by

Bill Tarran

Pete Croft

Chris Rivett

Greg Camburn

The Maystone

Joe Clack

 

 

 

27th OCTOBER

TENNESSEE TWIN

& The YOUNG PLAYERS

 

Last time we welcomed back to the Long Room the award winning Country Rock American Duo Tennessee Twin. Well, that is one very apt description but I would prefer a grown-up duo who play some really great songs, almost all of which they write and deliver in a style that is immediately enthralling and enjoyable. It is a great talent to have and Victoria and Geoff exude it in abundance. Their whole performance is professional and is so accessible to audiences of every age.  For a second time they were the Headline Act at our regular Young Players nights and they had the rapt attention of not only the adult audience but the young players as well.

 

They bring their own standard and skill to every performance and this time was no different. A full set that just flashed past in the wink of an eye. Many thanks to Victoria and Geoff for a wonderful set and we are looking forward to the next time

 

As it was Half Term Week, we were delighted to welcome our young players. With many of our regular young players moved onwards and upwards - it’s amazing how quickly they grow up and move onto university - we had the pleasure of meeting a new crop of players.

 

Just so you know them for the future, when you can say in 5-10 years, I saw them at the Moon before they were famous!!

 

 

Our young players are from top left

SOFIA GATLAND accompanied by Hanako Ward, a great bass player who gave us two distinctive tunes with her friend Hanako;

 

INDIA PURTON accompanied by Stuart Purton, such a stylish singer with stunning a vocal range;

 

ELEANOR HEWINS, a singer/songwriter who writes songs of such maturity and elegance that belies her tender years;

 

HANAKO WARD accompanied by Geoff Carpenter, our longest serving young player who performed an acoustic version of Layla that will cause Eric Clapton concerns for his position as the GOAT guitarist;

 

ARCHIE EASTLAKE accompanied by Geoff Carpenter, who plays a Gibson SG guitar which is almost as long as he is tall with such verve and style rarely seen in such a young player.

 

Congratulations to all our players. What talent, what ability!!! Which prompted Geoff from Tennessee Twin to remark that live music in Stortford is safe for the future in their hands.

 

We all heartily agree

 

20th OCTOBER

6 Acts x 4 Songs

 

PAT CRILLY and GREG CAMBURN

 

Not a great deal can be said about these two fantastic musicians that has not been said already. Guitar, Banjo, Strange 8 string instruments, Penny Whistles, Saxophone, songs and seriously good music. They are the watchword for professional music.

 

 

MARK SHEPHERD

Cambridge singer-songwriter Mark Shepherd plays his original brand of thought-provoking Acoustic rock/Americana at festivals and venues across the UK and USA. His strong, distinctive vocal is complimented by powerful and melodic acoustic guitar and his songs often explore the darker side of life and the world in general. Mark and his music are sure to stay with you long after you finish listening.

 

 

PATERSON

In the life of the mundane and every day we have the occasional spark of absolute originality. Paterson are just that.

A versatile, original and with a performance worthy of being listened to. They are unpredictable and will both surprise and delight you. You have been warned.

 

 

PAUL BOOTH with SI LEE

Paul is a singer songwriter who crafts his songs such they are identifiable has his. He has appeared in many guises and line ups. His latest with bassist Si Lee is one of the best.

 

 

PETER CROSSLEY

Peter is a multi-talented musician and music teacher. A terrific finger style guitarist but is also a master violinist playing in a number of guises.

A great songwriter and wonderful singer are so evident on his debut album, which is reviewed on this website. Just brilliant!

 

 

TRANQUILLITY BEACH

Tranquillity Beach, a new Stortford based roots-rock band. Starting their musical journey is always a great big step so with recently recorded songs on sound cloud things are looking up for this new duo

 

 

6th October 2021

THE SHERI KERSHAW BAND

 

As an artist there are few who are able to hold a candle in terms of stage presence, ability, virtuosity and down right listen ability to Sheri Kershaw. Add to Sheri her guitarist Martin and bassist John then you are assured of a first class evening of principally acoustic music, but co loured in with a refreshing bass line and magical electric lead guitar.

 

We also had a full list of supporting artists:- Bill Tarran - Host and MC, Pete Croft, Tranquility Beach, Paul Booth, Laura Dannan, Colin Frid and Dan Starr.

 

It was a shame that we had a fairly sparse crowd, but you cannot have everything. Thanks to those who came and enjoyed with us a full evening of great music.

22nd September 2021

ANNA WELLS

 

Anna is an artist we have seen progress from her first nervous steps a few years ago to the accomplished performer she is today. Her first Album is Circles, an easy-listening, quasi classical-crossover pop album. Some mellow tunes and some definite foot-tappers. Vocal clarity and mixed arrangements featuring mellifluous saxophone hooks, smooth bass lines and tasteful drum grooves. Something here for everyone.

Anna proved she has so much more confidence, not only as a performer but in herself. She sells her music with style and aplomb. She really loves a medley and her talent allows her to move between classics and other favourite songs, with barely a shift but before very long you are tapping your foot along with the newer beat.

Truly fantastical set of new songs, old songs and medleys to lift the heart.

We also had a full list of supporting artists:- Bill Tarran - Host and MC, Pete Croft, Jay Williams, Eleanor Hewins, The Maystones, Joe Hazell and Troi

 

15th September 2021

Dave Sutherland

Last week Dave Sutherland returned for a special concert showcasing songs from his new album 'Last Drop of Empty.'

 

There is a huge amount that has been said, not only about the history of this Dave's 4th studio album, but also the chronology of how long it has taken. Recorded in LA, Sweden, Jersey and London, ‘Last Drop of Empty’ is produced by the Grammy award winning Producer, Stacy Parrish and legendary Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna bass player, Jack Casady. Jack also plays bass on the album.

 

Dave's long anticipated return to Stortford was a real coup for many reasons. Firstly, because Dave is happy to come back to his friends at the Acoustic Club to make his new Album available but also because our venue encourages the audience to listen. The new album was been delayed by the obvious effects of Covid but having a planned 80-minute set gave time for the explanation of how each track came about. Dave is such an accomplished writer and performer that the evening flew by in a blink of an eye. No sooner had he started it was time for the last song and the inevitable sale of CD's. The performance was remarkable in that Dave used his 12 string for the first time in ages and this really enhanced two of his tracks.

 

Many thanks to Dave for such a terrific performance and for Pat Crilly and Greg Camburn for their contribution to the evening. It was so good to see them together again.

 

8th SEPTEMBER 2021

6 Acts 4 songs

Steve Ingrey

There are Bluesmen and then there is Steve Ingrey. A classic Bluesman with an encyclopaedic repertoire of blues from its foundation to the present day. A Terrific set ranging from the 1920’s to the 1980’s

 

Paul Booth with Si Lee

Paul Booth accompanied by Si Lee on bass was a lesson in well thought out and personal songs

Jenny Salmon

Jenny is part of the prolific writing duo of Salmondwhite. A singer songwriter from Hertford with a bubbly personality and a voice to match! What a vocal range and what great self penned songs.

 

SYN

Syn was a bit of a mystery in truth before she arrived and not often do we have players singing R&B but my oh my! What a fantastic vocal performance! Such clarity and such tone. Just brilliant!!

 

Cut the Mustard

Dave and Martin are regular player on the local live music scene and are members of so many groups and duos it is difficult to keep tabs on them both. They are very accomplished players and combined to produce a varied sound including blues, folk and pure acoustic with a “Cut the Mustard” twist.

The Maystones

The Maystones are a local band more used to playing heavy metal and loud music but are expanding into acoustic music. Their set was as essentially 2/5ths of a rock band and they gave us a welcome mixture of self penned and covers. A great set.

 

 

25th August 2021

Returning to the Acoustic Club - Blues Inc.

We have really missed the crafted songs of Blues Inc over the lockdown as they are the go to band for foot stomping music. With Club Co-Founder Drew Bonnington now moved to South West London (Wimbledon in fact - he wombles on the Common occasionally) they do not appear at ad hoc nights these days. Which is our loss. But the remaining band were keen to get together and bring Drew from his Southwest Exile back to the bad lands of Hertfordshire.

 

And what an all-around great night we witnessed. Not only were Blues Inc on top form, we had a pretty full list of superb players whose contribution cannot be underestimated. Blues Inc are such a polished band who can vary their songs according to the audience and they just played a perfect set. We had the pleasure of Bill Tarran as Host and M/C, Dan Hepburn, Sam Tatchell, Dan Starr, Pete Croft, Jerry Nineacres and Joe Hazell as our supporting players. It was so nice to see Dan and Jerry again after so long away and our newer players. Just honest great support acts.

 

Many thanks to all our players and especial thanks to Rob on the Sound Desk safely back from his holiday.

11th August 2021

Returning to the Acoustic Club was the original talent that is Terry Hiscock.

Terry is one of those players who just gets better and better, year after year. He has appeared over the years in various guises but his most seminal is him, his voice and his guitar doing what he does best. Singing songs and entertaining his audience with his stories and his reminiscences.

 

The consummate professional, Terry remains a major draw in any acoustic circle. He writes, sings and sometimes interprets songs in a style that is ever so exactly Terry Hiscock.

 

Terry was planning to appear with his lifelong friend and playing partner Roger Trevitt. Unfortunately, Roger has been under the weather and it was a great shame to miss him. I am sure we will see him soon and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

 

We had brilliant support acts in the shape of Bill Tarran, Robin Dudley, Pete Croft, John Drage, Paul Booth, Joe Hazell, Colin Frid and Akos.

 

Many thanks to all our players and especial thanks to Carl who so ably stood in for Rob on the Sound Desk while he is on holiday.

4th August 2021

Last week we had an opportunity to listen to Charlie Turner

It was delightful to welcome back the incomparable Charlie Turner for a long-awaited Headline Showcase. Charlie has been one of our greatest supporters and her last planned gig was the very first victim of COVID such a long time ago

 

Charlie has so many musical options but this time she chose to entertain us with her voice, a guitar and her wealth of songs. The truth is that is all she needed to bring. Her songs are so well crafted and her ability to see a different point of view is uncanny. Great tunes and memorable words make her one of the great undiscovered songwriters

 

Charlie royally entertained us for nearly 45 minutes and had the pack audience singing along in all the right places

 

Just a wonderful set!!

 

We had brilliant support acts in the shape of Steve Warner and Phil Sheldrake, Scarlet Thomas supported by Tom Ryder, Tom Ryder supported by Greg Camburn, Joe Hazell, Eleanor Hewins and the incomparable Mike Happenin Boy & Grant Howard

 

Many thanks to all our players and especial thanks to Carl who so ably stood in for Rob on the Sound Desk while he is on holiday.

 

28th July 2021

JONO

It was so good to see the full 4 piece line up with Mike Johnson, Kris (with a K) Ambrose, Ed Johnson and Cormac O'Prey Two new songs and two favourites from a vast repertoire of classic 70's-80's-90's rock. Jono have spent many years as a local staple band. In almost every setting, they fit in seamlessly. Always well-rehearsed and spot on in execution, it was so good to see them back on the stage in the Long Room. You can always rely on them to raise the temperature and raise the roof

Colin and James Frid

A father and son duo is sometimes a step into an alternative place, but not with Colin and James Frid. Colin has a deserved reputation for having a full voice and is normally accompanied by the full sound of a D35 Martin. James has been playing in rock covers bands, originals bands and all sorts of bands and he has developed his own distinctive style. Put the two together and you might get Steeleye Span on drugs, but what we actually got was a professional set of rock and roll classics including one made famous by King Elvis. As unexpected a song choice as it was brilliant in execution.

 

Peter Crossley

An outstanding musician singer and songwriter in the best traditions of live music. He has so many strings to his bow (good pun as he is a stunning violinist) playing in a Jug Band as well as accompanying people so well. Peter delighted us with selection of songs that have surfaced over lock down including a two-chord cover - The Faces "Wish I knew what I know now (when I was younger) and 3 songs from the Crossley past. With his new guitar, his bright guitar playing comes to the front and centre an is the perfect foil to his voice

 

Neil Gowans

A local player who spends a great time with his band The Winos. Neil proves that rock and roll can easily be given an acoustic twist. Versatile and a pretty good songwriter too! A first-time visitor and welcome back any time.

Vic Lennard

Vic's reputation as a great accompanying guitarist precedes him. We have seen him supporting high profile players but as a solo player he comes to the fore. His songs were great, but the cap on the evening was his version of the classic John Martyn's "May you never" Brilliant!

Geoff Carnes

Geoff treated us to a unique way of looking at things and his view is reflected in the songs he played. He is a real troubadour of the old school being part of a tradition of observational songs which were just spot on

 

21st July 2021

 

Headline Showcase Elliot Porter accompanied by Dave O’Neil on bass

Elliot and Dave gave us a full spot of Eli’s original songs. A fantastic close to our first evening back after 16 long months

 

Tom Ryder and Greg Camburn

Tom is one of our long-standing players and last week gave a call to Greg Camburn and asked him to put some penny whistle into his set. Greg, who has not been too well recently, was happy to oblige and the rest is History. Whilst it was great to see Tom again, everyone agreed it was delightful to see Greg back where he belongs on stage and playing such great music

Pat Crilly and Paul Hilder

We are used to seeing Pat and Paul perform over the last few years and Paul adds such assured lead guitar to Pat’s songs and tunes. They make a unique duo with what can only be described as eclectic repertoire. Also, with Pat heavy schedule as a promoter in Hertford we were very luck to see him on a Wednesday. Smashing set but only what we have come to expect

 

Joe Hazel

What can you say about Joe that has not already been said? Touring musician, session guitarist in great demand and music teacher as well. His band Curse of Lono has not disappeared and is planning to release their new album in November. Something else to look forward to. His set was as varied and just plain brilliant as ever

 

 

Colin Frid

Colin who? Colin Frid that is who. He sings, plays guitar and writes songs. That does not say it all. Any song he sings has his stamp on it whether he wrote it or not. A vast repertoire of interesting, amusing and emblems of his youth. A fantastic set – as ever!

Daisy Wilcox

When a very quiet an unassuming young lady sits to sing and play if only out of politeness you sit and listen. When she finished the first of her self-penned songs you realise, she has some talent. At the end of her second song, you realise she has lots and lots of talent. A fantastic set! A refreshing new talent that we hope will grace the Acoustic Club stage again

 

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