Bad Luck Blues Club at St Paulís Open House

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Following hot on the heels of the success of September’s Phil Martin/Brentford Belles/Roy Hill fundraiser for Open House, I was easily persuaded to organise another event at St Paul’s. The soonest available date was Friday 13th November and barman Matt and I agreed the next event would be called the Bad Luck Blues Club.

Momentum soon gathered and within a couple of weeks over 20 different people had signed up to perform on the night. On this occasion, we decided not to charge for entry, and that we would give profits from the bar and proceeds from the raffle to Open House, the sensory garden at St Paul’s and also to Water Aid.

What a fantastic night – Everyone was brilliant - going through the highlights – First we had Sheila Underwood singing two Scottish folk songs (unaccompanied) a great way to start so that everyone settled down and listened! Further along, my husband Phil Martin accompanied my friend and colleague Dave St Val in his first-ever public performance! We had quite a build up to that with nerves and so on; he sang Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols and then an Elvis number – His Latest Flame – wow – he was so relieved once it was over, and can’t wait for the next time!

Jackie sang a couple of 60s classics, beautifully delivered, with her husband Mel giving a rousing rendition of On Ilkley Moor Baht’at

Peggy Woolven read from her own work, a couple of story-poems, one about learning to drive particularly chimed with my own experiences as I have never quite managed to pass my driving test!

Poignant acoustic performances were delivered by Phil Raine, Nick and Alan, and an emotional double act by Rae and Dave of Hounslow Light Opera Club – Dave soon to play Joseph in Phil Martin’s production of the Nativity (Christmas no 1 @St Paul’s 20th December 5pm)

Two young ladies, Good Golly Miss Molly (Gravett) and Amazing Daisy (Keogh) sang and played the guitar for us, which was quite enchanting! It’s obviously in the genes as their mums were on stage later on!

Fiona had the crowd in stitches with her double entendres, one of two comedy acts that evening.

The second being Bob Cunnington who tinkled the ivories during the interval followed by an unusual performance of an episode from the book of Jeremiah!

Raucous rhythm and blues were provided by Dave Lancaster and co, and sonorous delivery of Johnny Cash and Leadbelly numbers by Rob Tasker

It was a night for daughters, as my daughter Sarah took to the stage for a strong performance of the Aretha Franklin classic Say a Little Prayer…backed by the Brentford Belles- oh yes the beautiful Belles – with my husband Phil – fabulous as usual. Phil seemed to be accompanying people quite a lot on his guitar, at last got his own solo slot, with one of my favourite songs – the Little Things in Life by Green on red.

Finally – we had an uplifting finish by reggae band the Iconics, who play in Ealing (next date 3.12.09) watch out for another Open Mic night in Brentford, which will be in Feb, more information coming soon. After paying the various costs involved in putting on the gig, we raised 150 pounds to be split between Water Aid, the Sensory Garden at St Paul’s and Open House café.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers who made it all possible – Mary and Sheila who did the raffle and all the adding up, Rebecca and Marjorie who helped with the bar and food – Matt our wonderful unflappable and unpaid barman, and last but not least Phelan, who is an Open House volunteer during the week as well.

Helen Martin

November 23, 2009

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