Category Archives: Allan Taylor

30-Sep-2010 GAS alert!!!

2010 three-quarters through… already. On the music front we:

  • Performed at singers nights in the north east:
    • Netherton Folk Club
    • Foggy Furze Folk Club
  • Played at four care homes:
    • Newbiggin
    • Prudhoe (the town where we grew up)
    • Hexham
    • Corbridge
  • Played at Pools Folk and Acoustic club where our good friends Fools Gold were the headline act
  • Attended a concert in Kirkby as special guests of organiser Ray Freeman

We took Rio (Jimmy’s Taylor 910CE-L7 Ltd Edition 6-string) to expert luthier Mark Challinor for a replacement bridge, raising the action slightly. We’ve become great friends of Mark – his attention to detail is wonderful, and his warm and genuine friendship soothe the troubled brow when surgery or tweaking (however minor) is required to our family of guitars. He’s the only person we trust with our Taylors and we recommend him wholeheartedly.

It’s been a bit of a social whirl this month. In addition to our Otley trip to see Mark, we’ve popped over to Leeds and Liverpool to see Allan Taylor and Anthony John Clarke and, closer to home in Whitley Bay with Mike and Hazel… Jimmy even helped with working out the chord structure of a song that might find its way into Mike’s repertoire. And we also enjoyed a long-overdue get together with Jimmy’s son Lyndon over a rather splendid meal in a Chinese restaurant in Middlesbrough (delicious, but not good for the waistline!).

And, of course, there was the extended weekend trip to Wengen in Switzerland for Allan Taylor’s 65th birthday celebration evening. We’d been planning and organising this for almost a year, so it was great to see it all come to fruition and to see everyone there. It was a wonderful evening… the people, the atmosphere, the location, the food (and wine!), the music… everything came together superbly. A memory that will linger for a very long time.

Val somehow managed to fit in some temping work.

GAS alert!!!… we finally took delivery of the latest additions to our musical instrument family – a matching pair of tenor ukuleles (‘LPK’ and ‘LPQ’). Taylor don’t do ukes, so we went for Kala KA-KTG-CT (Hawaiian Koa back and sides, Cedar top, high gloss finish)… they look perfectly at home next to the full-sized guitars, kinda cute.

31-Mar-2010 performing, watching, etc etc

Digest, overview, summary… call it what you will…

March always seems such a long month, and this year it’s been busier than ever. Having returned from the north west after two very enjoyable appearances at Anthony John Clarke songbook launch concerts we were raring to perform locally again, and were pleased to ferret out some venues new to us. We also got to see friends in concert, got back on our bikes (first time this year), played more table tennis, and carried on with design commissions. Phew!… we:

  • Played a monthly care home spot – we’ve played this one so often we feel like part of the family
  • Travelled to Bishop Auckland to play for the Evergreens, telling our story, explaining about our instruments and sound system, talking about songwriting inspirations and techniques
  • Performed at singers nights in:
    • Monkey Folk Club, Whitley Bay
    • Marquis Of Granby, Sunniside
    • Pothouse Club, Hartlepool (temporarily in a school hall… kudos to the Young ‘Uns for keeping the club going after things went awry at their previous venue)
    • Foresters Folk Club, Coatham Mundeville
    • Cramlington Folk Club
    • Barnard Castle Folk Club
  • Saw Chris Kelly, Acoustica and Fools Gold at the Lamplight Centre, Stanley – good night, well organised and played
  • Did a 30-minute spot at an evening of celebration for local charity MIND Active – shared the bill with Old English who used our Bose L1 system, a karaoke singer and an Elvis impersonator both of whom used backing tracks… an ‘interesting’ evening to say the least
  • Travelled to Edinburgh to see Dana & Susan Robinson (from USA) – great night, added bonus of jiva being offered a support slot in May
  • Played a support spot for Anthony John Clarke at Ingleby Greenhow (we plugged our Bose ToneMatch mixers into his system, and the sound was great) – a super night… we got back home at around 3:00 am (but, as the clocks went forward it was really 4:00 am!)
  • Finalised the artwork design for Stewart Shackleton’s CD (recorded in our Blue Room last month) and sent the master CD and artwork for professional replication and packaging
  • designed a poster for Allan Taylor and also the tickets for Allan’s 65th birthday celebration which will be in Wengen, Switzerland (yes, we’ll be there!)
  • designed a poster and flyer for Anthony John Clarke

In addition to all this we somehow found time to visit Val’s son in Cambridge, have John Jeffrey around to mull over guitars and to set up a ‘scene’ on our Bose for John’s support slot for the forthcoming jiva in concert at Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, carry on with a new website and presentation for a local firm, do some routine updates and maintenance on a few websites and MySpace profiles (including our own too), and some guitar re-stringing and battery changing too.

And, of course, new gigs are coming in with confirmations for later in the year and early 2011.

So, there you have it… full of busy as always. But we wouldn’t have it any other way…

26-Nov-09 Allan Taylor at Darlington Folk Club

Allan Taylor, just back after a six week tour of Germany, was on great form this evening at Darlington Folk Club. It was great to catch up with him.

Tom Hughes, club organiser and MC, got the evening underway with his support slot – he got the audience nicely warmed up for the main act.

Allan began with a newish song, as yet unreleased, called ‘Endless Highway’. This was written after filming had finished for his soon to be released DVD about his life on the road called…’The Endless Highway’! A great start and it just got better and better as Allan played and sang two great sets mixing old and new songs and telling many tales of his life on the road.

The audience loved him, we loved him… and it was a smashing night. He finished off the night with another unreleased song called ‘I’m Going Home’ and he had the whole room joining in from the first couple of lines through to the end. A wonderful night!

10-Sep-09 Allan Taylor at Cutty Wren Folk Club

We’ve visited this club a couple of times on singers nights but this was the first time for a guest night. It takes an hour and a half for us to get there (127 mile round trip) but it’s well worth it. John Taylor made us feel very welcome, and even bought us a drink in celebration of our recent marriage! Thank you John.

We hadn’t taken our guitars as we were unsure of the format on a guest night, but there was time for plenty of the regulars to do floor spots before Allan got up for his first set. He played acoustically and it was wonderful. He told us he was feeling a little ‘under the weather’ – but you wouldn’t have known it. There was the usual break for the selling of raffle tickets – prizes were a variety of wines, chocolates and vegetables… including a very large marrow!

Then Allan returned for his second set and he had the audience spellbound and joining in at all the appropriate places. It was a smashing night – we were singing Allan’s songs all the way home in the car!

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