Christchurch Folk Music Club

Gats, Gats and More GATS!

Guitarist Tony Hale had been working on an idea to bring together some of our best local finger- pickers for a guitar-laden concert. It came to fruition recently as ‘Fingerpicking Delights’ and was warmly received by a full house at the Christchurch Folk Music Club, March 12th 2015.

MC Neill Pickard opened by reminiscing about his own early days at the University Folk Music Club and the bands and songs of that era. He then introduced Hale to the stage who was immediately joined by Jon Hooker. These two opened with a funky version of ‘Windy and Warm’ with strong rhythm and bends. The ‘Cannonball Rag’ followed with the two guitars on fire. It was a night of many notes, every one melodious and well-timed. They bounced off the timber walls and ceiling and the odd bald pate.

They weren’t all from the shining strings of guitars for Kristina Godfrey sang a couple of songs accompanied sensitively by Tony. Her strong confident voice was a highlight of the evening on ‘Diamonds and Rust’ and a very laid back ‘Autumn Leaves’. Tony soloed ‘In the Mood’ then was joined by Dave Hart on vocal and his home-made tea-bag bass for ‘Deep River Blues’. The next scheduled performer was unable to attend so Billy Vallance and Jon Hooker slotted in an impromptu set of blues with a folky edge. Three standards from Rev Gary Davis and Jimmy Webb, very rhythmic and melodic with cross-harmonies and nice harp breaks by Billy (but not enough of them!).

Pickard opened the second half with more historic notes then Hooker and Hale launched into some Nashville material on resonator and guitar respectively. Bit of a messy start with prolonged tuning, semi-audible talking on, off and around the mics, and some sound hiccups but it came together for a good set with nice slide touches. Next up was Susan Grant with Hooker, both playing slide. This was the other highlight of the evening, their time spent playing together shining through. Absolutely together and on fire: ‘Anji’ – Jon on lead, Susan running a bass line underpinning Jon’s driving lead, ‘Available Space’ – both on resonators, then ‘St Louis Blues’- Susan sliding, Jon picking melody. For the next step Billy was up with Jon to sing ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ offering evocative vocal and harp, to Jon’s haunting Baritone guitar, followed by ‘Get the Good Stuff Baby’ – Jon putting a monotone-ish blues backing to Billy’s vox.

A new face appeared next – Filipino Apollo Torres to sing a pair of Jim Croce standards with Tony. Two guitars, Torres low, Hale treble. Excellent. Tony then played a sweet solo ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ after which a slightly tipsy Charlie Chaplinesque figure entered, from the kitchen, to strut appropriately across past the orchestra pit twirling a cane while Hale picked ‘Chaplin’s New Shoes’.

The final set returned Hale and Hooker to the stage for their version of ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ with driving rhythm and tight picking. This left the audience yelling for more so the performance was rounded off with, appropriately, ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’.

Tony would like to make this an annual event, which is a worthy plan. Plenty of pickers out there! The evening rolled along well with just a few tweaks needed for a repeat – a stage assistant was sorely missed for the adjustments necessary with such frequent performer changes, and it seems these accomplished pickers need to ‘pick up’ their mic technique somewhat when addressing the audience.

It’s essential that performers speak purposefully into a mic always ‘on axis’ – i.e. in line with it no matter which way they are facing and at a consistent distance of 2 to 10cm. Otherwise the audience hears only snatches of the talk/conversation which annoys them immensely and also drives the soundman insane. And no performer should ever piss-off his soundman! We look forward to further and improved Delights…

Review by Geoff Anders

The Ceilidh Dance 16 Sept 2018

A cèilidh is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering, where dance and music is the binding factor. The dancers were certainly bound in joy for the dance and the Monday Night Session Band brought music that was dance-able and enjoyable. The delight...

read more

Matty Smith and Josh Braden 29 July 2018

A soft, acoustic approach for a night filled with the creativity of Matty's original songs to the fore and shining. There was contrast throughout the night. The night opened with the tones of the David Gray sound-alike Matty crooning his songs with a depth...

read more

Monique Aiken and Ryan Fisherman 28.04.19

Two local young talented local musicians shared their music, their collaborations, the inspiration behind their creativity and most of all their love of performing. A night where the craft of singer-songwriting was truly to the fore, as Monique and Ryan both shared...

read more

Women of Folk Concert 23-09-2018

A special concert to celebrate the important contribution that the women of folk have achieved. Music permeates our hearts carrying a strong message that has both challenged for change and acknowledged achievements to coincide with the Suffrage 125...

read more

Colin Henderson and Jeff Bell 09.09.2018

Colin and Jeff brought their favourites to become our favourites. Jeff and Colin both respected musicians in their own rights joined forces to play a mixture of covers featuring songs from Bob Dylan to Adele. We were promised a laid back night and songs we could sing...

read more

The Chaps, the final concert to mark the 50th Celbrations

  The finale concert on Sunday 25th November 2018, to celebrate the Folk Club's 50th anniversary weekend, we welcomed The Chaps from Dunedin acknowledging the long supportive association that exists between the Folk Clubs in Christchurch and Dunedin. Since 1989...

read more

Uke Nomad: Anu and Laurie- uke vibe and energy 24.03.2019

Uke Nomad Uke Nomad - Anu Grace and Laurie Bycroft, Australian kiwis at heart on their third tour of the south island are re-living the rich troubadour tradition of writing/storytelling and singing up the places, rivers and people they meet. The connections made over...

read more

Beyondsemble – Back of Beyond Tour 04/03/2018

Back of Beyond generously gave a funky, folk, good fusion feel when they played at the Folk Club on Sunday 4th March 2018. With Craig Denham on accordion, piano, vocals and percussion, along with Nathan Torvik on guitar, vocals, bass and mandolin, and...

read more

Folk Club 40th Birthday

Tracy Kolenchuk has made a pictorial record of the Folk Club's 4oth Birthday, and it is shared here: http://www.pbase.com/tracyk/2008_11_23_christchurch_folk_dance_music

read more

Ryan Neville and the Midnight Blues Show Band 15/07/2018

An audience member commented that it was impossible to sit still with this fabulous music playing, they just had to stand up and dance. This summarises the night, music that offered toe tapping danceable grooves. Just back for a tour in USA the tight and...

read more

Too Many Chiefs – 22/07/2018

I was pleased I went to Christchurch Folk Music Club on a cold Sunday night. 'Too Many Chiefs' are very good musicians. I enjoyed all their unique songs as each band member performed their own work. If you are like me and enjoy memorable lyrics go and see...

read more

Matty Smith and Josh Braden, acoustic and harmonious

29 July 2018, A soft, acoustic approach for a night filled with the creativity of Matty's original songs to the fore and shining. There was contrast throughout the night. The night opened with the tones of the David Gray sound-alike Matty...

read more

Bottlelake Junction

Christchurch's newest Celtic-Bluegrass Band, Bottlelake Junction wowed the audience with some awe inspiring music by three musicians individually accomplished and together they were dynamic. This trio emerged from the Canterbury Folk Festival...

read more

Joel Fafard releases his ‘Fowl Mood’ CD

13 March, 2018 Joel features on the cover of the current ‘Hear Ye’, maybe not as prestigious as the cover of the “Rolling Stone” however a real kudos statement for our club. Joel certainly met the challenge with his performance on Sunday night....

read more

Graham Wardrop and Roger Lusby

A night when two Otago raised lads brought their well-founded and honed skills to a Christchurch stage, amidst a room filled with anticipation and a full audience. If there was expectation in the air for a fantastic night of entertainment,...

read more

The Squirrelly Bills & Gary Elford

25th March 2018 Like the phoenix rising from the ashes this night shone with the changed billing. Due to unforeseen circumstances The Squirrelly Bills stepped up from their support act role and covere3d the first half of the night with Gary...

read more

The Port Hillbillies

27th May 2018 The Port Hillbillies concert marked the end of a joyous union of four talents that met majorly through Christchurch Folk Club connections. Kris Brown on guitar has taken the opportunity of a ‘dream job’ and will be returning to...

read more