Christchurch Folk Music Club

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 Elford taking over after the interval for the remainder of the night. The Squirrelly Bills, Abie Horrocks and Liam Mc Kenny are not new to the stage. They first appeared on the Folk Club stage at an open mic, have been support artists for the Tess White and Jonathan Le Cocq concert and part of a Finger Picking Delights night. They ventured out to the North Island last year performing at the Wellington Blue Grass Society in November 2017.

31437468_1777411325649531_3701200789021130752_o

Their eclectic mix of tunes, ballads, Celtic and toe tappers with that true fundamental sound cultivated in the Appalachian region of the genre that has its foundations developed from years of traditional jamming from immigrants to the area. This was a true hour of entertainment which, offered diversity. Liam demonstrated his ability to master a range of stringed instruments, guitar, banjo and fiddle, as well as his ability to sing and remember words.

Abie made the banjo look effortless; her calm manner exuded confidence, even if she wasn’t. The only recommendation would be for Abie to sing closer to the mic, as sometimes we had to really concentrate to hear Abie’s singing, which was our loss as the harmonising between these two was beautiful to listen to. Set two after the break started with Gary Elford instantly engaging with the audience and generating laughter.

From this initial response to Gary’s infectious stage craft I knew we were in for a great night and we weren’t disappointed. Following a recent six week tour of the North Island Gary was well practiced and able to draw on this experience to offer us a very professional set. Gary explained that he had set himself the goal of performing only South Island crafted songs on the tour, something he ably achieved as we know there is a wealth of talent based on this island.

31416833_1777409608983036_7390576639723175936_o

Songs by Vic McDonald and Martin Curtis were to the fore, and the sense that creativity reigns was super supported as Gary shared his own well written and dynamically executed poems, with the simple hat props Gary’s persona changed to add to the variety of the night. Yes, we laughed however there were also moments of true appreciation for Gary’s impressive recital skills as he accomplished the performance of ‘The Man from Snowy River’ and ‘The Man from Ironbark’ without falter.

Awe inspiring, thanks Gary. It is this professionalism that is without a doubt the reason why Gary has been asked to perform as a guest artist at the ‘Bards, Ballads & Bulldust’ at Naseby in May this year.

 

by Judi Smitheram, Secretary

More Reviews

Molly’s Remedy -25 August 2019

25th August 2019 A night filled with vibrant and soulful music, that was awarded a standing ovation from an extremely appreciate audience. Jamie Millar, shone as the opening act. Inspiration for Jamie was fostered from his childhood, from close family: including his...

read more

Hobnail 25th Anniversary “Boots and All” Tour

14th July 2019 In 2019 Hobnail celebrate 25 years of touring far, wide, and tirelessly throughout New Zealand. To mark the occasion they are embarking on a national tour and releasing a “Best Of” album showcasing tracks taken from their 7 studio albums, we were lucky...

read more

The Long and Short of it: Danny Tawhiti and Iain Mitchell

21st July 2019 We welcoming back Mitch (Iain Mitchell) to the Christchurch Folk Club, he has treaded our boards before, as well as being a hard working President and committee member of the club. Mitch has been singing British Celtic music semi-professionally since he...

read more

Best Enemies – 7 July 2019

Fellowship fostered by music has been to the fore over the past months at the Folk Cub as the club celebrated 50 years of live acoustic music in November 2018. Seeing the friendships and collaborations over that weekend was truly awe inspiring, a testimony to the...

read more

Waimate Folk Festival, 31 May – 3 June 2019

Waimate Folk Festival at Gunns Bush, Waimate District, Canterbury from Friday 31st May to Monday 3rd June Where musicians both experienced and new from Christchurch, Dunedin, and everywhere in between and further afield. Came together for a weekend of music, dance and...

read more

Review: The Beggarmen Fundraiser Concert

Reviewed by Tony Hale There is an octopus that has the ability to turn itself inside out; reviewing your own concert is a bit the same but I was asked a week later if there was a review and as not, here goes... Read More >>     The Christchurch Folk...

read more

Jed Rowe, with Monique Aiken, 30 Sept 2018

The night opened with the returned to her home city after seven years proving her guitar and singing skills in the Wellington folk scene, was Monique Aiken Monique presented confidently bringing us her own songs eloquently crafted delivered with vocal...

read more

The Muddy Mama Blues Band 26 August 2018

What a night we shared at the Folk Club on Sunday! From the moment the first few bars hit the air the audience was captivated by The Muddy Mama Blues Band. Lead singer Judi Smitheram showed great form, revelling in the mighty musicianship of her five-piece...

read more

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