NOTE - THIS PAGE NEEDS SOME RE-ORGANISATION ESPECIALLY AS THERE ARE MORE CLUBS TO BE ADDED!!
FOLK CLUBS IN Coventry had a thriving folk music scene with a lot of top players of all types and a
great variety of floor singers learning their craft (including me sometimes!). I 1978 I saw Pauline Black playing in a Folk club - The Old Dyers Arms -near the Butts - she did a Joan Armatrading and a Stones song (Think it was Paint it Black but can't remember for sure). Later in the year the year I saw her again at the Lanch with Neol Davies. He seemed to be pep talking her so I figured she'd be playing solo as support to Neol's new band Selecter. It was a pleasant surprise to see she was the lead singer. A little while later On the Radio raced up the charts and the rest is history. Other top players were Rod Felton, Rob Armstrong (sometimes solo, sometimes as New Modern Idiot Grunt band, members of Dando Shaft together or solo, Sean Cannon, Dave Bennett, Jon Shananhan, Jamie Lord, Dave Coburn, Pete Willow and many others who may be noted in another section.
Note - this is not a comprehensive list of the whole period - there many clubs and some came and went with new ones always replacing them. This just a list of those that were advertised by HOBO or which I either knew about or played at or attended. For a low down of Folk Clubs in the later 70's - Pete Willow's Folks magazine is a good source - although they are not on line as yet.
Folk section from HOBO issue (Unpublished version) Intro to the Folk Listing.
"Howdy! Must say dis scene’s the rowdiest of the lot; or at least there are more folk clubs than any other live music venues as far as I can see, which doesn’t mean to say that they are all bursting at the seams with support and activity, but probably they all suffer from the dread apathy. Hold it right there partners! I think I’ll give you a run-down, (you should be so lucky!) of the clubs that are functioning; -"
The Gate Folk Club – YWCA
The Butts. Free Admin. (Saw Dando Shaft there c 73). Whispering Ned and Waves Across the Ether seemed to hook the crowd that night.
The Rocky Road Folk Club – Bear Inn, . 1973) Sat from 1974 The night seems to have changed according to the HOBO What's On pages.
Down Country Boys – New (New ), Long Lawford, Nr Rugby.
Wurzel Bush Folk Club – – Host Dave Samson. (Later
c1981 saw Martin Jenkins and Bert Jansch there). (Sat early in 74)Their
1974 Itinerary was (according to Hobo the following acts were on in part
of 1974 –
June 29th Muckran Wakes – Trad. Group.
July 6th Sean Cannon – Irish Singer.
July 13th / 20th / 27th Closed for Fortnight.
August 3rd Gary and Vera – Trad.
August 10th Jug Band
August 17th Dave Turner – Witty Songwriter
August 24th Frogmorton.
August 31st Bob Williamson (of Y Fronts fame)
The Fletch was orginally run by (Cornish or ) folkie Dave Sampson whowas prone to be nicely eccentric as can be seen from the CET pic here. The toilet pan is actually a kazoo amplified by the toilet pan!! The note on the seat says 'Yeah Tis!' . It continued after he left but I can't remebember who took it over. It was a bit out of the way for me. However I did see Martin Jenkins and Bert Jansch play there in 1981 on a home visit back from Teesside. Before that Dave gave me a free ticket to see Jasper Carrott in his younger days (as a reporter from HOBO!).
The Village Pump, Bulls Head, . Folk Dance and Song club, starts (existed in 1973)
The Rude Bear Folk Club – The Three Tons (City Centre pub), Bullyard 1972 /3 and The Hand in Heart, Far Gosford Street, late 73 – 74. Admission Free / cheap beer. Organisers
Rod Felton and Dave Coburn – regulars – Dave Bennett, Jon Shananhan, Lol Pavey, Rod Felton, Dave Coburn. Jamie Lord
Entry from Hobo No 4 (Unpublished version)
“SEX STARVED FOLK CLUB!!
The Rude Bear Folk Club is starved of sex – any kind, male or female. The club, which closed down owing to lack of sufficient support, re-opened last month in the hope of attracting more interest. Admission is cheap (sometimes free). Based at the Hand in Heart in , the club boasts two top singers as residents – Rod Felton and Dave Coburn.. Dave has just returned from a successful residency in the Canary Isles and Rod Felton is doing some interesting things these days (playing with Dando Shaft at the ). LETS SEE SOME MORE PEOPLE THERE…!”The Rude Bear Folk Club run jointly by Rod Felton and Dave Coburn was the club I went to most frequently from 1973 - 74 period, both to represent and make contacts for Hobo and to play my latest song efforts in the Floor spots (you got in free if you took a guitar!). Although there was a lull s reproted in Hobo above, generally it was one of the most popular on account of who it was run by! it was a good club to make contacts at for Hobo and find out what was going on, on the folk scene and beyond. Sometimes the rock and the folk scene would interchange, with Pauline Black starting out in the folk clubs before Hardtop 22 and Selecter. I met James Reilly of Direct Enterprises at the Rude Bear. Jamie Lord (influenced by Todd Rungren, was a regular for a while), Bob Young of A Band Called George and Sunshine Agency ran a folk club as well as playing rock gigs. Rod Felton himself sang his self-penned 'folk songs' with powerful R n B intonations. The advert reveals the type of guests they had. Again I saw a young Jasper Carrott there, his humourous monologues being punctuated by the use of the guitar a bit more often than on his later TV progammes. In 1971 -72 I began learning guitar and setting my own music to my songs and by the end of 72, began either tenatively playing covers or my own songs or reciting my poems to my guitar accompaniment. By autumn 72 I discovered the Rude Bear Folk Club, then at the Three Tons Pub in the Bull Yard, City centre and inflicted some of my own idiosyncratic songs on the suspecting audience, some times
Jules Verne Folk Club – , with Clem McHayle – Night Owl and other singers. (c 1975). I met Clem at the Rude
Bear and we advertised his folk
club in HOBO -
The Globe, Warwick . Residents Nigel Clarke and
I never got to this one either, although Nigel was the first ever to put music to my lyrics and play them at venues like St. Osburg. They were very early compositions from when I was 17 and I never got to hear them live. We were both apprentice electicians in 1968,he at the Electric Board and me at DF Gibbs near the General Wolk. We met on day release at the ButtsTech and both fans of Paul Simon's work, went to the Butts library in our lunch hour with Nigel intrducing me to books on Psychology and Sociology to inspire our writing, I began buying magazines like New Society long before I ever did a Social Studies Course, to find ideas for songs. although I'd heard them, Nigel got me into Joni Mitchell and gave me my first Dylan and Beatles song books to inspire my early attempts to learn guitar but the lyrics of Dylan in his Bringing it all Home period (even though by then they were 4 years old) took my writing a bit deeper.He introduced and taught me to play my first 12 bar blues. Later In 72 Cardinal played for us at the Umbrella in one of my first mixed media / experimental gigs.
The Antelope M.C.C, , The Butts.Host John Drittler
Including John Golding.
Although I was want in 73 to take my guitar along to different folk clubs and get in free and do a floor spot and gain a bit of performance experience, I came by the Antelope Folk club in slightly strange way. I'd played in Birmingham at the Streetpress gig in Moseley and was hitchin home along the Mosely to Digbeth Rd. It was quite at 11pm ish even for Birmingham, and I sat on the side of the road with hardly a car or passer by in sight playing Hitchin A Ride on guitar (the Vanity Fare hit) with hardly a hope of a lift and no money to get home.
Hitchin' A Ride - Vanity Fare (Extract)
(Sums up the situation and it worked!!)
A thumb goes up, a car goes by
It's nearly 1 a.m. and here am I
Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride
Gotta get me home by the morning light
I got no
fare to ride a train
I'm nearly drowin' in the pouring rain
Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride
Gotta get me home to my baby's side
Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride
Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride
Below is a link to one of my folk styled songs of the time.
Just Before Dawn - By Trev Teasdel (Home recorded fast clawpicking song - lyrics 1970 / music and recording laste 70s. Written about going to work at the GEC Stoke works in Cov at some unearthly hour in the morning where bassist Billy Campbell and Pete Waterman also worked at the time (1970)
- When out of the blue came a car and it stopped! It turned out to be John Golding, the Daventry folk singer who stopped because he took pity on a fellow guitar player. Even more luckily he was not only passing through Coventry but had to pass Willenhall where I lived to get back to Daventry! Quite amazing as I'm not sure what I would have done otherwise - ended up walking miles to Brum airport before any real chance of a lift. Shank's Pony and hitchin' were the state of the art for me in those days as far as transport was concerned! We had mutual frinds on the folk scene so it was cool but I had never seen John Golding play. However he was due to lay the Antelope in Coventry a day or two later and I was meeting Babs who was becoming the new co-editor of Hobo and for a short while lady friend and so we went along to
the Antelope. I both enjoyed John's performance - he had an album coming out (see the cuttings) and I also enjoyed the club, returning on quite afeew ocassions. On one ocassion, while doing a floor spot I teamed up with a percussionist Roy Brewster, who was playing with an acoustic band called Trilogy (led by Al Hatton - ex Indian Summer). I called us Trev and Don't Talk Wet if I played with other musicians. Roy introduced me to different latin rhythms on the bongos and made suggestions for improving the rhythmic aspects of the songs, especially as a couple of the songs at that stage were in a Tyrannosaurus Rex mode. I learnt quite a bit from him, he was a really knowlegable bloke but we never got together musically after that. However I saw quite a bit of him as
Trilogy were playing around the scene and we reported on them in Hobo. I knew Al Hatton already form Shilton when he played with the short lived Coventry supergroup Runestaff - with Roy Butterfield, Al Hatton, Al Docker and Ron Lawrence. The organiser of the club was John Drittler who played a country style with fast banjo style licks. Although country music wasn't on my top list, all styles of music influenced me and I had a go at those fast hammer on's! He was a talented player and a good folk club host.
Country and Western, The Boatyard, Hand in Heart, Gosford Green, with ‘Garry’ 15p, 8pm 20p.(1973) Weds in 74
Bedworth Folk Club – Corner House, Bulkington.
Bulls Head, Brinklow. Blue Grass sounds, 20p. (1973)
Owl FolkClub, The Boatyard, Hand in Heart, Gosford Green. (Organised
by Clem McHayle, 1973 (Sat in 1974?)
Virgins and Castle, High St. Kenilworth. Residents Sneak’s Noise. (1973/4)
St. Bendaws, Butts, (1973)
Denbigh Arms Folk Club – Monks Kirby, Nr Rugby. Folk and Beer drinking competitions.
Brinklow Folk Club –
Bulls Head, Brinklow.
Host Mick Stuart
HENLEY COLLEGE FOLK CLUB
At the New Inn, Longford Rd. Covnetry. A long standing and highly prfessional Folk Club hosted by FolkLore. It was known as Henley College Folk club because one of the leading multi-instrumentalists in the group was Barry Jackson. Barry was a very talented man, playing all kinds of instruments, some of them quite medieaval! He was also my art teacher at Henley
College. Alex Murphy was also on the course with me. (Follow the Alex
link to hear Neil O'Connor's song for Alex Murphy). Barry was a talented artist himself, designing the jacket of one of the Umbrella Magazines pictured here. He was more than an art teacher, he was a mine of information on all kinds of things. I went along several times to watch the acomplished Folklore play and to see Derek Brimstone
and Colin Scott. I did a floor spot at that session.
SHANTY FOLK CLUB
At the Charterhouse, Terry Rd organised by Jim Reilly of Direct Enterprises.
Arts Umbrella Folk Club – from Traditional Folk Club. There were several Poetry and folk sessions on different days between 1970 and 1974 run by different people include my Humpoesic Happening which was a bit more experimental and mixed media.
Napton Folk Club - The Crown – (1973/4)
There was also the Sunshine folk club organised by Bob Young from A Band Called George and another at the Coventry Tech College, Butts.