Monday, December 22, 2008

Review: Pete Morton's Magic Christmas Tree at the Pack Horse, Friday, December 19th 2008... Farewells...

It is in the nature of the game – the wear and tear of organising music venues down the years eventually induces fatigue. Frank Marmion has lasted longer than most, running the Pack Horse Folk club with support from Dave Morton and his wife Joan. As a weekly venture, a brave even foolhardy exercise. From my own experience, a couple of years is about the burn out point – running our Club Sporadic every couple of months was enough stress! Frank's involvement with the club stretches back a good many years, since he arrived in God's Little Acre, up to the point when he took on the mantle of chief organiser when it would have folded otherwise. A sage move – committees seem to work best with established clubs that go for a monthly policy – time to plan and discuss things without the weekly urgency. One person on their own can be much more efficient in their delivery of class music than a mélange of people who often have little wider vision beyond their own narrow purist/ideological patch – let alone the financial nous to get 'bums on seats.' Without which the venture at some predictable point folds anyway. But the time came for Frank to move on – retirement looming, new adventures beckoning, uncertainty over the future of the pub which made future booking policy too much of a gamble – effectively he was not going to be able to run the place in the manner of his choice for much longer.

The Pack was always a quirky, eccentric, scruffy place, scene of much great music down the years – and one of the musicians who has played there since he launched his own career back in the eighties has been Pete Morton, a performer who to my knowledge has always pulled a full house, not just because of the local connection but the plain fact that he is a superb artist. So: fitting that Frank chose to go out in a blaze of glory with Pete's special Magic Christmas Tree roadshow. Accompanied by Chris Parkinson on accordion, the surprise of the night was the other cohort – depping for Roger Wilson, a young – an extremely young – fiddle player called Tom Moore. (Certainly not from the bummer's shore: old Dylan reference/joke). Pete never fails to move me with the breadth of his humanity, passion and sheer sense of fun, always questing, never settling for playing safe. A lesson that many on the folk scene – and beyond – should heed. 'Make it new,' as Ezra said. 'Play what you don't know,' as Miles Davis said. Tonight: we had songs in Chaucerian English – 'Rock around the Clock' and 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' – which make you laugh out loud at the sheer zany chutzpah on display. Later, perhaps, when you consider the other songs in French and Platte Deutsch, you realise how much this man loves language – further evidenced by his moving tribute to the English poet John Clare, 'The Shepherd's Song.' (A song that kills me every time I hear it, as a lover of Clare's poetry.) Which works as a rough paradigm for part of what Pete is about. He somehow manages to pull off the trick of collapsing distance, which brings the past into a temporary contemporary focus. Writing in the 'tradition,' he extends it, rather than allowing himself to be subsumed by it, as so many other writers do. First world war, anybody? This song, about the peasant poet Clare, off to London to be briefly embraced by fashion, later to be dropped and end up in the madhouse, is a provincial's wry comment not just on a historical tragedy but more contemporary manners as well in an over-saturated media age. He also celebrates the humanity of the marginal – the clientele of a city centre pub in 'The Battle of Trafalgar,' family life – 'My Best Friend,' dedicated to his parents, the random encounters of 'Post Office Queue.' Via detours into such areas as Marc Bolan/T Rex, for the glam rockers (!) and some spontaneous Irish dancing and jiving in the audience by Cath M and her children, to close: after a soaring version of 'To be a farmer's boy,' buttressed by some mighty singers in the audience – what else? - 'Another Train,' tonight transformed by the backing of violin and accordion. An anthem of hope which means so much to so many – and if I am being corny here, so be it, hipsters, flipsters and finger-popping daddies...

The other two musicians: young Tom Moore displayed a ridiculous sense of cool for one so young, showing poise and no little elegance in his violin playing both on his solo pieces and as part of the ensemble. Chris Parkinson's mature skills on accordion widened the musical ground further, expanding Pete's performance in a fascinating way, providing underpinning and commentary that gave depth and a different array of colours from the usual guitar accompaniment.

A rambunctious, fun night, then, celebrating the end of this chapter in the Pack story. Glory be to Mr Marmion, especially in his choice of the Pete Morton Christmas extravaganza – a fitting way to go out to a packed house. There has been a club here on and off for over thirty years. But – there's another train, there always is... the stop press news is that it will continue in another form, on the second friday of every month. Some feverish work going on behind the scenes by Cath Mackie to make it happen. But for this incarnation – goodbye.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,美髮儀器,美髮,儀器,髮型,EMBA,MBA,學位,EMBA,專業認證,認證課程,博士學位,DBA,PHD,在職進修,碩士學位,推廣教育,DBA,進修課程,碩士學位,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,課程介紹,學分班,文憑,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,日式料理, 台北居酒屋,日本料理,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,台北結婚,場地,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,造型系列,學位,牛樟芝,腦磷脂,磷脂絲胺酸,SEO,婚宴,捷運,學區,美髮,儀器,髮型,牛樟芝,腦磷脂,磷脂絲胺酸,看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,房子,捷運,學區,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,學位,碩士學位,進修,在職進修, 課程,教育,學位,證照,mba,文憑,學分班,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,SEO,关键词,网络广告,关键词广告,SEO,关键词,网络广告,关键词广告,SEO,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,結婚,場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,居酒屋,燒烤,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,小套房,小套房,進修,在職進修,留學,證照,MBA,EMBA,留學,MBA,EMBA,留學,進修,在職進修,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,关键词排名,网络营销,網路行銷,關鍵字排名,关键词排名,网络营销,PMP,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,PMP,證照,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,EMBA,MBA,PMP