Irish tunes fill the air at Bermuda Folk Club

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  • Photo by Walter Brown
Hugh Watlington and his group Band Joes, were a highlight of the Irish Night at the Bermuda Folk club on Saturday. Watlington was also given a guitar-shaped birthday cake on stage.

    Photo by Walter Brown Hugh Watlington and his group Band Joes, were a highlight of the Irish Night at the Bermuda Folk club on Saturday. Watlington was also given a guitar-shaped birthday cake on stage.


Live music fans were treated to a diverse and energetic evening of Irish-tinged entertainment at this month’s Bermuda Folk Club.

A week before St Patrick’s Day, the club held its ever popular Irish Night last Saturday which attracted a good-sized audience to the Spanish Point Boat Club.

Penny whistles, ukuleles, harmonicas and a fiddle were played, along with guitars, as songs from Ireland (and a few with no discernible connection to the Emerald Isle) came and went during three hours of back-to-back performances.

The ukulele-playing Folk Club host Mike Hind joined Alex Rosati to open up the evening of music with half-a-dozen lively tunes that included an inspired rendition of The Pogues’ ‘Lorelei’ and Flogging Molly’s ‘Tomorrow Comes A Day Too Soon’, the latter sung by Hind.

Rosati even momentarily swapped his guitar for a penny whistle during the duo’s rousing opening slot.

One of the folk club’s much-respected regulars Dawn Robinson was next on stage and delivered one of the clear highlights of the night with a beautifully observed folk version of the Foo Fighters’ ‘These Days’.

Robinson was followed by Scott Neil, who sang three songs from The Waterboys’ songbook, including the adapted ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy’.

The Irish tunes continued with Jamie Lovell and Adam Melvin delivering the classic ‘Danny Boy’, performed with a ukulele and harmonica, before taking up their guitars to bounce through the sing-a-long favourites ‘Wild Rover’ and ‘Whiskey in the Jar’.

The audience was then treated to three songs from Bermuda singer-songwriter Val Sherwood. The spirit of Ireland came alive in Sherwood’s cover of ‘Mountains O’Mourne’. She left the best to last with ‘V Fabulous’, a stunning new song from her forthcoming second CD.

If the evening belonged to any one performer, then it was Hugh Watlington. On the eve of his 58th birthday, Watlington led the four-piece Band Joes on stage for a rocking set that featured a crowd-pleasing jaunt through The Traveling Wilburys’ ‘End of the Line’, complete with some electric slide guitar adornment. Harmonica player Neil Burnie could not resist joining in and enhanced the 1980s pop song even further.

Burnie switched to a mini-saxophone to accompany Band Joes as they blasted out Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’.

As Band Joes wrapped up their set a guitar-shaped birthday cake was presented on stage to Watlington. The cake was later dished up and shared with the audience.

Burnie sang his own uplifting Bermuda-inspired song before making way for the penny whistle-playing Rachel Hylton Smith, whose well-received set included ‘Road to Lisdoovarna’. She was accompanied by guitarist Jamie Lovell.

Irish music continued to flow as Adam Melvin returned to the stage to accompany Mike Davis and fiddle player Caroline Gledhill. The trio sparkled with ‘I’ll Tell Me Ma (The Belle of Belfast City)’, made famous by Van Morrison and The Chieftains, ‘Star of County Down’ and Foster the People’s ‘Pumped up Kicks’.

As the evening drew to a close singer-guitarist Peter Haynes invited the audience to join in with a selection of well chosen tunes including ‘The Orange and the Green’ and ‘Old Woman from Wexford’.

The next Bermuda Folk Club evening at the Spanish Point Boat Club is scheduled for April 14.

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Published Mar 14, 2012 at 7:53 am (Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 7:50 am)

Irish tunes fill the air at Bermuda Folk Club

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