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Haunting song stands out at vibrant Folk Club evening

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A haunting song from Heroine Chic about the so-called ’27 Club’ the name given to a group of famous musicians who have all died at the age of 27 was one of the highlights of a vibrant evening of entertainment at the Bermuda Folk Club on Saturday.

Singer Mikki (Michele Morfitt) and guitarist Tommy (Tommy Loving) make up Heroine Chic, and it was during the latter part of the evening that they appeared on the wonderful open-air half-shell stage at the Spanish Point Boat Club in Pembroke.

The song, titled simply ’27 Club’ is the newest to be composed by the duo. In July of this year British songstress Amy Winehouse became the seventh member of the ’27 Club’ when she died in London. Other musicians to have died at the same age are Kurt Cobain, Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Robert Johnson.

During the song Mikki recounted the famous expression ‘live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse’, before lamenting: “We were wrong, there’s no such thing as a good-looking corpse.”

An outstanding variety of performers, ranging from solo guitarist/singers to a rock-style five-piece band, provided a vibrant evening of entertainment at the Bermuda Folk Club at the weekend.

There was not even time for a customary half-time intermission as there were so many musicians lined up to appear.

The Buccaneers got the evening started in a gentle way with their version of Tom Paxton’s ‘The Last Thing on My Mind’ followed by the Everly Brothers’ ‘All I Have To do Is Dream’ a song that particularly suited the duo and then the Irish tune ‘Only Our Rivers Run Free.’ They rounded off by stepping things up with Simon and Garfunkel’s joyfully upbeat ‘Cecelia’.

Next on the roster was Val Sherwood, who performed two original compositions, the first ‘For So Long’ which features on the ‘Ride the Wave’ CD. Currently working on her second solo album, she delivered some pitch perfect vocals and was spot on with her fingerpicking. Sherwood’s second song was a new composition ‘Going to South Africa.’

A delightful trio of Tom Petty cover versions then followed, courtesy of the guitar-playing duo The Banjos.

Charlie Judd played a two-song solo set. The first song told a narrative concerning self-inflicted apathy, while the second ‘Crown of Thorns’ was a good showcase of Judd’s confident vocals and powerful guitar playing.

Will Black, the popular resident musician at The Hogpenny in Hamilton, injected his infectious brand of energy into the evening with two powerful original songs ‘Faraway’ and ‘Trace Your Tattoo’, before making way for another well-known Island performer Joy Barnam.

Accompanied by guitarist Mike MacPhee, a member of her band The Channel during her support slot on Heather Nova’s 2010 European tour, Barnam once more gave a faultless vocal performance. Among her three songs was a new composition, the breezy ‘California’.

The aforementioned Heroine Chic was next on stage, followed by the electrified five-piece Crossroads, who delivered some power-rock, the opening track ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and another Journey cover ‘Open Arms’ being particularly welcomed by the audience.

Playing a guitar that was bought in 1948 by his great uncle, Dale Pedro was another of the standout performers of the night with some bluesy delivery and a heartfelt tribute song to his ‘hometown’ Bermuda.

Peter Haynes followed, and launched straight into a touching, pared down version of Ralph McTell’s ‘Streets of London’. Having seen McTell perform this song many years ago, I was impressed by how closely Haynes matched the mood so essential to do justice to this folk classic. Haynes rounded off his four-song set with the old Scots-Irish tune ‘Wild Rover’ and was joined by Jamie Lovell.

It was then down to Lovell to wrap things up with an original song of his own, his rich, deep voice reverberating into the balmy air of the night.

There was just enough time left for Haynes to return to the stage for an audience-requested encore of the popular ‘Black Velvet Band’ and Buddy Holly’s ‘Oh Boy’.

Highlight: Heroine Chic?s Mikki sings on stage at the Bermuda Folk Club last Saturday.
Powerful: The five-piece band Crossroads performing at the Bermuda Folk Club, at Spanish Point Boat Club, Pembroke, on Saturday.

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Published September 14, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 14, 2011 at 9:40 am)

Haunting song stands out at vibrant Folk Club evening

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