9 October 2020

John Lennon would have been 80 years old on 9 October 2020 and my Dad would have been 95 on the same day! I wrote this song after a chance meeting with a fox one wet night on my way to Mark Reader’s songwriters night at The Victoria Pub, Woolton.

Strawberry Field, Liverpool is just around the corner. Reopened just 12 months ago, they have introduced a feature called Strawberry Lane where the border of the path to the front gates is laid with commemorative stones which can be purchased from the website.

My brother Peter and I wanted to have a small memorial for Mum and Dad following Dad’s death in 1993 and Mum’s last year, and with our love of The Beatles and fascination with the John Lennon story in particular, and the fact that we both went to school 100 yards up the road, we agreed to have a stone laid on Strawberry Lane. One of the photographs I’ve included in the video is my (very) tenuous link to the Lennon story! In the 1960’s our next door neighbour was John’s best friend Pete Shotton’s brother, Ernest. He was a merchant seaman and went to live and work in Peru. Ernest went first and his wife, Pat, and daughter Carol, sold the house and followed on later. Once they’d sold the house, they couldn’t leave straight away so they came to live with us, Mum and Dad giving up their bedroom in a 3 bed semi for Pat and Carol for a few months I think although I can’t be sure. That’s the kind of people they were!The photo at 1:13 shows Mum and Dad and me, with Carol, aged 5, in 1966, at Liverpool Airport while we saw them off on their journey. Carol did say that she was going to come back and marry me, but so far, no sign! If you’ve got this far thanks for reading, I hope you like the video! Thanks to Val Colvin for the photo of Ronnie and me! Strawberry Fields Forever! Happy Birthday John and Dad! xxx

A song for lockdown summer

One of our favourite haunts for the last 8 years or so has been Ian Prowse’s Monday Club at the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club on Mathew Street, Liverpool UK. It’s an open mic for original songs only, on the most famous music street on earth (fight me!) and we’ve made many great friends there. It would have been the Monday Club 9th Birthday around now, but Coronavirus means no live shenanigans. I wrote Hide The Sausage (Thanks to John Ford for this 2018 recording from 100 Club, Oxford Street, London UK) specifically for the club and here is another song inspired by the 300 plus lovely nights! Ronnie and I are still unable to record together, so this is a solo recording for now!

Leaving Monday club in the early hours of Tuesday I would often see the white underside of gull’s wings fleetingly caught in the streetlight, and to me seemed to be the spirits of those who had played in the most famous music street in the world. I wrote this song with that in mind, my homage to Monday Club and the Cavern. You may even see yourself there! With love! xx

Artists 4 NHS

Like buses, sometimes there are no posts then two arrive at once! In a small flurry of lockdown activity I have another video to post, this time to help support Artists 4 NHS along with Switchbox TV. Many thanks to Ronan MacManus for the invitation. There are lots of other videos on YouTube in the same series by people like Ronan, Elvis Costello, Ian Prowse, Katie Melua, Thom Morecroft and many others, please check them out, it’s a great cause!

Songs of Hope 3

Music For The Head And Heart- Songs Of Hope 3

2019 proved to be a strange year for The Southbound Attic Band (Barry Jones and Ronnie Clark) and 2020 is turning out to be even stranger! I’ll update the details soon, but for now 1 June 2020, first day of meteorological summer I just wanted to highlight this short video featuring a new song by Barry, written and recorded during Lockdown. Nancy is a song about a romance at a folk festival. The video is part of a series produced and edited by Nick Bloomfield and Barry was delighted to have been asked to contribute.

To Dublin for the unveiling of two statues of Luke Kelly.

Monday Club on the road.(photo courtesy Katie Nicholas)

Those who know us will know that we play each week at the Ian Prowse Monday Club at the Cavern Pub in Mathew St, Liverpool. No covers are allowed so all acts play their own original material and collaborations are actively encouraged, so we play along with Ian and anybody else who will have us, as an honorary “house band.”

Playing there has brought us to the attention of often large, diverse audiences and resulted in many invitations to play elsewhere, including opening for Ian Prowse gigs in London and Liverpool, playing at the aftershow party following the Premiere of the Garry Popper produced film Get Back (aka The City That Rocked The World) and playing the original music night at the world famous Cavern Club celebrations of 50 Years of The Beatles.

Just before Christmas 2018 a mutual friend of Ian and renowned Irish singer songwriter Damien Dempsey visited the Monday Club, not for the first time, and was so impressed by what he saw that he wanted to share the talents on show with his friends in his Dublin home. He sought and received some Dublin Arts funding and the result was an Ian Prowse Monday Club trip to Dublin.

Ten of us were there for less than 36 hours over one night and were treated like old friends by all we met. Our sponsor, guide and chief entertainments officer was a lovely man called Ray Corcoran (Sparky). The occasion was the unveiling of two statues of the legendary Dubliners singer Luke Kelly on the 35th anniversary of his death.

We missed the first unveiling at the Gaiety Theatre because our flight was delayed by snow. We made it to the second just in time to hear speeches by the Irish President and Luke’s family. We saw singing children in orange wigs accompanied by John Sheahan, the last surviving member of the original Dubliners and met local dignitaries, including Oscar winning singer songwriter Glen Hansard. Then on to a tasty and warming meal at a lovely little restaurant called Ernesto’s in Rathmines, by Jonathon, a living saint, who couldn’t have done more to make us feel welcome.

Then straight to the venue for the gig, an evening of music at The International Bar cellar. An ever growing list of local performers joined the Liverpool contingent for a celebration of Luke’s life expertly MC’d by Ian Prowse with Damien Dempsey and Lankum amongst many other contributors. Our Dublin resident Monday Clubber Milky came and slayed us with one song!  Damo sang with Prowsey, then with Sparky! Someone sang a Beatles song! Not us! And to see an Irish TD (MP) singing along to the chorus of Hide The Sausage will stay with me forever. The Liverpool contributions were understandably enthusiastically received and left a lasting impression on all those there (“Deadly” means “Sick” apparently!). Luke Kelly’s nieces joined us and led an acapella acoustic slice of pure emotion. Our happy band was a diverse group of all ages and we talked and laughed for the whole time we were there with all our new friends. I missed the late night pizzas but was up in time for a big breakfast and a brisk sightseeing trip to the statue we’d missed the day before.

We saw deer in Phoenix Park, we visited the GPO scene of the Easter Rising and we laughed and talked some more. We packed a lot in a short time and it just flew! It was a privilege to spend the time with such a lovely diverse bunch of people. Thanks to everybody! In the words of young Mr Grace “You’ve all done very well!” It was ace! Barry xx

And the leaves that were green…

We’ve had a busy summer, one way or another. Once more we were guests of Billy Maher last week on The Weekend Inn on BBC Radio Merseyside, played five songs live; Silver Thread, Valparaiso Bound, Lone Crow, To Be A Father and Last Man Standing and you can listen again until 27/10/2018 Here. As usual we chat with Billy for the first hour and then play our half hour slot, talking with Billy about how the songs come about. We played Liverpool Calling 2018 at Constellations, another venue sadly due to close soon.

southbound-attic-band lpoolcalling2018

Photo credit unknown! Sorry!

We’ve been back down to Anglesey to play in a teepee on Port Lligwy beach, but the weather won and the event was moved to a hotel! We played a lovely event with our friend John Chatterton in Widnes, affronted some of the real wives of Cheshire playing at the single launch of the uber talented Megan-Louise, performed an end of day slot for a fund raising gig for Motor Neurone Disease at 81 Renshaw St for the tireless Mark Campbell and accompanied Ian Prowse to bring the show to a close. Just last week we played excerpts from The Willows Suite on National Poetry Day in Hightown thanks to an invite from Sally-Anne Tapia Bowes and were pleased to see our old friend Tony Higginson again. We returned to The Atkinson, Southport, thanks to Colin Maddocks to play our second Grateful Fred gig supporting Alice Howe and Freebo. The Susie Jones Band opened in fine style and then we played our set culminating in the debut (1st performance anywhere!) of a Barry’s recently penned song called The Ballad Of Grateful Fred and were joined by Colin himself on ukulele and kazoo.(video !) Good times!We’ve still been playing each week at Heebie Jeebies for Johnny Sands and The Cavern Pub for the Ian Prowse Monday Club and we had a lovely afternoon with Christopher John Strefford on Mighty FM in Southport. 10 years on and counting!…

On Friday 30 November 2018 we will be supporting the fab The Burning Hell at 81 Renshaw St, Liverpool (Tickets Here!) in a gig promoted by Barry and Mark Whitfield of americana UK.com burning hell poster 2018

Thanks for checking in, keep an eye on the gig page and please come and see us play and say hello! Love from Barry & Ronnie xx

Didn’t we have a lovely time!

A veritable torrent has passed under the bridge since our last update, when Spring was trying to peek through the cold and damp, and we’ve had some lovely weather with all the blossom out at once in a celebration of colour!

During that time, we’ve been out and about on our travels down to lovely Mona’s Isle to see our friends in Anglesey and play some tunes, and down to London to open for the fabulous Ian Prowse and Amsterdam at the world famous 100 Club on Oxford Street. And then two weeks later we opened again for Ian at the Buyers Club in Liverpool.

London was lovely to us,  especially thanks to Guy, Joyce and John, who we met when we played at Folk On the Farm in Anglesey 2017, who came especially to see us; and Ronnie’s cousin Viv and Auntie Joan who also made the effort. Hide The Sausage inevitably stole the show once again and a room full of mainly strangers singing back at us with gusto is a moment which will stay with us forever! Our best ever CD sales event as well, quite a lot lighter going back on the train, thankfully!IMG_1664 bw adj30

Photo thanks to Chris Holding or Morgo?

In proper tourist fashion we spent the Sunday morning at Abbey Road Studios, but they still wouldn’t let us in! Maybe next time!

We’re delighted to be playing at Grateful Fred‘s at The Atkinson, Southport in October and supporting the wonderful The Burning Hell at 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool in November. Thanks for checking in! Barry & Ronnie

In like a Lion!

Well, March arrived with a bit of a chilly bang and meteorological Spring doesn’t seem much to look forward to, but beneath the snow the snowdrops and crocus and daffodils are there ready and waiting for a little bit of warmth, as are we all!

Things are stirring though as we have news of a couple of lovely gigs we’ve been invited to play. We were already booked in to open for the Liverpool finale of The Sport Of Kings tour of  Ian Prowse and Amsterdam.

That gig is on 12 May at the Buyer’s Club (formerly the Picket!), but Ian has also asked us to play at the London leg of the tour on 28 April at the legendary 100 Club. Needless to say, we’re delighted and looking forward to saying hello to all our friends in the Capital city. Ticket links are on Ian’s page and our gig page. If you’re coming to either of the gigs please let us know in advance so we can look out for you!

monday club 6th

Monday Club 6th Birthday 2017. Ian , Mark Sebastian D’Lacey and SAB

January 2018 Weekend Inn with Billy Maher on BBC Radio Merseyside

Happy New Year  everyone!
We had a lovely evening again with Billy Maher on BBC Radio Merseyside on the Saturday edition of the Weekend Inn. We’re chatting with Billy during the first hour as usual then our musical slot starts 58 minutes in. 4 live songs; Old Fools, Meet Me By The River, The Lone Crow and The Ballad Of George and Maude.
It’s available for 29 days from today.