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.
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
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.
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
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
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!
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!
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 Birthday 2017. Ian , Mark Sebastian D’Lacey and SAB
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.
This is our fifth full length CD, but the first we’ve actually launched (it’s a long story!), and thanks to the support of our friend and Liverpool legend Ian Prowse (Pele, Amsterdam, John Peel favourite!) we’re going to do it at the famous Cavern Pub in Liverpool during Ian’s Monday Club Open Mic (Now in its 7th year!) It will be free entry with plenty of slots for performers (Original material only please!). 20 November 2017 is the date for your diary! Be lovely to see you there!
Ronnie and I recently played some songs for Made in Liverpool’s The Liverpool Sound programme. It aired on Monday 2 October and is now available on catch up Episode 50 here 21:46 in; madeinliverpool.tv/catchup
We played Days Of Our Lives from The Willows Suite and The Legend Lives On, The Fair and Africa Oye from our new CD Seekers of Solace along with a short interview. Many thanks to Neil Duffin and his team for the great job they do promoting local music. There’s a fine set from our friend Stuart Todd on the programme as well thanks to the sterling efforts of Billy and Will Kelly. Don’t be alarmed, but Ronnie’s wearing a tie! I know, I couldn’t believe it either! And me looking like a 1960’s American tourist! I’m going to change the name of the band to The Odd Couple! We hope you get a chance to watch!
Privileged to be invited into Billy’s lovely BBC Radio Merseyside radio show last Saturday night playing tracks from our new CD Seekers Of Solace, with 3 live tracks from Barry and Ronnie. For the next 3 weeks you can hear the show HERE
The first twenty minutes had a few technical problems apparently but after that we’re chatting with Billy and an hour in we had a half hour slot all to ourselves! Some very kind words from our antipodean friend Ken O’Flaherty who was chatting to Billy from 2 hours in! Hoping to see him when he comes over in a few weeks!
We had a lovely time at Folk On The Farm 2017 in Anglesey. Here’s a video of Old Fools, the opening track off Seekers Of Solace from the Friday night main stage performance.
And it was The Ian Prowse Monday Club at the Cavern Pub 6th Birthday last Monday, here’s a picture of Ronnie and Barry with Ian Prowse and Mark Lacey for the finale of a very enjoyable evening! Photo courtesy Martin Graham.
Old Fools is the opening track from our new CD, the fifth full length CD that we have produced since we formed in 2008. We’ve been playing this song as an opening song to our live set for a while now so we thought we would put it as the opener for the CD. It’s there on Soundcloud to play or download for free, just follow the link. Review copies are being despatched now and a launch is planned for the autumn, details to follow.
Another song from the CD is Song For Stan, written for our good friend Stan Ambrose (1930-2016) presenter/producer of Folkscene on BBC Radio Merseyside for 49 years. We were fortunate to have five hour long programmes with Stan, and many other chats and meetings. He also played at Acoustic Dustbowl events and we were very sad to lose him, he was a genuine, caring person with a social conscience and a wonderful musician as well! To accompany Song For Stan we’ve made a youtube video, edited from Simply Stan The Man, a full length film made by A D Kapro about Stan’s life. Adrien was happy to let us use the film, for which we are very grateful and you can watch it here Song For Stan