Acoustic Night at The David Hall

Roots singer-songwriter Chico Holton demonstrates his expert fingerpicking guitar style.
Roots singer-songwriter Chico Holton demonstrates his expert fingerpicking guitar style.

The David Hall’s Acoustic Night on 23 July 2016 gathered some impressive local performers who straddled the worlds of folk, roots, country and classical music. All of the acts provided seemingly effortless performances in the  intimate setting of South Petherton’s finest entertainment venue.

South Country's Andrea Green
Andrea Green of classical quartet South Country – performing for the first time at The David Hall.

The evening began with freshness and precision delivered by the classical ensemble, South Country. Led by pianist and composer, Thomas Gold, the quartet launched straight into an evocative blend of soaring violins, stirring accordion and multi-textured keyboards. The appreciative audience received the performers warmly, and the Acoustic Night was off to a great start.

Bridport duo, Valerie Hall and David Izzard perform folk and country music as as 'Fragments'
‘Fragments’, aka Bridport duo Valerie Hall and David Izzard, perform folk and country music.
Retired teachers from Montacute's Old Saints Primary School, Ed Goater and Ralph Forester play their inaugural gig as 'Old Hands'.
Retired Montacute Old Saints Primary School teachers, Ed Goater and Ralph Forester, play their inaugural gig as ‘Old Hands’.

A thematic thread of yearning and reflection ran through the evening. The importance of seizing the day and regretting nothing was presented by the duo ‘Old Hands’ when they asked poignantly, ‘If not now, then when?’ Chico conveyed a grounded self-assurance on stage and at one point invited the audience to join the chorus of his tune about time and wanderlust, ‘Look at how the time it flies, speeding your life away, look at how the time it flies, speeding to your dying day.’ The hugely talented Jim Watts, with his rich and smooth vocals, performed the Stapleton and Henderson lyrics masterfully, ‘In my day I sure was something, before I felt the heavy hand of time.’ The message was clear – carpe diem, quam minimum credula poster (for the Latin musos)!

Jim Watts
Jim Watts took part in National Busking Day before climbing the stage to perform a polished and passionate live set.
Yetminster consultant, Derek Fox, covers a wide range of music from the '30s-'70s.
Yetminster’s Derek Fox covers a wide range of music on his ukelele from the 1930s-70s, all delivered with panache.

Mike Rawlinson delighted the audience with conversational lyrics that trod a fine balance between hysterical and heartbreaking. He opened up with an upbeat song that explored multiple options for 21st century ‘involuntary suicide’ including our health service, ‘the newly privatised NHS – if the superbugs don’t get you, then the catering will’, our local transport system, ‘take the golden opportunity, try overtaking on the A303!’ , and our environment (referring to Hinkley Point), ‘breathe in the air ’til you start to glow, you’ve got you’re own radioactive suicide!’. The final song was a masterful reworking of Keith Richards’ ‘Honky Tonk Women’ with a distinctly Somerset flavour. In his county-specific version, Rawlinson managed to mention a multitude of local references, including cider, skittles and even… Norton-Sub-Hamdon.

Local singer-songwriter, Mike Rawlins plays his unique blend of well-crafted music - with a twist.
Local singer-songwriter, Mike Rawlinson, plays his unique blend of music – with a twist.
The Petherton Arts Trust chairman, Tom Davies, performs his original compositions reflecting current socio-political themes, including 'The BoJo Boogie'.
The Petherton Arts Trust chairman, Tom Davies, performs his original compositions reflecting current socio-political themes, including ‘The BoJo Boogie’.

At the end of the night the band ‘Jacob’ arrived on stage and launched into a unique and dynamic combination of Zydeco, country and reggae. Throughout their set the enigmatic lead singer delivered a compelling and brooding performance, whilst the accordion and electric guitar provided a wealth of interwoven textures. All of the pieces, including  J.J. Cale’s ‘Call Me the Breeze’, were interpreted and performed with a wayward spirit by this distinctive and authentic band. Jacob is one of the most impressive acts around.

Jacob perform an eclectic mix of music, stamping their unique style on each genre.
Jacob perform an eclectic mix of music, stamping their unique style on each genre.
Jacob's accordion player
Jacob’s charismatic accordion player rips it up on stage.

For an entry fee of just £2, the monthly Acoustic Nights at The David Hall must be one of the best value events in the South West. The wide range of acts performing, from first timers to experienced artists – all of whom are keenly supported by the audience – provide a superb night of entertainment in a beautiful listed building in the heart of South Petherton.

The next Acoustic Nights in 2016 are on:

  • Friday 19th August
  • Sunday 25th September
  • Friday 28th October
  • Sunday 20th November
  • Sunday 18th December.

Musicians, poets, comedians, dancers, jugglers, magicians and storytellers are all welcome!

These evenings are not to be missed – by performers or by audience members.

Compere and artist, Derek gave an easy-going and confident performance that received huge applause.
Compere and artist, Derek gave an easy-going and confident performance t0 huge applause.
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One thought on “Acoustic Night at The David Hall”

  1. Such a great night out, with music to suit all tastes. Thought provoking lyrics which made me happy and sad alongside a whole host of foot tapping rhythms which would challenge even the most staid of feet, absolutely made my night and I would thoroughly recommend a visit here. Talk about value for money ! You won’t find better that’s for sure !!!! Jaine

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