Source: Participation

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162. PHIL ERICSON (aka PHIL THE MUSIC QUILL) AND FRIENDS at RFC. Tuesday 28th March 2017. A review by Gemma Boyd.

Phil the Music Quill

Phil Ericson’s Feature Night at Romford Folk Club, The Sun pub, Romford, East London – 28 March 2017

From left to right: Nora Kelson, Phil Ericson, Jackie Gregory and Jo Gregory. Photograph by Charlie Martin.

Better known by some as Phil the Music Quill, singer-songwriter, guitarist and music journalist Phil Ericson’s feature night marked the last performance after 24 years at The Sun pub for Romford Folk Club members before their migration to a new venue; The White Horse pub in Chadwell Health.

Club regulars were out in force to support Phil, whose two sets featured a well-assorted choice of original songs penned by both Phil and others of his songwriter friends, much-loved classics such as ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton, and a world premier! Especially warming was how Phil invited an array of his artist mates up on stage to join him, then served bread pudding to all with…

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160. MIKANORA at RFC, “The White Horse” PH, Chadwell Heath. Tuesday, 11th April, 2017.

Phil the Music Quill

(Photo: G.Walker)

I have known the duet Mikanora (that is MickTurner and Nora Kelson) for some time, as they are regular performers at (and involved with the running of) Romford Folk Club – now resident at The White Horse PH, Chadwell Heath. (For a description of the venue, but not the club, see my review #78). As is usual with RFC, regulars are often asked to perform an occasional Feature Night, and tonight was the turn of this popular duet.

The featured artists played a two-part set preceded by various Open Floor spots. Best of those this week I thought were The Rom Shanty Crew (now expanded to a six-piece vocal group) with their ‘Last Of The Great Whales’; and Gemma Boyd‘s newly written violin piece ‘The Boatman’s Mumbles’. I played a song by my friend, song-writer Tony Partis called ‘Riding Thumb’ with Rod

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Vertigo – 20th May 2016

The view across Paris from my busking spot just below the Sacré-Cœur. Steps leading up to the Sacré-Cœur, Paris – 20th May 2016 I found a wide, flat recess to the side of these steps, plaster…

Source: Vertigo – 20th May 2016

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Vertigo – 20th May 2016

2016-05-20 16.28.00

The view across Paris from my busking spot just below the Sacré-Cœur.

Steps leading up to the Sacré-Cœur, Paris – 20th May 2016

I found a wide, flat recess to the side of these steps, plastered myself in sun cream, and began folk fiddling.

Tourists were lined up along a set of railings above me, photographing the breathtaking panorama of the City of Light, then a slither of an Asian man mysteriously appeared from a gap leading into some foliage directly behind me. He came and went twice more, reminding me of a mouse scurrying for food. I swooned with virtigo each time he narrowly missed knocking me flying.

The stench of dog shit assailed my senses and a sweaty, bearded man commented as he descended the steps that I’d got a good view; a 20-something female took my photo with her phone attached to a comically long selfie stick and made a donation, then what on the surface looked like a mother and her little daughter handed me two euros (which paid for the mint-infused couscous I’d just had for dinner).

A blonde kid craned her neck to see what I had in my case, and police in navy Gendarmerie forage caps filed past without saying a word. Eventually I was forced to give way to a mega-amplified guitarist whose talentless racket reverberated around the whole of Montmartre – but not before a toddler who was sliding on his bum towards me down a slope nearly demolished my violin. His Australian father told him off for ruining his “pants.”

To read more of my ‘busking blog’ posts, please visit:


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Meeting with Nabil in Montmartre – 20th May 2016

Link to my latest busking blog.

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jim harrison remembered

The Friday Influence

David – Jim Harrison

He is young.  The father is dead.
Outside, a cold November night,
the mourner’s cars are parked upon the lawn;
beneath the porch light three
brothers talk to three sons
and shiver without knowing it.
His mind’s all black thickets
and blood; he knows
flesh slips quietly off the bone,
he knows no last looks,
that among the profusion of flowers
the lid is closed to hide
what no one could bear –
that metal rends the flesh,
he knows beneath the white pointed
creatures, stars,
that in the distant talk of brothers,
the father is dead.

jim harrison

The unanswered question is why a poet transforms experience, not so much to make it understandable, but to make it yield its aesthetic possibilities
— Jim Harrison

This is one of the quotes I carry with me from notebook to notebook as a reminder of why I write and…

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