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Wizz Jones Gig
Barnsley Folk Club, for its first concert at “The Old School House”, scored a winner. The place is welcoming (once you can find the entrance) and the room was pleasantly set out in cabaret style. The event was sold out and extra chairs were hastily found and added to fit in 50 people. There were enjoyable support acts by Zoe and Dave Bottomley, and Richard Kitson that complemented the main event. Though I wish performers wouldn’t apologise for lack of rehearsal. Marcus did a great job with the sound and lighting.
Somehow in 45 years of folk clubs I have managed not to hear Wizz Jones play. I enjoyed every moment of his being on stage, even the frequent changes of guitar tuning and the PA adjustments. He was just being himself, frank, funny and supremely talented. Some people have such mastery of their instrument that they make it look easy. Not so Wizz, whose left arm seems to wrestle with the guitar whilst with the right he hews notes out of the air. Stooping over the strings he manipulates the neck to shape the notes, so that I wonder how long the battered Epiphone will stay in one piece. There is a bluesy inflection to most of his music. Starting with Henry Hipkens’ “That’s how I learned to sing the blues” and ending with his own ‘hit’ “Leaving Berlin” he kept a respectful audience, including some local legends, spellbound with his playing and singing. Each song felt like a gift that had matured over the years into a rare treasure.
I look forward to more gigs of this calibre at the Old School House although if word gets out that the music is this good, the club might need more seats.
Dr Tom Heyes