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October 2010

Bob Fox: winning ways


Bob Fox has always thought me slightly mad for giving what he felt was a tepid review to Dreams Never Leave You and then making it my album of the year (it simply grew and grew on me until the choice made itself). So I sent Pete Sixsmith - no need to, actually, since he was going anyway - to check him out at one of the UK's best folk clubs ...

There are few ways of celebrating a Sunderland win more satisfyingly than to spend a couple of hours in the company of Bob Fox.

Victory over Aston Villa was followed by a visit to the Davy Lamp Folk Club at Washington Arts Centre in Fatfield (birthplace of fellow Mackem Alan Price). Three weeks ago, we saw a rather forlorn Andy Irvine, weighed down by a rotten cold and his failure to gain entry to the Stadium of Light. He put on a very good show, but Bob went one better and put on an excellent one.

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Andy Irvine: cold comforts

Andy irvine

Andy Irvine and Pete Sixsmith both wanted to be at the Stadium of Light AND, later the same day, the Davy Lamp folk club. Pete got his wish in full; Andy overcame a rotten cold to deliver the second part, having earlier had to settle for a more prosaic footballing distraction ...

Andy Irvine is 68 and still touring extensively, making excellent albums and showing what a consummate professional he is by gigging when chock full of cold.

I saw him at the Davy Lamp Folk Club in Washington last Saturday a few hours after witnessing Sunderland’s excellent 0-0 draw with Manchester United. Andy had wanted to be at that game, but ticket sale restrictions had diverted him to Gateshead’s Conference clash with Mansfield Town instead.

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