|Richard Walder and Ron Turner|
The Open Stage Night at the Red Lion pub in Willingdon happens on the last Thursday of every month. It is hosted by R'n'R, Richard Walder and Ron Turner, and is an opportunity for musicians in any genre of music to showcase their talent to the local community. The evening starts promptly at 8pm. We arrived about quarter to and it's a good thing we weren't much later as the room was already beginning to fill. The Open Stage is held in a separate room away from the bar so the audience can really listen to the performers without distraction. We were told this month was the first time Richard and Ron had dispensed with amps and microphones so everything was purely acoustic. I liked this as everyone was easily loud enough to be heard and the changeovers were very fast without the need for plugging in. Other comments I overheard also seemed to be in agreement but I don't know at the time of writing whether acoustic will triumph!
There was varied good quality music and spoken word performances including folk songs, pop songs, instrumental guitar pieces, self-penned poetry and funny monologues. Richard and Ron are (fairly) efficient and very genial hosts and maintained a friendly, supportive atmosphere throughout the evening. I was very proud of my Dave, especially his slowed-up version of You're The One That I Want from Grease which I had no idea he had been learning! Other performers I recognised included Chris Liddiard (who currently has an art exhibition at the Under Ground), Geoff Morley who runs the Under Ground Open Stage nights, Geoff Jackson of the Six Bells Folk and Blues Club, and the inimitable Terry Lees. I think maybe half of us there were audience, rather than potential performers which made for a nice mix.
Red Lion, last Thursday of each month (except August), 20:00.
Dates for the rest of 2013 are on the Calendar.
Free admission but it is a pub!