27 November 2015
Reviewed by Catherine Joyce
It was quite appropriate that on Lancashire Day we spent the evening listening to The Houghton Weavers, a well-known Lancashire folk group who have been performing for the last 40 years.
Band regulars Tony Berry and Steve Millington were joined onstage by Tony’s brother Jim and guitarist Peter Frampton who had been drafted in after regular member David Littler had unfortunately dislocated his shoulder and was unable to play. Considering they are not normally members of the band they slotted in perfectly.
Tony, a talented singer and performer kept the show flowing with a steady stream of humorous anecdotes, joke and poems that had the audience in stitches.
The first half of the show contained many of the Houghton Weavers regular numbers interspersed with a couple of Christmas songs. They began with “Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs” and continued for an hour with many favourites including “Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls and “In my Liverpool Home.” Jim sang the Bob Dylan song “Don’t Think Twice, Its Alright” and showed what a talented guitar and harmonica player he is.
Following a short interval the band resumed playing, having asked the audience to write requests during the interval. Whilst Peter obviously wasn’t as familiar with all the songs, being such a skilled musician meant he soon picked up the tune and was playing along. I especially liked his solo performance of “Georgia on my Mind” which demonstrated his amazing guitar skills. One of the requests was for Jim to play another Bob Dylan track and he chose to play “Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance.” Tony was brought in to hold the harmonica which added to the fun of the night.
We were encouraged to join in with the songs and as the second half was chosen by the audience there were plenty of favourites to join in with. We drove home singing along to our CD of The Houghton Weavers which brought Lancashire Day to a perfect end.
After watching Steve play the keyboard so fantastically it has encouraged me to dig out my sheet music, dust off the piano and resurrect my piano playing!
Darwen Library Theatre is right in the centre of the town and is easy to find and there is plenty of free parking nearby. The theatre has a bar/cafe area and around 200 seats in the actual theatre.
For more details on The Houghton Weavers and tour dates visit www.houghtonweavers.com.
For other shows at the Darwen Library Theatre in Lancashire visit www.darwenlibrarytheatre.com.
Darwen Library Theatre, Knott St, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 3BU | 0844 8471664