Event review: Liz Simcock plays the Croydon Folk Club, Monday 29th February

By - Thursday 24th March, 2016

Anne Giles goes bouzouki

Photo author’s own.

My husband Steve and I went to the Croydon Folk Club on Monday 29th February to see singer/songwriter Liz Simcock. We had seen her before as part of a duo with Clive Gregson, another singer/songwriter who had done a solo gig at Croydon and who I had also reviewed for the Croydon Citizen.

In 1999 Liz featured on the Playpen Album of New Acoustic Music alongside well known performers Eliza Carthy, Billy Bragg, Eddi Reader and Kathryn Williams. Since then she has trodden an independent path, gaining a growing reputation as a performer and songwriter. Her main role models have been Clive Gregson, Richard Thompson and Joni Mitchell. Her fourth album, Friday Night Train Home, was released in November 2013.

She accompanied herself mainly with guitar or bouzouki. Her first song, ‘The Long Haul’, is a song about everything going wrong. How we can all relate to that! ‘City Girl’ is about living in London, being tired of the pace and wanting to go away to somewhere where one can breathe in the air of a different world. I particularly liked ‘Harry’s Eyes’, about the frustration of dealing with someone who only sees the world through another person’s eyes and not appearing to have opinions of their own.

‘Valentine’s Day’ is a song about a relationship which has gone heavily down the tubes

Some songs were serious and some were sad. ‘The Bouzouki And The W3′ is hilarious. She had bought a bouzouki and managed to leave it on the W3 bus. Somehow it took three days for it to come back to her. Had the driver taken it home and tried to play it? After all, she had found that the strings were just too high to suit her style. Another amusing one was ‘The Knitting Song’, where she tells us to forget our worries and pick up a pair of knitting needles. That I cannot relate to, as I have never wanted to knit anything. One of my favourites was ‘Sneakers’: it’s about wanting to buy herself a pair of pink and silver ones. I always wear colourful ones too!

A sad one was the one about a boyfriend who had broken her heart. The lights in her world had gone out and it was a long crawl back. I could feel the pain! ‘Blow Me Home’ is also sad. She had gone away, as she needed to be alone and now she is waiting for the wind to blow her home. ‘Valentine’s Day’ is a song about a relationship that has gone heavily down the tubes.

At the end we all demanded an encore, so she sang ‘Annie Laurie’, an old Scottish song based on a poem by Wiliam Douglas and which is also known as ‘Maxwelton Braes’.

Liz is a really lovely lady. We have been listening to her latest CD again and again. Hopefully she’ll be back soon!

Anne Giles

Anne Giles

I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the daughter of an Anglo-Argentine mother and English father. I went to an English school and worked for a British company out there before coming to live in the U.K. I spent many years teaching Spanish in adult education in various centres in Croydon Borough and have got to know so many different areas – North and South. We have been living in Selsdon since 1989 and I love it. I feel passionately about Croydon and have spent many years writing blogs – firstly for the Croydon Advertiser, then the Croydon Guardian, and eventually my own blog entitled “The Good Life in Croydon”. I am very much involved in the community, attending regular meetings with the Croydon Community Police Consultative Group and am also a member of the British Transport Police PACT (Police & Community Together) Team.

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