Chester Songwriters are an informal group of local musicians who meet up at The Cross Keys on usually the first Wednesday of every month to share ideas and songs for support, inspiration and feedback and has been going for years.
Phillip Allan takes up the story:
‘…The original group first met at a songwriting evening class at Upton High School in 2004, the teacher was An Croenen, who still performs and teaches locally and is a member of The Time Bandits.
When the class ended the group wanted to carry on meeting and so the Monday nights began in a chilly room upstairs at the Falcon Pub…… Then the Shropshire Arms, The Custom House, The Kings Head, The Bear and Billet, The Ship Victory, The Cross Keys, The Bull and Stirrup, Old Custom House Inn, The Plumbers Arms, Sue Bargh’s house!, The Compass and back to the Cross Keys.
Sue Bargh attended from the start and previous original members include; An Croenen, Ruth Pollard, Dave Burton, John Holt, Lucia Cordaro, David Fowler, Rex Van dear Meer and Mark Maher.
Many of whom are still active on the Chester music scene.
Ken Moodie, Phillippa York and Sue Bargh are the only evening class members who still attend the meetings. Sue met Ken & Phillippa in the second year of the songwriters evening class.
The Chester Songwriters met every single week until April 2013 when the meetings became bi-monthly and now, as from February 2015 monthly meetings are held…’
The regular group members have compiled an album to support Music Action International, a charity where people from across the world use the power of creativity to overcome the effects and causes of war, torture and armed conflict.
They provide innovative ways to support children, young people and adults to overcome the debilitating effects of war-related stress and trauma and connect divided communities in a powerful way through creative music programs.
The album itself is a real gem of a compilation and the track listing is as follows:
- Trains & Thunder by Chris Howarth
- A House By The Sea by Will Riding
- Never Seems Right by Mike Whittaker
- Mercurial Love by GP Hall
- Curiosity by Ken Moodie
- Lemahamish Pool by John Every
- Autumn In My Mind by Sue Bargh
- Miranda And The Voyager by Dave Atkinson
- Leaving For Amsterdam by Phillipa York
- Ferry To Piel Island by John Williams
- WAYTMT (unfriended) by Dave Watson
- Me & You by Lydia O’ Hara
- Begin Again by Nicky Andrea Baker
- Peace In The World by Phillip Allan
Although this album is for an extremely worthy cause, don’t expect any filler or half measures here.
Every track screams absolute quality from a collective of accomplished musicians.
In a world of disposable, plastic pop, this very much feels like a piece of top-end mahogany, gently refined by hand, smooth to the touch and ready for a lifetime of love.
Absolutely brilliant. The Songwriters have done the city proud and you need it in your local collection.
The album has just been released on digital format.
The individual tracks are a measly 50p each or you can pick up the whole album for a fiver.
Go here for your copy. You won’t regret it.
Alternatively you can purchase the physical CD in digipak, with artwork by Lydia O’Hara, for £5.00 (plus 0.79p postage UK), by contacting Dave Atkinson, his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.