What was described as a ‘daft idea conceived in the pub some 12 hours previous’, turned into a memorable night of impromptu live music, as Davy Knowles bid farewell for now to the island with four gigs at four pubs all in one night.
After a lengthy visit home for the festive season the Manx blues star flew back to the USA on Sunday, but not before signing off on Saturday night racing around the island with three jam sessions in Peel and one back in his home village of Port St Mary.
Lenny Conroy, whose Triskel Promotions company had put together Knowles’ December Gaiety Theatre gig, was in the thick of proceedings.
‘We thought we’d do something a little different, fair play for Davy following it through!’ said Lenny. ‘Four great, appreciative crowds and hospitality. I reckon we could make something of this in the future!’
The itinerary was ambitious, short sets starting at The Royal Hotel at 8pm before taking in The White House, The Creek Inn and The Albert Hotel in Port St Mary.
‘Nick Barlow, John Cleator and Steve Rowe complemented the Royal Hotel’s line up with Davy; lovely set up and amplification,’ recalled Lenny. ‘We dived between torrential rain to The White House and were joined by Carl Joughin on djembe with Steve Rowe still pushing the acoustic bass to full effect. Lovely crowd – once we settled down with the background noise – and Katie Lawrence arrived for the last two numbers playing poignant solos, particularly the finale Roll Away gently led by the audience. Down to the Creek we went.’
Skellington Z were the band already in full flow at a busy Creek, but they found room and squeezed Davy into the set.
‘Like long last friends Davy and Barry Nelson gelled but John Barker and Val Nelson along with Jim’s tight backbeat ensured the songs were fully supported and the highlight was finale Rocky Mountain Way,’ said Lenny.
At Port St Mary’s The Albert, a traditional music session was underway featuring the likes of virtuosos Tomas Callister and Paul Rogers, joined by blues musos Dicky Best and Steve Rowe and ‘The Bird and the Beards’: Steph, Mimi Shilling and Nell Kneale.
‘Davy paid his respects and bit a fond farewell for now – he’s back in March – and headed for bed, and the “trads” picked up the reels,’ said Lenny. ‘Thanks to everyone for turning up to support and playing and wishing Davy a safe journey Stateside until he returns home.’