It’s been four years since we were able to host the annual songwriting competition at Nitten but on Thursday it was back with a bang. We really do have some very talented and creative people at our club and the competition this year featured six of the best: Gillian Anderson kicked the competition off with a beautiful lyrical re-interpretation of the David Gates classic ‘If’, accompanied by Ronnie on guitar.. Jim Weatherston gave us a Byrds inspired slice of good old Rock and Roll. Aly Dixon then give us a nostalgic look back at the drinking habits of his family with ‘Pimms & Pale Ale’. Ian Young made a welcome return to the club – the first time he’s been back since the charity concert in September – and proved he’s still got it with ‘Write One for Me’, a warm tribute to the creative talents of one of his many musical friends. Ronnie then delivered a powerful protest song ‘Refugee’; a song about the plight , fate and ultimately the value of those seeking refuge from their own war-torn countries. Topical or what? Our good friend George Machray provided the last entry – a song about getting a wood louse lodged in your olfactory system – or, more simply, getting a ‘Slater Up Your Nose’ (Yuk’!!) . Then it was over to the judges.
And the worthy winners were (roll of drums please)……………. Ronnie Miller, who lifted The Jock and Gena Bryce Quaich for the best song ‘Refugee’ and George Machray who took away The David Barnett Memorial Cup for the best humorous song ‘Slater Up Your Nose’. All credit goes to the runners up for their wonderful contributions – there are never really any losers at Nitten. It’s the taking part that really makes evenings like this special and the audience fully appreciate the imagination, emotion and hard work that goes into crafting an original song.
Next week it’s our guest night and we are privileged to welcome back to the club Anthony John Clark. Belfast born Anthony John is recognised as one of the top songwriters on the acoustic/ folk scene, with 12 albums and 3 singles to his credit, including the beautiful “Seven in Ireland” and “Irish Eyes”. Anthony John enjoys an enormous following in UK, Europe, Australasia and USA. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to catch a master of his craft on his return to Nitten after an absence of five years.