JIM’S LAST GIG - Fox Lane Sports & Social Club, Leyland

Back in the spring we recorded the passing of Jim Minall in the obituaries section of this magazine. He was a vigorous promoter of folk and acoustic music in our region. The list of his promotions reads like a who’s who of local and regional talent. To celebrate Jim’s life and echoing his passion, his wife, Jean, wanted to get together a selection of those artists whom Jim had befriended to enjoy an evening of music and anecdotes.

So there assembled at the Fox Lane club a dozen plus artists to provide a pot pourri of musical entertainment for us.

Chris Nelson acted as MC and took the opportunity of having the mike to provide the opening set with Siobhan. Three songs of americana fed into a solo set from Brian McNeill. He gave us a violin lament for Jim, a nostalgic song about his father and finally a rousing exhortation to Join the Union. Becky Mills took the mike and gave us her particular brand of modern folk songs. Rounding off the first half, Ken Nicol was joined by Wendy Ross for some virtuoso guitar and fiddle work.

Rick Kemp kicked off the second half with some interesting vocal/guitar compositions and was presently joined by Maddy Prior, Chris and Siobhan Nelson through a seemingly ad hoc selection of songs. Jean Minall then took the mike to render again the poignant poem given at Jim’s funeral, “He Is Gone” by David Harkins. There followed the massed ranks of Feast of Fiddles bursting into a lively set of tunes and songs.

And finally, to round the evening off all the performers joined together on stage for a final massed vocal hurrah.

We think Jim would have loved to have been there and would have appreciated those performers giving their time and energy gratis in a fitting contribution to one of our local charities, St Catherine's Hospice.