10 August, 2008
A full-house that spanned the generations, with no seats to be had and a few in the crowd left standing, sums up the preperformance expectations for ‘The Two Jimmies’, James Wilkinson and Jimmy Young.
The night started out with Izzie Miller, extolling the virtues of these two institutions of the Christchurch music scene. She related their many accomplishments, such as their part in bands such as ‘Rua’ and Mahinarangi Tocker’s ‘Mongrel Mob’.
The Jimmies began their set with lots of laughter and Jimmy Young’s quite funny banter before launching into a traditional first half set, beginning with the tune “Johnny Cope”.
There was a palpable good vibe from the crowd from that first song, and it held throughout the set, even through a brief ‘malfunction’ that sent Jimmy offstage to ‘fix’ a quirky tuning problem with his pipes.
The boys handled the situation with aplomb and had the crowd pleasantly swayed by their easy attitude onstage.
Throughout the night, Jimmy played his pipes and occasional whistle, and James deftly moved across a special-made acoustic guitar.
They beautifully blended their voices in ‘Terror Time’ and dedicated the song to friend, May Cole.
Then came traditional pieces, ‘Bonnie Jean Cameron’ and ‘Helen ‘o Kirkconnell, and then another crowd pleasing instrumental, ‘Waltzurka/Celebration Reel.’ They ended the first half with their special arrangement, the Australasian Suite of ‘Te Rua’, ‘Moreton Bay’ and ‘Hoea ra, a convicts lament. During the Suite, It felt like being taken to a far off place, a combination of excellent musicianship, and Wilkinson’s romantic vocal delivery.
The second set began with a dedication to the late- Mahinarangi Tocker. Playing her song, ‘Start Again’. Their beautiful rendition of Shona Laing’s ‘Soviet Snow’ followed. The rest of the set past quickly and most enjoyably.
James’ solo set included a special arrangement of traditional nursery rhymes to a Beethoven Allegretto.
They then went through some ‘modern’ classics, with their own special take on the Beatles, ‘In My Life’, followed by Eric Clapton’s ‘Cant Find My Way Back Home’.
Their last song of the set was the Rolling Stones ‘Ruby Tuesday’.
But the crowd called for an encore, and they ended the night by putting their special stamp on the Beatles ‘Eleanor Rigby.
This was a special night at the Christchurch Folk Club, with lots of great energy in the room. The crowd lingered for a bit after the performance, perhaps as mesmerized by the evening, as I. – LD