Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Johnny Foodstamp does Formby Nashville style at the George Formby Society Convention, Blackpool June 2013

Well - the GFS has surely never seen "Formby" done quite like this! Johnny Foodstamp and his lovely young wife made the trip over from Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday especially to attend the George Formby Society Convention. They flew in at 8.30 am and brought the Nashville sunshine with them. They saw Blackpool under blue skies with a blue sea, with people enjoying the beach, just as Blackpool should be.

In spite of the overnight flight and the jet-lag, Johnny was up for making the most of every minute with the Formby fans and star players, and he did.... the fun went on for those with strong enough constitutions well into the early hours! Johnny was made as welcome as the lovely weather he'd brought with him. The above performance of the George Formby numbers "She's Got Two of Everything" and "Under The Blasted Oak" was on the Saturday afternoon concert. Suited and booted for the occasion, you would never have known that he'd been travelling all night without a wink of sleep! Thanks to Pauline Aitken for the video! On Sunday, Johnny gave us "The Dumber They Come, the Better I Like 'Em", a deliciously un-PC Eddie Kantor number from the 1920's. John Bianchi did a lovely Youtube of this song last year... (see blogpost here 7th June 2012) and I'm sure Johnny Foodstamp's version from Sunday will be video'd and up for viewing soon.

And as for the June convention in general ... I can only say that it was one of the very best. I could never have hoped to see so many of my named ukulele heroes on one stage all in one day... just listen to who was there!

Johnny Foodstamp all the way from Nashville as I've said; Matthew J Richards, Mike Warren, Alan Yates, George Elmes was over from Ireland and gave us Limehouse Blues and lovely renditions of some of his short original pieces for soprano uke, Andy Eastwood managed to make the convention on both days even though he's very busy on the professional stage, and even.... wait for it... Ken Middleton. Yes, that's right, Ken Middleton, who came along to see what all the fuss is really about. He gave us a beautiful performance on stage of "I'll Fly Away" and "Try a Little Tenderness", jammed outside in the sunshine with George Elmes, and left with an inkling of what the GFS is all about, even if we didn't exactly manage to make a Formby fan of him! So glad you made it, Ken, and it was lovely to meet you in person at last!

Unfortunately, Ken had to leave before the 9.00 pm Sunday concert, and missed some highlights which I know he would have enjoyed... particularly Andy Eastwood playing Chopin on his soprano wooden uke. Absolutely breathtaking. Add Alan Yates on solo electric guitar with "Apache"; "I'll See You in My Dreams" beautifully performed and sung by Caroline Robson ... once more at the GFS I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Add in all the lovely performances by the wonderfully skilled split-strokers young and old, and the all-inclusive and well-named "thrash"... you know, there are just a few who just "don't get it"... but I get it... and I just love it.

More later. Thanks for dropping by... I have to go and massage my face. I've got face-ache because I still haven't stopped smiling....

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