LEWES EXILES - February 6th, 2012

Vic & Tina Smith have been at the very heart of folk music in Sussex since the 1960s, as performers and animateurs. Currently running the highly respected weekly club at The Royal Oak in Lewes, as well as the annual Lewes Folk Festival, Vic's Scots roots are evident in his and Tina's polished and faithful interpretations of songs from over the border.

They will be appearing with two of the other resident singers at the club, Will Duke and Dan Quinn who, whether as a duo or performers in their own right, justly deserve the accolades that have come their way because of the huge contribution they have made to traditional music. Both have extensive repertoires but it is their commitment to the songs and tunes of Sussex which is most impressive.

Musicologists of the future will be particularly indebted to Will for his recordings of Scan Tester's tunes, but he also renowned for his fund of hilarious parlour ballads, delivered with inimitable deadpan panache.

Dan's musical CV contains resplendent reviews of his most recent recording with "supergroup" Duck Soup's eponymous album but his musical pedigree can be traced back to his days as a co-resident of Bob Davenport at the legendary Islington Folk Club. Between times he has played with Etchingham Steam Big Band, the Albion Dance Band, and Flowers and Frolics.

Mention must be made here of of BING LYLE'S return to the club on January 2nd, when he stepped in at the last minute to replace The Other Band who had to withdraw due to illness. It was as wonderful an evening as we have come to expect. His vast repertoire seems to be continually expanding and included on the night an immensely moving and tender song he wrote after talking to a war veteran after a performance at a retirement home. I don't think he's given it a title yet but do request it next time you see him.

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