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Barleycorn live at St Andrew’s

When English pop singer Cliff Richard’s band rehearsed in a London cafe across the road from the cafe bass player Brendon Gill’s band rehearsed in during the 1960s, the two once got together to perform Dream, Dream, Dream.

The Cliff Richard classic will now be part of Irish-influenced band Barleycorn’s repertoire when the four-piece performs in a lunchtime concert at St Andrew’s Church on Wednesday.

Gill will also be on vocals for the Roger Smith song The Fat Old Man of Seventy-One. Smith wrote the piece from notes made on the back of a cigarette packet while listening to a man talking about his life experiences.

“Most of the other items are ones that we have either not played very often, or not played for a long time, or are good sing-alongs — like the Whistling Gypsy,” says backing vocalist, keyboard and woodwind player Sarah Olsen.

“We couldn’t believe how well that went down at the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association event in March this year. Everyone joined in.”

For Wednesday’s concert Olsen will relinquish the low D tin whistle that requires some difficult finger stretching to play but will perform on descant, treble, tenor and bass recorders.

Along with Dream, Dream, Dream, another new item on Barleycorn’s playlist is Carolan’s Quarrel, a song written by 17th century, blind Celtic harp player and composer Turlough Carolan. It has been suggested the incident behind the song involved a parsimonious landlady. Carolan was apparently playing his harp one day when he heard the butler unlock the cellar door. When the musician asked the man for a cup of beer he refused and said he would offer nothing without orders from the landlady.

The song’s title suggests words were exchanged.

Barleycorn, St Andrew’s Church, Wednesday, 12.30pm. Entry by koha/donation. Tea/coffee, but no beer, available at door.

FOLK SOUND: Irish-influenced band Barleycorn make their fifth appearance since 2014 in the St Andrew’s lunchtime concert series. Picture supplied