Anthony John Clarke – the man with the red guitar – is back at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 6th November and this time he will have Fairport legend Dave Pegg with him. For the last ten years, every November they team up for a tour and happily the Irvine Club is on this year’s gig list. The Grin & Tonic Tour 2019 is how they title it!
From the minute softly spoken, fast talking and very engaging Belfast born Anthony John Clarke heard Barry McGuire’s ‘Eve of Destruction’, he knew he wanted to write songs. He was hooked. Although having trained as a teacher, the call of music was too strong and so he followed his calling. His admiration for songwriters is such that for many years AJ reckoned himself to be very much an apprentice songwriter – despite by then having songbooks and umpteen albums to his name and being held in high regard by his peers. AJ’s keen eye for observation and sharp wit are what sets him apart as a much respected writer. The perceptive ‘The only life Gloria knows’ remains one of his most requested songs.
AJ started off playing a second-hand Eko Ranger 6 as a youngster, and has become well known for his accomplished playing of a snazzy, red acoustic guitar. He sings songs that make you sit up and listen, songs that make you laugh, songs that make you think and most are self-penned.
AJ and Dave Pegg have been great pals for many years. Dave – or Peggy as he is known to family, friends and fans – is Fairport’s longest serving member. He also spent 15 years with Jethro Tull. He plays electric bass like few others and has been described as a virtuoso player. He also plays mandolin and has a fund of stories and tales – many of which are included in a book by him called ‘Off the Peg’ – an autobiography. His friends urged him to write the book so that there was a permanent record.
Great songs, great tunes, great stories delivered by two great pals all make for a great gig at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 6th November when Anthony John Clarke and Dave Pegg are the special guests. Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road is the venue and it’s BYOB.