While Blossom Blows and Severn Flows

On Thursday 21st March 2013 Doug McLean and Jan O’Neill (formerly Bayliss) gave a concert performing the songs on their CD While Blossom Blows and Severn Flows at The Venue, Whitemead Park, Parkend, Forest of Dean.

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of local WW1 poet Will Harvey’s birth, the concert drew an enthusiastic crowd to the Venue to see Doug and Jan perform, supported by Keith Morgan. The folk duo performed settings of Will’s poems composed by themselves and some songs the poet was known to have loved. Their rendition of The Old Bold Mate was enjoyed and had the audience singing along. Songs were interspersed with Keith Morgan reading Will Harvey’s amusing poems full of forest folklore and humour. Jan and Doug played all the songs from their CD. The song Lovers Goodbye showed the quality of Jan’s fine singing and captured the sadness of parted lovers. However it was Song of Gloucestershire that won the hearts of the audience and made them feel they were walking along the banks of the Severn on a warm May day. Everyone joined in the rousing chorus before leaving to face a wintry evening.

The performers were delighted that Eileen, F.W. Harvey’s daughter (now aged 91), attended the concert. Jan O’Neill said: “It was worth all the work and rehearsing just to hear Eileen say that her father would have been absolutely thrilled with the music and the evening! It was a great honour to perform for her.”

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