John Warburton celebrates the music of Donovan.
‘At the age of twelve, listening to the old Ferguson valve radio we had, I heard a guitar that sounded to me so good, I had to learn to play it! That song was “Catch the Wind”. There’s a further story to tell, but I’ll let you know at the concert!’
From then on, I bought every single album and single Donovan released and learnt quite a few of his songs.
There was always music in our house. Whether it was Mum, listening to the hits of the day, Dad and my Sister, Pat playing the old piano, they were both great players. Dad used to play in the Liverpool dance bands and Pat played classically. I never got the hang of it, though and Dad bought me a guitar when I was around ten years of age. I learnt some chords and had a copy of Fifty American Folk Songs, that I sang a few songs from. Though at the time, I was more interested in rock music. Working as a psychiatric nurse, put paid to my visits to folk clubs and it wasn’t until the early 2000’s, that I resumed performing.
I played the Hungry Horse and I’m part of the set up team there. Now I run the Dragon’s Breath Folk and acoustic club, in Treuddyn, North Wales. I’ve played various festivals this year, mainly in North Wales and the Wirral, though I’m very well known in Penzance, too, having played the Golowan Festival folk stage for the last seven years.
The venue is situated in Brookfield Gardens on the site of the old Unitarian Church. Access from the street is via a flight of steps with, currently, no ramped access for wheelchairs. Park for free after 6.30pm at West Kirby Concourse, only 4 minutes walk away, as there is no on street parking available at the venue. Licensed bar available.