Thirty-three comments

Woodman sesh

Danny …

My sister’s coming across for a visit this weekend, so we may pop along Sunday evening. Is the Woodman session open to musical guests?

Aidan Crossey
(who met you last week at the Hollydale Tavern affair)

Good session, nice people

the woodman is well worth a trip.

The Woodman

Sorry I should have written a spiel before now.

Starts at 9pm, till 11.30, but get there 8.30 if you can. Can be accessed by the DLR, then a bus - don’t know what #s, or walk, less than a mile (OK if you’re not a Double Bassist) towards Lee Green. Governor Dermot has a generous interpretation of closing time. He also invariably attempts to sing “Dirty Old Town”, with reasonable success! The pub itself has a good friendly and very Irish atmosphere, and has been the springboard for other gigs/sessions in the past. The session itself is, we like to think, friendly also. “Booked” players at present are Steve Mulherne, fiddle; Bill Latham, guitar & vocals; Jack Kane, banjo/fiddle and me, flute/box (sort of box).

But if you can play some tunes, or at least do more than bang on a Bodhran (we have in the past suffered from Bodhran-beater-infestation), you’re more than welcome to join in, and you’ll get a pint or 2 out of the pot for your trouble.

Session has been going for over 3 years so is well established, no sign of dying just yet.


Is this the session you took us to andy banjos? If it is then its a lovely session alright. nice tunes and tune players!

Posted by .

Shakey eggs, spoons, bodhrans, rainsticks, didgeridoos and all learners, even non irish music players, are particularly welcome.

The woodman - on sundays, as ever

somehow this session seems to have migrated in the listing from its rightful sunday slot to mondays. this isn’t correct, it’s still going every sunday night from not too long after 8pm. attendance seems to be rather reduced (some familiar faces missing) but there is still music and some singing every sunday night, as far as i know - it was still there last week, anyhow!
ther will probably be some division of players between this session and the new one at the “shillelagh” not far away on the same (sunday) night. haven;t been to the new one yet so i can;t offer any comparison.

“Shakey eggs, spoons, bodhrans, rainsticks, didgeridoos and all learners, even non irish music players, are particularly welcome.”

A not-too-subtle attempt at sabotage surely?

Posted by .


- no need, bren. It has imploded on itself. That was a tongue in cheek remark to those who know what sh!t had happened there recently. Eyebrows raised all round the SE London trad community as a result. Get in touch if you want details.

Oh come on Danny, don’t keep us in suspense….. What did happen???????

This is the best long running Sarf Lundun Soap in the business!

Yep - it sure is, Sarah. I’ll give you the low down when I see you. But I don’t want to spread gossip here.

Woodman still running

glad to see the listing back on the proper night. session is still going but was thin last night. jack, malcolm & bill are nice guys and could do with a bit of support, i feel. with the “other” lewisham session (shillelagh)apparently moved to saturday night, maybe there is scope for a few more people to join in?

Running? if you say so, gov.

Hmm… yeah, right, Andy. You’re a good bloke, being very fair. Good Karma on you. And while I’m at it I’ll do a few miracles, like maybe turn them into good players as well (as alledgedly nice guys.) Hell!… did I really say that?
The reality is that things have moved on. June 2004 and Cooley’s still follows The Mountain Road, or whatever donkey tune, like it did in 1995, or whenever, geezabrek.
Get yourself out more - to Shillellagh’s or the Blythe (BK is not always there)

See Andy I told you the Blythe is where it’s at!!!! …. don’t know about Shillelaghs cos its on a silly day of the week!!!LOL


I’ll sit between you and BK if ness!

Session defunct

this session appears to have closed down

The Woodman

Unfortunately, you’re right Andy, the Woodman’s session is over. I know Danny’s feelings about it, but all the same, I think it’s a great shame. It used to be a fine session and I learned a great number of tunes and made a few really good friends at the Woodman. The friends remain in touch but it is quite a loss all the same.

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Starting Up Again!!!!

Yep, the Woodman session will be recommencing on Sunday 17th October 2004 at 9.00pm. The booked players will be myself on flute/whistle/box, Brian Keane on fiddle and Geoff Robinson on box.


I feel a bit of a commitment to Shillelagh’s so not sure I’d get away with a Sunday night session (on top of Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). I hope Geoff will come and play on Thursdays though. Is it the three of you for sure then? And what about a banjo player?

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Woodman - The Reprise

I’m in the same boat as yourself, Cath. Although, given my family commitments, I can’t manage more than two nights per week (and some weeks not even those!). I’m sure that I’ll get across to Danny’s, Brian’s and Geoff’s session occasionally, but those occasions will be few and far between! Nevertheless, I wish them much luck. Danny knows all about the upsides and pitfalls of playing the Woodman (every pub has its pros and cons), so he’ll be able to tip the others off!

No worries guys. I suspect it will be quite small to begin with and we’ll take it from there. If it works out that’s fine, if not I won’t be upset either. I’m taking a “mercenary” attitude to begin with…certain less than pleasant memories go with the pub (not meaning the pub itself, though.)


Danny, how did it go?

Posted by .

It went very well. 4 others tuned up, including bigdave. Nice and relaxed, and friendly, no-one trying to prove they were the boss, unlike previously. Dermott & Caroline were very welcoming. So here’s hoping…

Pleasant session, good music

nice to see the “woodie” going again

Cracking session - thanks guys: David, Andy, Christian, bigDave and Ken. More of the same please!

No More Sessions At The Woodman….for The Time Being.

Yes, this is true. No more sessions till after Christmas, sometime in January, and, if it does at all resurrect, it may be on a different night, possibly Friday.

This is rather sad, but is certainly no reflection on the calibre of the musicians who have come along to help me out. So thanks guys, but an empty pub is a landlord’s worst nightmare. Just to refer to a recent thread:

Getting stale?

What happened at the Sunday Night session in the Woodman in Lewisham? The landlord said he was fed up with the same people playing the same tunes week in, week out.

It’s a shame to see a session go down the drain. Was the landlord right? How do we stop this sort of thing happening?

Re: Getting stale?

Well - were the same players playing the same oul tunes every week? Maybe a wee bit of fresh blood would make the difference?

How did the punters feel about it?

At the end of the day the sess has to bring drinking punters into the bar otherwise there is little incentive for the landlord.

Invite a guest musician or singer in.

I guess we are lucky in that while there is a core of 5 or 6 of us, different musicians turn up at our regular sessions so that keeps the music fresh and the repertoire changing.

Re: Getting stale?

Well, pinch of snuff, you’ve come to the right place to find out. I was the guy who had run that session for several years. It’s partially true that The Woodman was getting stale, where it had been more interesting a couple of years prior to that. I felt it myself, the same old warhorses rolled out week after week. Here’s its niche here:
First things first - I think it’s only fair that you put something in your bio here so I know to whom I’m talking. Had you been to the Woodman when it had been a more vibrant session?

Next. The thing was it was a paid session, so it was 4 paid regulars…not exactly a huge sum of money, but enough to keep them regular. So 4 contributing the same stuff every week near enough. I tried to bring in new tunes all the time but I was p!ssing into the wind most of the time.
Also. The fact that some were paid and others weren’t wasn’t too good for public relations. So we didn’t get many good non-paid players coming along and staying for too many weeks.
At one point there was a personality difference which meant I pulled out. Then within weeks the others fell out with themselves. It hobbled on for a few months longer, and then it really did fall into a rut. Then Dermot finally said enough is enough.
The next thing (about last November I think) he had me and 2 other players back. Of course I got different people in…in fact I managed to change the line up near enough weekly. So for a short time it did flower, and the sessions were superb…but it was to be a swan song, because the pub by then was near enough empty on a Sunday night. So finally we got our “P45’s”, and that’s it. Dermot said he’d get back to me in the new year but he hasn’t as yet, and I don’t expect him to, at all.

So when he said the same tunes week in, week out, he’s only telling a truncated version of the truth.

If you feel that strongly about it, try starting it up again and let me know how you go.

Re: Getting stale?

I used to go sometimes when the pub was in two bars (physically not musically!) and it was a vibrant session then.

The landlord said he had a band in on Sundays who sing songs and recite poetry (!) but I haven’t been so I don’t know what it’s like. I usually go to the Greyhound at the Oval if I’m in London on Sunday night.

Re: Getting stale?

There’s still nothing in your bio!

Yeah, I remember it when it had 2 seperate bars…and the session in those days used to attract a fairly mottley crew, including yer man from the Wizard of Oz who used to wear a kind of breastplate thing which he attacked with spoons and drumsticks. So, while laterally that session did become rather stale, the general musicianship was far better than what it had been back in the 2-bars era.

Who plays at the Greyhound these days anyway?

Re: Getting stale?


There’s nothing really worth putting in a bio!

I remember the man that used to play the breastplate (and ashtrays too!) but then he and a couple of others disappeared and I thought it was pretty good then.

Not sure of the names at the Greyhound but it seems to be the Clarke sisters band and a few others. Quite a high standard though.

Oh yeah - I had been a few times - that’s Emma, Harriet and Willie. Very good players. Ask them if it’s ok to post that session on here the next time you’re there.

I think the “band” you refer to at the Woodman on Sundays now, is a bunch of students from a local music college and they have a kind of jazz jam.

But allegedly the Duke of Edinburgh back along the road on Lee High Road does an Irish session on Sundays. Never been, though.


I believe there is no longer a session here. Shame. Nice pub.