Boys just want to have fun

THERE is jolly good music. And there is good time music.

Then there is also the music from Johnny and the Prison Didn't Help Boys.

This South Yorkshire outift have one thing in mind when they take to the stage... to leave everyone smiling.

Lively, foot-stomping, spirit lifting music. That is the staple diet of this outfit, led by Geordie Johnny Fuller.

He remarked: "It's important to remember audiences want to be entertained and have fun.

"And that is what Johnny and the Boys is all about: making sure people have a good time."

They came together in late 2003 during sessions at Sheffield's Fagan's pub , on Broad Lane, a hotbed for talented musicians to gather and swap tunes, songs and ideas. It has been a regular haunt for Johnny since he moved back to this area in the mid 80s.

He added: "I had been writing some songs and performed them during Monday night session in Fagan's. Several people asked who had written them, so I supposed they had made something of a mark.

"I recruited Fagan's regulars Trevor Thomas, Will Horns and Chris Coates to work on the songs and then we asked Smiley Dave Young to join."

The final, distinctive ingredient came when Country Dave Chang turned up one night at Fagan's with his erhu, a two-string Chinese fiddle. The sound captivated Johnny and the boys - and he was quickly signed up to join the outfit.

Debut album, I'm Not Dead Yet, brought together country, folk and old-timey music to create a brand new musical genre, which Johnny calls Geordicana.

Johnny and the Prison Didn't Help Boys are at the Rock@Maltby, Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby tonight.

They will be joined in the second half by Sheffield a capalle outfit The Fates, who comprise Bay Whitaker, Sue Cain, Tegwen Roberts and Peter Rophone.

Next Friday's guest will be Jackie Leven.

GUESTS at Chesterfield Folk Club tonight are The Wilson Family, a group of unaccompanied singes consisting of sister Pat and brothers Tom, Chris, Steve, Ken and Mike.

During the mid to late sixties, and throughout the seventies the "Folk Revival" was experiencing its most fruitful and expansive stage.

Support is by singer songwriter Neil Dalton, whose heroes are Jackson Browne, Steve Earle etc.

SINGING on the Folk Train, which leaves Sheffield Station, at 7.14pm on Tuesday, January 25,are local trio Skyhook. Music continues in the Rambler Country House Hotel, Edale.

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