BEER cost around 20 pence a pint when Clive Gregson first stepped over the threshold of the Cross Keys Inn.
But some things remain the same and nearly five decades later Tameside-born Gregson returns on a regular basis to play at the Uppermill hostelry’s popular folk club.
He’s back again on October 18 and 19 with a new album and as a duo with fellow singer songwriter, Liz Simcock.
‘Underwater Dancing ’– released last month – and a longer standing collaboration with Simcock have been favourably received by supporters of Gregson’s music.
“I am in fortunate position I only put out stuff I am happy with,” explained Gregson, 62. “I have quality control on everything I do.
“But I this one is pretty special, it was a lot of fun to make and we enjoyed the sessions.
“And early indications are people really like it.”
The final 14-song track listing has been whittled down from an original list of 70 and follows a collaboration with Simcock – by day an oncology nurse in the South East – on a re-issue of Gregson’s classic 80’s album ‘Hone and Away’ with Christine Collister.
When Isle of Man-based Collister decided she didn’t want to tour the songs again, Simock had no hesitation stepping in to fill the void.
“I’ve known Liz a long time and she was big Gregson and Collister fan, liked and knew the material,” Gregson explained.
“When Chris decided against touring the re-issued album I phoned Liz and she said ‘yes’ right away. That was 2015 it went spectacularly well so we decided to keep it going.
“But I didn’t want to become my own tribute act and I was only interested if we did new material.
“I started writing songs and here we are now.”
Gregson first came to prominence as front man of Any Trouble in the early 1980s. The band reformed for a 2014 tour but after drummer Martin Hughes suffered a heart attack, plans for more dates have been put on hold.
“My instincts are Martin will probably not come back which is a terrible shame,” said Gregson.
“Martin, musically, is most of the reason why it was fun. I wouldn’t want to do it without him.
“So, at the moment we are in a medically induced hiatus.”
Gregson though is still going strong. He writes every day and the Uppermill shows are part of a 13-date UK tour.
“I have been going to the Cross Keys since I was 15 or 16,” he said. “I was never a big drinker. It was always to go up to the Folk Club.
“I am looking forward to coming back and seeing some old faces and hopefully a few new ones.”
To see Clive Gregson at the Cross Keys email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go online: www.crosskeysfolkclub.co.uk