Dogwatch are folk duo John (that's me) & Joy Rennie.
We both sing,
I play English concertina and Joy plays Melodeons, recorders and
digital piano (affectionately known as "The Beast" - the piano,
not Joy!!). We play tunes and sing songs
about subjects both at sea and on dry land. Some of these are
traditional, some are made up of wonderful poetry set to music
by Joy and some are all our own but there's a good old
mixture of serious and light hearted stuff and lots
of those all-important "joiney in" bits.
Joy and I were first introduced to the folk world in the mid nineties
(the nineteen nineties, not our nineties), when we were taken
to Ron Angel's club at The Sun Inn in Stockton by our daughter
Olivia. After a period
of being first silent audience and then chorus-singing audience,
we began doing floor spots individually - I'd never sung since
I was a kid but I was bullied into it by Ken Wilson when we started
going to the Wilsons' club at The Welly in Wolviston. Joy got a
D/G melodeon shortly after we started going to the folk club and I
got an English concertina when I took early retirement from my job
as a power station engineer in 1999. Eventually,
we started performing together (if you'll pardon the expression)
at the start of the new millennium and since then, we've been
booked and appeared at lots of folk clubs and festivals. Since
Ron Angel's heart bypass operation some years back, Joy and I
have been running the Stockton Folk Club, ably assisted by the
invaluable John Lawson. Ron very sadly died in 2014 and he's
greatly missed by many people.
In 2008, Joy got a C/F melodeon
to go with her original D/G model. It's given us much more flexibility
and has allowed us to develop loads of
new song arrangements. We absolutely love it and it was definitely
worth waiting the nine months it took to get it from Italy.
Joy also sings with a popular five
part female group called "The Raffleites" who sing some lovely
songs with very pleasing multi part harmonies.
Until the end of
2007, I also sang with "The Endeavour Shanty Men", who've appeared
at various festivals in this country as well as in Portugal, Holland,
Norway and Germany. In 2005, we and several friends formed "The
Otterby Band" (say it quickly to get the true meaning of the name)
and we've had a number of club and festival bookings. As well
as all that, we both used to play for a border morris dancing
side called "Locos in Motion", but retired from it at the end of
2015 due to having too many other time commitments. Early in 2014,
we got together with John Thrall (an ex member of "Landlocked"
and, more recently "The Owd Chivers" shanty crews) and
have sung together as the "3Jayz" at a number of festivals
We've had great fun singing together and intend to do lots more
of it in the future.