Newsletter No 205 - 27 November 2012


They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew and they all had a great night well stewarded by JAN & MARK who started the ball rolling in fine style with THE 30 FOOT TRAILER (McColl) and JIM & LYNN kept up the momentum with THE STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. PAUL then returned to last week's theme of strong women with JACKAROE to which GED replied LORD SEND ME and GAVIN soothed THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND. A great a cappella song SUMMER WINE then came from KATHIE TAYLOR which prompted BANJO JOHN  to come right up to date with IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT DIXIE from the 1940s and CARL to sing one of Jez Lowe's humorous observational songs ALOYSIUS. Next RUTH, KATH & STAN fell back on HARD TIMES and with JO off BLOWING IN THE WIND (Dylan) KAMRAN came up with the idea of LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIAN. BOB DYLAN'S DREAM was next on ED'S mind as ALAN set out on some TUNES before TONY gave us SAVE THE HAMMER FOR THE MAN. Hot off the press ARTHUR updated us on his back garden travails with HARRY THE BADGER before COLIN observations were more human in THE MIDNIGHT WATCHMAN before BRIAN played NAGEELA. In fine picking form ROBIN then went back to his roots for JOCK O' HAZELDEAN but ROD must have gone on holiday for IF YOU'RE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO but any way up GUITAR BRIAN said I'LL BE WATCHING YOU. Heading toward the interval ROB hauled up the sails to BLOOD RED ROSES until DON & HEATHER reckoned we were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE.

A big raffle for the huge crowd interestingly saw a few prizes go to people with the free raffle ticket which shows you have to be in to win as we embarked on the homeward journey a climactic finish. First JAN & MARK mocked the American's failure to teach about evolution with HUNT HIM DOWN, i.e., Charles Darwin, before RUTH, KATH & STAN invited FOLLOW ME HOME and TONY was hoping it would lead to A PAIR OF BROWN EYES. Then suddenly GUITAR BRIAN was that DESPERADO but the other BRIAN just quietly played AND I LOVE HER (Beatles) before PAUL sang and played ANGELINE THE BAKER which he informed us is what all Banjo players cut their teeth on. ISOBEL in her turn then played a couple of tunes, SCALLAWA LASSIES & the HALTING MARCH, leaving JIM & LYNN to cut loose with BLACK VELVET BAND with full choral backing from the crowd and ROD kept them at it with IF I WERE A CARPENTER. There was no let up as chorusing was also the order of the day as CARL sang another Jez Lowe song, OLD BONES. KATHIE TAYLOR then unsheathed the flute for DENNIS MURPHY'S and MERRILY KISS THE QUAKER before GAVIN sang FAREWELL CISCO FARE THEE WELL, which was new to most of us, as GED fired up the VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING (Thompson). Too noisy reckoned ROBIN who said COME BY THE HILLS and KAMRAN who invited us to come SELLING ICE CREAM IN THE AUTUMN, a parody of Messing about On The River. In a much more sombre vein ARTHUR told us JOHNNY AIN'T COMING HOME before ROB headed us for the close with COME WRITE YE DOWN but that didn't stop ED from TEACHING ME WORM HOW TO SWIM before under instruction to provide a big finish DON, HEATHER, ISOBEL & LYNN banded up for GALWAY GIRL soon to be heard on You Tube. Mega!! 

Newsletter No 204 - 20 November 2012


Another cracking evening with Ian dropping in on his way back to Middlesbrough, and him a Sunderland supporter, Gavin having just found us on the internet and lots of regulars and irregulars for that matter. Mick and John hosted and in the form of PEPPER STREET kicked off on a high with a great song of Mick's, ECHOES OF THE CIVIL WAR, Back from their tour of Lanzarote JIM & LYNN were definitely not wearing a LONG BLACK VEIL and goodness only knows where GED had been to come up with GET YOUR BIG LEG OF MINE but it was self evident with ROBIN'S excellent rendition of the MASSACRE OF GLENCOE. Next ED related the story of the POOR DITCHING BOY which made IAN think of Kieren Halpin's GOD HAS NO PLAN but looking on the bright side BANJO JOHN soon had us singing along with BYE BYE BLACKBIRD from 1926. As usual BRIAN was in a romantic mood with I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ME before DON & HEATHER took us off to THE WESTERN RANGE courtesy of Huddie Ledbetter, Leadbelly to his friends, while PAUL was sad about the fate of GEORDIE. KAMRAN, playing brilliant slide guitar on his knee, declared AIN'T GONNA BE TREATED THIS WAY while ARTHUR confessed YOU ARE STILL ON MY MIND but JO told us THE CARNIVAL IS OVER. Next ROB dedicated MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN to Martin, a no brainer really, and newcomer GAVIN went to Tom Paxton for I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER whereas more forthrightly PEPPER STREET dedicated DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL to that well known teetotaller, Rob. Hurtling toward the interval BANJO JOHN got a second go with MEAN TO ME, which we are definitely not, followed by ROBIN with NOW THAT THE BUFFALO'S GONE and IAN with BLAKEY RIDGE about that lovely place high on the North Yorkshire Moors where the pub does great food before PAUL sang us to the break with  BLACK VELVET BAND.

A good raffle saw Derrick win the wine, Jim & Lynn won the bottle of bubble, John won the chocolates and where the Christmas cake went is a mystery as we started the second with JIM & LYNN singing THE GYPSY ROVER. BRIAN was still all smoochy with FIELDS OF GOLD as KAMRAN vowed WHEN I LAY MY BURDEN DOWN before ED stopped the show with MYRTLE THE TURTLE. DON & HEATHER could only respond with Tom Paxton's greatest hit RAMBLING BOY and GED answered the call by banding up with KAMRAN & JOHN for LOST JOHN whereas GAVIN turned to the WHISKY IN THE JAR. ROB then played safe on THE GOOD SHIP KALABAR but ARTHUR was down ON BLEAKER STREET before PEPPER STREET gave us Mick's application for Geordie status, TAKE ME TO THE BRIDGE, CONTRABAND aka ROBIN, HEATHER & DON then invited us to TAK' A DRAM while IAN was down looking for BLACK DIAMONDS and it was no wonder that ARTHUR reckoned THE POOR GET NOTHING AT ALL. All this just made PAUL want to STEP IT UP AND GO as ROB bemoaned the demise of THE OLD PUBS where ED reckoned he must have been HAPPY AS A PIG IN S***. On a higher plane JIM & LYNN sang in praise of THE SPANISH LADY before GAVIN sang the Irish National Anthem, FIELDS OF ATHENRY, with a respectful salute from some in the crowd, before KAMRAN reckoned it was all 50 SHADES OF SH***. Thankfully GED returned to cap it all and end a great night with the sad story of the girl on the TRAPEZE.

Newsletter No 203 - 13 November 2012

A pretty full and sublime evening with Ruth, Kath & Stan guiding us seamlessly through it after they had set the tone with Scarborough Fair. John Chilcott then reckoned we were in The Hazy Shade Of Winter (Paul Simon) while Rob had us all Fathom The Bowl before The Taylors (Cathy, Jan and Mark) were in fine form both instrumentally, guitar, flute, harmonica, percussion, and vocally with Wagon Wheel. Then there was a big welcome for John Muskett who asked the New York Girls "Can You Dance The Polka?" as Arthur Marshall bemoaned the Fat White Men In Suits and Jo elucidated All My Trials Will Soon Be Over. Carl was surprised to be called next but immediately reminisced with his own great song about the 1710 train while Paul had Trouble In Mind and Zoe remembered climbing Re-Union Hill (Richard Schindell). Giving us a rousing chorus Don & Heather then went back to The Rare Ould Times and Joan followed suit with In My Liverpool Home whereas Kaman was almost unintelligible with his brilliant rendition of the poem Jabberwocky (Lewis Carroll). Keeping up the high standard set, Ed dedicated his song To Ramona (Dylan) and Brian was equally poignant with Jessie (Janis Ian) but Ann C went straight for it with Can We Afford The Doctor, Mitt Romney's campaign song. Thus inspired Ged also got right to it with How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times As This before Pete sought to lighten things up by Trying To Catch The Wind (Donovan) before Kath, Ruth & Stan said Let The Mystery Be and John Chilcott took us back to our Roots (Show Of Hands), Jo announced that she was Leaving On A Jet Plane and The Taylors proclaimed Momma's Got A Squeezebox as we hit the interval.

In a good raffle Dave from The Services Club won the wine, Ann & John got the Christmas Pudding and the Box Of Biscuits went to the Mystery Man before Carl sang Nearer To Nettles by his hero Jez Lowe. Up from London Charlie then played Eanach Chuin on the whistle with Don as the safety net before Ged took off for some Hard Love and Brian played us the out take from Abbey Road with all those big chords of his. As we all know Pete next had a Heart Of Gold (Neil Young) which nicely set up Isobel, coming in after choir practise, for a rousing cheer after Harvest Home and the Irish Washerwoman followed by Ed having us falling about with his monologue Albert And The Wild Morris Men. No wonder Kamran next turned to the White Rabbit and John Muskett had the Good Morning Blues (Leadbelly) backed by Paul, Kamran, Zoe, Don et al all of which left Arthur Restless In The Morning. Getting us back on track Ann C told us Love Is Pleasing and Don & Heather agreed with The Galway Shawl as did Thousands Or More when sung by Rob. Well in the mood now, Zoe gave us a great version of the Gentle Arms Of Eden (Dave Carter). Despite this Paul was off on the New River Train to which Kath, Stan & Ruth replied Beautiful before Isobel danced us off with Danny Beck and The Rope Waltz which left Arthur to send us out into the street singing his own Ireland Is A State Of The Heart. It doesn't get much better than that!!

Newsletter No 202 - 6 November 2012

Smaller than last week but more perfectly formed were both the audience and the performers who all enjoyed one of the best quality and most humorous evenings in Sale Folk Club co-hosted by the new combination of Kamran & Pete. Pete opened with both a funny story and James Taylor's Shower The People before Don & Heather reminded of the proximity of Armistice Day with Calling Doon The Line which prompted Banjo John to remind us that there was little difference between the soldiers in WW2 with both sides singing and enjoying Lili Marlene or was it Marlene Dietrich? Ged was having none of it as he shot off at a tangent with Ring Tailed Tom and Jo led us all in Sally Free And Easy before Arthur Marshall sang his beautiful Footprints In The Sand. Rob then quickly lowered the tone with The Rawtenstall Annual Fair before Robin reminded us the The Battle Is Over and Eric provided his own perspective with The Man At The Door. Kamran was then the anchor man into round 2 with Whiskey Lullaby as he handed over to Banjo John who opened with Baby Wont You Please Come Home followed by Arthur with Fish Finger Disaster and Jo with Hard Times. In need of something extra Ged urged us to Take A Whiff On Me with the Cocaine Blues as Rob took us up to Granddad's Attic and Pete had us off to the North Country Fair before Don & Heather took us up to the break with Knee Deep In A River.

Much socialising and chips later City had pulled back to a draw as in the raffle Helen took the wine, Kate won the box of Toiletries and David grabbed the Chocolates which he promptly handed round which was nice.

In the second half Kamran went all psychedelic with See Emily Play followed by Eric's account of Dr Steve Jones' theory that The Healing Power Of Lust will solve all our problems to which many must have considered that the end of the planet will happen the sooner. Undaunted, Robin brilliantly picked his way through Spinning Wheel which reminded Emily of the other Tap On The Window. Arthur then announced I'm Going To Drown My Cat making Rob ask but Who Killed Cock Robin and Ged to moan Easy's Getting Harder. Pete with an even funnier story then set off into Sunsets before Robin, Isobel, Heather & Don as Contraband explained the meaning of The Vacant Chair before Ged returned With Trouble In Mind. Rob was then requested to take us all on Trevor Morton's Mill Outing and Isobel played two waltzes, Danny Back and Rope Waltz, before Pete took us All Along The Watchtower. Next Arthur again had us in tears with his Walking The Bulldog skit on Waltzing Matilda for which Ged reckoned we'd need Boots Of Spanish Leather before Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms from Kamran. Clearly reaching a climax Heather & Don sang their South Australia for Kas who was visiting from Adelaide and then with Isobel & Robin again became Contraband for All The Good Times Are Past And Gone for obvious reasons.


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