Newsletters 2017


Newsletter No 457 19 December 2017

As people arrived DON & HEATHER gave them a cheery welcome with the GALWAY GIRL as did BANJO JOHN who burst into WHITE CHRISTMAS which left old friends LYNN & JIM to take us off for the FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK. By this time we were getting well filled up as PAUL sang out GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GEOFF gave us some IRISH JIGS on his home made mandolin which led to CHRIS & WILF reprising WHITE CHRISTMAS. Then newcomer IAN delighted with his own WHO THE HELL WOULD VOTE FOR TRUMP as did newly named RACING DEMON, aka Simon & James, who debuted GREENVILLE before JAMES implored DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. More brazenly BEN told us I WANT IT ALL whereas CARL recalled how a potentially suicidal person claimed I WISH I’D NEVER BEEN BORN before JONATHAN & CHARLIE went fully traditional with WE THREE KINGS. In complete contrast ED was requested to relate the story of JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO WITH THE FUNKY CONCERTINA before RICHARD got us back on track with ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY and BANJO JOHN went seasonal by WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND as did LYNN & JIM with FROSTIE THE SNOWMAN. Coming to the interval IAN returned with his own send up of amplification WE CAN’T HEAR YOU AL with RACING DEMON taking us over the line with SHE THINKS I STILL CARE.

In a Bumper Raffle the Diary was won by Ken and passed on to Kate, Chocolates won by Simon, Red Wine won by Paul, Mulled Wine won by Carl, Christmas Cake won by Geoff, Christmas Pudding won by Charlie and the Biscuits won by Hilary before KATE kicked off the second half with a humorous poem CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. Before pumpkin time JONATHAN & CHARLIE squeezed in with JOY TO THE WORLD and IAN gave us another of his great songs WHISKY IN THE JAR KIND OF GIRL. Then up came GEOFF with more IRISH TUNES, this time with a Bach twist, bringing to BEN’S eyes the TEARS OF A CLOWN as PAUL set off on his MORNINGTOWN RIDE. Another burst of Christmas came from CHRIS & WILF with MARY’S BOY CHILD but CARL was down in the pub AT THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR while RICHARD was with a GIRL WALKING TO THE EIFFEL TOWER. With a child’s ideal Christmas List ED sang us SCARLET RAYGUNS to which JAMES commented with THE STORY OF LOVE and Simon returned as RACING DEMON for I’VE NOT BEEN THE SAME and LYNN & JIM came back as THE HIGHWAYMAN which left DON & HEATHER to have us singing into the street with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER to take us to the Christmas break telling us we all meet again on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Newsletter No 456 12 December 2017

As expected there was a full house for our Christmas Party or was it to greet the return of ROB to kick us all into action with the shanty SOUTH AUSTRALIA after his sojourn in Spain. With another old favourite ROBIN was more festive with a WINTER’S TALE before PETE with SIMON performed ST PAUL’S SONG to which ALLEN replied appropriately, IT ALL SEEMED SUCH A LONG TIME AGO. That was enough for BEN who came back with the ironic CHRISTMAS CAROL by Tom Lehrer but TIM soon put us back on track with ALL AROUND MY HAT as did PAUL with a medley of carols IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY and GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN. With a modern take on things KATH & STAN pointed out the BRIGHT MORNING STARS while PETER pointed to the STREETS OF LONDON where Christmas can be tough but still MARK & JAN confessed that they BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS. Lightening the moment PETER told SOME of his JOKES as a prelude to SIMON singing COOKSFERRY QUEEN with JAMES’ accompaniment before JAMES was supported by PAUL on his way down ROUTE 66. Duos continued to rule as ED and ROBIN told us a SPACEMAN CAME CALLING and KATHIE & KAMRAN wished us MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY. Then as we approached the interval BRIAN declared his love in ONLY YOU before DON & HEATHER closed the first half by taking us along with the WAYFARING STRANGER.

The Christmas Buffet was accompanied by some splendid Chips and the bumper raffle raised £100.00 for the Rainbow Trust and saw the Celebrations Chocolates won by Elizabeth, the Box of Tea won by Ken, the Oil Burner won by KATH, the Merry Christmas Banner won by Martin, the Bottle of Red Wine won by James and the Christmas Pudding won by Ben. No wonder we needed PETE to pick us up by KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR as ROB set off for LIVERPOOL TOWN where HILARY gave us few good ONE- LINERS to get us laughing. In a more combative frame of mind ALLEN asked us WHAT’S IT TO YOU before ROBIN returned to theme with THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK and KATHIE & KAMRAN asked LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS? Then a bit more folk with BEN with LONDON TOWN before PETER came up with a few more JOKES which left PAUL to say sometimes it can be a BLUE CHRISTMAS and TIM reckoned that sometimes it can be a WHITE CHRISTMAS. Any way up STAN & KATH were determined to KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE which was difficult for ED’S GERMAN SOLDIER. Then suddenly PETER told us what came OUT OF THE SNOW but for JAN & MARK it was all about THE IVY AND THE HOLLY whereas SIMON with JAMES wanted some TUPELO HONEY. Back on his own again JAMES just wanted some GOLDEN SLUMBERS and BRIAN wanted to get ACROSS THE BORDERLINE leaving RICHARD GRAY to sing his IRISH LAMENT. After such a wonderful evening Don, Heather, Robin & Paul re grouped as FREE SPIRITS to build a suitable climax by having us all singing into the street to first WAGON WHEEL and then insisting we STEAL AWAY quietly until the next time. Magic!!

Newsletter No 455 5 December 2017

As the people started pouring in DON & HEATHER certainly did not have ALL THE ANSWERS as BANJO JOHN turned on his heel and went MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA (1865) and PETE sang philosophically IT ’LL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES. With an aspect of working life ALLEN came out with the GOLD WATCH BLUES but for newcomer TIM it was definitely with GOD ON HIS SIDE while KATH & STAN were 900 MILES from home. Then with a change of gear SIMON with JAMES was down on THE LOW HIGHWAY before JAMES went solo in the EARLY MORNING RAIN followed by BRIAN telling us how great it wasn’t DOWN AROUND MY PLACE. Fortunately HILARY was in craicing good form with some more of her ONE-LINERS as was PAUL as he led us all on to THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL but for BEN it was EVERYWHERE THE SAME. With an even older song than Banjo John ED went back to 1859 to THE NIGHT THE ROYAL CHARTER WENT DOWN before our old friend ZOE MULFORD bestrode the VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING 1952 gifted to Red Molly as BANJO JOHN took the easier option of WALKING MY BABY BACK HOME.

In the big raffle Ben won the bottle of Red Wine, Zoe won the designer Scarf, Ken won the Chocolates and Paul won the Chain for hanging his spectacles on. For PETE starting the second half it would soon be THE LAST TRAIN AND GONE as PAUL at last unveiled a true Christmas song with MARY’S BOY CHILD with BRIAN getting back on track with I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU ANY TIME. With everyone flying about everywhere KATH & STAN were off to OWENSBORO but TIM craved the SOUND OF SILENCE before ZOE sang her latest and greatest song THE PRESIDENT SANG AMAZING GRACE which has been picked up and recorded by Joan Baez. For SIMON with JAMES, however, it was still a BLUE, BLUE DAY which JAMES confessed left him PARALYSED so we were thankful for more of HILARY’S hilarious ONE-LINERS. Then it was the oldest song of the night when ALLEN gave us THE DIGGERS SONG from 1645 so no wonder ED exclaimed I MISS MY MIND THE MOST and BEN turned to thinking about CRAZY MAN MICHAEL. Even better ZOE returned with the extremely funny 12 DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS by Fred Silver PETE had us all singing I SHALL BE RELEASED and KATH & STAN claiming NO TELLING WHAT A LOVE SONG CAN DO before DON & HEATHER enlisted PAUL for their own DANCES FOR DOLLARS, a tribute to an old friend that had us singing our way home.


Newsletter No 454 28 November 2017

Getting off to a good start with a nod to St Andrew of Scotland DON & HEATHER kicked off with the SMUGGLER’S SONG from north of the border followed by MARK with his story of the Glasgow cat SAM THE SKULL and ALLEN raising the tone with Hamish Henderson’s 51st Highland Division’s FAREWELL TO SICILY. Then our resident Scot ROBIN got his Band Free Spirits together for ROSE OF ALLENDALE before we went with PETE and WHO’S PASSING DREAMS AROUND by Tom Paxton only for ED to return with the story of the HAGGIS HUNTER OF DUNOON. To cap it all BEN then came up with Karine Polwart’s song of death and depression THE SUN’S COMING OVER THE HILL and PAUL & ROBIN left claiming to be a PIPER TO THE END while PETER BRIDGE was satisfied with THE GIRL FROM THE HIRING FAIR by Ralph McTell. Then it was thank goodness for HILARY and more of her hilarious ONE-LINERS before KATH & STAN cast a MOON SHADOW over us and PETER KING sang one of his own songs MY OWN SWEET WAY. Late comer RICHARD GRAY was in sombre mood with ALL THE FRIENDS I EVER HAD ARE GONE and DON & HEATHER were even more down to earth with DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL as was ALLEN with his song Sassenach strife ERIN GO BRAGH. Coming to the interval PETER BRIDGE told of more strife between the British and American folkies that led to THE ZIMMERMAN BLUES before KATH & STAN took us all down to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH.

In the bumper raffle Ben won the wine, Allen won the Roses Chocolates, Rose won the real Roses flowers, Jackie won the designer Scarf and Kate won the Hedgehog Cuddly Toys before ED & RICHARD attempted to beat the Club Record for the longest song, 9 minutes, but nobody could concentrate that long and we lost count as they sang Dylan’s DESOLATION ROAD. Fortunately PAUL came up with a singalong in WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL and PETE took us ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER before PETER KING sang WHEN WE WERE YOUNG. On the other hand BEN had been SMOKING TOO LONG and ROBIN was off to DENVER and RICHARD found he had a FORGETFUL HEART. As we began making for the door ALLEN had us sing I’M GONNA FOLLOW THE SUN (Donovan) and PETER BRIDGE & PAUL confessed that NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT and KATH & STAN were off with that BANJO PICKING GIRL leaving ROBIN and FREE SPIRITS to TAK’ A DRAM.

Newsletter No 453 21 November 2017

GRASSROOTS kicked off in great style with their own latest NOT ‘CAUSE I WANTED TO before DON, HEATHER & PAUL got a big band up with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and newcomer MARK was plunged straight in with his own Halloween song JACK O’LANTERN. In their dreams SIMON & BEN told what they would do IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS which nearly made us laugh as much as with HILARY and her hilarious ONE-LINERS, no pun intended. For some reason BRIAN next wanted to DAMN THIS TOWN before PETE KING, now back in Manchester again, told us about his so far one and only ROYALTY CHEQUE. For PAUL everything was DARK AS A DUNGEON but for JAMES he told us I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD and DENISE was on top in the battle of the sexes with A STITCH IN TIME. As you would expect CARL then came up with a great song, ALICE, and PETER swore TONIGHT I’LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU before ED took us back in time with THEY DON’T KNOW THEY’RE BORN. No wonder BEN was ALMOST BLUE and GRASSROOTS were BROKEN but MARK knew for a fact he was a FOLK SINGER. Heading for the interval BRIAN came up against the FACE OF GOD as DON, HEATHER & PAUL warned of the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and SIMON was caught like a RABBIT IN THE HEADLIGHTS.

In a bumper raffle Mick won the Bottle of Red Wine, Denise won the Chocolates, Ben took the Christmas Pudding, Sue won a DVD, Jackie won a Scarf and Brian and Mark won CDs before CLARE told us there’s NOT MUCH MUCK IN OUR HOUSE. Reminded by Pete’s reference to the Postie, CARL sang his own tribute to the post woman YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before DENISE told the assembled crowd NEVER WED AN OLD MAN and SIMON & JAMES shot off as RACING DEMONS. More calmly PAUL was seeking the CANDYMAN and JAMES introducing the UNKNOWN LEGEND before HILARY unveiled a few more ONE-LINERS and, any way up, PETER reckoned IT WILL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES. With another humorous take on folk clubs, PETE KING lamented the lack of variety with ANOTHER BLOKE WITH A GUITAR just as CLARE took out her flute for THE SWEETNESS OF MARY and GRASSROOTS declared he was HARMLESS. Another take on society was apparent in CARL’s song by Jake Thackray, BRIGADIER, as it was in MARK’s own song, CHAIRS AND TABLES, but too late as BRIAN was GONE, GONE, GONE. Starting a rousing finish DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia and the DIAMANTINA DROVER, before PAUL got the GOOD MORNING BLUES and DENISE went off with the DARK EYED SAILOR to which JAMES commented, I hope they AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.........Magic!

Newsletter No 452 14 November 2017

With new hosts Heather & Simon in the chair DON & HEATHER started the evening by declaring WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL before PETE sang one of Tom Paxton’s best JIM and KATH & STAN went multi-instrumentally WESTERLY. This left HILARY to provide us with some humour in a few ONE-LINERS and BRIAN to give us some love with LET’S FIND EACH OTHER TONIGHT as IAN went instrumental for DREAM A LITTLE DREAM before poet DT DAVE gave the male and female perspective on marriage in ROSY & ROLIE by his friend Tom Snee. With the sad side of marriage breakdown GRASSROOTS explained WHEN YOU CRY, a joint composition, as PAUL recommended you should KEEP YOUR LAMPS TRIMMED AND BURNING as ANDY did with SETH DAVY. Returning to last week’s theme JONATHAN & CHARLIE were SHIPBUILDING and SIMON was still trying to get out of NORWICH JAIL. Fortunately, PETE cheered us all with his own BALBRIGAN FAIR as did KATH & STAN with SHAKE SUGAREE before BRIAN told us you can have ALL OF ME. On the other hand PAUL was off down the MOMOBILE LINE but JONATHAN & CHARLIE found the BLOOD’S TOO RICH before DT DAVE summed up the joys of THE PROSPECT pub in Runcorn (Tom Snee) and DON & HEATHER told us what they needed at the DIMMING OF THE DAY.

In the big raffle Heather K won the wine: Jill won the Chocolates: Simon won the Beer: Ian won the Ladies Perfume and Rosalie won the Festive Tray before GRASSROOTS started us off with another excellent joint composition BROKEN. With a solo composition RICHARD reviewed the British history of war summed up in THE LAST GREAT WAR whereas ANDY was LOOKING FOR THE MOON (Tom Paxton) so a few more ONE-LINERS from HILARY were a relief as was IAN’S instrumental arrangement of Sting’s FIELDS OF GOLD. Back to basics SIMON sang of the VIGILANTE MAN and KATH & STAN played us two tunes the RAKES OF MARLOW and the DORSET FOUR HAND REEL. However, PAUL still had the DRIFTING BLUES and DT DAVE also had the LONESOME LADY BLUES (T Snee) before PETE rose with his own BEAT THE DRUM to shake us up a bit. Building towards the end of a great night RICHARD mixed the traditional with a bit of Dylan and himself in FROGGIE WENT A COURTING and HILARY came up with more hilarious ONE-LINERS leaving IAN to wow us again with his instrumental AUTUMN LEAVES and ANDY to lead the ALABAMA RAID before DON & HEATHER took us all off to the RED ROSE CAFE to end another top night!

Newsletter No 451 7 November 2017

On a night with Remembrance Sunday in mind ROBIN Free Spirits kicked off the action with VACANT CHAIR followed by BANJO JOHN who introduced us to LILI MARLENE before PETE took us back to the DAYS OF 49. An interesting conundrum from BRIAN with NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME came next while MARK & JAN went back to the Peninsular war days for OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY with JOHN giving us a bit of light relief with his UMPAHPAH SONG. Serious in another way MARION told of THE BLANTYRE EXPLOSION, CARL sang his own excellent song ECHOES AND TOKENS and CLARE explained it was BECAUSE HE WAS A BONNY LAD. For SIMON it had all come DOWN TO THE SEEDS AND STEMS as DON & HEATHER went back to the theme with CALLING DOON THE LINE before DENISE diverted to THE RECRUITED COLLIER. Back on track ALLEN told us of his family’s history in the World Wars and summed it up with his own ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE as indeed did CHARLIE & JONATHAN with SHIPBUILDING and PAUL with a sing along medley starting with it’s a LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY. This left BANJO JOHN to take us up to the interval with the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER followed by JAN and MOTHER, DAUGHTERS, WIVES.

After a bumper raffle in which Brian won the wine, Heather won the Xmas Pud, Carl won the Chocolates and promptly gave them to Sue for her birthday and Sue won the Biscuits HILARY had ‘em rolling in the aisles with her JOKES. CARL then was the serious one with WILLIE McBRIDE followed by PETE with HARVEST MOON and MARION appropriately with the JOY OF LIVING.  Another welcome visitor was RICHARD who explained how JOHN LOPEZ worked his magic and it inspired CLARE to sing and play us a GAELIC TUNE before JOHN introduced another war with the BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS which was ALL THE WAY UNDER for BRIAN. Also going back in time MARK & JAN sang of how THE BLUE COCKADE recruited which made SIMON think of THE DARK END OF THE STREET and ALLEN come up with THE DIGGER’S SONG by Leon Rosselson. This certainly made RICHARD want to get to THE HEART OF THE MATTER of his own relationships and also brought CARL to his feet with THESE COAL TOWN DAYS and PAUL to bring us all together for FENCES BY Arthur Marshall. This left us at the end of a very emotional evening to which DON & HEATHER provided the perfect thought of RECONCILIATION by Ron Kavana. Couldn’t have been better.

OCTOBER - 2017

Newsletter No 451 31 October 2017

They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew and had to send for extra chairs as Sue Bentham celebrated her birthday and Sale Folk Club was 9 Years Old and it was Halloween so starting off with a bang DON, HEATHER & PAUL got everyone singing with GALWAY GIRL. With the way paved BANJO JOHN and his BANJO PLAYING SKELETON took advantage and had us all finding our thrill on BLUEBERRY HILL before KATH & STAN sang BEAUTIFUL especially for Sue on her birthday. Going back to the first song he ever wrote ALLEN showed us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER in memory of escaping the grime and air pollution we had when he came to the city but undaunted BRIAN went back to plan with SEXY SUE, his parody of Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue. Also back to plan PAUL came up with LONG BLACK VEIL with reference to Halloween followed by PHIL who was at THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING before ED reminded Sue that her birthday was not the END OF THE LINE. This set off KAMRAN wondering what DIDDY WAH DIDDY means and we were all set wondering what was going on in the RABBIT HILLS as sung by PETE but no such doubt with HELEN who USED TO BE A SAILOR. Then to our surprise a world premier came into view with BEN’S own composition based on a friend’s poem THE SONG OF STRANDS which prompted CHRISTINE & WILF to go with Neil Diamond’s self analysis I AM, I SAID and ROBIN to go a cappella for the mysterious SHE WALKED THROUGH THE FAIR. Remembering children who were sent from the cities to the country in WWII CHRIS sang Ralph Mctell’s BARGES before it was Beatles time with IAN’S instrumental HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE followed by SIMON with JAMES who promised I WILL. Coming up to the break ANDY sang the lovely MY LADY’S A HIGH FLYING DOVE by Tom Paxton, PETER sang BLACK GIRL before JAMES sang CRAZY, a Sue favourite.

After the excellent interval Birthday Buffet kindly provided by Sue & Ed the bumper raffle saw Roselyn win the Bottle of Wine, Cath and Esther won Halloween Special Bottles of Beer, Joyce won the Mints and Allen won the Rock ‘n Roll performing Skeleton before KATH & STAN got us under way with TWO TUNES, Jack Robinson and Old Molly Oxford. Then in keeping PAUL became THE PHANTOM FOLK SINGER to which BRIAN retorted AIN’T THAT A SHAME and IAN played a great interpretation of I DON’T KNOW WHY. Goodness knows why this had KAMRAN shouting for ONE SCOTCH, ONE BOURBON, ONE BEER and BEN shooting off to LONDON TOWN but regardless SUE & LYN soon gave us a good CLOGGING to the ALL THE GOOD TIMES BAND. With the second half well underway PETE declared there is a STORM RISING and PETER was off to the ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY but PHIL was still swinging round the HAUNTED CAROUSEL while JESSIE sung by HELEN was still fantasising about the west coast of the USA. More to the point love was in the air as CHRISTINE & WILF sang THE ROSE and ROBIN declared YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL (Roger Whittaker) and ANDY sang IF I WERE A CARPENTER. Returning to his roots ALLEN explored THE WORKER’S SONG to which CHRIS replied I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT before SIMON with JAMES sang that great song SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS. Coming to a big finish JAMES started the climax with THAT’LL BE THE DAY followed by a Buddy Holly Medley which left DON & HEATHER to dedicate the last song, WHEN SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES, to Sue and Heather Kenyon to end a terrific night.  

Newsletter No 450 24 October 2017

The new pairing of KAMRAN and SIMON were greeted by a steady stream of old friends and they first responded with RICHLAND WOMEN BLUES by KAMRAN himself who invited KATH & STAN to bail us out with WATERBOUND before BRIAN took advantage of the moment with LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING followed by JO who sang the Union song JOE HILL. Next PETER set off on the IRISH ROVER and DON AND HEATHER were away with the WAYFARING STRANGER before JAMES turned to the Beatles for I'LL GET YOU IN THE END and PAUL set forth on a Bob Dylan odyssey with THINGS HAVE CHANGED. This prompted BEN to give us his own version of THE UNQUIET GRAVE and ROBIN to sing of unrequited love of JOCK O'HAZELDEAN which to ED was a case of HANGING ON HERE TO THE END before SIMON with James sang the NIGHTINGALE to end the first round. JO then seized the opportunity for HALLELUJAH which for BRIAN was a LONG TIME COMING as PETER went off to YARMOUTH TOWN. For PAUL no doubt THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' as he stayed on his feet to join FREE SPIRITS with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL as the interval was upon us.

In the raffle A Box of Teabags was won by Ken, A bottle of Red Wine went to Kath and the Box of Shortbreads was won by Kate before SIMON started the second half by confessing I CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME. Then down south STAN & KATH insisted SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY while ROBIN celebrated the SNOWS OF NEW YORK and BEN surprised us with his own I DIDN'T LIKE YOU VERY MUCH WHEN I MET YOU AND NOW I LIKE YOU LESS. Wow! To steady the ship ED went back in time for AL BOWLEY'S BLUES who certainly wasn’t the NOWHERE MAN sung by JAMES as SIMON spooned out the TUPELO HONEY. Once again PETER addressed a serious issue with DEPORTEES as did KAMRAN with the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES and KATH & STAN with the NIGHT VISITING SONG. This brought KATE to her feet with a Brian Bilston poem AMERICA IS A GUN so no wonder PAUL didn’t want to work on MAGGIE'S FARM and ED revealed his anti-war song about the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. Coming to climax BRIAN declared there’s NOTHIN' I LOVE as BEN turned to BOOGALOO JONES and DON & HEATHER had us all KILLING THE BLUES before we hit the street after a top night.

Newsletter No 449 17 October 2017

Optimistically, GRASSROOTS took a stroll through FIELDS OF GOLD before DON & HEATHER took to KILLING THE BLUES and PAUL provided the reason why with STORMY MONDAY which was probably the cause of the high quality if modest turnout. This prompted DJ DAVE to go back to the beginning of the human race with IT BEGAN IN THE BACK OF A CAVE by his friend Tom Snee and times were also tough with stormy and wild seas in ANN’S version of VAIR ME ORO VAN O. The dangers of flames were obvious in SIMON’s version of MOTH and also ever present to THE TRAWLERMAN sung by CHRIS as they are from THE THORN UPON THE ROSE sung by GRASSROOTS. Slipping into two at a time mode GRASSROOTS were all of a sudden HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE but DON & HEATHER decided they were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE before Ann prompted them with a request for their song FLOWERS ON THE WATER. At the double PAUL then took to the road with namesake for ROVE RILEY ROVE before shooting off with RAILROAD BILL which nicely set up CHRIS to tell about the HANDS OF JOSEPH before hinting that if you don’t play your cards right you won’t make OLD BONES. ANN further emphasised how tricky life is with the changes that have come about IN THE LAND THAT MADE ME, ME. Certainly SIMON agreed there was no such thing as EASY MONEY and in JOHN DOE No 24 it was clear that some people get a very raw deal. DJ DAVE supported that view by telling us Tom Snee encountered when I CAME INTO THE WORLD IN 1949 and it took a few funny one-liners to lighten us all up again before GRASSROOTS took us to a delayed interval courtesy of Cole Porter with I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU and Ewan McColl who told us SCHOOLDAYS OVER.

A bumper raffle saw Dave won a bottle of white wine, Ann won the Chocolates, Rosalyn won the Danny Collins DVD and immediately gave it to Janice who hadn't seen it and then the Christmas Pudding was won by Janice who immediately gave it to Rosalyn. Then after a few early departures because of the weather and the road works on the motorway DON & HEATHER started the second half with RARE OULD TIMES followed by THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and ANN treated us to THE TROUT before DAVE had us smiling at the artificiality of THE FASHIONISTA again by Tom Snee with a few more one-liners thrown in. SIMON then sang of DILLARD CHANDLER who was himself an Appalachian singer/songwriter before returning to base with ADIEU TO OLD ENGLAND. Summing up the weather perfectly CHRIS turned to Ralph McTell’s SUMMER LIGHTNING and the watery tale of THE MERMAID AND THE SEAGULL before PAUL was invited to close the proceedings by declaring I AIN’T GONNA BE TREATED THIS WAY and TROUBLE IN MIND which was a bit tongue in cheek at the end of a very pleasant evening.   

Newsletter No 448 10 October 2017

With the crowd gathering FREE SPIRITS were invited by ED & SUE to set the ball rolling by riding on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS as PHIL set sail on the SLOOP JOHN B but only PETER had sung AFTER RAIN by R. McTell. For SIMON & JAMES, however, PROPINQUITY was the in thing as JO proclaimed, YOU’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG, and DJ DAVE complained, I WOKE UP IN AN EMPTY BED courtesy of Tom Snee. KATH & STAN then turned to Bob Dylan for DINK’S SONG of a deserted woman to which PAUL replied TELL OLD BILL before ED sang Garth Brookes’ COWBOY SONG. With another Dylan JAMES claimed he was FOREVER YOUNG but ALLEN sang his own tribute to matrimony WILD EYED to which HELEN replied IT SUITS ME WELL. Then away for some fresh air ROBIN was along some COUNTRY ROADS before BRIAN filled the romantic spot with AS TIME GOES BY leaving CHARLIE & JONATHAN to go out INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN. Appropriately JO then sang AFTER THE GOLDRUSH before PHIL played a lovely SONATINA by GIULIANI. No wonder KATH & STAN likened it to FIDDLER’S GREEN but life was tougher with PETER sailing AROUND THE WILD CAPE HORN (R. McTell).

The big raffle saw Kate win the Bottle of Wine, James won the Mamma Mia DVD, Ken won the Box of Tea, Simon won the Body Lotion and Kate won the old One Pound Note before PETER KING unveiled his new song for his son, WORDS OF WISDOM. Declaring it to be a real folk song ED then sang about NANCY which gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which for PAUL was GOOD AS YOU’VE BEEN TO ME. Going a bit political DJ DAVE spoke of UKIP by Tom Snee which gave JAMES the BLUES with Paul Riley and made SIMON & JAMES to turn to the COOKSFERRY QUEEN but enough was enough for DON & HEATHER who were off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR. On the other hand HELEN complained IF TODAY WERE NOT AN ENDLESS HIGHWAY but ALLEN came back with his wife’s eulogy NEARLY SONNET 18 based on William Shakespeare epic only for BRIAN to return with WHY AM I TREATED SO BAD about the racial tension in the USA. Going toward a big finish PETER KING came back with FIRE AND RAIN, KATH & STAN sang about JOHN LOVER, and SIMON sang about JOHN HARDY just as JAMES was wakening to a TEQUILA SUNRISE. This left FREE SPIRITS to invoke Springsteen with a trip along THE ERIE CANAL as we sailed into the night.

Newsletter No 447 3 October 2017

Glad to be back DON & HEATHER were our hosts and in memory of their time in the Rockies they started off by going ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE while further south BANJO JOHN was chasing after SWEET GEORGIA BROWN as DJ DAVE was WAITING FOR LEN courtesy of Tom Snee. HELEN was next sniffing that MAGNOLIA WIND as PAUL promised all sorts on THE NEXT GO ROUND before Poet Dave gave us some snippets from Northern Ireland including THE LIGHT HEARTED MAIDENS and ALLEN sang about some rough and tumble involving ERIN GO BRAGH. Then Mr Romance himself, BRIAN, asked DON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE but for MARION the maiden was deserted JUST AS THE TIDE WAS FLOWING as SIMON dug deep for DILLARD CHANDLER by Dick Connette. Ending the first round CHARLIE & JONATHAN were on the TOES before DON, HEATHER & PAUL began again by riding on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and BANJO JOHN took the road to CHARLESTON. Still in the American Songbook BRIAN commented YOU MAY NOT BE AN ANGEL before DJ DAVE referred to A WILD CHILD by Tom Snee but undaunted HELEN continued looking for a SILVER LINING and CHARLIE & JONATHAN celebrated the life of the WICHITA LINEMAN.

The usual bumper raffle saw Paul win a Bottle of Wine, Allen win the DVD of Brassed Off, Jill win the Box of Tea, Helen win the Handwash and DVDs go home with Jonathan, Vic and Brian before PAUL took us all off on the THE OLD 97. With another of his own compositions ALLEN then asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU as another unfaithful bloke ran off from MARION in NO MY LOVE NOT I while for SIMON it  was all like some BIG DARK SEA and not so bright for JONATHAN & CHARLIE who were pleading HANG ME O HANG ME. Undaunted BRIAN stayed in the same vein with NEVERTHELESS as did DJ DAVE with SLATER STREET by Tom Snee and so did HELEN who asked DANCE A LITTLE CLOSER. With a little band up of Ann & Helen PAUL told us STEWBALL was a racehorse before ALLEN explained how PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE affected body image and SIMON what temptation can do in THE DEMON LOVER. Then MARION gave us the complex riddle of the HOLLAND HANDKERCHIEF before DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia with the DIAMANTINA DROVER and ALLEN remembered his grandfather on the ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE while SIMON took us back in time for PAYDAY by Mississippi John Hurt which left PAUL, HELEN & SIMON to lead in singing about that DIRTY OLD TOWN as we headed into the night after a very pleasant evening.


Newsletter No 446 26 September 2017

A very pleasant evening with PAUL RILEY & HEATHER KENYON in the chair and PAUL starting with WE’LL ALL HANG ON BEHIND to get everyone singing before PETE ROBERTS went all country with HURT well known when sung by Johnny Cash but in fact written by 9” nails. Sadly only a brief visit as he is now off to France. Then turning to verse D J DAVE examined our EXISTENCE courtesy of Tom Snee followed by a big welcome back for ARTHUR MARSHALL and plenty of audience participation with the ringing of bells at the appropriate point in FAT MEN ON MOUNTAIN BIKES. Then to the tune of Jacobites by Night ALLEN OGG sang THE DIGGER’S SONG from about 1890 whereas Big JOHN, returning after quite a while, declared ALL I HAVE TO IS DREAM and BEN sang his own WILLVERE pronounced Will V Air which left JO to tell us she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE to her own guitar accompaniment as she was returning from her holiday. Coincidentally SIMON was leaving this life on his VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING whereas ED was returning from France and thinking of CALEDONIA. Still in shanty mood PAUL then returned with BULLY IN THE ALLEY for us to join in with as PETE was off looking at SUNSETS but for ARTHUR it was definitely AFTER MIDNIGHT. For D J DAVE it was positively AUTUMNAL with another Tom Snee poem, very appropriate for the time of year, before JO told us P is for PADDY and ALLEN sang the 5Lst HIGHLAND DIVISION FAREWELL TO SICILY. Equally sad was Big JOHN’S rendition of THE GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND but ED quickly lightened us up with the zany JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO WITH THE FUNKY CONCERTINA.

The usual bumper raffle saw the Bottle of wine won by Al, the Heroes Chocolates won by Joan, the Box of PG Tips Tea won by Vic and the Bottle of Cask Beer taken home by Dave before BEN kicked off the second half with LILAC WINE and he was quickly joined by SIMON who was down IN THE PINES. In sentimental mood PETE was looking for SOMEONE LIKE YOU but quite unsentimentally ARTHUR brought the house down by celebrating GRANDFATHER’S FERRET to the tune of Grandfather’s Clock. As time was running out DJ DAVE used another Tm Snee poem to pose the question, WHY NOT BE A CELEBRITY, before ALLEN OGG wound up his GOLD WATCH and Big JOHN suggested we WALK RIGHT BACK. Next PAUL, SIMON & BEN had JESUS ON THE MAILINE while ED was off to LAKE CHARLES and BEN returned as that SOLDIER, SOLDIER. With a big finish looming SIMON was that ROVING GAMBLER while PETE sang his own MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES before ED had us in stitches with the BANTAM COCK which left ARTHUR in the driving seat with his tribute to the FLANAGAN'S APPLE pub before being joined by everyonefor the grand finale with FENCES. Magic!

Newsletter No 445 19 September 2017

Another sublime evening in the hands of KATH & STAN who started of chasing THE MAN IN THE MOON who BANJO JOHN thought may be over MANHATTEN but as BRIAN snag he always was THE GREAT PRETENDER. Even HILARY could see the funny side with a few of her JOKES as IAN made his own RAINBOW CONNECTIONS in a guitar instrumental but SIMON was eager to tell us about THE TRIMDEN GRANGE EXPLOSION. No wonder PAUL developed the GOOD MORNING BLUES and ANDY sang philosophically about a CHOCOLATE JESUS and DJ DAVE started a REVOLUTION with a poem by Tom Snee. Then it was thank goodness for RICHARD who announced THE HOUR WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN as KATH & STAN set off with the WAYFARING STRANGER before DJ DAVE reached for his own poem WD 40. Still looking on the bright side BANJO JOHN told us what will happen WHEN MY DREAMBOAT COMES HOME but for IAN it looked like it already had happened with JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT and it would also be very soon for PAUL as he went HOPPING DOWN IN KENT. Again HILARY gave us a burst of humour with some of her JOKES before ANDY went all heavy with CIRCLE OF STEEL by Gordon Lightfoot and Poet DAVE detected AN EVIL SMELL. Heading toward the interval BRIAN threatened to WALK AWAY and SIMON warned I THINK IT’S GONNA RAIN TODAY (Randy Newman) but RICHARD was more optimistic with his own WE MUST ALL KEEP ON GOING and BANJO JOHN said, even if it means SINGING IN THE RAIN.

The second half began with KATH & STAN bemoaning MONDAY MORNING but bright spark BRIAN was determined to be MISTER WONDERFUL and IAN said he was already HALF WAY HOME. As for PAUL he was thinking he could hear that K C MOAN but SIMON was thinking about BACHELOR’S HALL and DJ DAVE was had THE GREATEST TRAGEDY in mind. As for ANDY it was KATHY’S SONG from him next as RICHARD turned to his own FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD while BRIAN declared I DREAMED A DREAM. The Sting classic from IAN turned into FIELDS OF GOLD while SIMON had the WEARY BLUES as DJ DAVE turned up for THE INTERVIEW hoping, as ANDY sang, to be WONDERFUL TONIGHT. Preparing to hit the road after a pleasant evening RICHARD declared it will be LONESOME WHEN YOU GO as PAUL & SIMON were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and KATH & STAN gave us two tunes, HARVEST HOME AND TRUMPET HORNPIPE, as we stepped into the street with a smile on our faces.

Newsletter No 444 12 September 2017

After repeated warnings DON & HEATHER led into the Party Night suitably with the WILD ROVER and BRIAN followed suit with BABY’S GONNA KICK before PAUL very kindly said IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU. Our first poetic interlude then came from DJ DAVE with VIVE LA DIFFERENCE by Tom Snee as SIMON & JAMES stepped up with NIGHTINGALES and WILF decided to TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT one more time. Newcomer JOHN then told us THE CARNIVAL IS OVER which stimulated his Northern Ireland compatriot POET DAVE to shout for Larne’s twin light houses with his own THE LIGHTHEARTED MAIDEN. On the other hand JAMES, in tribute to Don Williams told us, I’M JUST A COUNTRY BOY, which prompted JONATHAN to tell us how important the HARVEST GYPSIES are (Boo Hewerdine) so GYPSY WOMAN from DON & HEATHER was no-brainer. Next PAUL came up with the history of how THE CUCKOO went from Norfolk to America to Ireland and back to Norfolk. Meanwhile BRIAN was busy KILLING THE BLUES and DJ DAVE was busy being a FLOATING VOTER (Tom Snee). Back to his music hall roots SIMON told of a crazy horse race in DOWN THE ROAD AWAY WENT POLLY while WILF went down the YELLOW RIVER and JOHN was huffing, puffing and BLOWING IN THE WIND. Coming up to Jackie’s Birthday Party Buffet POET DAVID gave us his take on Northern Ireland Politics with FROM MIS-STANCE and in the bigger picture JAMES wondered WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE before JONATHAN rounded off with THESE DAYS by Jackson Browne.

In a bumper raffle Joan Won the Red Wine, Dave won the Handwash, Kate won the Bag of Hyacinth Bulbs, James won the CD, Rosalyn won a DVD and Ken won the Full Monty DVD before DON & HEATHER took us off with the RAMBLING BOY before SIMON & JAMES sang and played an excellent version of SHE THINKS I STILL CARE. Heading toward an earlier finish in view of the big winds?? DJ DAVE gave us three quickies, SHUT UP AND GET LOST, DON’T LOOK BACK & WINTER, by Tom Snee and WILF was sinister with YOU’R CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT (Manic Street Preachers). Romantically BRIAN told us his TERMS OF MY SURRENDER and SIMON & JAMES explained SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS before JAMES attracted a big band up for his rocking version of KANSAS CITY to end a superb evening as we went out to find there was NO WIND so we all got home safely!! 

Newsletter No 443 5 September 2017

Another great night in Sale Folk Club with KAMRAN & PETE at the helm. Here is the running order since we are in transit from Spain, the full version will follow ASAP.
Round 1
PETE - TRACY'S SONG (written for his sister who was having a hard time)
DAVE - HE DID HIS BEST (Poem by Tom Snee)
ANDY - TALK TO ME OF MENDICINO (Kate & Anne McGarrigle)
SIMON (accompanied by JAMES) - OUT OF TOUCH (Lucinda Williams)


Round 2
ROBIN - BREAD AND FISHES (Blackmore Knight)

Raffle: Bottle of red - Ben; Biscuits - Vic; Chocolates - Andy; Necklace - Joyce; Music mug - Allen; Chocolate truffles - Gillian.


Second Half


Round 3



AUGUST - 2017

Newsletter No 443 29 August 2017

Another good night with, interestingly enough, the audience easily out numbering the performers who as you can see entertained us royally with great songs and stimulating lots of banter. GRASSROOTS opened up with TROUBLE IN THE FIELDS and KATH & STAN headed away in the distance with TEN THOUSAND MILES only to encounter ED and other MASTERS OF WAR. By the shoreline they found CHRIS and THE TRAWLERMAN and on the way SIMON was with a HIGHWAY PATROLMAN and SUE was with ELI THE BARROW BOY. Then it was time for HILARITY from HILARY with some of her funnies before IAN plugged in the toaster (Mini-Amp) for a masterly version of FIELDS OF GOLD which gave DJ DAVE time to give us some serious poetry, THE WHITE SHOE OF AUSCHWITZ, from Ted Snee which not surprisingly made HELEN feel RESTLESS TONIGHT. This brought PETE to his feet in OXFORD TOWN and JOHN to his feet as THE POP SINGER before BRIAN invited us DOWN AROUND MY PLACE and ANDY gave us a look IN MY SECRET LIFE. Completing the circle GEOFF gave us a trip to the capital city with SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY which led us nicely to the interval.

The second half saw GRASSROOTS happy SCHOOLDAYS OVER whereas KATH & STAN were more sombre in BLACKWATERS so luckily CHRIS was more upbeat with SUMMER LIGHTNING. In the same vein IAN was again in fine form with THE NEARNESS OF YOU as BRIAN bade ADIOS TO CALIFORNIA but SIMON could only remember the BAR ROOM GIRLS which made MICK propose a toast FOR A DANCER and ED to celebrate the lives of COOKIE AND LILA before GEOFF declared his intentions with HE’LL HAVE TO GO. Equally seriously DJ DAVE again turned to Ted Snee for two poems HERO and TIME PASSES as ANDY reminded us to look at BOTH SIDES NOW. In praise of the countryside SUE treated us to a SHADY GROVE before JOHN took us down some COUNTRY ROADS and KATH & STAN had us in the TRAIN ON THE MOUNTAIN. This left SIMON to get serious with SHORTY McKAY and ANDY to ask DID SHE MENTION MY NAME to which IAN recommended he TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS. Coming to fine conclusion ED took us back to basics with THE FLUSHERS before CHRIS appropriately lifted us up with JOSEPH’S HANDS to send us home on a high after a top night.  

Newsletter No 442 22 August 2017

As they came in droves BANJO JOHN opened the round with a romantic oldie THAT’S AMORE and KATH & STAN had a busy night ahead so they came on early with RIDER IN THE RAIN before HELEN sang and played guitar for a lovely MAGNOLIA WIND. Then, since they were away, PHIL dedicated his first song to Don & Heather, Al Stewart’s THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA before BRIAN treated us to an extremely high and beautiful song from Les Misérable’s BRING HIM HOME and JO sang by the BANKS OF THE OHIO. Coming swiftly to his feet ED next interrupted with a Bob Dylan number TO RAMONA and stayed on the floor to accompany KATH & STAN with the music for ALL THE GOOD TIMES whilst Sue and Lin clog danced THE WALTZ together. PETER then came KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR as John, newcomer Mike & Simon (previously Girth Wind and Fire) rapidly assembled to be announced as GIRTH, WIND & SPARE TYRE to perform LUCKY MAN by Greg Lake. Then it was thank goodness for HILARY who came up and told some hilarious jokes together with heckling from Ed and hysterical banter from the audience before JAMES brought us all back to reality with a 1950’s number made famous later by the Beatles, ‘TILL THERE WAS YOU followed by JONATHAN & CHARLIE who sang a familiar but difficult WICHITA LINEMAN in tribute to Glen Campbell. BEN then sang a very soft and unusual SEA SONG followed by PAUL with a song which must have been written especially for him, ROVE RILEY ROVE, finally RICHARD GRAY sang a wonderful BACK COUNTRY LANES to end the round. This left just time for BANJO JOHN to squeeze in another before leaving at the break, STUPID CUPID from 1958 so the majority of elderly audience were able to participate and GIRTH, WIND & FIRE were up again with two numbers this time, PARADISE and JAMBALAYA as JO rose to sing another and declare it pumpkin time before leaving at the break, FAIR AND TENDER LADIES.

There was a quick break and the longest raffle ever recorded! James had donated a prize and I think his entire CD collection, so we offered a choice of CD to each performer and the remainder went into the raffle. Eddie became weary as Kath and Stan kept winning with every ticket drawn and each time asked for it to be re-drawn. It was unbelievable! Anyway, it caused a good laugh. Finally, Brian won the set of ornamental candles. Kath & Stan won the French wine. Gill won the make-up bag. Joan won the bottle of Bucks Fizz. Helen & Andy won the Spectacles Case. Lots of others won CD’s including Alan Poole who rejected the last remaining Elvis and Sue loves her Buddy Holly one!


We continued with JAMES and another Dylan number, DON’T THINK TWICE as JONATHAN & CHARLIE came up with BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX and KATH & STAN kindly got up again to accompany LIN and SUE clogging THE OSWALDTWISTLE JIG to the tune of Winster Gallop. Still emotional BRIAN sang a Dr Hook song GONNA GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE and BEN sand the unusual POOR PADDY before PHIL turned to Steve Knightly for LONG DOG. Coming back one last time GIRTH, WIND & FIRE bade us SO LONG as they split leaving JOHN to solo SUPERMAN. Fortunately we had RICHARD to perform a deep, rich and super MR BOJANGLES before KATH & STAN joined forces to play a well-practiced at our house EL CONDOR PASA and after the complicated Pan Pipes of the Andes instrumental KATH & ED sang the chorus together. It was just like being in Peru! Moving north HELEN played guitar and sang LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME followed by PETER who was up with a funny joke and also sang HEY JOE as a prelude to HILARY who was up again for the usual heckling and banter and had everyone in stitches with her jokes. This nicely set up the finale with PAUL singing another Beatles song, CAN’T BUY ME LOVE as finally, SIMON & JAMES came back together to finish the evening with two brilliant numbers, SHIVER MI TIMBERS (Tom Waite) and then Dickey Lee & Steve Duffy’s, SHE THINKS I STILL CARE to end a magical evening.


Newsletter No 441 15 August 2017

A quieter but very pleasant evening was led off by PAUL with CORRINA, CORRINA followed by BANJO JOHN who gave tribute to Glen Campbell who was that RHINESTONE COWBOY which made JOHN STEADMAN turn to his own SONG, REBEL. Quite why but KAMRAN decided he was HURT whereas SIMON said I WANT TO SING THAT ROCK AND ROLL (Gillian Welsh) to which BRIAN retorted DAMN THAT TOWN which he pointed out was no reference to Sale. Next HILARY took us by storm with a DOWN WITH MEN – joke set which certainly applied to RED HEADED ANN as sung next by ED and quite possibly in the HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. as sung by ANN. For ROBIN it was like being BACK HOME AGAIN as BANJO JOHN tuned in with the ROCK AND ROLL WALTZ and JOHN STEADMAN sang in tribute to the BELLE OF BELFAST CITY as KAMRAN was recovering in ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY. Next SIMON briefly turned into DIAMOND JOE as BRIAN sang THROUGH THE MORNING, THROUGH THE NIGHT and ANN was down DARK AS A DUNGEON way down in the mine. Equally eerie ED related the story of the HUNTER OF DUNOON as HILARY tried to inject more HUMOUROUS STORIES in spite of ROBIN singing his LAST FAREWELL. Fortunately BANJO JOHN told us of some VERY NICE PEOPLE and MARION told us of JOHNNY MY OWN TRUE LOVE before PAUL took us to the interval with WHAT’S TE MATER WITH THE MILL?

Opening the second half KAMRAN swore I’LL NEVER GET TIRED OF YOU as BRIAN gave us his TERMS OF SURRENDER to which SIMON and JOHN STEADMAN said SO LONG. Still looking for a man MARION caught up with the GENTLEMAN SOLDIER and ED also gave her McALPINE’S FUSILIER’S to chose from while ANN offered THE PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while on the other hand ROBIN was dragging his wife round THE STREETS OF BALTIMORE. Coming back SIMON claimed, I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE, while PAUL was on the LONG JOURNEY HOME with a two dollar bill and BRIAN was on the TRAIN TO BIRMINGHAM. Finally it was agony aunt time as KAMRAN said SHE’S FUNNY THAT ONE and JOHN & PAUL teamed up to discuss DARCY FARROW leaving MARION to yearn for WHEN I WAS NOT BUT SWEET SIXTEEN and ED to plead TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT. How else to close the night but to turn to ROBIN with full chorus for THE MINGULAY BOAT SONG. Excellent!

Newsletter No 440 8 August 2017

A very pleasant evening was hosted by KATH & STAN who paradoxically started with THE LAST GOODBYE which made ALLEN think IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO but ROBIN got us back in line with THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Digging into the American songbook BANJO JOHN came up with SIDE BY SIDE as JO was off with the RAMBLING BOY and JOHN REED gave us one of his own, IN BLUE LIGHT. Then traditionally and in his own style BEN interpreted THE UNQUIET GRAVE which for SIMON brought out THE BEAST IN ME as PAUL turned to LITTLE MAGGIE. Next there was a big welcome back for PETE ROBERTS who sang an old favourite, ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY BLUES, just as ED was off with THE MORRIS DANCERS and JOHN STEEDMAN confessed IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE when you’re perfect in every way?? With an injection of pace KATH & STAN came back with WESTERDALE whereas JOHN REED sang another one of his own, CLOUDS, as did ALLEN who re-interpreted Shakespeare’s SONNET 18. With one of life’s truisms SIMON told us THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR which for JOHN STEEDMAN was THE LAST THING ON MY MIND while JO declared I’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER YOU as we hit the interval buffers.

The bumper Raffle saw Jo win the Wine and Stand, Simon win the after shave, Sue win the Picture Frame, David win the Place Mats, John Reed win a CD and Pete win a CD before PETE himself kick started the second half with a HEART OF GOLD and BEN was down in LONDON TOWN. Then a new combo saw PAUL with Simon and Ben sing the BROWN FERRY BLUES which prompted HILARY to play A FEW TUNES which gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. For ED, however, it was Les Barker’s MI HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ALLEN remembered JOSIE and JOHN REED turned to THE JUDGE who BEN could have done with in the DOWIE DENS OF YARROW. Then returning with his own great song was PETE with THE BEST IN ME as STAN & KATH took up the fiddle and whistle for the BEAR DANCE and HORSE’S BRAWL and ED turned to Keith Marsden for THE FUNERAL SONG. With a top notch evening coming to a close ROBIN put on the LONG BLACK VEIL and PAUL set off in the SLOOP JOHN B which prompted JOHN & SIMON to sing JAMBALAYA but for KATH & STAN it made them think of the SLEEPY DESERT and why not it was going home time.

Newsletter No 439 1 August 2017

Tuesday night came around again and Sale Folk Club was attended by an eclectic group of performers and listeners with JAN and MARK as our hosts. They started the evening with YE JACOBITES to arouse folk from their slumbers. BANJO JOHN followed with SANDMAN and PHIL took us to various holes in the ground with COUSIN JACK. Continuing with the industrial theme was CHRIS with FACTORY GIRL and DAVE C regaled us with a fine poem about the HUMBER BRIDGE. IAN was next with an instrumental he referred to as his WARM UP PIECE to get his fingers under control for later on followed by ALLEN with Donovan’s TO TRY FOR THE SUN and then MARION sang a traditional song ALONG WITH YOU I WILL GO. In bluesy mood PAUL then sang YOU GOTTA MOVE followed by ED with NO TIME TO CRY. SIMON & JAMES teamed up for YELLOW ROSES and ANDY brought the first round to its conclusion with FOUR STRONG WINDS. ALLEN started round two with a self penned song WILD EYED then JAMES gave us the Beatles’ THINGS SHE SAID TODAY and, in contrast, JAN sang Burns’ NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS. BANJO JOHN’s second contribution was SOME OF THESE DAYS with PHIL then giving us Dylan’s SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. MARK then played two traditional Irish tunes SONNY’S MAZURKA and THE CRICKET’S MARCH OVER HE SALT BOX and then PETER, who had not long arrived, sang a powerful rendition of CARRICKFERGUS. CHRIS was next with SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES and PAUL took us up to the interval with HARD TRAVELLING.

After the raffle which saw the Red Wine going to our serial winner, Martin, ED started proceedings with a robust view of the Criminal Justice System, HANG ’EM, FLOG ‘EM and FLAY ‘EM and ANDY followed with THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES. IAN’S fingers were now warmed up enough for him to produce a lovely rendition of CLARA’S THEME and Simon predicted, accurately as it turned out, I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY. MARK then took us North of the border to meet the GLASGOW CAT (it was requested by someone who shall remain nameless) before JAMES brought the evening back to normality with MY OLD FRIEND THE BLUES. PETER was next with the Ben Sands’ bitter sweet song COFFEE AND CHEESECAKE as PHIL was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE followed by ANDY with DESDERADO. IAN’S next delightful piece was DON’T KNOW WHY and JAN took us across yet another border with the Welsh coloured goat counting song CYFRI’R GEIFR (cheese from these animals should be avoided). SIMON, again in partnership with JAMES was having a BLUE, BLUE DAY followed by CHRIS with POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY. ALLEN was next with THE WORKER’S SONG by Dick Gaughan followed by another Donovan song from ED, the UNIVERSQAL SOLDIER. PAUL then had us all in shanty mood with a great rendition of HAUL AWAY JOE, complete with sail hauling actions, leaving MARK & JAN to round off an excellent evening of music, poetry and song with us all RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY for the door presumably. Magic!

JULY - 2017

Newsletter No 438 25 July 2017

A very enjoyable evening started with PAUL asking us to WALK RIGHT IN and PHIL providing us with a SPANISH MEDLEY. Without hesitation this sent BANJO JOHN way OVER TO THE GLORY LAND and DJ DAVE turned to Tom Snee to CLIMB INTO A RAINBOW which KATH & STAN thought was quite BEAUTIFUL. With a lesson in body images AL rued the PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE whereas ANN was clear in asking LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY which made JOHN REED come out with his own SMILE. Miles away in New Zealand DON & HEATHER bade FAREWELL TO THE GOLD before HILARY teased with a rhyme THE DENTIST and ROBIN took to the COUNTRY ROADS. Next BEN gave us his take on CRAZY MAN MICHAEL leaving MARIAN to sing LAKE OF COOLFIN (Irish folk song) and JAMES to tell us it was a GOOD YEAR FOR THE ROSES using his new jumbo guitar. No wonder Poet DAVE thought it was a WONDERFUL LAND as BANJO JOHN celebrated OLD MAN RIVER who PHIL considered a LUCKY MAN. On a more serious level KATH & STAN declared it AIN’T NO SWEET MAN and DJ DAVE presented another conundrum in BROTHERS OF A DIFFERENT MOTHER followed by GOOD MORNING both by Tom Snee. Coming to the break AL told the story behind MACPHERSON’S RANT and JOHN REED sang THE DROVER’S TRAIL from his Moorscape video leaving DON & HEATHER still in the southern hemisphere round the LITTLE POT STOVE.

The interval raffle saw Al win the Wine, Marian win the Chocolates, James win the Mug Set and DVD’s go to Martin, Ben, Jill and Dave before PAUL kicked off with YOUR CHEATING HEART followed by BEN with SOLDIER, SOLDIER and HILARY with some ONE LINERS. Next ANN went all serious with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN before MARIAN sang about BETSY THE SERVANT MAID both of which sent JAMES away HOMEWARD BOUND. Then late arrival RICHARD staggered in to borrow James’ new guitar for the BALLAD OF A THIN MAN as KATH & STAN recommended we KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE to which PHIL replied with entertainment or DIVERTISSEMENT – 3 French tunes so who knows how JOHN REED came up with THE MADNESS. With his first ever folk song composition AL told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER but BEN said IF YOU WANT TO BE LOVED to which JAMES replied SHE BELONGS TO ME (Dylan) as RICHARD set off for THE PROMISED LAND. He should have known he was in it as DON, HEATHER & PAUL set out with the RAMBLING BOY but soon took refuge in the RED ROSE CAFE leaving PAUL & RICHARD to band up with all the rest of the able bodied for WAGON WHEEL ending an excellent evening. 

Newsletter No 437 18 July 2017

Setting the scene for a lively evening PAUL kicked off with a JUG BAND song MOBILE LINE followed by KAMRAN with B-RAG and PHIL with ROOTS by Steve Knightley. Then coming out in support of the small country communities JAN sang HOMELAND by Dougie Maclean followed by CHRIS who certainly WASN’T EXPECTING THAT by Jamie Lawson as BEN went traditional with LONDON TOWN. Meanwhile ED was DOWN IN LOUISIANA while Poet DAVE declared THY WILL BE DONE by Tom Snee leaving MARK in search of a SUNNY AFTERNOON. More classically ANN confidently fished for THE TROUT and MIKE declared it a MAD WORLD only for DON, HEATHER & PAUL to band up for a trip ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. Again traditionally MARIAN sang POLLY OLIVER followed by the welcome visit of COLIN RUDD who sang IN THE MORNING (in two parts) and led the Sale Folk Club Choir in WHERE DO YOU GO TO MY LOVELY. Next CHRIS retuned with THE RUDIGER (Knopfler) and PAUL unveiled his own composition UKULELE BLUES IN C which gave KAMRAN the HESITATION BLUES and sent MARK & JAN away OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY. Heading to the interval ED gave some marriage guidance with PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE while Poet DAVE explained what might go wrong in some cases with WHICH WAY SHALL WE GO by Tom Snee even ending up with HOSPITAL FOOD (David Gray) sung by MIKE just before COLIN suggested we should RE-NATIONALISE THE RAILWAYS (Pete Morton).

The big raffle saw Dave win the Red Wine, Paul win the Tea Pot and Cup, Ed win the Room Perfume, Jackie win the Box of Biscuits, Heather win the DVD and Kamran win the De-Luxe Body Wash before MARIAN opened with CONSTANT LOVERS. No wonder PHIL felt he was LIVING BY NUMBERS as BEN looked into his LITTLE BLUE BOOK as ANN warned of the danger to boats on the Rhine with DI LORELEI. Similarly DON & HEATHER warned of the girls from where the BLARNEY ROSES grow and MIKE warned what can happen at TWILIGHT TIME leaving KAMRAN to comment, SO RELAX. Yet another warning dame from PHIL with his FOG ON THE TYNE and in their way MARK & JAN did the same with Darwin and evolution when they promised WE’LL HUNT HIM DOWN. Fortunately, CHRIS obviously WEATHERED THE STORM as BEN confessed his new lady friend was UNBEARABLE but all ended well as PAUL banded up with Chris, Ben, Don, Mark et al to ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG and DON & HEATHER recommended we should all STEAL AWAY after a top night of music, song, verse and good craic!

Newsletter No 436 11 July 2017

A smaller but perfectly formed group of individual were harnessed into action by GRASSROOTS as they WANDERED BY A BROOKSIDE followed by BANJO JOHN who was looking out for FANLIGHT FANNY but all PAUL RILEY could see was COLOURS as JO walked by in her LONG BLACK VEIL. Then for the first time DAVE C stood up to read THE HOUSE I NOW DWELL IN as newcomers SAM & TONY sang TEARS IN HEAVEN while AL went traditional with ERIN GO BRAGH which left KATH & STAN definitely WATERBOUND. Next MARIAN confessed THERE’S A HERB IN MY FATHER’S GARDEN before another newcomer MIKE brilliantly played and sang I REMEMBER WHEN, a good song, which prompted ED to reply, SILVER TONGUED DEVIL!! Then after a long time no see JAN sang HUMAN followed by HELEN who claimed it was RAINING ON SUNDAY as PETER visited THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN where JAMES got the COCAINE BLUES. Going solo JONATHAN was with the DOLPHINS as GRASSROOTS went on BRIGHTON BEACH and BANJO JOHN  confessed I GET THE BLUES WHEN IT RAINS. No wonder PAUL had TROUBLE IN MIND as JO met that WAYFARING STRANGER as we came to the interval.

After a bumper raffle SAM & TONY declared EVERYTHING I OWN and followed it with the 59th STREET BRIDGE SONG since they were feeling groovy. KATH & STAN on the other hand were off to the BAY OF BISCAY-O but still MIKE was ONE SAD COCKNEY LAD even though JAMES invited him to a GARDEN PARTY. This left Poet DAVE C to recite the poem CARIBBEAN CALICO AND HONEY and HELEN to play and sing I WISH IT WOULD RAIN and PETER to reflect on THE GRAND AFFAIRE. Then like a magician ED opened THE BOX as AL asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU before JAN sang about the CARIBBEAN QUEEN. Coming to the end of a great night MIKE sang BE WITH YOU which left GRASSROOTS to put the lid on it with WILLIE STEWART. Excellent!

Newsletter No 435 4 July 2017
A full house greeted DON & HEATHER on the 4the JULY AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY NIGHT as they set out on the WESTERN RANGE, the home of the cowboy, but BANJO JOHN was more at home in MANHATTEN and BRIAN what to look for IF YOU’RE EVER IN OKLAHOMA. But AL warned THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING and sometimes SUE & GEOFF want to say I’LL FLY AWAY as PHIL sat back with THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL (Larry Norman). Young WILL then debuted with an instrumental version of THE SHAPE OF YOU as ROBIN took off to the STREETS OF BALTIMORE leaving JO to ask WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE and BEN to enquire WHERE IS MY MIND. On a more cheery note PAUL told us THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND but for KATH & STAN it was at least 900 MILES away as HELEN turned to John Prine for MAKE ME AN ANGEL THAT FLIES FROM MONTGOMERY. Late comers JONATHAN & CHARLIE then announced that BLOOD’S TOO THICK but JO optimistically replied WE SHALL OVERCOME as SIMON told the gory tale of WILD BILL JONES. Meanwhile, JAMES was rocking down ROUTE 66 while BRIAN was gently doing the TENNESSEE WALTZ and PAUL wanted to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS. Any way up it was a DISASTER for ED and equally bad for BANJO JOHN who had the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES as we hit the CHIPS AND BUTTIES BREAK.

In the big raffle Vic won the wine, Alan won the Budweiser, Andy won the Chocolates, Simon won the Biscuits, Paul won the Cookies and Brian, Will and Sue won DVDs before the second half started on a serious note with AL and THE WAR DRAGS ON but GEOFF claimed ROY ROGERS IS RIDING TONIGHT as BEN went in search of ISIS and ROBIN was meeting a woman in DENVER. Next ANN had a banjo on her knee in OH SUSANNAH but it was HEAVEN’S A BAR for KATH & STAN as PHIL was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE. No wonder SIMON & JAMES were off to JACKSON as SUE & GEOFF demanded PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN but ED was on another plane with BOB DYLAN’S DREAM. For HELEN she had NOTHING BUT TIME (Tom Paxton) but JAMES was off to KANSAS CITY while DON & HEATHER gave a nod to the girl who DANCES FOR DOLLARS before ED, PAUL, DON & HEATHER and the REST  banded up for a rousing version of ALL THE GOOD TIMES to end a mega good night.


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