Newsletter No 552 26 November 2019

They filled up nearly every pew as DON & HEATHER welcomed NO HOPERS, JOKERS & ROGUES before ALLEN got down to business with a hanging in MACPHERSON’S RANT and we extended an even bigger welcome to old friends JIM & LYN and SPANISH LADY. Next PETE ROBERTS announced he was LEAVING LONDON just as KATH & STAN were off to the HORNCASTLE FAIR which left HELEN to declare I DUG UP A DIAMOND just before HILARY commented on THE FUNNY SIDE OF MARRIAGE which made CHRIS think of BRIDGES by Ralph McTELL. Following a Safari holiday in Kenya HEATHER then came up with ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AFRICA, a parody by Les Barker, followed by PAUL McD with GIRL’S TALK and MIKE with the BRICKLAYER’S LAMENT. Next ANN was that SWEET NIGHTINGALE before JAMES sang EVERY NIGHT off PAUL McCARTNEY’s first solo album and SIMON joined him as THE TICK TACK MAN. From ED came a serious comment on how we treat our soldiers after war with AL BOWLY’S IN HEAVEN AND I’M IN LIMBO NOW and TONY agreed IT’S JUST ANOTHER DAY before CHRIS sang NANA’S SONG also by R. McTELL. Coming up to the interval PAUL McD pleaded HANDLE ME WITH CARE but JIM & LYN were off with THE WILD COLONIAL BOY and ALLEN related a bit of contumely in ERIN GO BRAGH.
The Raffle saw Heather win the Quality Street, Ann win the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen win the Ladies Leather Gloves and Jackie win the Couch Organiser before KATH & STAN opened up with two tunes, THE WATER OF TYNE & SIR JOHN FENWICK followed by HELEN who said, IF THIS IS GOODBYE. Fortunately, HILARY had some MORE MARRIAGE JOKES and PETER had NO REGRETS as ANN went fishing for THE TROUT. Next there was nothing funny in MIKE’s PART WORN TYRES but for TONY it was all WONDERFUL TONIGHT as JAMES came out with BUCKETS OF RAIN and SIMON asked, WHY DON’T YOU TRY ME TONIGHT. Joyfully ED was then out ALONG THE VERDIGRIS before DON & HEATHER were experiencing the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and JIM & LYN were all at sea on the IRISH ROVER. Rising to a climax CHRIS asked, MAY YOU NEVER and PAUL McD questioned, WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW to which JAMES answered, EVERYDAY. Sadly SIMON was DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS again but KATH & STAN were off to OWENSBORO before DON & HEATHER invited us to lay down the borrowed guitar and sing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD as we went homeward. A top night,

Newsletter No 551 19 November 2019

Possibly due to a clash with a certain must see TV debate the number of performers was reduced but the quality was not diluted as performers were invited to give us TWO items repertoires with MARK & JAN paradoxically starting off with THE END OF THE LINE followed by PETE ROBERTS with HEART LIKE A WHEEL and NORTH COUNTRY MAID before welcome visitor IAN WHITE rosined up his bow and gave us THE BOAT TO INVERAY, MAIRI’S WEDDING and an IRISH AIR. Rising to the challenge ROB WHITE then launched into SOUTH AUSTRALIA followed by the demise of THE ALABAMA. Next HILARY regaled us with her jokes about marriage before ANDY sang about HEART OF A SATURDAY NIGHT and IN BETWEEN LOVE before PETE MINERS gave us some of his WORD PLAY to many groans & giggles. This brought back JAN at the DIMMING OF THE DAY and MARK saying it’s a DIRTY OLD TOWN, With a quick turn round ANDY was a DESPERADO who took Kate Wolf’s THESE TIMES WE’RE LIVING IN to heart and PETE replied with OXFORD TOWN followed by RABBIT HILLS. Then MAGGIE IN THE WOOD & EGAN’S POLKA were played by IAN WHITE before ROB WHITE borrowed a guitar and sang WHIP JAMBOREE and then gave us a lesson in life with THE GAMBLER to which PETE MINERS added more WORD PLAY to savour taking us to the interval.

The interval raffle saw Kate win the wine, Pete win the tea & Andy win the hand wash which he said could be his birthday present for tomorrow nicely teed up JAN to tell us what she would do IF I HAD A HAMMER to which ANDY responded LOVE IS OUR CROSS TO BEAR, Then, his memory returned, PETE did a short reprise of RABBIT HILLS and then his own composition THE BEST OF ME before finally IAN laid down his fiddle and borrowed Mark’s guitar to sing about NEW YORK GIRLS. Building to a climax HILARY returned with more ONE-LINERS and ROB borrowed a guitar to tell us IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU and PETE MINERS gave us more PUNS before MARK & JAN ended a fine evening by washing their hands in MUDDY WATERS followed by a traditional favourite WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Magic!

Newsletter No 550 12 November 2019

Another bumper night with KAMRAN & PETE who started off with-MENDICINO followed by KATH & STAN with a WAYFARING STRANGER and PETER BRIDGE with ENGLAND 1914 (McTell). Continuing the Armistice Day theme ANN sang NO MAN’S LAND (Celtic Thunder) whereas ALLEN decided TO TRY FOR THE SUN and HELEN got rid of the TEXAS BLUES. Next MATT admitted I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD, with KAM backing him up, but ROD just retorted TAKE IT EASY as PAUL McD insouciantly sang I RECALL A GYPSY WOMAN. Even HILARY saw the funny side with SOME TIM VINE JOKES but KAMRAN had those DEEP ELLUM BLUES and JAMES announced he was the NOWHERE MAN and with SIMON as RACING DEMON reckoned THERE’S A HEARTACHE FOLLOWING ME. Returning after many moons DAVE CINNAMOND gave us A POEM BASED ON A DONOVAN SONG & one known as THE BOX. As all these performers rolled in it was no wonder ED exclaimed I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER WHERE I’M BOUND before RICHARD brought us up sharp with HARD RAIN and PAUL RILEY had us singing JAMBALAYA. Coming to the interval ARTHUR MARSHALL reminded us of the seasons with AUTUMN LEAVES before KATHY & PETE went traditional for WILLIE McBRIDE and CARL turned to favourite Jez Lowe for YOU WON’T MAKE OLD BONES.
The interval raffle saw the Red Wine won by Gillian, the Soap won by Simon and the Big Box of Tea suitably won by tea drinker KAMRAN before KATH & STAN went down to WESTERDALE. Going back in time ANN was next at the WIDECOMBE FAIR before ALLEN saluted the veterans in FAREWELL TO SICILY leaving MATT to sing the anti-war MY SON JOHN before PAUL R was undaunted with his WWII SONG MEDLEY. Fortunately HILARY was around to lighten the mood with SOME JOKES and PETER diverted attention going AROUND THE WILD CAPE HORN to which JAMES replied THINGS HAVE CHANGED and with SIMON as RACING DEMON mused SINCE I MET YOU BABY (Ivory Joe Hunter). Hopefully HELEN claimed PEACE WILL COME to which PAUL McD blurted out DARLING and returner ROD pleaded DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD. Coming to a climax KAMRAN was seriously HURT, while KATHY & PETE were BOUND TO GO SAILING and CARL was a PIPER TILL THE END and ED celebrated ERNIE, THE FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY DRIVER IN THE WEST before RICHARD paid his last respects to the LAST GREAT WAR to close another remembrance themed night. Finally, with Don & Heather in Kenya, KAMRAN was going to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight but reckoned his trousers weren’t a tight enough fit for the high notes. A top night of great talent.

Newsletter No 549 5 November 2019

A fairly full house with lots of performers, some old and some new greeted KATH & STAN who paradoxically started with THE LAST GOODBYE. Then PAUL McD picked up the pace with LUKA (Suzzane Vega) whereas ERIC relaxed with ALE IS PHYSIC FOR ME before PHIL went political with LICENSED TO STEAL which left HEATHER looking for her OCCASIONAL TABLE which sometimes was a chair. Together DON & HEATHER were metaphorically KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER AND DYING OF THIRST while PAUL RILEY had TROUBLE IN MIND before JAN sang a beautiful Welsh song, BUGEILIO’R GWENITH GWYN, the sad unrequited love story of Ann who belonged to a wealthy farming family and Wil who was only a farm labourer and rejected by her family. Fortunately, MARK struggled to overcome his current handicap of only three good fingers after damaging his left hand to cheer us up with DIRTY OLD TOWN before ARTHUR brought some parliamentary reality with his own HERE’S TO OLD GUY FAWKES. Next PETE was a welcome sight on his return from France and sung IF NOT FOR YOU followed by HILARY with THE BUNNY POEM & LIKE YOU OULD from Pam Ayres before ALLEN took us down his ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE. A word of advice next from ED with THE GAMBLER before CHRIS gave us a touch of reality in I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT before STAN introduced his new violin with KATH and her concertina for two tunes PRINCESS ROYAL & PRINCE WILLIAM. Continuing the eclectic mixture PAUL McD gave us a great version of THE WEIGHT before ERIC was very traditional with LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM while PHIL sang Al Stewart’s most requested song about Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ROADS TO MOSCOW. Coming to the break DON & HEATHER gave a nod to the coming Armistice Day with Alan Brydon’s CALLING DOON THE LINE before PAUL RILEY had us SING MY BLUES AWAY.
The bumper raffle saw the Bottle of Red Wine won by Helen; the Big Box of Biscuits won by Sue and the Big Christmas Pudding won by Margaret before MARK & JAN told us YOU AIN’T GOING NOWHERE and ARTHUR gave us a more peacefully minded angle in his own ARMISTICE DAY. Continuing the swings in mood PETE announced SHE BELONGS TO ME before HILARY lightened the mood with OH NO I GOT A COLD & THE CURLER’S POEM by Pam Ayres and ALLEN told us how THE WAR DRAGS ON. Next ED was caught TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM (not poaching) while CHRIS thought IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS and for KATH & STAN it was a case of JOHN LOVER is dead. In fine form PAUL McD had us CRYING IN THE RAIN and then ERIC had us laughing at THE LOBSTER MAN before PHIL downed the mood with THE COLD HEART OF ENGLAND. Finally the end was in sight as DON & HEATHER sang their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and PAUL RILEY requested MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR before JAN & MARK took us OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY leaving ALLEN to look toward retirement and the GOLD WATCH BLUES. A truly eclectic night of folk music, song and humour. Magic!