Newsletter No 563 25 February 2020

A gradely turnout was welcomed by host MARK & JAN who immediately looked at BOTH SIDES NOW as PAUL RILEY took off on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and KATH & STAN sauntered down the GOODNIGHT LOVIN’ TRAIL. More harshly ALLEN took us back to WWll his ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE before JOHN REED reminded us his PEACE was the objective. Bringing us back to earth JANET made her own welcome return with MORLEY MAIN followed by CARL with THANKS FOR THE DAY and PETER BRIDGE with Woody Guthrie’s GREAT GRAND COOLEY DAM. Luckily we had HILARY on hand with SOME OF TIM VINES JOKES and HEATHER with Les Barker’s DEJA VU to lighten the mood before DON & HEATHER took us ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. With one of his own PETE ROBERTS celebrated a SUNSET, SAY GOODNIGHT and PAUL McD sang I HOPE YOU HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE before PETE MINERS with PARTNER JOKES. Then MARK & JAN regained everyone’s attention with HUSH about the Scottish Clearances while KATH & STAN reminded of a big issue nearer to us with WATERBOUND and CARL reminded us of the role of the miners with BLACK DIAMONDS. On a lighter note PETER BRIDGE asked WON’T YOU COME DOWN TO YARMOUTH TOWN before a trilogy of Singer Songwriters ALLEN sang his own IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO and JOHN REED sang his MONTEVIDEO and DON & HEATHER sang their SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
During the break the interval Raffle saw Lin win a bottle of red wine, Margaret win a box of Biscuits, Kate win the ready-made Pancakes, Carl win the Easter Egg and Hilary win the Hand Wash before PETE ROBERTS admitted he had TAKEN THE LAST TRAIN AND GONE while more immediately JANET related the personal experience of A FARMER’S PLIGHT about a Foot and Mouth outbreak. Again PETE MINERS amused us with MORE PARTNER JOKES before PAUL McD tried to hold on TILL I GAIN CONTROL AGAIN and PAUL RILEY gave us HAUL AWAY by Mark Knoppler before we ran into a songfest. First JAN sang the VERDANT sang BRAES OF SCREEN, ALLEN declared I’M GOING TO FOLLOW THE SUN and JOHN REED swore SOME DAY WE’LL RETURN HERE. Next PETER BRIDGE admitted THE PARTY’S OVER and KATH & STAN greeted the BANJO PICKING GIRL with I’LL FLY AWAY before JANET’s HOUSEWIFE’S LAMENT. Then MARK told us DON’T THINK TWICE before PETE ROBERTS sang the GOING HOME BLUES and PAUL McD gave us a nice version of the Beatles’ GIRL. Headed to a big finish PAUL RILEY led the SLOOP JOHN B and CARL wished a HEALTH TO THE COMPANY before DON & HEATHER took us to the RED ROSE CAFE which left MARK & JAN to send us home to the sound of a SQUEEZEBOX. A top night!

Newsletter No 562 18 February 2020

A super friendly group shipped up to Sale Folk Club last night and despite Hurricane Harry and Rainy Ruth or whatever a great night was kicked off by PAUL McD with YOU ARE NOT ALONE followed by MARK who went down to SAMMY’S BAR followed by ALLEN who sang his own NEARLY SONNET 18 (Shakespeare). Then HELEN went for LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME before PETE ROBERTS gave us Michael Chapman’s take on it in RABBIT HILLS. Next HEATHER gave us a humorous view of how life can be unfair with SPOT OF THE ANTARTIC (Les Barker) followed by DON & HEATHER and their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and by ANDY with the introspective THESE DAYS by Jackson Browne. Thankfully HILARY got us smiling again with some of her ONE-LINERS and PAUL RILEY had us all singing with BIRMINGHAM. Next MARK showed us how his finger is recovering by playing ALBATROSS before leaving ALLEN to sing his own WHAT’S IT TO YOU and PETE to sing his own STORM RISING to which HELEN summed up our feelings with IT SUITS ME WELL. Coming up to the break DON & HEATHER described their feelings at the DIMMING OF THE DAY before ANDY touched on PERSUASION and PAUL R sang the evergreen CARELESS LOVE.

In the interval the raffle king Andy returned to take the Big Tin of Chocolates, and immediately shared them round, Helen won the Red Wine; Jackie won the Bunch of Roses leaving Lin to take home the CD. PAUL McD then started the second half with GARDEN PARTY by old favourite Ricky Nelson. This prompted a few more ONE-LINERS from HILARY and made MARK think of the DIRTY OLD TOWN down the road and sent ALLEN all WILD EYED. In sympathy HELEN suggested PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES and PETE suggested we go DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL whereas DON & HEATHER headed down south with WAGON WHEEL. Unusually ANDY sang I HOPE I DON’T FALL IN LOVE YOU but more forthright PAUL had STAGGER LEE shoot Billy leaving PAUL McD to take THE WEIGHT. As far as MARK was concerned there was A BAD MOON RISING and someone was going to pay in McPHERSON’S RANT from ALLEN leaving HELEN to observe that the BLUES RUN THE GAME. Coming to a climax DON & HEATHER just wanted to STEAL AWAY and ANDY had the EMPTY POCKET BLUES before PAUL R announced that when God tells you YOU GOTTA MOVE. An action packed night.

Newsletter No 561 11 February 2020

The windy weather did us a favour and blew a good number of the hardy annuals with PAUL inviting them all to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE and HEATHER introducing them to COSMO THE FAIRLY ACCURATE KNIFE THROWER (Les Barker). Being so close to Valentine’s Day DON & HEATHER sang their own love song I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY before HILARY turned romance completely on its head with her excellent ONE-LINERS and finally PETE ROBERTS sang Dylan’s classic song of unrequited love, BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. Next PETE MINERS gave us some thought provoking WORD PLAY before ED told the tragic story of the good ship ROYAL CHARTER and KATH & STAN cheered us with the NEW YORK GIRLS. To end the round TONY, on only his second visit, told us of his ambition to walk the Pennine Way singing songs with his concertina and then he gave us a sample with WHERE RAVENS FEED. Continuing the Valentine’s theme PAUL was WILD ABOUT MY LOVING and HEATHER explained why DACHSHUNDS can’t climb stairs before migrating with DON to SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Then back came HILARY with more hilarious ONE-LINERS about marriage that had PETE ROBERTS pleading we should TAKE IT EASY. This led to ED turning to a comic song, THE HERMIT, and TONY giving us another WALKING SONG. The final round was started by PETE MINERS with more TWISTED WORD PLAY with KATH & STAN finding themselves WATERBOUND like many in the north having the reality. PAUL then gave us SPENCER THE ROVER specially for Tony and PETE ROBERTS remembered WOODSTOCK before DON & HEATHER responded to Hilary’s request for GALWAY SHAWL. Reaching a climax ED had us GOING UP TO LONDON and TONY instructed DANCE, DANCE before ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL announced that ALL THE GOOD TIMES were o’er but they had been great!

Newsletter No 560 4 February 2020 

HEATHER & DON’S joint birthday bash brought in a decent crowd as GRASSROOTS appropriately sang STRONGER before they were quickly joined by the celebrants with FAREWELL TO THE GOLD. Then EDDIE remembered a sad event with EVERY DAY for Buddy Holly followed by PAUL RILEY at the BELFAST MILL and KATH & STAN on the road to OWENSBORO. Next PETE turned up with his FRIENDS as ALLEN confessed MY LOVE’S IN GERMANY and ED told us AL BOWLY’S IN TOWN but he was in limbo now. CLAIRE was then frozen by JACK FROST but things warmed up with MIKE’S sweet BONNIE SUSIE CLELAND and over-heated with HILARY’S hilarious ONE-LINERS. No wonder PETER BRIDGE went for a TEQUILA SUNSET before GRASSROOTS with Mick’s song, ELIZABETH IS SINGING, remembered his experience of Soweto. KATH & STAN next played two tunes THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH before Simon & James transformed into RACING DEMON for GREENVILLE to which EDDIE responded THAT’LL BE THE DAY. Rising in a crescendo JAMES pronounced I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD which saw PETE back in ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY and ED encountering DISASTER.
In the Interval there was a super Chips and Butties Buffet and Bumper Raffle in which Peter Bridge won the Wine, Ken won the Chocolates and Barry won the Ladies’ Scarf and immediately gave it to Janice. The second half was started by PETER BRIDGE who asked, CORRINA WHAT MAKES YOU TREAT ME SO before PAUL R sang his own YOU MEAN MORE THAN ANYTHING TO ME before CLAIRE played the tune, PARTING OF FRIENDS. With his own song ALLEN sang IT’S A SHAME which left MIKE was gazing at LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS (Beatles). On the other hand HEATHER was struggling with Les Barker’s BOOMERANG and remembering a trip to New Zealand DON & HEATHER celebrated the LITTLE POT STOVE on the whaling ships before RACING DEMON raised the tempo with YOUR CHEATING HEART. Next JAMES was sad with FOR NO ONE by the Beatles before finally sending us home happy with HILARY’S ad lib ONE-LINERS and GRASSROOTS finished the night on a high with HE THINKS HE’LL KEEP HER by Mary Chapin Carpenter. First class!


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