Newsletter No 494 25 September 2018

A top quality evening was opened by hosts GRASSROOTS with a new song SAILING BY followed by ALLEN with the traditional NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS and PHIL with Steve Knightley’s POPPY DAY. With an American tune adopted by the Irish PAUL then took us to BELFAST MILL followed by PETE ROBERTS with his own TRACY’S SONG and DON & HEATHER with their own I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. For HELEN, however, the BLUES RUN THE GAME and for ED it’s all down to the MASTERS OF WAR so no wonder JAMES reckoned there AIN’T NO PLEASIN’ YOU. For PETE the King reckoned you can’t FOOL THE GIRLS as CHARLIE & JONATHAN arrived late with BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX and GRASSROOTS fell in love with THE RHYTHM OF GUITARS. Confrontationally ALLEN asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU but more peacefully PETE ROBERTS sang ST PAUL’S SONG and PAUL sang THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD, however, all was not well with PHIL who had some FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. What you need is the HAIR OF THE DOG returned ED as DON, HEATHER & PAUL set off down the USA with WAGON WHEEL and HELEN took us to the break with there’s a GHOST IN THIS HOUSE.
The interval raffles saw our Digital Demon Chris win the Box of Tea, Allen win the Bottle of Wine and Petes the King win the Box of Chocolates and promptly hand them round before GRASSROOTS opened the second half appropriately with IF YOU CO ULD READ MY MIND. Thus energised JAMES gave us a bluesy KANSAS CITY before PETE the King sang his own PUT THE BONNY BACK IN THE BOX and ALLEN inducted another folk song into his repertoire with WILD ROVER. Sometimes said PETE ROBERTS there can be ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS but any way up we all need ED and THE FLUSHERS even with PHIL who was in the PALACE OF VERSAILLES where for HELEN there are PASTURES OF PLENTY. Coming to the climax of an excellent night PAUL told us THE SINGING WILL NEVER END as DON & HEATHER sang their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and JAMES sent us all off HOMEWARD BOUND with a bounce in our step. Magic!

Newsletter No 493 18 September 2018

A relatively small but highly talented group of performers greeted KATH & STAN who quickly extracted themselves from being WATERBOUND to which PAUL McD replied I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND and PAUL RILEY sang YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE before IAN played THE WAY WE WERE. No wonder ANDY went to a higher power GOD ANSWERS BACK and HELEN went all philosophical by telling us THE BLUES RUN THE GAME leaving KATH & STAN to reply with two tunes, BUTTERED PEAS & WINSTER GALLOP. Introducing even more class JONATHAN turned to Nic Jones for MASTER KILBY as PAUL RILEY went to the Mr Dylan who said DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT as PAUL McD & ANDY came together for the first time for FOUR STRONG WINDS. Instrumentally for IAN it was a case of SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES as HELEN was seeking THE MARVELLOUS TOY but for JONATHAN it was all about love with Nick Drake’s TIME HAS TOLD ME. Next for KATH & STAN there is nothing worse than MONDAY MORNING but there was worse as PAUL RILEY related the story of GEORDIE. No wonder PAUL McD sang TAKE IT EASY but ANDY took us to DEVONSIDE and another strange love story before IAN went plain romantic with MOON RIVER. Hard and romantic it was too with HELEN who sang about Jan the gypsy in whom IT SUITS ME WELL before JONATHAN took us to the break on the back of DOLPHINS by Fred Neil.
In the interval raffle Michael won the Bottle of Wine, Joan won the Box of Chocolates and Linda won the Bag of Bulbs before KATH & STAN posed the question, WHAT’LL WE DO WITH THE BABY? No wonder PAUL McD exclaimed SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING and JONATHAN turned to Bruce Springsteen for the PROMISED LAND before ANDY advised FOLLOW YOUR ARROW and ignore all the naysayers. Quite simply PAUL RILEY then asked has ANYONE SEEN MY GAL to which HELEN replied she must have had an URGE FOR GOING and IAN responded hope she AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’. This made PAUL McD think of LET IT BE ME and JONATHAN came up with THESE DAYS and ANDY couldn’t resist ONE MORE TIME and KATH & STAN sang us DINK’S SONG. Then from the smallest of groups came the biggest finish as IAN played as we sang GEORGIA followed by HELEN singing FAITH’S SONG and PAUL McD confessing I WANNA GET LOST IN YOUR ROCK ‘n ROLL before PAUL RILEY got us all back on the straight and narrow with a fine GOSPEL MEDLEY so we left on a high! Top drawer!!

Newsletter No 492 11 September 2018

Slow in starting but the flood gates soon opened not long after PETE started to sing GOODBYE TO THE OLD followed by PAUL RILEY with CORRINA, CORRINA and IAN with a nice instrumental version of IF by David Gates before BRIAN razzed it all up with BROWN-EYED HANDSOME MAN, Chuck Berry in the style of Tony Joe White. Must request that again! Keeping the ball rolling PETE then threw in SOME TWO-WORD SWAPS before PAUL McD went all Tchaikovsky with JOHN O’DREAMS and ANDY sang LA CIENGA by Ryan Adams. For JOSH it was then a case of THE STORM RAGES ON but for KAMRAN it was plainly THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE before it was a big welcome back for HILARY who gave us some of her very funny ONE-LINERS. Next up were RACING DEMON aka SIMON & PAUL with FOOTSTEPS FALL which left JAMES on the stand to declare I’M ONLY SLEEPING (Beatles) followed by newcomer NICK who posed us THE RIDDLE (Nick Kershaw). All ways round this set up JONATHAN & CHARLIE for WILD WORLD and BEN for SNACK ATTACK (for his father-in-law who just had a jaw operation) and ARTHUR with THE TREE STILL FALLS to take us crashing into the Interval Break.

The Raffle saw the Bottle of Wine won by Brian, The Box of Chocolates won by Jackie, the Daffodil Bulbs won by Paul McD and the 1940s CD donated by Dianne won by Hilary and gifted to Kamran, thanks Hilary, before PETE took us all off to WOODSTOCK. Latecomer RICHARD then slipped in with EVERY GRAIN OF SAND before CHARLIE & JONATHAN conjectured BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX (Glen Campbell). In the same vein PAUL RILEY was on that MOBILE LINE just as ANDY teased us with NEXT TIME, THIS TIME before BRIAN took us to the DARK END OF THE STREET. In relief JOSH (et al) banded up for WAGON WHEEL before IAN went into those FIELDS OF GOLD and HILARY wheeled out some more of her ONE-LINERS and PAUL McD rather pointedly asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? On a serious note BEN sang THE MANCHESTER TREES, about the anniversary of the arena bombing, NICK came back with TAKE ON ME and KAMRAN had the CHUMP MAN BLUES before RACING DEMON sang SINCE I MET YOU, BABY. Left alone JAMES then came up with UNKNOWN LEGEND by Neil Young as ARTHUR returned with his song of the week EVERYBODY’S BROKE BUT BORIS and RICHARD sang of the MAN IN THE LONG BLACK COAT. This nicely set up a big finish with BEN off with the NEW YORK GIRLS, newcomer NICK going off THROUGH THE BARRICADES with Spandau Ballet, JOSH going off RIDING MY THUMB TO MEXICO and PAUL McD asking us to SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME before getting off UNDER THE BOARDWALK to end a craicing evening of music, songs and loads of banter. Magic!!

Newsletter No 491 4 September 2018

With a fairly full house PAUL RILEY got us all aboard the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and KATH & STAN took us away TEN THOUSAND MILES before CHRIS declared his CRAZY LOVE. For JAN it was a case of EVERYTIME YOU SAY GOODBYE just as PAUL McD declared I’M A FOOL TO DO YOUR DIRTY WORK and PETER BRIDGE came out with some WORD SWAPS. Then, back after a while, JOHN REED came up with one of his own HONEST JOHN after which poet OLIVER took us to the GRAND MALL HOTEL AT THE SAVOY FOR RICHARD HARRIS. Somewhat further away MARK had us in SAMMY’S BAR and PETE ROBERTS transported us to OXFORD TOWN with Bob Dylan. For BRIAN it was all a bit SOMEWHERE BETWEEN and ROGER sang about the FORTUNATE ONE which contrasted sharply with JONATHAN & CHARLIE who requested, HANG ME OH HANG ME just as SIMON & JAMES came on with L. Cohen paying his rent to the TOWER OF SONG. On the other hand JAMES told us I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE and for CARL it was a case of FURTHER before ANN sang about the temptation of LORELEI. Coming up to the break after a storming first half PAUL had the OLD WALKING BLUES while KATH & STAN reckoned WE COULD FLY as sadly CHRIS had the BREWER’S DROOP.

In the interval raffle Rosalie won the Bottle of Wine, Margaret won the Plant, Ann won the Box of Maltesers and CDs won by Jackie, Roger and Brian before PAUL McD declared I NEED YOU NOW and JAN & MARK agreed WELL, IT’S ALRIGHT but for JOHN REED it was all about DEPENDENCE. Poet OLIVER was then truly philosophical with HOW MANY DEATHS DO YOU HAVE TO DIE BEFORE YOU CONCEDE TO LIFE and PETE ROBERTS dug deep for RABBIT HILLS before BRIAN skipped off to GEORGIA and ROGER got CAUGHT OUT LIKE CLINTON. Next and with one of his own great songs CARL was ALL AT SEA and SIMON & JAMES climbed aboard the COOKSFERRY QUEEN before JAMES went off to a GARDEN PARTY. This somehow set the trend and PAUL McD hit it up with LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY before KATH & STAN recounted the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY which left MARK & JAN to up the tempo with BAD MOON RISING and PAUL RILEY to razz up a band and STEP IT UP AND GO to finish the night on a high note. Magic!


AUGUST - 2018

Newsletter No 490 29 August 2018

Continuing the run of great music, songs and good social interaction in Sale Folk Club’s Weekly Acoustic Folk Nights PAUL McD created a theme with NO ONE CAN MAKE MY SUNSHINE SMILE (Everly Bros) and BANJO JOHN jumped on the band wagon with THE SUNSHINE OF LOVE (L. Armstrong) and KATH & STAN were not to be left out as they told us to KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE. Breaking away for a moment ANDY sang that it was a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE but for ANN it was a somewhat miraculous return as she finally found her lost voice to sing UNCLE TOM COBLEY followed by ALLEN with one of his favourites from a sunny clime in war time, FAREWELL TO SICILY. Instrumentally IAN pleaded CRY ME A RIVER and PETER requested BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER before BEN sang a song based on a friend’s poem, SERPENTINE. Next ED was out with McALPINE’S FUSILIERS before JANET re-ran her YORKSHIRE ROMANCE from last week and everyone who was here last week could join in the gaps with the right place names. CARL was then serious with I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR and COLIN introduced a big favourite, MR BOJANGLES, before RICHARD sang his mosaic of Dylan titles, PEACE IN OUR TIME. This left PAUL RILEY to go HOPPING DOWN IN KENT and PAUL McD to remind us AND BOYS CRY TOO which left BANJO JOHN to have us RUNNING WILD up to the break.
KATH & STAN started the second half with BYE BABY BYE followed by latecomer MARIAN who introduced BETSY THE SERVING MAID and ANDY who introduced ALISON (Elvis Costello). It then made sense for PETER to sing HEART LIKE A WHEEL and COLIN to sing ELEANOR RIGBY complete with the missing un-recorded verse he wrote with Paul McCartney on the beach in Liverpool! Hmmm! No wonder BEN decided to give us his take on NEW YORK GIRLS, Can’t You Dance the Polka, and ED went all Yorkshire with WILLY OIL LAD but ANN came back with another of her greatest hits, PUNCH AND JUDY MAN. Back to the sunshine theme, IAN treated us to SUNNY followed by ONLY YOU from JANET and SOLID AS A ROCK from RICHARD before ALLEN commented IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO and MARIAN retorted WHEN FISHES FLY. Heading for the door and a big finish KATH & STAN told us HEAVEN’S A BAR and ED claimed to be THE OLDEST SWINGER IN TOWN before PAUL McD said for goodness sake BRING ME SUNSHINE to end a great night.

Newsletter No 489 22 August 2018

To prove nothing stays the same in SALE FOLK CLUB we did NOT commence the evening with Banjo John AS USUAL, we had a change and heard from a famous performer with the same initials on his jacket as Banjo John - JB - James Brown!  Although he was a moving, plastic, battery powered, singing version, his performance standing on the bar, went down a treat with the audience! So many people wanted to take him home for their wives that we are thinking of offering him as a raffle prize at some future stage when his battery has been re-charged! 

However, the real BANJO JOHN soon followed on and went down equally well with SHE WEARS RED FEATHERS AND A HOOLIE HOOLIE SKIRT before ALLEN came up next to sing ERIN GO BRAGH and IAN was instrumental in some RAG PICKING. Maybe it was the time of year but PETE had us all singing HARVEST MOON and on his first hosting night PAUL McD asked everyone to waltz when he played ARE YOU WASTING MY TIME followed by JOHN who sang Jimmy Driftwood's BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS. Next with another, where does he get them from, ANDY started a romantic spell with DARLING GIRL by Mandolin Orange followed by ED with Bob Dylan's RAMONA and JANET talking us through A YORKSHIRE ROMANCE where the audience was invited to fill in the blanks. This left JAMES to sing another Bob Dylan number SENOR followed by SIMON accompanied by James singing PANCHO AND LEFTY by Townes Van Zandt and HILARY completing the round by telling us some more of her HILARIOUS ONE-LINERS. James Brown declined the offer of another performance, so BANJO JOHN BROWN took his place and came up with SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY followed by ALLEN with his own NEARLY SONNET 18 self-penned to include words by Shakespeare and Victor Meldrew and PAUL McD sang QUITTING TIME by Mary Chapin Carpenter. This left JOHN to sing a song from his very first appearance at Sale, FIDO (Faeces Intake Disposal Operation), before IAN played a flawless SCARBOROUGH FAIR to take us to the break in which we had the raffle.

The second half began with much hysterical laughter and joking, once again, for the umpteenth week on the run, Andy won the first prize - the Bottle of Red Wine, and Helen won the Show of Hands CD, Hilary won the bottle of Bucks Fizz and Fran won the box of Mints. Meanwhile Ed and Fran had set up her keyboard and accessories so that we were able to enjoy FRAN singing and playing her self-penned IF ONLY and then a beautiful WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES? On a different slant ED sang GREASY GRIT GRAVY AND GIZZARD GREENS which for some reason helped PETE get his voice back for MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES. It was good to see JANET back for the night and to hear her sing SCARLET TOWN followed by SIMON & JAMES playing and singing 1952 VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING before ANDY sang Gordon Lightfoot's CAREFREE HIGHWAY. Then we tore into round 3 with JOHN leading us with YELLOW BIRD followed by ALLEN and his self-penned PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE and PAUL McD playing his own tune without a name which he called BLUFFING so it was good that FRAN was on hand to give them her own KISS OF LIFE. Without her it could have been more of JANET’s song THE GRAVE and not IAN’s tune BABY’S COMING HOME or even PETE’s song ALEXANDER LIGHT. Heading for a big finish to a great night HILARY had us all laughing again with her many ONE LINERS and ANDY had us singing along with WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW and SIMON accompanied by James told us what happened to AMELIA EARHART and JAMES closed the evening with a MEDLEY of ROCK AND ROLL SONGS where we could all join in with gusto. Magic!!

Newsletter No 488 15 August 2018

With a bumper crowd filling up the seats KATH & STAN stepped up to the plate with SHAKE SUGAREE swiftly followed by BRIAN with the TENNESSEE WALTZ as PAUL invited everyone to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE. With quite original poetry OLIVER gave us two of his works BYE THE BYE and STARING INTO THE EYES OF JOHNNY MATHIS IN A SUE RYDER and also original we then welcomed RICHARD KNOTT with his own START OVER AGAIN which nicely set up CASSIDY & friend ADRIAN to play SNOWDROP with banjo and guitar. BEN then came up with THE MANCHESTER TREE to which ED replied PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE followed by COLIN with COME MY LITTLE SON and I’ll tell you about my life. For HELEN it was SUCH A SIMPLE THING and for ROGER it was SUCH A LITTLE LIFE and for MARIAN it was the tale of TWO SISTERS before PETER gave us some amusing ANECDOTAL NOTES ON THE ROCK INDUSTRY before CARL told us what he saw in his MAGICAL SKY. Any way up it was 900 MILES away for KATH & STAN and even more for BRIAN who had GEORGIA ON MY MIND and even further for PAUL who had the UKULELE BLUES. It was that OLIVER then had us smiling with his poem NAN vs TV vs THE WORLD before RICHARD KNOTT hit the bottle with his DRINK A LITTLE WHISKY and CASSIDY tore into his own VASTOPOL RAG which left BEN with A FEAR OF MOUNTAINS as we reached the break.
In the raffle Pater won the Jam, Margaret won the Table Mats, Brian won the Wine and Andy won the Mulling Syrup before ED got trapped under the FAT LADY’S BOTTOM. No wonder COLIN asked WHERE DID YOU GO TO MY LOVELY and HELEN replied I’m an ANGEL FROM MONTEREY and ROGER admitted IT STONED ME. Next MARIAN chased after THE GREY MARE before PETER gave us some more amusing ANECDOTES as a prelude to THE BALLAD OF BILLY KERSHAW from CARL. Building to a big finish RICHARD KNOTT introduced THE MAN WITH THE LONG BLACK CLOAK which KATH & STAN said could have been the MOONSHADOW but surely not in the SUMMERTIME reckoned BRIAN. Hitting the heights RICHARD confessed I’M IN LOVE WITH MY SHRINK which had CASSIDY reaching for his VASELINE MACHINE GUN before PAUL cried, YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and had us all singing into the street at the end of a terrific night of music.

Newsletter No 487 7 August 2018

Back from his sojourn in France PETER ROBERTS kicked an excellent social and musical evening with a POEM called ADAM’S NEEDLES about a garden plant but for BRIAN it was amazing HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY but in ALLEN OGG’s case he was the one slipping away to THE MINGULAY BOAT SONG. Still on the water PAUL RILEY developed the BROWN FERRY BLUES as ANDY sang that superb song, TALK TO ME OF MENDOCINO before KATH & STAN crossed the continent to OWENSBORO. Next we welcomed JOHN of Girth, Wind and Tired to sing his own SUPERMAN before IAN went CRAZY by Willie Nelson on a different guitar than the usual Taylor which left us to welcome back CASSIDY with SUNFLOWER RIVER BLUES written by John Fahey and played on the guitar. All of this prompted ED to come up with a new song WAITING FOR A TRAIN by Jimmy Rodgers which for some reason made RACING DEMON think of ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY and JAMES, flying solo, to think BUCKETS OF RAIN by Bob Dylan and we could hear it had just started. 

This brought PETER ROBERTS to his feet again with Lowell George’s WILLIN’ followed by BRIAN with another Willie Nelson composition AN UNWEATHERED FRIEND and ALLAN to rise with his own PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE. Most modern PAUL RILEY then sang SWEET CAROLINE by Brian Adams which he introduced as being a 21st century song but still folk in his eyes and definitely a good song. ANDY also came up with a true-ism in that A GOOD TIME MAN LIKE ME HAS NO BUSINESS SINGING THE BLUES followed by CARL playing his new OCTIVE MANDOLA and singing the AUSTERITY ALPHABET by Jez Lowe so no wonder IAN somehow got GEORGIA ON MY MIND which sent us up to the break in a good mood.
In the raffle James won the Bottle of Rose Wine, Brian won the Box of Shortbreads, Andy won the Ouzo, Sue won the Novel and Brian won the Tuning Pipes before 
KATH & STAN started the second stretch with BRIGHTON CAMP. This was swiftly followed by JOHN leading us with ME & BOBBY McGEE nad then CASSIDY with a SPANISH DANCE, another John Fahey composition, and ED with HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS. Reunited sangas RACING DEMON, SIMON & JAMES a Bruce Cockburn song SEE HOW I MISS YOU before JAMES went CRAZY for the second performance of this song but this time with lyrics. Hey ho! To this CARL responded with OLD BONES by Jez Lowe with his new Octave mandola which PETER said brought out THE BEST IN ME, one his own songs, before BRIAN went even further with the FACE OF GOD. Suddenly ALLEN remembered a POUND A WEEK RISE by Ed Pickford which made PAUL think of life in those times as DARK AS A DUNGEON which for ANDY THAT'S THE WAY it was. KATH & STAN were not having any of it and took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and IAN said I certainly AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' to which JOHN responded with the QUESTION SONG, which had us all laughing. Finally as we came up to a big finish CASSIDY gave us a wonderful rendition of MY LADY JAZZ, on a new banjo he’d only had a few days, and RACING DEMON had us all singing into the street with FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. 

JULY - 2018

Newsletter No 486 31 July 2018

Entering an almost empty Services Club HEATHER & DON couldn’t believe it as the room filled up with top talent as they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Cheekily BANJO JOHN then played and sang the TEASING RAG and CHRIS followed suit with the SAUCY SAILOR so no wonder PHIL was TRANSPORTED. Even BRIAN was inspired to go THROUGH THE MORNING and THROUGH THE NIGHT as NAOMI accompanied by Phil went to Scotland for THERE GROWS A BONNY BRIAR BUSH, a Robbie Burns song. With his own song MARK told us I AM A SON OF THIS NORTH COUNTRY SOIL before PAUL celebrated not seeing the orange moon with BAD MOON RISING and STEVE went Celtic for the SKYE BOAT SONG with hit Autoharp. Pointedly ANDY then asked ARE YOU SURE THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE and PETER replied no, I want to be in ABILENE to which IAN commented, DON’T KNOW WHY! Next ALLEN reminded us it was the anniversary of the battle with his own ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE and RICHARD reminded us of the gold rush with DAYS OF 49 before CARL celebrated the girl from the Salvation Army with his own LOOKING FOR THE SUN. With a light hearted moment HILARY gave us some more of her ONE-LINERS before PAUL McD hit the slide guitar for LITTLE RED ROOSTER and BANJO JOHN jazzed it up for BABY FACE. This left GIRTH, WIND & TIRED to tell us LOVING HER WAS EASIER as we reached the break.
In the raffle Jackie calmly won the Bottle of Red Wine, Paul won the aftershave (ha ha), Andy won the Handwash, Allen won another book for his wife and Chris, who is about to go camping, won the camping mugs before PAUL kicked off with BLUES IN A BOTTLE followed by CHRIS with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Again deeply thoughtful MARK sang another of his own songs about his friends Barry & John, BETTER TO BUILD BRIDGES THAN WALLS, and ANDY introduced ALL THE LOVELY LADIES before PETER hit a sombre note with the DEPORTEES. In hushed tones BRIAN confided NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME and PHIL told us that sadly Prof.
Alasdair Clayre committed suicide not long after writing his song ADAM AND THE BEASTS which commented on the natural order in the animal kingdom. No wonder ALLEN turned to his own WILD EYED but fortunately CARL was more upbeat with his own YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before NAOMI returned to Scotland for AYE WAUKIN O. With his guitar this time STEVE mused on the MOUNTAINS O’ MOURNE and RICHARD sang, it’s JUST THE WAY YOU ARE and PAUL McD it is ROCK & ROLL before GIRTH, WIND & TIRED pinned our ears back with their AIM IN LIFE before sending us home smiling with JAMBALAYA. Mega!!

Newsletter No 485 24 July 2018

A superb evening was hosted by GRASSROOTS who first of all set out to MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE which for MARK & JAN definitely was THE END OF THE LINE as it was for BRIAN when he cried out DAMN THIS TOWN. It was also tough for CHRIS in HIGH GERMANY before DON & HEATHER had us all celebrating THE GALWAY SHAWL to which JAMES replied with the Beatles’ YOU CAN’T DO THAT. By this time ED was ALL USED UP but KATH & STAN were off tilting at WINDMILLS which to PAUL McD was the perfect start for a DAYDREAM. Not to be cheered, however, SIMON announced THERE’S A HEARTBREAK FOLLOWING ME and PETER had the HONEYBABE BLUES and MARIAN was musing, IF I WERE WITH MY LOVE. Quite unconcerned GRASSROOTS just went SAILING BY whereas MARK & JAN met uncertainty with CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN but BRIAN was most definite when he sang, I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU ANY OLD TIME. Certainly not if she is wearing a CHASTITY BELT responded ED which was enough to have newcomer TONY saying, well I’LL WALK THE STREETS UP and I’LL WALK THE STREETS DOWN. Next we had two great tunes from KATH & STAN who played TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING on whistle and cittern just before CARL came in to sing ALICE. Coming up to the interval CHRIS told us TO THE BEGGING I WILL GO and PETER said he was off AROUND CAPE HORN but PAUL McD said he preferred LIVING IN THE ‘60s.
In a bumper raffle Peter took the Red Wine, James went home with the Rose Wine, Ann won the set of Cheese Knives, old friend Julie Astbury won the Handwash and Rosalyn won the Box of Tea before DON & HEATHER complained they had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL. On the other hand JAMES told us DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT and MARIAN prayed for better luck next time to the LORD OF ALL. Returning TONY sang THE WALKING SONG by Kate & Anna McGarrigle followed by GRASSROOTS with THESE HANDS about
Sybil Phoenix who came to Britain from British Guiana in 1956 to overcome racism and personal tragedy to become the first black woman to be awarded the MBE for her work fostering hundreds of children in Lewisham. Now 89 she is still active with the charity she founded in memory of her daughter – the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust. Fortunately for SIMON it was not a BLUE, BLUE DAY but, as CARL told us, THE HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE was another matter. Coming to a climax KATH & STAN said HANG YOUR HEAD AND CRY and DON & HEATHER brought us to a close with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to end a top night!

Newsletter No 484 17 July 2018

Opening the evening in grand style BANJO JOHN gave us OLD MAN RIVER before KAMRAN weighed in with SO LONG MARIAN (L. Cohen) and DON, HEATHER & PAUL banded up for the DIAMANTINA DROVER. More intimately ANDY then asked DID SHE MENTION MY NAME (G. Lightfoot) before we welcomed newcomer CASSIDY to play us his magnum opus COMPOSITION FOR BANJO which left BRIAN a little SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard). In somewhat joyous mood ED was next out along THE VERDIGREE (T. Paxton) before we welcomed another newcomer CHRIS who gave us a great rendition of BYKER HILL followed by IAN who was SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU. This heralded the return of old favourite ROBIN who asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO who was followed by PAUL McD with his cheeky little TIMPERLEY BLUFF and PAUL RILEY who celebrated BIG BAD BILL. This left HILARY with the job of making us laugh with more of her ONE-LINERS so there was no reason for KAMRAN to have the DELTA BLUES or ANDY needing PERSUASION or LUCILLE leaving BANJO JOHN with all those children and crops in the field.
An interesting raffle saw Kamran win the Chocolates, Ian took the CD, Margaret won a nice bottle of Red Wine and Brian won the fancy Hand Cream but RICHARD recommenced with FORGETFUL HEART followed by CHRIS with another great traditional song THE MAID OF CULMORE. This left the way for CASSIDY to delight us with a SPANISH TWO STEP for guitar by John Farley followed by BRIAN who gave us the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER as ROBIN took us off along some COUNTRY ROADS. Instrumentally then IAN insisted THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU but PAUL McD still asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW as PAUL boarded the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. All of this left the way clear for HILARY to have us laughing at more of her ONE-LINERS which continued with ED and his TRASHY WOMEN. More straightforwardly DON, HEATHER & PAUL explained when I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and RICHARD did the same when he was ON MY WAY HOME.  Coming to a big finish IAN treasured THE NEARNESS OF YOU as ROBIN went NORTH TO ALASKA to discover gold isn’t everything whereas BRIAN declared there is NOTHING I LOVE more. On the other hand KAMRAN discovered how a friend turned out to be YOU RASCAL YOU but finally ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL directed us towards ALL THE GOOD TIMES to end an excellent and varied evening. 

Newsletter No 483 10 July 2018

A superb evening brilliantly stewarded and kicked off by PAUL & HEATHER on washboard singing WORRIED MAN BLUES skiffle style after which KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER while PETER BRIDGE was on WOLVERTON MOUNTAIN. We were then jazzed up by BRIAN who sang IF I HAD YOU before PHIL was more trad with THE BUTCHER AND THE TAILOR and ALLEN sang his own DON’T YOU KNOW. We don’t know how she does it but HILARY next had us laughing with her ONE-LINERS before IAN took us instrumentally off to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR and ROD had us high in ITCHYCOO PARK. To HELEN it was all a SILVER LINING but for ED’s story of the three bears MY HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ANDY was back LOOKING FOR THE MOON and that silver lining. More darkly DON & HEATHER tested the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and RACING DEMON were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS with JAMES asking HOW LONG BLUES. On the bright side RICHARD stated HOW GLAD I AM but KATH & STAN were still WATERBOUND as was PETER BRIDGE in the BIG RIVER and ALLEN as he told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER was in every pub on every street corner.
In interval the big raffle saw a bottle of Red Wine won by Rod; a bottle of Rose Wine won by Heather Kenyon; a big Box of Tea won by Ian and the big Box of Chocolates won by Andy before ED had us chorusing with SHUT UP YOU BLOODY LIAR before he went off to hospital to get a cure for his bleeding finger! PHIL applied the soothing balm of J.S. Bach’s BOUREE in E Minor as he went before PAUL recalled FRANKIE & JOHNNY were lovers. Then it was all go as BRIAN was off DOWN GEORGIA WAY and ANDY commented LONG MAY YOU RUN and HELEN said she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. For ROD it was all OUT OF TIME but fortunately IAN was there to slow it down for MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Still on a high, however, were RACING DEMON who were all strung up on CARMELITA but for JAMES it was all different as THINGS HAVE CHANGED (Dylan) and for RICHARD it was all a long WINDING ROAD as DON & HEATHER hit the road with WAGON WHEEL and BRIAN was GONE, GONE, GONE. Heading to a big finish RICHARD said I WILL with the Beatles and HELEN had NOTHING BUT TIME as PHIL set off a WANDERING (James Taylor). This left PAUL & HEATHER to lead us into the night with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER to end a fantastic evening with a great number of songs from wide ranging genre. Magic!!

Newsletter No 482 3 July 2018

With the Services Club bursting at the seams, albeit with England football supporters, DON & HEATHER greeted 26 folkies by warning of the DIMMING OF THE DAY but the theme was set only to be relieved when England won on penalties which PAUL RILEY claimed was WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS. Back to pure folk HELEN sang that it’s SUCH A SIMPLE THING and PAUL McD was DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR before JAN went back to her Welsh roots with CANEUON and MARK warned there may be a BAD MOON RISING which ANDY just thought was WIERD (Clem Sneide). Looking on the bright side IAN played us a nice arrangement of OVER THE RAINBOW but it was left to ED to give us another take on the siege of Badajoz in the Peninsular Wars with SAM SMALL’S CHRISTMAS PUDDING to which DON & HEATHER commented, they were RARE OULD TIMES. Next PAUL RILEY fulfilled a long time ambition by singing MR BOJANGLES to which HELEN replied I HOPE YOU DANCE before PAUL McD asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM (Joe Jackson). JAN & MARK were then filled with LOVE AND HAPPINESS whereas CARL followed the Flag with his own excellent song THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR before ANDY commented it’s RAINING IN BALTIMORE. Then instrumentally IAN claimed I DON’T KNOW WHY as ED chased after the BLACKLEG MINER and CARL asked WHO CALLED THE COOKIE A B.....D to reach the interval.
A bumper raffle saw Margaret win the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen win the Bottle of Rose Wine, Andy win the Suffragette Film on DVD and Jan take a book home before DON & HEATHER started the second half by hoping England were not PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE whereas PAUL McD was asking LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. Keeping up the volume PAUL had us shanty singing with BULLY IN THE ALLEY as did MARK & JAN who reckoned any way up it is NO USE CRYING before IAN became romantic with a smooth guitar instrumental of THE NEARNESS OF YOU. This nicely set up HELEN for FAITH’S SONG followed by ANDY with COMING DOWN ON A SUNNY DAY and CARL for DOWN IN THE DALE, a nostalgic look back in Railway History. DON, HEATHER & PAUL then came together for ACROSS THE BORDERLINE before PAUL McD confessed to LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY and ED told the story of the waitress looking for a LOGGER who stirs his coffee with his thumb, ouch! PAUL R also went back in time for a medley of HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL; YES SIR THAT’S MY BABY; AIN’T SHE SWEET before HELEN had the URGE FOR GOING J Mitchell and MARK & JAN confessed to having washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Coinciding with the moment of England’s success IAN was in FIELDS OF GOLD and ANDY asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES since it happened before and CARL asked whether we could go even FURTHER. Finally we all saw the funny side as ED insisted TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT and PAUL McD said don’t forget who’s taking you home with SAVE THE DANCE FOR ME to end a cracking night.

JUNE - 2018

Newsletter No 481 26 June 2018

With the promise of a lot of hot performers KATH & STAN insisted we KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE while ALLEN reckoned it was always right TO TRY FOR THE SUN but it was BANJO JOHN who played it cool by LEANING ON A LAMP POST. For PAUL McD it certainly couldn’t be A BETTER PLACE (Glen Campbell) as long as you avoid the ARROGANCE, IGNORANCE & GREED of Steve Knightley sang PHIL before PAUL diverted attention to WILD BILL JONES and JAMES came a STEALING. With all this summer weather BANJO JOHN couldn’t help singing DAISY, DAISY before KATH & STAN reminded us of the dark side of life with BLACK WATERS but ALLEN wouldn’t be subdued as he unveiled his love song NEARLY SONNET 18. Optimistically PAUL McD had WHEELS Quite why but PHIL suddenly demanded SHOW ME (John Anderson) so KATH & STAN responded with two tunes JACK ROBINSON & OLD MOLLY OXFORD and BANJO JOHN upped the tempo with ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN as PAUL McD commented HERE COMES THE NIGHT. Coming to the break ALLEN made a break for freedom with his own question WHAT’S IT TO YOU before latecomer MARIAN introduced POLLY PARKER and PAUL re-iterated BRING ME SUNSHINE.

In the interval Raffle there was Wine; an Orchid; a Book; and Room Perfume amongst others with the names of the winners being partially withheld to protect the innocent before PHIL sang about FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS (Mark Dacey) but straight forwardly JAMES said I WILL and MARIAN somewhat agreed with TRUE LOVERS (High Germany) as did PAUL McD with THE BEST OF MY LOVE. Back in the tradition ALLEN returned with THE WORKER’S SONG as PAUL pitied the POOR OLD HORSE leaving KATH & STAN chasing the MAN IN THE MOON. On the other hand PHIL was out on THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA to which JAMES commented he must be HOMEWARD BOUND and MARIAN started to YODEL IT OVER AGAIN. Coming the end of a small but perfectly formed and top quality evening, PAUL packed his bags and was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and KATH & STAN were away with that BANJO PICKING GIRL before ALLEN added a note of caution about retirement with the GOLD WATCH BLUES. Top drawer!!

Newsletter No 480 19 June 2018

Rather appropriately co-host KAMRAN started the ball rolling under the NORTHERN SKY as equally adroit PAUL RILEY followed his namesake in ROVE RILEY ROVE so no wonder KATH and STAN found themselves in the BAY OF BISCAY where it can be a bit rough but IAN calmed us down with TENDERLY. Going a step further PETE had us laughing with some PUN WORDPLAY before BRIAN went all serious with the FACE OF GOD (Hiatt) and ANDY swore we would be FOREVER YOUNG but not if, as co-host SIMON sang, THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR. The answer from PAUL was to TEACH YOUR CHILDREN well but MARIAN was off with a risky DARK-EYED SAILOR and for BEN it was equally tricky in THE SWAPPING SONG where more often than not you lose out. So it was a wonder that PAUL RILEY was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD (Mississippi Sheikhs) and STAN and KATH told us WE COULD FLY (Dirk Powell/Rhiannon Giddens) which made smile and then laugh with MORE PUNS from PETE before BRIAN said it was time to sprinkle some STARDUST.

In the interval Raffle Ben won the Bottle of Wine and the Teabags and Shower gel both found new homes but asked to remain anonymous before KAMRAN started the second shift with the AVALON BLUES and latecomer RICHARD did a bit of SHADOW BOXING to which HELEN responded IT SUITS ME WELL as BEN thought it all totally SHAMELESS (Annie Di Franco). With more good songs in the pipeline ANDY sang KING SONG by Jim Croce and SIMON told us the story of DILLARD CHANDLER before IAN & HELEN smoothly combined for SUMMERTIME. This made PAUL just DRIFT AWAY and RICHARD think of PEACE IN OUR TIME, a clever compilation of many Dylan song titles & lyrics). More sombrely STAN & KATH admitted HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL as PETE came up with MORE PUNNAGE and BRIAN turned to LATELY by Stevie Wonder. Revving up to a climax BEN invited us into SAMMY’S BAR where IAN claimed my BABY’S COMING HOME (Chet Atkins) and ANDY pleaded OH LORD. WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES-BENZ? With their reliability record? Sadly, however, PAUL to us NO-ONE CAN MAKE MY SUNSHINE SMILE just as PAUL RILEY started to ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG and RICHARD shouted LAND AHOY as we reached our destination. Tops!!

Newsletter No 479 12 June 2018

A quiet start with about 12 top quality performers in total as GRASSROOTS opened up with LITTLE THINGS before BANJO JOHN asked HOW ABOUT YOU and ALLEN OGG confessed to getting the WILD EYE sometimes. It was then good to see JO back from her travels to sing WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE with her guitar followed by a first timer young JOSH singing HOLD MY BED by Chuck Ragan. This prompted SIMON & JAMES to tell us the story of AMELIA EARHART’S LAST FLIGHT before JOHN B, another banjo player, sang about THE MUGGLERS and BEN gave us his version of the NEW YORK GIRLS. To crown it all JAMES took a deep breath and gave us a medley of LET IT BE; HEY JUDE and YESTERDAY before GRASSROOTS with ELIZABETH IS SINGING and HILARY with some of her HILARIOUS ONE-LINERS ended the first round. After this people were invited to sing two songs each time starting with BANJO JOHN who regaled us with JAZZ ME BLUES and the ROCK ISLAND LINE before JO brought us to the interval by BLOWING IN THE WIND and then BLOWING IN THE WIND.

The second half was started by AL who with some basic politics rightly scoffed at the POUND A WEEK RISE before telling us that the young should be careful not to misinterpret PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE, his own song. Rising to his feet again young JOSH was immediately on the road RIDING MY THUMB DOWN TO MEXICO and then all the way down to Raleigh with WAGON WHEEL before latecomer RICHARD GRAY pleaded for PEACE IN OUR TIME and then gave us THE STORY OF MY LIFE. Giving way to BEN who sang WILL V AIR (phonetic spelling?) and controversially MY UNFAVOURTITE THINGS to which HILARY tagged on a few of her FUNNY THINGS. Glad to see him back again with his banjo, JOHN B first asked MOSES WRITE IT DOWN and then proceeded to tell us WHEN AN OLD CRICKETER LEAVES THE CREASE which nicely set up JAMES for a big finish with UNKNOWN LEGEND followed by a rampant SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS before GRASSROOTS rounded everything off with HARMLESS followed by HERE, THERE and EVERYWHERE.

Newsletter No 478 5 June 2018

ED & SUE hosted an evening high on talented performers but fewer in the audience and, on his first return to the club after he injured his shoulder, they invited ROBIN to open with a ride on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. He was followed by PAUL RILEY who was as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU before KATH & STAN took the road to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH and PETES THE KING had us all smiling at his own RUSTY RED PARK BOX. Romantically and instrumentally for IAN it was JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT whereas for PAUL McD it was QUITTING TIME by Mary Chapin Carpenter and for ANDY a case of SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN by Johnny Cash. Keeping up the quality ED sang GOODBYE TO THE SEA by David Boulton before our old friend GED DARBY rose to rescue one of his favourite songs, THE LAST MINSTREL SHOW, that Kath & Stan had previously stolen from him. This left CARL to complete the round with one of John Prine’s latest songs HELLO IN THERE which brought ROBIN to his feet with the appropriate HEY, IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME, AGAIN! Fully reciprocated, Robin!! KATH & STAN were next up with THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY while IAN was at pains to say I AIN’T MISBEHAVING leaving PAUL to pour oil on troubled waters with DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER. More upbeat PAUL McD advised us to have THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE by Green Day and satisfied was GED who told us I GOT MINE which was not true of CARL who told us I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR by John Gawker. Coming to the break PETES THE KING sang about DEBORAH as in Deborah Winger whereas ED confessed I GOT STONED (Dr. Hook) and ANDY was LATE TO PARTY by Kacey Musgraves.

In the Raffle Ian won first prize of a bottle of French Red Wine and Andy won the next prize but kindly asked for it to be re-drawn which left Kath Rothwell to win the Make-up Bag with Beauty Products and Paul Riley to win the M&S Herb Plant Pot set and tray. This left GED to suggest all the losers should JUST TAKE ONE LAST LOOK by Todd Waites and PAUL McD to admit that it is SO SAD TO WATCH GOOD LOVE GO BAD by the Everly Brothers and MARIAN kept the mood with the drowning of Willie Lennox in an Irish Ballad, LAKES OF COL FIN. Fortunately the emotional roller coaster hit a happy patch when ROBIN lifted the mood with BOBBY McGEE and IAN played the lovely MOON RIVER before CARL had us the story of the BLACKSMITH AND THE TOFFEEMAKER. Coming to the end of a top night ANDY went with John Prine’s SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS but KATH & STAN turned the tables with NO TELLING WHAT A LOVE SONG CAN DO before PAUL suggested everyone should join in with ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS for definitely a rousing end to a great night.





MAY - 2018

Newsletter No 477 29 May 2018

Following their whale watching in Iceland DON & HEATHER thought to start with LITTLE POT STOVE whereas BANJO JOHN was off down the RED RIVER VALLEY to which PAUL replied WADE IN THE RIVER and PETER BRIDGE commented WELL, WELL, WELL. In response to his sister’s comment BEN sang NEW YORK GIRLS where the man comes off worse and not the woman as in most of his songs and ALLEN then sang McPHERSON’S RANT where the man well and truly gets it in the neck. More calmly MARIAN simply had us FOLLOW THE HERON HOME but BRIAN pointed out THINGS AIN’T SIMPLE as PETE found out when he took the GOLD FISH out of its bowl and thought wagging its tail meant it was happy! With an interesting insight into love RACING DEMON told us SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS (that she has given up men) and JAMES had a similar view with NORWEGIAN WOOD. However, CARL’s message was clear in BLACK DIAMONDS as was BANJO JOHN’s with ACE IN THE HOLE and PAUL’s who had the WALKING BLUES. Luckily RICHARD came along to cheer us up with THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN but BEN soon had us all sad again in SAMMY’S BAR and PETER BRIDGE was asking LET ME DOWN EASY but Simon’s answer with RACING DEMON was to sail away with a brief SHIVER ME TIMBERS (Tom Waits).

In the bumper raffle Paul won the Bottle of Red Wine; Lin won the Box of Tea; Simon won the Special Chutney; Carl won the Scarf kindly gifted to Marian; Allen won the CD and Ben won the packet of 5 CDs before JAMES kicked off the second half with KANSAS CITY and CARL went LOOKING FOR THE SUN, his own song. Up for a bit of contumely ALLEN told the story of ERIN GO BRAGH but BRIAN was less combative with the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER (John Hyatt) as for MARIAN it was JUST AS THE TIDE WAS TURNING. For RICHARD he was in the BACK COUNTRY LANES whereas PAUL was going down THE MOBILE (train) LINE and BEN was singing THE SONG OF STRANDS written for him by a friend. For ALLEN it was a question of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN as BRIAN had STARDUST in his eyes but for CARL life was definitely NEARER TO NETTLES and PETER was wondering what his lover was up to at SUNDOWN. RACING DEMON also wondered if SHE’S NO LADY by Lyle Lovett was about ex-wife Julia Roberts and JAMES hit the right note with YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND as did RICHARD with his version of OVER THE RAINBOW to send us home on a happy note.

Newsletter No 476 22 May 2018

With plenty coming through the door PAUL RILEY was invited to set the ball rolling which he did with a join in medley of THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE; DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE and THIS TRAIN IS BOUND FOR GLORY before hosts KATH & STAN themselves struck up from TEN THOUSAND MILES and BANJO JOHN danced with MR BOJANGLES. On the other hand PHIL was eager to get back to his ROOTS as BRIAN was romantic with ONLY YOU (Flying Pickets) and PAUL McD went all gospel with STAND BY ME. Next PETER was off to the GRAND COOLEE DAM just as SIMON & JAMES asked WHY MUST I ALWAYS EXPLAIN before JAMES lightened things up with HERE COMES THE SUN. Going traditional MARIAN sang about the ELMS OF TYBURN followed by DAVID O’KEEFE who sang HALLELUJAH and BANJO JOHN raised the roof with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. Coming to the break KATH & STAN declared HEAVEN’S A BOAT so BRIAN sang I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS to which PAUL replied LIFE GETS TEDIOUS DON’T IT before PETER finished with CORRINA.

In the big raffle Chris won the Bottle of Red Wine, Michael won the Bottle of White Wine, Paul McD won the Candle, Ann won the Manicure Set, Peter won the Key Ring and Simon won the CD donated very kindly by James. PHIL then struck up with AMSTERDAM, SIMON & JAMES sang with the NIGHTINGALE before JAMES led us all in THE GLORY OF LOVE which made MARIAN think that THERE IS A HERB IN MY FATHER’S GARDEN - RUE. To change the subject KATH & STAN then gave us an instrumental with two tunes, WATER OF TYNE & SIR JOHN FENWICK, as BRIAN took himself ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and PAUL McD pleaded LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. For PAUL RILEY it was still about the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES whereas PETER bemoaned THE DIMMING OF THE YEARS and PHIL went off to THE FIELDS OF FRANCE. Also SIMON & JAMES were not happy bunnies in the HEARTBREAK HOTEL even though JAMES promised that LOVE WILL SURELY COME MY WAY. Right up front MARIAN asked WHEN SHALL WE GET MARRIED, JOHN and KATH & STAN replied WHEN THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW and all PAUL RILEY could suggest was that we STEP IT UP AND GO. What a finish! 

Newsletter No 475 15 May 2018

After a hot day it was a cool, cool evening with hosts HEATHER KENYON and PAUL RILEY started off by leading the assembled rabble with MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE, SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT and WHEN THE SAINTS. Celebrating over 50 years BANJO JOHN had us all singing LOVE AND MARRIAGE before FLOTSAM aka Kathy & Peter took us off to AMERICA to which CHRIS replied with THE SETTING saying ‘Emigration is the curse of a nation’. With his little Amp we all call the “Toaster” IAN told us that instrumentally IT HAD TO BE YOU and indeed DAVID concurred with his original poem DO YOU HAVE A DREAM which is an echo of Martin Luther King’s iconic speech. Back again with his new guitar ROD came up with SWEET CHILD OF MINE while DON & HEATHER admitted they were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE leaving ANDY to embrace the future with TOMORROW is going to be a brighter day by Jim Croce. Equally optimistic PAUL McD wished us LONG MAY YOU RUN and HILARY further cheered us with some of her ONE-LINERS but TIM wasn’t convinced with PRISON SONG and for BEN he thought EVERY TOWN WAS THE SAME. A couple of stories from PETE took us into swing along mode for SIDE BY SIDE with BANJO JOHN and then set off with FLOTSAM in the CARAVAN but it was still a LONG WAY FROM HERE TO CLARE with CHRIS. Oh for THE WAY WE WERE sighed IAN instrumentally before PAUL McD took us off with BOBBY McGEE and BANJO JOHN had us wearing RED FEATHERS AND A HOOLEY HOOLEY SKIRT as we hit the interval.

The bumper Raffle saw Hilary win the Bottle of Red Wine; Andy took the Bunch of Roses home to celebrate the anniversary of meeting his wife; Pete won the Box of Tea and Vic and Rod won CDs before in Ed’s absence ANDY started the second half with LET THE MYSTERY BE by Iris Dement. No wonder ROD reached for the TEQUILA SUNRISE and HILARY got out her JOKE BOOK. TIM on the other hand said SO LONG MARIANNE but DON & HEATHER had ALL THE ANSWERS and BEN solved the problem of MY GRANDFATHER’S CLOCK as PAUL sailed away on the SLOOP JOHN B. As if sensing a big finish FLOTSAM sang the excellent BIDE AWHILE and CHRIS took us to THE STREETS OF LONDON and PAUL McD pleaded SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME and then took us UNDER THE BOARDWALK. No wonder ANDY said IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND as IAN took us into the FIELDS OF GOLD leaving BEN to tell us to KEEP YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL. Living up to this PAUL had us all singing into the street with a bunch of THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME.

Newsletter No 474 8 May 2018

With KAMRAN & PETE in the chair and in excellent form a top night was in store PAUL having us all joining him with BLACK-EYED SUSIE followed by BRIAN who had STARDUST (Hoagie C) in his eyes while ALLEN had his eye on a POUND A WEEK RISE. More seriously JOHN REED was BLEEDING, his latest composition, and KATH & STAN urged us to SHAKE SUGAREE and, making his debut, PAUL McDERMOTT received a warm welcome when he asked LET IT BE ME. On the other hand KAMRAN asked AIN’T WE CRAZY and PETER took off with the SKYLINE PIDGEON which left TIM in the FOUNTAIN OF SORROW (J Browne). PHIL then treated us to the hymn, WHEN THE GREEN BLADE RISES, followed by SIMON who asked, SEE HOW I MISS YOU (Bruce Cogburn) and JAMES boasted SHE BELONGS TO ME (B Dylan) which ED followed appropriately with BOB DYLAN’S DREAM. Coming up to the interval the TWO SPIRITS & TWO PAULS (Don, Heather, Paul Riley and Paul McDermott) washed their hands in MUDDY WATER before ALLEN bade FAREWELL TO SICILY, PETER had us singing ROSE OF ALLENDALE and BRIAN told us what it was like SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard).


A grand Raffle saw the Bottle of Red Wine go home with Simon, Hilary win the bio of Ronnie Wood, Kamran win the Shower gel, Sue win the Hand soap, Heather Kenyon win the Bunch of Roses and JOHN REED win the DVD before he teamed up with KAMRAN for AS THE CROW FLIES. Next TIM returned with JOE HILL and PAUL McDERMOTT came up with BILLY TYLER before KATH & STAN celebrated Salford the original DIRTY OLD TOWN. Rising to the bait ED described things IN MY LIVERPOOL HOME which stimulated a parody from RICHARD GRAY that he called THE LEAVING (OF LIVERPOOL?). Crossing the Atlantic PAUL recruited KAMRAN who played a brilliant washboard for KC MOAN whereas SIMON with JAMES was out on THE LOW HIGHWAY leaving JAMES to sing DON’T THINK TWICE and KAMRAN to warn us WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS. Heading toward a big finish PHIL treated us to THE HARE and DON & HEATHER sang their own FLOWERS ON THE WATER which left BRIAN to declare it is SUMMERTIME. The grand finale saw KATH & STAN sing DINK’S SONG which nicely set up RICHARD with his lovely story of emigration in the DIAMOND ROSE to end a truly memorable evening.

Newsletter No 473 1 May 2018

A big crowd greeted GRASSROOTS who started with I WANDERED BY A BROOKSIDE followed by ED and THE FLUSHERS who with PETER GREEN wandered the FIELDS OF ENGLAND. Next TIM told us philosophically that LOVE IS JUST A FOUR LETTER WORD before JAN introduced the obvious theme with AS I ROVED OUT ONE MAY MORNING which DON & HEATHER took up tongue in cheek with MAY YOU NEVER. Going back a century SIMON sang the music hall song I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE which made Poet DAVID think of his own poem contrasting the good and the bad, LONDONDERRY you’re a very bad penny. Also going back in time ANN remembered the PUNCH & JUDY MAN whereas IAN was all WINDY & WARM and PETE ROBERTS was reminding someone she was a BIG GIRL NOW and ROD was saying DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. After some brief craic about boats MARK came up with the SHOALS OF HERRING and PAUL declared “ May the road come up to meet you” etc this time under the guise of AN IRISH BLESSING and we speculated that there are many other versions claimed as original which BEN thought was SHAMELESS. Back on track ANDY asked us to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME but HILARY ignored that request and had us rolling in the aisles with more of her ONE-LINERS before GRASSROOTS brought us to order with CABLE STREET and TIM said let’s COME TOGETHER. No wonder SIMON introduced a bit of fantasy IN THE PINES before ED helped us celebrate Ann’s birthday with THE LIFE IN YOUR MEN and MARK & JAN suggested a good idea would be to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS.

In a bumper Raffle Paul won the Bottle of Red Wine, Jan won the bottle of Kalamata Olive Oil, Andy won the Box Of Yorkshire Tea, Hilary won the Plant and Vic won the Shower gel which the other Paul would have liked but he won the Book on Ronnie Wood, one lead guitar reading about another. All this excitement left BEN to kick off the second half with WINTER after which ROD climbed aboard THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS before ANN returned to Paris with the sad BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN. For some reason PETE ROBERTS then had REASON TO BELIEVE and PAUL got the CHURCH STREET BLUES and ANDY wasn’t too pleased as he requested BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. Coming to the climax of a superb evening DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us off to Oz with the DIAMANTINA DROVER but IAN demanded STAY CLOSE TO ME and MARK & JAN told us it’s NO USE CRYING before GRASSROOTS sent us off home singing Mick’s song DON’T LEAVE ALONE to end a top night. 

APRIL - 2018

Newsletter No 472 24 April 2018
As the place slowly filled up BANJO JOHN kicked off with ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND and KATH & STAN gave us THE LAST GOODBYE before ALLEN got on theme with his NEARLY SONNET 18 to celebrate the Anniversary of William Shakespeare before CARL nailed the St George’s Day part with SCARBOROUGH FAIR followed by PETER BRIDGE with ENGLAND 1914. More locally DON & HEATHER went for PENDLE and PAUL sang ALL AROUND MY HAT and ED remembered the sinking of THE ROYAL CHARTER by Dave Boulton and SIMON & JAMES worshiped the COOKSFERRY QUEEN (R. Thompson). JAMES, however, insisted we WALK RIGHT BACK as PETER & CATHY proclaimed THE RIVER IS WIDE and PETE ROBERTS visited ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY so welcome relief came from HILARY with some of her ONE-LINERS and BRIAN said you must remember this AS TIME GOES BY. With his own clever song CARL then went FROM THE ARMORY TO THE CROWN as BANJO JOHN pleaded BABY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME and KATH & STAN returned with a couple of TUNES before PETER & CATHY were BROTHERS IN ARMS. Coming to the interval ALLEN, with his own song, asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU and PETER BRIDGE replied it’s a SWEET MYSTERY and DON & HEATHER had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL.

In the grand raffle Brian won the bottle of Red Wine, Hilary won the Box OF Tea, Peter won the Shampoo and Al won the Bunch of Tulips before PAUL followed MR DREAM SELLER. This prompted some JOKEY  OBSERVATIONS from PETE’S the king before PETE ROBERTS sang his own song THE BEST IN ME and JAMES said HELLO MARY LOU (R Nelson). Next SIMON with JAMES was all strung out on CARMELITA before HILARY had us laughing at more ONE-LINERS and ED had us chortling at THE MORRIS DANCERS. Contrarily BRIAN had a problem singing DAMN THIS TOWN whereas KATH & STAN were on THE GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL and CATHY & PETER were riding the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Not so PETER BRIDGE who had the SLEEPY TIME BLUES and PAUL shantied away with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER before PETE ROBERTS stated IF NOT FOR YOU. Heading for a big finish ALLEN told us it’s LIFE DON’T YA KNOW, his own, as BRIAN was going THROUGH THE MORNING THROUGH THE NIGHT and SIMON & JAMES were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS AGAIN to which DON, HEATHER & PAUL replied, lay down that borrowed guitar and sing your way into the street to ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD which drew a fantastic evening to a close. A top night!! 

Newsletter No 472 17 April 2018

The room was already swollen with massive talent before DON & HEATHER light-heartedly kicked off with MACK THE KNIFE from the Threepenny Opera. With a song inspired by Ruth Powell, GRASSROOTS told of an ORDINARY DAY before PAUL had us sha-la-la-ing with BROWN EYED GIRL only for ARTHUR to remind us THERE’S ALWAYS MONEY FOR A WAR. In the deep south BRIAN came up with the TENNESSEE WALTZ while TIM was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE before PHIL introduced us to ADAM AND THE BEASTS by the tragic Alasdair Clayre so no wonder IAN came up with the MISSISSIPPI BLUES. Delightfully and brilliantly poet OLIVER then treated us to THE FOX and THE PAY PHONE from his published works before his uncle ROGER sang his own song RITA TAKES THE DAY in tribute to his mother’s life. ANDY then suitably diverted us with WON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE as did HILARY with some more of her hilarious ONE-LINERS which nicely set up ANN to sing the lovely VAIR ME O, RO VAN O. Next and with a topical song PETE’S THE KING pleaded with us to TAKE YOUR RUBBISH HOME while BEN more philosophically sang I CAN’T LEAVE THIS WORLD BEHIND by Josh Ritter. CARL was also in philosophical mood with his own MAGICAL SKY whereas ED was miraculous with THE HERMIT which left GRASSROOTS to sing Mick’s song FOR STEPHEN LAWRENCE to take us to the break in sombre mood.

The interval raffle saw Ian win the Bottle of Red Wine, Andy win the Chocolates, Hilary win the Handwash and Dave win the Shower Gel before ARTHUR had us purring with AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMY (with kittens) while BEN was still in war mode with SOLDIER, SOLDIER. With another of his interests TIM sang about his latest musical creation, MISS HAVERSHAM, which had PETER swearing off the GREY FUNNEL LINE whereas PETE KING was absolutely on TOP OF THE WORLD with his latest new song. Talking about being on top of the world, CARL treated us to the BALLAD OF BILLY KERSHAW and BRIAN sang Kurt Weill’s SEPTEMBER SONG before IAN gave us a brilliant interpretation of GEORGIA on my mind. Then it was time for poet OLIVER with two more gems HANK WILLIAMS v THE CHELSEA BUNS and THE PACT which stimulated PETE’S THE KING to remember JEAN McPHERSON in the first song he ever wrote. Another gem! Also suitably enthused ANDY sang his own interpretation of I WILL by the Beatles which encouraged ROGER to sing his own 2 PARTS ALCOHOL 1 PART SORRY before PHIL came up with CADENCE AND CASCADE. Going for a long distance big finish to an incredibly top quality evening PAUL kicked off with the saucy FISHING BLUES before HILARY had tears running down our cheeks with more ONE-LINERS and PETE KING unveiled another new song, SKETCHES IN BLUE. There were no illusions when ED was caught TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM which left DON, HEATHER & PAUL to lead everyone in a great rendition of WAGON WHEEL to end a class night of verse, music and mirth.

Newsletter No 471 10 April 2018

A very enjoyable evening was ahead of those who dropped into Sale Folk Club when hosts Heather Kenyon and Paul Riley opened the proceedings with PAUL himself surprising us by starting with AIKEN DRUM on the accordion, a children’s folk song which probably has its origins in a Jacobite song about the Battle of Sheriffmuir (1715). BANJO JOHN quickly followed with APRIL SHOWERS, which could have been dedicated to those on holiday, so no wonder PETER decided to just WALK ON BY. For MARK, returning from a while ago, IT WAS BETTER TO BUILD BRIDGES THAN WALLS, his own song, and DAVID also took an optimistic stance with two poems from Doris Siddons, LIFE FOR ALL and BEAUTIFUL BRIDE. Surely neither ALLEN nor the workers were satisfied with a POUND A WEEK RISE and still with the workers, CORRIE, a new visitor, sang a hauntingly beautiful unaccompanied song of her own, JOHNNY, about the Pretoria Pit disaster of 1910 which was in Over Hulton. TIM then sang ANNIE’S SONG and KATH & STAN sang about THE FORSAKEN MERMAID before NAOMI & PHIL played RUE DE PARIS on the Flute and Guitar. PHIL then sang a whaling song LEVIATHAN before BEN unveiled his new 12-fret guitar for CALIFORNIA and PETER & CATHY, part of the band Flotsam, told us they were just BOUND TO GO SAILING. Something then set JAMES off MAKING WHOOPEE before he was joined by Simon to become RACING DEMON who were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS which made PAUL, due to no singing voice, think of reciting his own poem about THE WIZARD OF THE EDGE. Striding up to the front BANJO JOHN then paid his money for the Threepenny Opera and sang MACK THE KNIFE which for some reason gave PETER the WEEPING WILLOW BLUES and led MARK to comment THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES, with his own song. This led to a few more observations on life with DAVID reading Tom Snee’s poem FRIENDS AND LOVERS and ALLEN singing his own song, IT’S A SHAME, before CORRIE took us to the interval with RECOGNITION her own song about a mother’s Dementia accompanying herself with her Baritone Ukelele.

The interval Raffle saw David win the Bottle of White Wine, Kath & Stan win the Bottle of Red Wine and Peter win the Chocolates before KATH & STAN took off for OWENSBORO and TIM responded WE SHALL OVERCOME. Next NAOMI & PHIL were CARDIN OWT followed by PHIL singing THE OUTLAW and PETER & CATHY were with the wind in the willows singing about BREAD & FISHES. Then it was time for BEN to play his new guitar with BOTH HANDS as RACING DEMON went searching for AMELIA EARHART and JAMES went looking for SWEET LORRAINE. Still without singing voice PAUL continued his new career as a poet with his recently written EAR-WORM which had PETER wanting to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS but it just made MARK just LONESOME. Coming to big finish ALLEN then took us down the ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE so no wonder CORRIE found it HARD TO BELIEVE and BEN shot off to LONDON TOWN leaving KATH & STAN to have us all singing with GOING AROUND THE WORLD BABY MINE. Then finally it left to RACING DEMON with SINCE i MET YOU and PETER & KATHY with TEACH YOU CHILDREN WELL to end a great evening with plenty of buzz and some powerful performances. Paul's poems can be found on


Newsletter No 470 3 April 2018

A slow starter but they kept on coming as KATH & STAN first took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and IAN decided to SHOW A LITTLE TENDERNESS and PAUL turned on LAZY JOHN. For his first ALLEN decided he would CATCH THE WIND as ED was away with THE PILGRIM and HELEN also had the URGE FOR GOING. On the other hand ANDY showed no favourites as the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER before surprise and very welcome guest VIRGINIA KETTLE from Folk Band Merry Hell delighted us with her own GROWING, GROWING GONE. No wonder KATH & STAN suddenly thought WE COULD FLY and IAN went SUDDENLY instrumental and PAUL got the HOW LONG BLUES. Slightly late PETER nearly decided to STEAL AWAY as ALLEN mused IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO but not for MURGATROYD AND MATHILDA sang ED. Then, in her own sweet way, HELEN sang FAITH’S SONG which made ANDY think OH, MY SWEET CAROLINA before VIRGINIA returned with THE BUTCHER AND THE VEGAN which set up HILARY for some more of her hilarious ONE-LINERS. Building nicely to the interval KATH & STAN sang MONDAY MORNING and IAN played a great version of Sting’s  FIELDS OF GOLD before another late-comer DAVE blew us away with TAKE ME INTO YOUR ARMS and PETER took us traditionally to the break with PEGGY GORDON.

In the Raffle John won the Cava, Helen won the Guitar Stand and Martin won the Picture Frame before PAUL sang YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE and ALLEN sang THE WORKER’S SONG. Then in a menacing mood ED threatened TREAT ME DAUGHTER DECENT and HELEN went DANCING UNDER THE GALLOWS so no wonder ANDY was that DESPERADO. Fortunately VIRGINIA calmed things down with SWEETLY SLEEP NO MORE and DAVE chipped in with I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD before PETER said we should BIDE A WHILE. For his last contribution IAN was HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE as KATH & STAN decided on two tunes, BEAR DANCE & HORSES BRAWL, with the fiddle and whistle which gave ALLEN those WILD EYES he is famous for. Coming to a climax ED had us laughing when he got sat on by the FAT LADY’S BUM before VIRGINIA was all serious with NOBODY KNOWS and PAUL had us singing into the street with a TWO DOLLAR BILL to bring a slow start to a big finish. Sweet!!


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