Newsletter No 397 27 September 2016

MARK & JAN kicked off what turned out to be an excellent evening with the American response to Charles Robert Darwin WE’LL HUNT HIM DOWN to which ROBIN replied with BREAD AND FISHES but to save argument KATH & STAN sang let’s KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE. For JO that was on the ISLE OF INNISFREE and for CHRIS it was on board with THE TRAWLERMAN whereas for CARL it was on the 1710 train now re-titled THE TRICK OF THE TRAIL. Going back 60 years BANJO JOHN took us all up in the TREETOPS with the sparrows and AL then swore allegiance to Ireland with ERIN GO BRAGH as, in his way, did PETE to OXFORD TOWN but for HELEN it was a simple FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE while PAUL just had the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES. With her heart on her sleeve, ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY and similarly lovelorn DON & HEATHER told of the FIRE AND RAIN after a relationship ends to JAN’S answer was to FOLLOW THE HERON HOME and BANJO JOHN recommended we should stay on the SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET. Hauntingly MARK played the tune ALBATROSS while CHRIS was furiously running up the SPIRAL STAIRCASE leaving CARL to remember WILLIE McBRIDE and JO to describe as SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR.

Another bumper raffle saw Martin win a CD, Margaret win the Wine, Al win the Biscuits, Carl win the Chocolates, Margaret also win some Biscuits, Al also win the Beer and Cath & Helen win Fitness DVDs. Starting up the second half KATH & STAN soother us with BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY and PAUL cheered up by SINGING MY BLUES AWAY but AL put some things in perspective with THE WORKER’S SONG. No wonder PETE turned to his favourite STORM RISING to which HELEN replied it FEELS LIKE HOME TO ME before DON & HEATHER led the singing of BLACK CLOTHES for Heather Kenyon for which it is a favourite. ANN then went to the traditional ERISKAY LOVE LILT before ROBIN was off to the STREETS OF NEW YORK and CARL sauntered down PENNY LANE. With another one for the workers AL sang about the GOLD WATCH BLUES but HELEN preferred to TRY FOR THE SUN and PETE said you can get it all DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL but even with it all some people aren’t satisfied like LUCY JORDAN sung by ANN. Even then they mess it up as in ROBIN’S song about the woman in the LONG BLACK VEIL but in any event CHRIS summed it up with you won’t make OLD BONES causing KATH & STAN to bid THE LAST GOODBYE just in case. On a happier note DON & HEATHER raised the tempo with THE STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN and PAUL warned us to KEEP YOUR FINGERS OFF IT which for MARK & JAN was the END OF THE LINE and the end of a great night! 

Newsletter No 396 20 September 2016

It was wonderful to have Janice looking well on the mend and Mick back in harness as GRASSROOTS to host a superb evening of music, verse and song started by them with THE BUTCHER BOY followed by BANJO JOHN with the centuries old I’VE GOT SIXPENCE. No wonder SIMON took himself off IN THE PINES but HILARY went off to South America for a little dance BAILECITO and PAUL said BRING IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME. On the other hand JAMES was off down ROUTE 66 where he met with JOHN CONDY as the HIGHWAYMAN so no wonder for JO playing her guitar THE CARNIVAL IS OVER. Away and away GEOFF & SUE were out on the ROLLING SEA and DON & HEATHER were also on the ocean throwing ashes and FLOWERS ON THE WATER after which PAULINE went seasonal with a tribute TO AUTUMN by Keats. ROBIN then turned to a drop of the WATER MELON WINE just as CHRIS & WILF were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE leaving BRIAN to be ALL BY MYSELF. Next HELEN told us THE TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH and DAVE COWE told us about THE WITCH’S SONG & THE CAT whereas CHARLIE & JONATHAN went off to AMERICA as RICHARD returned to his roots as THE LINCOLNSHIRE ROVER and BANJO JOHN broke free as ONE OF THE ROVING KIND to take us to the interval.

A bumper raffle saw Geoff win the wine, Dave win the Gardening Book, Charlie win the biscuits, Helen win the CD, James win the DVD and on his birthday Dave won and shared the Roses Chocolates round the room before GRASSROOTS kicked off again with THE LAST OF THE WIDOWS of the Duck Bill Seam. For GEOFF it was a question of ALL OR NOTHING as it was for SIMON over in ATLANTIC CITY and PAUL who beseeched us to DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. Then PAULINE continued her theme with ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE so no wonder CHRIS & WILF came up with LOVE IS ALL AROUND before JOHN rocked us down TOBACCO ROAD. Still on classical guitar music HILARY played SOLEARIS before HELEN went off on THE QUEST and DAVE COWE recited the 21st BIRTHDAY POEM FOR MATTHEW. Reliably RICHARD GRAY sang his own ABANDONED LOVE whereas ROBIN went north of the border to meet JOCK O’HAZELDEAN and SUE was in Salford that DIRTY OLD TOWN. Heading for a big climax JAMES & SIMON banded together for Richard Thompson’s WALL OF DEATH which left Robin, Paul, Don & Heather as FREE SPIRITS to have us all singing Bob Dylan’s WAGON WHEEL to end a superb evening.

Newsletter No 395 13 September 2016
As our digital demon Chris Ross said, it was a small but perfectly formed group of people who had a very pleasant evening. We had the most horrendous thunderstorm about 6.00pm which lasted for ages. Thunder, lightning and rain what probably put people off from going out. Anyway it was worth venturing out and as Paul Riley said the Man City football match was postponed because of the storm but thirteen performers braved the thunder and lightning to entertain the even braver audience. PAUL himself started off with AIKEN DRUM, a piano accordion solo after which KATH & STAN asked WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN to which SIMON commented O, DEATH! Next it was wonderful to see the return of GRASSROOTS with Janice looking on the recovery road to sing LITTLE THINGS to which PETER quite rightly replied with FRIENDS. This was followed by PAULINE and a romantic poem about BETTY & JOHNNY and CHRIS with a great song THE HANDS OF JOSEPH before JAN & MARK asked DON’T IT MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE? Becoming a more regular performer DIANE then read her own poem GLOBAL WARMING, a dialogue between God and an Angel, which gave ROBIN a PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and caused KATH & STAN to think of two tunes 3AROUND3 and COME TO THE CEILIDH. Rising to the occasion SIMON was next RIDING ON TOP OF THE CAR as PETER set off for THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and GRASSROOTS anticipated those AUTUMN LEAVES. Still in poetic mood PAULINE gave us HENRY KING by Hilaire Belloc to which CHRIS responded IT’S A LONG WAY FROM CLARE TO HERE. Then JAN gave us a Welsh hymn CALON LAN before MARK GAVE US the TALE OF THE CAT just as Don & Heather were passing by the real Spanish place ROBIN sang about LAREDO. Individually MICK then sang his own song SHE BELONGS TO ME as PAUL was hastily forming his floor band including Kate on spoons for CORNBREAD AND BUTTERBEANS.

Starting the second half PETER said we should all TAKE IT EASY and CHRIS suggested we would WEATHER THE STORM which was appropriate for the evening before PAULINE calmed us all down with MARGARET’S CRADLE SONG by William Blake. Then unlikely as it probably was KATH & STAN swore they saw THE MAN IN THE MOON and SIMON reckoned it was probably more LIKE A SONGBIRD THAT HAD FALLEN and little did they know that a day later we would all be LAZING ON A SUNNY AFTERNOON with MARK & JAN. Although still going well ROBIN decided on the LAST FAREWELL as PETER was living his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH while PAUL was trying to fathom Arthur Marshall’s FENCES. More agriculturally KATH & STAN turned to THE HEDGER while SIMON vowed to love for a THOUSAND MORE years as CHRIS also had a premonition of a SUMMER NIGHT. Coming to the end of a great night PAUL pleaded LEAVE HER JOHNNY, LEAVE HER and invited MARK & JAN to give us an appropriate send-off with THE BONNY SHIP, THE DIAMOND which we could all sail away in.

Newsletter No 394 6 September 2016
A rich and varied evening was booted up by the great combination of KAMRAN & BANJO JOHN who asked BILL BAILEY WON'T YOU PLEASE COME HOME to which ED declared I'M A WINNER but as DAVID pointed out there are WINDS OF CHANGE about (Scorpions). It was of no concern to SIMON who confessed to being THE ROVING GAMBLER to which BAZ replied IF ONLY OUR RIVERS RUN FREE but PAULINE was more upbeat with WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY's 1870s poem INVICTUS appropriately on the eve of the Paralympics. In anticipation of great exploits there JAMES turned to the SUNSHINE OF YOUR SMILE while DIANNE decided to test us with A POP QUIZ which sent ROBIN of through the STREETS OF LONDON. Unsurprisingly Mr Romance BRIAN offered himself as MR WONDERFUL but unimpressed ANN was off seeking the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while ROD declared he was OUT OF TIME (Stones). Finally back after a while ARTHUR sang the BIRD ON A WIRE (dedicated to Richard Neville) as another welcome face CARL told of the exploits of THE LONE BADGER which left KAM & BANJO JOHN to take us to the interval with DR JAZZ.

A chatty break brought the Raffle which saw the Red Wine do home with Alan, the Rosé wine go home with Barry & Chris, the Candle go home with Ann and the Necklace go home to Hilary via Martin before ED asked a serious question, WILL THE TURTLE BE UNBROKEN? Still in traditional mood BAZ sang about PEGGY GORDON before SIMON delighted us with the LIONS AND LAMBS [banjo tune] followed by VIGILANTE MAN. Next we turned to ROBIN who was away with A GYPSY WOMAN (Don Williams) so no wonder BRIAN declared I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU as did the sailors in ANN’S song about THE LORELEI. Recalling a bit hit by The Band ROD next sang THE WEIGHT as DAVID turned to the Beatles WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS before CARL was back on his feet for the great favourite BRIGADIER. No wonder JAMES was WILLING as KAMRAN gave us SLIDING DELTA before SIMON sang LODI (John Fogerty). From God’s own country according to Nicola ROBIN led us in singing MINGULAY and for ROD it was ALL OR NOTHING but for DAVID it was a case of IN DREAMS as we headed for the climax of a great night. No wonder ED kicked off with ALL THE GOOD TIMES as JAMES regretted SHE NEVER SPOKE SPANISH TO ME before CARL topped it all with THANKSGIVING by Pete Morton. Class!

AUGUST - 2016

Newsletter No 393 30 August 2016

BANJO JOHN commenced the evening by announcing that he was playing JOHNNY B GOOD and asked Paul and Bernard Cromarty to accompany him. They both looked bewildered when he started to play and sing ‘ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN’ but they adjusted well and were all playing the same thing by the end of the tune. No wonder Jeremy Paxman was having a rant. KATH & STAN then enchanted us with WATERBOUND and DAVE encouraged us all to sing along with him on BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN before, following one of his usual jokes, PETE gave us ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY BLUES. Next ROB returned to us after an injury to his ribs and two weeks confined to lying flat on his back without the aid of alcohol and he had brought his guitar to finally sing and play GALWAY GIRL after threatening to for months. SIMON then sang unaccompanied DENOMINATION BLUES by Washington Phillips and GORDON played and sang Archie Fisher’s lovely THE BROOM A’ THE COWDENKNOWES before JO sang an unaccompanied DON’T THINK TWICE by Bob Dylan. The new duo of PAUL with Bernard on Tin Whistle sang and played ALL AROUND MY HAT which who knows could have driven MARK & JAN to sin OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY before ED amused us with Benny Hill’s GARDEN OF LOVE. Also getting a bit fraught LESLIE was initially going to sing something with his ukulele accompaniment but changed his mind and sang a cappella ADMIRAL BENBOW as IAN picked up his guitar for SETH DAVY and CHRIS treated us to a beautiful lengthy rendition of THE FERRY MAN. Continuing the unaccompanied theme MARIAN gave us SPENCER THE ROVER and BERNARD finished the round with his jolly SINKING OF THE TITANIC to which BANJO JOHN replied with THE ST LOUIS BLUES and GORDON sang and played a moving LAKES OF PONTCHARTRAIN. Then MARK & JAN had us all singing along to LAZING ON A SUNNY AFTERNOON before BERNARD shouted up his favourite BIG YELLOW TAXI whilst we all became the backing artists. PAUL then sang the sea shanty BULLY IN THE ALLEY and PETER sang IF NOT FOR YOU and the joke was improved this time around as KATH & STAN took us down the BAY OF BISCAY-O before MARIAN sang the PRETTY MAIDS OF GREENWICH.

Somewhere about now we had the interval Alan won Paul Robson CD’s, Kath & Stan won the French Red Wine, Michael (first time visit) from Lymm won the box of PG Tips T-Bags, the new couple from Runcorn & Sale (whose names escape me) who won the apples last week, won the box of Quality Street and another new couple who came last week, won the box of Scottish shortbread biscuits. Then it fell to DAVE to sing BAD MOON RISING by Creedence Clearwater Revival before ROB with Mark on harmonica sang and played guitar IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU and you Rob hopefully shaken not stirred. Getting all serious ED then sang THE PILGRIM and equally serious IAN sang LITTLE OLE WINE DRINKER ME and LESLIE sang unaccompanied again for ONCE I HAD A TRUE LOVE. This led CHRIS to sing a great version of THE OUTLAW before SIMON finished the round with BACHELOR’S HALL. Finally running out of time so we had to be selective to complete this great evening so GORDON was requested to sing FROM CLARE TO HERE (Ralph McTell) and PETE sang his own MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES before MARK & JAN took us all off to JACKSON. This left PAUL & SIMON to play excellent banjo together with PAUL singing MAMMA DON’T ALLOW NO SINGING AROUND HERE which excellently teed up BERNARD for a fantastic end to a very atmospheric evening with IT ALL MAKES WORK FOR THE WORKING MAN TO DO followed by some CAROUSEL TUNES and finally WILL YE GO LASSIE GO as we sung our way into the street. Top night everybody!

Newsletter No 392 23 August 2016

It was great to have Kamran & Pete back in harness again and PETE started the ball rolling with a HEART LIKE A WHEEL which straight way had BANJO JOHN LEAVING ON A JET PLANE with SUE having just enough time to say CALL ME (Blondie). As far as ROD was concerned it was DON'T THINK TWICE but JAMES thought there was some SWEET LITTLE MYSTERY and PAUL decided to ROW THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG. Thinking Olympics HILLARY played us RIO BY NIGHT before JOHN teased us with THE QUESTION SONG and JOAN had us laughing at her MUM'S SECONDARY SCHOOL YEARS. Only just returned from holiday ROBIN paradoxically gave us his LAST FAREWELL as KAMRAN raced out to get a SPOONFUL which for GEOFF was THE LAST THING ON MY MIND. Paying a return visit DAN brought the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY but SIMON was still down in the HEARTBREAK HOTEL and ED was looking for some ABSENT FRIENDS and found one in RICHARD, late as usual, if TRUTH BE KNOWN followed by DIANNE who recited her own poem, WELLINGTON BOOTS, about her late partner. Finally BANJO JOHN said I’m off WALKING MY BABY BACK HOME as crashed into the interval and the Raffle.

From a whole bunch of prizes the hanging basket went to Gillian; the apples went to Barbara, the plums went to Geoff; the white wine went to Alan and the Buck's Fizz went to Jeff before PETE chose to BEAT THE DRUM and start the second half. PAUL then took us after SPENCER THE ROVER to which JAMES said HE'LL HAVE TO GO. Still in Brazil HILLARY invited us TANGO ESTE NOCHE and in similar vein DAN sang about PANCHO & LEFTIE (Townes van Zandt) before JOAN told us a funny story about a knitted swimsuit called THE DROPOUT. Enough said! Appropriately ROD then came up with THE WEIGHT and SUE was in the USA for JAMBALAYA as was KAMRAN with the AVALON BLUES. For JOHN he had a different AIM IN LIFE as GEOFF asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? Of course she will! Not sure about SIMON who was at the DARK END OF THE STREET or RICHARD hallucinating about ME AND MY SUPER BLUE CAPE. Deadly certain, though, about ED and his COMICAL GENIUS and DAN and his OLD MAN and doubly deadly certain about PAUL banded with James, Kamran, Ed & Simon for JESUS ON THE MAINLINE to finish a great night.

Newsletter No 391 16 August 2016

An extremely pleasant evening was conjured up by KATH & STAN who were greeted by a good crowd with MOONSHADOW followed by BANJO JOHN declaring a STORMY MONDAY with PAUL and then PHIL exposing the POST WW2 BLUES of his mentor Al Stewart so no wonder PAUL lamented being out IN THE EARLY MORNING RAIN. Next we had a visitor on his way home to Cornwall in the form of TERRY GODSON who sang an old favourite SENOR before PAULINE, still in WW2 told us about SOLDIERS TREATED LIKE SLAVES so no wonder SIMON took off on his VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING 1052. Then our first newcomer NAOMI delighted us with THE GARTEN LOVERS LULLABY which prompted PETE to respond TONIGHT I’LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU while covered in confusion ED confessed I MISS MY BRAINS THE MOST. Don’t worry sang JO with WE SHALL OVERCOME and our second newcomer JOHN COSGROVE optimistically replied EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY SOMETIME to which the third new face JOHN STEEDMAN declared he was THE REBEL. This left JOAN to give us MORE OF HER MUM’S MEMORIES before BANJO JOHN was recalled to tell us I GET THE BLUES WHEN IT RAINS and for KATH & STAN it seems MONDAY MORNING (Cyril Tawney) is a bit of a problem before TERRY GODSON capped it all by saying to him it was FOREVER AUTUMN (War of the Worlds). Thank goodness for NAOMI who offered to walk us out in THE MORNING DEW and PAUL who was GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD as the interval came upon us.

The usual raffle saw the Biscuits go home with Ken, the Beer go to Alan, the Wine leave with Paul and the CD leave with Pauline before JOHN COSGROVE kicked off the second half by seeing THE GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND. Another bit of bad behaviour was described by PAULINE in the story of MINING UNDER THE GERMAN TRENCHES WW1 to which PHIL added his FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS and on a personal level ED confessed OH LORD IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE. More optimistically PETE was away SEARCHING FOR A HEART OF GOLD and JOAN was telling us about HEALTHY EATING ACCORDING TO HER MUM. Next JOHN STEEDMAN came back with a great version of DARCY FARRELL while SIMON was phoning JESUS ON THE MAINLINE and KATH & STAN were off to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH. Making a quick return JOHN STEEDMAN said he had found his DREAM LOVER to which HELEN replied ONCE I LOVED and PETE said that always brings out THE BEST IN ME. Heading for a big finish ED was out with MACALPINE’S FUSILIERS and PHIL amused us with MMMM, MMMM, MMMM before PAUL led us all to the door with the SLOOP JOHN B for a top night!

Newsletter No 390 9 August 2016
A good sized audience was welcomed by MICK who started on a sombre note with THE LAST OF THE WIDOWS before BRIAN warmed us with MY ROMANCE and STAN with KATH confessed HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL. Then back from his sojourn in France PETE took us south of the border for BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER while ANN was where it was DARK AS THE DUNGEON and certainly there was none of the MR BLUE SKY that DAVID sang about. Going back to WW1 PAULINE next gave us some poetry FROM GALLIPOLI before BAZ unsheathed his new guitar to sing THE WATER IS WIDE which had us all singing as did PAUL with COUNTRY ROADS and IAN kept it going with LITTLE OL’ WINE DRINKER ME. With a change of mood JO suddenly declared he’s NOBODY’S DARLING BUT MINE as ED celebrated CALEDONIA and LESLEY went all rural in the West Country with JOLLY COUNTRY FOLKS WE BE. Certainly DON & HEATHER didn’t have ALL THE ANSWERS as JAMES turned to the Beatles for I WILL and MICK responded with I’LL GET YOU which made KATH & STAN go off and take the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and JO to say she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Still in romantic mood BRIAN definitely was A LEGEND IN MY TIME before PAUL took us to the interval with the story of RAILROAD BILL.

A bumper raffle saw Alan win the White Wine, Dave win the Red Wine, Mick win the CD, Doreen win the Box of Biscuits and Jackie win the Knapkins before LESLEY opened the second half with the ROSE OF ALLANDALE. Raiding the tempo JAMES wished he could SHIMMY LIKE MY SISTER KATE as IAN warmed himself around the LITTLE POT STOVE as ED explained WHY PADDY’S NOT AT WORK TODAY. Then back to WW1 with PAULINE introducing SUNDAY SCHOOL SONGS IN THE TRENCHES sung to hymn tunes. For DAVID, however, NOTHING EVER HAPPENS which could have applied to ANN who was fishing for THE TROUT but for BAZ it was clear that RED IS THE ROSE as PETER took off to America for WOODSTOCK. On this side of the Pond FREE SPIRITS celebrated Salford that DIRTY OLD TOWN as KATH & STAN decided to say their THE LAST GOODBYE but BRIAN replied i DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Back to seeing the funny side ED then delivered Les Barker’s skit in Little Red Riding Hood with MI HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM and LESLEY had us singing the tongue twisting GOODBYE, GOODBYE before sanity returned when DAVID turned to the Beatles for IF I FELL. Heading to a climax PAUL gave us some JUG BAND MUSIC before we sang ourselves out with IAN and FOUR STRONG WINDS followed by JAMES with a Beatles Song and FREE SPIRITS urging us all to STEAL AWAY.

Newsletter No 389 2 August 2016

Getting off to a lively start MARK & JAN welcomed everyone including YE JACOBITES and ED with his POOR DITCHING BOY. Giving us a clear view of things SUE reminded us of her day job with WHEN I’M CLEANING WINDOWS as JO went more philosophical with BLOWING IN THE WIND while BANJO JOHN was on the SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET. On the other hand ROD wanted more action with a REVOLUTION and, as PAULINE told us in the FRANCIS LEDWICH STORY (Pt 1), there was plenty of that in WW1. A little later from the seventies DON & HEATHER took us back to the BANJO MAN who famously sang “Trouble on my mind” but GEOFF retorted HE’LL HAVE TO GO only for PAUL to take the hint and go off to THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN. Also back in time JOAN continued HER MOTHER’S STORY with THE GRANDCHILDREN only to bump into RICHARD and his STREET PREACHER and JONATHAN who was proclaiming I’m a ONE MAN GUY. Then we had a special treat as MICHELLE & BONZ walked through the door strangely to wish us FARE THEE WELL to which MARK & JAN replied WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES and BANJO JOHN said you can DREAM for which GEOFF reckoned there was plenty of TIME. Heading to the interval ROD took us via KANSAS CITY and PAUL said I’ll TELL OLD BILL and MICHELLE & BONZ blue us away with the best version of BLACK IS THE COLOUR.

The customary bumper raffle saw Vic win the Red Wine; Sue win the Rose Wine; Paul take the Biscuits; Doreen win
the Folk North West Magazine; Geoff win the Champagne; Martin win the CD and Phil win the Chocolates before ED started the second half with THE TWANG MAN. Continuing, PAULINE told the rest of the FRANCIS LEDWICH STORY (Pt 2) before JONATHAN returned from the PROMISED LAND. JOAN continued her MUM’S STORY with MOVING before RICHARD lifted us with some SWEET, SWEET SOUND OF MUSIC. On a philosophical note DON & HEATHER contemplated the notion of THE BORDERLINE whereas ROD told us his lady love looked WONDERFUL TONIGHT while ED asked his to PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE before she explained why she was leaving him. For RICHARD the solution was a BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER but, as PAUL explained, STAGGER LEE just shot Billy! This nicely set a big finish as MICHELLE & BONZ took us off to the JULY WAKES before telling is about NASHVILLE CATS which left MARK & JAN with the job of pointing out it’s NO USE CRYING as a great evening ended and we headed for the door. 

JULY - 2016

Newsletter No 388 26 July 2016

At first we thought it was going to be a quiet evening and then the coach arrived and we were suddenly full to busting as ROBIN introduced co-host PAUL who whipped us into action with ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS to which GEOFF & SUE replied BLAME IT ON THE UKULELE. For ROD the mod it was BABY YOU’RE OUT OF TIME who for BANJO JOHN was SWEET SUE but KAMRAN was determined to MAKE IT WITH YOU. On a sadder note SIMON exclaimed SEE HOW I MISS YOU but for JAN, still on with her current husband MARK, it was a case of DON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE and also true love for THE FEMALE SMUGGLER sung by MARIAN. Then up stepped newcomer DAVE THOMAS to make a great start by singing THE GRACE followed by JAMES who couldn’t resist a bit of rockabilly in the BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY and LESLIE foe whom NELLIE WAS A LADY. Next and still delving into her WW1 poets came PAULINE with a POEM TO A BLACK GREYHOUND and CHRIS still delving into Ralph McTell’s repertoire for EIGHT FRAMES A SECOND before we had a little on the quirky side from JOHN with his own version of ATHLETE’S FOOT and ED who told us I LIKE MY WOMEN A LITTLE ON THE TRASHY SIDE. No wonder JOAN went back to her Mum’s tales of THE GOOD OLD DAYS to which 96 year old PHYLLIS replied with a poem DON’T ASK ME TO REMEMBER before BRIAN  was at his romantic best with ANNIE’S SONG and DON & HEATHER  recommended we should STEAL AWAY as the interval approached.  

The customary bumper raffle was the prelude to ROBIN declaring it’s GOOD TO BE BACK HOME just as GEOFF & SUE exhorted us to FLY AWAY and ROD the mod exclaimed but it’s been WONDERFUL TONIGHT. No wonder KAMRAN dug out the CHUMP MAN BLUES and SIMON declared THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE A BROKEN HEART but MARK & JAN were determined WE’LL HUNT HIM DOWN Charles Darwin that is. MARIAN then celebrated THE PRETTY MAID OF GREENWICH as JAMES asked why don’t you take ALL OF ME and DAVE THOMAS told the story of POCAHONTAS before LESLIE challenged our reputation as a chorus singing club with BONNY GLEN SHEE. Coming to the finale PAULINE took us back INTO BATTLE with a WW1 poem as JOHN took us away with BOBBY McGEE and ED had us out ALONG THE VERDIGRIS before DON, PAUL & ROBIN had us away with the DIAMANTINA DROVER leaving GEOFF & SUE to form a big band up for WAGON WHEEL to end a great evening in splendid fashion.

Newsletter No 387 19 July 2016

A great birthday party for our digital demon photographer Chris Ross was started by BANJO JOHN who remembered his jazz band days with JUST A LITTLE WHILE TO STAY HERE which had PAUL clearly SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD. Celebrating the summer weather BRIAN had THAT LUCKY OLD SUN in mind while ANN was remembering THE FOLK SINGER and PHIL was going all classical with brilliant variations of GREENSLEEVES. Still with the Somme in mind PAULINE then brought us FORGOTTEN VOICES OF THE GREAT WAR to which KAMRAN replied with the BLACK HORSE BLUES and JO gathered up her GALWAY SHAWL before we were welcomed LAYAN from Jordan who superbly played the BALLAD PER ADALINE on the piano. What a lovely surprise. Fortunately FAIRPLAY responded perfectly with MOONSHADOW as did JANET who reviewed how WE TRIED TO CHANGE THE WORLD and ROBIN who pleaded COME HOME PADDY RILEY. No wonder JONATHAN & CHARLIE felt they were FREE FALLING (Petty) and SIMON reached for his banjo for HOLD THE GOD'S, UNCHANGING HAND which left DON & HEATHER absolutely PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE. Still in romantic mood BRIAN celebrated THE NEARNESS OF YOU and JO gave her tribute to THE TRAVELLING SOLDIER as BANJO JOHN declared he had the ST LOUIS BLUES to which JONATHAN & CHARLIE replied. What you need is a TEQUILA SUNRISE as we reached the interval buffet and chips kindly supplied by the birthday girl.

The usual bumper raffle saw the Chocolate biscuits go to Kamran; the Milestones CD go to Chris; the artist’s Notebook go appropriately to Jillian; the Jewellery donated by Hillary go to Rosalind; the handbag hanger go to Alan; the Folk North West go to Paul and the Red Wine go to Vic.

ROBIN then started the second half with a trip to the STREETS OF BALTIMORE and PAULINE told us ANOTHER CHILD'S STORY FROM THE GREAT WAR before PHIL brilliantly played a STUDY IN A (Matteo Carcassi). This time a cappella SIMON sang JUANITA (Parsons) and LAYAN played her own composition EXAM STRESS to which ANN looked heavenwards and sang ALL MY TRIALS, LORD. Changing the mood FAIRPLAY decided on two tunes RAKES OF MARLOW and A DORSET FOUR HAND REEL before KAMRAN went for 4 + 20 and PAUL went for the NEXT GO ROUND. Returning with a singalong FREE SPIRITS then took us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE before PAULINE gave us ANOTHER CHILD'S STORY from the great war years and PAUL shot off on the RED RIVER TRAIN. This prompted SIMON to again pick up the banjo for BILLY THE KID and FAIRPLAY to sing DINK'S SONG which for KAMRAN was all about the THINGS THAT MATTER. This nicely set up a big finish with LAYAN & PHIL leading the way with LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and LAYAN taking over the guitar for an ARABIC SONG ABOUT A BOY ASKING A GIRL TO DANCE which left FREE SPIRITS to sing us out with Arthur Marshall’s FENCES and Ewan McCall’s DIRTY OLD TOWN to end an excellent evening.

Newsletter No 386 12 July 2016

Even in the absence of Simon DON & HEATHER started off another entertaining evening with the metaphorical KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER but there was no doubt about BANJO JOHN foray into the last century to find JOSHUA but to KAMRAN it was all TIME IN A BOTTLE. As if our summer weather isn’t bad enough ROBIN next went NORTH TO ALASKA and KATH & STAN were drowning in BLACK WATERS shortly before ANN sang BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN who was carted off to the loony bin. Ever the optimist ROD the mod lied that IT NEVER RAINS IN CALIFORNIA and equally naive BRIAN asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW, some hope, before CHRISTINE & WILF WAY told us that this is how LIFE’S MEANT TO BE. Then by way of a complete change HILARY played ROCK ME MAMA and PAUL told us IF I HAD A HAMMER as RICHARD was TRAVELLING WESTWARD. Not surprisingly JAMES raised a toast to SWEET LORRAINE and equally sublime was ED with BOB DYLAN’S DREAM but out of his skin BANJO JOHN was that LITTLE OLE WINE DRINKER ME. A bit distressed himself KAMRAN warned us of CARELESS LOVE which sent HILARY off on a STOMP and CHRISTINE & WILF hiding UNDER THE BOARDWALK till we found ROBIN up in DURHAM TOWN as we reached the interval.

A bumper raffle saw the wine go to Hilary; the box of tea go home with Ann; a bottle of Beer into Kath’s handbag; the CD in Pauline’s hands and the Rub on Lick off disappear with Martin before FREE SPIRITS confess they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Calming us all down JAMES sang McCartney’s FOR NO ONE (Beatles) which inspired DAVID to turn to George Harrison for SOMETHING (Beatles) and BRIAN told us you say it best WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL. Getting to her feet ANN was next DEFYING GRAVITY as RICHARD said THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER DAY but ROD was still asking the question IF I WERE A CARPENTER. Either way up KATH & STAN insisted we KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE as PAUL went after THE OLD 97 and ED with KATH & STAN chased after the BLACK LEG MINER. A tribute to a world famous cougar came next from DAVID in the form of MRS ROBINSON, or was it Anne Bancroft, before CHRISTINE & WILF played us 2 tunes MOLL IN THE WOODS and FOX AND GEESE and KAMRAN celebrated LEWIS COLLINS to set up a big finish. KATH & STAN kicked off looking for the FORSAKEN MERMAID and FREE SPIRITS rolled down America with WAGON WHEEL before ED with ROBIN, PAUL, DON & HEATHER told us ALL THE GOOD TIMES were past and gone and we headed for the street well satisfied.

Newsletter No 385 5 July 2016

ED & SUE guided us smoothly through another excellent evening of music, song and poetry started by BANJO JOHN who insisted we DREAM as BRIAN volunteered LET IT BE ME and JAMES confessed I WISH I COULD SHIMMY LIKE MY SISTER KATE while in deep contemplation JOHN CHILCOTT was SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY. Then we got a big surprise when PAULINE came to the front for the first time to recite LOVE OF LIFE from War Poetry from J W Street (1885) in honour of the fallen in the Battle of the Somme. Luckily PHIL had some different CAREER MOVES (Loudon Wainwright lll) to sing about and PAUL had BIG BAD BILL to tell us about so no wonder ROD was feeling WONDERFUL TONIGHT before we went back in time with JOAN for more FAMILY LIFE from her Mum’s Story. Next we had a conundrum, what happened to who, from DON, HEATHER & PAUL in FOREVER AND A DAY whereas DAVID was in no doubt about his CROCODILE SHOES (Jimmy Nail) as was SIMON with the tale of ‘ARRY, ‘ARRY, ‘ARRY (Alec Hurly). Not realising Paul had brought his long neck banjo specially for singing it, ROBIN suddenly burst out with COUNTRY ROADS demonstrating the unpredictability of folk clubs as did ED as he explained the role of THE FLUSHERS with Alan an ex-flusher himself looking on approvingly. By way of a change CHARLIE became the lead singer and JONATHAN the support for TALLADEGA as JOHN CHILCOTT sat back in his easy chair for YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE. On the other hand BRIAN set out on the STREETS OF LONDON and BANJO JOHN was DOWN IN LOUISIANA before PAULINE gave us a few LINES BEFORE GOING from the Somme in War Poetry by Alexander Robertson (1892). Coming up to the interval JAMES bemoaned being A FOOL SUCH AS I (Hank Snow) before DON, HEATHER & PAUL also went back to WW 1 with CALLING DOON THE LINE by Alan Bryden leaving DAVID to cheer us all up ?? with SO LONG MARIANNE (L Cohen).

A bumper raffle saw Simon win the wine; Joan win the olive oil; Heather win the CD; Jonathn win the Chocolates and Barrie win the Paint on and Lick off Cream before starting the second half ED confessed I’VE STARTED LEARNING TO PLAY THE GUITAR and before leaving BARRIE sang for us RED IS THE ROSE and PHIL sang MAR’IN as a tribute to our Martin after his wedding. Still in fine form ROD THE MOD treated us to ALL OR NOTHING (Small Faces) and back to his roots ROBIN had us all singing with WILL YE GO LASSIE GO before JOAN changed the subject to FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD from her Mum’s Story. Can’t think why PAUL had TROUBLE IN MIND but ANN was quite clear that MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN was another song for Martin and SIMON also celebrated working men in PULL DOWN LADS before PAULINE told us what was felt BEFORE ACTION by William Hodgson. Old Mr Romantic, BRIAN, then came up with WHEN YOUR OLD WEDDING RING WAS NEW but still flying high ROD was in a TEQUILA SUNRISE while PHIL was in a MOONSHADOW. No wonder DAVID decided I’M LEAVING YOU (L Cohen) and ANN & ROBIN were off with a COUNTRY MEDLEY and SIMON was seeing life THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE ELEPHANT’S BOTTOM. On that note we headed for the door with PAUL wishing us MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU and DON & HEATHER having NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL and JAMES we were up to the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS as we went into the street. Magic!!

JUNE - 2016

Newsletter No 384 28 June 2016

Another KATH & STAN special evening with lots of songs, tunes and good craic was kicked off by our hosts with OWENSBORO just before BANJO JOHN boarded the MIDNIGHHT SPECIAL and PHIL went out poaching with his LONGDOG (Show of Hands). HELEN then continued to remind us that THE TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH as DON, HEATHER & PAUL told of the delights DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and SIMON asked WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING before JANET took us back in time for a HOUSEWIVE’S CHOICE. No wonder PAUL asked us to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE and JOAN gave us A DAY TO REMEMBER from her Mum’s Memoires before ED gave us an example of rough justice for CALEB MEYER who attempted rape and was killed by his potential victim for his trouble. KAMRAN told us he was OUT OF TIME, not literally, and JONATHAN told us about a ONE MAN GUY followed by KATH & STAN with two tunes THREE AROUND THREE & COME TO THE CEILIDH before BANJO JOHN confessed he had the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES. Having only a few days earlier heard the original by Zoe Mulford on Facebook JANET surprised with MIDSUMMER HYMN but still PAUL had the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES and HELEN thought was THE GOOD THING. Certainly SIMON agreed at THE DIMMING OF THE DAY as JOAN gave us more REFLECTIONS ON LIFE by her Mum and JONATHAN went with Bruce Springsteen and MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS. Roaring up to the interval break ED celebrated with RED HEADED ANNE and PHIL introduced a WIND OF CHANGE before DON, HEATHER & PAUL went for migration ACROSS THE BORDERLINE.

The usual bumper raffle saw the Wine go to Heather; the Roses go to Jackie; the Foot Cream go to Ed; the Chocolates go to Joan; the CD go to Paul; and Rub and Lick off Cream give Simon some inspiration. KAMRAN then started the second half with a visit to ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY prompting KATH & STAN to sing the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY which set HELEN off singing like THE LARK. As hinted earlier SIMON was inspired to sing about SIN CITY in celebration of his raffle prize so no wonder PHIL was found WALKING BACKWARDS DOWN THE STAIRS which PAUL with HEATHER & DON agreed when it is DARK AS A DUNGEON. Then out of the blue in walked ED with JACUZZI JOE and his Funky Concertina causing KAMRAN to go off with the TRAVELLING RIVERSIDE BLUES (Going down to Roseville) and SIMON to go CROSSING MUDDY WATERS and PHIL away with his BROTHERS IN ARMS. Heading to a sing along finish KATH with STAN was that BANJO PICKING GIRL as PAUL, DON & HEATHER treated us to STEWBALL followed by the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS to send us trilling into the night. Excellent!

Newsletter No 383 21 June 2016

On this fine June evening a modest group of people assembled for what was to be a fine evening of song, stories and music. Kate was a little delayed as she had a nasty tumble at home but, despite not being 100%, came along with Heather to take the money on the door and we wish her a speedy recovery.

MARK & JAN started the evening with a Newfoundland song, LUKEY’S BOAT followed by ED keeping up the maritime theme with I’M SAYING GOODBYE TO THE FISHING to which SUE could only reply WHEN ALL I GOT IS A HAMMER. Unusually for PHIL he turned to Loudon Wainwright III for I’M ALRIGHT, a ‘non blues’ blues, as BRIAN sang about ME AND THE ELEPHANT before BANJO JOHN came up with THE CURSE OF AN ACHING HEART from the Laurel and Hardy film Blotto whose in-car music system from the film “Busybodies” is a “must see. Then who else but JOAN could follow that and have us laughing at the courting exploits of her sisters written by her mother. No wonder GEOFF decided to sing ALL BEFORE as JO was taking it ONE DAY AT A TIME and JAMES was BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. All this made CHRIS became a PIPER TO THE END and HELEN tell us it was NO USE CRYING leaving JONATHAN & CHARLIE to settle for a TEQUILA SUNRISE and PAUL to end the first round out IN THE EARLY MORNING RAIN. With ages before pumpkin time BANJO JOHN started the second round on the ROBERT E. LEE and upwardly mobile JAN sang the lovely Corrine Polwart song FOLLOW THE HERON HOME just before BRIAN asked WHAT IF I TOLD YOU to which quick as a flash JO told him YOU’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG. JAMES, however, was SO SAD but PAUL advised him to DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT.

Then it was strange how the first raffle ticket drawn out of the box by Jan was Mark’s but enough said as there were plenty of prizes to be had before ED started the second half by telling us I’VE AN ANTI-SOCIAL PROBLEM which brought back many happy memories for those of us who were privileged to have know Joan Gallimore. Continuing her rise to the stratosphere of folk HELEN then plundered her extensive repertoire for HEART OF MY HOMELAND before leaving JOAN to relate her mother’s story of how hard it had been for their family to move to Carrington from Trafford Park. GEOFF recommended the train by riding on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS but CHRIS philosophically gave us Jez Lowe’s OLD BONES which brought A KIND OF HUSH from SUE. Quite why but this gave PAUL the GOOD MORNING BLUES and ED was also unhappy with his BRONGHIO-DILATOR BLUES. You’ve got to be a MAN OF THE WORLD then observed PHIL and GEOFF & SUE seem to qualify as he asked her WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO SLEEP TONIGHT? As long as he had his guitar and twelve fingers CHRIS certainly didn’t care as he brilliantly played two tunes NAKED LADIES and ELECTRIC RAGTIME as we headed for a big finish. JAMES led the spontaneous band-up for COCAINE BLUES followed by PAUL with CORRINA. CORRINA and then MARK & JAN with dark portents for Thursday in the form of BAD MOON RISING for another very pleasant evening in Sale Folk Club.

Newsletter No 382 14 June 2016

PAUL made a suitable start to Martin & Hilary’s pre-nuptial party with WILD ABOUT MY LOVIN’ before BANJO JOHN asked somewhat obliquely IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT DIXIE before MARK & JAN told us LOVE AND HAPPINESS is all it takes. Surely in agreement CHRIS chipped in with SMART ASS as HILARY declared it a CELEBRATION with her solo guitar and CARL wondered whether they would make OLD BONES. Our old friend MICHAEL then popped up to explain WHY DO WE BUILD THE WALL and hope that poverty never afflicts Hilary & Martin for whom JANET sang the hymn WHEN A KNIGHT HAS WON HIS SPURS. More to the point and period MICK added P.S. I LOVE YOU and SIMON chipped in with AT THE DARK END OF THE STREET before HELEN brought us the ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY (J. Prine) to which DAVID commented IS THIS LOVE? Surprise guest JOHN CONDY added his own song YOU ARE YOUR WORLD to which FAIR PLAY added 2 tunes TWIGLET and BODMIN RISING before ROBIN took us all over to DENVER. This left BANJO JOHN to put a spanner in the works by admitting I’M CONFESSING THAT I LOVE YOU and JANET amusingly read the WEATHER FORECAST which was useful to JAN & MARK who were off on the BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND. Quite what the new bride-to-be made of HILARY’S guitar piece INSIDE BLUES but MICK’S EIGHT DAYS A WEEK was straightforward as CARL took us over to BAKER STREET but MICHAEL’S UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY and BANJO JOHN’S declaration I WANT A GIRL clouded the issue as we went in to the interval.

After a bumper raffle PAUL had us SINGING MY BLUES AWAY and FAIR PLAY had us tilting at WINDMILLS before JOHN C pleaded STEAL MY HEART AWAY (Van Morrison) and DAVID added TAKE ME I/M YOURS by Squeeze. HELEN then took the floor with BOBBY’S SONG and SIMON warned of ALIMONY as ROBIN took to the STREETS OF LAREDO. On a more serious note MARK & JAN had us singing the Chicken Song I FELL IN LOVE to which JOHN C replied THANK YOU by Led Zeppelin and FAIR PLAY tootled 2 more tunes THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH. A final warning to the couple came from SIMON who explained how we are in trouble without the DO RAY ME (Woody Guthrie) and DAVID followed that with his ALLOTMENT SONG before MICHAEL had us singing the romantic PEGGY O’NEILL and HELEN was even more poignant with IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND. Finally with all agreeing it was a great send-off PAUL, on hearing of flooding in Lymm where Martin has a house, led us all into a dry Sale night with Sir Rod Stewart’s SAILING to end a great evening!

Newsletter No 381 7 June 2016

Hosting an evening which went very well GRASSROOTS started of the great music and song with THE BUTCHER BOY to which BANJO JOHN replied with CHANGES. After a week with his grand children it was a no brainer for PAUL to come up with THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE to which SUE & GEOFF’S version of LYIN’ EYES was a complete non-sequitur as KEVIN shared his COMPANIONS BY THE SEA. Then the first of the new names LESLIE sang for us THE DUNN SONG followed by ANN who led us to chorus with ME ORO VAN O before DAVID sang LIVING THING (ELO?). Next JO was out and about in her LONG BLACK VEIL and SIMON was bidding us all ADIEU, ADIEU. This brought JOSN to the front for TO GOLDIE, a reading from her Mum’s writings, after which DICK felt SAFE IN THE HARBOUR TONIGHT before ROBIN took us off to THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK. This prefaced the arrival the young mega talent DAN on only his second visit to the club which he claimed was THE LAST THING ON MY MIND which caused our JAMES to rise to the occasion with MAY YOU NEVER and likewise CHRIS to pull out all the stops for MERMAIDS AND SEAGULLS. Also stepping up GRASSROOTS returned with that great song I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE which to BANJO JOHN meant doing the CHARLESTON and to JO it meant more SUMMERTIME and to SUE it meant REAL HOPE. Back down to earth SIMON told us that THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR, a sober thought, as JAMES settled for the GLORY OF LOVE and JOAN went for THE POWER OF WORDS leaving us to settle back and listen to DAN’S superb version of AMERICA with some great guitar accompaniment. After checking the number of Dan’s fingers, PAUL followed with RAMBLING ON MY MIND and DICK reached for A GLASS OF WATER but for ANN everything was AS DARK AS A DUNGEON. Slightly more traditional LESLIE told us ONCE I HAD A SWEETHEART and GEOFF unfolded the story of the unfortunate SIR PATRICK SPENS which led ROBIN to comment appropriately that THE BATTLE IS OVER and it certainly was for Sir Patrick. Still in lyrical mood KEVIN looked forward a little early to MY LADY OF AUTUMN and CHRIS appropriately warned us to WEATHER THE STORM as DAVID confessed WE DID IT ALL. This left us time for a grand finale and DAN was invited to see us out in to the night which he did with two great songs, HANG ME, OH HANG ME and ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS which left us craving more so next week in the same place it is. A great night of varied entertainment.

MAY - 2016

Newsletter No 380 31 May 2016

All reported an enjoyable, laughter-filled night with hosts KAMRAN & SUE and even one of three first-time audience members was moved to promise a poem for next week after having a good time. KAMRAN got the ball rolling with DESPERADO and then accompanied BANJO JOHN for the DALLAS BLUES so no wonder SIMON was seeking JESUS ON THE MAINLINE. Next SUE was sporting her ROSE TATTOO (Dropkick Murphys) to which BRIAN added there’s always one SOMEWHERE OUT THERE (from An American Tale) before accompanying BAZ with THE WATER IS WIDE. With a Dolly Parton favourite ROD pleaded with JOLENE before JANET went more traditional for THE FIREMAN'S SONG leaving GEOFF to swing back with Eleanor McEvoy’s YOU'LL HEAR BETTER SONGS THAN THIS. Then from deepest Yorkshire ED turned to WILLIE OIL LAD, for Martin's Hillary in absentia, and JO advised us DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALRIGHT to which CHRIS replied SMART-ASS by The Lillingtons leaving JOAN to declare PEACE (part 1) and GRASSROOTS to lead us in the CIRCLE DANCE (Bonnie Raitt) before BANJO JOHN had us all singing come to me my MELANCHOLY BABY as the interval approached.

The customary Raffle saw a big Box of Tea won by SUE, the Chocolates won by ANN and the Wine deservedly won by MARTIN since he buys most tickets before KAMRAN gave us those DOWNTOWN BLUES and ROD started a REVOLUTION (Beatles). Any way up BRIAN wanted things MY WAY but BAZ was enamoured of MOLLY MALONE leaving ANN to chase after the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN before JOAN declared PEACE (part 2). In another way MICK HARE declared a kind of peace MR TAMBOURINE MAN before SUE delivered the BALLAD OF CURSED ANNA and SIMON went CROSSING MUDDY WATERS (John Hiatt). Amid this turmoil no wonder ED turned to the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER but GEOFF turned to MR DREAM SELLER as CHRIS settled for nature with BLACKBIRD. Hurtling towards a climax ROD was still looking for a TEQUILA SUNRISE while KAMRAN was asking us to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME before ED summed up the night with ALL THE GOOD TIMES are past and gone. Top notch!

Newsletter No 379 24 May 2016

ED & SUE masterfully hosted a full house for our Bob Dylan’s Birthday celebration and we set sail with BANJO JOHN leading us in an all in band up for MR TAMBOURINE MAN followed by ED with MASTERS OF WAR and MARK with LAY LADY LAY. Raising the tempo DON & HEATHER introduced us to QUINN THE ESKIMO before SIMON gave us some respite and had us singing about HARD TIMES only for ROD to return to theme with LAY DOWN SALLY and DAVE reminded us of THE LONESOME DEATH OF HATTIE CARROLL. Another moment of relief came from JAN who sang the lovely VERDANT BRAES OF SKREEN followed by MIKE with YOU’LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE, KATH & STAN with WILLOW GLEN and ALAN with WHERE RAVENS FEED. Back on theme JAMES came up with SHE BELONGS TO ME before BRIAN announced I will MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE until JONATHAN & CHARLIE took us off to AMERICA. Then PETE said IF NOT FOR YOU as PHIL was TANGLED UP IN BLUE leaving FREE SPIRITS to recapture the feel of the WAGON WHEEL and PAUL to lead a band up to the interval with BLOWING IN THE WIND.   

A bumper raffle saw some Wine go to Robin, the good old English Beer to Paul, another Wine to Vic, the Room Perfume go to Martin and the Cadbury’s Roses Chocolates go home with Hilary. 

The second half began with ARTHUR riding in O’RAFFERTY’S MOTOR CAR and RICHARD celebrating his facial hair with an ODE TO THE PIRATE’S BEARD before RICHARD GRAY asked WHO KILLED DAVY MOORE and PETE KING told us I love you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. Next BOB asked TAKE ME DOWN and ALAN sang Graham Miles’ BELL FERRY followed by BRIAN with Joe Cocker’s YOU’RE SO BEAUTIFUL TO ME before KATH & STAN went off with THE WAYFARING STRANGER and ROD went off with PROUD MARY. Promising to hunt him down MARK & JAN were next after CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN and DAVE recommended LET YOUR LOVE FLOW whereas PHIL said leave it to a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE and JAMES reckoned it was a question of DON’T THINK TWICE. Coming to the end of a great night MIKE AND RICHARD teamed up for DIAMANTINA DROVER and THREE TUNES with the whistle before PETE KING sang his own COME ON BLUES. Top drawer!!    

Newsletter No 378 17 May 2016

Entering a room empty of chairs DON & HEATHER must have thought the folk club was PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE but 30 minutes later BANJO JOHN was away RUNNING WILD and ROBIN joined him with the LAST FAREWELL before new guests MARK & LEE called TIME with their own brilliant composition. Rising to the challenge SUE called up her band of GEOFF & PAUL to HOLD THE LINE and PETE declared unequivocally SHE BELONGS TO ME before, back from holiday, PHIL questioned WHERE DO YOU GO TO MY LOVELY and PAUL had us calling Hey BLACK EYED SUSIE. Then turning to one of his favourites CHRIS climbed R. McTell’s SPIRAL STAIRCASE and KAMRAN had the urge to visit BAKER STREET whereas SIMON was more philosophical with BILLY AUSTIN’s sad story by Steve Earle but ED certainly had NO TIME TO CRY with Iris Dement. Nothing, however, prepared us for JOHN’s story of F.I.D.O. the automated dog poo collecting machine so thankfully HELEN took us off to HIGH GERMANY and RICHARD diverted our attention with the DUELLING FOLK SINGERS. Certainly DAVID’s conclusion that YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING made sense as did ROBIN with Alan Bell’s song BREAD AND FISHES before BANJO JOHN urged us to HOLD THAT TIGER as a parting gesture before the interval.

The usual raffle saw Heather go home with a big Indoor potted plant set. The Wine went to Rosalyn, John took home a CD, Joan won some Picture Art and Lee smuggled a Box of Yorkshire Tea home to Wigan where it is considered contraband. LEE was then soon on his feet with MARK with their song INTERACTIVE WEATHERMAN followed by FIDO JOHN who resurrected Lonnie’s BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS and SUE who insisted PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN. For some reason PAUL suggested we TAKE HIM AWAY and abstruse PHIL said I WISH WE’D ALL BEEN READY before SIMON hit the bottom line with ONE MORE DOLLAR. With a tale of deception and fraud RICHARD told of SALFORD’S ARSENIC ALE and HELEN related the fate of the SILVER DAGGER while DAVID and Elvis Costello insisted MY AIM IS TRUE. Unsure whether it was one of his top favourites CHRIS then sang NANNA’S SONG by R.McTell and PETE did the same with WOODSTOCK by J. Mitchell with KAMRAN not to be left out by singing OLD BONES STILL DREAM by our own Arthur Marshall (listen here

). Taking the floor in his own right GEOFF gave us the delightful ONLY YOU before ED gave us a warning to LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE UNDISTURBED as we headed for the finale in which LEE & MARK returned with another of their great songs I TENDER MY REGRETS before DON, HEATHER & PAUL, reminded of another of Arthur Marshall’s great songs, closed the evening with FENCES. A top night!!

Newsletter No 377 10 May 2016

A super evening was hosted seamlessly by KATH & STAN who immediately had us all engaged with the question WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN before BRIAN confessed to his HEART ON MY SLEEVE and DON & HEATHER had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL before the welcome return of a sadly infrequent visitor JEAN meant we went all traditional with her THREE RAVENS. Then things took a watery turn with PAUL and his FISHING BLUES followed by ED who was TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM. Sanity returned briefly with SIMON and JOHN DOE NUMBER 24 by Mary Chapin Carpenter and ROBIN who said IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN before we were back on the water again with ANN and THE TROUT and CHRIS with Knoppler’s TRAWLERMAN’S SONG. By way of a complete change KAMRAN then went STEALING, STEALING as PETE was stealing after the GIRL IN THE NORTH COUNTRY and KATH & STAN explained it was because HER BRIGHT SMILE STILL HAUNTS ME. Still on a complete downer PAUL now had the WHITEWASH STATION BLUES which affected BRIAN who set about KILLING THE BLUES as DON & HEATHER remembered the RAMBLING BOY. Even further back MARIAN remembered WHEN I WAS NO BUT SWEET SIXTEEN and ROBIN remembered trawling the STREETS OF BALTIMORE. Next JEAN was all at sea with THE WIDOWMAKER WIND by John Conolly and PETE sang his own tribute to MADAM WHISKEY as a form of solace whereas ED gave his own answer to addiction with THE GAMBLER who said if you are going to do it, do it right.

A quality raffle in the interval saw the Wine go to Rosalyn, the tin of Chocolates go to Heather who passed them round, the Chutney go home with Marian and the Cider find Pete a happy recipient before KAMRAN took us to Hobo’s heaven in THE BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. A departure for SIMON saw him sing Nancy Griffith’s THIS OLD TOWN and CHRIS give us a great version of Eric Clapton’s TEARS IN HEAVEN before MARIAN went back in time for THE HOLLAND HANDKERCHIEF. Again back in time to his youth BRIAN re-introduced YOU BUTTERFLY and PAUL took us back to CORN BREAD AND BUTTERBEANS before ANN took us back to Rosie Hardman for LADY FOR TODAY. Then ROBIN asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO but JEAN complained IT RAINS AND HAILS AND SNOWS which had PETE away KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR and KATH & STAN looking up at the MAN IN THE MOON. Luckily we had ED to introduce a bit of levity with TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT before SIMON told us of the VIGILANTE MAN and KAMRAN confessed I’LL NEVER GET TIRED OF YOU which was nice of him to say with his own composition. Finally, a big finish was merited and DON & HEATHER had us all rocking with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER before KATH & STAN played us a couple of lively tunes RAKES OF MALLOW and DORSET FOUR HAND REEL leaving CHRIS to sing and play the excellent FACTORY GIRL of Ralph McTell. Magic!

Newsletter No 376 3 May 2016

Despite the upturn in the weather MARK & JAN thought there was a BAD MOON RISING and PETE ROBERTS had a tough time in OXFORD TOWN before DAVID paid tribute to Roy Orbison to who he said YOU GOT IT. Still in the States DON & HEATHER were then off on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS while ANN stayed home with TOM PEARCE before JAMES set off WANDERING with a good old American folk song. A rising star in the firmament HELEN insisted on NO NAMES no pack drill presumably as BANJO JOHN chased after the SPARROW IN THE TREE TOP and PAUL RILEY wandered down by BELFAST MILL. Enough of this thought PETE as he boarded the BIG YELLOW TAXI to which JAMES retorted HAPPY DAYS AND LONELY NIGHTS as MARK & JAN headed off to ROTTERDAM to which BANJO JOHN said I’m sure they AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’. Never mind that HELEN said with JUMP RIGHT IN to which DAVID muttered don’t do SOMETHING STUPID. Another warning this time to the sailors on the Rhine came from ANN with the beautiful LORELEI all of which gave PAUL the HESITATION BLUES. Coming up to the interval DON & HEATHER were all romantic with YOU WILL BE THE LIGHT before BANJO JOHN confessed I GET THE BLUES WHEN IT RAINS and it’s worse when I’ve got GEORGIA ON MY MIND.

A big interval raffle saw Kate win the Cider, Hilary win the Olive Oil, Paul win the Bubble Bath, Joyce win the Roses Chocolates and Barry win the Folk NW before MARK & JAN opened up again by telling us YOU AIN’T GOING NOWHERE. So JAMES requested MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR but DON & HEATHER were happy down at the RED ROSE CAFE in Amsterdam before ANN told a sad story with THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN. Even sadder was DAVID in his own autobiographical TAKING MY CAR TO THE GARAGE as was HELEN who was on her LONG RIDE HOME (Patty Griffin) before PAUL was joined by James for a blues up. PETE next sang one of his favourites RABBIT HILLS to which JAMES responded with an UNKNOWN LEGEND which had ANN levitating as she was DEFYING GRAVITY to which HELEN responded who’s THE WITTY ONE. Going back in time to the 60’s DAVID had us all singing the Beatles’ THIS BOY which prompted PETE to lead us to DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and PAUL to keep the chorus going with CARELESS LOVE as did DON & HEATHER with ALL THE GOOD TIMES are past and gone which they were not as MARK & JAN sent us into the street to the sound of MAMA’S GOT A SQUEEZEBOX to end an excellent evening.

APRIL - 2016

Newsletter No 375 26 April 2016

A smaller but perfectly formed group arrived before our first host PAUL instructed DON’T GET TROUBLE ON YOUR MIND and particularly IF YOU ARE EVER IN CALIFORNIA sang BRIAN T to which PETE appropriately commented HERE COMES THE SUN. Rising to their feet KATH & STAN then treated us to DINK’S SONG after which HELEN revealed more of her considerable repertoire for THE FOOL (a cappella) and MARK & JAN took us into Sharpe’s world with OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY so no wonder BRIAN had THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS. Then SIMON took our breath away with an amazing unaccompanied version of Thompson’s 1952 VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING which had JO out looking for that WAYFARING STRANGER. This provided a suitable moment for WILF (guitar) & CHRISTINE (violin) to give us both their songs together, SCARBOROUGH FAIR and EL CONDOR PASA, as they were so nervous and wanted to chill out in the second half. No such problem for ROB who always has the wall for support as he went KNOCKIN’ EM DOWN THE OLD PUBS or for new comer STEVE from Bolton who was returning to folk singing after a break raising his family to sing NO REGRETS by Tom Rush. Finally our second host ROBIN closed the round by confessing I HAVE BEEN A ROVER followed by PETE who sang his own BEST IN ME before KATH & STAN took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND. Next HELEN this time with her guitar gave us a strange experience of DANCING UNDER THE GALLOWS about a concert pianist and holocaust survivor who died aged 110 and written by Chris While and Julie Matthews. Thank goodness we were back to normal with BRIAN T who announced YOU BELONG TO ME and JO exclaimed THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE go you and I which for MARK & JAN was THE END OF THE LINE as we reached the interval.


With the usual bumper raffle and loads of craic we were surprised when PAUL announced MAMA DON’T ALLOW NO UKULELE PLAYING ROUND HERE but everyone joined in to put an end to that before ROB told of THE PROCESS MAN. This left BRIAN to sigh LATELY and SIMON to give us a bit of HARD LOVE (Bob Franke) as STEVE set off ALBERTA BOUND. It’s always good to see BRIAN T he then regaled us with Billy Fury’s THAT’S LOVE followed by KATH & STAN who sang about THE RIDER IN THE RAIN and HELEN who posed Dylan’s question IF TODAY WERE AN ENDLESS HIGHWAY so no wonder PETE sang TONIGHT I’M STAYING HERE WITH YOU. On the other hand MARK & JAN were out recruiting for THE BLUE COCKADE but after a night on the town ROB was ROLLING HOME and ROBIN was away with JOCK O’HAZELDEAN. Next STEVE sang GHOST STORY and YOU’LL ALWAYS BE SPECIAL TO ME in a tribute to Merle Haggard and SIMON sang about TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE before KATH & STAN told us in no uncertain terms THAT’S WHAT WE DO WITH THE BABY which had MARK & JAN saying we’re LONG GONE! After a great night PAUL decided the only thing to do was a finale like Mumford & Son with everyone joining in and jumping on THIS TRAIN. Magic!


Newsletter No 374 19 April 2016

The first time venture of a St George’s Night celebration was kicked off by PETE with his own song BEAT THE DRUM before BANJO JOHN was more traditional with the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER and HILARY went the same way to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Then ROBIN gathered his band FREE SPIRITS and set off for SHOALS OF HERRING and JO went from BOULDER TO BIRMINGHAM before ED sang about THE ENGLISH MAN WITH THE USUAL BLOODY COLD. A complete change by BRIAN was all about a lady choosing one life and then wanting another in I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ME whereas JAN went for the lovely RAVEN AND THE HAREand SIMON was traditional with IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR NELSON, IT'S QUITE GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. From a Norfolk Broadside Collection KATH & STAN sang the beautiful WILLOW GLEN and PAUL went to Steel Eye Span for ALL AROUND MY HAT before KAMRAN brilliantly confessed to us all I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN. Kinkily GEOFF next said he was from the VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY as ANN chased after MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN and JAMES responded by saying I AM JUST A COUNTRY BOY to which JANET was wary with EARLY ONE MORNING. On the other hand KATHIE T had BOBBY REID on her mind and SUE really went for ST. GEORGE & THE DRAGON before JOHN CONDY rocked it up with GIVE ME MONEY (THAT'S WHAT I WANT) and DON & HEATHER celebrated Barry’s completion of The West Highland Way with THE MANCHESTER RAMBLER leaving BANJO JOHN to comment that he must be ONE OF THE ROVING KIND. Finally ED slid us up to the buffet and Chips with AL BOWLLY.

At the same time the Raffle put the Cava in Janet’s hands, the Roses chocolates with Ken and the real Roses via Ed to Sue or else! Then rekindling the fire PETE went Kinky with SUNNY AFTERNOON before leaving RICHARD to go WALKING UP THE KING'S HIGHWAY. In memory of that great Rochdale Lass Gracie Fields BRIAN sang SALLY and GEOFF continued with IN MY LIFE leaving KATH & STAN to sing us the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY. Again in the spirit of St. George SIMON vowed to remain in the BACHELOR'S HALL and HILARY played the traditional GREENSLEEVES. An interesting story from ROBIN explained how the ROSE OF ALLANDALE is an English song not Scottish as he always thought and also interestingly SUE then sang DIRTY OLD TOWN written about Salford by Ewan MacColl born in England of Scottish parents so claiming {sic} dual nationality. Claiming to be an Englishman abroad KAMRAN went to the bar and ordered ONE SCOTCH, ONE BOURBON, ONE BEER as PAUL satisfied himself that JACK A ROE was a Londoner and JOHN CONDY entwined LA BAMBA with TWIST & SHOUT leaving JAMES to go off unashamedly with ALBERTA. Coming up to a big finish DON & HEATHER stuck with tradition and POVERTY KNOCKS before RICHARD sang his own tribute OH, ENGLAND and ED gave his personal tribute to the Queen with MONDAY 'ER DOES ALL 'ER WASHING leaving KATH & STAN to wrap it all up down in the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH for a resounding success!


Newsletter No 373 12 April 2016

The return of GRASSROOTS gave us a superb evening starting with them singing RIVER so no wonder BANJO JOHN announced that THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE before ROBIN took us down to THE RIVER of Bruce Springsteen. From Bob Dylan PETE chose his BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER and after KAMRAN chose came up with another Dylan, MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW, it was off north of the border for DAVE COWE with his ode TO A HAGGIS. Then we were delighted to welcome BRIAN T recovering from the winter lurgy lots of us have had and singing a great version of Ry Cooder’s ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. This still didn’t blow away PAUL’S MORNING BLUES so luckily ANN asked us to join in with her VAIR ME ORO VAN O and DON & HEATHER had us rollicking along with WHISKY IN THE JAR. Slowing the pace for a moment romantic BRIAN sang about ANGELS FLYING TOO CLOSE TO THE GROUND and ED was equally nostalgic when SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SEA before HELEN, after last week’s break through, continued to delight us with THE QUEST. Also becoming a welcome regular contributor BAZ took us down DOWN IN THE VALLEY before GRASSROOTS went traditional with WHEN I WAS NOBBUT SWEET SIXTEEN. This left BANJO JOHN to warn us of APRIL SHOWERS and KAMRAN to tell us were all doomed with IT’S ALL OVER before PETE raised us up high with his Jimi Hendricks impersonation of HEY JOE which had DAVE COWE away and TALKING TO THE WALL which left us to welcome visitor GRAHAM, a canal devotee, to take us to the interval with CAPTAINS OF THE WATERWAYS.


After a bumper raffle in which Ann won the hand cream, Heather took the Maltesers, Vic won the Chocolate Orange and gave it to Kate, Alan won the four tins of Pate, Brian wobbled off with the wine and Pete won and passed round the Roses Chocolates JANICE & BRIAN again teamed up with YOU DON’T BUY ME FLOWERS neither having won a prize. In need of some light relief FREE SPIRITS again raised us up down at the RED ROSE CAFE before ROBIN most seriously sang SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH and ED said it was exactly the same with THE WIDOW ON THE MOOR but for ANN it was all about true love with THE FOLK SINGER. Returning with his squeezebox BAZ then had us all going with his a nice rendition of EIDELWEISS so no wonder BRIAN T followed it with I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS but HELEN, this time debuting her guitar, was more interested in the RAMBLING MAN. Again with his fine singing voice GRAHAM had us joining in with I’LL NEVER GO TO SEA NO MORE which this time had PAUL most definitely SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD and GRASSROOTS celebrating the day PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. Still in Amerikay FREE SPIRITS were off riding the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and ED was off to the WHIP JAMBOREE which nicely set up KAMRAN for one of Dylan’s best, MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE, and PETE to take us all down to ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY. Reaching a climax HELEN, again with guitar, asked SHOULD I FALL BEHIND WAIT FOR ME and BRIAN T was very upbeat with WHEN I’M DEAD AND GONE before GRAHAM had us lustily singing into the street with A MINER’S LIFE urging us to keep your hand upon your wages and your eye upon the scale.


Newsletter No 372 5 April 2016

Last night was an interesting evening with lots of variety to fill the night. The piano had been moved and was filling the space normally occupied by the hosts’ desk, so we changed the seating plan to accommodate the new arrangement. Of course, the change inspired a lot of both positive and negative comment but it is common practice in Care Homes to purposely change the residents’ seating to give them a reason to moan (and to live)!! PAUL opened the evening at 8.00 pm with a very appropriately named number, PEOPLE GET READY and they did as, following his introduction on religious beliefs, COLIN sang his BALLAD OF MARY MAGDALENE. Then JAMES sang a Mark Knoppfler version of HOW LONG before ROBIN, returning with Elizabeth following his spell of recuperation from his hand operation and obviously unable to play guitar, sang a lovely unaccompanied KILLING ME SOFTLY. Next KATH & STAN rose to play and sing Cyril Tawney’s MONDAY MORNING and ED stood up to sing his version of DOWN IN LOUISIANA and EDDIE pulled out his cello to play and sing the RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSIES-O. Again in solo voice SIMON sang TALK ABOUT SUFFERING before and following tradition whilst Don and Heather were on vacation and out of earshot, BRIAN & SUE BENTHAM stole one of their repertoire and unbelievably sang a duet together, YOU’LL NEVER BE THE SUN written by Donagh Long. Then, even more moving, was BAZ’s harmonica playing of DANNY BOY with BRIAN on guitar followed by CARL who sang a wonderful Pete Morton song, THANKSGIVING and GEOFF, sadly without Sue who had unfortunately lost her voice, so he was solo for ONE FOR THE ROAD. Coming to the floor CHRIS, twelve fingers to his friends, sang one from his favourite Ralph McTell songs, LAST TRAIN TO RIDE and PETER  also treated us to a new song of his own, TOP OF THE WORLD before RICHARD finished the first round with the famous Rudyard Kipling poem put to music, IF. As if feeling the pinch COLIN then rose to sing one of his own songs, I’M GETTING OLDER, and in somewhat sympathetic mood ROBIN once again sang unaccompanied, DARK ISLAND before PAUL sneaked in an extra song by finishing off JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO with OH MARY DON’T YOU WEEP with everyone joining in with gusto. Keeping up the momentum JAMES gave us a Bo Diddley Blues, BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME, and KATH & STAN performed two instrumental tunes, TWIGLET and BODMIN RISING, leaving PETER to sing his beautiful self-penned SIMPLE SONG unusually playing the ukulele. Next up was CARL with a flawless version of BAKER STREET and ED sang his popular His Worship & The Pig song ROUGH JUSTICE which brought a few smiles to new faces and set up the new duo, BAZ & BRIAN, to once more entertain us with WALKING ON SUNDAY but this time Baz sang with Brian’s guitar accompaniment. This time BRAIN stayed on the floor to sing a fabulous BRING HIM HOME from the musical Les Miserables and RICHARD sang and played THANKS FOR ANOTHER leaving EDDIE, this time with guitar, to play TEDDYBEARS PICNIC as an instrumental whilst those younger childish members of the audience sang the lyrics. As time was passing HELEN kindly offered to boost performer numbers, despite her recent chest infection, and clearly sang THE QUEST and with her lovely voice, pleasantly surprised those who had never heard her sing before. Then rather nicely GEOFF, this time with Sue not singing but playing instrumental support, sang SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES as CHRIS, keeping to his railway theme tonight, gave us TERMINUS and SIMON sang Tom Traubert’s Blues, WALTZING MATILDA (Chords by Tom Waites).

Coming to about 10.30 pm a quite different build up to the finale was started by KATH & STAN  with WINDMILLS followed by EDDIE who kindly accompanied SUE BENTHAM with his guitar at great speed and she clog danced MRS MARHOFF’S SINGLE HORNPIPE. This prompted PETER to comment NEVER IN MY LIFE and CHRIS set out to prove he has 12 fingers by responding to Ed’s request for SULTANS OF SWING with the full Dire Straits arrangement on one guitar, magic! GEOFF then started ONLY YOU but was let down by his prompter but EDDIE raised the tone of the evening by playing BOUREE IN E MINOR by BACH on his guitar which was amazing before JAMES together with PAUL brought the evening to a climax in a jug band sort of way with WALK RIGHT IN which ended a superb evening!


Join Our Mailing List

Don't miss out join our mailing list - just enter your details below:
Your details will only be used for folk club newsletters and not distributed to any third parties.