Newsletter No 371 29 March 2016
As usual KATH & STAN coaxed a sublime evening from a willing bunch of performers starting with WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN after which they turned to BRIAN who went all romantic, as he does, and gave us WHAT’LL I DO and I WONDER WHO’S KISSING HER NOW so no wonder EDDIE confessed I LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE and ANN prayed ALL MY TRIALS LORD will soon be over. Moving forward in time DAVID asked WHAT HAPPENED TO SATURDAY NIGHT with 10cc and DON & HEATHER confessed they may not have ALL THE ANSWERS as MIKE stepped up to wish ADIEU SWEET NANCY. Swinging back to the old music hall SIMON sang DOWN THE ROAD WENT POLLY as GRASSROOTS turned to the CIRCLE DANCE leading DAVE COWE to give us all a rousing call with SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE NOUGHT AVAILETH. It obviously worked as ED insisted he was not ALL USED UP. Neither was GIO with his rousing version of TROUBLED TOWN, the then to TV’s Happy Valley, nor KATH & STAN with two tunes THE RAKES OF MALLOW and THE DORSET FOUR HAND REEL and EDDIE certainly didn’t have a WOODEN HEART but not sure about BRIAN though with his FUNNY FAMILIAR FORGOTTEN FEELINGS. Next SIMON told us SOMETIME SHE FORGETS but MIKE was off to CANADEE-IO and DON & HEATHER were off down to Antarctica with their LITTLE POT STOVE while ANN remained home eulogising THE TROUT. No wonder DAVID thought about THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE leaving GIO to explain the significance of the LONG BLACK VEIL and GRASSROOTS to unravel the love life of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan with DIAMONDS AND RUST as we broke for the interval.
The raffle saw Ann win the Wine, Brian win the Box of Biscuits and Kath win the Guinness Crisps before ED confessed I LIKE MY WOMEN A LITTLE ON THE TRASHY SIDE which made EDDIE think of the PIG ANKLE RAG but DAVE COWE had NO TIME TO STAND AND STARE. This led DAVID to unveil his own WAITING FOR CLOUDS TO COME while DOUG was more traditional with THE SAILORS LAMENT by Cyril Tawney while BRIAN was still in his romantic period with I’LL LOVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE. In similar vein MIKE announced THE SHEARING’S NOT FOR YOU as DON & HEATHER went off to the desert for that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and ANN took a trip in a THE SHABBY OLD CABBY but KATH & STAN put us all in the shade going off NINE HUNDRED MILES leaving SIMON courting when RIDING ON TOP OF THE CAR. Subterranean DOUG, however, went off DOWN BELOW with Sydney Carter and GRASSROOTS chased after the MOCKING BIRD while ED was off ALONG THE VERDIGRIS with Tom Paxton. Coming to a close DON & HEATHER invited us all back again with RED ROSE CAFE and EDDIE warned us things are not always rosy down at the HEARTBREAK HOTEL. Top drawer.
Newsletter No 370 22 March 2016
Still in St Patrick’s Day mood DON, HEATHER & PAUL struck off with a GALWAY GIRL and in the same frame of mind EDDIE joined in with the CURRAGH OF KILDARE before JAMES declared he was HOMEWARD BOUND. Coming up to Easter BANJO JOHN then provided us with a RUGGED CROSS as JO was saying you’re NOBODY’S DARLING BUT MINE and BRIAN was sending LOVE LETTERS STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART. Still on the same theme, however, SIMON told the allegorical story of disastrous love in MR FOX (Dave Pegg) whereas DAVE sang the poignant SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME which was written by wheel chair bound Doc Pomus on his wedding day to actress/dancer Willi Burke while she was dancing with friends. On the other hand ANN went the whole hog with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN who went over the edge with boredom when RICHARD could have sorted her out with a PROPER CUP OF COFFEE but PAUL thought she must have had the HOW LONG BLUES. It was then time for some soothing music as EDDIE played three jigs BLACKTHORNE STICK, RAKES OF KILDARE & TEN PENNY BIT and in sombre mood JO got out her LONG BLACK VEIL as BANJO JOHN told of the COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER. Just as we thought he wasn’t to be heard BRIAN sang Dylan No 1 MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and DAVE sang Dylan No 2 WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN before JAMES announced he was that RIDER IN THE RAIN. Coming to the interval SIMON treated us to BEES WING and RICHARD played the beautiful COLUMCILLE on his D whistle or some bit of plumbing and PAUL had us PUTTING ON THE STYLE.
The raffle saw Baz win the Box of Tea; Alan win a bottle of Champagne; Jackie win the Easter Egg and Vic win the Easter Bunny before PAUL concluded as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU. Still in romantic mood BRIAN delivered more LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND and RICHARD sang his own LITTLE DROPS OF LOVING. More lustfully DAVE went into rhapsodies over a GYPSY WOMAN and more melodically EDDIE & RICHARD were all tuneful with O’CAROLAN’S DRAFT before JAMES declared he was GOING TO GERMANY. Still all wistful ANN was thinking of the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while DON, HEATHER & PAUL reminisced about the ROSEVILLE FAIR and EDDIE proposed a PARTING GLASS which sent DAVE off along COUNTRY ROADS and PAUL to pack for LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Back in serious vein RICHARD sang his own FIRE DOWN BELOW a cappella before JAMES went Beatles with TILL THERE WAS YOU and ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to fulfil a request for the story of their friend in New Orleans who DANCES FOR DOLLARS and PAUL to send us into the night for the LONG JOURNEY HOME having metaphorically spent everything but a two dollar bill.
Newsletter No 369 15 March 2016
With another full house, four in a row, MARK started the evening very appropriately with a great guitar instrumental of SONNY’S MAZURKA & THE CRICKETS MARCH OVER THE SALT BOX quickly followed by the welcome return of JIM & LYNN who revealed the contrast between THE ORANGE AND THE GREEN. Then after this KAMRAN sang SUICIDE IS PAINLESS the theme from M*A*S*H* before BANJO JOHN surprised us with the WILD ROVER as did PHIL in his 30’ TRAILER before JAN declared her feelings for TEDDY O’NEILL. Then CHRIS provided a complete departure with his excellent version of the SULTANS OF SWING before HILARY again went Irish for PLANXTY IRWIN (O’Carolan) and GEOFF did his bit with ARTHUR McBRIDE. Then after all of 30 seconds rehearsal ANN introduced her latest song about the PUNCH AND JUDY MAN as CARL went back at least 40 years for Harvey Andrews’ HELLO HANS leaving ROB to give us a lesson in sailing the GOOD SHIP CALABAR. On the other hand SUE was chasing round the countryside after BLACK JACK DAVY and PAUL was over in Northern Ireland and DOWN BY THE LAGANSIDE but GIO confessed I WISH I WAS BACK HOME IN DERRY. Then, apropos of nothing, SIMON commented THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR before MIKE told us the history of the ISLE OF HOPE ISLE OF TEARS and FREE SPIRITS welcomed Robin back with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Just in time to take us to the interval CHARLIE & JONATHAN offered us WHISKY IN THE JAR and KAMRAN told us of the SIX RIBBONS which left BANJO JOHN and his good friend Fats O’Waller to claim I AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.
A bumper raffle saw Geoff win the Irish Cream, Jim & Lynn win the Irish coffee kit, Hilary win the Irish Cake, Joan win 4 tins of Guiness, Rosalyn win the CD of Irish Songs and he who never wins, Robin, win a big tin of Roses Chocolates.
The end of this saw MARK & JAN off OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY and even SUE & GEOFF went off singing I’LL FLY AWAY but SIMON was regretting his impecunity on THE BANKS OF THE BANN. Then for her next trick ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY which left CARL trying to reach FURTHER (P. Morton) before we were back with HILARY on BRIAN BORU’S MARCH. Then, from another country seeking independence, PHIL produced COUSIN JACK and ROB related the demise of ELLEN VANNIN before CHRIS went the whole hog telling us we won’t make OLD BONES. Equally a disaster was JIM & LYNN’S story of the good ship IRISH ROVER before PAUL wished us all the very best in our travels with MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU and MIKE invited us all to his own IRISH SESSION. Finally and still in Celtic mood FREE SPIRITS treated us to be a PIPER TO THE END before MARK & JAN sang us all into the street after another excellent evening.
Newsletter No 368 8 March 2016
With people wandering in and chatting PAUL & HEATHER decided on a rolling start on the SLOOP JOHN B which not only let everyone settle down and within minutes bring up the “House Full” sign for the third week running. BANJO JOHN then bemoaned the CURSE OF THE ACHEING HEART before CARL sang MOTHERS DAUGHTERS WIVES in celebration of the International Women’s Day and ANN sang in praise of THE FOLK SINGER. In response to the growing crowd EDDIE decided to lead us with 2 tunes, SOLDIER’S JOY & STATEN ISLAND, and ROB kept Martin awake with MARTIN SAYS TO HIS MAN before FAIR PLAY sang to THE MAN IN THE MOON. Next and still with home grown talent JO brought out her new guitar for the second time as she sang THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY before the SALLY SLIDERS descending from Pendle told us I LIVE NOT WHERE LOVE and the SOUTH SIDERS over from Poynton sang of STORMY MONDAY. The answer from PETE was simplification as he sang Dylan’s two chorded OXFORD TOWN which side tracked JAMES, who also had Dylan in mind, to go off TRAVELLING LIGHT and left BRIAN fighting his way out of a TEQUILA SUNRISE and ARTHUR down in THE LAST CHANCE SALOON. On the other hand JONATHAN & CHARLIE were off strolling through FIELDS OF GOLD as DAVID was confessing his affection for THE GIRL FROM BARGAIN BOOZE before the very welcome return of RICHARD SAILS saw him go traditional with KNIGHT WILLIAM AND THE SHEPHERD’S DAUGHTER. Somewhat more rustically ED came across the waitress searching for a LOGGER LOVER who stirs his coffee with his thumb before PHIL introduced us to the GREEN ANTHEM and DON & HEATHER took us OUT ON THE WESTERN PLAINS as we reached the interval.
The raffle saw Sue win the DVD, Heather win the CD, Paul take the wine and Sally Sliders win the box of Roses and then the second half was well and truly launched by special guests SALLY SLIDERS with their memories of HARD TIMES and THE OLD MAN IN THE WOOD before JAMES turned to the rare SENOR by Bob Dylan and RICHARD SAILS again brilliantly stepped up to the mark at FAKENHAM FAIR (trad. Norfolk). All this reminded FAIR PLAY that HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL and caused ROB to return to the MILL OUTING by old friend Trevor Morton so there was no need but BRIAN insisted on saying I’M SORRY. Then in complete contrast CARL celebrated another special female quality with ON AGAIN ON by Jake Thackray whereas PETE was more eulogistic of the fair sex with his own STORM RISING before ANN reminded us of the feminine temptation LORELEI the siren on the Rhine. Classically EDDIE then played Bach’s AIR ON A G STRING and PHIL shared Al Stewart’s hatred of lawyers who in his opinion have a LICENCE TO STEAL and ED confessed it was HARD TO BE HUMBLE before the SOUTH SIDERS wrapped up a great evening with LORD FRANKLIN, TAMP IT UP SOLID & KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. Top night, top teamwork.
Newsletter No 367 1 March 2016
A jam packed full house met in celebration of St David’s Day and memories of Wales and our links with Welsh friends and GRASSROOOTS hosted the evening brilliantly starting the ball rolling with THE MOCKINGBIRD quickly followed by MARK with 2 WELSH TUNES on the whistle. After ED sombrely reminded us of the killing of CAROL ANN KELLY our first song in Welsh was SUO GAN sung by JAN before CARL was more political with the AUSTERITY ALPHABET. Back on the ale ROB insisted we FATHOM THE BOWL as DON, HEATHER & PAUL went with the puzzling FOREVER AND A DAY (Kruger Brothers) before BRIAN satisfied his fans with DON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE. Next ANN had us all smiling at an amusing and very true SOLILOQUY OF A SAFETY PIN giving EDDIE time to undress his cello for 2 well known WELSH TUNES before JAMES treated us to his version of BUCKETS OF RAIN (Dylan). This put KAMRAN on TOP OF THE WORLD and sent KATH & STAN off by TRAIN ON THE ISLAND as newcomer SIMON girded his loins for his debut with the TWO SISTERS and he was really good as expected. PAUL then came out with SPENCER THE ROVER as DAVE read the poem CLINK before PETE left us still wondering why the man was in the fridge as he sang CLAUDIA. Coming up to the interval MIKE COSGRAVE sang GALWAY TO GRACELAND before MARK & JAN gave another shot of real Welsh with CYFIR ‘R GEIR leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to sing their DANCES FOR DOLLARS about the way a Welsh friend tried to subsist whilst a student in Louisiana State University.
A great buffet and loads of chips led to the Raffle in which James won the Leeks, Jackie won the Rose wine, Alan won the Welsh Brandy, Chris took the Maltesers. Rita & Alan won the box of Roses Chocolates and Alan was delighted with the CD by GRASSROOTS who started us off again with WHEN I WAS NO BUT SWEET SIXTEEN. With a quick translation PAUL then sang WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL to which we chorused Felin dorri i lawr (it done broke down) before CARL gave us one of the Beatles best JEALOUS GUY which DAVE punctuated with two poems LIGHT SLEEPER and TAKING STICK. This time with a song ANN was fishing for THE TROUT and BRIAN was on the Kop singing YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE with PETE was telling her you’re a BIG GIRL NOW as JAMES took us back to our youth with the R&B style KANSAS CITY. Even earlier times saw SIMON ask HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE while more recently with The Everlys KAMRAN had us WALK RIGHT BACK before MARK & ROB returned to theme for DAI THE MOTORBIKE MAN before ROB went told with his story of SAM THE BLACKBIRD leaving EDDIE with his clever Welsh link for GAVOTTE Bach. With a big finish on the cards ED chanced his arm with SHE IS WOMAN but MIKE was off on the boat DOWNEASTER ALEXA as KATH & STAN chased the FORSAKEN MERMAID which only left MICK, DON, HEATHER & PAUL to confess their sins with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER to end one of the best ever Party Nights.