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Newsletter No 366 23 February 2016

KAMRAN & PETE were greeted by a full house and 22 different performers who PETE led off brilliantly with a great version of DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL that stirred HILARY into action with MALAGUEÑA and BANJO JOHN to reminisce when he was the SHEIKH OF ARABY. The connection with Rudolph made GEOFF turn to VALENTINO but JOHN CHILCOTT, eager for one last performance before Spring, sang us A SONG FOR A WINTER’S NIGHT (Lightfoot) and before KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER. Then PHIL gave a great demonstration of how difficult it is to play the discordantly with THE HAUNTED CAROUSEL which set up ROB for the story of THE ALABAMA which made SUE think of UKULELE, the Hallelujah Spoof by Leonard Cohen, Guy Snape & Geoff Thorpe. With another interesting song DAVID came up with ONLY NATURAL by Crowded House famous for Weather With You to which ANN & ROBIN replied with DID YOU EVER and KAMRAN went romantic with MY FUNNY VALENTINE. With a few Biblical references PAUL said we should WADE IN THE WATER and right on cue JONATHAN & CHARLIE said we should always take the WEATHER WITH YOU (Crowded House) which convinced ED that IT'LL TURN OUT ALL RIGHT IN THE END (Boulton). Coming up to the interval MARK had us singing to FIDDLER'S GREEN and RICHARD introduced his LADY OF THE MORNING before DON & HEATHER said every folk club needs plenty of people who are PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE!

After the Wine found a home with Kath and the Heart ornaments went home with Ed Jillian settled for the Chocolates and Geoff took the Smellies before PETE ordered his BIG YELLOW TAXI. Again DAVID found an interesting song in his locker with RADIO WEST (ELO) and HILARY was back to Spain for TIENTOS POR ZAMBRA before ROB had us in the Navy for the GREY FUNNEL LINE. Calling for support ROBIN led us to the WATERMELON WINE to which RICHARD replied I GUESS I'M DOING FINE and SUE called in on Dropkick Murphys for their ROSE TATTOO. Next STAN & KATH were WATERBOUND and solo CHARLIE took A CLASSICAL MEANDER before ANN shocked us with THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN and PHIL was equally bold with SIX SIXTY SIX (Larry Norman). Back down to the sunny south PAUL sang in praise of OH SWEET CAROLINA (Ryan Adams) and KAMRAN beseeched us to TEACH YOUR CHILDREN (CSN) to which GEOFF claimed I'VE JUST SEEN A FACE and MARK sang it’s the BAD MOON RISING. Then sensing the end of something ED turned to JACUZZI JOE the Gigolo before FREE SPIRITS shot off the Australia for the DIAMANTINA DROVER before changing continents altogether for their favourite pick-up band song WAGON WHEEL to send us dancing into the night. Magic!

Newsletter No 365 16 February 2016

Undeterred by the weather some hot talent rolled up as DON & HEATHER kicked off with THE SMUGGLERS SONG and BANJO JOHN shot off to the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL making ARTHUR MARSHALL exclaim OMG I WISH I WAS A YOUNGER MAN. Then uniquely EDDIE next unsheathed his Mandola inherited from the locally famous Mary Asquith for the SAUCY SAILOR before GRAEME sang in praise of OUR MOTHER THE MOUNTAIN. Knoppler devotee CHRIS then sang about THE TRAWLERMAN and with one of Dylan’s best JANET sang TO RAMONA as did JAMES with SHE BELONGS TO ME. Before it passes us by JOHN CHILCOTT wanted to give us a HAZY SHADE OF WINTER which newcomer LUCAS reckoned was alright IN TIMES LIKE THESE but on another level ANN confessed she would be sad without us in other words VAIR ME ORO VAN O which was nice. Reaching for the history books, in other words the Al Stewart songbook, PHIL told us about the ROADS TO MOSCOW which Adolf would have done well to have known. GIO returning for a third time and with a new song I WILL WAIT FOR YOU delighted us with his progress before JAN wowed us with I CAN’T GO FOR THAT and PETE was poignant with OLD MAN which resulted in ED remembering THE PILGRIM. To bring us up to the interval BANJO JOHN took us back to the STREETS OF LAREDO and JOHN CHILCOTT recalled Paul Simon’s song for his English girl friend EMILY before he became famous, big mistake, which made JANET think of DIAMONDS AND RUST.


A bumper raffle saw Alan& Rita win a bottle of wine; Martin win the box of Tea and kind give it to Alan’s grandson; Joan win the Love, Live, Laugh stickers and Phil take the Beer home before ARTHUR show his gentle side with IT’S AFTER MIDNIGHT AND SO LATE. With another instrument EDDIE then played O’CAROLAN’S CONCERTO, his hardest piece, leaving PETE to sing about JIM and supply the social comment as did GRAEME with the HESITATION BLUES leaving JAN to introduced us to the BLACK MAGIC WOMAN. All this led ED to conclude IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS. On the other hand PHIL went all traditional with the BLACKLEG MINER as did JAMES in his way with VALENTINE’S DAY by Steve Earl but ANN settled for a ride in a SHABBY OLD CABBY. Still on a high LUCAS sang a great song which turned out to be his own composition, SEE YOU AROUND, and CHRIS was also creative with his own interpretation of ANGIE with ARTHUR completing the set with THE NIGHTINGALE which was one of his own. Building to a climax GRAEME gave us the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES while more up market PETE gave us THE MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES before there was a lull as EDDIE sang the beautiful DEAREST by Buddy Holly. Not to be denied after a few thanks, however, JAN had us all rocking with RUN AROUND SUE before ED teamed up with HEATHER & DON to state the obvious with ALL THE GOOD TIMES. A quality night! 


Newsletter No 364 9 February 2016

ED & SUE greeted a full house by welcoming KAMRAN to the front where he set the proceedings alight with his version of TRAVELLING RIVERSIDE BLUES from 1932 whereas DON & HEATHER settled for their more recent ROMANY JACK before PHIL recalled the days of Emerson, Lake & Palmer with LUCKY MAN by Greg Lake. Then it was good to hear BRIAN with ME AND THE ELEPHANT, a tribute to Terry Wogan who sang it, before the first big surprise of the night when JO stepped up for the first time brilliantly playing her new guitar and singing the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN followed by CARL with his own lament for the enforced moving of the folk club FROM THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN. Then EDDIE invited his cello to THE FLORAL DANCE while DAVE was BLOWING IN THE WIND which left our guest from Ireland PAT KELLEHER to sing THE BALLAD OF JACK DOYLE. Raising the bar higher and higher COLIN sang the ballad of LITTLE MUSGRAVE followed by FAIR PLAY with THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY and then JAN sang in Welsh LAWR AR LAN Y MOR. Determined to ignore the weather MARK declared it a SUNNY AFTERNOON so not surprisingly PETER was off O’ER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY making GIO all ghostly with LONG BLACK VEIL and ROBIN asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO. Coming to the interval ANN reminded us of the miners with DARK AS A DUNGEON before PAUL generated a band-up with PAT to the fore with some great banjo playing when ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS which left MIKE with MICK RYAN’S LAMENT.


A bumper raffle saw Paul win the pancakes kit, Alan take the pink champagne, Pete go home with the toiletries for Jan, Jackie win the Hot Chocolate and Helen win the Bag of Licorice before opening up the second half PAT took up with LITTLE MAGGIE and COLIN asked rhetorically AIN’T THAT RAIN before another surprise returner DOUG sang John Conolly’s RANTER’S WHARF. Then ROBIN took us round the STREETS OF BALTIMORE but PETE was happy DOWN IN MY EASY CHAIR before BRIAN went all lovey-dovey with THE NEARNESS OF YOU. Next and instrumentally EDDIE treated us to a medley with GREENSLEEVES and KAMRAN celebrated the song writing of old friend Arthur Marshall with his OLD BONES STILL DREAM before DAVE with his harmonica for the first time sang SEA OF HEARTBREAK so no wonder ANN exclaimed ALL MY TRIALS will soon be over. With another big hit PHIL sang BROTHERS IN ARMS which had JAN & MARK off RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY while FAIR PLAY were WATERBOUND. Sensing a big finish FREE SPIRITS led us all with John Cline’s SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS which was followed by MIKE with COUSIN JACK and then PAT KELLEHER with his own composition MOVING ON before PAUL produced another band-up with PAT, KAMRAN & MIKE prominent as they STEP IT UP AND GO. Top drawer!!


Newsletter No 363 2 February 2016

A sublime evening started with KATH & STAN in the MOONSHADOW while BANJO JOHN said I WISH I WAS IN DIXIE and EDDIE was playing us the RIGHTS OF MAN followed by JACKIE TAR. Leading a tribute to Terry Wogan DON & HEATHER parodied his favourite with FLORA DANCE while PHIL chased THE HARE and ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY. Then the welcome appearance of MIKE COSGRAVE with a great version of THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME and the ASHOKAN FAREWELL was topped by DAVID’s own great song YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. Back from the sun complete with tan and thromboses was Janice as GRASSROOTS with ANGEL just in time to hear PAUL’s gospel according to JOHN THE REVELATOR which JAMES thought happened EVERYDAY. Next DAVE COWE turned to Roger McGough for the funny side of ANOTHER MIDLIFE CRISIS and MY PHILOSOPHY IN A NUTSHELL while CARL exclaimed CURSED BE THE CALLER with his knock, knock, knock. With one of the best ED then turned to Dylan’s RAMONA and equally good was CHRIS with Dire Straits’ SULTANS OF SWING and BANJO JOHN with JESSE JAMES. Then to our amazement EDDIE unsheathed his latest guitar, a bargain Bulgarian beauty picked up from a second hand stall, to play a great sounding BLUEBELL POLKA which inspired PHIL to introduce his MAN OF THE WORLD and DON & HEATHER to invite all comers to express PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which left PAUL to proclaim THE SINGING WILL NEVER END but it did for the half time break.

An extra bumper raffle Mike win the Easter Egg, Barry take the Big Musical Book, Joyce win the Viva for Men and Jill win the Wine before GRASSROOTS opened up again with THE MOCKING BIRD to be followed by DAVID with the showstopper AMARILLO and ANN and THE FOLK SINGER and JAMES with HANDYMAN. With more humour DAVE COWE gave us THE WEATHER and GLOBAL WARMING. Then more seriously CHRIS told us about HANDS OF JOSEPH just as ED was ON MY WAY TO WORK and KATH & STAN were recruiting MIKE COSGRAVE to join in DINKS SONG before leaving him to it for THE LAZY FARMER. Then Al Stewart entered the room via PHIL’s delivery of HANNO THE NAVIGATOR but DON, HEATHER & PAUL were cheerfully likening the RED ROSE CAFE to Sale Folk Club before EDDIE went off with the RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSIES. On the other hand GRASSROOTS yearned for ENGLISH RAIN while DAVID had FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY while all took refuge with PAUL and his JUG BAND MUSIC. Heading for door JAMES just had time to introduce his LITTLE SISTER before KATH & STAN said their THE LAST GOODBYE and we waved MIKE COSGRAVE off on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. Top drawer!