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!!

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