AUGUST - 2016

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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.