Newsletter No 451 31 October 2017
They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew and had to send for extra chairs as Sue Bentham celebrated her birthday and Sale Folk Club was 9 Years Old and it was Halloween so starting off with a bang DON, HEATHER & PAUL got everyone singing with GALWAY GIRL. With the way paved BANJO JOHN and his BANJO PLAYING SKELETON took advantage and had us all finding our thrill on BLUEBERRY HILL before KATH & STAN sang BEAUTIFUL especially for Sue on her birthday. Going back to the first song he ever wrote ALLEN showed us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER in memory of escaping the grime and air pollution we had when he came to the city but undaunted BRIAN went back to plan with SEXY SUE, his parody of Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue. Also back to plan PAUL came up with LONG BLACK VEIL with reference to Halloween followed by PHIL who was at THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING before ED reminded Sue that her birthday was not the END OF THE LINE. This set off KAMRAN wondering what DIDDY WAH DIDDY means and we were all set wondering what was going on in the RABBIT HILLS as sung by PETE but no such doubt with HELEN who USED TO BE A SAILOR. Then to our surprise a world premier came into view with BEN’S own composition based on a friend’s poem THE SONG OF STRANDS which prompted CHRISTINE & WILF to go with Neil Diamond’s self analysis I AM, I SAID and ROBIN to go a cappella for the mysterious SHE WALKED THROUGH THE FAIR. Remembering children who were sent from the cities to the country in WWII CHRIS sang Ralph Mctell’s BARGES before it was Beatles time with IAN’S instrumental HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE followed by SIMON with JAMES who promised I WILL. Coming up to the break ANDY sang the lovely MY LADY’S A HIGH FLYING DOVE by Tom Paxton, PETER sang BLACK GIRL before JAMES sang CRAZY, a Sue favourite.
After the excellent interval Birthday Buffet kindly provided by Sue & Ed the bumper raffle saw Roselyn win the Bottle of Wine, Cath and Esther won Halloween Special Bottles of Beer, Joyce won the Mints and Allen won the Rock ‘n Roll performing Skeleton before KATH & STAN got us under way with TWO TUNES, Jack Robinson and Old Molly Oxford. Then in keeping PAUL became THE PHANTOM FOLK SINGER to which BRIAN retorted AIN’T THAT A SHAME and IAN played a great interpretation of I DON’T KNOW WHY. Goodness knows why this had KAMRAN shouting for ONE SCOTCH, ONE BOURBON, ONE BEER and BEN shooting off to LONDON TOWN but regardless SUE & LYN soon gave us a good CLOGGING to the ALL THE GOOD TIMES BAND. With the second half well underway PETE declared there is a STORM RISING and PETER was off to the ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY but PHIL was still swinging round the HAUNTED CAROUSEL while JESSIE sung by HELEN was still fantasising about the west coast of the USA. More to the point love was in the air as CHRISTINE & WILF sang THE ROSE and ROBIN declared YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL (Roger Whittaker) and ANDY sang IF I WERE A CARPENTER. Returning to his roots ALLEN explored THE WORKER’S SONG to which CHRIS replied I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT before SIMON with JAMES sang that great song SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS. Coming to a big finish JAMES started the climax with THAT’LL BE THE DAY followed by a Buddy Holly Medley which left DON & HEATHER to dedicate the last song, WHEN SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES, to Sue and Heather Kenyon to end a terrific night.
Newsletter No 450 24 October 2017
The new pairing of KAMRAN and SIMON were greeted by a steady stream of old friends and they first responded with RICHLAND WOMEN BLUES by KAMRAN himself who invited KATH & STAN to bail us out with WATERBOUND before BRIAN took advantage of the moment with LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING followed by JO who sang the Union song JOE HILL. Next PETER set off on the IRISH ROVER and DON AND HEATHER were away with the WAYFARING STRANGER before JAMES turned to the Beatles for I'LL GET YOU IN THE END and PAUL set forth on a Bob Dylan odyssey with THINGS HAVE CHANGED. This prompted BEN to give us his own version of THE UNQUIET GRAVE and ROBIN to sing of unrequited love of JOCK O'HAZELDEAN which to ED was a case of HANGING ON HERE TO THE END before SIMON with James sang the NIGHTINGALE to end the first round. JO then seized the opportunity for HALLELUJAH which for BRIAN was a LONG TIME COMING as PETER went off to YARMOUTH TOWN. For PAUL no doubt THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' as he stayed on his feet to join FREE SPIRITS with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL as the interval was upon us.
In the raffle A Box of Teabags was won by Ken, A bottle of Red Wine went to Kath and the Box of Shortbreads was won by Kate before SIMON started the second half by confessing I CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME. Then down south STAN & KATH insisted SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY while ROBIN celebrated the SNOWS OF NEW YORK and BEN surprised us with his own I DIDN'T LIKE YOU VERY MUCH WHEN I MET YOU AND NOW I LIKE YOU LESS. Wow! To steady the ship ED went back in time for AL BOWLEY'S BLUES who certainly wasn’t the NOWHERE MAN sung by JAMES as SIMON spooned out the TUPELO HONEY. Once again PETER addressed a serious issue with DEPORTEES as did KAMRAN with the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES and KATH & STAN with the NIGHT VISITING SONG. This brought KATE to her feet with a Brian Bilston poem AMERICA IS A GUN so no wonder PAUL didn’t want to work on MAGGIE'S FARM and ED revealed his anti-war song about the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. Coming to climax BRIAN declared there’s NOTHIN' I LOVE as BEN turned to BOOGALOO JONES and DON & HEATHER had us all KILLING THE BLUES before we hit the street after a top night.
Newsletter No 449 17 October 2017
Optimistically, GRASSROOTS took a stroll through FIELDS OF GOLD before DON & HEATHER took to KILLING THE BLUES and PAUL provided the reason why with STORMY MONDAY which was probably the cause of the high quality if modest turnout. This prompted DJ DAVE to go back to the beginning of the human race with IT BEGAN IN THE BACK OF A CAVE by his friend Tom Snee and times were also tough with stormy and wild seas in ANN’S version of VAIR ME ORO VAN O. The dangers of flames were obvious in SIMON’s version of MOTH and also ever present to THE TRAWLERMAN sung by CHRIS as they are from THE THORN UPON THE ROSE sung by GRASSROOTS. Slipping into two at a time mode GRASSROOTS were all of a sudden HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE but DON & HEATHER decided they were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE before Ann prompted them with a request for their song FLOWERS ON THE WATER. At the double PAUL then took to the road with namesake for ROVE RILEY ROVE before shooting off with RAILROAD BILL which nicely set up CHRIS to tell about the HANDS OF JOSEPH before hinting that if you don’t play your cards right you won’t make OLD BONES. ANN further emphasised how tricky life is with the changes that have come about IN THE LAND THAT MADE ME, ME. Certainly SIMON agreed there was no such thing as EASY MONEY and in JOHN DOE No 24 it was clear that some people get a very raw deal. DJ DAVE supported that view by telling us Tom Snee encountered when I CAME INTO THE WORLD IN 1949 and it took a few funny one-liners to lighten us all up again before GRASSROOTS took us to a delayed interval courtesy of Cole Porter with I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU and Ewan McColl who told us SCHOOLDAYS OVER.
A bumper raffle saw Dave won a bottle of white wine, Ann won the Chocolates, Rosalyn won the Danny Collins DVD and immediately gave it to Janice who hadn't seen it and then the Christmas Pudding was won by Janice who immediately gave it to Rosalyn. Then after a few early departures because of the weather and the road works on the motorway DON & HEATHER started the second half with RARE OULD TIMES followed by THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and ANN treated us to THE TROUT before DAVE had us smiling at the artificiality of THE FASHIONISTA again by Tom Snee with a few more one-liners thrown in. SIMON then sang of DILLARD CHANDLER who was himself an Appalachian singer/songwriter before returning to base with ADIEU TO OLD ENGLAND. Summing up the weather perfectly CHRIS turned to Ralph McTell’s SUMMER LIGHTNING and the watery tale of THE MERMAID AND THE SEAGULL before PAUL was invited to close the proceedings by declaring I AIN’T GONNA BE TREATED THIS WAY and TROUBLE IN MIND which was a bit tongue in cheek at the end of a very pleasant evening.
Newsletter No 448 10 October 2017
With the crowd gathering FREE SPIRITS were invited by ED & SUE to set the ball rolling by riding on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS as PHIL set sail on the SLOOP JOHN B but only PETER had sung AFTER RAIN by R. McTell. For SIMON & JAMES, however, PROPINQUITY was the in thing as JO proclaimed, YOU’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG, and DJ DAVE complained, I WOKE UP IN AN EMPTY BED courtesy of Tom Snee. KATH & STAN then turned to Bob Dylan for DINK’S SONG of a deserted woman to which PAUL replied TELL OLD BILL before ED sang Garth Brookes’ COWBOY SONG. With another Dylan JAMES claimed he was FOREVER YOUNG but ALLEN sang his own tribute to matrimony WILD EYED to which HELEN replied IT SUITS ME WELL. Then away for some fresh air ROBIN was along some COUNTRY ROADS before BRIAN filled the romantic spot with AS TIME GOES BY leaving CHARLIE & JONATHAN to go out INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN. Appropriately JO then sang AFTER THE GOLDRUSH before PHIL played a lovely SONATINA by GIULIANI. No wonder KATH & STAN likened it to FIDDLER’S GREEN but life was tougher with PETER sailing AROUND THE WILD CAPE HORN (R. McTell).
The big raffle saw Kate win the Bottle of Wine, James won the Mamma Mia DVD, Ken won the Box of Tea, Simon won the Body Lotion and Kate won the old One Pound Note before PETER KING unveiled his new song for his son, WORDS OF WISDOM. Declaring it to be a real folk song ED then sang about NANCY which gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which for PAUL was GOOD AS YOU’VE BEEN TO ME. Going a bit political DJ DAVE spoke of UKIP by Tom Snee which gave JAMES the BLUES with Paul Riley and made SIMON & JAMES to turn to the COOKSFERRY QUEEN but enough was enough for DON & HEATHER who were off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR. On the other hand HELEN complained IF TODAY WERE NOT AN ENDLESS HIGHWAY but ALLEN came back with his wife’s eulogy NEARLY SONNET 18 based on William Shakespeare epic only for BRIAN to return with WHY AM I TREATED SO BAD about the racial tension in the USA. Going toward a big finish PETER KING came back with FIRE AND RAIN, KATH & STAN sang about JOHN LOVER, and SIMON sang about JOHN HARDY just as JAMES was wakening to a TEQUILA SUNRISE. This left FREE SPIRITS to invoke Springsteen with a trip along THE ERIE CANAL as we sailed into the night.
Newsletter No 447 3 October 2017
Glad to be back DON & HEATHER were our hosts and in memory of their time in the Rockies they started off by going ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE while further south BANJO JOHN was chasing after SWEET GEORGIA BROWN as DJ DAVE was WAITING FOR LEN courtesy of Tom Snee. HELEN was next sniffing that MAGNOLIA WIND as PAUL promised all sorts on THE NEXT GO ROUND before Poet Dave gave us some snippets from Northern Ireland including THE LIGHT HEARTED MAIDENS and ALLEN sang about some rough and tumble involving ERIN GO BRAGH. Then Mr Romance himself, BRIAN, asked DON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE but for MARION the maiden was deserted JUST AS THE TIDE WAS FLOWING as SIMON dug deep for DILLARD CHANDLER by Dick Connette. Ending the first round CHARLIE & JONATHAN were on the TOES before DON, HEATHER & PAUL began again by riding on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and BANJO JOHN took the road to CHARLESTON. Still in the American Songbook BRIAN commented YOU MAY NOT BE AN ANGEL before DJ DAVE referred to A WILD CHILD by Tom Snee but undaunted HELEN continued looking for a SILVER LINING and CHARLIE & JONATHAN celebrated the life of the WICHITA LINEMAN.
The usual bumper raffle saw Paul win a Bottle of Wine, Allen win the DVD of Brassed Off, Jill win the Box of Tea, Helen win the Handwash and DVDs go home with Jonathan, Vic and Brian before PAUL took us all off on the THE OLD 97. With another of his own compositions ALLEN then asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU as another unfaithful bloke ran off from MARION in NO MY LOVE NOT I while for SIMON it was all like some BIG DARK SEA and not so bright for JONATHAN & CHARLIE who were pleading HANG ME O HANG ME. Undaunted BRIAN stayed in the same vein with NEVERTHELESS as did DJ DAVE with SLATER STREET by Tom Snee and so did HELEN who asked DANCE A LITTLE CLOSER. With a little band up of Ann & Helen PAUL told us STEWBALL was a racehorse before ALLEN explained how PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE affected body image and SIMON what temptation can do in THE DEMON LOVER. Then MARION gave us the complex riddle of the HOLLAND HANDKERCHIEF before DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia with the DIAMANTINA DROVER and ALLEN remembered his grandfather on the ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE while SIMON took us back in time for PAYDAY by Mississippi John Hurt which left PAUL, HELEN & SIMON to lead in singing about that DIRTY OLD TOWN as we headed into the night after a very pleasant evening.