JANUARY - 2018

Newsletter No 462 30 January 2018

Celebrating the launch of their latest Album GRASSROOTS opened with Janice’s BROKEN swiftly followed by ALLEN with MACPHERSON’S RANT and PETE with a trip round KERRY but BRIAN was off to the DARK END OF THE STREET. Further afield ED was away to LAKE CHARLES as DON & HEATHER turned to The Threepenny Opera and MACK THE KNIFE as PAUL threw his hands in the air pleading HANG ME.  No wonder KAMRAN was ALABAMA BOUND as CHRIS celebrated the FAIR MAIDS OF FEBRUARY and LYNN & JIM set sail on THE IRISH ROVER. Luckily HILARY was on hand with some of her famous ONE–LINERS to lighten the proceedings as did PETESTHEKING with his song about the HUMBLE HITCHHIKER before JO demonstrated her burgeoning guitar technique with BLOWING IN THE WIND. With a nice diversion JAMES then gave us a POEM and Elvis’ LITTLE SISTER before SIMON joined him for BARTENDER’S BLUES. This nicely set up RICHARD for his own rather topical WHERE THERE IS NO SUN AND NO BLUE MOON and GRASSROOTS with GAMES OF LOVE before DON & HEATHER had us all rocking with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER.

Very kindly Grassroots provided a fine buffet of sandwiches and Chips and people were also tempted by their new album which also figured in the Big Raffle won by Pete and Richard won the wine, Brian won the Chocolate Orange, Jill won the Perfume, Lynn won the CD and Vic took the Biscuits. Showing no mercy ED swore he would FLOG ‘EM, FLAY ‘EM AND HANG ‘EM but PETE thought they might have THE MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES before RICHARD bade FAREWELL ANGELINA which made ALLEN think of another great song, FAREWELL TO SICILY. All of which made KAMRAN respond I’M GONNA RISE UP and LYNN & JIM to run off singing I’LL TELL MY MA and BRIAN telling us what he would do IF I HAD YOU before CHRIS with his usual aplomb sang THE SETTING by Ralph McTell which surely should have been called the Curse of a Nation. Fortunately we had HILARY to lift the mood with some ONE-LINERS before SIMON got close with PROPINQUITY and JAMES felt it was SO SAD as PAUL had us all ROLLING HOME and GRASSROOTS celebrated THE BATTLE STOCKTON to close an excellent evening of music and good craic.

Newsletter No 461 23 January 2018

Another super gathering this week was opened by BANJO JOHN who set the tone with MY BLUE HEAVEN 1924 swiftly followed by KATH & STAN with MOON SHADOW by Cat Stevens and PAUL who turned to some JUG BAND MUSIC. On a higher plane ED was up BETWEEN THE EARTH AND THE SKY as ARTHUR delved in to the Bosses BONUSES before BEN took us off to CALIFORNIA. Then for the first time we had a special treat when poet TOM SNEE came in person with his own poem HE DID HIS BEST followed by DON & HEATHER who had us off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR which for BRIAN was THE VERY THING. Back with us JOHN REED sang his own NINE TENTHS OF THE LAW whereas PETE turned to Dylan for his SPANISH BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER which for JONATHAN & CHARLIE was a REDEMPTION SONG. This left BANJO JOHN to go off IN THE SWEET BY AND BY which left ARTHUR to go off WALKING THE BULLDOG with his Melodeon, to the tune of Waltzing Mathilda as the interval came along.

Opening the second half BRIAN asked HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL and PAUL pitied the POOR OLD HORSE so no wonder DON & HEATHER turned to the WHISKY IN THE JAR. With his great version BEN was next off to LONDON TOWN and with his own composition JOHN REED was on THE DROVER’S TRAIL before KATH & STAN wanted to get in BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW. Then a special treat for DJ DAVE who got up with his hero TOM SNEE to perform together as TOM & TIM. No wonder PETE commented HERE COMES THE SUN but ED had other things on his mind in OH MY! NOT THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY again as PAUL celebrated the BROWN EYED GIRL of Van Morrison. For BEN it was THE TEARS OF A CLOWN he had in mind as JOHN REED sang THE MELTING before KATH & STAN waved THE LAST GOODBYE as we headed for the door. This was not before DON & HEATHER  pointed out that sometimes we are KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER and complaining of thirst but ARTHUR did not fall into that trap with his song FENCES which points out the sometimes illusory nature of barriers in life. An absolutely top night! 

Newsletter No 460 16 January 2018

A brilliant night despite the weather with BRIAN starting with Through the morning Through the night by Gene Clark before PAUL nipped off to the Roseville Fair and welcomed back DAVE Boulton aftere 2 years with his own  Hard Work being an Aardvark. Another very welcome visitor DAVE Cartright then came up with The house of the Rising Sun as a first time performer and HELEN followed with a Joan Baez favourite Silver Dagger before CHRIS sang the Magenot Waltz. Then came HILARY introducing some humour with her ONE-LINERS and then PETE back from France with My Lady is a Wild Flying Dove just as BEN told us the Sun’s coming over the Hill. Again back after a while came DJ DAVE with a Tom Smee Xmas Poem and CARL sang his excellent Echoes and Tokens about the old railways followed by PETE KING who claimed I'll deal with Vigilantes my way before ED slipped in Childhood Memories by Iris Dement. Unusual for him JAMES was So Sad before SIMON joined to maske up RACING DEMON for Carmelita. Then back came DAVE BOULTON with a new song about the film being made in Stoke on Trent about zombies, Apocalypso, so no wonder BRIAN gave us the Terms of My Surrender and HELEN thought it might be Someday Soon. PAUL still had that Drifting Blues and PETE ROBERTS called out Hey Joe before CHRIS turned to Ralph McTell for Things You Wish Yourself before more One Liners from HILARY and Lawrence Kansas and a Californis Medley of Josh Ritter songs brought us to the interval.

In the raffle the Wine was won by Brian, the Whisky marmalade set won by Carl and the Yorkshire Tea Bags won by Simon before ED kicked off with The Garden of Love by Bennie Hill followed by DJ DAVE with a very poignant  Tom Smee poem Life can be so lonely. PETE King then gave us  his own Edge of Town Taker before CARL took to Singing the Ages Down by Lester Simpson before JAMES turned to Everyday that Classic Buddy Holly. RACING DEMON  then came up with Heartbreak and BRIAN turned to the Face of God by John Hyatt to which PAUL replied You Ain’t Going Nowhere. Suitable for the time of night PETE Roberts would sooner be rolling my Sweet Baby's Arms and CHRIS wistfully sang Old Bones by Jez Lowe as HELEN set out on a Quest which left CARL to send us out into the street with an a cappella version of Cook andThe Deckies.

Newsletter No 459 9 January 2018

It sure was a party night as they filled up every pew and PAUL enticed us with CORRINA, CORRINA to which BANJO JOHN replied WHO’S SORRY NOW. No matter as KATH & STAN were off tilting at WINDMILLS and ALLEN gave us his slant on married conflict with DON’T YOU KNOW which for JIM & LYNN was all GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY. Then KEVIN sang the beautiful BY THE SEA before JOHN CONDY set off through the NORTHWEST PASSAGE but BEN had just been SMOKIN’ TOO LONG. Then SIMON was joined by a surprise visitor, his cousin JIM, who really beefed up VIGILANTE MAN as PHIL went WANDERING with James Taylor before ARTHUR raged about WINDSOR COUNCIL’S preparations for the  “PRINCE’S WEDDING DAY.” Next STEVE appropriately came up with Lindisfarne’s WHEN THE WINTER COMES HOWLING IN and CARL sang Pete Morton’s FURTHER before PETER teamed up with JOHN for a trip to ABILENE. Heading for a climax ED told us the tale of RED HEADED ANN and DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia to meet the DIAMANTINA DROVER before birthday boy MARTIN recited A HARD DAY’S NIGHT Peter Sellers style which left BANJO JOHN to play us out with the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL.

In the interval to celebrate Martin’s 65th Birthday he had provided us with our famous “” Butties and Chips Buffet” before we had a special bumper raffle in which Mike won the Wine, John C won the Chocolates, Sue won the Box of Yorkshire Tea and Lin won the Bunch of Roses. Starting the second half ROBIN summed up everyone’s feelings with IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN followed by KATH & STAN with a two great TUNES, TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING all of which left ALLEN to return to his original theme of marital bliss with WILD EYED. Traditionally, JIM & LYNN sang of the SPANISH LADY as BEN took us off to the UNQUIET GRAVE which for KEVIN was THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND. Again with Cousin JIM, SIMON asked IF I LOSE and JOHN C came back as Elvis and the WONDER OF YOU before PHIL went classical with a SONATINA by GIULIANI. In anticipation of his condition after the birth of his first grand daughter STEVE asked WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILOR and PETER with JOHN took off on THE MIDNGHT SPECIAL which gave ED the BRONCHIAL DILATOR BLUES. With a big finish in view CARL told us he STARTED OUT WITH NOTHING and DON, HEATHER & PAUL confessed to having WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER before PAUL had us peaking with LEAVE HER, JOHNNY, LEAVE HER which fair raised the rafters. A top night!!

Newsletter No 458 2 January 2018

DON & HEATHER responded to the highly talented throng with BLARNEY ROSES and PAUL sang Zoe Mulford’s WELCOME IN ANOTHER YEAR before ED got the BOB DYLAN’S BLUES. With his own composition IAN sang IN THE NAME OF PETERLOO as PHIL leapt to his feet with Al Stewart’s AMSTERDAM while IAN gave us a lovely instrumental version of YOU MAKE ME FEEL YOUR LOVE. Looking into the future ANDY recalled the JANUARY MAN and LYNN & JIM got a big welcome with PATSY FAGAN before PETE invited us to SANTA’S SURPRISE PARTY. All was not well with SIMON who was DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS and we kept JAMES in place for THINGS WE SAID TODAY which set up HILARY for SOME of her ONE-LINERS and ARTHUR to sing ONE MORE SONG by special request. In a less cheery mood PAUL requested HANG ME as ED recalled WHEN I WERE A LAD and IAN sang another of his own IT COULD BE YOU, WHO ME? Moving toward the break PHIL went back to Cornwall for COUSIN JACK just as IAN was HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE and ANDY was stating the obvious with IT IS WHAT IT IS TILL IT AIN’T ANY MORE which left LYNN & JIM to have us all singing A MON LIKE THEE as we went for refills.

In the interval raffle Martin won the Wine, Kath won the Chocolates, Hilary won the Box of Tea and Pete won the Diary before SIMON set out on THE LOW HIGHWAY and certainly JAMES was WILLIN’ and ARTHUR sang his latest hit I’D REACH OUT TO YOU. In his usual humorous manner PETE sang about the good old SCREEN SAVER and HILARY capped that with some MORE of her ONE-LINERS as PAUL came up with ROW RILEY. With another instrumental IAN played THE NEARNESS OF YOU before ANDY celebrated THE LADY CAME FROM BALTIMORE and PHIL sang about LIFE IN DARK WATER. With his own song IAN sang GET BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM and ARTHUR chipped in with his own THE RICH GET RICHER which prompted JIM to reply with THE CONTENDER. With an old favourite ED declared he was GOIN’ UP TO LONDON to see the Queen but in a sadder mood SIMON sang about YELLOW ROSES to which JAMES exclaimed I bet she can’t SHIMMY LIKE MY SISTER KATE and PETE commented IT’S LIFE ONLY. Coming to the end of a great evening it was appropriate to raise the rafters so DON & HEATHER invited us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE. A top night!



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