MAY - 2018

Newsletter No 477 29 May 2018

Following their whale watching in Iceland DON & HEATHER thought to start with LITTLE POT STOVE whereas BANJO JOHN was off down the RED RIVER VALLEY to which PAUL replied WADE IN THE RIVER and PETER BRIDGE commented WELL, WELL, WELL. In response to his sister’s comment BEN sang NEW YORK GIRLS where the man comes off worse and not the woman as in most of his songs and ALLEN then sang McPHERSON’S RANT where the man well and truly gets it in the neck. More calmly MARIAN simply had us FOLLOW THE HERON HOME but BRIAN pointed out THINGS AIN’T SIMPLE as PETE found out when he took the GOLD FISH out of its bowl and thought wagging its tail meant it was happy! With an interesting insight into love RACING DEMON told us SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS (that she has given up men) and JAMES had a similar view with NORWEGIAN WOOD. However, CARL’s message was clear in BLACK DIAMONDS as was BANJO JOHN’s with ACE IN THE HOLE and PAUL’s who had the WALKING BLUES. Luckily RICHARD came along to cheer us up with THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN but BEN soon had us all sad again in SAMMY’S BAR and PETER BRIDGE was asking LET ME DOWN EASY but Simon’s answer with RACING DEMON was to sail away with a brief SHIVER ME TIMBERS (Tom Waits).

In the bumper raffle Paul won the Bottle of Red Wine; Lin won the Box of Tea; Simon won the Special Chutney; Carl won the Scarf kindly gifted to Marian; Allen won the CD and Ben won the packet of 5 CDs before JAMES kicked off the second half with KANSAS CITY and CARL went LOOKING FOR THE SUN, his own song. Up for a bit of contumely ALLEN told the story of ERIN GO BRAGH but BRIAN was less combative with the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER (John Hyatt) as for MARIAN it was JUST AS THE TIDE WAS TURNING. For RICHARD he was in the BACK COUNTRY LANES whereas PAUL was going down THE MOBILE (train) LINE and BEN was singing THE SONG OF STRANDS written for him by a friend. For ALLEN it was a question of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN as BRIAN had STARDUST in his eyes but for CARL life was definitely NEARER TO NETTLES and PETER was wondering what his lover was up to at SUNDOWN. RACING DEMON also wondered if SHE’S NO LADY by Lyle Lovett was about ex-wife Julia Roberts and JAMES hit the right note with YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND as did RICHARD with his version of OVER THE RAINBOW to send us home on a happy note.

Newsletter No 476 22 May 2018

With plenty coming through the door PAUL RILEY was invited to set the ball rolling which he did with a join in medley of THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE; DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE and THIS TRAIN IS BOUND FOR GLORY before hosts KATH & STAN themselves struck up from TEN THOUSAND MILES and BANJO JOHN danced with MR BOJANGLES. On the other hand PHIL was eager to get back to his ROOTS as BRIAN was romantic with ONLY YOU (Flying Pickets) and PAUL McD went all gospel with STAND BY ME. Next PETER was off to the GRAND COOLEE DAM just as SIMON & JAMES asked WHY MUST I ALWAYS EXPLAIN before JAMES lightened things up with HERE COMES THE SUN. Going traditional MARIAN sang about the ELMS OF TYBURN followed by DAVID O’KEEFE who sang HALLELUJAH and BANJO JOHN raised the roof with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. Coming to the break KATH & STAN declared HEAVEN’S A BOAT so BRIAN sang I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS to which PAUL replied LIFE GETS TEDIOUS DON’T IT before PETER finished with CORRINA.

In the big raffle Chris won the Bottle of Red Wine, Michael won the Bottle of White Wine, Paul McD won the Candle, Ann won the Manicure Set, Peter won the Key Ring and Simon won the CD donated very kindly by James. PHIL then struck up with AMSTERDAM, SIMON & JAMES sang with the NIGHTINGALE before JAMES led us all in THE GLORY OF LOVE which made MARIAN think that THERE IS A HERB IN MY FATHER’S GARDEN - RUE. To change the subject KATH & STAN then gave us an instrumental with two tunes, WATER OF TYNE & SIR JOHN FENWICK, as BRIAN took himself ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and PAUL McD pleaded LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. For PAUL RILEY it was still about the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES whereas PETER bemoaned THE DIMMING OF THE YEARS and PHIL went off to THE FIELDS OF FRANCE. Also SIMON & JAMES were not happy bunnies in the HEARTBREAK HOTEL even though JAMES promised that LOVE WILL SURELY COME MY WAY. Right up front MARIAN asked WHEN SHALL WE GET MARRIED, JOHN and KATH & STAN replied WHEN THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW and all PAUL RILEY could suggest was that we STEP IT UP AND GO. What a finish! 

Newsletter No 475 15 May 2018

After a hot day it was a cool, cool evening with hosts HEATHER KENYON and PAUL RILEY started off by leading the assembled rabble with MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE, SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT and WHEN THE SAINTS. Celebrating over 50 years BANJO JOHN had us all singing LOVE AND MARRIAGE before FLOTSAM aka Kathy & Peter took us off to AMERICA to which CHRIS replied with THE SETTING saying ‘Emigration is the curse of a nation’. With his little Amp we all call the “Toaster” IAN told us that instrumentally IT HAD TO BE YOU and indeed DAVID concurred with his original poem DO YOU HAVE A DREAM which is an echo of Martin Luther King’s iconic speech. Back again with his new guitar ROD came up with SWEET CHILD OF MINE while DON & HEATHER admitted they were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE leaving ANDY to embrace the future with TOMORROW is going to be a brighter day by Jim Croce. Equally optimistic PAUL McD wished us LONG MAY YOU RUN and HILARY further cheered us with some of her ONE-LINERS but TIM wasn’t convinced with PRISON SONG and for BEN he thought EVERY TOWN WAS THE SAME. A couple of stories from PETE took us into swing along mode for SIDE BY SIDE with BANJO JOHN and then set off with FLOTSAM in the CARAVAN but it was still a LONG WAY FROM HERE TO CLARE with CHRIS. Oh for THE WAY WE WERE sighed IAN instrumentally before PAUL McD took us off with BOBBY McGEE and BANJO JOHN had us wearing RED FEATHERS AND A HOOLEY HOOLEY SKIRT as we hit the interval.

The bumper Raffle saw Hilary win the Bottle of Red Wine; Andy took the Bunch of Roses home to celebrate the anniversary of meeting his wife; Pete won the Box of Tea and Vic and Rod won CDs before in Ed’s absence ANDY started the second half with LET THE MYSTERY BE by Iris Dement. No wonder ROD reached for the TEQUILA SUNRISE and HILARY got out her JOKE BOOK. TIM on the other hand said SO LONG MARIANNE but DON & HEATHER had ALL THE ANSWERS and BEN solved the problem of MY GRANDFATHER’S CLOCK as PAUL sailed away on the SLOOP JOHN B. As if sensing a big finish FLOTSAM sang the excellent BIDE AWHILE and CHRIS took us to THE STREETS OF LONDON and PAUL McD pleaded SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME and then took us UNDER THE BOARDWALK. No wonder ANDY said IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND as IAN took us into the FIELDS OF GOLD leaving BEN to tell us to KEEP YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL. Living up to this PAUL had us all singing into the street with a bunch of THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME.

Newsletter No 474 8 May 2018

With KAMRAN & PETE in the chair and in excellent form a top night was in store PAUL having us all joining him with BLACK-EYED SUSIE followed by BRIAN who had STARDUST (Hoagie C) in his eyes while ALLEN had his eye on a POUND A WEEK RISE. More seriously JOHN REED was BLEEDING, his latest composition, and KATH & STAN urged us to SHAKE SUGAREE and, making his debut, PAUL McDERMOTT received a warm welcome when he asked LET IT BE ME. On the other hand KAMRAN asked AIN’T WE CRAZY and PETER took off with the SKYLINE PIDGEON which left TIM in the FOUNTAIN OF SORROW (J Browne). PHIL then treated us to the hymn, WHEN THE GREEN BLADE RISES, followed by SIMON who asked, SEE HOW I MISS YOU (Bruce Cogburn) and JAMES boasted SHE BELONGS TO ME (B Dylan) which ED followed appropriately with BOB DYLAN’S DREAM. Coming up to the interval the TWO SPIRITS & TWO PAULS (Don, Heather, Paul Riley and Paul McDermott) washed their hands in MUDDY WATER before ALLEN bade FAREWELL TO SICILY, PETER had us singing ROSE OF ALLENDALE and BRIAN told us what it was like SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard).


A grand Raffle saw the Bottle of Red Wine go home with Simon, Hilary win the bio of Ronnie Wood, Kamran win the Shower gel, Sue win the Hand soap, Heather Kenyon win the Bunch of Roses and JOHN REED win the DVD before he teamed up with KAMRAN for AS THE CROW FLIES. Next TIM returned with JOE HILL and PAUL McDERMOTT came up with BILLY TYLER before KATH & STAN celebrated Salford the original DIRTY OLD TOWN. Rising to the bait ED described things IN MY LIVERPOOL HOME which stimulated a parody from RICHARD GRAY that he called THE LEAVING (OF LIVERPOOL?). Crossing the Atlantic PAUL recruited KAMRAN who played a brilliant washboard for KC MOAN whereas SIMON with JAMES was out on THE LOW HIGHWAY leaving JAMES to sing DON’T THINK TWICE and KAMRAN to warn us WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS. Heading toward a big finish PHIL treated us to THE HARE and DON & HEATHER sang their own FLOWERS ON THE WATER which left BRIAN to declare it is SUMMERTIME. The grand finale saw KATH & STAN sing DINK’S SONG which nicely set up RICHARD with his lovely story of emigration in the DIAMOND ROSE to end a truly memorable evening.

Newsletter No 473 1 May 2018

A big crowd greeted GRASSROOTS who started with I WANDERED BY A BROOKSIDE followed by ED and THE FLUSHERS who with PETER GREEN wandered the FIELDS OF ENGLAND. Next TIM told us philosophically that LOVE IS JUST A FOUR LETTER WORD before JAN introduced the obvious theme with AS I ROVED OUT ONE MAY MORNING which DON & HEATHER took up tongue in cheek with MAY YOU NEVER. Going back a century SIMON sang the music hall song I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE which made Poet DAVID think of his own poem contrasting the good and the bad, LONDONDERRY you’re a very bad penny. Also going back in time ANN remembered the PUNCH & JUDY MAN whereas IAN was all WINDY & WARM and PETE ROBERTS was reminding someone she was a BIG GIRL NOW and ROD was saying DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. After some brief craic about boats MARK came up with the SHOALS OF HERRING and PAUL declared “ May the road come up to meet you” etc this time under the guise of AN IRISH BLESSING and we speculated that there are many other versions claimed as original which BEN thought was SHAMELESS. Back on track ANDY asked us to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME but HILARY ignored that request and had us rolling in the aisles with more of her ONE-LINERS before GRASSROOTS brought us to order with CABLE STREET and TIM said let’s COME TOGETHER. No wonder SIMON introduced a bit of fantasy IN THE PINES before ED helped us celebrate Ann’s birthday with THE LIFE IN YOUR MEN and MARK & JAN suggested a good idea would be to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS.

In a bumper Raffle Paul won the Bottle of Red Wine, Jan won the bottle of Kalamata Olive Oil, Andy won the Box Of Yorkshire Tea, Hilary won the Plant and Vic won the Shower gel which the other Paul would have liked but he won the Book on Ronnie Wood, one lead guitar reading about another. All this excitement left BEN to kick off the second half with WINTER after which ROD climbed aboard THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS before ANN returned to Paris with the sad BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN. For some reason PETE ROBERTS then had REASON TO BELIEVE and PAUL got the CHURCH STREET BLUES and ANDY wasn’t too pleased as he requested BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. Coming to the climax of a superb evening DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us off to Oz with the DIAMANTINA DROVER but IAN demanded STAY CLOSE TO ME and MARK & JAN told us it’s NO USE CRYING before GRASSROOTS sent us off home singing Mick’s song DON’T LEAVE ALONE to end a top night. 


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