Newsletter No 486 31 July 2018
Entering an almost empty Services Club HEATHER & DON couldn’t believe it as the room filled up with top talent as they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Cheekily BANJO JOHN then played and sang the TEASING RAG and CHRIS followed suit with the SAUCY SAILOR so no wonder PHIL was TRANSPORTED. Even BRIAN was inspired to go THROUGH THE MORNING and THROUGH THE NIGHT as NAOMI accompanied by Phil went to Scotland for THERE GROWS A BONNY BRIAR BUSH, a Robbie Burns song. With his own song MARK told us I AM A SON OF THIS NORTH COUNTRY SOIL before PAUL celebrated not seeing the orange moon with BAD MOON RISING and STEVE went Celtic for the SKYE BOAT SONG with hit Autoharp. Pointedly ANDY then asked ARE YOU SURE THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE and PETER replied no, I want to be in ABILENE to which IAN commented, DON’T KNOW WHY! Next ALLEN reminded us it was the anniversary of the battle with his own ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE and RICHARD reminded us of the gold rush with DAYS OF 49 before CARL celebrated the girl from the Salvation Army with his own LOOKING FOR THE SUN. With a light hearted moment HILARY gave us some more of her ONE-LINERS before PAUL McD hit the slide guitar for LITTLE RED ROOSTER and BANJO JOHN jazzed it up for BABY FACE. This left GIRTH, WIND & TIRED to tell us LOVING HER WAS EASIER as we reached the break.
In the raffle Jackie calmly won the Bottle of Red Wine, Paul won the aftershave (ha ha), Andy won the Handwash, Allen won another book for his wife and Chris, who is about to go camping, won the camping mugs before PAUL kicked off with BLUES IN A BOTTLE followed by CHRIS with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Again deeply thoughtful MARK sang another of his own songs about his friends Barry & John, BETTER TO BUILD BRIDGES THAN WALLS, and ANDY introduced ALL THE LOVELY LADIES before PETER hit a sombre note with the DEPORTEES. In hushed tones BRIAN confided NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME and PHIL told us that sadly Prof. Alasdair Clayre committed suicide not long after writing his song ADAM AND THE BEASTS which commented on the natural order in the animal kingdom. No wonder ALLEN turned to his own WILD EYED but fortunately CARL was more upbeat with his own YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before NAOMI returned to Scotland for AYE WAUKIN O. With his guitar this time STEVE mused on the MOUNTAINS O’ MOURNE and RICHARD sang, it’s JUST THE WAY YOU ARE and PAUL McD it is ROCK & ROLL before GIRTH, WIND & TIRED pinned our ears back with their AIM IN LIFE before sending us home smiling with JAMBALAYA. Mega!!
Newsletter No 485 24 July 2018
A superb evening was hosted by GRASSROOTS who first of all set out to MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE which for MARK & JAN definitely was THE END OF THE LINE as it was for BRIAN when he cried out DAMN THIS TOWN. It was also tough for CHRIS in HIGH GERMANY before DON & HEATHER had us all celebrating THE GALWAY SHAWL to which JAMES replied with the Beatles’ YOU CAN’T DO THAT. By this time ED was ALL USED UP but KATH & STAN were off tilting at WINDMILLS which to PAUL McD was the perfect start for a DAYDREAM. Not to be cheered, however, SIMON announced THERE’S A HEARTBREAK FOLLOWING ME and PETER had the HONEYBABE BLUES and MARIAN was musing, IF I WERE WITH MY LOVE. Quite unconcerned GRASSROOTS just went SAILING BY whereas MARK & JAN met uncertainty with CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN but BRIAN was most definite when he sang, I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU ANY OLD TIME. Certainly not if she is wearing a CHASTITY BELT responded ED which was enough to have newcomer TONY saying, well I’LL WALK THE STREETS UP and I’LL WALK THE STREETS DOWN. Next we had two great tunes from KATH & STAN who played TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING on whistle and cittern just before CARL came in to sing ALICE. Coming up to the interval CHRIS told us TO THE BEGGING I WILL GO and PETER said he was off AROUND CAPE HORN but PAUL McD said he preferred LIVING IN THE ‘60s.
In a bumper raffle Peter took the Red Wine, James went home with the Rose Wine, Ann won the set of Cheese Knives, old friend Julie Astbury won the Handwash and Rosalyn won the Box of Tea before DON & HEATHER complained they had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL. On the other hand JAMES told us DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT and MARIAN prayed for better luck next time to the LORD OF ALL. Returning TONY sang THE WALKING SONG by Kate & Anna McGarrigle followed by GRASSROOTS with THESE HANDS about Sybil Phoenix who came to Britain from British Guiana in 1956 to overcome racism and personal tragedy to become the first black woman to be awarded the MBE for her work fostering hundreds of children in Lewisham. Now 89 she is still active with the charity she founded in memory of her daughter – the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust. Fortunately for SIMON it was not a BLUE, BLUE DAY but, as CARL told us, THE HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE was another matter. Coming to a climax KATH & STAN said HANG YOUR HEAD AND CRY and DON & HEATHER brought us to a close with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to end a top night!
Newsletter No 484 17 July 2018
Opening the evening in grand style BANJO JOHN gave us OLD MAN RIVER before KAMRAN weighed in with SO LONG MARIAN (L. Cohen) and DON, HEATHER & PAUL banded up for the DIAMANTINA DROVER. More intimately ANDY then asked DID SHE MENTION MY NAME (G. Lightfoot) before we welcomed newcomer CASSIDY to play us his magnum opus COMPOSITION FOR BANJO which left BRIAN a little SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard). In somewhat joyous mood ED was next out along THE VERDIGREE (T. Paxton) before we welcomed another newcomer CHRIS who gave us a great rendition of BYKER HILL followed by IAN who was SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU. This heralded the return of old favourite ROBIN who asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO who was followed by PAUL McD with his cheeky little TIMPERLEY BLUFF and PAUL RILEY who celebrated BIG BAD BILL. This left HILARY with the job of making us laugh with more of her ONE-LINERS so there was no reason for KAMRAN to have the DELTA BLUES or ANDY needing PERSUASION or LUCILLE leaving BANJO JOHN with all those children and crops in the field.
An interesting raffle saw Kamran win the Chocolates, Ian took the CD, Margaret won a nice bottle of Red Wine and Brian won the fancy Hand Cream but RICHARD recommenced with FORGETFUL HEART followed by CHRIS with another great traditional song THE MAID OF CULMORE. This left the way for CASSIDY to delight us with a SPANISH TWO STEP for guitar by John Farley followed by BRIAN who gave us the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER as ROBIN took us off along some COUNTRY ROADS. Instrumentally then IAN insisted THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU but PAUL McD still asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW as PAUL boarded the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. All of this left the way clear for HILARY to have us laughing at more of her ONE-LINERS which continued with ED and his TRASHY WOMEN. More straightforwardly DON, HEATHER & PAUL explained when I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and RICHARD did the same when he was ON MY WAY HOME. Coming to a big finish IAN treasured THE NEARNESS OF YOU as ROBIN went NORTH TO ALASKA to discover gold isn’t everything whereas BRIAN declared there is NOTHING I LOVE more. On the other hand KAMRAN discovered how a friend turned out to be YOU RASCAL YOU but finally ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL directed us towards ALL THE GOOD TIMES to end an excellent and varied evening.
Newsletter No 483 10 July 2018
A superb evening brilliantly stewarded and kicked off by PAUL & HEATHER on washboard singing WORRIED MAN BLUES skiffle style after which KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER while PETER BRIDGE was on WOLVERTON MOUNTAIN. We were then jazzed up by BRIAN who sang IF I HAD YOU before PHIL was more trad with THE BUTCHER AND THE TAILOR and ALLEN sang his own DON’T YOU KNOW. We don’t know how she does it but HILARY next had us laughing with her ONE-LINERS before IAN took us instrumentally off to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR and ROD had us high in ITCHYCOO PARK. To HELEN it was all a SILVER LINING but for ED’s story of the three bears MY HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ANDY was back LOOKING FOR THE MOON and that silver lining. More darkly DON & HEATHER tested the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and RACING DEMON were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS with JAMES asking HOW LONG BLUES. On the bright side RICHARD stated HOW GLAD I AM but KATH & STAN were still WATERBOUND as was PETER BRIDGE in the BIG RIVER and ALLEN as he told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER was in every pub on every street corner.
In interval the big raffle saw a bottle of Red Wine won by Rod; a bottle of Rose Wine won by Heather Kenyon; a big Box of Tea won by Ian and the big Box of Chocolates won by Andy before ED had us chorusing with SHUT UP YOU BLOODY LIAR before he went off to hospital to get a cure for his bleeding finger! PHIL applied the soothing balm of J.S. Bach’s BOUREE in E Minor as he went before PAUL recalled FRANKIE & JOHNNY were lovers. Then it was all go as BRIAN was off DOWN GEORGIA WAY and ANDY commented LONG MAY YOU RUN and HELEN said she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. For ROD it was all OUT OF TIME but fortunately IAN was there to slow it down for MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Still on a high, however, were RACING DEMON who were all strung up on CARMELITA but for JAMES it was all different as THINGS HAVE CHANGED (Dylan) and for RICHARD it was all a long WINDING ROAD as DON & HEATHER hit the road with WAGON WHEEL and BRIAN was GONE, GONE, GONE. Heading to a big finish RICHARD said I WILL with the Beatles and HELEN had NOTHING BUT TIME as PHIL set off a WANDERING (James Taylor). This left PAUL & HEATHER to lead us into the night with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER to end a fantastic evening with a great number of songs from wide ranging genre. Magic!!
Newsletter No 482 3 July 2018
With the Services Club bursting at the seams, albeit with England football supporters, DON & HEATHER greeted 26 folkies by warning of the DIMMING OF THE DAY but the theme was set only to be relieved when England won on penalties which PAUL RILEY claimed was WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS. Back to pure folk HELEN sang that it’s SUCH A SIMPLE THING and PAUL McD was DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR before JAN went back to her Welsh roots with CANEUON and MARK warned there may be a BAD MOON RISING which ANDY just thought was WIERD (Clem Sneide). Looking on the bright side IAN played us a nice arrangement of OVER THE RAINBOW but it was left to ED to give us another take on the siege of Badajoz in the Peninsular Wars with SAM SMALL’S CHRISTMAS PUDDING to which DON & HEATHER commented, they were RARE OULD TIMES. Next PAUL RILEY fulfilled a long time ambition by singing MR BOJANGLES to which HELEN replied I HOPE YOU DANCE before PAUL McD asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM (Joe Jackson). JAN & MARK were then filled with LOVE AND HAPPINESS whereas CARL followed the Flag with his own excellent song THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR before ANDY commented it’s RAINING IN BALTIMORE. Then instrumentally IAN claimed I DON’T KNOW WHY as ED chased after the BLACKLEG MINER and CARL asked WHO CALLED THE COOKIE A B.....D to reach the interval.
A bumper raffle saw Margaret win the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen win the Bottle of Rose Wine, Andy win the Suffragette Film on DVD and Jan take a book home before DON & HEATHER started the second half by hoping England were not PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE whereas PAUL McD was asking LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. Keeping up the volume PAUL had us shanty singing with BULLY IN THE ALLEY as did MARK & JAN who reckoned any way up it is NO USE CRYING before IAN became romantic with a smooth guitar instrumental of THE NEARNESS OF YOU. This nicely set up HELEN for FAITH’S SONG followed by ANDY with COMING DOWN ON A SUNNY DAY and CARL for DOWN IN THE DALE, a nostalgic look back in Railway History. DON, HEATHER & PAUL then came together for ACROSS THE BORDERLINE before PAUL McD confessed to LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY and ED told the story of the waitress looking for a LOGGER who stirs his coffee with his thumb, ouch! PAUL R also went back in time for a medley of HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL; YES SIR THAT’S MY BABY; AIN’T SHE SWEET before HELEN had the URGE FOR GOING J Mitchell and MARK & JAN confessed to having washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Coinciding with the moment of England’s success IAN was in FIELDS OF GOLD and ANDY asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES since it happened before and CARL asked whether we could go even FURTHER. Finally we all saw the funny side as ED insisted TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT and PAUL McD said don’t forget who’s taking you home with SAVE THE DANCE FOR ME to end a cracking night.