APRIL - 2016

Newsletter No 375 26 April 2016

A smaller but perfectly formed group arrived before our first host PAUL instructed DON’T GET TROUBLE ON YOUR MIND and particularly IF YOU ARE EVER IN CALIFORNIA sang BRIAN T to which PETE appropriately commented HERE COMES THE SUN. Rising to their feet KATH & STAN then treated us to DINK’S SONG after which HELEN revealed more of her considerable repertoire for THE FOOL (a cappella) and MARK & JAN took us into Sharpe’s world with OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY so no wonder BRIAN had THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS. Then SIMON took our breath away with an amazing unaccompanied version of Thompson’s 1952 VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING which had JO out looking for that WAYFARING STRANGER. This provided a suitable moment for WILF (guitar) & CHRISTINE (violin) to give us both their songs together, SCARBOROUGH FAIR and EL CONDOR PASA, as they were so nervous and wanted to chill out in the second half. No such problem for ROB who always has the wall for support as he went KNOCKIN’ EM DOWN THE OLD PUBS or for new comer STEVE from Bolton who was returning to folk singing after a break raising his family to sing NO REGRETS by Tom Rush. Finally our second host ROBIN closed the round by confessing I HAVE BEEN A ROVER followed by PETE who sang his own BEST IN ME before KATH & STAN took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND. Next HELEN this time with her guitar gave us a strange experience of DANCING UNDER THE GALLOWS about a concert pianist and holocaust survivor who died aged 110 and written by Chris While and Julie Matthews. Thank goodness we were back to normal with BRIAN T who announced YOU BELONG TO ME and JO exclaimed THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE go you and I which for MARK & JAN was THE END OF THE LINE as we reached the interval.

 

With the usual bumper raffle and loads of craic we were surprised when PAUL announced MAMA DON’T ALLOW NO UKULELE PLAYING ROUND HERE but everyone joined in to put an end to that before ROB told of THE PROCESS MAN. This left BRIAN to sigh LATELY and SIMON to give us a bit of HARD LOVE (Bob Franke) as STEVE set off ALBERTA BOUND. It’s always good to see BRIAN T he then regaled us with Billy Fury’s THAT’S LOVE followed by KATH & STAN who sang about THE RIDER IN THE RAIN and HELEN who posed Dylan’s question IF TODAY WERE AN ENDLESS HIGHWAY so no wonder PETE sang TONIGHT I’M STAYING HERE WITH YOU. On the other hand MARK & JAN were out recruiting for THE BLUE COCKADE but after a night on the town ROB was ROLLING HOME and ROBIN was away with JOCK O’HAZELDEAN. Next STEVE sang GHOST STORY and YOU’LL ALWAYS BE SPECIAL TO ME in a tribute to Merle Haggard and SIMON sang about TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE before KATH & STAN told us in no uncertain terms THAT’S WHAT WE DO WITH THE BABY which had MARK & JAN saying we’re LONG GONE! After a great night PAUL decided the only thing to do was a finale like Mumford & Son with everyone joining in and jumping on THIS TRAIN. Magic!

 

Newsletter No 374 19 April 2016

The first time venture of a St George’s Night celebration was kicked off by PETE with his own song BEAT THE DRUM before BANJO JOHN was more traditional with the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER and HILARY went the same way to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Then ROBIN gathered his band FREE SPIRITS and set off for SHOALS OF HERRING and JO went from BOULDER TO BIRMINGHAM before ED sang about THE ENGLISH MAN WITH THE USUAL BLOODY COLD. A complete change by BRIAN was all about a lady choosing one life and then wanting another in I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ME whereas JAN went for the lovely RAVEN AND THE HAREand SIMON was traditional with IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR NELSON, IT'S QUITE GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. From a Norfolk Broadside Collection KATH & STAN sang the beautiful WILLOW GLEN and PAUL went to Steel Eye Span for ALL AROUND MY HAT before KAMRAN brilliantly confessed to us all I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN. Kinkily GEOFF next said he was from the VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY as ANN chased after MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN and JAMES responded by saying I AM JUST A COUNTRY BOY to which JANET was wary with EARLY ONE MORNING. On the other hand KATHIE T had BOBBY REID on her mind and SUE really went for ST. GEORGE & THE DRAGON before JOHN CONDY rocked it up with GIVE ME MONEY (THAT'S WHAT I WANT) and DON & HEATHER celebrated Barry’s completion of The West Highland Way with THE MANCHESTER RAMBLER leaving BANJO JOHN to comment that he must be ONE OF THE ROVING KIND. Finally ED slid us up to the buffet and Chips with AL BOWLLY.

At the same time the Raffle put the Cava in Janet’s hands, the Roses chocolates with Ken and the real Roses via Ed to Sue or else! Then rekindling the fire PETE went Kinky with SUNNY AFTERNOON before leaving RICHARD to go WALKING UP THE KING'S HIGHWAY. In memory of that great Rochdale Lass Gracie Fields BRIAN sang SALLY and GEOFF continued with IN MY LIFE leaving KATH & STAN to sing us the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY. Again in the spirit of St. George SIMON vowed to remain in the BACHELOR'S HALL and HILARY played the traditional GREENSLEEVES. An interesting story from ROBIN explained how the ROSE OF ALLANDALE is an English song not Scottish as he always thought and also interestingly SUE then sang DIRTY OLD TOWN written about Salford by Ewan MacColl born in England of Scottish parents so claiming {sic} dual nationality. Claiming to be an Englishman abroad KAMRAN went to the bar and ordered ONE SCOTCH, ONE BOURBON, ONE BEER as PAUL satisfied himself that JACK A ROE was a Londoner and JOHN CONDY entwined LA BAMBA with TWIST & SHOUT leaving JAMES to go off unashamedly with ALBERTA. Coming up to a big finish DON & HEATHER stuck with tradition and POVERTY KNOCKS before RICHARD sang his own tribute OH, ENGLAND and ED gave his personal tribute to the Queen with MONDAY 'ER DOES ALL 'ER WASHING leaving KATH & STAN to wrap it all up down in the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH for a resounding success!

 

Newsletter No 373 12 April 2016

The return of GRASSROOTS gave us a superb evening starting with them singing RIVER so no wonder BANJO JOHN announced that THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE before ROBIN took us down to THE RIVER of Bruce Springsteen. From Bob Dylan PETE chose his BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER and after KAMRAN chose came up with another Dylan, MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW, it was off north of the border for DAVE COWE with his ode TO A HAGGIS. Then we were delighted to welcome BRIAN T recovering from the winter lurgy lots of us have had and singing a great version of Ry Cooder’s ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. This still didn’t blow away PAUL’S MORNING BLUES so luckily ANN asked us to join in with her VAIR ME ORO VAN O and DON & HEATHER had us rollicking along with WHISKY IN THE JAR. Slowing the pace for a moment romantic BRIAN sang about ANGELS FLYING TOO CLOSE TO THE GROUND and ED was equally nostalgic when SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SEA before HELEN, after last week’s break through, continued to delight us with THE QUEST. Also becoming a welcome regular contributor BAZ took us down DOWN IN THE VALLEY before GRASSROOTS went traditional with WHEN I WAS NOBBUT SWEET SIXTEEN. This left BANJO JOHN to warn us of APRIL SHOWERS and KAMRAN to tell us were all doomed with IT’S ALL OVER before PETE raised us up high with his Jimi Hendricks impersonation of HEY JOE which had DAVE COWE away and TALKING TO THE WALL which left us to welcome visitor GRAHAM, a canal devotee, to take us to the interval with CAPTAINS OF THE WATERWAYS.

 

After a bumper raffle in which Ann won the hand cream, Heather took the Maltesers, Vic won the Chocolate Orange and gave it to Kate, Alan won the four tins of Pate, Brian wobbled off with the wine and Pete won and passed round the Roses Chocolates JANICE & BRIAN again teamed up with YOU DON’T BUY ME FLOWERS neither having won a prize. In need of some light relief FREE SPIRITS again raised us up down at the RED ROSE CAFE before ROBIN most seriously sang SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH and ED said it was exactly the same with THE WIDOW ON THE MOOR but for ANN it was all about true love with THE FOLK SINGER. Returning with his squeezebox BAZ then had us all going with his a nice rendition of EIDELWEISS so no wonder BRIAN T followed it with I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS but HELEN, this time debuting her guitar, was more interested in the RAMBLING MAN. Again with his fine singing voice GRAHAM had us joining in with I’LL NEVER GO TO SEA NO MORE which this time had PAUL most definitely SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD and GRASSROOTS celebrating the day PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. Still in Amerikay FREE SPIRITS were off riding the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and ED was off to the WHIP JAMBOREE which nicely set up KAMRAN for one of Dylan’s best, MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE, and PETE to take us all down to ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY. Reaching a climax HELEN, again with guitar, asked SHOULD I FALL BEHIND WAIT FOR ME and BRIAN T was very upbeat with WHEN I’M DEAD AND GONE before GRAHAM had us lustily singing into the street with A MINER’S LIFE urging us to keep your hand upon your wages and your eye upon the scale.

 

Newsletter No 372 5 April 2016

Last night was an interesting evening with lots of variety to fill the night. The piano had been moved and was filling the space normally occupied by the hosts’ desk, so we changed the seating plan to accommodate the new arrangement. Of course, the change inspired a lot of both positive and negative comment but it is common practice in Care Homes to purposely change the residents’ seating to give them a reason to moan (and to live)!! PAUL opened the evening at 8.00 pm with a very appropriately named number, PEOPLE GET READY and they did as, following his introduction on religious beliefs, COLIN sang his BALLAD OF MARY MAGDALENE. Then JAMES sang a Mark Knoppfler version of HOW LONG before ROBIN, returning with Elizabeth following his spell of recuperation from his hand operation and obviously unable to play guitar, sang a lovely unaccompanied KILLING ME SOFTLY. Next KATH & STAN rose to play and sing Cyril Tawney’s MONDAY MORNING and ED stood up to sing his version of DOWN IN LOUISIANA and EDDIE pulled out his cello to play and sing the RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSIES-O. Again in solo voice SIMON sang TALK ABOUT SUFFERING before and following tradition whilst Don and Heather were on vacation and out of earshot, BRIAN & SUE BENTHAM stole one of their repertoire and unbelievably sang a duet together, YOU’LL NEVER BE THE SUN written by Donagh Long. Then, even more moving, was BAZ’s harmonica playing of DANNY BOY with BRIAN on guitar followed by CARL who sang a wonderful Pete Morton song, THANKSGIVING and GEOFF, sadly without Sue who had unfortunately lost her voice, so he was solo for ONE FOR THE ROAD. Coming to the floor CHRIS, twelve fingers to his friends, sang one from his favourite Ralph McTell songs, LAST TRAIN TO RIDE and PETER  also treated us to a new song of his own, TOP OF THE WORLD before RICHARD finished the first round with the famous Rudyard Kipling poem put to music, IF. As if feeling the pinch COLIN then rose to sing one of his own songs, I’M GETTING OLDER, and in somewhat sympathetic mood ROBIN once again sang unaccompanied, DARK ISLAND before PAUL sneaked in an extra song by finishing off JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO with OH MARY DON’T YOU WEEP with everyone joining in with gusto. Keeping up the momentum JAMES gave us a Bo Diddley Blues, BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME, and KATH & STAN performed two instrumental tunes, TWIGLET and BODMIN RISING, leaving PETER to sing his beautiful self-penned SIMPLE SONG unusually playing the ukulele. Next up was CARL with a flawless version of BAKER STREET and ED sang his popular His Worship & The Pig song ROUGH JUSTICE which brought a few smiles to new faces and set up the new duo, BAZ & BRIAN, to once more entertain us with WALKING ON SUNDAY but this time Baz sang with Brian’s guitar accompaniment. This time BRAIN stayed on the floor to sing a fabulous BRING HIM HOME from the musical Les Miserables and RICHARD sang and played THANKS FOR ANOTHER leaving EDDIE, this time with guitar, to play TEDDYBEARS PICNIC as an instrumental whilst those younger childish members of the audience sang the lyrics. As time was passing HELEN kindly offered to boost performer numbers, despite her recent chest infection, and clearly sang THE QUEST and with her lovely voice, pleasantly surprised those who had never heard her sing before. Then rather nicely GEOFF, this time with Sue not singing but playing instrumental support, sang SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES as CHRIS, keeping to his railway theme tonight, gave us TERMINUS and SIMON sang Tom Traubert’s Blues, WALTZING MATILDA (Chords by Tom Waites).

Coming to about 10.30 pm a quite different build up to the finale was started by KATH & STAN  with WINDMILLS followed by EDDIE who kindly accompanied SUE BENTHAM with his guitar at great speed and she clog danced MRS MARHOFF’S SINGLE HORNPIPE. This prompted PETER to comment NEVER IN MY LIFE and CHRIS set out to prove he has 12 fingers by responding to Ed’s request for SULTANS OF SWING with the full Dire Straits arrangement on one guitar, magic! GEOFF then started ONLY YOU but was let down by his prompter but EDDIE raised the tone of the evening by playing BOUREE IN E MINOR by BACH on his guitar which was amazing before JAMES together with PAUL brought the evening to a climax in a jug band sort of way with WALK RIGHT IN which ended a superb evening!

MARCH - 2016

Newsletter No 371 29 March 2016

As usual KATH & STAN coaxed a sublime evening from a willing bunch of performers starting with WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN after which they turned to BRIAN who went all romantic, as he does, and gave us WHAT’LL I DO and I WONDER WHO’S KISSING HER NOW so no wonder EDDIE confessed I LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE and ANN prayed ALL MY TRIALS LORD will soon be over. Moving forward in time DAVID asked WHAT HAPPENED TO SATURDAY NIGHT with 10cc and DON & HEATHER confessed they may not have ALL THE ANSWERS as MIKE stepped up to wish ADIEU SWEET NANCY. Swinging back to the old music hall SIMON sang DOWN THE ROAD WENT POLLY as GRASSROOTS turned to the CIRCLE DANCE leading DAVE COWE to give us all a rousing call with SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE NOUGHT AVAILETH. It obviously worked as ED insisted he was not ALL USED UP. Neither was GIO with his rousing version of TROUBLED TOWN, the then to TV’s Happy Valley, nor KATH & STAN with two tunes THE RAKES OF MALLOW and THE DORSET FOUR HAND REEL and EDDIE certainly didn’t have a WOODEN HEART but not sure about BRIAN though with his FUNNY FAMILIAR FORGOTTEN FEELINGS. Next SIMON told us SOMETIME SHE FORGETS but MIKE was off to CANADEE-IO and DON & HEATHER were off down to Antarctica with their LITTLE POT STOVE while ANN remained home eulogising THE TROUT. No wonder DAVID thought about THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE leaving GIO to explain the significance of the LONG BLACK VEIL and GRASSROOTS to unravel the love life of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan with DIAMONDS AND RUST as we broke for the interval.

The raffle saw Ann win the Wine, Brian win the Box of Biscuits and Kath win the Guinness Crisps before ED confessed I LIKE MY WOMEN A LITTLE ON THE TRASHY SIDE which made EDDIE think of the PIG ANKLE RAG but DAVE COWE had NO TIME TO STAND AND STARE. This led DAVID to unveil his own WAITING FOR CLOUDS TO COME while DOUG was more traditional with THE SAILORS LAMENT by Cyril Tawney while BRIAN was still in his romantic period with I’LL LOVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE. In similar vein MIKE announced THE SHEARING’S NOT FOR YOU as DON & HEATHER went off to the desert for that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and ANN took a trip in a THE SHABBY OLD CABBY but KATH & STAN put us all in the shade going off NINE HUNDRED MILES leaving SIMON courting when RIDING ON TOP OF THE CAR. Subterranean DOUG, however, went off DOWN BELOW with Sydney Carter and GRASSROOTS chased after the MOCKING BIRD while ED was off ALONG THE VERDIGRIS with Tom Paxton. Coming to a close DON & HEATHER invited us all back again with RED ROSE CAFE and EDDIE warned us things are not always rosy down at the HEARTBREAK HOTEL. Top drawer.

Newsletter No 370 22 March 2016

Still in St Patrick’s Day mood DON, HEATHER & PAUL struck off with a GALWAY GIRL and in the same frame of mind EDDIE joined in with the CURRAGH OF KILDARE before JAMES declared he was HOMEWARD BOUND. Coming up to Easter BANJO JOHN then provided us with a RUGGED CROSS as JO was saying you’re NOBODY’S DARLING BUT MINE and BRIAN was sending LOVE LETTERS STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART. Still on the same theme, however, SIMON told the allegorical story of disastrous love in MR FOX (Dave Pegg) whereas DAVE sang the poignant SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME which was written by wheel chair bound Doc Pomus on his wedding day to actress/dancer Willi Burke while she was dancing with friends. On the other hand ANN went the whole hog with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN who went over the edge with boredom when RICHARD could have sorted her out with a PROPER CUP OF COFFEE but PAUL thought she must have had the HOW LONG BLUES. It was then time for some soothing music as EDDIE played three jigs BLACKTHORNE STICK, RAKES OF KILDARE & TEN PENNY BIT and in sombre mood JO got out her LONG BLACK VEIL as BANJO JOHN told of the COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER. Just as we thought he wasn’t to be heard BRIAN sang Dylan No 1 MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE  and DAVE sang Dylan No 2 WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN before JAMES announced he was that RIDER IN THE RAIN. Coming to the interval SIMON treated us to BEES WING and RICHARD played the beautiful COLUMCILLE on his D whistle or some bit of plumbing and PAUL had us PUTTING ON THE STYLE.

 

The raffle saw Baz win the Box of Tea; Alan win a bottle of Champagne; Jackie win the Easter Egg and Vic win the Easter Bunny before PAUL concluded as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU. Still in romantic mood BRIAN delivered more LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND and RICHARD sang his own LITTLE DROPS OF LOVING. More lustfully DAVE went into rhapsodies over a GYPSY WOMAN and more melodically EDDIE & RICHARD were all tuneful with O’CAROLAN’S DRAFT before JAMES declared he was GOING TO GERMANY. Still all wistful ANN was thinking of the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while DON, HEATHER & PAUL reminisced about the ROSEVILLE FAIR and EDDIE proposed a PARTING GLASS which sent DAVE off along COUNTRY ROADS and PAUL to pack for LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Back in serious vein RICHARD sang his own FIRE DOWN BELOW a cappella before JAMES went Beatles with TILL THERE WAS YOU and ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to fulfil a request for the story of their friend in New Orleans who DANCES FOR DOLLARS and PAUL to send us into the night for the LONG JOURNEY HOME having metaphorically spent everything but a two dollar bill.

 

Newsletter No 369 15 March 2016

With another full house, four in a row, MARK started the evening very appropriately with a great guitar instrumental of SONNY’S MAZURKA & THE CRICKETS MARCH OVER THE SALT BOX quickly followed by the welcome return of JIM & LYNN who revealed the contrast between THE ORANGE AND THE GREEN. Then after this KAMRAN sang SUICIDE IS PAINLESS the theme from M*A*S*H* before BANJO JOHN surprised us with the WILD ROVER as did PHIL in his 30’ TRAILER before JAN declared her feelings for TEDDY O’NEILL. Then CHRIS provided a complete departure with his excellent version of the SULTANS OF SWING before HILARY again went Irish for PLANXTY IRWIN (O’Carolan) and GEOFF did his bit with ARTHUR McBRIDE. Then after all of 30 seconds rehearsal ANN introduced her latest song about the PUNCH AND JUDY MAN as CARL went back at least 40 years for Harvey Andrews’ HELLO HANS leaving ROB to give us a lesson in sailing the GOOD SHIP CALABAR. On the other hand SUE was chasing round the countryside after BLACK JACK DAVY and PAUL was over in Northern Ireland and DOWN BY THE LAGANSIDE but GIO confessed I WISH I WAS BACK HOME IN DERRY. Then, apropos of nothing, SIMON commented THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR before MIKE told us the history of the ISLE OF HOPE ISLE OF TEARS and FREE SPIRITS welcomed Robin back with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Just in time to take us to the interval CHARLIE & JONATHAN offered us WHISKY IN THE JAR and KAMRAN told us of the SIX RIBBONS which left BANJO JOHN and his good friend Fats O’Waller to claim I AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.

A bumper raffle saw Geoff win the Irish Cream, Jim & Lynn win the Irish coffee kit, Hilary win the Irish Cake, Joan win 4 tins of Guiness, Rosalyn win the CD of Irish Songs and he who never wins, Robin, win a big tin of Roses Chocolates.

The end of this saw MARK & JAN off OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY and even SUE & GEOFF went off singing I’LL FLY AWAY but SIMON was regretting his impecunity on THE BANKS OF THE BANN. Then for her next trick ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY which left CARL trying to reach FURTHER (P. Morton) before we were back with HILARY on BRIAN BORU’S MARCH. Then, from another country seeking independence, PHIL produced COUSIN JACK and ROB related the demise of ELLEN VANNIN before CHRIS went the whole hog telling us we won’t make OLD BONES. Equally a disaster was JIM & LYNN’S story of the good ship IRISH ROVER before PAUL wished us all the very best in our travels with MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU and MIKE invited us all to his own IRISH SESSION. Finally and still in Celtic mood FREE SPIRITS treated us to be a PIPER TO THE END before MARK & JAN sang us all into the street after another excellent evening. 

Newsletter No 368 8 March 2016

With people wandering in and chatting PAUL & HEATHER decided on a rolling start on the SLOOP JOHN B which not only let everyone settle down and within minutes bring up the “House Full” sign for the third week running. BANJO JOHN then bemoaned the CURSE OF THE ACHEING HEART before CARL sang MOTHERS DAUGHTERS WIVES in celebration of the International Women’s Day and ANN sang in praise of THE FOLK SINGER. In response to the growing crowd EDDIE decided to lead us with 2 tunes, SOLDIER’S JOY & STATEN ISLAND, and ROB kept Martin awake with MARTIN SAYS TO HIS MAN before FAIR PLAY sang to THE MAN IN THE MOON. Next and still with home grown talent JO brought out her new guitar for the second time as she sang THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY before the SALLY SLIDERS descending from Pendle told us I LIVE NOT WHERE LOVE and the SOUTH SIDERS over from Poynton sang of STORMY MONDAY. The answer from PETE was simplification as he sang Dylan’s two chorded OXFORD TOWN which side tracked JAMES, who also had Dylan in mind, to go off TRAVELLING LIGHT and left BRIAN fighting his way out of a TEQUILA SUNRISE and ARTHUR down in THE LAST CHANCE SALOON. On the other hand JONATHAN & CHARLIE were off strolling through FIELDS OF GOLD as DAVID was confessing his affection for THE GIRL FROM BARGAIN BOOZE before the very welcome return of RICHARD SAILS saw him go traditional with KNIGHT WILLIAM AND THE SHEPHERD’S DAUGHTER. Somewhat more rustically ED came across the waitress searching for a LOGGER LOVER who stirs his coffee with his thumb before PHIL introduced us to the GREEN ANTHEM and DON & HEATHER took us OUT ON THE WESTERN PLAINS as we reached the interval.

The raffle saw Sue win the DVD, Heather win the CD, Paul take the wine and Sally Sliders win the box of Roses and then the second half was well and truly launched by special guests SALLY SLIDERS with their memories of HARD TIMES and THE OLD MAN IN THE WOOD before JAMES turned to the rare SENOR by Bob Dylan and RICHARD SAILS again brilliantly stepped up to the mark at FAKENHAM FAIR (trad. Norfolk). All this reminded FAIR PLAY that HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL and caused ROB to return to the MILL OUTING by old friend Trevor Morton so there was no need but BRIAN insisted on saying I’M SORRY. Then in complete contrast CARL celebrated another special female quality with ON AGAIN ON by Jake Thackray whereas PETE was more eulogistic of the fair sex with his own STORM RISING before ANN reminded us of the feminine temptation LORELEI the siren on the Rhine. Classically EDDIE then played Bach’s AIR ON A G STRING and PHIL shared Al Stewart’s hatred of lawyers who in his opinion have a LICENCE TO STEAL and ED confessed it was HARD TO BE HUMBLE before the SOUTH SIDERS wrapped up a great evening with LORD FRANKLIN, TAMP IT UP SOLID & KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. Top night, top teamwork. 

Newsletter No 367 1 March 2016

A jam packed full house met in celebration of St David’s Day and memories of Wales and our links with Welsh friends and GRASSROOOTS hosted the evening brilliantly starting the ball rolling with THE MOCKINGBIRD quickly followed by MARK with 2 WELSH TUNES on the whistle. After ED sombrely reminded us of the killing of CAROL ANN KELLY our first song in Welsh was SUO GAN sung by JAN before CARL was more political with the AUSTERITY ALPHABET. Back on the ale ROB insisted we FATHOM THE BOWL as DON, HEATHER & PAUL went with the puzzling FOREVER AND A DAY (Kruger Brothers) before BRIAN satisfied his fans with DON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE. Next ANN had us all smiling at an amusing and very true SOLILOQUY OF A SAFETY PIN giving EDDIE time to undress his cello for 2 well known WELSH TUNES before JAMES treated us to his version of BUCKETS OF RAIN (Dylan). This put KAMRAN on TOP OF THE WORLD and sent KATH & STAN off by TRAIN ON THE ISLAND as newcomer SIMON girded his loins for his debut with the TWO SISTERS and he was really good as expected. PAUL then came out with SPENCER THE ROVER as DAVE read the poem CLINK before PETE left us still wondering why the man was in the fridge as he sang CLAUDIA. Coming up to the interval MIKE COSGRAVE sang GALWAY TO GRACELAND before MARK & JAN gave another shot of real Welsh with CYFIR ‘R GEIR leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to sing their DANCES FOR DOLLARS about the way a Welsh friend tried to subsist whilst a student in Louisiana State University.

A great buffet and loads of chips led to the Raffle in which James won the Leeks, Jackie won the Rose wine, Alan won the Welsh Brandy, Chris took the Maltesers. Rita & Alan won the box of Roses Chocolates and Alan was delighted with the CD by GRASSROOTS who started us off again with WHEN I WAS NO BUT SWEET SIXTEEN. With a quick translation PAUL then sang WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL to which we chorused Felin dorri i lawr (it done broke down) before CARL gave us one of the Beatles best JEALOUS GUY which DAVE punctuated with two poems LIGHT SLEEPER and TAKING STICK. This time with a song ANN was fishing for THE TROUT and BRIAN was on the Kop singing YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE with PETE was telling her you’re a BIG GIRL NOW as JAMES took us back to our youth with the R&B style KANSAS CITY. Even earlier times saw SIMON ask HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE while more recently with The Everlys KAMRAN had us WALK RIGHT BACK before MARK & ROB returned to theme for DAI THE MOTORBIKE MAN before ROB went told with his story of SAM THE BLACKBIRD leaving EDDIE with his clever Welsh link for GAVOTTE Bach. With a big finish on the cards ED chanced his arm with SHE IS WOMAN but MIKE was off on the boat DOWNEASTER ALEXA as KATH & STAN chased the FORSAKEN MERMAID which only left MICK, DON, HEATHER & PAUL to confess their sins with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER to end one of the best ever Party Nights.

FEBRUARY - 2016

Newsletter No 366 23 February 2016

KAMRAN & PETE were greeted by a full house and 22 different performers who PETE led off brilliantly with a great version of DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL that stirred HILARY into action with MALAGUEÑA and BANJO JOHN to reminisce when he was the SHEIKH OF ARABY. The connection with Rudolph made GEOFF turn to VALENTINO but JOHN CHILCOTT, eager for one last performance before Spring, sang us A SONG FOR A WINTER’S NIGHT (Lightfoot) and before KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER. Then PHIL gave a great demonstration of how difficult it is to play the discordantly with THE HAUNTED CAROUSEL which set up ROB for the story of THE ALABAMA which made SUE think of UKULELE, the Hallelujah Spoof by Leonard Cohen, Guy Snape & Geoff Thorpe. With another interesting song DAVID came up with ONLY NATURAL by Crowded House famous for Weather With You to which ANN & ROBIN replied with DID YOU EVER and KAMRAN went romantic with MY FUNNY VALENTINE. With a few Biblical references PAUL said we should WADE IN THE WATER and right on cue JONATHAN & CHARLIE said we should always take the WEATHER WITH YOU (Crowded House) which convinced ED that IT'LL TURN OUT ALL RIGHT IN THE END (Boulton). Coming up to the interval MARK had us singing to FIDDLER'S GREEN and RICHARD introduced his LADY OF THE MORNING before DON & HEATHER said every folk club needs plenty of people who are PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE!

After the Wine found a home with Kath and the Heart ornaments went home with Ed Jillian settled for the Chocolates and Geoff took the Smellies before PETE ordered his BIG YELLOW TAXI. Again DAVID found an interesting song in his locker with RADIO WEST (ELO) and HILARY was back to Spain for TIENTOS POR ZAMBRA before ROB had us in the Navy for the GREY FUNNEL LINE. Calling for support ROBIN led us to the WATERMELON WINE to which RICHARD replied I GUESS I'M DOING FINE and SUE called in on Dropkick Murphys for their ROSE TATTOO. Next STAN & KATH were WATERBOUND and solo CHARLIE took A CLASSICAL MEANDER before ANN shocked us with THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN and PHIL was equally bold with SIX SIXTY SIX (Larry Norman). Back down to the sunny south PAUL sang in praise of OH SWEET CAROLINA (Ryan Adams) and KAMRAN beseeched us to TEACH YOUR CHILDREN (CSN) to which GEOFF claimed I'VE JUST SEEN A FACE and MARK sang it’s the BAD MOON RISING. Then sensing the end of something ED turned to JACUZZI JOE the Gigolo before FREE SPIRITS shot off the Australia for the DIAMANTINA DROVER before changing continents altogether for their favourite pick-up band song WAGON WHEEL to send us dancing into the night. Magic!

Newsletter No 365 16 February 2016

Undeterred by the weather some hot talent rolled up as DON & HEATHER kicked off with THE SMUGGLERS SONG and BANJO JOHN shot off to the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL making ARTHUR MARSHALL exclaim OMG I WISH I WAS A YOUNGER MAN. Then uniquely EDDIE next unsheathed his Mandola inherited from the locally famous Mary Asquith for the SAUCY SAILOR before GRAEME sang in praise of OUR MOTHER THE MOUNTAIN. Knoppler devotee CHRIS then sang about THE TRAWLERMAN and with one of Dylan’s best JANET sang TO RAMONA as did JAMES with SHE BELONGS TO ME. Before it passes us by JOHN CHILCOTT wanted to give us a HAZY SHADE OF WINTER which newcomer LUCAS reckoned was alright IN TIMES LIKE THESE but on another level ANN confessed she would be sad without us in other words VAIR ME ORO VAN O which was nice. Reaching for the history books, in other words the Al Stewart songbook, PHIL told us about the ROADS TO MOSCOW which Adolf would have done well to have known. GIO returning for a third time and with a new song I WILL WAIT FOR YOU delighted us with his progress before JAN wowed us with I CAN’T GO FOR THAT and PETE was poignant with OLD MAN which resulted in ED remembering THE PILGRIM. To bring us up to the interval BANJO JOHN took us back to the STREETS OF LAREDO and JOHN CHILCOTT recalled Paul Simon’s song for his English girl friend EMILY before he became famous, big mistake, which made JANET think of DIAMONDS AND RUST.

 

A bumper raffle saw Alan& Rita win a bottle of wine; Martin win the box of Tea and kind give it to Alan’s grandson; Joan win the Love, Live, Laugh stickers and Phil take the Beer home before ARTHUR show his gentle side with IT’S AFTER MIDNIGHT AND SO LATE. With another instrument EDDIE then played O’CAROLAN’S CONCERTO, his hardest piece, leaving PETE to sing about JIM and supply the social comment as did GRAEME with the HESITATION BLUES leaving JAN to introduced us to the BLACK MAGIC WOMAN. All this led ED to conclude IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS. On the other hand PHIL went all traditional with the BLACKLEG MINER as did JAMES in his way with VALENTINE’S DAY by Steve Earl but ANN settled for a ride in a SHABBY OLD CABBY. Still on a high LUCAS sang a great song which turned out to be his own composition, SEE YOU AROUND, and CHRIS was also creative with his own interpretation of ANGIE with ARTHUR completing the set with THE NIGHTINGALE which was one of his own. Building to a climax GRAEME gave us the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES while more up market PETE gave us THE MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES before there was a lull as EDDIE sang the beautiful DEAREST by Buddy Holly. Not to be denied after a few thanks, however, JAN had us all rocking with RUN AROUND SUE before ED teamed up with HEATHER & DON to state the obvious with ALL THE GOOD TIMES. A quality night! 

 

Newsletter No 364 9 February 2016

ED & SUE greeted a full house by welcoming KAMRAN to the front where he set the proceedings alight with his version of TRAVELLING RIVERSIDE BLUES from 1932 whereas DON & HEATHER settled for their more recent ROMANY JACK before PHIL recalled the days of Emerson, Lake & Palmer with LUCKY MAN by Greg Lake. Then it was good to hear BRIAN with ME AND THE ELEPHANT, a tribute to Terry Wogan who sang it, before the first big surprise of the night when JO stepped up for the first time brilliantly playing her new guitar and singing the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN followed by CARL with his own lament for the enforced moving of the folk club FROM THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN. Then EDDIE invited his cello to THE FLORAL DANCE while DAVE was BLOWING IN THE WIND which left our guest from Ireland PAT KELLEHER to sing THE BALLAD OF JACK DOYLE. Raising the bar higher and higher COLIN sang the ballad of LITTLE MUSGRAVE followed by FAIR PLAY with THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY and then JAN sang in Welsh LAWR AR LAN Y MOR. Determined to ignore the weather MARK declared it a SUNNY AFTERNOON so not surprisingly PETER was off O’ER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY making GIO all ghostly with LONG BLACK VEIL and ROBIN asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO. Coming to the interval ANN reminded us of the miners with DARK AS A DUNGEON before PAUL generated a band-up with PAT to the fore with some great banjo playing when ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS which left MIKE with MICK RYAN’S LAMENT.

 

A bumper raffle saw Paul win the pancakes kit, Alan take the pink champagne, Pete go home with the toiletries for Jan, Jackie win the Hot Chocolate and Helen win the Bag of Licorice before opening up the second half PAT took up with LITTLE MAGGIE and COLIN asked rhetorically AIN’T THAT RAIN before another surprise returner DOUG sang John Conolly’s RANTER’S WHARF. Then ROBIN took us round the STREETS OF BALTIMORE but PETE was happy DOWN IN MY EASY CHAIR before BRIAN went all lovey-dovey with THE NEARNESS OF YOU. Next and instrumentally EDDIE treated us to a medley with GREENSLEEVES and KAMRAN celebrated the song writing of old friend Arthur Marshall with his OLD BONES STILL DREAM before DAVE with his harmonica for the first time sang SEA OF HEARTBREAK so no wonder ANN exclaimed ALL MY TRIALS will soon be over. With another big hit PHIL sang BROTHERS IN ARMS which had JAN & MARK off RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY while FAIR PLAY were WATERBOUND. Sensing a big finish FREE SPIRITS led us all with John Cline’s SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS which was followed by MIKE with COUSIN JACK and then PAT KELLEHER with his own composition MOVING ON before PAUL produced another band-up with PAT, KAMRAN & MIKE prominent as they STEP IT UP AND GO. Top drawer!!

 

Newsletter No 363 2 February 2016

A sublime evening started with KATH & STAN in the MOONSHADOW while BANJO JOHN said I WISH I WAS IN DIXIE and EDDIE was playing us the RIGHTS OF MAN followed by JACKIE TAR. Leading a tribute to Terry Wogan DON & HEATHER parodied his favourite with FLORA DANCE while PHIL chased THE HARE and ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY. Then the welcome appearance of MIKE COSGRAVE with a great version of THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME and the ASHOKAN FAREWELL was topped by DAVID’s own great song YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. Back from the sun complete with tan and thromboses was Janice as GRASSROOTS with ANGEL just in time to hear PAUL’s gospel according to JOHN THE REVELATOR which JAMES thought happened EVERYDAY. Next DAVE COWE turned to Roger McGough for the funny side of ANOTHER MIDLIFE CRISIS and MY PHILOSOPHY IN A NUTSHELL while CARL exclaimed CURSED BE THE CALLER with his knock, knock, knock. With one of the best ED then turned to Dylan’s RAMONA and equally good was CHRIS with Dire Straits’ SULTANS OF SWING and BANJO JOHN with JESSE JAMES. Then to our amazement EDDIE unsheathed his latest guitar, a bargain Bulgarian beauty picked up from a second hand stall, to play a great sounding BLUEBELL POLKA which inspired PHIL to introduce his MAN OF THE WORLD and DON & HEATHER to invite all comers to express PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which left PAUL to proclaim THE SINGING WILL NEVER END but it did for the half time break.

An extra bumper raffle Mike win the Easter Egg, Barry take the Big Musical Book, Joyce win the Viva for Men and Jill win the Wine before GRASSROOTS opened up again with THE MOCKING BIRD to be followed by DAVID with the showstopper AMARILLO and ANN and THE FOLK SINGER and JAMES with HANDYMAN. With more humour DAVE COWE gave us THE WEATHER and GLOBAL WARMING. Then more seriously CHRIS told us about HANDS OF JOSEPH just as ED was ON MY WAY TO WORK and KATH & STAN were recruiting MIKE COSGRAVE to join in DINKS SONG before leaving him to it for THE LAZY FARMER. Then Al Stewart entered the room via PHIL’s delivery of HANNO THE NAVIGATOR but DON, HEATHER & PAUL were cheerfully likening the RED ROSE CAFE to Sale Folk Club before EDDIE went off with the RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSIES. On the other hand GRASSROOTS yearned for ENGLISH RAIN while DAVID had FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY while all took refuge with PAUL and his JUG BAND MUSIC. Heading for door JAMES just had time to introduce his LITTLE SISTER before KATH & STAN said their THE LAST GOODBYE and we waved MIKE COSGRAVE off on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. Top drawer!

JANUARY - 2016

Newsletter No 362 26 January 2016

Despite the gloomy weather forecast hosts MARK & JAN greeted a lively gathering with the rousing YE JACOBITES in honour of Burns’ Night which Scotsman ROBIN followed with LYING EYES and CARL chose CAT’S IN THE CRADLE. Still on the Scottish theme PAUL was that PIPER TO THE END and JANET was really traditional BY YON CASTLE WALL but for TREVOR it was like SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN. Then we gave ROB the thumbs up after his operation to remove some bone from one of his as he led us to SOUTH AUSTRALIA but BANJO JOHN was busy SETTING THE WOODS ON FIRE while COLIN sang Jimmie Driftwood’s HE HAD A LONG CHAIN ON. To follow that DON & HEATHER summoned help from ROBIN & PAUL for NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL which was much the same theme as JO’s song SONNY’S DREAM while JAMES went for the jugular with FOREVER YOUNG. Long time no see DAVE then livened us up with THINGS before ED gave us the sad story of RED HEADED ANN and JOAN read some more of HER MOTHER’S STORY OF JOAN’S BIRTH AT THE END OF WWll before CHARLIE & JONATHON shipped up with WEATHER WITH YOU. Heading for the break JAN went solo with the beautiful NOW WESTLIN’ WIND to which BANJO JOHN said FETCH IT ON DOWN TO MY HOUSE and COLIN asked WHERE WILL THEY GO to which DAVE replied off to FIDDLER’S GREEN.

Another bumper raffle saw Vic win the Champagne and pass it to Barbara's charity, Heather won the Whisky and gave it to Ed, Sue won the White Roses, Alan won the Chocolates, Trevor won the Haggis and Jan & Mark won the Robbie Burns Beer. Then starting of the second half JAMES introduced MY OLD FRIEND THE BLUES as ROB confessed to COURTING TOO SLOW but MARK was more basic with LAY LADY LAY, however, DON & HEATHER said they WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. Also plain speaking TREVOR looked forward to when ONLY THE RIVERS RUN FREE and ED had his own advice with LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE WHERE THEY WILL before PAUL had us all chasing the BLUES IN A BOTTLE. No wonder CARL preferred A TASTE OF HONEY and JAMES commented THINGS HAVE CHANGED as ROB took himself off to the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR. Not surprising DAVE admitted I’VE GOT THE BLUES and CARL was off with THE DEMON and TREVOR was LEAVING. Coming to a climax PAUL was GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD just as ED was telling us ALL THE GOOD TIMES are passed and gone leading DON, HEATHER, PAUL & ROBIN to invite us to STEAL AWAY and MARK & JAN offered us a parting glass in SO HERE’S TO YOU to end a great evening. Excellent!

 

Newsletter No 361 19 January 2016

A full house and extra chairs greeted PAUL & ROBIN who stewarded the host of talent starting with FREE SPIRITS who chose to see them as NO HOPERS, JOKERS AND ROGUES before GEOFF celebrated the DESPERADO in memory of Glen Frey. Also rising to the occasion JAMES gave us a great blues version of HOW LONG before ANN told us the story of LORELEI and ALAN, a new face from Midlands tried to tell us I'M A WAYFARING STRANGER. With his own version BRIAN insisted LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING as FAIR PLAY were off to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH and COLIN was searching for A BETTER WAY TO BE, leaving HILARY to play THE LORD'S SEAT on her guitar. Then who should walk through the door but PETE KING not with a new song but LIFE ON MARS as a tribute to David Bowie swiftly followed by very welcome guests DAVE CARTWRIGHT & HOWARD WOOLLEY also celebrating Glen Frey with TEQUILA SUNRISE and then FIRE AND RAIN (J Taylor). Next our own highly talented CARL turned to Jez Lowe for THE LONE BADGER as JO went off DOWN BY THE SALLY GARDENS but locked in his own time warp PHIL celebrated David Bowie with SPACE ODDITY. Then by way of a complete change SUE asked for A KIND OF HUSH as ED went back to WWll with AL BOWLLY'S IN HEAVEN before KEN told us YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND and ARTHUR also went off-piste with his CAN'T COMPLAIN. Even further off piste went DAVID playing with ELECTRIC TRAINS by Squeeze so no wonder JANET went more traditional with WHEN THE SNOW OF WINTER FALLS by Graham Miles and JAMES led us to the interval with THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS.

The bumper raffle befitted the large gathering and Joan took home the Baklavas, Carl won the wine, David lifted the torch set, new boy Alan took the biscuits and Alan won the CD before ALAN himself returned with SLIP SLIDING AWAY to which COLIN replied TAKE IT EASY. Then JOAN came up with more of her Mum's MEMORIES OF TRAFFORD PARK. Then as if to prove his loyalty PHIL came up with THREE MULES by Al Stewart which had BRIAN saying I'm GONE, GONE, GONE. This time as a duo SUE & GEOFF sang LADY OF PLEASURE followed by another instrumental by HILARY called GEORGE BRABAZON followed by FAIR PLAY with BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY and ED's telling of THE MIGHTY HAGGIS HUNTER, the prelude to Burns' Night. For ARTHUR there was definitely NO RIVER TO CROSS to which KEN mused OH! WHAT A SHAME and ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY. Then as we headed for the customary big finish DAVE sang REQUIEM leaving DAVE & HOWARD to set us on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS followed by JACK with SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Then it was back with DAVE & HOWARD to first set us up with the lyrical AFTER YOU'VE GONE before kicking us into the street with A WHOLE LOTTA SHAKING GOING ON. We haven't recovered yet!! Magic!!! 

Newsletter No 360 12 January 2016

Smooth as silk were hosts GRASSROOTS as ensured the assembled talent delivered for a very receptive audience as they started off with MOCKINGBIRD. Then swiftly on his feet BANJO JOHN had us all singing with MR TAMBOURINE MAN which filled BRIAN with SORROW as ED gave us advice from THE GAMBLER. Not interested ROBIN soon shot off NORTH TO ALASKA as JANET rose to celebrate her birthday with I'M STILL STANDING. For DAVE COWE he was happy to tell us about THE SCHOOLBOY as TONY debuted with SONG FOR THE ASKING (Simon & Garfunkel) to which SUE replied with David Bowie's AFTER ALL. Next, politically fired up, CARL taught us THE AUSTERITY ALPHABET as DON & HEATHER were looking at another aspect of migrants with ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and no doubt ANN's song DARK AS A DUNGEON come to mind sometimes. Very traditionally PAUL followed the fortunes of GEORDIE as did EDDIE with MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE in rehearsal for Burn's Night before JOHN CHILCOTT took the floor with THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE, E McColl's greatest hit and PHIL drew it all to a close with CIRCLE'S END. With his own excellent interpretation GEOFF confessed I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU before ARTHUR gave his opinion on the Doctor's Strike with THERE AIN'T NO PROFIT IN THAT leaving MARION with MOLLY AT MORN. Coming up to pumpkin time BANJO JOHN was WAITING FOR THE ROBERT E LEE and JOHN CHILCOTT joined him in the queue with RAINY DAY PEOPLE as the interval loomed. 

A tasty raffle gave the Prosecco to Mick, the biscuits to Carl, the chocolates to Arthur, the head massager to Martin and the CD to Sue & Geoff before GRASSROOTS restarted with PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. Next CARL well covered LADY ELEANOR as ANN shot off to WIDDECOMBE FAIR and DAVE COWE recited a SALUTATION. This made PAUL exhort us to LAY ME DOWN A PALETTE ON YOUR FLOOR and EDDIE to give us his instrumental rendition of TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC and DON & HEATHER to get off to Dublin for some RARE OULD TIMES. Even more serious ED was off DOING THE MANCHE as TONY unveiled another Simon & Garfunkel in APRIL COME SHE WILL and still across the Pond ROBIN was over in DENVER. Out of season but GEOFF it felt like SUMMER'S END while MARION was off with BILLY ARMITAGE and BRIAN was at the DARK END OF THE STREET building up to a climax. Suitably warned ARTHUR was at MRS McGARRITY'S LAST DANCE and SUE had us all band on for WAGON WHEEL before PHIL gave us some respite with VINCENT which left GRASSROOTS singing us into the street with LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT. A perfect end to a great evening.  

Newsletter No 359 5 January 2016

The New Year was welcomed in with a sublime evening in the safe hands of hosts KAMRAN & PETE and with our Digital Demon CHRIS ROSS' finger on the shutter we were all set as PETE appropriately set off with his NEW YEAR SONG. Soon on his feet BANJO JOHN went back in time with AFTER YOU'VE GONE before ARTHUR went all modern with his own BILLY THE LEPRECHAUN leaving KATH & STAN to swing back in time with HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL. Somewhere in the middle ROBIN declared its GOOD TO BE BACK HOME as PHIL introduced the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER as ANN celebrated THE TROUT. Then with a new one to most people KAMRAN sang RISE and JAMES followed suit with an UNKNOWN LEGEND before PAUL demonstrated some nice banjo frailing on Zoe Mulford's WELCOME IN ANOTHER YEAR. Then after the furniture van arrived EDDIE treated to THE GREEN EYE OF THE LITTLE YELLOW GOD accompanied by his Cello. Drifting in late RICHARD GRAY asked us WHAT WAS IT YOU WANTED with his own composition as DON & HEATHER croaked their way through HONKY TONK MAN and JOAN asked WHAT'S IN A FACE from her Mum's Memoirs. Then slithering toward the Mulled Wine and Mince Pies BANJO JOHN asked us AM I BLUE to which ROBIN said he had a PEACEFUL EASY FEELING leaving ARTHUR to sing his own tribute to THE WINDS OF CONNEMARA.

The usual bumper Raffle saw the Red Wine go to Dolan, the Biscuits go to Pete, the Diary go to Eddie and the chocolates reside with Martin. Both the biscuits and chocolates were soon circulating as PAUL told us about the train in KC MOAN. Still keeping the faith PETE had REASON TO BELIEVE as PHIL took to THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA (Al Stewart) and ANN & ROBIN went Country with a MEDLEY including Honky Tonk Angels. THAT'LL BE THE DAY reckoned EDDIE as KAMRAN was looking for THE MAN IN THE LONG BLACK COAT and JOAN was recollecting THE CAR her Mum bought. Then time for a couple of tunes from KATH & STAN with THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH as JAMES set out in the EARLY MORNING RAIN and DON & HEATHER again croaked their way KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER leaving RICHARD to ask WHERE DID THE GOOD TIMES GO? Sensing the finishing line PAUL recruited ARTHUR with Stan's violin for CORNBREAD & BUTTERBEANS but PHIL insisted he was a ONE MAN GUY as ROBIN headed back to his roots for JOCK O' HAZELDEAN. All ways round ANN was glad that ALL MY TRIALS, LORD, WILL SOON BE OVER and they certainly were as EDDIE related the story of FRANKIE & JOHNNY and things were certainly tough in lead mining as KATH & STAN discovered in THE CENSUS which left JAMES to lead us in a band up for AIN'T MISBEHAVING to complete a great night.

 

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