Newsletter No 454 28 November 2017

Getting off to a good start with a nod to St Andrew of Scotland DON & HEATHER kicked off with the SMUGGLER’S SONG from north of the border followed by MARK with his story of the Glasgow cat SAM THE SKULL and ALLEN raising the tone with Hamish Henderson’s 51st Highland Division’s FAREWELL TO SICILY. Then our resident Scot ROBIN got his Band Free Spirits together for ROSE OF ALLENDALE before we went with PETE and WHO’S PASSING DREAMS AROUND by Tom Paxton only for ED to return with the story of the HAGGIS HUNTER OF DUNOON. To cap it all BEN then came up with Karine Polwart’s song of death and depression THE SUN’S COMING OVER THE HILL and PAUL & ROBIN left claiming to be a PIPER TO THE END while PETER BRIDGE was satisfied with THE GIRL FROM THE HIRING FAIR by Ralph McTell. Then it was thank goodness for HILARY and more of her hilarious ONE-LINERS before KATH & STAN cast a MOON SHADOW over us and PETER KING sang one of his own songs MY OWN SWEET WAY. Late comer RICHARD GRAY was in sombre mood with ALL THE FRIENDS I EVER HAD ARE GONE and DON & HEATHER were even more down to earth with DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL as was ALLEN with his song Sassenach strife ERIN GO BRAGH. Coming to the interval PETER BRIDGE told of more strife between the British and American folkies that led to THE ZIMMERMAN BLUES before KATH & STAN took us all down to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH.

In the bumper raffle Ben won the wine, Allen won the Roses Chocolates, Rose won the real Roses flowers, Jackie won the designer Scarf and Kate won the Hedgehog Cuddly Toys before ED & RICHARD attempted to beat the Club Record for the longest song, 9 minutes, but nobody could concentrate that long and we lost count as they sang Dylan’s DESOLATION ROAD. Fortunately PAUL came up with a singalong in WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL and PETE took us ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER before PETER KING sang WHEN WE WERE YOUNG. On the other hand BEN had been SMOKING TOO LONG and ROBIN was off to DENVER and RICHARD found he had a FORGETFUL HEART. As we began making for the door ALLEN had us sing I’M GONNA FOLLOW THE SUN (Donovan) and PETER BRIDGE & PAUL confessed that NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT and KATH & STAN were off with that BANJO PICKING GIRL leaving ROBIN and FREE SPIRITS to TAK’ A DRAM.

Newsletter No 453 21 November 2017

GRASSROOTS kicked off in great style with their own latest NOT ‘CAUSE I WANTED TO before DON, HEATHER & PAUL got a big band up with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and newcomer MARK was plunged straight in with his own Halloween song JACK O’LANTERN. In their dreams SIMON & BEN told what they would do IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS which nearly made us laugh as much as with HILARY and her hilarious ONE-LINERS, no pun intended. For some reason BRIAN next wanted to DAMN THIS TOWN before PETE KING, now back in Manchester again, told us about his so far one and only ROYALTY CHEQUE. For PAUL everything was DARK AS A DUNGEON but for JAMES he told us I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD and DENISE was on top in the battle of the sexes with A STITCH IN TIME. As you would expect CARL then came up with a great song, ALICE, and PETER swore TONIGHT I’LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU before ED took us back in time with THEY DON’T KNOW THEY’RE BORN. No wonder BEN was ALMOST BLUE and GRASSROOTS were BROKEN but MARK knew for a fact he was a FOLK SINGER. Heading for the interval BRIAN came up against the FACE OF GOD as DON, HEATHER & PAUL warned of the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and SIMON was caught like a RABBIT IN THE HEADLIGHTS.

In a bumper raffle Mick won the Bottle of Red Wine, Denise won the Chocolates, Ben took the Christmas Pudding, Sue won a DVD, Jackie won a Scarf and Brian and Mark won CDs before CLARE told us there’s NOT MUCH MUCK IN OUR HOUSE. Reminded by Pete’s reference to the Postie, CARL sang his own tribute to the post woman YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before DENISE told the assembled crowd NEVER WED AN OLD MAN and SIMON & JAMES shot off as RACING DEMONS. More calmly PAUL was seeking the CANDYMAN and JAMES introducing the UNKNOWN LEGEND before HILARY unveiled a few more ONE-LINERS and, any way up, PETER reckoned IT WILL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES. With another humorous take on folk clubs, PETE KING lamented the lack of variety with ANOTHER BLOKE WITH A GUITAR just as CLARE took out her flute for THE SWEETNESS OF MARY and GRASSROOTS declared he was HARMLESS. Another take on society was apparent in CARL’s song by Jake Thackray, BRIGADIER, as it was in MARK’s own song, CHAIRS AND TABLES, but too late as BRIAN was GONE, GONE, GONE. Starting a rousing finish DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia and the DIAMANTINA DROVER, before PAUL got the GOOD MORNING BLUES and DENISE went off with the DARK EYED SAILOR to which JAMES commented, I hope they AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.........Magic!

Newsletter No 452 14 November 2017

With new hosts Heather & Simon in the chair DON & HEATHER started the evening by declaring WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL before PETE sang one of Tom Paxton’s best JIM and KATH & STAN went multi-instrumentally WESTERLY. This left HILARY to provide us with some humour in a few ONE-LINERS and BRIAN to give us some love with LET’S FIND EACH OTHER TONIGHT as IAN went instrumental for DREAM A LITTLE DREAM before poet DT DAVE gave the male and female perspective on marriage in ROSY & ROLIE by his friend Tom Snee. With the sad side of marriage breakdown GRASSROOTS explained WHEN YOU CRY, a joint composition, as PAUL recommended you should KEEP YOUR LAMPS TRIMMED AND BURNING as ANDY did with SETH DAVY. Returning to last week’s theme JONATHAN & CHARLIE were SHIPBUILDING and SIMON was still trying to get out of NORWICH JAIL. Fortunately, PETE cheered us all with his own BALBRIGAN FAIR as did KATH & STAN with SHAKE SUGAREE before BRIAN told us you can have ALL OF ME. On the other hand PAUL was off down the MOMOBILE LINE but JONATHAN & CHARLIE found the BLOOD’S TOO RICH before DT DAVE summed up the joys of THE PROSPECT pub in Runcorn (Tom Snee) and DON & HEATHER told us what they needed at the DIMMING OF THE DAY.

In the big raffle Heather K won the wine: Jill won the Chocolates: Simon won the Beer: Ian won the Ladies Perfume and Rosalie won the Festive Tray before GRASSROOTS started us off with another excellent joint composition BROKEN. With a solo composition RICHARD reviewed the British history of war summed up in THE LAST GREAT WAR whereas ANDY was LOOKING FOR THE MOON (Tom Paxton) so a few more ONE-LINERS from HILARY were a relief as was IAN’S instrumental arrangement of Sting’s FIELDS OF GOLD. Back to basics SIMON sang of the VIGILANTE MAN and KATH & STAN played us two tunes the RAKES OF MARLOW and the DORSET FOUR HAND REEL. However, PAUL still had the DRIFTING BLUES and DT DAVE also had the LONESOME LADY BLUES (T Snee) before PETE rose with his own BEAT THE DRUM to shake us up a bit. Building towards the end of a great night RICHARD mixed the traditional with a bit of Dylan and himself in FROGGIE WENT A COURTING and HILARY came up with more hilarious ONE-LINERS leaving IAN to wow us again with his instrumental AUTUMN LEAVES and ANDY to lead the ALABAMA RAID before DON & HEATHER took us all off to the RED ROSE CAFE to end another top night!

Newsletter No 451 7 November 2017

On a night with Remembrance Sunday in mind ROBIN Free Spirits kicked off the action with VACANT CHAIR followed by BANJO JOHN who introduced us to LILI MARLENE before PETE took us back to the DAYS OF 49. An interesting conundrum from BRIAN with NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME came next while MARK & JAN went back to the Peninsular war days for OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY with JOHN giving us a bit of light relief with his UMPAHPAH SONG. Serious in another way MARION told of THE BLANTYRE EXPLOSION, CARL sang his own excellent song ECHOES AND TOKENS and CLARE explained it was BECAUSE HE WAS A BONNY LAD. For SIMON it had all come DOWN TO THE SEEDS AND STEMS as DON & HEATHER went back to the theme with CALLING DOON THE LINE before DENISE diverted to THE RECRUITED COLLIER. Back on track ALLEN told us of his family’s history in the World Wars and summed it up with his own ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE as indeed did CHARLIE & JONATHAN with SHIPBUILDING and PAUL with a sing along medley starting with it’s a LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY. This left BANJO JOHN to take us up to the interval with the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER followed by JAN and MOTHER, DAUGHTERS, WIVES.

After a bumper raffle in which Brian won the wine, Heather won the Xmas Pud, Carl won the Chocolates and promptly gave them to Sue for her birthday and Sue won the Biscuits HILARY had ‘em rolling in the aisles with her JOKES. CARL then was the serious one with WILLIE McBRIDE followed by PETE with HARVEST MOON and MARION appropriately with the JOY OF LIVING.  Another welcome visitor was RICHARD who explained how JOHN LOPEZ worked his magic and it inspired CLARE to sing and play us a GAELIC TUNE before JOHN introduced another war with the BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS which was ALL THE WAY UNDER for BRIAN. Also going back in time MARK & JAN sang of how THE BLUE COCKADE recruited which made SIMON think of THE DARK END OF THE STREET and ALLEN come up with THE DIGGER’S SONG by Leon Rosselson. This certainly made RICHARD want to get to THE HEART OF THE MATTER of his own relationships and also brought CARL to his feet with THESE COAL TOWN DAYS and PAUL to bring us all together for FENCES BY Arthur Marshall. This left us at the end of a very emotional evening to which DON & HEATHER provided the perfect thought of RECONCILIATION by Ron Kavana. Couldn’t have been better.

OCTOBER - 2017

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.


Newsletter No 446 26 September 2017

A very pleasant evening with PAUL RILEY & HEATHER KENYON in the chair and PAUL starting with WE’LL ALL HANG ON BEHIND to get everyone singing before PETE ROBERTS went all country with HURT well known when sung by Johnny Cash but in fact written by 9” nails. Sadly only a brief visit as he is now off to France. Then turning to verse D J DAVE examined our EXISTENCE courtesy of Tom Snee followed by a big welcome back for ARTHUR MARSHALL and plenty of audience participation with the ringing of bells at the appropriate point in FAT MEN ON MOUNTAIN BIKES. Then to the tune of Jacobites by Night ALLEN OGG sang THE DIGGER’S SONG from about 1890 whereas Big JOHN, returning after quite a while, declared ALL I HAVE TO IS DREAM and BEN sang his own WILLVERE pronounced Will V Air which left JO to tell us she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE to her own guitar accompaniment as she was returning from her holiday. Coincidentally SIMON was leaving this life on his VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING whereas ED was returning from France and thinking of CALEDONIA. Still in shanty mood PAUL then returned with BULLY IN THE ALLEY for us to join in with as PETE was off looking at SUNSETS but for ARTHUR it was definitely AFTER MIDNIGHT. For D J DAVE it was positively AUTUMNAL with another Tom Snee poem, very appropriate for the time of year, before JO told us P is for PADDY and ALLEN sang the 5Lst HIGHLAND DIVISION FAREWELL TO SICILY. Equally sad was Big JOHN’S rendition of THE GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND but ED quickly lightened us up with the zany JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO WITH THE FUNKY CONCERTINA.

The usual bumper raffle saw the Bottle of wine won by Al, the Heroes Chocolates won by Joan, the Box of PG Tips Tea won by Vic and the Bottle of Cask Beer taken home by Dave before BEN kicked off the second half with LILAC WINE and he was quickly joined by SIMON who was down IN THE PINES. In sentimental mood PETE was looking for SOMEONE LIKE YOU but quite unsentimentally ARTHUR brought the house down by celebrating GRANDFATHER’S FERRET to the tune of Grandfather’s Clock. As time was running out DJ DAVE used another Tm Snee poem to pose the question, WHY NOT BE A CELEBRITY, before ALLEN OGG wound up his GOLD WATCH and Big JOHN suggested we WALK RIGHT BACK. Next PAUL, SIMON & BEN had JESUS ON THE MAILINE while ED was off to LAKE CHARLES and BEN returned as that SOLDIER, SOLDIER. With a big finish looming SIMON was that ROVING GAMBLER while PETE sang his own MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES before ED had us in stitches with the BANTAM COCK which left ARTHUR in the driving seat with his tribute to the FLANAGAN'S APPLE pub before being joined by everyonefor the grand finale with FENCES. Magic!

Newsletter No 445 19 September 2017

Another sublime evening in the hands of KATH & STAN who started of chasing THE MAN IN THE MOON who BANJO JOHN thought may be over MANHATTEN but as BRIAN snag he always was THE GREAT PRETENDER. Even HILARY could see the funny side with a few of her JOKES as IAN made his own RAINBOW CONNECTIONS in a guitar instrumental but SIMON was eager to tell us about THE TRIMDEN GRANGE EXPLOSION. No wonder PAUL developed the GOOD MORNING BLUES and ANDY sang philosophically about a CHOCOLATE JESUS and DJ DAVE started a REVOLUTION with a poem by Tom Snee. Then it was thank goodness for RICHARD who announced THE HOUR WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN as KATH & STAN set off with the WAYFARING STRANGER before DJ DAVE reached for his own poem WD 40. Still looking on the bright side BANJO JOHN told us what will happen WHEN MY DREAMBOAT COMES HOME but for IAN it looked like it already had happened with JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT and it would also be very soon for PAUL as he went HOPPING DOWN IN KENT. Again HILARY gave us a burst of humour with some of her JOKES before ANDY went all heavy with CIRCLE OF STEEL by Gordon Lightfoot and Poet DAVE detected AN EVIL SMELL. Heading toward the interval BRIAN threatened to WALK AWAY and SIMON warned I THINK IT’S GONNA RAIN TODAY (Randy Newman) but RICHARD was more optimistic with his own WE MUST ALL KEEP ON GOING and BANJO JOHN said, even if it means SINGING IN THE RAIN.

The second half began with KATH & STAN bemoaning MONDAY MORNING but bright spark BRIAN was determined to be MISTER WONDERFUL and IAN said he was already HALF WAY HOME. As for PAUL he was thinking he could hear that K C MOAN but SIMON was thinking about BACHELOR’S HALL and DJ DAVE was had THE GREATEST TRAGEDY in mind. As for ANDY it was KATHY’S SONG from him next as RICHARD turned to his own FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD while BRIAN declared I DREAMED A DREAM. The Sting classic from IAN turned into FIELDS OF GOLD while SIMON had the WEARY BLUES as DJ DAVE turned up for THE INTERVIEW hoping, as ANDY sang, to be WONDERFUL TONIGHT. Preparing to hit the road after a pleasant evening RICHARD declared it will be LONESOME WHEN YOU GO as PAUL & SIMON were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and KATH & STAN gave us two tunes, HARVEST HOME AND TRUMPET HORNPIPE, as we stepped into the street with a smile on our faces.

Newsletter No 444 12 September 2017

After repeated warnings DON & HEATHER led into the Party Night suitably with the WILD ROVER and BRIAN followed suit with BABY’S GONNA KICK before PAUL very kindly said IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU. Our first poetic interlude then came from DJ DAVE with VIVE LA DIFFERENCE by Tom Snee as SIMON & JAMES stepped up with NIGHTINGALES and WILF decided to TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT one more time. Newcomer JOHN then told us THE CARNIVAL IS OVER which stimulated his Northern Ireland compatriot POET DAVE to shout for Larne’s twin light houses with his own THE LIGHTHEARTED MAIDEN. On the other hand JAMES, in tribute to Don Williams told us, I’M JUST A COUNTRY BOY, which prompted JONATHAN to tell us how important the HARVEST GYPSIES are (Boo Hewerdine) so GYPSY WOMAN from DON & HEATHER was no-brainer. Next PAUL came up with the history of how THE CUCKOO went from Norfolk to America to Ireland and back to Norfolk. Meanwhile BRIAN was busy KILLING THE BLUES and DJ DAVE was busy being a FLOATING VOTER (Tom Snee). Back to his music hall roots SIMON told of a crazy horse race in DOWN THE ROAD AWAY WENT POLLY while WILF went down the YELLOW RIVER and JOHN was huffing, puffing and BLOWING IN THE WIND. Coming up to Jackie’s Birthday Party Buffet POET DAVID gave us his take on Northern Ireland Politics with FROM MIS-STANCE and in the bigger picture JAMES wondered WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE before JONATHAN rounded off with THESE DAYS by Jackson Browne.

In a bumper raffle Joan Won the Red Wine, Dave won the Handwash, Kate won the Bag of Hyacinth Bulbs, James won the CD, Rosalyn won a DVD and Ken won the Full Monty DVD before DON & HEATHER took us off with the RAMBLING BOY before SIMON & JAMES sang and played an excellent version of SHE THINKS I STILL CARE. Heading toward an earlier finish in view of the big winds?? DJ DAVE gave us three quickies, SHUT UP AND GET LOST, DON’T LOOK BACK & WINTER, by Tom Snee and WILF was sinister with YOU’R CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT (Manic Street Preachers). Romantically BRIAN told us his TERMS OF MY SURRENDER and SIMON & JAMES explained SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS before JAMES attracted a big band up for his rocking version of KANSAS CITY to end a superb evening as we went out to find there was NO WIND so we all got home safely!! 

Newsletter No 443 5 September 2017

Another great night in Sale Folk Club with KAMRAN & PETE at the helm. Here is the running order since we are in transit from Spain, the full version will follow ASAP.
Round 1
PETE - TRACY'S SONG (written for his sister who was having a hard time)
DAVE - HE DID HIS BEST (Poem by Tom Snee)
ANDY - TALK TO ME OF MENDICINO (Kate & Anne McGarrigle)
SIMON (accompanied by JAMES) - OUT OF TOUCH (Lucinda Williams)


Round 2
ROBIN - BREAD AND FISHES (Blackmore Knight)

Raffle: Bottle of red - Ben; Biscuits - Vic; Chocolates - Andy; Necklace - Joyce; Music mug - Allen; Chocolate truffles - Gillian.


Second Half


Round 3



AUGUST - 2017

Newsletter No 443 29 August 2017

Another good night with, interestingly enough, the audience easily out numbering the performers who as you can see entertained us royally with great songs and stimulating lots of banter. GRASSROOTS opened up with TROUBLE IN THE FIELDS and KATH & STAN headed away in the distance with TEN THOUSAND MILES only to encounter ED and other MASTERS OF WAR. By the shoreline they found CHRIS and THE TRAWLERMAN and on the way SIMON was with a HIGHWAY PATROLMAN and SUE was with ELI THE BARROW BOY. Then it was time for HILARITY from HILARY with some of her funnies before IAN plugged in the toaster (Mini-Amp) for a masterly version of FIELDS OF GOLD which gave DJ DAVE time to give us some serious poetry, THE WHITE SHOE OF AUSCHWITZ, from Ted Snee which not surprisingly made HELEN feel RESTLESS TONIGHT. This brought PETE to his feet in OXFORD TOWN and JOHN to his feet as THE POP SINGER before BRIAN invited us DOWN AROUND MY PLACE and ANDY gave us a look IN MY SECRET LIFE. Completing the circle GEOFF gave us a trip to the capital city with SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY which led us nicely to the interval.

The second half saw GRASSROOTS happy SCHOOLDAYS OVER whereas KATH & STAN were more sombre in BLACKWATERS so luckily CHRIS was more upbeat with SUMMER LIGHTNING. In the same vein IAN was again in fine form with THE NEARNESS OF YOU as BRIAN bade ADIOS TO CALIFORNIA but SIMON could only remember the BAR ROOM GIRLS which made MICK propose a toast FOR A DANCER and ED to celebrate the lives of COOKIE AND LILA before GEOFF declared his intentions with HE’LL HAVE TO GO. Equally seriously DJ DAVE again turned to Ted Snee for two poems HERO and TIME PASSES as ANDY reminded us to look at BOTH SIDES NOW. In praise of the countryside SUE treated us to a SHADY GROVE before JOHN took us down some COUNTRY ROADS and KATH & STAN had us in the TRAIN ON THE MOUNTAIN. This left SIMON to get serious with SHORTY McKAY and ANDY to ask DID SHE MENTION MY NAME to which IAN recommended he TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS. Coming to fine conclusion ED took us back to basics with THE FLUSHERS before CHRIS appropriately lifted us up with JOSEPH’S HANDS to send us home on a high after a top night.  

Newsletter No 442 22 August 2017

As they came in droves BANJO JOHN opened the round with a romantic oldie THAT’S AMORE and KATH & STAN had a busy night ahead so they came on early with RIDER IN THE RAIN before HELEN sang and played guitar for a lovely MAGNOLIA WIND. Then, since they were away, PHIL dedicated his first song to Don & Heather, Al Stewart’s THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA before BRIAN treated us to an extremely high and beautiful song from Les Misérable’s BRING HIM HOME and JO sang by the BANKS OF THE OHIO. Coming swiftly to his feet ED next interrupted with a Bob Dylan number TO RAMONA and stayed on the floor to accompany KATH & STAN with the music for ALL THE GOOD TIMES whilst Sue and Lin clog danced THE WALTZ together. PETER then came KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR as John, newcomer Mike & Simon (previously Girth Wind and Fire) rapidly assembled to be announced as GIRTH, WIND & SPARE TYRE to perform LUCKY MAN by Greg Lake. Then it was thank goodness for HILARY who came up and told some hilarious jokes together with heckling from Ed and hysterical banter from the audience before JAMES brought us all back to reality with a 1950’s number made famous later by the Beatles, ‘TILL THERE WAS YOU followed by JONATHAN & CHARLIE who sang a familiar but difficult WICHITA LINEMAN in tribute to Glen Campbell. BEN then sang a very soft and unusual SEA SONG followed by PAUL with a song which must have been written especially for him, ROVE RILEY ROVE, finally RICHARD GRAY sang a wonderful BACK COUNTRY LANES to end the round. This left just time for BANJO JOHN to squeeze in another before leaving at the break, STUPID CUPID from 1958 so the majority of elderly audience were able to participate and GIRTH, WIND & FIRE were up again with two numbers this time, PARADISE and JAMBALAYA as JO rose to sing another and declare it pumpkin time before leaving at the break, FAIR AND TENDER LADIES.

There was a quick break and the longest raffle ever recorded! James had donated a prize and I think his entire CD collection, so we offered a choice of CD to each performer and the remainder went into the raffle. Eddie became weary as Kath and Stan kept winning with every ticket drawn and each time asked for it to be re-drawn. It was unbelievable! Anyway, it caused a good laugh. Finally, Brian won the set of ornamental candles. Kath & Stan won the French wine. Gill won the make-up bag. Joan won the bottle of Bucks Fizz. Helen & Andy won the Spectacles Case. Lots of others won CD’s including Alan Poole who rejected the last remaining Elvis and Sue loves her Buddy Holly one!


We continued with JAMES and another Dylan number, DON’T THINK TWICE as JONATHAN & CHARLIE came up with BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX and KATH & STAN kindly got up again to accompany LIN and SUE clogging THE OSWALDTWISTLE JIG to the tune of Winster Gallop. Still emotional BRIAN sang a Dr Hook song GONNA GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE and BEN sand the unusual POOR PADDY before PHIL turned to Steve Knightly for LONG DOG. Coming back one last time GIRTH, WIND & FIRE bade us SO LONG as they split leaving JOHN to solo SUPERMAN. Fortunately we had RICHARD to perform a deep, rich and super MR BOJANGLES before KATH & STAN joined forces to play a well-practiced at our house EL CONDOR PASA and after the complicated Pan Pipes of the Andes instrumental KATH & ED sang the chorus together. It was just like being in Peru! Moving north HELEN played guitar and sang LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME followed by PETER who was up with a funny joke and also sang HEY JOE as a prelude to HILARY who was up again for the usual heckling and banter and had everyone in stitches with her jokes. This nicely set up the finale with PAUL singing another Beatles song, CAN’T BUY ME LOVE as finally, SIMON & JAMES came back together to finish the evening with two brilliant numbers, SHIVER MI TIMBERS (Tom Waite) and then Dickey Lee & Steve Duffy’s, SHE THINKS I STILL CARE to end a magical evening.


Newsletter No 441 15 August 2017

A quieter but very pleasant evening was led off by PAUL with CORRINA, CORRINA followed by BANJO JOHN who gave tribute to Glen Campbell who was that RHINESTONE COWBOY which made JOHN STEADMAN turn to his own SONG, REBEL. Quite why but KAMRAN decided he was HURT whereas SIMON said I WANT TO SING THAT ROCK AND ROLL (Gillian Welsh) to which BRIAN retorted DAMN THAT TOWN which he pointed out was no reference to Sale. Next HILARY took us by storm with a DOWN WITH MEN – joke set which certainly applied to RED HEADED ANN as sung next by ED and quite possibly in the HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. as sung by ANN. For ROBIN it was like being BACK HOME AGAIN as BANJO JOHN tuned in with the ROCK AND ROLL WALTZ and JOHN STEADMAN sang in tribute to the BELLE OF BELFAST CITY as KAMRAN was recovering in ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY. Next SIMON briefly turned into DIAMOND JOE as BRIAN sang THROUGH THE MORNING, THROUGH THE NIGHT and ANN was down DARK AS A DUNGEON way down in the mine. Equally eerie ED related the story of the HUNTER OF DUNOON as HILARY tried to inject more HUMOUROUS STORIES in spite of ROBIN singing his LAST FAREWELL. Fortunately BANJO JOHN told us of some VERY NICE PEOPLE and MARION told us of JOHNNY MY OWN TRUE LOVE before PAUL took us to the interval with WHAT’S TE MATER WITH THE MILL?

Opening the second half KAMRAN swore I’LL NEVER GET TIRED OF YOU as BRIAN gave us his TERMS OF SURRENDER to which SIMON and JOHN STEADMAN said SO LONG. Still looking for a man MARION caught up with the GENTLEMAN SOLDIER and ED also gave her McALPINE’S FUSILIER’S to chose from while ANN offered THE PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while on the other hand ROBIN was dragging his wife round THE STREETS OF BALTIMORE. Coming back SIMON claimed, I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE, while PAUL was on the LONG JOURNEY HOME with a two dollar bill and BRIAN was on the TRAIN TO BIRMINGHAM. Finally it was agony aunt time as KAMRAN said SHE’S FUNNY THAT ONE and JOHN & PAUL teamed up to discuss DARCY FARROW leaving MARION to yearn for WHEN I WAS NOT BUT SWEET SIXTEEN and ED to plead TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT. How else to close the night but to turn to ROBIN with full chorus for THE MINGULAY BOAT SONG. Excellent!

Newsletter No 440 8 August 2017

A very pleasant evening was hosted by KATH & STAN who paradoxically started with THE LAST GOODBYE which made ALLEN think IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO but ROBIN got us back in line with THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Digging into the American songbook BANJO JOHN came up with SIDE BY SIDE as JO was off with the RAMBLING BOY and JOHN REED gave us one of his own, IN BLUE LIGHT. Then traditionally and in his own style BEN interpreted THE UNQUIET GRAVE which for SIMON brought out THE BEAST IN ME as PAUL turned to LITTLE MAGGIE. Next there was a big welcome back for PETE ROBERTS who sang an old favourite, ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY BLUES, just as ED was off with THE MORRIS DANCERS and JOHN STEEDMAN confessed IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE when you’re perfect in every way?? With an injection of pace KATH & STAN came back with WESTERDALE whereas JOHN REED sang another one of his own, CLOUDS, as did ALLEN who re-interpreted Shakespeare’s SONNET 18. With one of life’s truisms SIMON told us THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR which for JOHN STEEDMAN was THE LAST THING ON MY MIND while JO declared I’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER YOU as we hit the interval buffers.

The bumper Raffle saw Jo win the Wine and Stand, Simon win the after shave, Sue win the Picture Frame, David win the Place Mats, John Reed win a CD and Pete win a CD before PETE himself kick started the second half with a HEART OF GOLD and BEN was down in LONDON TOWN. Then a new combo saw PAUL with Simon and Ben sing the BROWN FERRY BLUES which prompted HILARY to play A FEW TUNES which gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. For ED, however, it was Les Barker’s MI HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ALLEN remembered JOSIE and JOHN REED turned to THE JUDGE who BEN could have done with in the DOWIE DENS OF YARROW. Then returning with his own great song was PETE with THE BEST IN ME as STAN & KATH took up the fiddle and whistle for the BEAR DANCE and HORSE’S BRAWL and ED turned to Keith Marsden for THE FUNERAL SONG. With a top notch evening coming to a close ROBIN put on the LONG BLACK VEIL and PAUL set off in the SLOOP JOHN B which prompted JOHN & SIMON to sing JAMBALAYA but for KATH & STAN it made them think of the SLEEPY DESERT and why not it was going home time.

Newsletter No 439 1 August 2017

Tuesday night came around again and Sale Folk Club was attended by an eclectic group of performers and listeners with JAN and MARK as our hosts. They started the evening with YE JACOBITES to arouse folk from their slumbers. BANJO JOHN followed with SANDMAN and PHIL took us to various holes in the ground with COUSIN JACK. Continuing with the industrial theme was CHRIS with FACTORY GIRL and DAVE C regaled us with a fine poem about the HUMBER BRIDGE. IAN was next with an instrumental he referred to as his WARM UP PIECE to get his fingers under control for later on followed by ALLEN with Donovan’s TO TRY FOR THE SUN and then MARION sang a traditional song ALONG WITH YOU I WILL GO. In bluesy mood PAUL then sang YOU GOTTA MOVE followed by ED with NO TIME TO CRY. SIMON & JAMES teamed up for YELLOW ROSES and ANDY brought the first round to its conclusion with FOUR STRONG WINDS. ALLEN started round two with a self penned song WILD EYED then JAMES gave us the Beatles’ THINGS SHE SAID TODAY and, in contrast, JAN sang Burns’ NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS. BANJO JOHN’s second contribution was SOME OF THESE DAYS with PHIL then giving us Dylan’s SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. MARK then played two traditional Irish tunes SONNY’S MAZURKA and THE CRICKET’S MARCH OVER HE SALT BOX and then PETER, who had not long arrived, sang a powerful rendition of CARRICKFERGUS. CHRIS was next with SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES and PAUL took us up to the interval with HARD TRAVELLING.

After the raffle which saw the Red Wine going to our serial winner, Martin, ED started proceedings with a robust view of the Criminal Justice System, HANG ’EM, FLOG ‘EM and FLAY ‘EM and ANDY followed with THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES. IAN’S fingers were now warmed up enough for him to produce a lovely rendition of CLARA’S THEME and Simon predicted, accurately as it turned out, I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY. MARK then took us North of the border to meet the GLASGOW CAT (it was requested by someone who shall remain nameless) before JAMES brought the evening back to normality with MY OLD FRIEND THE BLUES. PETER was next with the Ben Sands’ bitter sweet song COFFEE AND CHEESECAKE as PHIL was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE followed by ANDY with DESDERADO. IAN’S next delightful piece was DON’T KNOW WHY and JAN took us across yet another border with the Welsh coloured goat counting song CYFRI’R GEIFR (cheese from these animals should be avoided). SIMON, again in partnership with JAMES was having a BLUE, BLUE DAY followed by CHRIS with POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY. ALLEN was next with THE WORKER’S SONG by Dick Gaughan followed by another Donovan song from ED, the UNIVERSQAL SOLDIER. PAUL then had us all in shanty mood with a great rendition of HAUL AWAY JOE, complete with sail hauling actions, leaving MARK & JAN to round off an excellent evening of music, poetry and song with us all RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY for the door presumably. Magic!

JULY - 2017

Newsletter No 438 25 July 2017

A very enjoyable evening started with PAUL asking us to WALK RIGHT IN and PHIL providing us with a SPANISH MEDLEY. Without hesitation this sent BANJO JOHN way OVER TO THE GLORY LAND and DJ DAVE turned to Tom Snee to CLIMB INTO A RAINBOW which KATH & STAN thought was quite BEAUTIFUL. With a lesson in body images AL rued the PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE whereas ANN was clear in asking LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY which made JOHN REED come out with his own SMILE. Miles away in New Zealand DON & HEATHER bade FAREWELL TO THE GOLD before HILARY teased with a rhyme THE DENTIST and ROBIN took to the COUNTRY ROADS. Next BEN gave us his take on CRAZY MAN MICHAEL leaving MARIAN to sing LAKE OF COOLFIN (Irish folk song) and JAMES to tell us it was a GOOD YEAR FOR THE ROSES using his new jumbo guitar. No wonder Poet DAVE thought it was a WONDERFUL LAND as BANJO JOHN celebrated OLD MAN RIVER who PHIL considered a LUCKY MAN. On a more serious level KATH & STAN declared it AIN’T NO SWEET MAN and DJ DAVE presented another conundrum in BROTHERS OF A DIFFERENT MOTHER followed by GOOD MORNING both by Tom Snee. Coming to the break AL told the story behind MACPHERSON’S RANT and JOHN REED sang THE DROVER’S TRAIL from his Moorscape video leaving DON & HEATHER still in the southern hemisphere round the LITTLE POT STOVE.

The interval raffle saw Al win the Wine, Marian win the Chocolates, James win the Mug Set and DVD’s go to Martin, Ben, Jill and Dave before PAUL kicked off with YOUR CHEATING HEART followed by BEN with SOLDIER, SOLDIER and HILARY with some ONE LINERS. Next ANN went all serious with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN before MARIAN sang about BETSY THE SERVANT MAID both of which sent JAMES away HOMEWARD BOUND. Then late arrival RICHARD staggered in to borrow James’ new guitar for the BALLAD OF A THIN MAN as KATH & STAN recommended we KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE to which PHIL replied with entertainment or DIVERTISSEMENT – 3 French tunes so who knows how JOHN REED came up with THE MADNESS. With his first ever folk song composition AL told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER but BEN said IF YOU WANT TO BE LOVED to which JAMES replied SHE BELONGS TO ME (Dylan) as RICHARD set off for THE PROMISED LAND. He should have known he was in it as DON, HEATHER & PAUL set out with the RAMBLING BOY but soon took refuge in the RED ROSE CAFE leaving PAUL & RICHARD to band up with all the rest of the able bodied for WAGON WHEEL ending an excellent evening. 

Newsletter No 437 18 July 2017

Setting the scene for a lively evening PAUL kicked off with a JUG BAND song MOBILE LINE followed by KAMRAN with B-RAG and PHIL with ROOTS by Steve Knightley. Then coming out in support of the small country communities JAN sang HOMELAND by Dougie Maclean followed by CHRIS who certainly WASN’T EXPECTING THAT by Jamie Lawson as BEN went traditional with LONDON TOWN. Meanwhile ED was DOWN IN LOUISIANA while Poet DAVE declared THY WILL BE DONE by Tom Snee leaving MARK in search of a SUNNY AFTERNOON. More classically ANN confidently fished for THE TROUT and MIKE declared it a MAD WORLD only for DON, HEATHER & PAUL to band up for a trip ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. Again traditionally MARIAN sang POLLY OLIVER followed by the welcome visit of COLIN RUDD who sang IN THE MORNING (in two parts) and led the Sale Folk Club Choir in WHERE DO YOU GO TO MY LOVELY. Next CHRIS retuned with THE RUDIGER (Knopfler) and PAUL unveiled his own composition UKULELE BLUES IN C which gave KAMRAN the HESITATION BLUES and sent MARK & JAN away OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY. Heading to the interval ED gave some marriage guidance with PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE while Poet DAVE explained what might go wrong in some cases with WHICH WAY SHALL WE GO by Tom Snee even ending up with HOSPITAL FOOD (David Gray) sung by MIKE just before COLIN suggested we should RE-NATIONALISE THE RAILWAYS (Pete Morton).

The big raffle saw Dave win the Red Wine, Paul win the Tea Pot and Cup, Ed win the Room Perfume, Jackie win the Box of Biscuits, Heather win the DVD and Kamran win the De-Luxe Body Wash before MARIAN opened with CONSTANT LOVERS. No wonder PHIL felt he was LIVING BY NUMBERS as BEN looked into his LITTLE BLUE BOOK as ANN warned of the danger to boats on the Rhine with DI LORELEI. Similarly DON & HEATHER warned of the girls from where the BLARNEY ROSES grow and MIKE warned what can happen at TWILIGHT TIME leaving KAMRAN to comment, SO RELAX. Yet another warning dame from PHIL with his FOG ON THE TYNE and in their way MARK & JAN did the same with Darwin and evolution when they promised WE’LL HUNT HIM DOWN. Fortunately, CHRIS obviously WEATHERED THE STORM as BEN confessed his new lady friend was UNBEARABLE but all ended well as PAUL banded up with Chris, Ben, Don, Mark et al to ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG and DON & HEATHER recommended we should all STEAL AWAY after a top night of music, song, verse and good craic!

Newsletter No 436 11 July 2017

A smaller but perfectly formed group of individual were harnessed into action by GRASSROOTS as they WANDERED BY A BROOKSIDE followed by BANJO JOHN who was looking out for FANLIGHT FANNY but all PAUL RILEY could see was COLOURS as JO walked by in her LONG BLACK VEIL. Then for the first time DAVE C stood up to read THE HOUSE I NOW DWELL IN as newcomers SAM & TONY sang TEARS IN HEAVEN while AL went traditional with ERIN GO BRAGH which left KATH & STAN definitely WATERBOUND. Next MARIAN confessed THERE’S A HERB IN MY FATHER’S GARDEN before another newcomer MIKE brilliantly played and sang I REMEMBER WHEN, a good song, which prompted ED to reply, SILVER TONGUED DEVIL!! Then after a long time no see JAN sang HUMAN followed by HELEN who claimed it was RAINING ON SUNDAY as PETER visited THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN where JAMES got the COCAINE BLUES. Going solo JONATHAN was with the DOLPHINS as GRASSROOTS went on BRIGHTON BEACH and BANJO JOHN  confessed I GET THE BLUES WHEN IT RAINS. No wonder PAUL had TROUBLE IN MIND as JO met that WAYFARING STRANGER as we came to the interval.

After a bumper raffle SAM & TONY declared EVERYTHING I OWN and followed it with the 59th STREET BRIDGE SONG since they were feeling groovy. KATH & STAN on the other hand were off to the BAY OF BISCAY-O but still MIKE was ONE SAD COCKNEY LAD even though JAMES invited him to a GARDEN PARTY. This left Poet DAVE C to recite the poem CARIBBEAN CALICO AND HONEY and HELEN to play and sing I WISH IT WOULD RAIN and PETER to reflect on THE GRAND AFFAIRE. Then like a magician ED opened THE BOX as AL asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU before JAN sang about the CARIBBEAN QUEEN. Coming to the end of a great night MIKE sang BE WITH YOU which left GRASSROOTS to put the lid on it with WILLIE STEWART. Excellent!

Newsletter No 435 4 July 2017
A full house greeted DON & HEATHER on the 4the JULY AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY NIGHT as they set out on the WESTERN RANGE, the home of the cowboy, but BANJO JOHN was more at home in MANHATTEN and BRIAN what to look for IF YOU’RE EVER IN OKLAHOMA. But AL warned THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING and sometimes SUE & GEOFF want to say I’LL FLY AWAY as PHIL sat back with THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL (Larry Norman). Young WILL then debuted with an instrumental version of THE SHAPE OF YOU as ROBIN took off to the STREETS OF BALTIMORE leaving JO to ask WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE and BEN to enquire WHERE IS MY MIND. On a more cheery note PAUL told us THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND but for KATH & STAN it was at least 900 MILES away as HELEN turned to John Prine for MAKE ME AN ANGEL THAT FLIES FROM MONTGOMERY. Late comers JONATHAN & CHARLIE then announced that BLOOD’S TOO THICK but JO optimistically replied WE SHALL OVERCOME as SIMON told the gory tale of WILD BILL JONES. Meanwhile, JAMES was rocking down ROUTE 66 while BRIAN was gently doing the TENNESSEE WALTZ and PAUL wanted to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS. Any way up it was a DISASTER for ED and equally bad for BANJO JOHN who had the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES as we hit the CHIPS AND BUTTIES BREAK.

In the big raffle Vic won the wine, Alan won the Budweiser, Andy won the Chocolates, Simon won the Biscuits, Paul won the Cookies and Brian, Will and Sue won DVDs before the second half started on a serious note with AL and THE WAR DRAGS ON but GEOFF claimed ROY ROGERS IS RIDING TONIGHT as BEN went in search of ISIS and ROBIN was meeting a woman in DENVER. Next ANN had a banjo on her knee in OH SUSANNAH but it was HEAVEN’S A BAR for KATH & STAN as PHIL was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE. No wonder SIMON & JAMES were off to JACKSON as SUE & GEOFF demanded PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN but ED was on another plane with BOB DYLAN’S DREAM. For HELEN she had NOTHING BUT TIME (Tom Paxton) but JAMES was off to KANSAS CITY while DON & HEATHER gave a nod to the girl who DANCES FOR DOLLARS before ED, PAUL, DON & HEATHER and the REST  banded up for a rousing version of ALL THE GOOD TIMES to end a mega good night.

JUNE - 2017

Newsletter No 434 27 June 2017

A very pleasant and enjoyable evening with HEATHER KENYON supporting PAUL RILEY as he started up with WORRIED MAN BLUES but there were no worries as CHRIS had us all singing with OLD BONES (Jez Lowe) after which HILARY chipped in with THREE JOKES so no wonder GEOFF said it’s all BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT. Then briefly JO sought the quiet of some COUNTRY ROADS but ARTHUR MARSHALL soon put a stop to that by recalling the wild ceilidh night of MRS McGARRITY’S LAST DANCE before ROGER gave us another take on relationship breakdown with his ONE LAST RODEO. Next SUE requested CALL ME but, as AL explained, there no choices on his ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE as welcome newcomer CHRIS gave us an excellent Frailing Clawhammer Banjo instrumental, FROSTY MORNING and ANN echoed Al’s song with the haunting LILI MARLENE. On returning from holiday DON & HEATHER took us to Australia to meet the DIAMANTINA DROVER as JO was off with the TRAVELLING SOLDIER (Dixie Chicks) so no wonder ARTHUR was hearing his own VOICES. At this point CHRIS hit a cautionary with SUMMER LIGHTENING and LET ME DOWN EASY which had HELEN away LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and GEOFF singing ONE LAST LOVE SONG before CHRIS took us to the interval with a Banjo tune, SOLDIER’S JOY.

A bumper raffle saw Helen win the Port. Sue win the Ouzo, Jill win the Chocolates, Dave win the Humourous Book and Chris win the Purse before PAUL had us in La La Land with BROWN EYED GIRL (Van Morrison) before HILARY responded with a JOKE and a RHYME before AL hit another serious note with a nod to the 51st Highland Division as they bid FAREWELL TO SICILY. Then it was a sailor and the ROLLING SEA for SUE but ROGER was rooted back home with THE WORKING MAN as ANN & HELEN combined for STEWBALL. With a warning DON & HEATHER advised never wash your hands in MUDDY WATER but HELEN was already up with THE LARK as ARTHUR sang his OLD BONES STILL DREAM in honour of one of his mothers in law. Eager to give his new guitar a good work out GEOFF & SUE shot off on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS while CHRIS abandoned his for an a cappella PADDY’S NOT AT WORK TODAY and CHRIS stitched it all together with the Banjo tune, NEEDLECASE. Heading for a big finish ANN had us clear our throats with LOWLANDS AWAY while AL warned of the GOLD WATCH BLUES (Donovan) and DON & HEATHER measured the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS before PAUL banded us all up to steal Arthur Marshall’s FENCES since he had left 5 minutes earlier and wasn’t around to do it himself! A top night in anticipation of next week’s 4th of JULY PARTY NIGHT with our usual CHIPS and BUTTIES.

Newsletter No 433 20 June 2017

Another top night in the hands of KATH & STAN who pointedly started off advising us to KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE before BRIAN T looked back AS TIME GOES BY and BANJO JOHN, heeding the weather forecast, started SINGING IN THE RAIN. From serious to seriously funny ED told us about ERNIE, THE FASTEST LIBRARIAN IN THE WEST as we welcomed newcomer JOHN REED with his own song WATERGROVE FARM and PAUL turned to BLACK EYED SUSIE. In more upbeat mood JAMES then had us celebrating THE GLORY OF LOVE and JO wondered about the NEXT TIME ROUND as PHIL turned to Show of Hands’ COUSIN JACK. Then it was the turn of romantic BRIAN who treated us to an AMERICAN TRILOGY: LOOK AWAY, DIXIE & JOHN BROWN’S BODY, as ANN hailed the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN and BEN gave us THE SWAPPING SONG. Back in formation SIMON & JAMES teamed up for SHADY LIES (Richard Thompson) as BANJO JOHN extolled the virtues of SWEET GEORGIA BROWN before JOHN REED addressed the issue of the world’s water supplies with his own, you can DRY THE LIFE out of me. Addressing another big issue KATH & STAN commented indirectly on a life in fishing with FIDDLER’S GREEN whereas to lighten things up BRIAN T explained how OLD PEOPLE ARE PUSHY leaving JO to be serious about MY LONELY SON and romantic BRIAN to become A LEGEND IN MY TIME as we hit the interval.

In the raffle Kath won the Red Wine, Phil won the White Wine, Ann won the Chocolates and Heather won the Box of Tea before BEN kicked off again with BOOGALOO JONES followed by PAUL with his PEG AND AWL. This stirred PHIL to THROW DOWN THE SWORD and SIMON to tell the story of DANNY ROSE (Richard Thompson) all of which gave ED the NASAL DECONGESTANT BLUES which would have put paid to the singing of ANN’s SWEET NIGHTINGALE. No wonder BRIAN T went off KILLING THE BLUES and JAMES set off at the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS but romantic BRIAN was unimpressed as he turned to SALLY which was right up our alley. In sympathy BEN turned to DOREEN but for some reason PHIL could only retort, Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm, from the CRASH TEST DUMMIES. Then we were back with JOHN REED who again in traditional mood sang another of his own great songs, STANDING STONES, and KATH & STAN played us a couple of tunes, TWIGLET and BODMIN RISING. This built up to a grand finale with PAUL and BLACK BOTTOM BLUES, ED and ALL THE GOOD TIMES are past and gone and SIMON & JAMES who took all down to GREENVILLE. A great night!! 

Newsletter No 432 13 June 2017

On this fine Tuesday evening a small but eclectic group of people turned up for a fine evening’s entertainment hosted by MARK and JAN who started by trying to send everyone to sleep with the lament about the Highland Clearances, HUSH, HUSH. KATH and STAN followed with THE MAN IN THE MOON, and then, despite all evidence to the contrary BRIAN was saying NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME. BANJO JOHN was next with MANHATTEN SONG followed by IAN with a very pleasant instrumental rendition of YESTERDAY. PETER BRIDGE sang LET ME DOWN EASY whilst ED was complaining that he was ALL USED UP. Next up was a newcomer to the club, Jon from Southampton, who was on business in Manchester and didn’t enjoy spending his evenings staring at the walls of his hotel room! We were in for a treat, as JON accompanied himself on a small and unusually designed all wooden banjo (built by “Back Yard Instruments”) in the USA, for WHEN AN OLD CRICKETER LEAVES THE CREASE. ANDY was our next contributor with CITY OF NEW ORLEANS which was chosen from a list he’d given to our hosts on his arrival before SIMON was CROSSING MUDDY WATERS. Bringing the first round to a conclusion PAUL sang DARK AS A DUNGEON. JAN began round 2 with THE VERDANT BRAES OF SCREAN and then BANJO JOHN with SHINE and MARK picked up on Paul’s mining theme with THE LAST PIT IN THE RHONDDA. Late arrival, RICHARD, in his unique inimitable style, gave us BLACK TO GREY TO GOLD followed by TWO TUNES from KATH and STAN, THE RAKES OF MARLOW and the DORSET FOUR HAND REEL. BRIAN was next with the second lunar reference of the evening, WHEN THE MOON IS RISING and the hosts’ choice for Andy’s next song was BIRD ON THE WIRE with BANJO JOHN bringing us up to the interval with SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET.

After the raffle which saw Ros winning the red wine, Andy the Quality Street, Ken the plant and Gillian the body lotion stuff PAUL launched us into the second half with DRILL YE TARRIERS, DRILL followed by another instrumental from IAN, TENDERLY. Unusual BANJO JON, picking up on the earlier mining theme, then gave a fine recital of a poem THE LAST DEEP MINE IN ENGLAND with PAUL helping out with a haunting accompaniment on the harmonica. ED was next on a VISIT TO THE PALACE whereas PETER BRIDGE was in ENGLAND 1914 with SIMON expounding the joys of being a WEREWOLF. Then RICHARD started the last round with WHEN ANGELS CRY before another latecomer PETER M., gave a lovely rendition on Dougie MacLean’s version of THE MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE. IAN’S next instrumental was A PIECE WITH NO NAME (it was suggested “May in June” might be an appropriate name) followed by PETER BRIDGE and WINNIE’S RAG. The final choice for ANDY was CRAZY MAN MICHAEL then SIMON asked AFTER YOU’VE GOT WHAT YOU WANT before Southampton JON sang Ronnie Lane’s THE POACHER and ED had everyone in fits with TIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN. Finally KATH and STAN were sad about the FORSAKEN MERMAID, PAUL was GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING SAD and MARK & JAN rounded off a fine evening with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER.
Newsletter No 431 6 June 2017

Some people might think that the weather would put a dampener on things but that is impossible in Sale Folk Club as Ed & Sue lit the after burners on a wonderful evening which saw PAUL open the night with PUTTING ON THE STYLE (Lonnie Donegan) and to celebrate the life of VIN GARBUTT who had just passed away ED sang his CAROL ANN KELLY in tribute. Back to his roots PHIL played and sang CITY OF PLYMOUTH (Maggie Duffy) followed by ANN who sang VAIR ME ORO VAN O and BRIAN who played the ukulele and attempted to play the kazoo, the wrong way round initially, at the same time for I’M AN URBAN SPACEMAN. Then there was a big welcome for old friend ANN COJEEN who sang WHAT’S THE LIFE OF A MAN, in memory of Derrick Kenyon as it was one of his favourites. To lighten the mood HILARY came up with several very funny jokes before JOHN COJEEN sang, for the first time at our club, MY NAME IS DAN MURPHY which left late arrival BIG JOHN to be forced into singing DREAMS and end round one even before he had a chance to go to the bar. Gathering pace PAUL returned to sing and play HESITATION BLUES and ED rose to sing one on Dylan’s best, RAMONA, before disaster struck for the shipwrecked sailors in ANN’s lovely LORELEI. Fortunately PHIL as told us I’M ALRIGHT (Lowden Wainwright) as BRIAN went off with the UKULELE LADY and ANN COJEEN sang about the fate of the OLD MAID IN A GARRET. No wonder BIG JOHN next had us all singing along with THERE’LL NEVER BE ANYONE ELSE before JOHN COJEEN obliged again by singing the very funny GRUMPY OLD MEN OF ENGLAND and HILARY unleashed more humour with another joke. Well on the way to the interval ED gave us some advice with THE GAMBLER followed PHIL who played a beautiful instrumental version of THE SEAGULL before ANN was requested to sing THE SHABBY OLD CABBY which left BRIAN to having us tapping our feet to a medley of 5’ 2” EYES OF BLUE, YES SIR, THAT’S MY BABY and finally AIN’T SHE SWEET.

In the raffle John Cojeen won the bottle of French Red Wine; Brian won the African Monkey Balls which he wanted for his granddaughter; Ann won the large tub of Roses chocolates and very kindly shared them amongst us all; and Hilary very appropriately won the ‘Book of After Dinner Stories’ which she required for her next performance! Starting the second half MARIAN was persuaded to sing THE PLOUGHBOY before PAUL asked WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL and ANN COJEEN sang BLACK SHAWL and BIG JOHN sang Dean Martin’s EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY SOME TIME. Luckily HEATHER KENYON then stepped up to join in and read a very funny poem called DISASTER AT SEA and JOHN COJEEN then rose to sing THE FIREMAN before HILARY immediately read two of the stories from the book that she had just won in the raffle and she was very funny especially as she had forgotten her spectacles! Then, would you believe it, we entered round four with ED also reciting a poem this time with audience participation, SHURRUP YOU BLOODY LIAR, before PHIL took us IN A COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING as BRIAN teamed up with PAUL for extra verses in JESUS ON THE MAINLINE with a huge climax in sight. ANN started it with LUCY JORDAN before PAUL led us all for WILD MOUNTAIN THYME and ANN COJEEN turned to THE RECRUITED COLLIER. To finish JOHN COJEEN, who we had never heard sing before, impressed us all by never forgetting his words even on his fourth song of the evening, THE GOLDEN STREAM, as ED confessed YOU’RE MY BEST FRIEND and PHIL declared he was A MAN OF THE WORLD before BIG JOHN finally closed a brilliant evening at 11 pm with one everyone singing DREAM LOVER. Mega!

MAY - 2017

Newsletter No 430 30 May 2017

A good complement of performers heard PETE step up and BEAT THE DRUM which made BANJO JOHN think of MR TAMBOURINE MAN and ALLEN, back from his tour of Scotland, turn to THE WORKER'S SONG. By way of a change BRIAN THORNLEY thought of ROSE MARIE by Slim Whitman whereas MARIAN was reminded of THE GENTLEMAN SOLDIER and, by a more devious route, SUE dedicated WHEN I'M CLEANING WINDOWS to Banjo John whose mum knew George Formby but he claims he doesn't look like him. Turning to Ralph McTell CHRIS next sang about the STREETS OF LONDON followed by KATH & STAN with the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY and PETER who took the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE in keeping with the McTell theme. This prompted KAMRAN to observe AIN'T WE CRAZY and GEOFF to contemplate IN MY LIFE as did JO with MY YOUNGEST SON CAME HOME TODAY. Back on the train PAUL then came up with RAILROAD BILL as CARL thought of Ewan McColl’s FATHER'S SONG. Romantic BRIAN then surprised us with WIND DON'T HAVE TO HURRY by John Hiatt, which was not his usual basic three-chord-trick since it only has one chord, followed by JAMES with RED CADILLAC AND BLACK MOUSTACHE before SIMON joined with KATH & STAN to form the CUPPA-SOUPER GROUP for BONNIE PORTMORE. This left BANJO JOHN to comment THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE as JO & ANN led the chorus for AMAZING GRACE as the interval arrived.

The bumper Raffle saw a Bottle of Red go to Simon, a box of Chocolates donated by Simon go to Geoff, a Wooden Calendar go to Kate and Burt's Bees Smelliest go home with Paul. As we started the second period PETE then reminisced about WOODSTOCK which made ALLEN decide to sing his own WILD-EYED, dedicated to his wife, Jenny, but undaunted BRIAN still turned to MR WONDERFUL. Then another surprise popped up in the form of NEIL a newcomer from Spain who had to be persuaded to borrow Pete's guitar for PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE before PETER rose up for CORRINE (Blind Boy Fuller) and GEOFF went on a ONE WAY DONKEY RIDE with Sandy Denny. Confession time had SIMON saying I MISUNDERSTOOD (Thompson) as CARL set out to SCARBOROUGH FAIR and SUE ran off with BLACK JACK DAVY. Back with real life KAMRAN was lonely on BAKER STREET and JAMES was off TRAVELLING LIGHT but PAUL, with Simon & James, was all sweetness and TUPELO HONEY. This left BRIAN THORNLEY to set up the climax with RUNNING BEAR followed by STAN & KATH with OWENSBORO and the BANJO PICKING GIRL and finally the big band of CHRIS with Paul on harp and Pete on kazoo blasting us into the street with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES. Magic!

Newsletter No 429 23 May 2017

As usual an interesting group of listeners and performers filled up the place before GRASSROOTS expressed it perfectly with MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and BANJO JOHN was stimulated enough to embark upon TIGER RAG before CARL brought us to earth on the day of the bombing in Manchester with the anti-war song HELLO HANS. Then it was back to normal with SIMON & JAMES and SHIVER ME TIMBERS followed by ROBIN pleading COME BACK PADDY REILLY and BIG JOHN, on only his second visit, claiming to be THE KING OF THE ROAD. Still growing in this fertile atmosphere BEN almost went Biblical with FROM THE BEGINNING (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) before BRIAN asked DID I EVER REALLY LOVE YOU to which PAUL replied in the affirmative with the eulogy to Salford, DIRTY OLD TOWN. Then it was more Dylan from PETE who was ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER before DON & HEATHER recognised what it is to lose somebody with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER and ED was similarly soulful with the song of belonging to LAKE CHARLES. Back in time HELEN took us back to HIGH GERMANY just PHIL was leaving AMSTERDAM with Al Stewart but for JONATHAN & CHARLIE it was a case of BLOOD’S TOO THICK (Greg Lake). On a grander scale JAMES asked the bigger question of where are we all going in this world with Dylan’s SENOR before BANJO JOHN simplified it all in THE OLD TIN ROOF CAFE but for GRASSROOTS it was a JAR OF HEARTS and SIMON it was all going to wrack and ruin in THIS OLD TOWN (Janis Ian) and it was freezing cold with ROBIN up NORTH TO ALASKA as we took a welcome break.

The bumper raffle saw Ken win the Wine, Charlie win the Gremlin Cat, Janice win the Chocolates and pass them round before CARL started the second shift with his allegorical song FROM THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN followed by BEN with R.S.V.P., a song in Franglais, whereas PETE KING rose up with A SIMPLE SONG. Appropriately BRIAN turned to the Beatles SOMETHING whereas PAUL went back in time for CORRINA, CORRINA as did PETE with LAST TRAIN AND RIDE. Also appropriately at this time ED was SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SEA if we don’t get our fishing rights back but no problem for HELEN with the illegal activity in the SMUGGLER’S SONG. On a lighter note PHIL sang WISH YOU WERE HERE and BIG JOHN fancied the GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND which was a LESSON TOO LATE for DON & HEATHER. Going classic Beatles PETE KING sang the note perfect BLACKBIRD before SIMON & JAMES teamed up for SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS and GRASSROOTS reflected on GAMES OF LOVE before BIG JOHN marched us into the street with WALK RIGHT BACK.

Newsletter No 428 16 May 2017

A propos nothing more than his wedding anniversary BANJO JOHN struck off with LOVE AND MARRIAGE while PAUL sang a JOCKEY FULL OF BOURBON and challenged us understand the words so thank goodness KATH & STAN were easy to follow with HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL. In good form with nice guitar work, BRIAN THORNLEY told us it was a LONG TIME COMING as a prelude to the SIMON, JOHN & MIKE band up for LUCKY MAN (Greg Lake) and SO LONG (Alex Campbell) which nicely led to JO unsheathing her guitar for a well received WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE. This certainly put IAN on his mettle and he responded well with his jazzy instrumental version of SCARBOROUGH FAIR before PETER upped the ante with BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER which set the stage for our visitor MIKE EATON from Truro to play the brilliant ZWEI TIMER WALTZ on his revolutionary Hurdy Gurdy. ANDY then responded with Richard Thompson’s PERSUASION and PETER BRIDGE sang and played an excellent TEQUILA SUNSET before BEN could stand it no longer and went POISONING PIDGEONS IN THE PARK (Tom Lehrer). Still in romantic mood BRIAN commented WHEN I FALL IN LOVE as JONATHAN & CHARLIE admitted they had REASON TO BELIEVE before BANJO JOHN took us out SINGING IN THE RAIN. Approaching the interval JO declared he’s NOBODY’S DARLING BUT MINE but for DON, HEATHER & PAUL it was all about the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS (John Prine).

In the bumper raffle Ian won the Sauvignon Blanc, Sue won the Rose wine, Barry won the big box of Tea, Brian Thornley won the Hanging Basket, Peter won the Fudge and Barbara took home the Purse. Starting the second half ED told the story of the WIDOW ON THE MOOR and MIKE EATON warmed up his Hurdy Gurdy for GALLOPEDE (English tune) and BLEAKING (Swedish tune) before JONATHAN & CHARLIE took the floor for their second and so far unnamed song. Again the big band of JOHN, SIMON & MIKE came to the fore with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES followed by an instrumental by IAN called HALF WAY HOME as BRIAN responded with ONLY YOU. On the other hand PETER BRIDGE was off to SIN CITY which for BRIAN THORNLEY meant THROUGH THE MORNING THROUGH THE NIGHT and for BEN that THE SUN’S COMING OVER THE HILL. Calming us down ANDY took us off to CALEDONIA as KATH & STAN told us there’s NO TELLING WHAT A LOVE SONG CAN DO before PETER gave an experience with HEY JOE. Then there was a more outlandish experience of werewolves by SIMON that came with the warning DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY THE COVER (Michael Hurley) so no wonder PAUL turned to BLUES IN A BOTTLE as we lifted off to fly away home with JOHN and YELLOW BIRD followed by DON, HEATHER & PAUL who led us in I’LL FLY AWAY followed by STEAL AWAY with great singing from the assembled throng. Magic!

Newsletter No 427 9 May 2017

KATH & STAN stewarded another sublimely eclectic evening of great music, song and excellent craic starting with MOONSHADOW before BANJO JOHN commented IT AIN’T NO SIN to dance around in your skin, just in case anyone was in any doubt, so no wonder PETE thought TONIGHT I’LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU. Swinging the world by the tail, BRIAN confessed he was KILLING THE BLUES to which HILARY responded by telling 3 very funny JOKES and DON & HEATHER admitted they had washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. A little uncertain still it was good to hear CARL come back with his own ECHOES AND TOKENS which was his original 1710 retitled. Also on top form SIMON & JAMES came up with the sweetest TUPELO HONEY to which BEN responded with SMOKING TOO LONG and MARIAN urged us to DRINK BOYS DRINK. More surreally ED recalled DYLAN’S DREAM before ROBIN & PAUL decided to TRY FOR THE SUN whereas PHIL went back basics at the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN. Back in time PAUL with his love of railways confessed I HATE TO HEAR K. C. WHEN SHE MOANS before 12-fingers CHRIS gave us WILLOUGHBY’S FARM & 8 FRAMES PER SECOND and then came show time as PHIL & DOM asked DON’T IT MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE? Coming up to the break RICHARD sang LET’S TALK IT OVER and BANJO JOHN wrestled with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES before KATH & STAN informed us HEAVEN’S A BAR as we came up to the interval.

In the big Raffle the Tea was won by Jackie, the Chocolates went to Kath, a bottle of vintage Wine was won by Brian, appropriately the Muscle Soak was won by Heather Kenyon and finally the Purse was won by a bewildered Dom. Starting the second half BRIAN treated us to MARLENE just as PAUL got the MORNING BLUES and CHRIS embarked on WINNIES RAG. Then MARIAN rose to sing about WARS IN GERMANY and CARL celebrated the BOYS OF BELLY ROW before JAMES & PAUL embraced the BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY. Needing a good sing DON & HEATHER then recalled the GALWAY SHAWL before BEN gave us his interpretation of THE TEARS OF A CLOWN and ROBIN had us singing with DURHAM TOWN. After his long motor bike ride to see his Mum PETE gave us KATHY’S SONG as PHIL went philosophical about ISLANDS before ED explored the weakness of a CHASTITY BELT especially when there is a duplicate key. With a big finish looming RICHARD told it was TIME TO MOVE ON as SIMON went off with the ROVING GAMBLER and PHIL & DOM chased after MY DIXIE DARLING which left JAMES to consider all the THINGS WE SAID TODAY. A superb evening all round.

Newsletter No 426 2 May 2017

With a fairly full house and the visit from the Netherlands of Stefan van de Sande JAN & MARK began appropriately with ROTTERDAM as did CHRIS who suggested that with at least 20 performers we should WEATHER THE STORM. Modestly GEOFF told us YOU’LL HEAR BETTER SONGS THAN THIS so HILARY gave us the instrumental PRELUDE FOR A MUSICAL CLOCK (Handel) before obscurely KAMRAN sang about MOULD and BANJO JOHN explained about the CAKEWALKERS. Then STEFAN rose to tell us about his childhood by THE GREY GREEN SEA and DON & HEATHER were metaphorically KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER and BRIAN was complimenting someone on being an ANGEL FLYING TOO CLOSE TO THE GROUND. There was no doubting the message when PETE ROBERTS sang Dylan’s OXFORD TOWN as indeed it was clear what HELEN meant in WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES or ROBIN as he walked the STREETS OF LAREDO. However, SUE had REAL HOPE which couldn’t be dimmed when SIMON sadly noted that A BROTHER SLIPS AWAY and for BRIAN T there was NOTHING I LOVE. Optimistically PAUL suggested KEEP YOUR LAMPS TRIMMED before PETE explored neighbourly conflict with his I DON’T WANT YOUR COLLIE ON MY GARDEN and JAN warned fellow maidens of marrying a DANDY MAN. This week going solo DOM revealed his thought on THE YOB WHO STOLE MY GRANDMA’S HANDBAG to which HILARY played KEMPS JIG and BRIAN T commented LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING before BANJO JOHN took us to the interval with an old jazz favourite MARGIE.

In the Raffle Hilary won the Wine, Jackie won the Chocolates, Ken won the Perfume Room Diffuser and Paul won the Luxury Coat Hangers before opening the second half STEFAN was able to treat us to a couple of songs from his latest 2017 Album choosing POEMS and I’LL BE HERE FOR YOU which had people reaching for their purses. No wonder CHRIS came up with I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT and MARK went instrumental with ALBATROSS. For KAMRAN, however, BLUES RUN THE GAME but for PETE ROBERTS it was all about survival with RABBIT HILLS as FREE SPIRITS hit the road home with WAGON WHEEL. The answer from BRIAN was to TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS but the secret for SUE & GEOFF was hidden in a ROSE TATTOO. It was all sadness from SIMON with Mary Chapin Carpenter’s JOHN DOE NO 24 and HELEN’S WHISKEY LULLABY but DOM cheered us with his GROWING OLD WITH NAOMI before PAUL took the floor to lead us homewards with STEP IT UP AND GO to end another top night of music and good friendship.

More Articles...

  1. APRIL - 2017
  2. MARCH - 2017


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