JUNE - 2019

Newsletter No 530 25 June 2019

Well done everybody. Well done everybody. The audience far outnumbered the performers but they all rose to the occasion starting with PAUL RILEY who blasted off with CORRINA, CORRINA before telling us DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. This propelled KATH & STAN off with the WAYFARING STRANGER and somewhere in the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH at that. PETER reckoned it could have been in ENGLAND 1914 before he declared I’M NOT A ROCK whereas HILARY was solid as with her ONE-LINERS that had us rolling in the aisles. Initially too much levity for JAN & MARK who were OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY but they eventually found LOVE AND HAPPINESS as did PAUL briefly with the BROWN EYED GIRL before signing on the SLOOP JOHN B. Next KATH & STAN chased the MOONSHADOW before chasing after that BANJO PICKIN’ GIRL followed by CARL and the COAL TOWN GIRL. In the deep south of the U.S. of A. PETER developed the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES before escaping on the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE. No wonder HILARY was smiling with her ONE-LINERS before 2 tunes from MARK, WILLAFJORD & SPOOTISKERRY settled everyone down. Moving smoothly to the interval JAN had us FOLLOW THE HERON HOME before singing one from her real home, Wales, LAWR AR LAN Y MOR all of which left PAUL feeling FOREVER YOUNG.
In the interval Raffle the Bottle of Red Wine was won by Gillian, the Orchid won by Ken, Sally won the Child’s Cushion, the Cafetiere Cosy was won by Gillian and the Cosmetics were won by Heather before late arrival RICHARD sang Rudyard Kipling’s IF. Next CARL sang his real folk version I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL while KATH & STAN mused about the fishermen’s heaven in FIDDLER’S GREEN and PETER wanted to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS. On the other hand JAN & MARK wished for the LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL which left RICHARD to tell us some STORIES OF MY LIFE. Coming to a climax STAN & KATH went back being BABES IN THE WOOD whereas PETER asked LET ME DOWN EASY before MARK & JAN had us charging about the farm yard after the LITTLE RED ROOSTER to end a curiously satisfying evening. Well done everybody!

Newsletter No 529 18 June 2019

An interesting group of people arrived at the USC for what was to be an eclectic evening of music and the odd spoken word, in fact some very odd, but funny, spoken words. As there were only a few performers everyone started with two songs and Mark and Jan, with Brexit, climate change and the Tory leadership elections in mind, kicked off with Bad Moon Rising followed by Rotterdam. Paul then entertained us in with Hey Rain and Sugar Pudding followed by Ian with two excellent tunes, Windy and Warm and Baby’s coming home. Andy was next up with A Dollar Short of Happiness and Make You Feel My Love followed by Carl Singing Down the Ages and then a Jez Lowe song The Big Fear featuring the Lone Badger. Peter was up next with some amusing and linguistically contorted “spoonersistic” sayings all in his own inimitable style and was followed by Simon, accompanied by James, with the delightful Salford Sunday then Down to Seeds and Stems. James then gave us Sweet Lorraine in memory of Leon Redbone who recently passed away. Hilary was next with some of her jokes delivered in her unique style and putting us all in stitches and then latecomer Tony sang See You in My Dreams and another song which we can’t bring to mind! Mark and Jan, with a nod to Simon’s first song, then took us up to the interval with Dirty Old Town.
After the raffle Andy sang Love is Our Cross to Bear then Ian treated us to Here,There and Everywhere and Paul, as requested by Rob Redman and accompanied by James and Mark on guitars sang Streets of London. Peter then entertained us some more of his “flutterbys” before Tony was Leaving on a Jet Plane. Heather then read out some very amusing London Underground announcements and a couple of jokes followed by Simon accompanied by James with Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight then James with Shimmy Like my Sister Kate. Jan then sang Dimming of the Day accompanied by her first husband then, despite all evidence to the contrary, Ian insisted that it was Sunny. Tony followed with Just Another Day and Andy was asking Who Knows Where the Time Goes before Simon next sang Sometimes She Forgets and James sang the Beatles’ I Will. Reaching a climax Paul first sang The Irish Blessing leaving Mark and Jan to send everyone home with I Washed My Hands in Muddy Waters ringing in their ears. Another very pleasant evening.

Newsletter No 528 11 June 2019

Paul Riley opened the night with ‘Jambalaya’ (on the Bayou) and encouraged everyone to join in before a visitor working over here from Hull, Kevin Young, sang an unaccompanied 'The Dowey Dens of Yarrow' by Sheila McDonald. Allen rose to the occasion with his self-penned 'Wild Eye' while Paul McD sang Bobby Darin's 'Eighteen Yellow Roses' before Hilary came up with a new set of very funny one-liners which left Ed to finish the round with 'Between the Earth & the Sky.' Round 2 saw Paul Riley take over one of Free Spirits’ songs whilst Don & Heather are away, ;The Star of the County Down' before Allen sang his own great song 'The Road to Passchendaele' and Kevin produced a bodhran and sang along with an Irish song 'Dear Old Donegal.' Stepping into the breech Heather Kenyon offered us some very funny jokes before Paul McD sang 'He'll Have to Go' and Ed ended the round with 'All Used Up.' In full swing and as it was nearing the witching hour for Kevin who had to leave for work, we asked him to honour us with two more songs before leaving: Harvey Andrews' 'Margarita' and Cyril Tawney's 'Chicken on a Raft.' Allen then sang Ed Pickford's song about the meagre 'Pound a Week Rise' offered to the miners in the 1970s followed by Pau Riley with the more upbeat 'Bring it With You When You Come.' Heather Kenyon then told us a few more jokes before Paul McD pleaded 'Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz' and as there was no-one obviously overweight in the audience, Ed sang his awful 'Fat Lady' song directed at an obviously slender Ann! This left Hilary to bring us to the break with more of her entertaining jokes.

In the interval Barrie & Chris won the French Red Wine, Heather won the Perfume, Hilary & Martin won the Gillette Shaving Cream & Balm Gift set and Ann won the pearl necklace and matching earrings which had been kindly donated by Hilary. Unfortunately, nearly everyone left after the raffle, including Kate who had to get back to her granddaughter in Glossop, but there was just a handful of performers left to entertain newcomer Richard, Margaret & Martin in the audience. So Paul Riley started the second half by singing 'Ain't No Pleasing You' followed by Ed with McAlpine's Fusiliers by the Dubliners and Hilary with more of her one-liners before Allen went all trad with Burns' 'Now Westlin Winds' and Paul McD sang 'You Ain't Going Nowhere’ leaving Heather to finish the round with her book of jokes and English Grammar. In view of the pouring rain we decided that each performer would come up one last time before all practiced material ran out so Allen sang his 'Pictures in a Magazine,' Ed sang the traditional folk song 'Chastity Belt' ?? Heather told the last of her jokes, Paul McD asked 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?' and Hilary dug out some old jokes before Paul Riley finished the night accompanied by Paul McD and Allen on guitar and anyone remaining with a musical instrument to play a Medley of Gospel Songs including 'This Little Light of Mine,' We went aboard the ARK at about 10.35 pm to the relief of many who found that, even after all the rain, Bird’s Eye Maple was still Three Ha’pence a Foot...glug glug,glug! What a night!!

Newsletter No 527 4 June 2019

With a room full of quality performers and a decent audience KATH & STAN started us off with SHAKE SUGAREE (Elizabeth Cotten) which didn’t deter PAUL RILEY from claiming he had the WORKING MAN’S BLUES (Dylan) nor PAUL McD from seeking A BETTER PLACE (Glen Campbell). Next ERIC was alright because he was with THE OLD GANG (Allen Miller) while ED was determined to play the HOBO (Tom Paxton) leaving ANDY to swear I’LL BE THERE IN THE MORNING (Tony van Zandt) For CHRIS there were NO FRONTIERS (Jimmy McCarthy) and for JAMES life was all COLOURS (Donovan) before as Racing Demon SIMON & JAMES realised PAPER WINGS (Gillian Welch) quickly bring you back down to earth. For KATH & STAN it was a long trip of 10,000 MILES but PAUL R for his crime was JOLIET BOUND whereas PAUL McD was OPEN TO PERSUASION. Chasing the witches ED was off to OLD PENDLE but ERIC preferred to follow MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN (John Connolly) and ANDY told us how it was IN MY SECRET LIFE (L Cohen) before SIMON & JAMES certainly were not OUT OF TOUCH (Lucinda Williams) as they took us to the break.
In the Interval Raffle Kath won the Bottle of Red Wine, Chris won the Box of Tea bags and the Shaving Cream went to a good cause before JAMES & PAUL told us DON’T THINK TWICE and CHRIS gave us AUTUMN LEAVES before some WORDPLAY from PETER. For KATH & STAN it was a case of follow that BRIGHT MORNING STAR and PAUL asked us to help SING MY BLUES AWAY before PAUL McD took us off to the HOTEL CALIFORNIA and then LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY. Next a sad moment as ED was SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SEA, another great song by Dave Boulton, followed by ERIC who was on THE BANKS OF NEWFOUNDLAND and ANDY with the sad story of PANCHO AND LEFTY (Willie Nelson) and SIMON & JAMES added SINCE I LEFT YOU BABY. Coming to a climax JAMES revered THE GLORY OF LOVE while PETER had a few CONFESSIONS of his own and KATH & STAN sang there AIN’T NO SWEET MAN going to have one over us but the knockout obviously came when CHRIS sang THE BOXER to end the bout. Top notch! 

MAY - 2019

Newsletter No 526 28 May 2019

With the crowd slowly gathering PAUL McD started with a complaint, NO ONE CAN MAKE MY SUNSHINE SMILE but PETE was much more cheerful on the RABBIT HILLS before HELEN came out with the traditional COPPER KETTLE. For ALLEN it was a case of SALLY FREE AND EASY whereas for HEATHER it was the story of REG, THE LONELY GLOW-WORM before joined by DON for a trip a trip to SOUTH AUSTRALIA followed by ANDY who was looking forward to TOMORROW. With a bit of light relief HILARY told us some FUNNY STORIES starting with ‘The invisible woman who was married to the invisible man. Their kids weren’t a lot to look at!’ With a new arrangement IAN played THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU (Herb Alpert) before under ED’s captaincy THE ROYAL CHARTER went down and CARL saluted Jake Thackray with ON AGAIN. No wonder PAUL RILEY requested, PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN before MIKE told us what happens IN MY COMMUNITY CHOIR and PAUL McD sang about THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE. With another of his favourites PETE sang his own metaphor for love, STORM RISING, whereas HELEN was less optimistic with BLUES RUN THE GAME and the Hangman wins the day in MACPHERSON’S RANT from ALLEN. It was a bit the same for DON & HEATHER and the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and THE FATHER’S SONG delivered by CARL.
In the Raffle Gillian won the bottle of Red Wine, Heather Kenyon won the Film Colette on DVD and Mike won the Box of Tea before PAUL McD played his own instrumental TIMPERLEY BLUFF followed by a special request for ED and JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO WITH THE FUNKY CONCERTINA which nearly had newcomer TONY off LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Fortunately, IAN decided to play SUNNY and HILARY cheered us with some more ONE-LINERS before confession time from ANDY with I HAVE BEEN A ROVER. Next we had a bit of advice from MIKE about how to remove A PIGEON IN THE CHIMNEY and a warning from PETE about the place DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and also a warning from Robert Burns as sung by ALLEN in YE JACOBITES BY NAME before ANDY sang KACEY MUSGRAVE. Enough of this hilarity thought ED who claimed he was TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM, not poaching – animal coaching! IAN than took us to the FIELDS OF GOLD before TONY asked us to LET IT BE and DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia with the DIAMANTINA DROVER. Coming to climax MIKE celebrated his BELLE VUE SUE but CARL warned of the fate of the STAR (Stealers Wheel) before PAUL announced, “I wanna go home” as we all joined in with THE SLOOP JOHN B the last song of a superb evening.

Newsletter No 525 21 May 2019

It was quite a social scene before PETE burst forth with the ST JAMES INFIRMARY BLUES followed by PAUL R with BLACK-EYED SUSIE and PHIL with COUSIN JACK (S. Knightley). Taking her time HELEN said she would sing SOMEDAY SOON but for PAUL McD it was already QUITTING TIME but KAMRAN was very clear in singing I’LL HAVE TO SAY I LOVE YOU IN A SONG. Reminiscing ED knew he had passed but he was certain AL BOWLLY’S IN HEAVEN (R. Thompson) and certainly Doris Day has recently followed being celebrated by JAMES with her monster hit QUE SERA SERA before sanity returned and Simon joined him as RACING DEMON with CARMELITA (Zevon). Then stimulated by the quality so far CARL pulled out one of his own best songs THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN and KATH AND STAN followed with WINDMILLS before BEN, back from his gig tour, sang one of his own best, the satirical TWEEDLE DEE. Coming up to the interval HEATHER SIDDALL had us laughing at Les Barker’s dogs in STAY, GO AND FETCH before joining up as DON, HEATHER & PAUL for RAMBLING BOY (T. Paxton) and their own FLOWERS ON THE WATER.

The interval Raffle saw the Bottle of Red Wine won by Rob, the Box of Milk Tray Chocolates won by Andy and the Hand Soap won by Martin before PETE again started the music with his own LOVE SONG which he shared with everyone the audience. Then PHIL rose to sing about LIFE IN DARK WATER (Al Stewart) before late arrival RICHARD took a deep breath as he was STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE WITH THE MEMPHIS BLUES AGAIN followed by HEATHER KENYON who defined the curse of cruising with IT MUST BE TIME TO EAT (ChelseaBaby). For some reason this made PAUL McD feel SO SAD whereas PAUL R was definitely SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD but for HELEN it was a case of BLACK IS THE COLOUR. In contrast RACING DEMON took us off to meet the COOKSFERRY QUEEN before KAMRAN gave us some DEATH LETTER BLUES and BEN remembered a crush on an older woman, BELINDA. Then for KATH & STAN it was time for tunes with THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH followed by ED and the reason Paddy was not at work: the BARREL OF BRICKS before CARL insisted we took things FURTHER and RICHARD started BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME with his own new song. This virtually ended a top quality evening before Don, Heather & Paul aka the THREE SPIRITS invited us to Button up and aye be cheery and TAK’ A DRAM AFORE YE GO. It doesn’t get much better!

Newsletter No 524 14 May 2019 

It was sunny outside and hot stuff inside as DON & HEATHER confessed they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER whereas PAUL McD was off to ALBERTA and PAUL shot STAGGER LEE while PETER BRIDGE had it much tougher AROUND THE WILD CAPE HORN. With a nice instrumental IAN played TILL THERE WAS YOU but ALLEN was trying to land on MINGULAY and ED was handing over his VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING 1952. Meanwhile ANDY was that DESPERADO as CARL celebrated with his own MAGICAL SKY which left HEATHER to lighten us up with EARWIG-O. For DON & HEATHER it was the DIMMING OF THE DAY they were concerned about while PAUL McD already had his MY GIRL and PAUL sang about the life of WILD BILL JONES and PETER confessed I STILL MISS SOMEONE. The next tune from IAN asked what IF before ALLEN told us the tale behind MACPHERSON’S RANT and ED told the story of RED HEADED ANNE. This left ANDY to tell us what happened AFTER THE GOLDRUSH and CARL to tell us, I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR to bring us up to the break.

The interval raffle saw Jackie win the Biography of Michelle Obama and promptly loan it to Kate, Ian won the Box of Biscuits, Lin win the Beauticology set and the Bottle of Wine survive to be won by Allen...phew! DON & HEATHER started the second half with A SONG FOR THE LIFE before PETER was more serious with THE MAGINOT WALTZ and IAN gave us his version of SCARBOROUGH FAIR. With a shanty PAUL next had us all singing to HAUL AWAY JOE as did ALLEN with the lovely FAREWELL TO SICILY before ANDY was off along the CAREFREE HIGHWAY. No wonder PAUL McD had that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and CARL set off SINGING THE AGES DOWN but saucily ED was off over THE WIDOW’S MOOR. It all gets calmer sang PETER - AFTER RAIN but for IAN it was THE NEARNESS OF YOU before PAUL asked WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL. Next ALLEN admitted IT ALL SEEMED SUCH A LONG TIME AGO and ANDY confessed it is THE BEAST IN ME whereas PAUL McD reckoned SHE’S GOT EVERYTHING SHE NEEDS to which CARL responded with THANKSGIVING which left ED to have us all taking a chance with THE GAMBLER to end a cracking evening.

Newsletter No 523 7 May 2019
10 out of 10 for quality tonight as DON & HEATHER returned with NO HOPERS JOKERS & ROGUES followed by ALLEN with a bit of strife in ERIN GO BRAGH as PETE was peaceful with TONIGHT I WILL STAY HERE WITH YOU. Philosophically PAUL wished IF I HAD A HAMMER whereas BRIAN didn’t have a good word in DAMN THIS TOWN as KATH & STAN bade FARE THEE WELL MY HONEY which left ANN fishing for THE TROUT. Over the ‘Pond’ SIMON & JAMES gave us the story of PANCHO & LEFTIE which left JAMES with HAPPY DAYS AND LONELY NIGHTS while HEATHER gave us what for with JE NE SAIS QUOI. With an old favourite CARL sang AND THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATHILDA and ED sang THE COWBOY SONG before ALLEN commented, IT’S LIFE, DON’T YOU KNOW. Back with Pete Seeger PAUL requested MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR while PETE was having PASSING DREAMS all of which only gave BRIAN an OPPORTUNITY TO CRY. Coming to the interval there was much celebration with KATH & STAN and the MAN IN THE MOON followed by SIMON & JAMES with a TOWER OF SONG and JAMES with BLUE MOON in anticipation of Man City’s winning the Premier League. In the interval Raffle Simon won the Wine, Allen won the Box of Milk Tray and Pete won the Box of Yorkshire Tea before DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us all off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR whereas CARL openly said I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL on hearing the 4-0 win against Barcelona. It was sad, however, from ANN with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN and ED with MI MOTHER SAID SHE WISHED SHE’D NEVER HAD ME and BRIAN with I WONDER WHO‘S KISSING HER NOW. No wonder PETE went out ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER to get out of the way as ALLEN asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU and KATH & STAN shot off 10,000 MILES. Already SIMON & JAMES had the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES before JAMES gave us a Beatles special YOU CAN’T DO THAT as PAUL had trouble with BLUES IN A BOTTLE and ED gave us Les Barker’s parody of the Three Bears MI ‘USBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM. Coming to the climax of an evening of excellent quality CARL sang his own magnum opus DOWN IN THE DALE while KATH & STAN introduced the BANJO PICKIN’ GIRL and SIMON & JAMES confessed SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS. This left PETE to sing his own GOODBYE TO THE OLD, HELLO NEW and ALLEN sang his favourite GOLD WATCH BLUES which left DON, HEATHER & PAUL to remind us of a talented absentee Arthur Marshall with his FENCES. Sublime!!


APRIL - 2019

Newsletter No 522 30 April 2019

We had a very entertaining night although depleted in terms of numbers with just 11 performers and Jackie, Margaret, Otto, Brian & Ann, as audience. Luckily, we had an unexpected visit from Trouble at Mill (Bernadette & Graham) who had never been to the club before but they were a great asset to the night and source of entertainment to the regular crowd. We all enjoyed them making it into quite a fun night with their amusing songs and chat.

Paul McD opened the evening with 'Ship of Fools' by Bob Seger and Paul Riley followed with 'Big Bad Bill' with Helen (minus husband Andy who has been in hospital until last night) who sang Bob Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice.' T’other Andy sang 'Lately I've Let Things Slide by Nick Lowe and his friend Ian played an instrumental version of 'Scarborough Fair' before Chris sang Eric Clapton's ‘I Will Be There'. Then there was real Trouble at Mill when Bernadette and Graham rose to amuse us with two of their own numbers 'The Day They Altered the Aisle in Aldi's & 'The Crown Green Bowler's Prayer' in which Graham played guitar and Bernadette played some very unusual percussion with both singing and playing up a storm. Following the song about Aldi by Trouble at Mill, lots of supermarket jokes were inspired from the audience and from Graham. Trouble at Mill were from the Chorley area of Lancashire and it was noted by Brian that Graham pronounced 'Aldi' differently from us locals who pronounced it 'Orldy'!  When Paul McD next performed, he accused Helen of pronouncing Aldi as Waitrose! That caused great amusement! Peter then sang ‘Hurt’ by Trent Reznor which Johnny Cash had done many years ago before Brian played and sang a lovely 'September Song' before Carl sang one of his own song 'All at Sea' about the female sea captain and Ed finished the round with 'The Black Hill' by Dave Boulton.

Paul McD started the second round with 'Teach Your Children Well' and Paul Riley did some Jug Band Music, 'Joliet Bound' by Memphis Minnie, before Helen delighted us with 'This Old House' and Ian played an instrumental of 'Sonny' with the help of his Microwave as opposed to the Toaster, in joke! Andy then sang another Nick Lowe song - 'A Dollar Short of Happy' before for Brian it was a 'Rainy Night in Georgia'. Chris then turned to a Ralph McTell song - 'Hands of Joseph' and Carl sang another of his own songs - 'Young Annie in Blue' about a Post Girl before Bernadette and Graham were up again with another funny self-penned song 'Bar Chords' and then 'Wall of Death' by Richard Thompson. Next Peter came up to do 'Whole Life Through' which left Ed to finish the round by singing an unaccompanied 'Funeral Song'

Somewhere in the midst of the second round we had the break and the raffle when Trouble at Mill won the bottle of French red wine, Margaret won an enormous stationery set, Ann won some perfume and Otto won a cosmetics bag. Of course, he was not interested in the ladies' cosmetics contents but he did want to keep the bag so he put the contents back in the raffle for Peter to win.  Very kindly, Trouble at Mill offered one of their CD's as a raffle prize and you'll never gues who won itf - ANDY! That caused an uproar! We think he has a duplicate book of raffle tickets hidden in his guitar case!

Paul Riley started off the last round with 'Singing My Blues Away' and Helen beautifully sang - 'Stewball' while Ian played 'Here, There and Everywhere' (not literally!). Andy sang 'Desperado' by the Eagles and Paul McD played and sang 'Statesborough Blues' with everyone joining in with their own instruments for a band up. Next Chris pinched 'It's Going to be One of Those Days’ by Dave Boulton and he made an excellent job of it before Brian, helped by Paul Riley on harmonica, sang 'Ain't Got Nothing' (Willie Nelson). Building to a climax Peter sang 'Heart Like a Wheel' followed by Carl who impressed as usual with his very tricky 'Sister Josephine' (Jake Thackray) before Bernadette and Graham finished off the happy evening with a very appropriate lively version of 'Chattanooga Choo Choo.' and we all sang along. Top drawer!!


Newsletter No 521 23 April 2019
A small but well formed group of performers and audience attended on the evening of St. George’s day for was a very pleasant evening of music and song skilfully organised run by MARK and JAN. who, with a nod to something vaguely patriotic, started with OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY followed by KATH and STAN with RIDER IN THE RAIN. Next was BRIAN, playing his Faith guitar, obviously bought for the song, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME before BANJO JOHN sang the Woody Guthrie classic THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND followed by PHIL with Show of Hands’ THE COLD HEART OF ENGLAND. In cooperation with old Will Shakespeare ALLEN gave us his self-penned NEARLY SONNET 18 followed by EDDIE who played three beautiful Easter melodies, DONKEY RIDING, O SACRED HEART NOW WOUNDED and NOW THE GREEN BLADE RISETH none of which originated from ecumenical hands! For PAUL it was a NOODLING LIFE FOR ME whereas JAMES had THE KEY TO THE HIGHWAY and with SIMON, who in fine voice, it was a SALFORD SUNDAY. Rising to his feet PETE had NO REGRETS, sadly not the Piaf version despite recently spending some time in France, and coming to a salute ED followed with the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER before JAN started round 2 with THE BLACKSMITH, fortunately without his forge and anvil. ALLEN then went all the way back to 1649 for THE DIGGER SONG and EDDIE then played ALONSO MUDARRA'S FANTASIA from even earlier 1546 prompting MARK to sing THE STIXWOULD HARVEST SONG (Drink Good Ale) before PETE brought us back to more contemporary times with I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Coming to the interval BANJO JOHN started with AM I BLUE but then decided, as the chords were somewhat peculiar, that he had THE DALLAS BLUES which left BRIAN to bring it on with THE BROWN EYED HANDSOME MAN. 
After the usual bumper raffle KATH & STAN kicked off the second half with THE CENSUS and ED lamented CAROL ANN KELLY before JAMES declared he was WILLIN' and then accompanied SIMON on AMELIA EARHART'S LAST FLIGHT. Then, with an exert from G & S’s Pirate’s of Penzance, EDDIE entertained us with A POLICEMAN'S LOT IS NOT A HAPPY ONE as PAUL was busy LOOKING WHERE THE LOVE IS and KATH & STAN were getting WATERBOUND. Appropriately after Easter, PHIL gave us THE LORD OF THE DANCE while BRIAN was down at THE BLUE BAYOUX and ED avoiding a lynching after his misogynistic song WOMAN. Building to a climax after an excellent evening PAUL told us he'd BEEN HAVING SOME HARD TRAVELLING and ALLEN had been looking for THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER, which it used to be said was on every street corner, i.e., the pub before PETE celebrated the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY and MARK and JAN rounded off a fine evening RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY. Top drawer

Newsletter No 520 16 April 2019
A smaller but perfectly formed group awaited hosts KATH & STAN who set the tone by insisting we take note of the weather and KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE. Back to his roots ALLEN declared his allegiance with YE JACOBITES BY NAME which according to HELEN was THE LAST THING ON MY MIND and PAUL responded by saying he was going to STEP IT UP AND GO. Appropriately, HILARY then stepped up with some of her hilarious ONE-LINERS, it’s the way she tells ‘em you know, as PETER decided to take the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE leaving ED to DREAM with Bob Dylan, It was then back north of the border with ANN and THE SKYE BOAT SONG before KATH & STAN sang of THE FORSAKEN MERMAID and ALLEN gave us his own PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE. Despite the good weather HELEN sang I WISH IT WOULD RAIN and PAUL wanted to WADE IN THE WATER but PETER was enjoying a TEQUILA SUNSET by R. McTell. Next HILARY gave us some more of her ONE-LINERS and ED was also laughing as he walked away from the fight and became THE WINNER as did ANN at the WIDDICOMBE FAIR. Coming to the break was a bit anticlimactic as KATH & STAN felt LIKE A SONGBIRD THAT HAS FALLEN and ALLEN had got the WILD EYE and HELEN reckoned that’s WHY THEY CALL IT FALLING.
Fortunately the interval raffle was cheering as Jill won the wine, Joyce won the Easter Egg, Heather won the Box of Sweets and Kate took home the Cuddly Toy but not having won PAUL was off GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD and PETER was off to SIN CITY and ED was trying to break free ED from THE BOX. Fortunately, HILARY cheered us up with more of her ONE-LINERS and ANN was happy in the SHABBY OLD CABBIE before PETE sang I SHALL BE RELEASED. Next KATH & STAN were off to THE BAY OF BISCAY where ALLEN was able to CATCH THE WIND as HELEN wondered WHAT GOOD AM I and PAUL tucked into CORN BREAD AND BUTTER BEANS. Coming to the end of a quality evening PETER was getting the SLEEPY TIME BLUES but, still lively, ED was off with MACALPINE’S FUSILEERS and ALLEN was scoffing at the POUND A WEEK RISE and no wonder.

Newsletter No 519 9 April

A top quality evening started with a bang as PAUL McD, on top form, sang LONG MAY YOU RUN before JAN went back to 1840 for THE DANDYMAN and ALLEN went back even further for MACPHERSON’S RANT from 1700. CHRIS then brought us to the present with THE BOXER and HELEN sang SCARBOROUGH FAIR leaving PETE KING to give us his own song for his daughter YOU CAME TO ME. Then it was time for HILARY’s JOKES e.g., Why can’t a car play football? It’s only got one boot! as MARK went off to Malta and SAMMY’S BAR and then MIKE, friend and pupil of Pete King, gave us his own song HALF WORN TYRES. Next JAMES sang HOW LONG BLUES inspiring accompaniment from 3 harmonicas so no wonder RACING DEMON, aka Simon & James, hastily formed up for THERE’S A HEARTACHE FOLLOWING ME and PAUL RILEY got the GOOD MORNING BLUES which led to PAUL McD pleading HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Next JAN treated us to MOLIANNWN in Welsh and ALLEN sang his own great song about the ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE before CHRIS with THE TRAWLERMAN’S SONG and HELEN with the ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY took us to the interval.
Starting the second half PETE KING claimed I DON’T NEED YOUR LOVE before HILARY JOKES: eg I’ve been hit by a set of bongos! You’ve probably got percussion: had us all laughing as MARK sailed into view in Even JAMES was HOMEWARD BOUND before RACING DEMON sang about POCAHONTAS (Neil Young) and MIKE gave us his BELLE VUE SUE and RICHARD explained the MEANING AND PURPOSE OF LIFE. Any way up MARK & JAN were then off to JACKSON and PAUL McD asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM while ALLEN was left with the GOLD WATCH BLUES but fortunately PETE KING told us it’s alright when YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND (James Taylor). Next up HELEN was off to BOLD GERMANY while CHRIS played and sang AUTUMN LEAVES but for some reason MIKE ad the PET CORNER BLUES. Luckily RACING DEMON gave us some TUPELO HONEY before RICHARD claimed THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’ to which PAUL RILEY concluded YOU GOTTA MOVE as all headed for the door until next week comes around.

Newsletter No 518 2 April 2019

At 8.00 o’clock PAUL RILEY was anticipating the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL but, eager to get started, for KATH & STAN it was HEAVEN’S A BAR before PETE saw the funny side with SEVERAL PUNS. EDDIE declared MICHELLE was his belle but PAUL McD admired the little RED ROOSTER but HELEN there was NOTHING BUT TIME (Tom Paxton). Host KAMRAN then came up with TRIAD before ANN accompanied by Eddie sang about DIE LORELAI and ED sang TO WELCOME PADDY HOME. A great truism from SIMON told us THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR before two tunes from STAN & KATH were BRIGHTON CAMP and SOLDIERS JOY and the equally serious DARK AS A DUNGEON came from PAUL RILEY. With his nice new concert guitar EDDIE them met with ELEANOR RIGBY and certainly HELEN thought the BLUES RUN THE GAME before PETE delivered more PUNNAGE and PAUL McD took us to STATESBORO with some more BLUES. In good form ANN thought of spring and THE SWEET NIGHTINGALE but for KAMRAN it was off to ST JAMES INFIRMARY with ED and the MATCHSTALK MEN and SIMON and the BAR ROOM GIRLS as the interval took over.

In the Raffle Patricia won the Bunch of Flowers, Eddie won the CD, Ann took home the Bottle of Wine and Heather K won the Chocolates before SIMON & KAMRAN opened the second half with HURT followed by EDDIE with MOONSHADOW and PAUL RILEY who was on THE MOBILE LINE. Another favourite from ANN was THE FOLK SINGER before KATH & STAN took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and followed it with THE CHEROKEE SHUFFLE. Next HELEN guarded the BARRICADES OF HEAVEN (Jackson Brown) to which PETE replied with PUNISHMENT and PAUL McD commented WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SATURDAY NIGHT. From the writings of Dave Boulton ED demanded ROUGH JUSTICE as EDDIE scooted off round the SAN FRANCISCO BAY blues and PAUL R preferred ROLLIN’ IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS and STAN & KATH went into the SLEEPY DESERT. Giving us another laugh PETE came up with EVEN MORE PUNS before HELEN set off for home singing ALL OF THE SONGS WERE ROAD SONGS (Zoe Mulford) followed by SIMON and THE WEREWOLF and ED with THE GAMBLER to end a very musical night.

MARCH - 2019

Newsletter No 517 26 March 2019

Kicking off on time DON & HEATHER first took us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE where, with his super new concert guitar, EDDIE was all wistful AS TIME GOES BY and MARK & JAN needed us at the DIMMING OF THE DAY. Next BEN sang his own tribute to BELINDA whereas PETER gave us his latest Spoonerisms in FLUTTERBY’S while PAUL McD had time to shine with THE ARC and KATH & STAN were done and pawned with SHAKE SUGAREE. With the sweeter side of Iris Dement ED came up with CHILDHOOD MEMORIES and also for ALLEN it ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO leaving PAUL RILEY to invite us to WALK RIGHT IN before ANN sang old favourite VAIR ME ORO VAN O. With his own insightful composition CARL sang about a pub, THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, while SIMON was down Steve Earl’s LOW HIGHWAY before JAMES was out in the EARLY MORNING RAIN (Gordon Lightfoot). With a bit of humour and shrewd observation HEATHER gave us SPOT OF THE ANTARTIC by Les Barker before joining forces with DON & PAUL for NO HOPERS, JOKERS & ROGUES followed by MARK’s recorder at the DINGLE REGATTA. In tough times PAUL McD told us NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT while in his own song BEN was definitely not DUM as he announced he was TWEEDLE DEE.
There was a bumper interval raffle that saw James win the Wine, Heather K win the Easter Egg, Eddie win the Body Lotion, Jackie win the Roses, Carl win the Belgian Chocolate and Ben win the Mint Creams before ED summed up the shambolic times with the very evasive POLITICIAN’S SONG. Straightforwardly JAN took us off to the VERDANT BRAES OF SKREE to be joined by PETER with MORE FLUTTERBY’S and CARL with the BALLAD OF BILLY KERSHAW while for ALLEN it was a case of THE WAR DRAGS ON. Next PAUL RILEY brought us the BALLAD OF SAMMY’S BAR and EDDIE played O’CAROLAN’S DRAUGHT before KATH & STAN brought us down on a MONDAY MORNING and SIMON was equally downbeat with SEE HOW I MISS YOU but clearly JAMES was a MAN IN LOVE, the 1st track on the Money & Cigarettes Album by Eric Clapton et al. Rising to the climax of an excellent evening PAUL McD encouraged us to DRIFT AWAY and CARL set us singing with COAL TOWN DAYS which DON, HEATHER & PAUL continued with the DIAMANTINA DROVER. What could be better?

Newsletter No 516 19 March 2019
In these times of heightened expectancy DON & HEATHER went back to riding the WESTERN RANGE and BANJO JOHN decided ANYTHING GOES but PAUL RILEY said as long as you DON’T LET THE RAIN COME DOWN and ED commented as long as you don’t need THE FLUSHERS to come in. Meanwhile, ALLEN went off with JOSIE (Donovan) whereas JOHN REED found himself at THE BURNING GATES OF HELL (his own song https://johnreed.bandcamp.com/track/the-burning-gates-of-hell-remix) and CARL was NEARER TO NETTLES (J Lowe). With an old favourite JOHN STEEDMAN was off down COUNTRY ROADS while DON & HEATHER regretted having washed their hands in MUDDY WATER and BANJO JOHN found himself in a tricky romantic situation with JOSHUA, JOSHUA. In dire straits PAUL RILEY was soaking in HEY, RAIN and there was more strife when HEATHER exclaimed I CAN’T FIND MY CAMOUFLAGE NET and ALLEN was having some grief with Police in ERIN GO BRAGH. With another of his own, OCEAN, JOHN REED then inspired CARL to sing his own great song, MAGICAL SKY, and JOHN STEEDMAN to perform his own hilarious send-up of 60’s Pop music, SWAY. Returning to sanity ED took us of to Delabole in Cornwall and the BLACKLEG MINER before the interval Raffle. This saw Heather K win the Bottle of Red Wine, Violet win the Tin of Chocolates, Jill win the Perfume Diffuser, Kate win the Pete King CD and Allen win the Sheridan Smith CD before DON & HEATHER proclaimed these were RARE OULD TIMES and RICHARD said there’s lots of things I’ll miss WHEN I’M GONE so I better do them while I’m here. However, PAUL was a bit mournful with Cyril Tawney ON A MONDAY MORNING but HELEN sang that life SUITS ME WELL whereas ALLEN challenged WHAT’S IT TO YOU and JOHN REED was up in arms about the LAND PIRATES stealing from farmers. With an emotion everyone shared CARL said HERE’S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY before ED gave us the parody TIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN and JOHN STEEDMAN sang the bittersweet PARADISE by John Prine. Somewhat topically RICHARD sang his own parody the EMPIRE STATE OF CONFUSION before DON & HEATHER started to conclude a fine evening with ROLLING HOME followed by RICHARD with his song about the DIAMOND ROSE climaxed by ED’s BIG BAND leading us all in ALL THE GOOD TIMES. Magic!

Newsletter No 515 12 March

Janice & Mick aka GRASSROOTS hosted St Patrick’s week starting off a most un-ORDINARY DAY as PAUL went off DOWN BY THE LAGANSIDE (Tommy Sands) and KATH & STAN who were fellow WAYFARING STRANGER(s). There was something in the water as PETE ROBERTS sang his own exquisite LOVE SONG leaving ALLEN to tell us TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING and ANN to chase after the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN. Then with a cautionary tale HEATHER warned of how GUIDE CATS FOR THE BLIND could be a bit tricky before DON & HEATHER went back on theme with the GALWAY GIRL which made PETER BRIDGE want to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS and reminded PAUL McD of the SUMMER OF ’69. It made JAMES think more of SWEET LORRAINE and SIMON to come up with a TOWER OF SONG which for GRASSROOTS was obviously MEANT TO BE. With two tunes on whistle and violin KATH & STAN came up with WATER OF TYNE & SIR JOHN FENWICK followed by CLAIRE and ROSA’S LOVELY DAUGHTERS and three tunes on banjo from PAUL RILEY which were THE BOYS OF WEXFORD, THE SOUTH WIND and THE SWEETS OF MAY. As we reached the interval PETE ROBERTS definitely knew about BALBRIGGAN FAIR because he wrote it and MIKE COSGRAVE always sings THE TOWN I LOVED SO WELL at this time of year before PAUL McD reminded us of the weather around the corner with HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN.
A bumper interval Raffle saw Paul McD take 1st prize with the Box of Biscuits and selection of Chutneys, Heather K won the Bottle of Irish Cream, Pete won the Bottle of Guinness and Ann won the Easter Egg before GRASSROOTS kicked off the second half with SILVER SCREEN. Next ALLEN gave us THE WORKER’S SONG which made PETER BRIDGE think of the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and SIMON think of THE STREETS OF BAKERFIELD. For JAMES the old favourite HANDYMAN came to mind before MIKE & CLAIRE went back on theme with FOLLOW THE HERON HOME followed by MICK RYAN’S LAMENT which left DON & HEATHER to celebrate the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Heading for a big finish to the evening KATH & STAN went off to OWENSBORO before GRASSROOTS said it was QUITTING TIME as PAUL RILEY introduced the BROWN EYED GIRL and PAUL McD had us rocking and rolling into the street with ME AND BOBBY McGEE. Excellent all-round!

Newsletter No 514 5 March 2019

This we welcomed back MARK & JAN from OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY while ALLEN had news of a POUND A WEEK RISE with BANJO JOHN being UP A LAZY RIVER and PETE out on the STREETS OF LONDON. Going all folkie PAUL McD treated us to PEGGY GORDON and ED sang the LIVERPOOL LULLABY leaving ANDY to OLD MAN RIVER. Next IAN had an updated version of his SKYLARK and PAUL RILEY sang GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU off Dylan’s 28th Studio Album. Light relief was then provided by HILARY with some of her hilarious ONE-LINERS followed by HEATHER with AMNESIA by Les Barker. Coming back to the music DON & HEATHER gave us a jazzy version of MACK THE KNIFE whereas SIMON was all realism with TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD so no wonder JAMES sang DON’T THINK TWICE. Than we got a truly memorable rendition of HEARTBREAK HOTEL by EDDIE before BANJO JOHN returned with GEORGIA ON MY MIND and JAN reminded us we were close to St David’s Day by saying We’ll give Praise with MOLIANNWN. Having a good time ANDY sang what a day for a DAYDREAM and MARK played DARK ISLAND on the recorder. Rising to the interval ALLEN sang his nearly a love song NEARLY SONNET 18 and ED gave us JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO’s version of it before, for the love of trains, PAUL RILEY sang K.C. MOAN about the one from Kansas City.
In the interval raffle Vic won the Bottle of Red Wine, Andy won the Box of Chocolates and kindly handed them round and round and round, Chris won the Chocolate Orange, Martin won the Chocolate Mints, Hilary won the Wash Bag & Bayliss Soaps leaving Allen to take home the Pancakes and Maple Syrup. Finally 2 tickets to Loreena McKennett at the Bridgewater Hall, kindly donated by Richard in Ripon, were taken up by Kate and Paul for Monday Night. A truly star prize.
No wonder PAUL McD chose to start the second half with WONDERFUL TONIGHT but for IAN it was a case of BABY’S COMING HOME whereas DON & HEATHER had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL. Fortunately it was all good for PETE who sang I SHALL BE RELEASED and EDDIE who was off with SALLY but JAMES was off TRAVELLING LIGHT following SIMON down to GREENVILLE. We then needed some more of HILARY’s ONE-LINERS before ED served up some GREASY GRIT GRAVY and GIZZARD GREENS. No wonder ALLEN went back in history in bidding FAREWELL TO SICILY and PAUL McD sang GOODNIGHT IRENE before IAN played THE NEARNESS OF YOU. Coming to the end of great evening DON & HEATHER had us singing RAMBLING BOY and PAUL RILEY did the same with LAST THING ON MY MIND leaving MARK & JAN to close the show with WE’LL HUNT HIM DOWN by Jez Lowe to end on a high. Very satisfying!


Newsletter No 513 26 February 2019

On a night pre-celebrating St David’s Day with Home Made Welsh Cakes, Daffodils and Leeks KATH & STAN opened with BANJO PICKING GIRL and DON & HEATHER followed with a dubious connection to theme LITTLE POT STOVE, a whaling song. For ALLEN it was all about PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE whereas PAUL McD called for WHEELS to take this boy away and PAT & CHRIS, aka PATCH, boarded the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. In a roundabout way HELEN went for the CIRCLE GAME by Joni Mitchell and PAUL went off to MY SWEET CAROLINA where ED came across RAMONA (Bob Dylan). With a song of migration SIMON & JAMES asked HOW DO YOU KEEP ON MOVING followed by JAMES who was SINGING THE BLUES before HEATHER gave the Polar Bear’s side of the Titanic Tragedy by asking HAVE YOU ANY NEWS OF THE ICEBERG? For PETE it was a question of LEAVING LONDON and for RAY it was back to CALEDONIA before CLAIRE gave us food for thought with a great rendition of ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG. Another sorry tale came from KATH & STAN with the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY and from DON & HEATHER with a story from New Zealand, FAREWELL TO THE GOLD. Rising to the interval ALLEN sang his own WILD EYE before PAUL McD had us all singing away to ALBERTA and RICHARD related his own STUFF.
In the interval Raffle Vic won the Bottle of Wine, Helen won the Box of Chocolates, Chris won the Selection of Jams and Paul won the Leeks before PATCH opened the second half with their own THIS MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN while HELEN had a LONG RIDE HOME and PAUL was off with SPENCER THE ROVER. In great contrast ED had a tough time with traffic ON MY WAY TO WORK while JAMES came up with tales of Yankee Power in SENOR but more simply SIMON asked WHY DON’T YOU TRY ME. With the current good weather PETE was thinking SUNSETS but RAY couldn’t forget the cold with his WINTER SONG leaving KATH & STAN to consider relationships in DINK’S SONG. Coming to a climax DON & HEATHER took us ACROSS THE BORDERLINE while ALLEN took us to a skirmish in Bonnie Scotland with ERIN GO BRAGH and RICHARD had his own take on a FORGETFUL HEART before PAUL had us all LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY as another great evening came to a close. Magic!

Newsletter No 512 19 February 2019

With three dozen in the audience host PAUL RILEY kicked off slowly with TWO DOLLAR BILL but was quickly raised up by BANJO JOHN with SUCH A NIGHT and co-host PAUL McD with EIGHTEEN YELLOW ROSES. This set up BEN for his latest creation BELINDA and ERIC also raised the ante saying he was on THREE NIGHTS AND SUNDAY DOUBLE TIME before PHIL sang about ARMADAS which made HEATHER wonder about DEJA VUE with a philosophical Les Barker poem. Keeping up with the times DON & HEATHER sang the MOVING ON SONG as PETE chased the GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY and ED was off to the WHIP JAMBOREE. Then it was the perfect time for HILARY and some excellent ONE-LINERS before EDDIE undressed his cello for the very sad GREEN EYE OF THE LITTLE YELLOW GOD and ANN kept the mood with THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN. In fine instrumental fettle IAN played SEPTEMBER SONG and with his own great song CARL sang YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before PETER BRIDGE had us shantying with NEW YORK GIRLS. With some rock-a-billy JAMES was out in his RED CADILLAC AND BLACK MOUSTACHE and BANJO JOHN went off down the RED RIVER VALLEY.
In the interval a bumper raffle saw Margaret win the Tin of Roses Chocolates, Eddie win the Bottle of Red Wine, Ann win the Litre of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Andy win the Tin of Biscuits and Chris win the Body Lotion before PAUL McD insisted you TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL. On a serious note BEN sang about GRAVE CLOTHES and PHIL played an instrumental version of MATILDA by Al Stewart before PETE brought us a SUNNY AFTERNOON so no wonder ERIC found himself THREE DRUNKEN MAIDENS from the Isle of Wight. Another instrumental of AUTUMN LEAVES was then played by IAN before ED wanted to get back to LAKE CHARLES. Then EDDIE mused, you were ALWAYS ON MY MIND and luckily HILARY was on hand with some more cracking ONE-LINERS before ANDY sang HUMAN by the Killers. Changing direction DON & HEATHER got everyone singing with their own DANCES FOR DOLLARS before CARL sang FATHER’S SONG and JAMES had had us all rocking to THE GLORY OF LOVE. With a big finish in mind PETER reckoned THE PARTY IS OVER but ERIC sang WE’LL RANT AND WE’LL ROAR a bit more with the sea shanty and ED brought in the fastest librarian in the West in ERNIE RIDES AGAIN before Paul had us all LEAVING ON A JET PLANE at the end of a top night. Till next week for more Sale Magic!!

Newsletter No 511 12 February 2019

A terrific evening of great quality transpired as much talent crossed the threshold to be organised by KAMRAN and PETE the latter kicking off with Dylan’s BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. Back with us BANJO JOHN straight way took us back in time for a James Cagney hit, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, followed by ANDY who was LATE TO THE PARTY (Katie Musgrave) and BRIAN who was MAKIN’ WHOOPEE. Paying attention to the Valentine’s theme JAN TAYLOR was down by the seaside with LAWR AR LAN Y MOR and STEVE sang LITTLE BIRD before SIMON told us of the WEAPON OF PRAYER accompanied by Brian. With his own song JOHN insisted on being positive with SUPERMAN whereas HEATHER recognised possible pitfalls in life with Les Barker’s DACHSHUNDS while IAN went back to romance with THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU. Stepping up KAMRAN then had us tooting like saxophones down BAKER STREET as MARK turned to Dylan and LAY, LADY, LAY and CARL went back to WWll for Harvey Andrews’ HANS. Also going back in time PAUL turned to Donovan’s COLOURS and KATH & STAN went round and round with Alan Bell’s WINDMILLS. Coming up to the interval ED touched on love in all its forms in GEORGINA BAILEY whereas DON & HEATHER enthused YOU SAY IT BEST WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL before BANJO JOHN bade us farewell waiting for his beau while LEANING ON A LAMP POST.

The Valentine’s Raffle saw the Chocolates won by Heather K, the Roses won by Paul to take home for wife Jen, the Pink wine won by Brian and the Romantic CD won by Mark by PETE shouted up the BIG YELLOW TAXI. No wonder BRIAN mused, I WONDER WHO’S KISSING HER NOW while for the broken hearted ANDY sang there is always the HANDY MAN but as JOHN sang, not if they are wearing a LONG BLACK VEIL. Off theme JAN & MARK then went off RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY THROUGH THE CORN before IAN played SKYLARK in answer to a request by his fans leaving ED to return to reality with THE FLY. With the evening rising to a climax KATH & STAN played two tunes TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING before leading us for BRIGHT MORNING STARS which set up KAMRAN for his excellent rendition of DELIA and for CARL who dug deep for I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR. The big finish was led by STEVE and WALTZ OF THE ANGELS followed by PAUL with WILD ABOUT MY LOVING before THREE SPIRITS (Paul, Don & Heather) closed in on the ROSEVILLE FAIR before heading down south with WAGON WHEEL. A top night!! 

Newsletter No 510 5 February 2019
A great party night started well with PAUL inviting everyone to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE and ALLEN wanted TO TRY FOR THE SUN before CHRIS cried it’s more than my JOBSWORTH. No wonder PETE MINERS came out with some JOKES as EDDIE undressed his cello for a quick KENTUCKY WALTZ while down to earth HELEN exclaimed I WISH IT WOULD RAIN. Time then for HILARY and some more ONE-LINERS before RICHARD chilled with WINTER SONG and ED sang SILVER TONGUED DEVIL by Chris Christopherson. On his uppers PETE ROBERTS was DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL as CARL sang MOTHER’S DAY by Jez Lowe and KATH & STAN insisted we KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE. Inspired by Mary Black ANN sang SONNY before CLAIRE RIGBY sang ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG by Anthony John Clarke and DON & HEATHER sang SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS by John Prine. This left HEATHER to go solo with COSMO, the fairly accurate knife thrower by Les Barker and CARL to sing his latest revision of his song DOWN IN A DALE. Reaching a climax RAY on a return visit sang THE TOWN THAT I LOVE SO WELL before HELEN erected the BARRACADES OF HEAVEN before PAUL went off on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL.
This heralded an excellent buffet with superb double fried chips to celebrate Don’s Birthday followed by a Champagne Raffle before DON & HEATHER kicked off again with WHEN SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES followed by EDDIE with WHEN I’M CLEANING WINDOWS somewhat downsized with his Ukulele. On a serious note CHRIS was all FIRE AND RAIN with James Taylor and RAY came back on WINGS by Brian Bedford before HILARY had us smiling at her ONE LINERS. To ALLEN it was LIFE, DON’T YOU KNOW whereas RICHARD reckoned THERE’S A PLACE FOR US in the West Side Story which left us with PETE MINERS and his JOKES. With his own song PETE ROBERTS faced a STORM RISING before CLAIRE was traditional with BETSY BELL and ED turned to Les Barker for MY HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN HIM, his parody of Goldilocks and the three bears. Ending a top night KATH & STAN claimed WE COULD FLY while CARL went into a rant about THE BRIGADIER by Jake Thackray before ED, PAUL, DON & HEATHER banded up to tell us ALL THE GOOD TIMES were past and gone. Luckily we all left on a high!!

JANUARY - 2019

Newsletter No 509 29 January 2019

Weather lowered the numbers but raised the standards as MARK & JAN started with Rob White’s favourite, LOVE AND HAPPINESS, followed by ED with THE PILGRIM and PETER BRIDGE with THE WEEPING WILLOW blues. PETE ROBERTS cheered us with SHINE WHEN IT SHINES as IAN skipped off to SCARBOROUGH FAIR before BEN sang his latest song, GRAVE GOODS. Next DON & HEATHER were off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR before HEATHER discovered that Les Barker’s BOOMERANG always comes back just like ANDY who announced I WILL BE HERE IN THE MORNING. This brought ALLEN to the front with a great version of YE JACOBITES before SIMON exclaimed, SINCE I MET YOU BABY, and JAMES cried, it’s chucking BUCKETS OF RAIN. Marking the upcoming World Ukulele Day PAUL appropriately sang some JUG BAND MUSIC while JAN & MARK went off to ROTTERDAM and ALLEN told how easy it was to find THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER. Coming to the interval ANDY led the way with GENESIS HALL whereas BEN was away to CALIFORNIA and MARK indulged himself with ALBATROSS.
After a bumper raffle PETER BRIDGE pleaded LET ME DOWN EASY before ED recalled the story of JOCK McCREE THE MIGHTY HAGGIS HUNTER and PETE ROBERTS told us what MADAME WHISKY could do to you. Then again with his ukulele PAUL had us singing to an old time medley starting with AIN’T SHE SWEET before DON & HEATHER forecasted YOU WILL BE THE LIGHT as IAN was HALF WAY HOME. Then returning as Racing Demon SIMON sang a song named PROPINQUITY, the only word that doesn’t appear in the song, which left JAMES somewhat UP THE LAZY RIVER and BEN lounging in SAMMY’S BAR. Having learned the tongue twisting chorus ED then gave us THE POLITICIAN’S SONG and PETER BRIDGE was off to ABILENE while undaunted IAN revelled in THE NEARNESS OF YOU. With his final reminder PAUL came up with UKULELE BLUES and PETE ROBERTS sang TONIGHT I’LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU before ANDY told us was off to CALEDONIA and SIMON admitted he was DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS AGAIN. With a McCartney special JAMES sang TILL THERE WAS YOU and ALLEN sang his own THE ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE before DON, HEATHER and PAUL led the big finish with RED ROSE CAFE followed by MARK & JAN with SQUEEZEBOX. Best quality no doubt.

Newsletter No 508 22 January 2019
After the snow fall DON & HEATHER thought it was definitely not PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE as PETE ROBERTS brought his FRIENDS to the party and ALLEN turned up with Robbie Burns’ NOW WESTLIN WINDS. KATH & STAN were WATER BOUND before PETE MINERS told us some EDUCATION GAGS and HILARY gave us some of her ONE-LINERS leaving BEN to become serious with his own MANCHESTER TREE about the bombing atrocity. JAN then sang the lovely FOLLOW THE HERON HOME and MARK celebrated fisherman’s heaven in FIDDLER’S GREEN before HEATHER continued her Les Barker theme with REG THE LONELY GLOW WORM. Going Dylan PAUL McD reckoned SHE BELONGS TO ME before ED related the GRESFORD DISASTER and PETE ROBERTS gave us his REFLECTIONS OF THE RING OF KERRY. This was all BEFORE THEY CLOSED THE MINSTREL SHOW according to KATH & STAN and PETE MINERS who followed with some FOOD GAGS and BEN who was up with the Rigs down with the Jigs in LONDON TOWN. Then it was ALLEN with Mick Softley’s GOLD WATCH BLUES before JAN reminded us of the new year with THE JANUARY MAN followed by MARK and the LITTLE RED ROOSTER. A good laugh with ED and the FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY IN THE WEST and HILARY with more ONE-LINERS left PAUL McD to ask us to NOT FADE AWAY before the break.
In the interval raffle Kath & Stan won the Bottle of Red Wine, Dave won the Box of Biscuits, Jackie won the Calendar and Heather Kenyon won the Six Pack which left DON & HEATHER to start on the SPANISH BURGUNDY. With a Chris While & Julie Matthews special HELEN gave us QUEST leaving BEN to reflect on MY MORPHINE by Gillian Welch and PETE ROBERTS to go ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER with Bob Dylan. PETE MINERS then had more GRAMMAR GAGS but ALLEN went to his own NEARLY SONNET 18 whereas PAUL McD went for that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. Next KATH & STAN were after a BANJO PICKING GIRL while MARK & JAN admitted I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and ED insisted we TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT. With borrowed guitar HELEN was off in the EARLY MORNING RAIN while DON & HEATHER admitted I MAY NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS and PETE ROBERTS confessed to a lot of MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES. Anyway MARK & JAN insisted IT’S ALRIGHT in the end and ALLEN toughed it out with ERIN GO BRAGH before DON & HEATHER said we should lay down the borrowed guitar after singing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to end a top night with as many listeners as performers.

Newsletter No 507 15 January 2019
A quality night was started by hosts GRASSROOTS with THESE HANDS followed by PAUL RILEY with WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL and BRIAN with LOVING YOU MAKES ME A BETTER MAN. Coming next PETES the king sang his own BONNIE OLD UP NORTH followed by PHIL with MAN OF THE WORLD and ED, on a visit to see the Queen, with MONDAY ‘ER DOES ALL ‘ER WESHING. The welcome return of DAVID meant we heard his poem about war, THE BOX, before for JAMES, THINGS HAVE CHANGED whilst as Racing Demon, with SIMON, it was a TOWER OF SONG. In romantic mood PETE ROBERTS told us MY LADY’S A WILD FLYING DOVE before HILARY gave us of her own special HILARITY and PAUL McD asked HAVE YOU SEEN THE RAIN? Another welcome guest MIKE COSGRAVE sang UNICORNS followed by CLAIRE RIGBY with FOLLOW THE HERON HOME and RICHARD GRAY with STUFF THAT WORKS. Completing the round CARL treated us to THE BIG FEAR by Jez Lowe leaving GRASSROOTS to sing Mick’s latest song MEANT TO BE. This propelled BRIAN forward ALL THE WAY TO THE RIVER and PAUL RILEY to demand TAKE AWAY THESE CHAINS FROM ME before PHIL played TWO TUNES HORIZONS and STUDY No 10. With his stalking song ED came up with IT’S ME AGAIN MARGARET before PETE ROBERTS sang GOODBYE TO THE OLD and PAUL McD sang SO SAD TO WATCH GOOD LOVE GO BAD. Next PETE’S the king told us HERE’S GOOD NEWS FOR THE LADIES (jokes) and JAMES admitted I SHIMMY LIKE MY SISTER KATE before SIMON joined him for some TUPELO HONEY. Also doubling up CLAIRE was joined by MIKE for NIGHT OWL who remained solo for PAT RAINEY before HILARY gave us some more ONE-LINERS. Reaching a climax CARL started with THANKSGIVING followed by RICHARD with MILLIONAIRE and GRASSROOTS who topped the lot with DIAMONDS AND RUST to end a fun night.

Newsletter No 506 8 January 2019
A top night brilliantly stewarded by KATH & STAN who opened with THE MAN IN THE MOON followed by BANJO JOHN with CARELESS LOVE and ALLEN with his excellent version of McPHERSON’S RANT. Next GRASSROOTS sang its THE WAY THAT I FEEL and for EDDY YOU WERE ALWAYS ON MY MIND whereas for PAUL it was CORRINA, CORRINA on his mind before JAN sang the lovely AR LAN Y MOR and MARK took us to Malta and SAMMY’S BAR. Next HELEN was insightful with FOR A DANCER but ROD had ALREADY GONE when PETE the king told us SOME of his RESOLUTIONS for 2019. For PETE ROBERTS it was just A COUPLE MORE YEARS by Dr Hook as SIMON & JAMES went with PANCHO AND LEFTIE followed by JAMES with ELEANOR RIGBY and PAUL McD with IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH. However, CARL was heard SINGING THE AGES DOWN and ANDY sang WE’RE GOING TO THE SALES where ED sang I BOUGHT YOU THIS POINCETTIA. Then CLAIRE confessed she was THE NIGHT OWL and MARK played an AIR & GIGUE by John Dowland before BANJO JOHN rocked up with ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN leaving GRASSROOTS to take us to the interval with HE THINKS HE’LL KEEP HER.
In the raffle the TEA was won by KEN. The WINE by ANDY, the DATES by CHRIS and an ART BOOK by JACKIE before KATH & STAN opened the second half with BEAUTIFUL. Then ALLEN followed with WHAT’S IT TO YOU and EDDIE played the WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE before PAUL RILEY asked WHERE IS THE LOVE. There is always a lot in Sale Folk Club as MARK & JAN said YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE and HELEN told of the ELFIN KNIGHT but still ROD cried PLEASE DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD. No confusion with PETE the king and his REVERSES of PETE ROBERTS and his DEPORTEES or SIMON & JAMES in THE STREETS OF BIKERSFIELD before JAMES came back with FOREVER YOUNG. Building to a climax PAUL McD sang the STATESBOROUGH BLUES and ANDY was the JANUARY MAN before ED was the devil in THE WIDOW’S MOOR. This left CLAIRE with THE SWIMMING SONG and PAUL RILEY to signal leaving time with STEP IT UP AND GO to end a great night.



Newsletter No 505 18 December 2018

A superb evening of reflection was started by PAUL McD who said I NEED YOU NOW while ED was WAITING FOR A TRAIN whereas ANDY was seeking guidance from the STAR OF BETHLEHEM. Meanwhile peter had the MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES and IAN had GEORGIA ON MY MIND while CARL was simply LOOKING FOR THE SUN, his own song. In seasonal mood STEVE gave us a Christmas Medley of JINGLE BELLS & SILENT NIGHT with his Autoharp to which PHIL replied I TALK TO THE WIND and HEATHER performed Les Barker’s story WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND. On the move DON & HEATHER then set of on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and PAUL RILEY went off to GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN leaving PAUL McD to ask whatever happened to SATURDAY NIGHT. Going back in time ED sang a song about AL BOWLLY whereas ANDY was up to date with SOMEONE TO RELY ON by Lily Allen before PETE replied with ST PAUL’S SONG and IAN mentioned CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE. Also rising to the occasion CARL performed his own excellent song YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE about a post person and STEVE contributed A CHILD IS BORN and PHIL played two tunes HORIZONS and JESU JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING and DON & HEATHER took us off to a WINTER WONDERLAND.
In the Big Raffle Kate won the Wine, Andy won the Mince Pies, Margaret won the Shower Gel and Steve won the Man Utd Calendar before PAUL opened the second half with a MORNING TOWN RIDE and late arrival RICHARD GRAY sang his own MAGNIFICAT. On a more personal level ED sang about ABSENT FRIENDS while PAUL McD commented HE THINKS HE’LL KEEP HER before ANDY went all heavy with Cohen’s HALLELUJAH and PETE proclaimed I SHALL BE RELEASED. A bit of rose tinted spectacles next as IAN played LA VIE EN ROSE and STEVE sang WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN and PHIL sang THE OUTLAW by Larry Norman. DON & HEATHER then needed us at the DIMMING OF THE DAY which RICHARD said was a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE followed by his patois Y’ALRIGHT MAN. Rising to a climax ANDY gave us some PERSUASION and IAN offered FIELDS OF GOLD before PAUL RILEY & PAUL McD finally delivered the frequently threatened WHITE CHRISTMAS with RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER in attendance. Season’s Greetings to everyone and here’s to a great 2019.

Newsletter No 504 11 December 2018
With Ed & Sue in charge BANJO JOHN lit the fuse with WHEN YOU WORE A TULIP as PETE ROBERTS set sail with THE AIRPORT SONG and PAUL RILEY hit the mark with MARY’S BOY CHILD. Surrealistically ED said it was a SPACEMAN CAME TRAVELLING to which CARL responded that’s FURTHER out and ROB just said I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL. With his own song PETE’S THE KING had us participating in SANTA’S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE and SIMON got heavy with SHE THINKS I STILL CARE before JAMES got all jazzy with SWEET LORRAINE. All was going swimmingly so it was an even bigger surprise when JAN & MARK came in fully dressed in pantomime gear and knocked us out as the GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY. A brilliant contribution Jan & Mark!! Coming back to earth DON & HEATHER then took us WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND and HEATHER herself stayed on with Les Barker’s humorous tribute to TURKEYS before WILF seriously sang THE WAY LIFE’S MEANT TO BE by ELO. Going back to his roots ALLEN sang the traditional ERIN GO BRAGH (Ireland Forever), ARTHUR went back to NATURE BOY and KATH & STAN went Deep South for SHAKE SUGAREE. Late comer MARIAN then sang the traditional WEE TOTUM FOGG followed by PAUL McD who came up with CORRINA, CORRINA before JOHN CONDY celebrated his birthday with the FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK which left BANJO JOHN to take us to the interval with YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF LOVE (Louis Armstrong).
With all the money going to Children in Need the bumper raffle saw Pete Roberts win the Wine, Pete’s the king win the Chinese Calendar, Allen win the Lynx Gift Set, Kate win the oven Glove, Kate also win the Special Christmas Cards, Paul Riley win the Tin of Quality Street, Gillian win the Cuddly Toy and Ed win the Sound Spa Rejuvenate. ED then stayed on his feet to tell the birthday boy YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD AS THE WOMAN YOU FEEL. On the canal ROB was aboard the GOOD SHIP KALIBAR and CARL commented IT’S A CHAMPION LIFE and PAUL Mc D issued a general invitation to SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME and a night UNDER THE BOARDWALK. Back to normal JAN & MARK next rocked us to LITTLE RED ROOSTER whereas more gently ARTHUR pleaded TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART before MARIAN related the tale of the MAID AND THE (talking) MAGPIE. Again with songs of the season PAUL RILEY led us in a Carol Medley starting with GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN to which PETE ROBERTS replied that’s YOUR SONG and ALLEN told us to take no notice of fashion PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE. Back on message WILF was IN MY LIGHTHOUSE while SIMON was with the tragic AMELIA EARHART which left JAMES in the BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY and JOHN CONDY saying, honestly, I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS. Oh no he doesn’t I hear you say, but having reached the end of the party DON, HEATHER & PAUL set out to rock us like a WAGON WHEEL etc to end a terrific night!!

Newsletter No 503 4 December 2018

As we filled up hosts MARK & JAN were setting off on the BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND with KATH & STAN waving them THE LAST GOODBYE and ALLEN empathising with oppressed countries in his own song O BOSNIA. Moving forward in time PAUL McD came up with HEY NOW as ED began to splutter with the BRONCHIAL DILATOR BLUES leaving voiceless PHIL to play us 3 GUITAR TUNES. It was all too tame for ANDY who yearned for the WALL OF DEATH but for PETE ROBERTS it was a question of his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH before HILARY had us laughing with her ONE-LINERS and EDDIE had us WALKING IN THE AIR. For IAN it was back in autumn with SEPTEMBER SONG but for PETER BRIDGE it was winter OUT OF THE SNOW as Pete’s friend MATT trudged through a DIRTY OLD TOWN. Next HEATHER introduced us to Les Barker’s DOG NAMED STAY before together DON & HEATHER got the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES and ANN warned mariners on the Rhine with her VAIR ME ORO VAN O. With an amusing parody PETES THE KING reckoned WE TILT THIS KITTY so fortunately PAUL RILEY could claim I’VE BEEN ALL OVER THE WORLD and SIMON asked HOW CAN YOU KEEP ON MOVING. Before the interval JAMES realised it was a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE that tonight we were presenting MIND THE STEP an Appalachian Dance Group who danced to KITCHEN CLOVERLEAF followed by MEDICINE MAN.
In the interval Raffle Vic won the Bottle of Red Wine, Simon won the Chocolates, Kath & Stan won the Box of Biscuits, Ann won the Shower Gel, Kate won the Santa Apron and Paul won the Beer Journal before PETE ROBERTS shouted out, HEY JOE. Thinking of the homeless PETER BRIDGE turned to the STREETS OF LONDON and KATH & STAN complained of LAZY JOHN before PHIL, still voiceless played the CARCASSI STUDY IN A and very nice too. Somehow this prompted ALLEN to go back to his Scout days for SHE SAT ON A HAMMOCK AND PLAYED HER GUITAR and PETES THE KING to recall hearing ARCHIE McPHERSON reporting all the football matches in Scotland. Also going for the solo guitar PAUL McD had the DELTA BLUES and IAN was crossing MOON RIVER before HILARY got us all giggling again at her ONE LINERS. Before Pumpkin time MIND THE STEP returned one last time for JESSE JAMES as ANDY went DOWN ALONG THE DIXIE LINE and SIMON was out with a JERSEY GIRL. This left JAMES to claim I AIN’T MISBEHAVIN but ED certainly was with SHE IS WOMAN before PAUL RILEY warned him YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE. Coming to a climax DON & HEATHER had us all singing away with SONNY’S DREAM before MARK & JAN finally drew it to a close with END OF THE LINE.


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