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!
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.
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 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!
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.
Newsletter No 425 25 April 2017
An evening of old friends and new faces was begun by PAUL leading and band up for JAMBALAYA followed by BANJO JOHN with WAY DOWN UPON THE SWANEE RIVER so no wonder PETE claimed ISHALL BE RELEASED. Next MARK & JAN took us OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY and SIMON & JAMES told us of the COOKSFERRY QUEEN before JO sang of the GHOST OF A ROSE. No wonder COLIN commented SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH and CHRIS sang Knopfler’s story of RUDIGER the autograph hunter. DAVID (poet) then gave us his latest verse THIS OLD WORLD inspired by the Donovan song “I love my shirt” followed by CARL turned to Eric Bogle for THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA before newcomer PETE sang his extremely amusing JUST ANOTHER BLOKE WITH A GUITAR. Making a welcome return HELEN went traditional with ONCE I LOVED as BRIAN went for humour with OLD PEOPLE and PHIL was more ironic with RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS. With probably his only love song ALLEN sang his own NEARLY SONNET 18, after Shakespeare, before another newcomer BEN gave us his modern interpretation of the traditional SOLDIER, SOLDIER leaving MARIAN in the hands of WILLIE O’ WINSBURY. This gave way to our old friend FRANK HIVES with IF I WERE A CARPENTER and JO with AFTER THE GOLDRUSH and BANJO JOHN with MEAN TO ME.
The Big Raffle saw Ben win the Wine, Jackie win the Cider, Vic win the Room Perfume, Simon take the Biscuits and Dave win the Easter Egg before ROBIN opened the second half on FIDDLER’S GREEN and JAMES told us of the UNKNOWN LEGEND (Neil Young). Then better late than never in walked PETE KING with his own WORDS OF WISDOM to his 19 year old son followed appropriately by JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (Billy Joel) so DON & HEATHER thought to turn to their own story of emigration SOUTH AUSTRALIA. No wonder PHIL turned to ROCKS IN THE OCEAN as BRIAN admitted his BABY’S GONNA KICK him out as ALLEN gave us his own version of family strife with WHAT’S IT TO YOU and PETE followed with his own MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES. Rising to his feet again BEN told the sad story of CRAZY MAN MICHAEL as SIMON returned with the BAR ROOM GIRLS and this left FRANK to lead us to the climax with THE LONGER THE WAIT THE SWEETER THE KISS (Josh Turner). Fortunately we then had PETE KING to sing his COME ON BLUES before we all followed PAUL on to the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL.
Newsletter No 424 18 April 2017
After a big welcome back PETE kicked off by KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR followed by BANJO JOHN who said I SCREAM for ice cream before PHIL harked back to Easter with the LORD OF THE DANCE. In Ed’s absence JO was CALLING FOR YOU via Iris Dement as PETER went back in time to WW2 for the MAGINOT WALTZ which prompted the formation of a new band line-up with JOHN, MIKE & SIMON, soon to be known as MUSICAL DIFFERENCES, to sing Alex Campbell’s SO LONG. Struggling to choose from four versions MARIAN settled on one of THE TWO SISTERS but for IAN it was the NEARNESS OF YOU which mattered and for BRIAN it was all about PEGGY SUE. For the second coming together SIMON & KAMRAN told us I'D RATHER GO BLIND whereas CHRIS turned to the FAIR MAIDS OF FEBRUARY but this somehow gave KAMRAN the CANDY MAN BLUES. Coming to the interval ANDY observed WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES to which JAMES commented that it happens EVERYDAY before DON & HEATHER told us the RED ROSE CAFÉ was the place to go to while away more time.
In the Raffle the Wine was won by Heather Kenyon, the Easter egg was won by Chris, the Key ring was won by Dave and the Body wash went to Rosalie before PETE sang his autobiographical MADAME WHISKY to which PHIL responded with a eulogy to his home town, the CITY OF PLYMOUTH. Quickly on his heel then came the MUSICAL DIFFERENCES aka JOHN, MIKE & SIMON with the more traditional DARCY FARROW and MARIAN followed suit with the DARK-EYED SAILOR and PETER with the WEEPING WILLOW. Also traditionally BRIAN turned to the BLACK VELVET BAND before CHRIS came forward with THE SETTING and SIMON jumped aboard his 1952 VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING. In his wake IAN unveiled his own creation named after his home town, THE WALSDEN RAG, to which KAMRAN added Dylan’s MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and ANDY added Elvis er..er Costello’s ALISON. No wonder JAMES went a WANDERING and DON & HEATHER were off DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL as we headed for a big finish started by JOHN, MIKE & SIMON who were in PARADISE. BRIAN again went traditional with THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL and PHIL again celebrated Easter with JESU JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING which made IAN appropriately think of HERE, THERE & EVERYWHERE. This left ANDY to ask HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN before DON & HEATHER launched us singing into the street quietly with STEAL AWAY to end an excellent evening of good music, song and great craic.
Newsletter No 423 11 April 2017
As they rolled in GRASSROOTS took us back with THE LAST OF THE WIDOWS as PHIL turned to his favourite Al Stewart for the LEAGUE OF NOTIONS but for ROBIN it was good to be BACK HOME AGAIN. With another slant on travel DON & HEATHER said sometimes there’s NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL as BANJO JOHN looked forward with EASTER BONNET and KATH & STAN went off with the WAYFARING STRANGER. For JO there is nothing like the SOUND OF SILENCE which MARK broke beautifully with two tunes on his banjo, SADDLE THE PONY & BLARNEY PILGRIM, before ALLEN went north of the border for ERIN GO BRAGH. On the other hand CARL turned to Pete Morton for A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR before JANET sang the skit HOUSEWIVES’ CHOICE but for SIMON it was all about PAY DAY while ED searched for THE LOGGER who stirred his coffee with his thumb. Then 50 years after the recording of Sergeant Pepper JAMES decided YESTERDAY was appropriate but the nice weather prompted PHIL & DOM to think of BLUE SKIES as we bullied DOUGLAS to his feet for SALLY FREE AND EASY. With the interval in sight BANJO JOHN reminded us of THE OLD RUGGED CROSS to which JO said LET IT BE and ALLEN turned to his own PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE as JANET took us to the break with NORMANDY ORCHARDS.
The usual bumper Raffle saw Dom win the Wine, Simon win the Easter Egg, Alan win the Pasta Cooker, Douglas win the Harmonica and Dom’s friend win the Hand wash and Lotion before MARK took us to THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN. Getting to his feet SIMON smelled the YELLOW ROSES as ED strolled ALONG THE VERDIGRIS and ROBIN was dragged around THE STREETS OF BALTIMORE before CARL introduced one of his latest songs that celebrated our Postal Service, YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE. Again with Al Stewart PHIL crossed THE DARK AND THE ROLLING SEA while PHIL & DOM sailed across the sea for A SONG FOR IRELAND leaving DOUGLAS back home with the POOR OLD WEAVER’S DAUGHTER. Over in the USA DON & HEATHER got out of jail with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER leaving KATH & STAN in the WILLOW GLEN and JAMES to go Elvis with A FOOL SUCH AS I. Then it was back in the tradition for GRASSROOTS with Mick’s original arrangement of THE TREES ARE GETTING HIGH before MARK announced it was a SUNNY AFTERNOON and ROBIN told the story of the LONG BLACK VEIL. Reaching for a climax to a great evening CARL sang THANKSGIVING as KATH & STAN took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and SIMON & JAMES combined brilliantly for SHE THINKS I STILL CARE before DON & HEATHER recruited ED, as lead singer, and ROBIN, for harmonies, as they sang us into the night with ALL THE GOOD TIMES which happen here every Tuesday.
Newsletter No 422 4 April 2017
A slow start soon ignited by BANJO JOHN with an AL JOLSON MEDLEY set ALLEN thinking IT ALL SEEMS A LONG TIME AGO and JOHN remembering BIG JIM by the 5-Penny Piece Band. Surprisingly CHRIS then came up with BIG RIVER after his wife reminded him he knew it as JANET went with BARGES and ANDY turned the year after THE JANUARY MAN. Also digging deep DON & HEATHER gave us McColl’s MOVING ON SONG which left CARL to go SINGING THE AGES DOWN and IAN off to GEORGIA with an immaculate guitar instrumental. On top form JONATHAN went solo with Crosby’s ALMOST CUT MY HAIR before SIMON & KAMRAN made a new duo for WEARY BLUES by Hank Williams and the new line-up of the GRAPHENE CITY BAND (Phil, Naomi and Chris) made their debut at Sale Folk Club with RICH AND POOR BLUES. Keeping us on a high PHIL & DOM had us all singing with BLACK IS THE COLOUR as did PAUL who had RAMBLIN ON MY MIND and ROBIN who was mellowing on WATERMELON WINE. This left BANJO JOHN to remember Fats Waller with WHEN SOMEBODY THINKS YOU’RE WONDERFUL and CHRIS to turn to the HANDS OF JOSEPH which inspired JONATHAN to find the real folk song DEATH OF QUEEN JANE.
The usual interval Raffle saw John win the Wine, Allen wint the tea, Phil win the Room Fragrance and Chris win the Tea Cosy. Starting the second half JANET promised us JERUSALEM TOMORROW (David Olney) but for ANDY it was SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN before JOHN lifted us back up with ME AND BOBBY McGEE. It was then into the FIELDS OF GOLD with IAN’S solo guitar before JONATHAN told us he’s a ONE MAN GUY to which CARL replied IF WISHES WERE FISHES. For ALLEN, however, it was just LIFE as the GRAPHENE CITY BAND became a bit political with I’VE NEVER SEEN AN MP followed by the somewhat green GRAIN AND FLOUR. Another tour de force was then delivered by SIMON & KAMRAN who gave us a brilliant version of The Free’s OH I WEPT before KAMRAN stay solo for DADDY WHERE YOU BEEN to which DON & HEATHER’S reply was, “When I go just lay my head on a KEG OF BRANDY!” No wonder PAUL decided he was HOMEWARD BOUND and ROBIN thought it was time for his LAST FAREWELL which left PHIL & DOM to raise us up with a SKIFFLE MEDLEY including the WORRIED MAN BLUES and finally blew us away with ELIZABETHAN by the legendary Magna Carta. Top whack!
Newsletter No 421 28 March 2017
As the place filled up KATH & STAN claimed it was too soon to be out of their bed in MONDAY MORNING and also obtusely PAUL welcomed the weather with HEY RAIN but BRIAN’S TERMS OF MY SURRENDER were something else “’cause sometimes love can be so wrong like a fat man in a thong!” Then there was a huge welcome for the return of SUE & GEOFF with ELI THE BARROW BOY followed by SIMON who paradoxically sang THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR before HILARY serenaded us with PARLEZ VOUS SA BOIRE in French about a “No win” situation marriage. No wonder KAMRAN was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD but for JO with guitar THE CARNIVAL IS OVER and sadly for JAMES it was all BUCKETS OF RAIN. Even worse ED told us IT’S A HARD LIFE FOR A HYPOCHONDRIAC as PHIL turned to the GREEN ANTHEM. Then commenting on the threat in Australia to the profession DON & HEATHER sang of the DIAMANTINA DROVER and in tribute to women sailors CARL sang his own ALL AT SEA before for GEOFF it was TWILIGHT TIME. Arriving just in time DOM joined PHIL for the SKYE BOAT SONG as HILARY unveiled JAZZ STUDY No 3 and JO complained of HARD TIMES before KATH & STAN, with DINK’S SONG, took us to the interval.
In the Raffle Ros won the Wine; Brian won the Chocolates: Joyce won the Plant; Jackie won the Torch; Linda won the Purse; Geoff won the Book and Kath won the Mozart CD before BRIAN started the second half with ALL OF ME. Next SUE & GEOFF took us on the WALL OF DEATH as PHIL took off with the BROTHERS IN ARMS before SIMON teamed up with JAMES to tell us SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS. Turning to Neil Young ROBIN sang FOUR STRONG WINDS but KAMRAN struggled to remember the REMEMBER SONG as PHIL neatly sidestepped Dom to sing his own PIGGYBACK BLUES before CARL had us all chuckling with THE BLACKSMITH AND THE TOFFEE MAKER. Still PAUL was asking for A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS and DOM told us I WANNA SEE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT as ED was saying he was definitely not ALL USED UP. Then JAMES sang his promised folk song, WILD MOUNTAINSIDE, but DON & HEATHER were DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and KATH & STAN were playing two tunes, JACK ROBINSON & OLD MOLLY OXFORD but BRIAN was down AT THE DARK END OF THE STREET. Coming to a climax GEOFF insisted we TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT while PAUL implored LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER before PHIL & DOM warned what happens when an OLD MAN CAME COURTING to close an excellent evening. Top notch!
Newsletter No 420 21 March 2017
They came from as far as Tanzania to hear BANJO JOHN open with a nod to his long time girl friend Vera Lynn with WE’LL MEET AGAIN & the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER which set KATH & STAN ff to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH. Incognito JANET told us to tell everyone WE DON’T LIVE HERE NO MORE and CARL exposed the BIG FEAR as SIMON was RAMBLING ROUND. Going back in time ERIC sang YOU SAY from one of Mike Chapman’s Albums, Rainmaker, which made ANN think of THE FOLK SINGER and DON & HEATHER to light up the LITTLE POT STOVE. Then there was the big welcome return of LOTTIE who sang RED IS THE ROSE but for PAUL it was all HARD TRAVELLING and then quite sad with ED and the RED HEADED ANN as it was at the end of CHRIS’ song I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT. We were soon lifted, however, when in walked old friend PETER MYLETT singing I NEVER GO AROUND MIRRORS just as BANJO JOHN launched into GO JOHNNY GO as his own Chick Berry tribute so no wonder SIMON declared I WANNA SING THAT ROCK & ROLL. Approaching the interval CARL turned to Pete Morton for FURTHER before PETER MYLETT returned for CANDLELIGHT AND WINE.
In the Raffle Barry won the Red Wine, Heather won the Chocolates, Hilary won the Handbag, Margaret won the Easter Egg and Eric won the Mother’s Day Plaque as DON & HEATHER opened with FAREWELL TO THE GOLD. Following on came KATH & STAN with JOHN LOVER and an invitation from PAUL to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE with LOTTIE & ERIC to meet JOCK STEWART. Next ANN remembered UNCLE TOM COBLEY from a holiday on Dartmoor and the other PETER, briefly home from Africa, GIVE ME A RIDE TO HEAVEN with his indestructible carbon fibre guitar. No wonder ED thought of RICKETY TICKETY TIN and CHRIS & PAUL sailed away with THE TRAWLERMAN and PETER MYLETT was off to see THE DUTCHMAN. Meanwhile SIMON took off after EASY MONEY and LOTTIE sang the anthem song FIELDS OF ATHENRY as KATH & STAN sought THE FORESAKEN MERMAID. Nearing home time PAUL was in need of some CORN BREAD AND BUTTER BEANS as PETER from Africa told us SHE WORE RED DRESSES and CHRIS on the run said I WON’T BE SENDING POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY as DON & HEATHER led us singing into the street as we searched for the BLARNEY ROSES to end an excellent evening. Come back soon.
Newsletter No 419 14 March 2017
Kicking off St Patrick’s week MARK & JAN gave us the BLUE COCKADE just as ROBIN was leaving old DURHAM TOWN and ALLEN was saying MADAM, I AM A PARLING. Far away BANJO JOHN was at the ALABAMA JUBILEE and JO was away wearing her GALWAY SHAWL as IAN stayed home at the SCARBOROUGH FAIR. With their first Irish offering DON & HEATHER celebrated RECONCILIATION before special guests all the way from Shropshire, TIM & ANN, delighted us with NEVER GOING TO LET HIM GO and SPANISH STEPS playing a normal guitar and one of these new fangled mini acoustic bass guitars with rubber strings. Just in time we got ED back from THE BLACK HILL as ANN had just caught THE TROUT but for PHIL & DOM it seemed to be PERHAPS LOVE. Another welcome newcomer ANDY mad a tribute to OH! MY SWEET CAROLINA as PAUL returned to the Irish theme with DOWN BY THE LAGGAN SIDE but BANJO JOHN was still away MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA. Coming to the interval JAN sang CALON LAN in Welsh before ALLEN turned to JOSIE and JO turned to the STREETS OF LONDON with big band backing.
In the bumper raffle Ann won the Irish Cream, Phil & Dom won the Irish Dartington Glasses, Joyce won the Irish Bookmark, Ian won the box of Yorkshire Tea and Heather won the ticket to Lymm Folk Club’s next Concert kindly donated by Bernard Cromarty.
Opening the second half MARK D whistled CARRICKFERGUS which set off ED on his anti-THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY song just before TIM & ANN went cruising along the GULF COAST HIGHWAY and IAN took us into the FIELDS OF GOLD. No wonder ANDY said, TALK TO ME OF MENDECINO but for ROBIN it was back to his roots for JOCK O’ HAZELDENE before DON & HEATHER went looking for BLARNEY ROSES. It was then back to the tradition for ANN and LOWLANDS AWAY and PAUL for WHISKEY IN THE JAR before PHIL & DOM came up to date with WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW. For some reason this left ED complaining EVERYBODY’S MAKING IT BIG BUT ME as ALLEN bade FAREWELL TO SICILY and ANDY reached for his SECOND CUP OF COFFEE. Closing in on a big finish DON & HEATHER celebrated the GALWAY GIRL as IAN unveiled his own IAN’S TUNE which brought PHIL & DOM to the station to catch the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Reaching a climax TIM & ANN gave us the explosive 455 ROCKET before we settled back in the easy chair with MARK & JAN who insisted YOU AIN’T GOING NOWHERE except home! Magic!
Newsletter No 418 7 March 2017
Another bonzer night in Sale Folk Club tonight with PETE more than WILLING to kick off things followed by KATH & STAN who were by THE BANKS OF ALLAN WATER and ROBIN for who THE BATTLE IS OVER while for ALLEN it was clear that THE WAR DRAGS ON. Then for BRIAN it was reminiscence with AS TIME GOES BY before newcomer PETE took us on a CYCLE RIDE and JAMES would do anything for THE GLORY OF LOVE which JAN & MARK confirmed saying I need you at THE DIMMING OF THE DAY. Then there was a welcome return for TOM with his own BULLETS & CHAMPAGNE followed by PHIL with the 18th century AMAZING GRACE and SIMON with the 20th century PAYDAY before another welcome back for DOMINIC & PHIL who sang a blues about BAD, BAD LEROY BROWN by Jim Croce. No wonder JANET was on the platform looking for ANOTHER TRAIN while for KAMRAN the blues are all the same because the BLUES RUN THE GAME before CARL turned up with his TRAIN SONG (revisited). Back in harness CHARLIE & JONATHAN then serenaded young VALERIE while CHRIS celebrated Ralph McTell’s long time spouse NAOMI before ARTHUR had them all down to FLANAGAN'S APPLE. Coming to the break ED relived THE GRESFORD DISASTER and RICHARD sang his own HUCK'S TUNE followed by DON & HEATHER with FLOWERS ON THE WATER their tribute to his Dad.
In the Raffle the Ice shoe grippers were won by Ed, the Paul O'Grady Autobiography won by Brian, the Room Fragrance Diffuser won by Dolan before the Red Wine went home with Allen. Starting the second half HELEN sang about JENNIFER'S RABBIT before ROBIN sang THE LAST FAREWELL which left PHIL with THE SOUND OF SILENCE. With another of his very original songs PETE was decidedly BONNY UP NORTH while ALLEN found THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN and STAN & KATH arrived just BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW to which JAMES confessed IT HURTS ME TOO and ANN said it was the same with THE PUNCH AND JUDY MAN, gone forever. Also making his mark ED treated us to TIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN by Fred Wedlock which somehow made CARL think of the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR but left SIMON completely OUT OF TOUCH (Lucinda Williams). No wonder MARK & JAN decidedly washed their hands in MUDDY WATER as RICHARD tried to get to THE HEART OF THE MATTER and BRIAN expostulated, HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE? Heading for a big finish TOM came back with OVER THE HILL by John Martyn and CHRIS went for Dylan’s ZIMMERMAN BLUES and ARTHUR asked with his own IF I COULD REACH OUT which left us with PHIL & DOMINIC and FEELIN' GROOVY.
Newsletter No 418 28 February 2017
GRASSROOTS kicked off Jo’s Birthday celebrations with GAMES OF LOVE and why not? This was quickly followed by PAUL serenading Jo by replicating Seasick Steve’s performance of WALKIN’ MAN. Going more traditional AL told us the story behind Macpherson’s RANT before JO herself led us to THE BANKS OF THE OHIO. A brief respite for poetry came from DAVE COWE with AT TEA & IN CHURCH before DON, HEATHER & PAUL to us back to that DIRTY OLD TOWN and SIMON had us down to the BIG DARK SEA. Going down even deeper ED celebrated the sewer men aka THE FLUSHERS but KATH & STAN were more ethereal with MOONSHADOW as was ROBIN with BREAD AND FISHES. With McGarrigle’s HEART LIKE A WHEEL, PETE came next followed by JAMES with I’LL GET YOU by The Beatles and RICHARD who turned to Dylan for BELLE ISLE. With his latest collaboration, this time with wife Jan, MICK sang BLUE for which JO was CRAZY but unmoved ED was eating GREASY GRAVY and Gizzard Greens. With the Buffet and Chips in sight PAUL told the story of STAGOLEE and KATH & STAN sang THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY before SIMON extolled the virtues of BAR ROOM GIRLS.
In the raffle Vis won the Prosecco, Sue won the Luxury Reed Perfume Set, Al took home the pancakes and Chris won the Handwash/Cream before GRASSROOTS started off the second half with Janice singing beautifully with I WANDERED BY A BROOKSIDE. Then DON, HEATHER & PAUL picked up the pace with THE MIGHTY QUINN but JAMES said I AIN’T MISBEHAVIN but ROBIN asked us to MEET ME ON THE CORNER. Turning to poetry again DAVE COWE went classical for SONNET 18 (Shakespeare) & WHEN YOU ARE OLD (Keats) before PETE sang WHOLE LIFE THROUGH and AL declared I WISH I WERE SINGLE AGAIN and RICHARD replied I’m ON MY WAY HOME. Going back a long way KATH & STAN sang about a family recorded in a 19th Century CENSUS while going back only to the 20th Century PAUL sang CORRINA, CORRINA and ED explained that he liked TRASHY WOMEN to much veiled approval before ROBIN drew a LONG BLACK VEIL over the proceedings. Coming to a close, DAVE COWE was poetic with THE DONKEY whereas SIMON & JAMES were having a BLUE BLUE DAY and for AL it was no fun on THE ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE. Even PETE had the MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES but DON, HEATHER & PAUL still managed to have us singing THE GALWAY SHAWL as we made for the door at the end of a really good evening.
Newsletter No 418 21 February 2017
A very pleasant evening was kick started as PAUL asked us to ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG with PHIL suggesting we visit the PALACE OF VERSAILLES before DAVID warned us not to open THE BOX containing all the tools of war. For some reason PETE then had need of BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER while JANET told us about the MIDSHIPMAN’S BOAST and before it was too late CHRIS sang of the FAIR MAIDENS OF FEBRUARY. No wonder JO exclaimed, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD, and ED was moved to catch back with Valentine’s Day with MY BEST FRIEND to which DON & HEATHER warned of the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS. Next we had a world premier when ANN sang DEFYING GRAVITY without a safety net when she made her debut playing her new guitar. ROBIN, however, was extolling the virtues of marrying a girl from DENVER while PHIL was describing the not good life of the BLACKLEG MINER and PETE sang Dylan’s BIG GIRL NOW written after his divorce. Another slant on war came from DAVID about the SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS about Kuwait and CHRIS was equally sad with a song of separation, THE SETTING by McTell, before JO kindly sang YOU’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG. Plenty went wrong for Paddy in ED’s song about the BARREL OF BRICKS and although JANET sang LIZZIE LOVES A HIGHWAYMAN it went wrong for Dick Turpin who hung in the end. At this point DON, HEATHER & PAUL chose to salute Arthur Marshall with song FENCES since he was voiceless and couldn’t make it tonight. This gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING as ANN set out with the SKYE BOAT SONG and PAUL instructed us YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE as we approached the interval.
In the break the Raffle saw Chris win the Wine, Heather K win Paul O’Grady’s autobiography, Sue win the swanky Soap, Lin win the Chocolates and Janet win the Calendar before NAOMI set the ball rolling with AS I WALKED OUT. On his return to Ireland on the ferry PETE was moved to write his own song THE ALEXANDRA LIGHT whereas ED turned to Dylan for RAMONA and PHIL turned to Al Stewart for LIFE IN DARK WATER. For CHRIS on the other hand life was EASY, with Ed’s 12 string guitar, as ROBIN pleaded COME BACK PADDY REILLY but for JANET there was separation down in the RED RIVER VALLEY. Next FREE SPIRITS bemoaned the fate of the railway in THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and PAUL was sad about CARELESS LOVE but ANN was upbeat about her SHABBY OLD CABBY and PETE was certainly over the BLUE MOON in celebrating Man City’s win over Monaco. Celebrating John Lennon PHIL was ONLY SLEEPING and in the theme JANET sang the GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL by Tom Waites before CHRIS celebrated the HANDS OF JOSEPH. Consistent with the hour NAOMI sang the GARTAN MOTHER’S LULLABY leaving ED to comment, SHE IS WOMAN, from which DON & HEATHER decided to STEAL AWAY which only left PAUL to send us home with LEAVE HER JOHNNY, LEAVE HER.
Newsletter No 417 14 February 2017
The Valentine’s Day theme was at first ignored by KATH & STAN who bid THE LAST GOODBYE before ALLEN sang his own NEARLY SONNET 18 dedicated to his wife Jen and BANJO JOHN took the hint and went off MAKING WHOOPEE. Then with heart on sleeve ROBIN confessed SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH as JO unsheathed her guitar to accompany herself for the FIELDS OF ATHENRY whereas MARK & JAN went to the heart of the matter for LOVE AND HAPPINESS (LUCKY STAR). This nicely set up ARTHUR to sing HOLD ME JUST ONE MORE NIGHT which he composed, recorded and promptly forgot for 25 years before re-discovering it last week. Really good. PAUL then had us singing JACKAROE and ANN banded up with Paul & Don for DARK AS A DUNGEON before PETE sang the moving JIM. Back on theme SIMON admitted SINCE I MET YOU BABY and HILARY played ANNIE’S SONG which left MARIAN to tell us about the SQUIRE OF TAMWORTH. A love story of another kind came from JAMES in the form of THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME as did DON & HEATHER with SPANISH BURGUNDY and JONATHAN with WILD HORSES before JO cried TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART and BANJO JOHN explained what happens AFTER YOU’VE GONE.
The Valentine’s Day Raffle saw Heather K win the Prosecco, Rosalie win the Perfume, Ken win the Chocolates, Agnes win the Video and Jackie win the Heart Broach before KATH & STAN set us spinning with WINDMILLS so no wonder ARTHUR was in the mood and JUST FALLING IN LOVE. To MARK & JAN there was NO USE CRYING as HILARY played MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE and JAMES went full on with VALENTINES DAY by Steve Earle. In love with the idea of migrating DON & HEATHER then took us ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and ROBIN had us in the STREETS OF BALTIMORE before ANN turned to a more classic theme with the SWEET NIGHTINGALE. Off at a tangent ALLEN was away at the WHIP JAMBOREE as SIMON & JAMES extended our vocabulary with PROPINQUITY by Michael Nesmith as did MARIAN with WEE TOTEM in Scottish dialect. PETE then took us ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER and PAUL was WILD ABOUT YOUR LOVING and KATH & STAN came up with two tunes THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH which drove ARTHUR to drink down in MURPHY’S BAR and JAN & MARK to go chasing the TURKEY IN THE CORN. Everyone needs a HANDYMAN reckoned JAMES before ALLEN went back to his early days as a folk singer for WILD ROVER which nicely set up a grandstand finish for FREE SPIRITS with WAGON WHEEL. A top night!
Newsletter No 416 7 February 2017
Arousing start to the evening by FREE SPIRITS saw them making promises of how good it would be ON THE NEXT GO ROUND and over The Pond BANJO JOHN told us of CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS’ ideas for the USA (Guy Mitchell) before PETE brought us to earth with effects of drug addiction in HURT. It wasn’t all plain sailing for JO with from BOULDER TO BIRMINGHAM or for PHIL with AN EVERYDAY STORY OF COUNTRY LIFE or ANN’s sailors capsizing on rocks in THE LORELEI. On a more cheerful note BRIAN admitted I DON’T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU with two songs same title and MICK was busy WALKING MY BABY BACK HOME. Enough of this said AL who sang the GOLD WATCH BLUES by Donovan and SIMON was equally lamenting HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY OLD FRIEND ABRAHAM as was CHRIS with IN THE SECRET OF YOUR SADNESS (Jonathan Kelly). More sentimentally ROBIN sang of old dogs and children and WATERMELON WINE before PAUL had us all banded up for some JUG BAND MUSIC. This left ED to rise to the occasion by telling the Birthday people Hilary and Don that YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD as the man or woman that you feel?!? Coming up to Buffet and Chips time BANJO JOHN led us in OLD MAN RIVER while JO was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE to which PETE said TAKE IT EASY. NO wonder BRIAN decided to sing DREAMS (J Denver) and MICK professed he was HERMLESS (Michael Marra) while AL told us there were times when his wife was WILD EYED.
A crazy raffle saw Joseph take the Galaxy Chocolates, Hilary take the Biscuits, Jackie won the Scarf which left Heather Kenyon being forced to reluctantly?? accept the Red Wine. Returning for the second half CHRIS sang about MADELEINE and ANN warned what can happen to THE FOLK SINGER while PHIL gave us TIME PASSAGES from Al Stewart. SIMON also turned to favourite Steve Earl for the sad story of BILLY AUSTIN which prompted ROBIN to remember ROCK MY CRADLE by Hank Williams while PAUL went for SPENCER THE ROVER. Celebrating L S Lowry ED sang about his MATCHSTALK MEN leaving PETE who was KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR whereas PHIL sang the lesser known FOR NO ONE by the Beatles. With one of his own AL addressed the human condition saying there was a WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER and CHRIS gave us another slant with MAY YOU NEVER as did SIMON with McCARTY. Finally there was no mistaking ED’s meaning with the OLDEST SWINGER IN TOWN or with FREE SPIRITS who asked us to TAK’ A DRAM to end a great night.
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