JULY - 2018

Newsletter No 486 31 July 2018

Entering an almost empty Services Club HEATHER & DON couldn’t believe it as the room filled up with top talent as they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Cheekily BANJO JOHN then played and sang the TEASING RAG and CHRIS followed suit with the SAUCY SAILOR so no wonder PHIL was TRANSPORTED. Even BRIAN was inspired to go THROUGH THE MORNING and THROUGH THE NIGHT as NAOMI accompanied by Phil went to Scotland for THERE GROWS A BONNY BRIAR BUSH, a Robbie Burns song. With his own song MARK told us I AM A SON OF THIS NORTH COUNTRY SOIL before PAUL celebrated not seeing the orange moon with BAD MOON RISING and STEVE went Celtic for the SKYE BOAT SONG with hit Autoharp. Pointedly ANDY then asked ARE YOU SURE THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE and PETER replied no, I want to be in ABILENE to which IAN commented, DON’T KNOW WHY! Next ALLEN reminded us it was the anniversary of the battle with his own ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE and RICHARD reminded us of the gold rush with DAYS OF 49 before CARL celebrated the girl from the Salvation Army with his own LOOKING FOR THE SUN. With a light hearted moment HILARY gave us some more of her ONE-LINERS before PAUL McD hit the slide guitar for LITTLE RED ROOSTER and BANJO JOHN jazzed it up for BABY FACE. This left GIRTH, WIND & TIRED to tell us LOVING HER WAS EASIER as we reached the break.
In the raffle Jackie calmly won the Bottle of Red Wine, Paul won the aftershave (ha ha), Andy won the Handwash, Allen won another book for his wife and Chris, who is about to go camping, won the camping mugs before PAUL kicked off with BLUES IN A BOTTLE followed by CHRIS with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Again deeply thoughtful MARK sang another of his own songs about his friends Barry & John, BETTER TO BUILD BRIDGES THAN WALLS, and ANDY introduced ALL THE LOVELY LADIES before PETER hit a sombre note with the DEPORTEES. In hushed tones BRIAN confided NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME and PHIL told us that sadly Prof.
Alasdair Clayre committed suicide not long after writing his song ADAM AND THE BEASTS which commented on the natural order in the animal kingdom. No wonder ALLEN turned to his own WILD EYED but fortunately CARL was more upbeat with his own YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before NAOMI returned to Scotland for AYE WAUKIN O. With his guitar this time STEVE mused on the MOUNTAINS O’ MOURNE and RICHARD sang, it’s JUST THE WAY YOU ARE and PAUL McD it is ROCK & ROLL before GIRTH, WIND & TIRED pinned our ears back with their AIM IN LIFE before sending us home smiling with JAMBALAYA. Mega!!

Newsletter No 485 24 July 2018

A superb evening was hosted by GRASSROOTS who first of all set out to MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE which for MARK & JAN definitely was THE END OF THE LINE as it was for BRIAN when he cried out DAMN THIS TOWN. It was also tough for CHRIS in HIGH GERMANY before DON & HEATHER had us all celebrating THE GALWAY SHAWL to which JAMES replied with the Beatles’ YOU CAN’T DO THAT. By this time ED was ALL USED UP but KATH & STAN were off tilting at WINDMILLS which to PAUL McD was the perfect start for a DAYDREAM. Not to be cheered, however, SIMON announced THERE’S A HEARTBREAK FOLLOWING ME and PETER had the HONEYBABE BLUES and MARIAN was musing, IF I WERE WITH MY LOVE. Quite unconcerned GRASSROOTS just went SAILING BY whereas MARK & JAN met uncertainty with CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN but BRIAN was most definite when he sang, I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU ANY OLD TIME. Certainly not if she is wearing a CHASTITY BELT responded ED which was enough to have newcomer TONY saying, well I’LL WALK THE STREETS UP and I’LL WALK THE STREETS DOWN. Next we had two great tunes from KATH & STAN who played TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING on whistle and cittern just before CARL came in to sing ALICE. Coming up to the interval CHRIS told us TO THE BEGGING I WILL GO and PETER said he was off AROUND CAPE HORN but PAUL McD said he preferred LIVING IN THE ‘60s.
In a bumper raffle Peter took the Red Wine, James went home with the Rose Wine, Ann won the set of Cheese Knives, old friend Julie Astbury won the Handwash and Rosalyn won the Box of Tea before DON & HEATHER complained they had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL. On the other hand JAMES told us DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT and MARIAN prayed for better luck next time to the LORD OF ALL. Returning TONY sang THE WALKING SONG by Kate & Anna McGarrigle followed by GRASSROOTS with THESE HANDS about
Sybil Phoenix who came to Britain from British Guiana in 1956 to overcome racism and personal tragedy to become the first black woman to be awarded the MBE for her work fostering hundreds of children in Lewisham. Now 89 she is still active with the charity she founded in memory of her daughter – the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust. Fortunately for SIMON it was not a BLUE, BLUE DAY but, as CARL told us, THE HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE was another matter. Coming to a climax KATH & STAN said HANG YOUR HEAD AND CRY and DON & HEATHER brought us to a close with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to end a top night!

Newsletter No 484 17 July 2018

Opening the evening in grand style BANJO JOHN gave us OLD MAN RIVER before KAMRAN weighed in with SO LONG MARIAN (L. Cohen) and DON, HEATHER & PAUL banded up for the DIAMANTINA DROVER. More intimately ANDY then asked DID SHE MENTION MY NAME (G. Lightfoot) before we welcomed newcomer CASSIDY to play us his magnum opus COMPOSITION FOR BANJO which left BRIAN a little SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard). In somewhat joyous mood ED was next out along THE VERDIGREE (T. Paxton) before we welcomed another newcomer CHRIS who gave us a great rendition of BYKER HILL followed by IAN who was SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU. This heralded the return of old favourite ROBIN who asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO who was followed by PAUL McD with his cheeky little TIMPERLEY BLUFF and PAUL RILEY who celebrated BIG BAD BILL. This left HILARY with the job of making us laugh with more of her ONE-LINERS so there was no reason for KAMRAN to have the DELTA BLUES or ANDY needing PERSUASION or LUCILLE leaving BANJO JOHN with all those children and crops in the field.
An interesting raffle saw Kamran win the Chocolates, Ian took the CD, Margaret won a nice bottle of Red Wine and Brian won the fancy Hand Cream but RICHARD recommenced with FORGETFUL HEART followed by CHRIS with another great traditional song THE MAID OF CULMORE. This left the way for CASSIDY to delight us with a SPANISH TWO STEP for guitar by John Farley followed by BRIAN who gave us the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER as ROBIN took us off along some COUNTRY ROADS. Instrumentally then IAN insisted THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU but PAUL McD still asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW as PAUL boarded the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. All of this left the way clear for HILARY to have us laughing at more of her ONE-LINERS which continued with ED and his TRASHY WOMEN. More straightforwardly DON, HEATHER & PAUL explained when I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and RICHARD did the same when he was ON MY WAY HOME.  Coming to a big finish IAN treasured THE NEARNESS OF YOU as ROBIN went NORTH TO ALASKA to discover gold isn’t everything whereas BRIAN declared there is NOTHING I LOVE more. On the other hand KAMRAN discovered how a friend turned out to be YOU RASCAL YOU but finally ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL directed us towards ALL THE GOOD TIMES to end an excellent and varied evening. 

Newsletter No 483 10 July 2018

A superb evening brilliantly stewarded and kicked off by PAUL & HEATHER on washboard singing WORRIED MAN BLUES skiffle style after which KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER while PETER BRIDGE was on WOLVERTON MOUNTAIN. We were then jazzed up by BRIAN who sang IF I HAD YOU before PHIL was more trad with THE BUTCHER AND THE TAILOR and ALLEN sang his own DON’T YOU KNOW. We don’t know how she does it but HILARY next had us laughing with her ONE-LINERS before IAN took us instrumentally off to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR and ROD had us high in ITCHYCOO PARK. To HELEN it was all a SILVER LINING but for ED’s story of the three bears MY HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ANDY was back LOOKING FOR THE MOON and that silver lining. More darkly DON & HEATHER tested the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and RACING DEMON were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS with JAMES asking HOW LONG BLUES. On the bright side RICHARD stated HOW GLAD I AM but KATH & STAN were still WATERBOUND as was PETER BRIDGE in the BIG RIVER and ALLEN as he told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER was in every pub on every street corner.
In interval the big raffle saw a bottle of Red Wine won by Rod; a bottle of Rose Wine won by Heather Kenyon; a big Box of Tea won by Ian and the big Box of Chocolates won by Andy before ED had us chorusing with SHUT UP YOU BLOODY LIAR before he went off to hospital to get a cure for his bleeding finger! PHIL applied the soothing balm of J.S. Bach’s BOUREE in E Minor as he went before PAUL recalled FRANKIE & JOHNNY were lovers. Then it was all go as BRIAN was off DOWN GEORGIA WAY and ANDY commented LONG MAY YOU RUN and HELEN said she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. For ROD it was all OUT OF TIME but fortunately IAN was there to slow it down for MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Still on a high, however, were RACING DEMON who were all strung up on CARMELITA but for JAMES it was all different as THINGS HAVE CHANGED (Dylan) and for RICHARD it was all a long WINDING ROAD as DON & HEATHER hit the road with WAGON WHEEL and BRIAN was GONE, GONE, GONE. Heading to a big finish RICHARD said I WILL with the Beatles and HELEN had NOTHING BUT TIME as PHIL set off a WANDERING (James Taylor). This left PAUL & HEATHER to lead us into the night with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER to end a fantastic evening with a great number of songs from wide ranging genre. Magic!!

Newsletter No 482 3 July 2018

With the Services Club bursting at the seams, albeit with England football supporters, DON & HEATHER greeted 26 folkies by warning of the DIMMING OF THE DAY but the theme was set only to be relieved when England won on penalties which PAUL RILEY claimed was WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS. Back to pure folk HELEN sang that it’s SUCH A SIMPLE THING and PAUL McD was DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR before JAN went back to her Welsh roots with CANEUON and MARK warned there may be a BAD MOON RISING which ANDY just thought was WIERD (Clem Sneide). Looking on the bright side IAN played us a nice arrangement of OVER THE RAINBOW but it was left to ED to give us another take on the siege of Badajoz in the Peninsular Wars with SAM SMALL’S CHRISTMAS PUDDING to which DON & HEATHER commented, they were RARE OULD TIMES. Next PAUL RILEY fulfilled a long time ambition by singing MR BOJANGLES to which HELEN replied I HOPE YOU DANCE before PAUL McD asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM (Joe Jackson). JAN & MARK were then filled with LOVE AND HAPPINESS whereas CARL followed the Flag with his own excellent song THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR before ANDY commented it’s RAINING IN BALTIMORE. Then instrumentally IAN claimed I DON’T KNOW WHY as ED chased after the BLACKLEG MINER and CARL asked WHO CALLED THE COOKIE A B.....D to reach the interval.
A bumper raffle saw Margaret win the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen win the Bottle of Rose Wine, Andy win the Suffragette Film on DVD and Jan take a book home before DON & HEATHER started the second half by hoping England were not PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE whereas PAUL McD was asking LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. Keeping up the volume PAUL had us shanty singing with BULLY IN THE ALLEY as did MARK & JAN who reckoned any way up it is NO USE CRYING before IAN became romantic with a smooth guitar instrumental of THE NEARNESS OF YOU. This nicely set up HELEN for FAITH’S SONG followed by ANDY with COMING DOWN ON A SUNNY DAY and CARL for DOWN IN THE DALE, a nostalgic look back in Railway History. DON, HEATHER & PAUL then came together for ACROSS THE BORDERLINE before PAUL McD confessed to LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY and ED told the story of the waitress looking for a LOGGER who stirs his coffee with his thumb, ouch! PAUL R also went back in time for a medley of HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL; YES SIR THAT’S MY BABY; AIN’T SHE SWEET before HELEN had the URGE FOR GOING J Mitchell and MARK & JAN confessed to having washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Coinciding with the moment of England’s success IAN was in FIELDS OF GOLD and ANDY asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES since it happened before and CARL asked whether we could go even FURTHER. Finally we all saw the funny side as ED insisted TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT and PAUL McD said don’t forget who’s taking you home with SAVE THE DANCE FOR ME to end a cracking night.

JUNE - 2018

Newsletter No 481 26 June 2018

With the promise of a lot of hot performers KATH & STAN insisted we KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE while ALLEN reckoned it was always right TO TRY FOR THE SUN but it was BANJO JOHN who played it cool by LEANING ON A LAMP POST. For PAUL McD it certainly couldn’t be A BETTER PLACE (Glen Campbell) as long as you avoid the ARROGANCE, IGNORANCE & GREED of Steve Knightley sang PHIL before PAUL diverted attention to WILD BILL JONES and JAMES came a STEALING. With all this summer weather BANJO JOHN couldn’t help singing DAISY, DAISY before KATH & STAN reminded us of the dark side of life with BLACK WATERS but ALLEN wouldn’t be subdued as he unveiled his love song NEARLY SONNET 18. Optimistically PAUL McD had WHEELS Quite why but PHIL suddenly demanded SHOW ME (John Anderson) so KATH & STAN responded with two tunes JACK ROBINSON & OLD MOLLY OXFORD and BANJO JOHN upped the tempo with ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN as PAUL McD commented HERE COMES THE NIGHT. Coming to the break ALLEN made a break for freedom with his own question WHAT’S IT TO YOU before latecomer MARIAN introduced POLLY PARKER and PAUL re-iterated BRING ME SUNSHINE.

In the interval Raffle there was Wine; an Orchid; a Book; and Room Perfume amongst others with the names of the winners being partially withheld to protect the innocent before PHIL sang about FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS (Mark Dacey) but straight forwardly JAMES said I WILL and MARIAN somewhat agreed with TRUE LOVERS (High Germany) as did PAUL McD with THE BEST OF MY LOVE. Back in the tradition ALLEN returned with THE WORKER’S SONG as PAUL pitied the POOR OLD HORSE leaving KATH & STAN chasing the MAN IN THE MOON. On the other hand PHIL was out on THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA to which JAMES commented he must be HOMEWARD BOUND and MARIAN started to YODEL IT OVER AGAIN. Coming the end of a small but perfectly formed and top quality evening, PAUL packed his bags and was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and KATH & STAN were away with that BANJO PICKING GIRL before ALLEN added a note of caution about retirement with the GOLD WATCH BLUES. Top drawer!!

Newsletter No 480 19 June 2018

Rather appropriately co-host KAMRAN started the ball rolling under the NORTHERN SKY as equally adroit PAUL RILEY followed his namesake in ROVE RILEY ROVE so no wonder KATH and STAN found themselves in the BAY OF BISCAY where it can be a bit rough but IAN calmed us down with TENDERLY. Going a step further PETE had us laughing with some PUN WORDPLAY before BRIAN went all serious with the FACE OF GOD (Hiatt) and ANDY swore we would be FOREVER YOUNG but not if, as co-host SIMON sang, THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR. The answer from PAUL was to TEACH YOUR CHILDREN well but MARIAN was off with a risky DARK-EYED SAILOR and for BEN it was equally tricky in THE SWAPPING SONG where more often than not you lose out. So it was a wonder that PAUL RILEY was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD (Mississippi Sheikhs) and STAN and KATH told us WE COULD FLY (Dirk Powell/Rhiannon Giddens) which made smile and then laugh with MORE PUNS from PETE before BRIAN said it was time to sprinkle some STARDUST.

In the interval Raffle Ben won the Bottle of Wine and the Teabags and Shower gel both found new homes but asked to remain anonymous before KAMRAN started the second shift with the AVALON BLUES and latecomer RICHARD did a bit of SHADOW BOXING to which HELEN responded IT SUITS ME WELL as BEN thought it all totally SHAMELESS (Annie Di Franco). With more good songs in the pipeline ANDY sang KING SONG by Jim Croce and SIMON told us the story of DILLARD CHANDLER before IAN & HELEN smoothly combined for SUMMERTIME. This made PAUL just DRIFT AWAY and RICHARD think of PEACE IN OUR TIME, a clever compilation of many Dylan song titles & lyrics). More sombrely STAN & KATH admitted HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL as PETE came up with MORE PUNNAGE and BRIAN turned to LATELY by Stevie Wonder. Revving up to a climax BEN invited us into SAMMY’S BAR where IAN claimed my BABY’S COMING HOME (Chet Atkins) and ANDY pleaded OH LORD. WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES-BENZ? With their reliability record? Sadly, however, PAUL to us NO-ONE CAN MAKE MY SUNSHINE SMILE just as PAUL RILEY started to ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG and RICHARD shouted LAND AHOY as we reached our destination. Tops!!

Newsletter No 479 12 June 2018

A quiet start with about 12 top quality performers in total as GRASSROOTS opened up with LITTLE THINGS before BANJO JOHN asked HOW ABOUT YOU and ALLEN OGG confessed to getting the WILD EYE sometimes. It was then good to see JO back from her travels to sing WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE with her guitar followed by a first timer young JOSH singing HOLD MY BED by Chuck Ragan. This prompted SIMON & JAMES to tell us the story of AMELIA EARHART’S LAST FLIGHT before JOHN B, another banjo player, sang about THE MUGGLERS and BEN gave us his version of the NEW YORK GIRLS. To crown it all JAMES took a deep breath and gave us a medley of LET IT BE; HEY JUDE and YESTERDAY before GRASSROOTS with ELIZABETH IS SINGING and HILARY with some of her HILARIOUS ONE-LINERS ended the first round. After this people were invited to sing two songs each time starting with BANJO JOHN who regaled us with JAZZ ME BLUES and the ROCK ISLAND LINE before JO brought us to the interval by BLOWING IN THE WIND and then BLOWING IN THE WIND.

The second half was started by AL who with some basic politics rightly scoffed at the POUND A WEEK RISE before telling us that the young should be careful not to misinterpret PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE, his own song. Rising to his feet again young JOSH was immediately on the road RIDING MY THUMB DOWN TO MEXICO and then all the way down to Raleigh with WAGON WHEEL before latecomer RICHARD GRAY pleaded for PEACE IN OUR TIME and then gave us THE STORY OF MY LIFE. Giving way to BEN who sang WILL V AIR (phonetic spelling?) and controversially MY UNFAVOURTITE THINGS to which HILARY tagged on a few of her FUNNY THINGS. Glad to see him back again with his banjo, JOHN B first asked MOSES WRITE IT DOWN and then proceeded to tell us WHEN AN OLD CRICKETER LEAVES THE CREASE which nicely set up JAMES for a big finish with UNKNOWN LEGEND followed by a rampant SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS before GRASSROOTS rounded everything off with HARMLESS followed by HERE, THERE and EVERYWHERE.

Newsletter No 478 5 June 2018

ED & SUE hosted an evening high on talented performers but fewer in the audience and, on his first return to the club after he injured his shoulder, they invited ROBIN to open with a ride on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. He was followed by PAUL RILEY who was as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU before KATH & STAN took the road to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH and PETES THE KING had us all smiling at his own RUSTY RED PARK BOX. Romantically and instrumentally for IAN it was JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT whereas for PAUL McD it was QUITTING TIME by Mary Chapin Carpenter and for ANDY a case of SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN by Johnny Cash. Keeping up the quality ED sang GOODBYE TO THE SEA by David Boulton before our old friend GED DARBY rose to rescue one of his favourite songs, THE LAST MINSTREL SHOW, that Kath & Stan had previously stolen from him. This left CARL to complete the round with one of John Prine’s latest songs HELLO IN THERE which brought ROBIN to his feet with the appropriate HEY, IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME, AGAIN! Fully reciprocated, Robin!! KATH & STAN were next up with THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY while IAN was at pains to say I AIN’T MISBEHAVING leaving PAUL to pour oil on troubled waters with DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER. More upbeat PAUL McD advised us to have THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE by Green Day and satisfied was GED who told us I GOT MINE which was not true of CARL who told us I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR by John Gawker. Coming to the break PETES THE KING sang about DEBORAH as in Deborah Winger whereas ED confessed I GOT STONED (Dr. Hook) and ANDY was LATE TO PARTY by Kacey Musgraves.

In the Raffle Ian won first prize of a bottle of French Red Wine and Andy won the next prize but kindly asked for it to be re-drawn which left Kath Rothwell to win the Make-up Bag with Beauty Products and Paul Riley to win the M&S Herb Plant Pot set and tray. This left GED to suggest all the losers should JUST TAKE ONE LAST LOOK by Todd Waites and PAUL McD to admit that it is SO SAD TO WATCH GOOD LOVE GO BAD by the Everly Brothers and MARIAN kept the mood with the drowning of Willie Lennox in an Irish Ballad, LAKES OF COL FIN. Fortunately the emotional roller coaster hit a happy patch when ROBIN lifted the mood with BOBBY McGEE and IAN played the lovely MOON RIVER before CARL had us the story of the BLACKSMITH AND THE TOFFEEMAKER. Coming to the end of a top night ANDY went with John Prine’s SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS but KATH & STAN turned the tables with NO TELLING WHAT A LOVE SONG CAN DO before PAUL suggested everyone should join in with ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS for definitely a rousing end to a great night.





MAY - 2018

Newsletter No 477 29 May 2018

Following their whale watching in Iceland DON & HEATHER thought to start with LITTLE POT STOVE whereas BANJO JOHN was off down the RED RIVER VALLEY to which PAUL replied WADE IN THE RIVER and PETER BRIDGE commented WELL, WELL, WELL. In response to his sister’s comment BEN sang NEW YORK GIRLS where the man comes off worse and not the woman as in most of his songs and ALLEN then sang McPHERSON’S RANT where the man well and truly gets it in the neck. More calmly MARIAN simply had us FOLLOW THE HERON HOME but BRIAN pointed out THINGS AIN’T SIMPLE as PETE found out when he took the GOLD FISH out of its bowl and thought wagging its tail meant it was happy! With an interesting insight into love RACING DEMON told us SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS (that she has given up men) and JAMES had a similar view with NORWEGIAN WOOD. However, CARL’s message was clear in BLACK DIAMONDS as was BANJO JOHN’s with ACE IN THE HOLE and PAUL’s who had the WALKING BLUES. Luckily RICHARD came along to cheer us up with THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN but BEN soon had us all sad again in SAMMY’S BAR and PETER BRIDGE was asking LET ME DOWN EASY but Simon’s answer with RACING DEMON was to sail away with a brief SHIVER ME TIMBERS (Tom Waits).

In the bumper raffle Paul won the Bottle of Red Wine; Lin won the Box of Tea; Simon won the Special Chutney; Carl won the Scarf kindly gifted to Marian; Allen won the CD and Ben won the packet of 5 CDs before JAMES kicked off the second half with KANSAS CITY and CARL went LOOKING FOR THE SUN, his own song. Up for a bit of contumely ALLEN told the story of ERIN GO BRAGH but BRIAN was less combative with the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER (John Hyatt) as for MARIAN it was JUST AS THE TIDE WAS TURNING. For RICHARD he was in the BACK COUNTRY LANES whereas PAUL was going down THE MOBILE (train) LINE and BEN was singing THE SONG OF STRANDS written for him by a friend. For ALLEN it was a question of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN as BRIAN had STARDUST in his eyes but for CARL life was definitely NEARER TO NETTLES and PETER was wondering what his lover was up to at SUNDOWN. RACING DEMON also wondered if SHE’S NO LADY by Lyle Lovett was about ex-wife Julia Roberts and JAMES hit the right note with YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND as did RICHARD with his version of OVER THE RAINBOW to send us home on a happy note.

Newsletter No 476 22 May 2018

With plenty coming through the door PAUL RILEY was invited to set the ball rolling which he did with a join in medley of THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE; DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE and THIS TRAIN IS BOUND FOR GLORY before hosts KATH & STAN themselves struck up from TEN THOUSAND MILES and BANJO JOHN danced with MR BOJANGLES. On the other hand PHIL was eager to get back to his ROOTS as BRIAN was romantic with ONLY YOU (Flying Pickets) and PAUL McD went all gospel with STAND BY ME. Next PETER was off to the GRAND COOLEE DAM just as SIMON & JAMES asked WHY MUST I ALWAYS EXPLAIN before JAMES lightened things up with HERE COMES THE SUN. Going traditional MARIAN sang about the ELMS OF TYBURN followed by DAVID O’KEEFE who sang HALLELUJAH and BANJO JOHN raised the roof with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. Coming to the break KATH & STAN declared HEAVEN’S A BOAT so BRIAN sang I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS to which PAUL replied LIFE GETS TEDIOUS DON’T IT before PETER finished with CORRINA.

In the big raffle Chris won the Bottle of Red Wine, Michael won the Bottle of White Wine, Paul McD won the Candle, Ann won the Manicure Set, Peter won the Key Ring and Simon won the CD donated very kindly by James. PHIL then struck up with AMSTERDAM, SIMON & JAMES sang with the NIGHTINGALE before JAMES led us all in THE GLORY OF LOVE which made MARIAN think that THERE IS A HERB IN MY FATHER’S GARDEN - RUE. To change the subject KATH & STAN then gave us an instrumental with two tunes, WATER OF TYNE & SIR JOHN FENWICK, as BRIAN took himself ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and PAUL McD pleaded LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. For PAUL RILEY it was still about the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES whereas PETER bemoaned THE DIMMING OF THE YEARS and PHIL went off to THE FIELDS OF FRANCE. Also SIMON & JAMES were not happy bunnies in the HEARTBREAK HOTEL even though JAMES promised that LOVE WILL SURELY COME MY WAY. Right up front MARIAN asked WHEN SHALL WE GET MARRIED, JOHN and KATH & STAN replied WHEN THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW and all PAUL RILEY could suggest was that we STEP IT UP AND GO. What a finish! 

Newsletter No 475 15 May 2018

After a hot day it was a cool, cool evening with hosts HEATHER KENYON and PAUL RILEY started off by leading the assembled rabble with MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE, SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT and WHEN THE SAINTS. Celebrating over 50 years BANJO JOHN had us all singing LOVE AND MARRIAGE before FLOTSAM aka Kathy & Peter took us off to AMERICA to which CHRIS replied with THE SETTING saying ‘Emigration is the curse of a nation’. With his little Amp we all call the “Toaster” IAN told us that instrumentally IT HAD TO BE YOU and indeed DAVID concurred with his original poem DO YOU HAVE A DREAM which is an echo of Martin Luther King’s iconic speech. Back again with his new guitar ROD came up with SWEET CHILD OF MINE while DON & HEATHER admitted they were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE leaving ANDY to embrace the future with TOMORROW is going to be a brighter day by Jim Croce. Equally optimistic PAUL McD wished us LONG MAY YOU RUN and HILARY further cheered us with some of her ONE-LINERS but TIM wasn’t convinced with PRISON SONG and for BEN he thought EVERY TOWN WAS THE SAME. A couple of stories from PETE took us into swing along mode for SIDE BY SIDE with BANJO JOHN and then set off with FLOTSAM in the CARAVAN but it was still a LONG WAY FROM HERE TO CLARE with CHRIS. Oh for THE WAY WE WERE sighed IAN instrumentally before PAUL McD took us off with BOBBY McGEE and BANJO JOHN had us wearing RED FEATHERS AND A HOOLEY HOOLEY SKIRT as we hit the interval.

The bumper Raffle saw Hilary win the Bottle of Red Wine; Andy took the Bunch of Roses home to celebrate the anniversary of meeting his wife; Pete won the Box of Tea and Vic and Rod won CDs before in Ed’s absence ANDY started the second half with LET THE MYSTERY BE by Iris Dement. No wonder ROD reached for the TEQUILA SUNRISE and HILARY got out her JOKE BOOK. TIM on the other hand said SO LONG MARIANNE but DON & HEATHER had ALL THE ANSWERS and BEN solved the problem of MY GRANDFATHER’S CLOCK as PAUL sailed away on the SLOOP JOHN B. As if sensing a big finish FLOTSAM sang the excellent BIDE AWHILE and CHRIS took us to THE STREETS OF LONDON and PAUL McD pleaded SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME and then took us UNDER THE BOARDWALK. No wonder ANDY said IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND as IAN took us into the FIELDS OF GOLD leaving BEN to tell us to KEEP YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL. Living up to this PAUL had us all singing into the street with a bunch of THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME.

Newsletter No 474 8 May 2018

With KAMRAN & PETE in the chair and in excellent form a top night was in store PAUL having us all joining him with BLACK-EYED SUSIE followed by BRIAN who had STARDUST (Hoagie C) in his eyes while ALLEN had his eye on a POUND A WEEK RISE. More seriously JOHN REED was BLEEDING, his latest composition, and KATH & STAN urged us to SHAKE SUGAREE and, making his debut, PAUL McDERMOTT received a warm welcome when he asked LET IT BE ME. On the other hand KAMRAN asked AIN’T WE CRAZY and PETER took off with the SKYLINE PIDGEON which left TIM in the FOUNTAIN OF SORROW (J Browne). PHIL then treated us to the hymn, WHEN THE GREEN BLADE RISES, followed by SIMON who asked, SEE HOW I MISS YOU (Bruce Cogburn) and JAMES boasted SHE BELONGS TO ME (B Dylan) which ED followed appropriately with BOB DYLAN’S DREAM. Coming up to the interval the TWO SPIRITS & TWO PAULS (Don, Heather, Paul Riley and Paul McDermott) washed their hands in MUDDY WATER before ALLEN bade FAREWELL TO SICILY, PETER had us singing ROSE OF ALLENDALE and BRIAN told us what it was like SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard).


A grand Raffle saw the Bottle of Red Wine go home with Simon, Hilary win the bio of Ronnie Wood, Kamran win the Shower gel, Sue win the Hand soap, Heather Kenyon win the Bunch of Roses and JOHN REED win the DVD before he teamed up with KAMRAN for AS THE CROW FLIES. Next TIM returned with JOE HILL and PAUL McDERMOTT came up with BILLY TYLER before KATH & STAN celebrated Salford the original DIRTY OLD TOWN. Rising to the bait ED described things IN MY LIVERPOOL HOME which stimulated a parody from RICHARD GRAY that he called THE LEAVING (OF LIVERPOOL?). Crossing the Atlantic PAUL recruited KAMRAN who played a brilliant washboard for KC MOAN whereas SIMON with JAMES was out on THE LOW HIGHWAY leaving JAMES to sing DON’T THINK TWICE and KAMRAN to warn us WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS. Heading toward a big finish PHIL treated us to THE HARE and DON & HEATHER sang their own FLOWERS ON THE WATER which left BRIAN to declare it is SUMMERTIME. The grand finale saw KATH & STAN sing DINK’S SONG which nicely set up RICHARD with his lovely story of emigration in the DIAMOND ROSE to end a truly memorable evening.

Newsletter No 473 1 May 2018

A big crowd greeted GRASSROOTS who started with I WANDERED BY A BROOKSIDE followed by ED and THE FLUSHERS who with PETER GREEN wandered the FIELDS OF ENGLAND. Next TIM told us philosophically that LOVE IS JUST A FOUR LETTER WORD before JAN introduced the obvious theme with AS I ROVED OUT ONE MAY MORNING which DON & HEATHER took up tongue in cheek with MAY YOU NEVER. Going back a century SIMON sang the music hall song I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE which made Poet DAVID think of his own poem contrasting the good and the bad, LONDONDERRY you’re a very bad penny. Also going back in time ANN remembered the PUNCH & JUDY MAN whereas IAN was all WINDY & WARM and PETE ROBERTS was reminding someone she was a BIG GIRL NOW and ROD was saying DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. After some brief craic about boats MARK came up with the SHOALS OF HERRING and PAUL declared “ May the road come up to meet you” etc this time under the guise of AN IRISH BLESSING and we speculated that there are many other versions claimed as original which BEN thought was SHAMELESS. Back on track ANDY asked us to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME but HILARY ignored that request and had us rolling in the aisles with more of her ONE-LINERS before GRASSROOTS brought us to order with CABLE STREET and TIM said let’s COME TOGETHER. No wonder SIMON introduced a bit of fantasy IN THE PINES before ED helped us celebrate Ann’s birthday with THE LIFE IN YOUR MEN and MARK & JAN suggested a good idea would be to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS.

In a bumper Raffle Paul won the Bottle of Red Wine, Jan won the bottle of Kalamata Olive Oil, Andy won the Box Of Yorkshire Tea, Hilary won the Plant and Vic won the Shower gel which the other Paul would have liked but he won the Book on Ronnie Wood, one lead guitar reading about another. All this excitement left BEN to kick off the second half with WINTER after which ROD climbed aboard THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS before ANN returned to Paris with the sad BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN. For some reason PETE ROBERTS then had REASON TO BELIEVE and PAUL got the CHURCH STREET BLUES and ANDY wasn’t too pleased as he requested BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. Coming to the climax of a superb evening DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us off to Oz with the DIAMANTINA DROVER but IAN demanded STAY CLOSE TO ME and MARK & JAN told us it’s NO USE CRYING before GRASSROOTS sent us off home singing Mick’s song DON’T LEAVE ALONE to end a top night. 

APRIL - 2018

Newsletter No 472 24 April 2018
As the place slowly filled up BANJO JOHN kicked off with ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND and KATH & STAN gave us THE LAST GOODBYE before ALLEN got on theme with his NEARLY SONNET 18 to celebrate the Anniversary of William Shakespeare before CARL nailed the St George’s Day part with SCARBOROUGH FAIR followed by PETER BRIDGE with ENGLAND 1914. More locally DON & HEATHER went for PENDLE and PAUL sang ALL AROUND MY HAT and ED remembered the sinking of THE ROYAL CHARTER by Dave Boulton and SIMON & JAMES worshiped the COOKSFERRY QUEEN (R. Thompson). JAMES, however, insisted we WALK RIGHT BACK as PETER & CATHY proclaimed THE RIVER IS WIDE and PETE ROBERTS visited ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY so welcome relief came from HILARY with some of her ONE-LINERS and BRIAN said you must remember this AS TIME GOES BY. With his own clever song CARL then went FROM THE ARMORY TO THE CROWN as BANJO JOHN pleaded BABY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME and KATH & STAN returned with a couple of TUNES before PETER & CATHY were BROTHERS IN ARMS. Coming to the interval ALLEN, with his own song, asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU and PETER BRIDGE replied it’s a SWEET MYSTERY and DON & HEATHER had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL.

In the grand raffle Brian won the bottle of Red Wine, Hilary won the Box OF Tea, Peter won the Shampoo and Al won the Bunch of Tulips before PAUL followed MR DREAM SELLER. This prompted some JOKEY  OBSERVATIONS from PETE’S the king before PETE ROBERTS sang his own song THE BEST IN ME and JAMES said HELLO MARY LOU (R Nelson). Next SIMON with JAMES was all strung out on CARMELITA before HILARY had us laughing at more ONE-LINERS and ED had us chortling at THE MORRIS DANCERS. Contrarily BRIAN had a problem singing DAMN THIS TOWN whereas KATH & STAN were on THE GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL and CATHY & PETER were riding the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Not so PETER BRIDGE who had the SLEEPY TIME BLUES and PAUL shantied away with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER before PETE ROBERTS stated IF NOT FOR YOU. Heading for a big finish ALLEN told us it’s LIFE DON’T YA KNOW, his own, as BRIAN was going THROUGH THE MORNING THROUGH THE NIGHT and SIMON & JAMES were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS AGAIN to which DON, HEATHER & PAUL replied, lay down that borrowed guitar and sing your way into the street to ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD which drew a fantastic evening to a close. A top night!! 

Newsletter No 472 17 April 2018

The room was already swollen with massive talent before DON & HEATHER light-heartedly kicked off with MACK THE KNIFE from the Threepenny Opera. With a song inspired by Ruth Powell, GRASSROOTS told of an ORDINARY DAY before PAUL had us sha-la-la-ing with BROWN EYED GIRL only for ARTHUR to remind us THERE’S ALWAYS MONEY FOR A WAR. In the deep south BRIAN came up with the TENNESSEE WALTZ while TIM was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE before PHIL introduced us to ADAM AND THE BEASTS by the tragic Alasdair Clayre so no wonder IAN came up with the MISSISSIPPI BLUES. Delightfully and brilliantly poet OLIVER then treated us to THE FOX and THE PAY PHONE from his published works before his uncle ROGER sang his own song RITA TAKES THE DAY in tribute to his mother’s life. ANDY then suitably diverted us with WON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE as did HILARY with some more of her hilarious ONE-LINERS which nicely set up ANN to sing the lovely VAIR ME O, RO VAN O. Next and with a topical song PETE’S THE KING pleaded with us to TAKE YOUR RUBBISH HOME while BEN more philosophically sang I CAN’T LEAVE THIS WORLD BEHIND by Josh Ritter. CARL was also in philosophical mood with his own MAGICAL SKY whereas ED was miraculous with THE HERMIT which left GRASSROOTS to sing Mick’s song FOR STEPHEN LAWRENCE to take us to the break in sombre mood.

The interval raffle saw Ian win the Bottle of Red Wine, Andy win the Chocolates, Hilary win the Handwash and Dave win the Shower Gel before ARTHUR had us purring with AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMY (with kittens) while BEN was still in war mode with SOLDIER, SOLDIER. With another of his interests TIM sang about his latest musical creation, MISS HAVERSHAM, which had PETER swearing off the GREY FUNNEL LINE whereas PETE KING was absolutely on TOP OF THE WORLD with his latest new song. Talking about being on top of the world, CARL treated us to the BALLAD OF BILLY KERSHAW and BRIAN sang Kurt Weill’s SEPTEMBER SONG before IAN gave us a brilliant interpretation of GEORGIA on my mind. Then it was time for poet OLIVER with two more gems HANK WILLIAMS v THE CHELSEA BUNS and THE PACT which stimulated PETE’S THE KING to remember JEAN McPHERSON in the first song he ever wrote. Another gem! Also suitably enthused ANDY sang his own interpretation of I WILL by the Beatles which encouraged ROGER to sing his own 2 PARTS ALCOHOL 1 PART SORRY before PHIL came up with CADENCE AND CASCADE. Going for a long distance big finish to an incredibly top quality evening PAUL kicked off with the saucy FISHING BLUES before HILARY had tears running down our cheeks with more ONE-LINERS and PETE KING unveiled another new song, SKETCHES IN BLUE. There were no illusions when ED was caught TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM which left DON, HEATHER & PAUL to lead everyone in a great rendition of WAGON WHEEL to end a class night of verse, music and mirth.

Newsletter No 471 10 April 2018

A very enjoyable evening was ahead of those who dropped into Sale Folk Club when hosts Heather Kenyon and Paul Riley opened the proceedings with PAUL himself surprising us by starting with AIKEN DRUM on the accordion, a children’s folk song which probably has its origins in a Jacobite song about the Battle of Sheriffmuir (1715). BANJO JOHN quickly followed with APRIL SHOWERS, which could have been dedicated to those on holiday, so no wonder PETER decided to just WALK ON BY. For MARK, returning from a while ago, IT WAS BETTER TO BUILD BRIDGES THAN WALLS, his own song, and DAVID also took an optimistic stance with two poems from Doris Siddons, LIFE FOR ALL and BEAUTIFUL BRIDE. Surely neither ALLEN nor the workers were satisfied with a POUND A WEEK RISE and still with the workers, CORRIE, a new visitor, sang a hauntingly beautiful unaccompanied song of her own, JOHNNY, about the Pretoria Pit disaster of 1910 which was in Over Hulton. TIM then sang ANNIE’S SONG and KATH & STAN sang about THE FORSAKEN MERMAID before NAOMI & PHIL played RUE DE PARIS on the Flute and Guitar. PHIL then sang a whaling song LEVIATHAN before BEN unveiled his new 12-fret guitar for CALIFORNIA and PETER & CATHY, part of the band Flotsam, told us they were just BOUND TO GO SAILING. Something then set JAMES off MAKING WHOOPEE before he was joined by Simon to become RACING DEMON who were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS which made PAUL, due to no singing voice, think of reciting his own poem about THE WIZARD OF THE EDGE. Striding up to the front BANJO JOHN then paid his money for the Threepenny Opera and sang MACK THE KNIFE which for some reason gave PETER the WEEPING WILLOW BLUES and led MARK to comment THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES, with his own song. This led to a few more observations on life with DAVID reading Tom Snee’s poem FRIENDS AND LOVERS and ALLEN singing his own song, IT’S A SHAME, before CORRIE took us to the interval with RECOGNITION her own song about a mother’s Dementia accompanying herself with her Baritone Ukelele.

The interval Raffle saw David win the Bottle of White Wine, Kath & Stan win the Bottle of Red Wine and Peter win the Chocolates before KATH & STAN took off for OWENSBORO and TIM responded WE SHALL OVERCOME. Next NAOMI & PHIL were CARDIN OWT followed by PHIL singing THE OUTLAW and PETER & CATHY were with the wind in the willows singing about BREAD & FISHES. Then it was time for BEN to play his new guitar with BOTH HANDS as RACING DEMON went searching for AMELIA EARHART and JAMES went looking for SWEET LORRAINE. Still without singing voice PAUL continued his new career as a poet with his recently written EAR-WORM which had PETER wanting to ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS but it just made MARK just LONESOME. Coming to big finish ALLEN then took us down the ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE so no wonder CORRIE found it HARD TO BELIEVE and BEN shot off to LONDON TOWN leaving KATH & STAN to have us all singing with GOING AROUND THE WORLD BABY MINE. Then finally it left to RACING DEMON with SINCE i MET YOU and PETER & KATHY with TEACH YOU CHILDREN WELL to end a great evening with plenty of buzz and some powerful performances. Paul's poems can be found on https://aplaceofpoetry.wordpress.com.


Newsletter No 470 3 April 2018

A slow starter but they kept on coming as KATH & STAN first took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and IAN decided to SHOW A LITTLE TENDERNESS and PAUL turned on LAZY JOHN. For his first ALLEN decided he would CATCH THE WIND as ED was away with THE PILGRIM and HELEN also had the URGE FOR GOING. On the other hand ANDY showed no favourites as the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER before surprise and very welcome guest VIRGINIA KETTLE from Folk Band Merry Hell delighted us with her own GROWING, GROWING GONE. No wonder KATH & STAN suddenly thought WE COULD FLY and IAN went SUDDENLY instrumental and PAUL got the HOW LONG BLUES. Slightly late PETER nearly decided to STEAL AWAY as ALLEN mused IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO but not for MURGATROYD AND MATHILDA sang ED. Then, in her own sweet way, HELEN sang FAITH’S SONG which made ANDY think OH, MY SWEET CAROLINA before VIRGINIA returned with THE BUTCHER AND THE VEGAN which set up HILARY for some more of her hilarious ONE-LINERS. Building nicely to the interval KATH & STAN sang MONDAY MORNING and IAN played a great version of Sting’s  FIELDS OF GOLD before another late-comer DAVE blew us away with TAKE ME INTO YOUR ARMS and PETER took us traditionally to the break with PEGGY GORDON.

In the Raffle John won the Cava, Helen won the Guitar Stand and Martin won the Picture Frame before PAUL sang YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE and ALLEN sang THE WORKER’S SONG. Then in a menacing mood ED threatened TREAT ME DAUGHTER DECENT and HELEN went DANCING UNDER THE GALLOWS so no wonder ANDY was that DESPERADO. Fortunately VIRGINIA calmed things down with SWEETLY SLEEP NO MORE and DAVE chipped in with I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD before PETER said we should BIDE A WHILE. For his last contribution IAN was HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE as KATH & STAN decided on two tunes, BEAR DANCE & HORSES BRAWL, with the fiddle and whistle which gave ALLEN those WILD EYES he is famous for. Coming to a climax ED had us laughing when he got sat on by the FAT LADY’S BUM before VIRGINIA was all serious with NOBODY KNOWS and PAUL had us singing into the street with a TWO DOLLAR BILL to bring a slow start to a big finish. Sweet!!

MARCH - 2018

Newsletter No 469 27 March 2018

PAUL kicked off what turned out to be a quality night with everyone joining in WORRIED MAN BLUES before BANJO JOHN reminded us it was time for the EASTER PARADE and in another way PHIL gave a nod to THE LORD OF THE DANCE. Then it was back to normal with BEN who sang BOTH HANDS by Ani DiFranco before another ROB, who had been before, returned with MARTYR IN THE MAKING, his own song about the Manchester Arena Tragedy. Appropriately, CHRIS then stepped up with IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS and SIMON & BRIAN came up with WEAPON OF PRAYER before leaving BRIAN alone on a RAINY DAY IN GEORGIA. This nicely set up the return of old friend RICHARD KNOTT, now a star in his own right following the successful release of his latest album, to sing COME ON BABY LET’S GO TO TOWN. Inspired JONATHAN & CHARLIE sang THE HEART as PETER was on THE LAST TRAIN AND GONE (McTell) and JAMES asked, for HOW LONG and SIMON asked, SEE HOW I MISS YOU? Next BANJO JOHN was prompted to correct history with DELILAH and ROB sang his own excellent FAREWELL TO WELFARE before PHIL returned to theme with JESU JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING (guitar instrumental). It was then a surprise when BEN sang POOR JACK, written by his very talented Mum, which CHRIS followed with LET ME DOWN EASY before RICHARD KNOTT sang the title track to his new CD, LONG STORY SHORT to take us to the interval.

In the suitably bumper Raffle Phil won the Box of Tea, Sandra won the Bottle of Wine, Simon won the Note Set and Paul won a Clock before PAUL & CHARLIE in a new partnership sang YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE by Mississippi Fred McDowell. No wonder JONATHAN & CHARLIE commented EVERYBODY HURTS (REM) before PETE (The King) sang DOROTHY and BRIAN took us to THE DARK END OF THE STREET where PETER was SOMEWHERE ALONG THE ROAD. Getting straight to the point JAMES then celebrated THE GLORY OF LOVE before, back in harness as Speed Demon, SIMON & JAMES sang the NIGHTINGALE by Nick Lowe. PHIL then told us the story of THE TAILOR AND THE BUTCHER’S WIFE before CHRIS went instrumental with BLIND BLAKE RAG. This set up a great ending led off by RICHARD KNOTT who could read us LIKE A BOOK and BEN warning of SMOKING TOO LONG before PETE (the King) who confessed I STOLE THE SONG and BRIAN claimed there is NOTHING I LOVE (John Hyatt). Then came the final walk about as PETER went FROM CLARE TO HERE (McTell) and SIMON & JAMES went BACK TO GREENVILLE before PAUL went all philosophical saying, if it wasn’t for the FENCES (Arthur Marshall). Despite PAUL & SIMON hosting HOMEWARD BOUND didn’t make it this time. Shame?!?


Newsletter No 468 20 March 2018

DON & HEATHER kicked off Kamran’s big party night with IWASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER swiftly followed by JOHN CONDY’S nod to St Patrick and a GALWAY GIRL before PAUL had us all singing JOCKY FULL OF BOURBON. Then BRIAN sang LATELY before MARK rocked us with the LITTLE RED ROOSTER and JO turned to Iris Dement for YOU’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG. Nevertheless PETER confessed I STILL MISS SOMEONE and PETE MINERS played his excellent guitar instrumental DOWN BY THE EXE which left JAN to sing about the FACTORY GIRL and, hardly before they had got their coats off, CHARLIE & JONATHAN asked us WHAT SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING? Then it was good to see DAVID O’KEEFE and hear his own excellent song TAKE ME INTO YOUR ARMS which for some reason put CARL with Jez Lowe and NEARER TO NETTLES and made MARIAN confess I LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE. With a special request ED recalled GOING DOWN TO LONDON to see the Queen but SIMON was by THE BANKS OF PONCHARTRAIN before KAMRAN & KATHY delighted us with FADE INTO YOU and SUMMER WINE to take us to the break.

During the interval we had a big buffet and chips kindly provided by Kamran on his birthday and luckily he won the Easter Egg in the Raffle before Pete took the Bottle of Red Wine and Marian won the Box of Tea before CHARLIE & JONATHAN started the second half with TEXAS LOVE SONG. With all the talk of WWII and its craziness PETER summed it all up with THE MAGINOT WALTZ but fortunately MARK & JAN were DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR as SIMON gave Kamran his birthday wish O DEATH! WON’T YOU SPARE ME OVER ‘TIL ANOTHER YEAR. What a good thought. BRIAN then came up with TERMS OF MY SURRENDER as an alternative to the word divorce but DAVID & PAUL were not put off with NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD. Still in good form MARIAN sang of the BLIND BEGGAR while tongue JOHN was in LAS VEGAS IN THE HILLS OF DONEGAL before he went back to BAKER STREET with CARL and PAUL prophesied that THIS OLD WORLD IS ALMOST DONE. Still in humorous mood ED told us ERNIE, the fastest librarian in the west, RIDES AGAIN before KAMRAN & KATHY came back THINKING OF THE PAST. This left DAVID to sing another great song of his own STEALING FIRE which left DON & HEATHER have us walking out singing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to end an absolutely top night. Here’s to the next time.


Newsletter No 467 13 March 2018

In memory of Ken Dodd and in the tradition of the club BANJO JOHN started us off with HAPPINESS, HAPPINESS as we launched into our pre-St Patrick’s celebration before DON, HEATHER & PAUL went traditional with the BLACK VELVET BAND and PAUL followed up with the story of BELFAST MILL. On theme PHIL then sang GREEN ANTHEM and PETER BRIDGE went with THE FERRY MAN by THE DUBLINERS before PETE sang his own FRIENDS. Then it was a delight to see and hear old friend MICHAEL BRACKEN who took us back in time with PEGGY O’NEILL & MY WILD IRISH ROSE and ALLEN delivered the interesting story of ERIN GO BRAGH (Ireland Forever). All this had KATH & STAN going off TEN THOUSAND MILES and POET DAVID telling us he was soon going back to Armagh where he will pass the two light houses in his poem THE LIGHT HEARTED PRINCESS before CARL sang ALICE and ED moved TO WELCOME PADDY HOME. Way over in the USA SIMON & JAMES had the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES and JAMES was under BUCKETS OF RAIN (Bob Dylan) and BANJO JOHN turned to Nat King Cole saying MY BABY JUST CARES FOR ME. PHIL then came up with a nice version of FOTHERINGAY by Fairport Convention before MICHAEL BRACKEN sang here’s to the unifying of IRELAND’S 32 counties. Finally KATH & STAN sang about DAN MOODY and CARL sang about the dog SINATRA AND I as we reached the interval.

The Bumper Raffle saw Paul win the Chocolates, Sue win the CD, Barry win the Gladioli Bulbs, Joan win the Bailey’s Irish Cream, Stan win the Guinness, Pete win the Steam Train DVD and Allen win the Steam Train DVD before PAUL takes us all ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL with the great song from Arthur Marshall. On theme ED treats us to the BARREL OF BRICKS as PETE takes the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE and MARIAN celebrates women’s week with THE FEMALE DRUMMER. Seeking alternative solace JAMES gets the COCAINE BLUES and PETER BRIDGE goes of dancing the polka with some NEW YORK GIRLS as ALLEN turns to Donovan’s COLOURS whereas DON & HEATHER go back to the Emerald Isle and THE GALWAY SHAWL. SIMON then sang an IVORY JOE HUNTER song before PHIL delighted us with an guitar instrumental BOURREE by BACH and CARL wished a HEALTH TO THE COMPANY which left KATH & STAN with JOHN LOVER and JAMES with I WILL to take us over the line to end a super night brilliantly stewarded by Ed & Sue.


Newsletter No 466 6 March 2018
Another tip top evening smoothly guided by Kamran and PETE who started us off with YOUR SONG and soon it was High Noon with BANJO JOHN BROWN and DO NOT FORSAKE ME before ED continued the cowboy scenario with THE GAMBLER. This left CHRIS to surprise us with AUTUMN LEAVES in the first round of the toaster wars before DJ DAVE again amazed us with another DORIS SYDENHAM POEM and equally stirred WILF led us in UNITED WE STAND. Enough cried KAMRAN as he gave us his own version of 50 SHADES OF GREY as KATH & STAN greeted that WAYFARING STRANGER and PETE gave us the first part of his INTERVIEW WITH TESCO which for ALLEN brought back the GOLD WATCH BLUES. Then we had a trip round the globe as ANDY searched the North West Passage with LORD FRANKLIN and IAN went looking for somewhere WINDY AND WARM, with Chet Atkins, and CLARE told how BETSY BELL was searching for a man. No wonder PAUL thought of JOHN THE REVELATOR and DON & HEATHER opened a bottle of SPANISH BURGUNDY after which BANJO JOHN had us all singing with WHEN YOU’RE SMILING with a burst of HOLD THAT TIGER in the middle which left CHRIS to tell us what THE TRAWLERMAN wanted when he got back to the dock.


In the bumper Raffle the Rose Wine was won by Kath, the Gladioli bulbs went to Kamran, the Belgian chocolates went home with Pete The King, the Hand wash was Dave’s and the Decades of Steam DVD Box Set went home with Dolan which left PETE to SHOWER THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE in consolation. WILF, however, went further with TELL LAURA I LOVE HER and PETE completed his Interview with TESCO but we never found out if he got the job! All serious again ALLEN summed up a bit of contumely with WHAT’S IT TO YOU and ANDY addressed human conflict with GENESIS HALL (Thompson) before DAVE gave us another DORIS SYDENHAM POEM of real life. Then it was back to the music with a KAMRAN band up for LITTLE RED ROOSTER followed by ED who was LEARNING TO PLAY “ROMANZA” ONTHE GUITAR whereas IAN was on THE ROAD BACK HOME and STAN & KATH were WATERBOUND which is just as bad as snowed in. Very generously PAUL invited us to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE but CLARE said I WANT TO LIE DOWN and DON & HEATHER were equally inactive singing about THE BEGGAR. Fortunately, WILF revived us with CLEMENTINE and CHRIS got busy with JOSEPH’S HANDS which led ALLEN to TRY FOR THE SUN. Coming to a climax ANDY sang FOOLISH YOU and KATH & STAN had us singing about BLACK WATERS and IAN exclaiming my BABY’S COMING HOME. Then to well and truly finish us off PETE sang a Joni Mitchell song followed by CLARE with an IRISH WHISTLE TUNE which set up THE “THREE” SPIRITS who sent us home with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD dancing around in our heads!! Magic!!!


Newsletter No 465 27 February 2018

When the going gets tough the tough get going and 2 dozen hardy souls braved the weather to experience an evening of great songs, commented Carl Corbett, to celebrate St David’s Day. In the chair MARK & JANkicked off in great style with SUO-GâN followed by PETE who said GOODBYE TO THE OLD and DON & HEATHER bade FAREWELL TO THE RHONDDA of the mining era. In the absence of Banjo John BRIAN went back in time LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING before CARL harked back to the COAL TOWN DAYS but BEN stayed up to date with JOANNE by Lady Gaga. ED, on the other hand, was with the LONE RANGER IN SALFORD and HELEN was over in the USA for Zoe Mulford’s ALL OF HIS SONGS WERE ROAD SONGS leaving PHIL to be the LEVIATHAN. No wonder PAUL asked DID YOU EVER SEE before SIMON & JAMES got strung out with CARMALITA but survived AMELIA EARHART’S LAST FLIGHT which left JAMES with the HOW LONG BLUES. Back on theme MARK told the story of the LAST PIT IN THE RHONDDA and JAN sang MOLIANNWN leaving PAUL to out with SPENCER THE ROVER. Further out PETE was with the NORTH COUNTRY GIRL but in celebration of Jake Thackray’s birthday CARL sang ON AGAIN, ON AGAIN to bring us to half time.

In the interval Raffle Brain won the Red Wine, Vic won the Chocolates and James won the Gladioli before Jan gave us a delightful surprise with her wonderful Welsh Cakes for which the Recipe is at the end of this report. To open the second half DON & HEATHER returned the Welsh theme with JOHNNY MINER before ED came in from left field WITH HER HEAD TUCKED UNDERNEATH HER ARM and PHIL paid tribute to a SEAGULL from Llandudno. Even BEN turned to his own interesting LITTLE BLUE BOOK and BRIAN turned to the FACE OF GOD whereas HELEN was off LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Next and briefly as a folk singer JAMES came up with WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE but, going less well, SIMON was DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS AGAIN and PETE was with Woody Guthrie for LORD I AIN’T GOT A HOME IN THE WORLD ANY MORE. On a serious note CARL celebrated a cousin’s life with THANKSGIVING and PHIL asked IF before MARK had us smiling at DAI THE MOTOR BIKE MAN and PAUL had a tenuous link to Wales with WILD BILL JONES. Going for a big finish ED gave us the story of EVIL SWEEVIL (Les Barker) and JAN sang MAE GEN I DIPYN DY BACH TWT before DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us back ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. Not so much the Beast from the East more like Hysteria from Siberia!! An excellent night!!


8 oz plain flour
8 oz Currants
4 oz Caster sugar
4 oz Margarine
1 Egg (medium)
½ teaspoon Salt
Approx 1 tablespoon Milk


Sift flour into a bowl
Add sugar and mix in the Margarine to make Bread Crumbs
Beat egg and stir into the mixture
Add the Milk to make a Dough

Roll out the Dough on floured board to 3 cm thick.
Cut up with Scone Cutter

Finally Dry fry in pan on Medium to high heat for about 2 minutes each side like pancakes


Newsletter No 464 20 February 2018

As people flooded through the door DON & HEATHER thought we were in for some RARE OULD TIMES but who knows what BANJO JOHN was doing BLOWING BUBBLES whereas it was clear when PAUL asked us to WALK RIGHT IN. In need of more excitement PETER took us off to SIN CITY (Parsons) while KATH & STAN bade fare thee well my honey with DINK’S SONG but PETE was simply HURT written by Trent Reznor and half- inched by Johnny Cash some people think. Next ED teased us with WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE ME AS A FRIEND and CARL intrigued us with THE BIG FEAR by Jez Lowe which left HILARY to tickle us with some of her ONE-LINERS. Going back to the old country LIN & JIM met the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN and MARK followed instrumentally with two tunes SONNY’S MAZURKA and JOHN RYANS and JAN sang about COLCANNON IN THE LITTLE SKILLET POT. With poems from Doris Sydenham, DJ DAVE gave us BROKEN MARRIAGES and in memory of a good friend CLARE turned to Anthony John Clarke for MAYBE THE GOOD DIE YOUNG before PETES THE KING took us off to a BEACH BAR. In good form MARIAN remembered WHEN I WAS NOBBUT SWEET SIXTEEN and BANJO JOHN told us MY BABY JUST CARES FOR ME before PETER came up with Ralph McTell’s TEQUILA SUNSET. Heading for the interval newcomer ERIC blew our minds with his great flute playing in SOUTH WIND and THE BUTTERFLY with Clare also giving it some whistle before PAUL had us eating CORNBREAD AND BUTTERBEANS and CARL celebrated Jake Thackray’s birthday with SISTER JOSEPHINE.

A big raffle saw Penny take the Champagne, Banjo John win the Box of Tea, Joyce win the Bouquet of Roses and Margaret win the Perfume before JIM aided by LIN insisted I’M AN ORDINARY MAN. On the other hand PETE was A MINER FOR A HEART OF GOLD and before his last bus ERIC brilliantly played his flute for THE LARK IN THE MORNING AIR and PARTING OF FRIENDS and ED explained the complications of romance with GEORGINA BAILEY. More complexities of the world came from JAN & MARK with CLOUDS (J. Mitchell) and from DJ DAVE with THE PRICE OF A PINT by Doris Sydenham before PETES THE KING on a CYCLE RIDE with his dog went for audience participation. Then the roller coaster ride started with MARIAN and the tragedy of the BLANTYRE EXPLOSION followed by the utopia of KATH & STAN with FIDDLER’S GREEN and the humour of HILARY and her ONE-LINERS before CARL had us back on track with his own YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE. For JIM & LIN it was all about the HIGHWAYMAN by Willie Nelson while PAUL was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD and PETE reminisced about returning to Ireland with his own ALEXANDER LIGHT. It was all too much for JAN & MARK who slumped down in Bob Dylan’s EASY CHAIR and ED confessed to having an ANTI-SOCIAL PROBLEM before PETES THE KING lifted us with some JOKEY OBSERVATIONS. After a superb evening KATH & STAN found themselves WATERBOUND before DON & HEATHER suggested we lay down the borrowed guitar and sing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD and go home on a high!!

Newsletter No 463 13 February 2018

Treating us to another sublime evening of music and good humour KATH & STAN set off with SHAKE SUGAREE and with Valentine’s Day in mind ALLEN sang his own NEARLY SONNET 16 before PAUL told YELLOW IS THE COLOUR of his true love’s hair. In similar vein TIM sang SWEET SIR GALAHAD and DON & HEATHER sang Robbie Laing’s BLACK CLOTHES before CARL stepped up a gear with his own ALL AT SEA about a female sea captain and PETE followed with RABBIT HILLS, a song of the sea by Michael Chapman. Back with the romantic theme MARIAN was in fine form with the SQUIRE OF TAMWORTH but Simon & James, aka RACING DEMON, shot off with the DRUGSTORE TRUCK DRIVING MAN before HILARY rose with some of her deadly ONE-LINERS. Next BEN was pleading RICKY DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER as JAMES returned with VALENTINES DAY and KATH & STAN celebrated the BRIGHT MORNING STAR before PAUL told us I’M WILD ABOUT MY LOVIN’. In the same vein ALLEN claimed MADAM, I’M A DARLING and TIM paid tribute to SUZANNE before DON, HEATHER & PAUL sang of love flourishing at THE ROSEVILLE FAIR but alas it was unrequited when CARL sang I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR.

In the interval a bumper raffle saw Ken win the Prosecco, Kath win the Belgian Chocolates, Chris win the Valentine’s Bunch of Flowers and Penny win the Pancake Kit and kindly promptly give it to Hilary who particularly was hoping to win it and, therefore, actually did. Hitting the road again PETE noticed a STORM RISING making it for RACING DEMON a BLUE, BLUE DAY but luckily for MARIAN there was A TAVERN IN YONDER TOWN before BEN came up with a warning for DAISY (Karin Polwart) to be careful with her affections. A few more ONE-LINERS from HILARY lightened the mood and JAMES was optimistic with YOU’VE GOTTA FRIEND as were KATH & STAN as they went off to WESTERDALE and ALLEN who had found THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER. A bit more solitarily TIM was UP ON THE ROOF before CARL told how Jake Thackray’s LODGER was in demand. PAUL then came across as BIG, BAD BILL but DON & HEATHER reckoned they had PASSED THE POINT OF RESCUE and PETE was DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL. Coming to a climax BEN sang SOLDIER, SOLDIER would you marry me before RACING DEMON aka Simon & James covered everything with TUPELO HONEY. Sweet!


Newsletter No 462 6 February 2018

An excellent birthday celebration was superbly orchestrated by HEATHER KENYON and KAMRAN who gave us a very lively start with BIG ROAD BLUES before PAUL was consigned to be down DARK AS THE DUNGEON and ALLEN was back teaching us about body image with his PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE. No wonder KATH & STAN were off to the BAY OF BISCAY–O and HILARY shot us a few ONE-LINERS and ANDY insisted that WALTZING’S FOR DREAMERS before IAN stepped out with his own TODMORDEN TROT. This inspired BRIAN to successfully attempt the v.diff SEPTEMBER SONG by Kurt Weill before DJ DAVE introduced us to BABY, the work of a new poet DORIS SYDENHAM before LYN & JIM went off with the FULSOM PRISON BLUES. Next SIMON introduced us to the conundrum of EMILIA EARHART’S LAST FLIGHT and ARTHUR floated another insoluble with his HOUSING PROBLEM before DON & HEATHER defined the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS. Also breaking new ground PAUL introduced us to the “Cumberland Gap” tuning for VINCENT BLACK LIGHTNING before IAN gave us an excellent interpretation of Dylan’s MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and ALLEN swore JOSIE I WON’T FAIL YOU. Coming to the interval buffet HELEN was hoping for PASTURES OF PLENTY but all JIM & LYN got ON A MONDAY was Stripes.

In the Raffle the Box of Biscuits was won by Ian, the Hand Wash was won by Alan, the Red Wine was won by Allen and the Room fragrance was taken home by Ann before SIMON & KAMRAN teamed up with SYLVIA’S MOTHER and BRIAN was worried my BABY’S GOING TO KICK me out. Then late comer PETE KING sang his own, and Don’s favourite, FOOL’S PARADISE before DJ DAVE gave us NON-ENTITY, another by Doris Sydenham, and ARTHUR topically gave us THE IKEA SHOWROOM BLUES. Thank goodness for HILARY who cheered us with some more ONE-LINERS and ANDY who insisted A HEART NEEDS A HOME just before HELEN was OUTWARD BOUND. Closer to home DON & HEATHER sang his Dad’s song FLOWERS ON THE WATER but for KATH & STAN it was HEAVEN’S A BAR and for PETE KING it was an Eagles request for DESPERADO. Back to his roots ALLEN told the story of ERIN GO BRAGH while JIM was LEANING ON A LAMPPOST and ANDY was with ALISON which somehow turned SIMON into THE WEREWOLF. Ever resourceful IAN then played SOMETHING WHAT HE MADE UP which left HELEN smelling the MAGNOLIA WIND and BRIAN unhappily retorting DAMN THIS TOWN. Fortunately KATH & STAN escaped being WATER BOUND as ARTHUR was calling for just ONE MORE SONG which DON, HEATHER & PAUL were happy to provide in the form of their own DANCES FOR DOLLARS to end an absolutely splendid birthday night!! 

JANUARY - 2018

Newsletter No 462 30 January 2018

Celebrating the launch of their latest Album GRASSROOTS opened with Janice’s BROKEN swiftly followed by ALLEN with MACPHERSON’S RANT and PETE with a trip round KERRY but BRIAN was off to the DARK END OF THE STREET. Further afield ED was away to LAKE CHARLES as DON & HEATHER turned to The Threepenny Opera and MACK THE KNIFE as PAUL threw his hands in the air pleading HANG ME.  No wonder KAMRAN was ALABAMA BOUND as CHRIS celebrated the FAIR MAIDS OF FEBRUARY and LYNN & JIM set sail on THE IRISH ROVER. Luckily HILARY was on hand with some of her famous ONE–LINERS to lighten the proceedings as did PETESTHEKING with his song about the HUMBLE HITCHHIKER before JO demonstrated her burgeoning guitar technique with BLOWING IN THE WIND. With a nice diversion JAMES then gave us a POEM and Elvis’ LITTLE SISTER before SIMON joined him for BARTENDER’S BLUES. This nicely set up RICHARD for his own rather topical WHERE THERE IS NO SUN AND NO BLUE MOON and GRASSROOTS with GAMES OF LOVE before DON & HEATHER had us all rocking with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER.

Very kindly Grassroots provided a fine buffet of sandwiches and Chips and people were also tempted by their new album which also figured in the Big Raffle won by Pete and Richard won the wine, Brian won the Chocolate Orange, Jill won the Perfume, Lynn won the CD and Vic took the Biscuits. Showing no mercy ED swore he would FLOG ‘EM, FLAY ‘EM AND HANG ‘EM but PETE thought they might have THE MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES before RICHARD bade FAREWELL ANGELINA which made ALLEN think of another great song, FAREWELL TO SICILY. All of which made KAMRAN respond I’M GONNA RISE UP and LYNN & JIM to run off singing I’LL TELL MY MA and BRIAN telling us what he would do IF I HAD YOU before CHRIS with his usual aplomb sang THE SETTING by Ralph McTell which surely should have been called the Curse of a Nation. Fortunately we had HILARY to lift the mood with some ONE-LINERS before SIMON got close with PROPINQUITY and JAMES felt it was SO SAD as PAUL had us all ROLLING HOME and GRASSROOTS celebrated THE BATTLE STOCKTON to close an excellent evening of music and good craic.

Newsletter No 461 23 January 2018

Another super gathering this week was opened by BANJO JOHN who set the tone with MY BLUE HEAVEN 1924 swiftly followed by KATH & STAN with MOON SHADOW by Cat Stevens and PAUL who turned to some JUG BAND MUSIC. On a higher plane ED was up BETWEEN THE EARTH AND THE SKY as ARTHUR delved in to the Bosses BONUSES before BEN took us off to CALIFORNIA. Then for the first time we had a special treat when poet TOM SNEE came in person with his own poem HE DID HIS BEST followed by DON & HEATHER who had us off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR which for BRIAN was THE VERY THING. Back with us JOHN REED sang his own NINE TENTHS OF THE LAW whereas PETE turned to Dylan for his SPANISH BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER which for JONATHAN & CHARLIE was a REDEMPTION SONG. This left BANJO JOHN to go off IN THE SWEET BY AND BY which left ARTHUR to go off WALKING THE BULLDOG with his Melodeon, to the tune of Waltzing Mathilda as the interval came along.

Opening the second half BRIAN asked HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL and PAUL pitied the POOR OLD HORSE so no wonder DON & HEATHER turned to the WHISKY IN THE JAR. With his great version BEN was next off to LONDON TOWN and with his own composition JOHN REED was on THE DROVER’S TRAIL before KATH & STAN wanted to get in BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW. Then a special treat for DJ DAVE who got up with his hero TOM SNEE to perform together as TOM & TIM. No wonder PETE commented HERE COMES THE SUN but ED had other things on his mind in OH MY! NOT THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY again as PAUL celebrated the BROWN EYED GIRL of Van Morrison. For BEN it was THE TEARS OF A CLOWN he had in mind as JOHN REED sang THE MELTING before KATH & STAN waved THE LAST GOODBYE as we headed for the door. This was not before DON & HEATHER  pointed out that sometimes we are KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER and complaining of thirst but ARTHUR did not fall into that trap with his song FENCES which points out the sometimes illusory nature of barriers in life. An absolutely top night! 

Newsletter No 460 16 January 2018

A brilliant night despite the weather with BRIAN starting with Through the morning Through the night by Gene Clark before PAUL nipped off to the Roseville Fair and welcomed back DAVE Boulton aftere 2 years with his own  Hard Work being an Aardvark. Another very welcome visitor DAVE Cartright then came up with The house of the Rising Sun as a first time performer and HELEN followed with a Joan Baez favourite Silver Dagger before CHRIS sang the Magenot Waltz. Then came HILARY introducing some humour with her ONE-LINERS and then PETE back from France with My Lady is a Wild Flying Dove just as BEN told us the Sun’s coming over the Hill. Again back after a while came DJ DAVE with a Tom Smee Xmas Poem and CARL sang his excellent Echoes and Tokens about the old railways followed by PETE KING who claimed I'll deal with Vigilantes my way before ED slipped in Childhood Memories by Iris Dement. Unusual for him JAMES was So Sad before SIMON joined to maske up RACING DEMON for Carmelita. Then back came DAVE BOULTON with a new song about the film being made in Stoke on Trent about zombies, Apocalypso, so no wonder BRIAN gave us the Terms of My Surrender and HELEN thought it might be Someday Soon. PAUL still had that Drifting Blues and PETE ROBERTS called out Hey Joe before CHRIS turned to Ralph McTell for Things You Wish Yourself before more One Liners from HILARY and Lawrence Kansas and a Californis Medley of Josh Ritter songs brought us to the interval.

In the raffle the Wine was won by Brian, the Whisky marmalade set won by Carl and the Yorkshire Tea Bags won by Simon before ED kicked off with The Garden of Love by Bennie Hill followed by DJ DAVE with a very poignant  Tom Smee poem Life can be so lonely. PETE King then gave us  his own Edge of Town Taker before CARL took to Singing the Ages Down by Lester Simpson before JAMES turned to Everyday that Classic Buddy Holly. RACING DEMON  then came up with Heartbreak and BRIAN turned to the Face of God by John Hyatt to which PAUL replied You Ain’t Going Nowhere. Suitable for the time of night PETE Roberts would sooner be rolling my Sweet Baby's Arms and CHRIS wistfully sang Old Bones by Jez Lowe as HELEN set out on a Quest which left CARL to send us out into the street with an a cappella version of Cook andThe Deckies.

Newsletter No 459 9 January 2018

It sure was a party night as they filled up every pew and PAUL enticed us with CORRINA, CORRINA to which BANJO JOHN replied WHO’S SORRY NOW. No matter as KATH & STAN were off tilting at WINDMILLS and ALLEN gave us his slant on married conflict with DON’T YOU KNOW which for JIM & LYNN was all GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY. Then KEVIN sang the beautiful BY THE SEA before JOHN CONDY set off through the NORTHWEST PASSAGE but BEN had just been SMOKIN’ TOO LONG. Then SIMON was joined by a surprise visitor, his cousin JIM, who really beefed up VIGILANTE MAN as PHIL went WANDERING with James Taylor before ARTHUR raged about WINDSOR COUNCIL’S preparations for the  “PRINCE’S WEDDING DAY.” Next STEVE appropriately came up with Lindisfarne’s WHEN THE WINTER COMES HOWLING IN and CARL sang Pete Morton’s FURTHER before PETER teamed up with JOHN for a trip to ABILENE. Heading for a climax ED told us the tale of RED HEADED ANN and DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us to Australia to meet the DIAMANTINA DROVER before birthday boy MARTIN recited A HARD DAY’S NIGHT Peter Sellers style which left BANJO JOHN to play us out with the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL.

In the interval to celebrate Martin’s 65th Birthday he had provided us with our famous “” Butties and Chips Buffet” before we had a special bumper raffle in which Mike won the Wine, John C won the Chocolates, Sue won the Box of Yorkshire Tea and Lin won the Bunch of Roses. Starting the second half ROBIN summed up everyone’s feelings with IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN followed by KATH & STAN with a two great TUNES, TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING all of which left ALLEN to return to his original theme of marital bliss with WILD EYED. Traditionally, JIM & LYNN sang of the SPANISH LADY as BEN took us off to the UNQUIET GRAVE which for KEVIN was THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND. Again with Cousin JIM, SIMON asked IF I LOSE and JOHN C came back as Elvis and the WONDER OF YOU before PHIL went classical with a SONATINA by GIULIANI. In anticipation of his condition after the birth of his first grand daughter STEVE asked WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILOR and PETER with JOHN took off on THE MIDNGHT SPECIAL which gave ED the BRONCHIAL DILATOR BLUES. With a big finish in view CARL told us he STARTED OUT WITH NOTHING and DON, HEATHER & PAUL confessed to having WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER before PAUL had us peaking with LEAVE HER, JOHNNY, LEAVE HER which fair raised the rafters. A top night!!

Newsletter No 458 2 January 2018

DON & HEATHER responded to the highly talented throng with BLARNEY ROSES and PAUL sang Zoe Mulford’s WELCOME IN ANOTHER YEAR before ED got the BOB DYLAN’S BLUES. With his own composition IAN sang IN THE NAME OF PETERLOO as PHIL leapt to his feet with Al Stewart’s AMSTERDAM while IAN gave us a lovely instrumental version of YOU MAKE ME FEEL YOUR LOVE. Looking into the future ANDY recalled the JANUARY MAN and LYNN & JIM got a big welcome with PATSY FAGAN before PETE invited us to SANTA’S SURPRISE PARTY. All was not well with SIMON who was DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS and we kept JAMES in place for THINGS WE SAID TODAY which set up HILARY for SOME of her ONE-LINERS and ARTHUR to sing ONE MORE SONG by special request. In a less cheery mood PAUL requested HANG ME as ED recalled WHEN I WERE A LAD and IAN sang another of his own IT COULD BE YOU, WHO ME? Moving toward the break PHIL went back to Cornwall for COUSIN JACK just as IAN was HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE and ANDY was stating the obvious with IT IS WHAT IT IS TILL IT AIN’T ANY MORE which left LYNN & JIM to have us all singing A MON LIKE THEE as we went for refills.

In the interval raffle Martin won the Wine, Kath won the Chocolates, Hilary won the Box of Tea and Pete won the Diary before SIMON set out on THE LOW HIGHWAY and certainly JAMES was WILLIN’ and ARTHUR sang his latest hit I’D REACH OUT TO YOU. In his usual humorous manner PETE sang about the good old SCREEN SAVER and HILARY capped that with some MORE of her ONE-LINERS as PAUL came up with ROW RILEY. With another instrumental IAN played THE NEARNESS OF YOU before ANDY celebrated THE LADY CAME FROM BALTIMORE and PHIL sang about LIFE IN DARK WATER. With his own song IAN sang GET BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM and ARTHUR chipped in with his own THE RICH GET RICHER which prompted JIM to reply with THE CONTENDER. With an old favourite ED declared he was GOIN’ UP TO LONDON to see the Queen but in a sadder mood SIMON sang about YELLOW ROSES to which JAMES exclaimed I bet she can’t SHIMMY LIKE MY SISTER KATE and PETE commented IT’S LIFE ONLY. Coming to the end of a great evening it was appropriate to raise the rafters so DON & HEATHER invited us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE. A top night!



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