Carl and Eric ran an absolutely electrifying night and everyone agreed that the evening was fantastic and had a real buzz. Banjo John Brown opened up with a Fats Waller Medley and then followed with a much shorter number dating back to 1907, to which Ed sang along loudly, making us realise that he is older than we originally thought! Jan delved even further back with her beautiful song Factory Girl and Carl followed that with a Jez Lowe Ballad of Johnny Collier. Mark stunned us all with his exceptional guitar playing of Albatross before we were then delighted to be entertained by two new faces from Blyth in the North East who luckily coordinated their visit to us with a house-sitting holiday in Liverpool. As Jiva they gave us first an Allan Taylor song Back Home to You and then followed this with one of their own songs, When. They were absolutely superb and John Condy did well to follow them with Across the Borderline by Ry Cooder with Eric, along with all the actions including his now famous spin on the spot, sang Amsterdam by Jacques Brel. Kath & Stan next sang Sweet Sunny South with humour then provided by Dave, the Wythenshawe poet, with his Wimbledon Widower's Lament which was very appropriate for this particular week in June. Ged had Trouble In Mind, like us all, and Allan Gill sang The Manchester Rambler which encouraged everyone to sing along before it was a pleasure to welcome back Cathy Taylor from university in Scotland. Along with her friend Andrew they stunned us all with Mother Goose by Jethro Tull and Waggon Wheel which included a burst on the flute. Adam then sang the stirring Prodigal Son before John Condy, completely unrehearsed, professionally accompanied another new face Charlie Welch, a friend of Sue Bentham who had travelled all the way from her home in Germany to entertain us on her Irish Tin Whistle. This was quite exciting because, having forgotten her instrument when leaving for the plane, a hasty trip to Johnny Roadhouse in Manchester was necessary before she arrived. What people will do to play at Sale Folk Club! She then beautifully played a lovely Gaelic tune with a title too difficult to pronounce or even remember. Colin Rudd sang another of his own songs, The Same Mistake and as Ed was only singing once tonight because there were so many performers to fit in, he sang Nancy, which was a request from Charlie. Bob recited I'm Just a Lonesome Traveller and then another fairly new face on perhaps only his second appearance at Sale, Rob Jones, sang his own song Lost in Time before Isobel played Sonny's Mazurka and Phroinsias U Monaghs Mazurka. As a grand finale to the first round, Miles returning on his second visit to our club and sang an unusual version of What I Have Become by Nic Lowe then Dave Pugh sang Jimmy's Song by Allan Taylor and finally Richard Sails sang a great version of Rag Fair.
On our second round, Carl had us all singing the nostalgic Beatles' number Penny Lane and Mark & Jan sang Love and Happiness together with some saying it was the best song they have ever performed together. Jiva came back with a Mary Chapin Carpenter number, Love at the Five and Dime, and John Condy sang a new one for him, Boatman by James Taylor, which was super. Kath & Stan also treated us to a new song, A Long Way Home, and Ged gave us an incredible Stackolee. Allan Gill then recited a Stanley Holloway special, Battle of Hastings, and Kathy & Andrew sang a very loud and wonderful Feel Like Makin Love – Bad Co. Adam joined in with Gimme All Your Loving and Charlie and Isobel then joined forces to play together a marvellous version of The Blackthorne Stick, completely unrehearsed as a duo. Wonderful! Colin next reduced us all to tears with our favourite, The Moment, and Bob walked amongst us singing The Dream before Rob Jones gave us another of his own songs, A Man of the World. Isobel next impressed us all once more with a beautiful Lark in the Clear Air and Richard sang his own On My Way Home song about the journey from Lincolnshire to Manchester, which he has travelled on numerous occasions. Miles gave us a Randy Newman song Lonely at the Top, originally written with Frank Sinatra in mind, then Dave Pugh had us all singing along with Sammys Bar, and Jiva were asked to perform again with One More Song before Eric and John Condy joined forces for the penultimate rousing number from the Beatles, We Were Just Seventeen, which encouraged Ed to jive with Bob, and unbelievably they were extremely light on their feet! Finally, every instrument could be heard at some point when Cathy, Andrew, Isobel and Charlie led the musicians to finish a very successful evening with John Ryans.
Another nice evening at the club, not very, very busy but a good representation of regulars. Unless I'm very much mistaken, there were no first-timers tonight and there was an interesting incident part way through the 1st half when a well-lubricated gentleman, not abusive, tried to gain entry but Kate and Sue acted effectively as bouncers and persuaded him after a few minutes remonstrating in the hall that it was not his cup of tea! A great miscellany of music, song and humour was started off by Banjo John Brown with Rock 'n Roll Waltz followed by Bill Bailey and Bill Bailey's Wife. Ged came in with Careless Love, Working on A Railroad and Easy's Getting Harder Every Day, the wonderfully miserable song about a day in the life of someone going absolutely nowhere in small town USA, by Iris Dement who gets a lot of airing at the club. Robin was next up with The Star Of The County Down, Sometimes When We Touch and Why? Pepper Street next strode in view with Down Where The Drunkards Roll, Handyman by James Taylor and Broad Majestic Shannon made famous by The Pogues. Ed was his usual mixture of serious and funny with Between the Earth and The Sky by Paul Brady, Romance/I've Started Learning to Play The Guitar and The Bantam Cock, the hilarious Jake Thackeray song. Kath, Stan & Ruth next came in with Horncastle Fair, Brown Eyed Boy and The Banks of The Ohio before Colin Rudd mused on The Things That Remain, a self penned song about Chico Mendes the campaigner murdered for protecting the Amazon rainforest from loggers and ranchers, Breaking My Heart and When You Were Younger both his own work. The Bailey Sisters did the next two together with Oak and Ash and Thorn, and Plaisir D'Amour before they separated to each go solo Shelley with Little Yellow Roses, a song about a Spanish man about to be hanged, and Karen with No My Love Not I aka There's A Herb in My Father's Garden and Some They Call It Rue. Now back in full swing, Anne gave us the beautiful Room Of A Swan, When I was Single and Hush-a-By My Laddie before Bob lowered the tone with Side By Side, his own version about his bride's body parts coming off on their wedding night, St Jame's Infirmary and A Lock Of Her Hair. Derrick stirred himself just the once but it was a with A Dog's Eye View which was very funny. Rob was back from the Isle of Man where his Ducati won 1st prize in the most beautiful Italian bike competition, pity it can't sing!!, Rolling Home, Grey Funnel Line and South Australia. Dave Pugh was also on great form with The Summer Before the War, a Hugh Williams classic, Allan Taylor's Banjo Man and Some Dreams. Isobel, now hopefully completely recovered then delighted her fans with Michael Turner's Waltz, and Dusty Miller & Willafjord, the second which we deduced was Norwegian. Luckily Eric then appeared just as we were finishing the second round and after settling in he did his own song entitled Meanwhile. And he finished the evening with a Robbie Williams number about Elvis entitled Advertising Space.
Another well-packed club room to be found, with an abundance of performers, some of whom had to leave at the break time but were replaced by just as many in the second half. Banjo John opened the evening with something we could all join in with , My Girl Sal, followed quickly by Andy with The Last to Know followed by Dave Kelly, a newcomer to the club and a friend of Andy's, accompanied him on percussion which produced a great sound all round. Kath, Stan and Ruth sang and played The Sleepy Desert and it later went did not go unnoticed that Kath has taken up the playing of the mandolin and was surreptitiously playing along with other musicians on the notes with which she was most familiar! Ged was up to the front at this point with his Step it Up and Go followed by Bob's popular number Frankie & Johnny before Ed and John Condy took the floor to play together All the Good Times. It was publicly announced that this song, originally stolen by a famous memberof the club, had now been rightfully reclaimed whilst that member was abroad on holiday! Dave, the poet from Wythenshawe, then gave his rendition of Any News of the Iceberg by Les Barker and Mark was next to play The Rout of The Blues followed swiftly by his wife Jan with an unaccompanied song in Welsh The Bells of Aberdovey. Adam played and sang a very optimistic No More Rain and Ann Cojeen a lovely version of Rosemary Lane before John Condy came to the forefront with his own A Town You Know Too Well. Troubled with a frog in her throat, Stella just helped Brian by singing the chorus of his quiet song Restless and Carl also complained about being very tired tonight but his enthusiastic song The 17.10, was certainly not in any way lethargic. Then Robin, fresh from his starring role in the Wayne Rooney advert, brought back lots of nostalgic memories with Now that the Buffalo's Gone and Eric sang another protest song to team up with it, New World. Dave Cashell, who has visited the club on many previous occasions, finally plucked up courage to bring his guitar and entertain us for the first time with an RNLI song, Home from The Sea, well done Dave! Colin, despite not feeling too well, sang a beautiful self-written song The Moment before he had to leave for an early night in order to regain his good health before next week. Dave Pugh followed him with an Irish Rovers' song Bonny Kellswater and because the Wythenshawe contingency had to leave before the break, Andy was asked to sing a second number before leaving, Surface of The Moon. We were then treated very well by Reel Gentlemen, a very experienced and talented set of four musicians who blended folk and rock to create lively entertainment. Francis Roe on melodeon, concertina, and bass guitar, Roger Browning on drums and percussion, Nick Mallion on acoustic and bass guitars and finally Brian McGuire on mandolin and electric and acoustic guitars. They had travelled all the way from the Bolton and Rossendale areas to play for us The Keel Row and then William Taylor.
The break came around 9.30 pm with the raffle and to his delight Martin won a bottle of Irish Cream, Derrick won a box of chocolates, Stella won a bottle of red wine, John Condy won a drum book with two instruction CD's and we donated the last out of date copy of Folk North West to the drummer in Reel Gentlemen as compensation for not winning the drum book!
We were lucky that Zoe had arrived by this time so she agreed to start off the second half by singing - If I had a Cello, and she assured us that on her new CD there will actually be a genuine cello in accompaniment. Banjo John tried to sneak away early without being noticed but everyone demanded that he entertain us with a second song before leaving Mr Sandman. Richard Gray had also arrived by now and he sang a lovely self-written number Across The Bay and Carl sang one of our favourites, From the Armoury to The Crown, and remained awake throughout the whole song despite being extremely exhausted. It was a great surprise that he had the stamina to stay on as part of the audience until 11.45 pm when the final performer completed his song! Eric had us all in stitches with his self-penned Club Singers' Lament, which named and shamed most of us quite accurately. Even strangers to the club had a good laugh when he was pointing out individual victims. Jan and Mark this time sang together with The Thirty Foot Trailer and Reel Gentlemen had a long way to travel back home so they performed again at this point with Keep on Believing and then Up to the Rigs, Down to the Jigs and Up to the Rigs of London Town. We all joined in that very catchy chorus. Adam sang and played an exhilarating - Solitary Man and Ann Cojeen sang a very memorable unaccompanied False Have You Been before Ed got up and took up half the evening with his song The Manche. Undaunted Robin replied the excellent Rose of Allendale and Bob came to the middle and sang his wonderful husky Stormy Old Weather. Brian again with Stella sang The Hiring Fair and then, for his second performance, Dave Cashell sang the 1960's hit Dreaming. Richard Gray must also have been very tired this evening because we had to wake him up to sing a very appropriate It Hurts Me Too before David the poet, who had not performed in the first half, decided it to be quite appropriate tonight to recite his poem Londonderry. Zoe then sang an unaccompanied The Broken Token by American Mike Agranoff, a very amusing song about what really happened when handsome Johnnie came back from sea after seven years and Dave Pugh came to the front to give us a very moving We Must Journey On. Next Ged was setting the atmosphere for our big finish with Hard Love. We had hoped that Kath, Stan and Ruth would have been able to perform two numbers before the climax but unfortunately the time was swiftly moving by and we had to be satisfied with the one excellent Hard Times. John Condy then finished a very long and successful evening with Bob Dylan's Mighty Quinn instead of his planned Down Where the Drunkards Roll, and we all fell out of the club on all fours!
Carl Corbett started a cracking evening Singing The Ages Down by Lester Simpson and he was followed by John Condy with The Scarecrow, a John Tams brilliant composition, and Ruth, Kath & Stan with The Last Goodbye and Dirty Old Town as people poured in through the door. Next a very warm welcome was given to Ann and John Cojeen who had not been for a few months and Ann made us realise how much we had missed her chorus songs when she sang Still I Love Him. Fortunately Ged managed to overcome the emotion of the situation with Tom Cat Blues and Richard Sails with The Bold Princess Royal setting up Banjo John for There But For Fortune and Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms. Derrick came up with the The Xenophile which was written during the previous weeks performances by Karen Dyson in response to Why We Shouldn't Have The Channel Tunnel. Well done Karen! Not only can Eric do it. As usual Ed came up with a gem from his extensive repertoire in Verdigree by Tom Paxton and he was quickly followed by Bob's I Had A Dream and finally managed to remember all the words. Michael Bracken, another old friend much missed, came next with Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire having decided to come along rather than watching the Ghost Whisperer on TV with his wife!! Good Man!! Manchester City fan Colin Rudd next jumped in with Hey Rio, the story of a boy asking footballers for a week's wages to pay for his dying mother's medical treatment. Not too much to ask! Dave Pugh then told about Fox Hunting from the fox's point of view with Bold Reynard from the singing of Martyn Wyndham Read. Carl Corbett started the second round with Jez Lowe's Nearer to Nettles, a request from a few members of the audience, including Ed, who was unfortunately at the bar when it was sung. Undaunted Dave the poet did The Box his poem about war and John Condy warned us Before The Deluge by Jackson Browne and Ruth, Kath and Stan reminded us that there is No Telling What A Love Song Can Do, the Linda Thompson classic probably written after Richard had left her.
This closed the first half with the Raffle being won by Sue Bentham who took the chocolates, John Condy the wine and Richard Sails the hanging basket.
Ann Cojeen got us going again with The Blind Man He Can See, a great song by Ian Candle before Ged's atmospheric Joshua Gone Barbados with the glasses on the bar starting to shake spookily as he started this song. Richard Sails' Bold Dragoon continued his bold theme of the night before Colin Rudd carried it on Siege Of The Alamo. Michael Bracken next presented the interesting Pakistani Pat, the song about a Pakistani/Catholic relationship before Dave Pugh was pretty straightforward with Sally Gee as was Ed with The Winner by Bobby Bare. No wonder Derrick claimed that Men Are Just Happier People especially with Ann Cojeen administering his glasses in his Heather's absence clearly demonstrating why! What did his last slave die of? For the third round Carl came up with Lady Eleanor the Lindisfarne classic, which quite a few people joined in with, and John Condy observed Here Comes The Sun which was another request from a few members of the audience before Ruth, Kath & Stan claimed it was all Pie In The Sky, a spoof Sally Army song. Ann Cojeen again held the floor with Lamona another great chorus song that had us all singing and Ged with Jesus On That Mainline kept us chorusing as did Ed with The Funeral Song by Keith Marsden about the guy who had loads of wives turning up at his funeral. Do we all wish fellas? I don't think so!! Michael Bracken's soft voice then came up with two waltzes in old favorite Peggy O'Neil and My Night Out, the latter being a George Formby senior song. Derrick then wondered What Is Old, a few lines about how to identify being old before Dave Pugh sang Slip Jigs and Reels to remind us that our next guest is Steve Tilston but Bob was still Amongst The Leaves So Green-o, another great chorus song. Colin Rudd then sang the song he wrote about somebody from the club he had fallen in love with and as she was on holiday he was missing her. So were we Judith. Coming up with a fourth round Carl was in No Man's Land by Eric Bogle before John Condy finally led us all in a the traditional closing song, Wild Mountain Thyme. What a gas!
On another great evening well stewarded by Ed & Sue, John and Mick as Pepper Street started off the first half with a great version of Arran Moor followed by Adam who sang Sweet Virginia. The Bailey Sisters, on early, sang Amaryllis with nice recorder accompaniment before Richard Sails sang the saucy unaccompanied Widow of Westmoorland's Daughter and Ed topped that with a serious Red Headed Anne. Merdy then had us all singing along with his Wild Mountain Thyme played with broken finger nails which was a nice prelude to Heather from Uppermill who sang about her Weeping Willow. Rob made us all laugh by singing Courting Too Slow after telling us about his attempts at romance on Sunday evening when he wasn't reluctant just scared. Ruth, Kath and Stan sang John Lover and Ged followed this with a strong version of Trouble in Mind. Bob also made us all smile again with his version of Little Grocer Man and then Colin treated us to one of his own, Cup of Bloodshed, which we were left to sort out. Allan Gill bravely performed with guitar for the first time and did a fair job on The Garden Song by Dave Mallett before Heather and Don sang Rosie Hardman's Child of Merseyside after she had thanked them, by e-mail, for keeping the song alive. Maybe she will come along one night?! Then their own Vasily came in view of their Greek trip. Robin sang Where Peaceful Waters Flow and Derrick read an amusing Why The English Don't Want the Channel Tunnel before Dave Pugh played a wonderful guitar instrumental South Devon Atmospheric and Richard Gray sang his own On My Way Home. Sandra & Phil finished the first half with The House Carpenter and as it was Heather and Derrick's 36th Wedding Anniversary that very evening, we were all pleased when Derrick won the raffle but disappointed that when he chose the wine for Heather in preference to the flowers especially as she no longer partakes of alcohol. What a romantic!?!
Ed started the second half with a naturist number he had only sung once before at Lymm Folk Club and dedicated it to Stuart Lever, A Streak in the Park. Then Pepper Street performed two numbers at this point as Mick was flying off to the South of France and had to leave early. First Black Muddy River and thn another dirty one, Muddy Water. Rob related yet another funny story of his escapades and had us all in stitches before he sang Come Write Me Down. Ged then played a perfect Seven Curses and Kath, Ruth and Stan sang in harmony and played Birds and Ships. Bob came to the front once more and treated us to Lock O' My Hair and Heather sang an old favourite, Sloop John 'B' and everyone, without exception, joined in with gusto. Derrick read a page of very corny Tommy Cooper jokes, which made even the most miserable crack a slight smile and then Allan Gill sang a weaving song, Auld Jim, and Merdy sang Leaving London. Richard Sails next gave us The Bell Ringers and Adam came to the front to sing Walk Away. Richard Gray dedicated his next self-written song to Heather and Derrick for their anniversary, Heart of the Matter, and the Bailey Sisters sang a beautiful Kate Rusby song Sleepless. Dave Pugh sang When the Boat Comes In and Sandra sang a lovely McGarrigle song Heart Like a Wheel whilst Phil accompanied on guitar. Finally, Colin Rudd completed the night by sitting up on the window ledge and singing the well-known sentimental favourite, Streets of London, and everyone joined in with great enthusiasm.