May 2010

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Newsletter No 82 - 25 May 2010

With a quick double shuffle to cover for Mick, Heather was recruited to assist John Condy in providing a very entertaining evening which started off in fine style with a lesser known Dylan song Nobody 'cept You. Early bird Banjo John soon turned the bum spot to his advantage by telling us I'm Going Down This Dusty Road and inviting us all to join him in the key of G. We all went like lemmings only to be brought to our senses when Merdy accused us of tilting at Windmills. Next Karen, as the single Bailey Sister, took the opportunity to sing the lovely No My Love, Not I which at first hearing is a sweet song but, as with many folk songs, with a more sinister hidden message. The same was true when Carl sung of Jez Lowe's Galloways about blind retired pit ponies in the sun but unable to see, bitter sweet! Ruth, Kath & Stan continued the theme with Pie In The Sky (when you die) to keep us all cheerful before David the poet scrambled our brains with Larne. Don & Heather then bemoaned the lack of a greater plan with Saints and Sinners and Albert did the same with his Salford Song. Back again for a second week, Jean, all the way from Saltburn, told us the unlikely story of The Female Smuggler who finished up being set free by the Judge and marrying the Captain although Anna Nicole Smith comes to mind. The Deep Ellum Blues came next from Ged determined we should look on the bright side and Zoe said that when everything in the fridge is on the wane Maybe It's Time To Make Stock. Thank goodness for Rob's Cheerly Man to brighten things up since as we all know cheerly was a hearty form of encouragement used by sailors and Dave Pugh took up the theme with a solo version of The Entertainer which threatened to leave his fingers in a pile on the floor, brilliant. Robin also optimistically said Meet Me On The Corner and Adam said come with me to the Sea Of Love before Ed wondered why his love had gone away in Absent Friends and Bob wanted to know Who Killed Cock Robin. Peter sang and played his own brilliant The Sea and then to end the half on a more philosophical note John Condy sang his latest song The Town I Know So Well which set up Banjo John to lead us all in a band up for the old jazz standard It's Tight Like That.

Ged continued the theme in the second period with Mule Skinner Blues and Adam swore Jesus Going To Be Here. Ruth, Kath & Stan were in great form with Anna Lee as was Karen with Scarborough Fair and Robin with Roger Whitaker's Why. Peter's powerful Irish voice then gave us the Mountains of Mourne but unfazed Zoe said I Gotta Pocket Fulla Quarters. Dave pointed out that Rubenstein Remembers and Rob Let The Bulgine Run, Carl said Hello Hans before Bob sang his own blues, Three O'Clock In The Morning. Peter then returned with another of his own excellent compositions Let Love Die followed by Life Of A Man, Merdy's prayer for the dead in the Cumbrian bus accident and Albert's Vision or How Long Before You Go And Fly Away? A brief Best Man's Speech from poet David led to Ed's Birds and their uncanny ability to whiten his windows and Don & Heather's inevitable effort to lighten things up with Let Your Banjo Ring.

A third round brought back Zoe for her lovely All Of The Songs Were Love Songs followed by Richard Gray's Get Out And Smell The Roses on an in-tune guitar, Peter's Leaving Of Liverpool, Rob's Centipede Song (Wish I Was Back In Liverpool), Ged's Take A Whiff On Me and as a grand finale Robin's Mingalay Boat Song. Another cracker!!

Newsletter No 81 - 18 May 2010

After a great double header weekend with Vin Garbutt's Concert and a lovely walk round the Lymm Dams and along the canal we were still flying high with this week's Acoustic Night. Robin was the debutant presenter and did a good job of giving the large audience their money's worth which was not difficult with the talent available. He started off with Belfast Mill banded up with Don & Heather's guitar, tambourine and harmonica and raced ahead with Bobby McGee by Banjo John and When You Dance from Paul Cowburn. Ged then told us of his secret desire with I Wanna Play Piano In A Whorehouse but with that confession out of his system he made us all think with Deportees. The Baileys lied when they sang it was Only You as did Brian when he claimed it was always Sunny but we think Eric actually is Carruthers although we cannot see Jan as a Factory Girl, far too classy. For some reason Adam urged us to keep the devil Way Down In The Hole but it was easy to understand when Ed confessed Lord It's Hard To Be Humble. Jean Finney, always one to demonstrate her great variety of talents, turned up with her accordion for Ashokan Farewell and Planxty Irwin and Stella reminded us of the time of year with Ladies Go Dancing At Whitsun and Carl sang the Father's Song. Mark next gave a compelling account of what it is like to be a Worried Man and was not affronted when Kath & Stan asked Can't You Dance The Polka. Dave Pugh then gave us Martin Carthy's interpretation of America, which fortunately did not offend the girl from Boston, before Bob confessed I Had A Dream The Other Night with the rest of the words winging their way to him as I write, and Paul told us the saga of John Willie's Performing Newt. Jacondy was Down Where The Drunkards Roll whereas Kath Reade was reminiscing about her life as a Social Worker with Edith. Newcomer Jean Devasagayam then sang her own Borealis before a special treat came in the form of a large chunk of David's Ireland epic, WD40, Londonderry and From A Mis-stance, to take us to a well earned break.

The raffle again threw up the improbable refusal by a winner to take the chocolates home because his wife wouldn't believe where he had been. He probably told her he was popping out for a vdeo and wouldn't admit to going to a Folk Club.

Colin Rudd started the second period with his own If I Could, a sentiment we all share, followed by the Bailey Sisters wandering in the Sally Gardens and Carl finding Old Bones. Jan & Mark with a Lesson Too Late for most of us and Kath & Stan's Babes In The Wood preluded Jean's hilarious Sir Theobald's Party. Ged was havng one of it with Hard Love but Kath went for her own Friendship. Adam was cheerfulness itself with When The Levee Breaks but at least the Disaster At Sea which befell the wooden sailing ship and its cargo of woodpeckers was avoidable, a Les Barker told brilliantly by Stella. Paul next came up with Neil Young's Old Man to make us all feel our age but fortunately Ed had us tittering to his parody of Fields of Athenry and Bob's Lost John was long, long gone. In the finale Jacondy gave us the brilliant Scarecrow by John Tams, Paul gave us Tawney's Grey Funnel Line, Brian was in no doubt that Yellow Is The Colour and the Bailey Sisters sang Minnie O'Shiva's Cradle Song before Colin blew us away with The Times They Are A'Changing and Dave Pugh sent us home well satisfied with another Tawney, Sammy's Bar.

Newsletter No 80 - 11 May 2010

A new pairing of Carl & Heather presented a great evening's entertainment and welcomed our first Hurdy Gurdy to the club. Kicking off on a serious note with Thompson's Genesis Hall, Carl lamented the treatment of the homeless an even Banjo John sang Am I Blue? Robin, however, found Gold In The Valley and Adam raved I'm So Glad before Rob turned to his normal mind altering substances in Fathom The Bowl. We then took a long trip with Boz on his own Trans-Siberian Railway and being half way there Don & Heather carried on to South Australia and Derrick recited his Letter From The Mid-West. Richard Sails next became The Brisk Young Ploughboy as Rory tuned up the Hurdy Gurdy for two French Tunes and The Bailey Sisters became Two Magicians. At first he was fazed but Bob soon came up with Frankie And Johnny and after a long absence Richard Knott came out of his fallow period with a great new song When It Comes To Love. Debutant Peter Harper then took the floor with a creditable rendition of My Youth by Seasick Steve, the ex-hobo with the long beard, followed by Pepper Street who were Killing The Blues and Adele who was Daily Growing. Ed was that Universal Soldier and Frank was requested to do Crow On The Cradle before Banjo John came back with After You've Gone as the interval and raffle beckoned.

Dave Pugh started the second half with The Summer Before The War setting the scene for Zoe's Coffee Song and Richard Gray who boldly sang They Don't Know Anything At All. Carl then tipped up with Mothers, Daughters, Wives and also on a sad note Don & Heather sang their song Flowers On The Water. Brouile de Chevaux came next from Rory's Hurdy Gurdy then Bob's story of The Vicar In The Village Church, Only A Hobo from Peter, Black is The Colour from Frank, The Good Ship Calibar from Rob and the delightful from Zoe, Just Before I Go, a song about a wife departing amicably from a marriage and hiding the remote, putting her wedding ring down the sink etc etc. Dave had Some Dreams but Adam only had Tainted Love while Derrick had Albert and The Whopper. Richard Knott then came up with a great rendition of Martin Simpson's New Kitchen Blues followed by Robin's Wind In The Willows. Pepper Street still had Boats to Build and Richard Gray had a Song For John Lennon before Boz wished May Fortune Blow in through the window and finally Richard wished Good Luck To The Barleymow.

Newsletter No 79 - 4 May 2010

A little slow to start with but momentum was soon gained after Merdy's great start with Sweet Songs of Yesterday followed by I Got Stripes from Ged. Karen Bailey was chasing a hot man in the shape of The Blacksmith while Bob was freezing in the Greenland Fisheries. Don & Heather were having a good time at the Roseville Fair before Dave told us the sad story of Sarah who was only loved properly after she had died. Colin then sang his own The Lesson, do we ever learn any I hear you say, before Jan & Mark went all rustic with The Plough and Adam went Up The Country. The Gresford Disaster was relived by Ed and Miles Platting (true!) sang his own very good Rainy Town before Pepper Street sang Mick's Orson Street Girls and Frank did Luther Vandross' Dance With My Father. Rawtenstall Annual Fair came from debutant Alan Gill and Andy & Dave from Bollington finished the first half with Sailing Boat and a great version of She's Not There.

Everyone then pussy footed around some great raffle prizes with the dozen roses going last to Dave who was afraid to take them home to his wife as he had not bought her flowers in 20 years. And the band played.........

Karen kicked off the second half with A Pint Of Old Peculiar and So I Live Not Where I Love followed by Miles Platting with Hello Walls by Willie Nelson just as he was about to leave. Mark & Jan then vowed We'll Hunt Him Down about Charles Darwin and Merdy related Woody Guthrie's Deportees before Ed took us to Lake Charles by Lucinda Williams, because of the Welsh?!? connection, to set us up for Dave Pugh with Slip Jigs and Reels. A second latecomer Richard Sails urged us to Haul Away Joe in memory of his sailing ship experience last week before Ged next jumped up with Richard Thompson's classic Vincent Black Lightening and Red Molly and Dave calmly asked Show Us Your Medals Granddad. Adam then sang the tricky Alabama Song, Alan Gill sang about Bob Plant and the evils of drink before Bob slept on the chair Side By Side with all the bits his new wife had taken off before bed because there was more of her there. Colin delighted with a lovely quiet version of Rambling Boy and Frank was the ecological Farmer by Simon Hopper before Don & Heather sang of Saints and Sinners followed by their version of Steal Away highlighting some members of the club. Richard came back with The German Musicianer, John Condy with his new song A Town You Know Too Well and A Good Noise with Mick Hare as Pepper Street. Reaching a climax Colin came back with his analysis of Election Day In England, who would argue, and Andy & Dave finished us off with The Shearing's Not For You and The Mary Ellen Carter and indeed we did rise again.