November 2010

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Newsletter No 108 - 30 November 2010

As Oscar Wilde said, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes" and another full house proved it to be true as hosts Don & Heather created the festival atmosphere with The Roseville Fair. Banjo John then said he was sure he knew that Coal Miner's Daughter before Mike shantied away with One More Day and Merdy came up with Tom Paxton's Beg, Steal or Borrow. Ruth (Vocal), Kath (D Whistle) & Stan (Banjo) then gave us a lovely version of Call To Arms In Our Street, a new one to us, and John Muskett reminisced about the Bonnie Lass Of Fyvie. Next Rob was in fine voice for the emotive Last Of The Great Whales, no not a contradiction in terms and well sung Rob, swiftly followed by Ged's equally sad tale of Riley's Daughter and this set the scene for Brian, one of our regular audience, to suddenly declare that he had been having guitar lessons on the quiet and had had the temerity to bring along the offending article for our delectation. All agog we were soon to be gobsmacked as he played and sang I Had To Say I Love You In A Song and received a tumultuous reception. Well done Brian! Next up was Peter who sang about the lovely Mountains Of Mourne, why would anyone want to leave them for London, followed by Anne C who claimed It's A Weary, Weary Life and Robin who put it in a nutshell with We've All Got To Walk Our Own Road. Carl then summed up the last century of war with Mothers, Daughters, Wives which led Ed to conclude that the only safe job is as an undertaker in his disaster song When We Laid Grandma In Her Grave. On a cheerier note Isobel was at the Dingle Regatta but Eric was still confused as to whether he was The Horse or the man as was Jacques Brel but Colin, on a flying visit nipped in to remind us of the hard times with Patty Griffin's Poor Man's House. More of the same came with Lydia from Pepper Street before the Panto Season started here with Jean Finney's own up to date version of Cinderella with all the characters being pulled from her prop bag. Brilliant and thanks Jean.

The interval brought the raffle generously bolstered by two disposable cameras from Jean and the final CD clearout by John Condy which was unashamedly in aid of his new digital camera Christmas Fund after he twice dropped his old one on the floor. As usual Merdy won the wine and left it behind so it could breathe for next week.

High spirited after several condom stories from the most unlikely sources, see what you missed, we hastily sped into the second half with Mike's Sir Patrick Spens, Ruth, Kath & Stan's Dirty Old Town, Merdy's Prettiest Girl In Truro and Ann C's Old Maid In A Garrett but Brian still claimed What A Wonderful World. Rob then sailed The Good Ship Calabar, John Muskett said I Wish I Had Someone To Love Me and Robin was bemoaning the closure of The Belfast Mill. Ged then related the story of Lost John before Carl treated us to another Thackray masterpiece The Brigadier, Google it, it is worth a read. Ed then had the wind in his sails with Louisiana and Isobel still had some left or Henry's Cat and Rabbit Man before Eric led a big band up for Dylan's Don't Think Twice. Jean then told us a very funny True Story and Peter reckoned life isn't a Bed Of Roses and Pepper Street's Moon Over Bridge Street cast a glance back to the past. Then we gave the floor to our unsung heroes to close the evening with Mike singing a humorous Dorset song, Merdy leading us to the Holy Ground and John Muskett warming our cockles with Whisky On A Sunday. Wonderful!

Newsletter No 107 - 23 November 2010

Three quarters full before we started at 8.00pm, we welcomed Phil Cockerham who crossed the Pennines from Leeds on a recommendation from previous guests and asked him to get warm and start us off with his own composition I'm So Happy I'm A Banker which led Banjo John to sing I'm Confessin' which is the least that bankers could do. Next Richard Sails was down in Yarmouth Town a-pulling that string but Colin went all serious with his own Illness Isolates You and Ann C gave us a stunning delivery of Patience Kershaw about the woman in 1847 who worked down in the coal mine. We were then delighted to see and hear Albert who has just recently published his autobiographical "Slumdocks" by Jack Pybus and we haven't had the company of for ages. He sang his own Past Love followed by Ruth, Kath & Stan with Fly Away, Ed with Treat Mi Daughter Decent and Rob who had us all singing the shanty Cheerly Man. Pepper Street continued by making a Good Noise as usual but the only good noise in Ged's Boomer's Story was the sound of the railroad which kept him travelling all his life. Carl then gave us another piece of history about the Galloways, retired pit ponies celebrated by Jez Lowe, before Isobel delighted us with the Huntsman's Chorus and Rakes Of Mallau and Merdy gave us Reason To Believe. The Keep The Change Mob then sang their own Boya and Bob was back in the Foggy Dew, Eric was In Love and Zoe Mulford, back from her American Tour, was extolling the virtues of The Speculator by Kathy Fink & Richard Schindells. David the poet then looked at golf philosophically From A Distance before Heather brought the house down with her Kazoo solos on Galway Girl ably obstructed by Don. Only Banjo John could follow that and he did by having us all singing along with Shake, Rattle and Roll and Phil gave us The New Beret his own anti-war song.

Only a bumper raffle could follow that and it did along with the customary social interaction which led us into part two which was started off by late arrival Richard Gray with his own Lost In Translation followed by Ruth, Kath & Stan with Hedger And Ditcher and Rob who then told us what a great life The Process Worker had, we don't think. Albert then sang about The Vision, Isobel played Elizabeth Clare, Merdy sang Simon & Garfunkel's Leaves That Are Green and Carl sang his own Armoury To The Crown about the survival of a folk club. Ann C next reminded us of the Sign Of The Bonny Blue Bell and Ged gave a great version of Desperado Waiting For A Train. Richard Sails then sang the topical Knight William And The Shepherd's Daughter followed by Keep The Change Mob with Bobby Daren's Simple Son Of Freedom and Bob's Kansas City blues. Richard Gray then told us of the wonders On My Way Home across the Pennines to Lincolnshire and Colin Rudd gave us his own Love Song and Zoe told us about Our Lady Of The Highways. Pepper Street then returned to the banking theme with Steve Tilston's startlingly apposite Pretty Penny and Phil told us we should All Pull Together. Finally, what with guitars changing hands at random and Colin tuning several before he settled on one that he liked, Don & Heather were asked to sum it all up with The Borrowed Guitar sending everyone home with a smile on their face.

Newsletter No 106 - 16 November 2010

Another great turn out for Colin Rudd's birthday with few seats left for the latecomers. Ably stewarded by Pepper Street who kicked off with John singing Across The Borderline, the birthday boy was soon on his feet with The Tin Soldier followed by Banjo John's Tishamingo Blues and Mike's Unquiet Grave. Ed was next Down In Louisiana before Ged gave us The World Upside Down and David said that's what happens when you open The Box (marked war). Richard Sails then did a Bernard Wrigley song giving us the history of The Dog Licence and Ruth, Kath & Stan dedicated Leaving On A Jet Plane to Colin before Carl's Johnny Collier brought us all back to reality. Adam was more fundamental with Jesus Gonna Be Here Soon but Rob was happy as those who had got Thousands Or More and Eric was Content with his Addiction To Anusol. Bob next did the original Black Velvet Band before Paul slipped in for his Helsinki Nights and Don & Heather completed the first round with a singalong Rambling Boy. Picking up speed Pepper Street continued with Mick celebrating the Broad Majestic Shannon, and it is! Banjo John was then Missing New Orleans before Mike came in with Jack O'Ryan followed by Ged with The Last Minstrel Show and Colin sang Joni Mitchell's Clouds to take us up to the interval and his birthday buffet.

After sandwiches and chips Richard was that Bold Dragoon and Ed swore blind he was Teaching My Worm How To Swim as he was accosted by the Gamekeeper before David again had us thinking with his Londonderry poem. Next Ruth, Kath & Stan were that Lazy John and Adam called out Hey Joe (Hendrix) before Carl became all serious with Harvey Andrews' anti war song, Hello Hans. Rob then wanted to let The Bulgine Run, with our help, and Don & Heather went for the Whisky In The Jar before Paul claimed Only Love Can Break Your Heart. Bob, however, said that was nonsense because you could get shot as in his Frankie and Johnny and Eric and John Condy said that was Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues. Into round three Pepper Street said we are good at Killing The Blues and Ged said you just Step It Up And Go especially if you live in Liverpool Town sang Rob in his Centipede song. Oil on troubled waters came with the soothing Sleepy Desert from Ruth, Kath & Stan and Paul's Girl From Ipanema but Ed still wanted to Flog 'em, Flay 'em And Hang 'em before Don & Heather got us all singing with Streets Of London which set up Colin to close the show with The Town That I Loved So Well. Happy birthday Colin it was a blinder!!!

Newsletter No 105 - 9 November 2010

A little slower to fill tonight but we soon got there after a lively start by Richard Sails with The Battle of Sowerby Bridge. He and Stella brilliantly hosted an excellent evening with both some new faces Sue & David, who were amazed to find such a large and friendly club, and regulars who already know the form. First, Merdy fought of the Irish to claim Scottish rights to Fiddlers Green but in fact it was written by John Connolly, a Lincolnshire songwriter, and subtitled Fo'c'sle Song Copyright 1968. Next up was Banjo John Brown who gave his Remembrance tribute with Roses of Picardy and the White Cliffs of Dover setting up Pepper Street for John Condy's emotional version of Scarecrow by John Tams. Colin Rudd then sang Yankee Lady by Jessie Winchester followed Jean Finney with Mi Mother Wished That She Had Never 'ad Me but Ed returned to the anti-war theme pointing out that Al Bowlly's In Heaven but the wounded soldier was still in limbo. Rob then dedicated Martin Said To His Man to who else but Martin, who had hitched a lift with him, Ruth Kath & Stan were by the Banks of the Ohio and Dave Cinnamond gave us Little Brother, the USA Albert & The Lion. Carl with the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was followed by Bearded Bob with Next Go Round, Robin with Nothing Till The Next Time and the other Bob who told us It Takes A Worried Man. Then Ged cheekily dedicated Tom Cat Blues or Ring-tailed Tom to Colin before guests Sue & David gave us a great version of Bonny George Campbell leaving Adam to Chase the Devil and Richard Gray to continue pursuing the Lady Of The Morning. Finally, Don & Heather had one member of the audience in tears with their requested Flowers On The Water to take us up to the raffle and water balance break.

The second half saw Richard leading a big community sing with half the room on Long Way To Tipperary and the other half on Pack Up Your Troubles, magic! Banjo John then came back with a Fats Waller Medley while Ed was On My Way to Work. Eric then had his own medley with the short Coffin Song followed by I've Never Been In Love Before and Sue & David asked Brother Can You Spare a Dime and Dance Me To The End Of Love before an early departure. Then Merdy definitely could not claim Scottish rights to Waters Of Tyne but Don & Heather did cross into the Borders for their Remembrance with Calling Doon The Line. Bearded Bob then cited Big Bill Broonzy and Elvis Presley for CC Rider but unimpressed Isobel called on 100 Pipers before Carl dug deep into his repertoire for John Prine's anti-war song Hello In There which was new to many of us. Rob bemoaned the passing of The Old Pubs which Ruth, Kath & Stan reckoned was Pie In The Sky and Robin went looking through the wind in the willows for Bread And Fishes. Jean was next up with a new song The Wasted Years which put men in a rather poor light before Ged squared matters with Frankie & Johnnie in which the woman didn't look so good and Pepper Street agreed with a great version of Keep Your Distance (R Thompson). Just for fun Bob was then Puttin' On The Style before a serious Richard Gray was saying Thank You For Another Day and Eric was chasing the devil with Babel. Another great evening was then brought to a close with a big band up for The Borrowed Guitar and Gypsy Woman led by Don & Heather.

Newsletter No 104 - 2 November 2010

As we entered our 3rd year we were able to welcome a whole range of performers to entertain a big and appreciative audience. With Don & Heather at the helm a lively scene was set with Whisky In The Jar which was well supported by rousing chorus singing heralding prospects of a good evening and so it turned out with Pepper Street's Boats To Build keeping up the momentum which had no time to flag as Merdy had us joining in with Black Jack Davy. Still the singing continued in lusty fashion as Ruth, Kath & Stan wondered Where Have All The Flowers Gone and Rob Wished He Was Back In Liverpool, with the centipede song as we know it, and Ged warned that The Levee's Gonna Break if it don't stop raining. Adam then was more sombre with Dead Flowers and luckily Jan gave us a rest from singing with I Once Loved A Lad but Mark had us at it again with his I Must Go To Oswaldtwistle and Mike also had us trilling away, albeit quietly, with Beeswing. Derrick next had us chuckling with England Expects, the PC Battle of Trafalgar story, before Robin again had us singing to Only The Heartaches and Richard Sails told us I wish I was Single Again. Colin, however, wasn't having any of that with his Love Song, an Oscar Wilde poem set to music. David then gave us a philosophical look a Golf before Carl's Bonny Wind gave way to Ed's Trashy Women and Eric's Sheralyn to music by Pete King. Finally Pepper Street took us up to the break with their great version of Arran Moor.

The interval was also action packed with Ged having brought in a box of CDs he had loaded on his computer to save space and all he was asking was a donation to the MacMillan Nurses which in the end raised almost £70.

With that and the raffle there was no rest before the second half began with Mike asking Would You Like To Have Me As A Friend and Richard bemoaned that Geordie's Lost His Penker and Ruth and Kath accompanied by Stan worried that He Likes Likker Better Than Me (Brown Eyed Boy). Merdy then reminisced about his Favourite Songs as did Rob about Fred The Slug which he threw in the bin long before the woman had the same idea with the cat. Adam was still in serious mode with the sad story of the Black Girl In The Pines but that didn't stop Derrick again becoming levitous with Welly Boots and Jan & Mark exhorting Pack Up All Your Troubles. Ged again reversed the mood with his Working On The Railroad for A Dollar A Day and Colin kept it up with Place To Fall but on the upswing Ed came out with My Husband's Got No Porridge In Him, Les Barker's parody of Goldilocks and the Three Bears which nearly brought the house down. Mood swings continued with Robin's great version of From A Distance and Eric, with John Condy, kept up the momentum with Where Do You Go To My Lovely which Carl followed well with Singing The Ages Down.

Working up to a crescendo Pepper Street again fired us up with City Of New Orleans, Richard had us singing to Byker Hill as did Carl with Time Is A Tempest and Ged was imploring Take A Whiff On Me. Next Ed was at the Jamboree while Eric & John foresaw a Bad Moon Rising but Colin would have none of that as he was Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon. Finally with the rafters still ringing Robin, Don & Heather sent us all home singing the praises of Mary, the Rose Of Allandale.