Half full 15 minutes before the start and cramming people in by 9.00pm it was an excellent 2nd Anniversary Celebration. Ed & Sue were the ideal hosts as they invited Banjo John and his wife Connie to commence proceedings with Red River Valley swiftly followed by John Beech with the Lakes of Ponchatrain (Paul Brady) and Ruth, Kath & Stan's The Last Goodbye which it certainly was not. Mike then sang the Two Musicians before poet Dave Sidebotham told us the poignant story Goodnight Dad, See You In The Morning and old friend Terry came all the way from Conwy to delight us with October Song. Richard Sails then explained how Herring's Head happened to be on the menu, John Condy returned to The Motherland (Christy Moore) and Rob was in good form with Come Write Ye Down. Making a delayed entrance Ed then stepped out again with Lanagan's Ball which set Colin thinking of Arthur McBride. The Bailey Sisters then Two (more) Musicians and Ann Cojeen reminisced about My Faithful Johnny. Carl then claimed If I Could Read Your Mind what a tale he could tell but he didn't but he hadn't reckoned for Jan's Welsh Ar Lan Y Mor and Mark's Glasgow Cat - Sam The Skull or Isobel's Canal In October on the recorder. Ged then thought he should be on his toes with Step It Up And Go so Robin set off on The Road To Dundee but after a quick Happy Birthday to the club Don & Heather were Passed The Point Of Rescue, Lorraine was Free And Easy (her own) before Eric took us up to half time refreshments.
After the excellent sandwiches and raffle Connie & Banjo John were briefly in The Sweet By And By before Richard Gray gave us his version of life with Inter Stella Galactica and Ruth, Kath & Stan confused us all with Birds And Ships or was it Chips before The Bailey Sisters again confused the hard of hearing with Follow The Heron (Herring) Home. Then we had a "tour de force" from Ged with his brilliant take off of Bob Dylan singing I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly which only Rob could follow with Trevor Morton's Mill Outing. Next we were able to welcome one of original residents, Bernice, who sang The Mingulay Boat Song followed by her friend Lorraine who cheered us all with Hey Good Looking and Terry who blew us away with The Auld Triangle. In the same vein, Jan & Mark had us singing along with Obla Di (Beatles) before Mike bid Farewell To The Gold and John Beech claimed it will be alright When The Ship Comes In. Carl was still searching for Jez Lowe's Black Diamonds and Colin warned us Don't Take It Down The Road and John Condy agreed with Steve Tilston's Pretty Penny about the Banking Crisis. As ever class will out and Isobel then proved it with Sally Gardens followed by a lively Medley of tunes setting up Ann for The Well Moor. Next Robin, with his new Band of Don, Heather & John Condy, gave a great rendition of Me And Bobby McGee, poet Dave told of The Cat At Wimbledon and Richard Sails told how inheriting The Old Armchair was a blessing in disguise when it turned out to be stuffed with banknotes. Eric explained what it was to be Just Like A Woman and finally Richard Gray brought us to a climax with his own Diamond Rose. Roll on the next 22 years!!
After more than a hundred consecutive Tuesday nights and more than half a century in the audience the pre-anniversary evening was another great folk club mixture of highly talented music, song, verse a loads of banter. Pepper Street even pre-emptied the New Year when they started with John's Empty Hearts (Josh Ritter) before they welcomed the return of John Muskett who promptly said he had the Urge For Going (Joni Mitchell). Banjo John tried to restart his Grandfather's Clock which was not quite as amusing as Ed's Comical Genius, however, Carl soon introduced a serious not with It's As If He Knows about the Australian Elijah Conn who chose to shoot his faithful horse after WW1 rather than leave it to cruelty in Palestine, very sad. Arthur Marshall then sang a beautiful song, Voices, before first-timer, and hopefully not last-timer, Dave Tuxford came up with another heavy weight in The Oxford Girl, great songs! Mark was on form with Loftus Jones and Jan could do no wrong with My Sweet Factory Girl before Adam implored us Take Me Back. We replied that we had missed him and were glad to see him again, Robin, however, Still Missed Someone. The Bailey Sisters then sweetly sang Minnie O'Shivva's Cradle Song which Rob would never need by Courting Too Slow or Eric with his Song For Older Lovers. Probably Richard had the same problem with My Fridge It Has No Salad In It, a parody of my Husband Has No Courage In Him writtten especially by Karen. David then came up with the amusing story of Dead Dog Scrumpy and Bob again tried to convince us the Black Velvet Band originated as The London Apprentice Boy so it was no wonder Ged had Trouble In Mind we all did and certainly Don & Heather agreed with I May Not Have All The Answers and Derrick summed it up with If I Doubt Say Nowt. Banjo John brought the first half to a close with a lovely gentle version of Dixie.
The Raffle was well received after the interval with all the blokes trying to avoid the Bag-For-Life Booby Prize and Pepper Street hastily kicked off the second half Before The Deluge (Jackson Browne). Rob Fathomed The Bowl, Adam was shouting Timber (Jerry The Mule) and Jan & Mark were enlisting for The Blue Cockade. Richard next came up with the lovely Sweet Lemeny but John Muskett was Underneath The Arches with Flanagan & Allen and Bob was in the Foggy, Foggy Dew. Carl was Singing The Ages Down but Eric said Its All Over Now Baby Blue (Roo after his spat with Fergie) before Dave Tuxford said Gently Does It (Rab Noakes) and Robin agreed with him (cos Fergie will never let him win). Ed then reminisced about The Widow On The Moor, the devil, and Derrick continued the levity with his own remembering of Sutton-on-Sea. Seriously though, Some They Call It Rue sang Karen solo but Ged nicked the pot with I Got Mine and Robin came up with The Last Farewell, to the sunshine before setting off back to England. Don & Heather ignored that call and transported us to the Australian Outback, where the rain never falls unlike here in England, with the Diamantina Drover, and with that we all went out into the night where the temperature was 3 degrees. Lovely!?!?
A well full house was treated to a great range and variety tonight kicked off by Don & Heather imploring people to Let Your Banjo Ring and they did. Pepper Street kept the pace hot with Blame It On The Scarecrow leading Banjo John to say Something's Got A Hold On Me (Clapton) and Mike to sing a Song For Ireland. Ruth, Kath & Stan next gave us Anna Lee before Robin tried to draw a Long Black Veil (Cash) over the proceedings but Michael said Wild Flowers Don't Care Where They Grow (Parton). However for Ann Cojeen All Things Were Quite Silent but not for long as Ged burst forth with Jambalaya with much support from the crowd. The Bailey Sisters then Followed The Heron Home but fortunately came back after Bob had taken us to The Greenland Fisheries. Frank then came up with a lovely lyrical version of Peggy Gordon only for Peter to claim someone had put Voodoo in his Soup, a bit saucy that one! Carl returned From Clare To Here before Arthur Marshall's Hey Captain, railed against successive governments who have sold us down the river, and Isobel closed the first round with Rights Of Man. With a well satisfied and large audience Banjo John opened the second one with an Al Jolson Medley, which had everyone singing along, only for Pepper Street to get us back on the straight and narrow with a great version of North West Passage, before global warming finally makes it a thing of the past, and which Don & Heather followed with Dances For Dollars to take us singing up to the interval.
Eric arrived just in time to win the wine and there were several other good prizes dished out before Ruth, Kath & Stan informed us There's No Telling What A Love Song Can Do before Peter mysteriously claimed We Wait And We Watch. Michael became Davy Lowston as he did seal and Mike took us to Canadee-i-o (Nic Jones version) to give John Condy time to wash the chip oil off his hands and accompany Eric on Tom Thumb Blues (Dylan). Following class with class, Isobel again came up trumps with Horses Bransle and Le Morisque, The Baileys wowed us with The Cuckoo and Bob continued in straight mode with the fine Scottish song A Lock Of Her Hair. We don't know who he had in mind but Robin next assailed the mob with No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues to which Frank retorted My Dreams Have Withered And Died and Ann went back to her Bedmaking. Barbry Allen next came from Ged, If It Wasn't For The Fences said Arthur and Sister Josephine from Carl ended the second round which sent us into extra time. Eric gave us a fine start with Brel's Le Diable (the devil) and Michael took us to The Streets Of New York only for Arthur to urge Drink Boys Drink. Then Ruth, Kath & Stan tried to fool us that This Land Is Your Land but we know better and Ged was Walking Down The Line, before Peter gave us the philosophy that You've Gotta Love A Girl That Got Her Eye On You. Finally Mike was Up To The Rigs Of London Town, the Baileys were Sleepless and Pepper Street took us riding on The City Of New Orleans.
They came from near they came from far and filled nearly every pew for the centenary (100th) edition of our Weekly Tuesday Acoustic Folk Night and they were not disappointed because out of the wood work came all the old favourites as you will now find out. First out of the blocks were Don & Heather with Down Too Deep to make sure that people did laugh and smile enough as the song protests. Appropriately Richard Sails was having a good time in Yarmouth Town, Pepper Street were Killing The Blues to clear the way for a good before Ed was The Man From God Knows Where. Having arrived with the cleaners, Banjo John also got on early and had us all singing to Teresa Brewer's Music, Music, Music before Jean Finney struck a more sombre note in Generations of Change. Next Robin was more traditional with a nice rendition of Jock O'Hazeldean written by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1882) about a wilful lass who wouldn't be married off but have it away over the border with Jock. Colin Rudd then went to one of his first loves, the sea, with Dan Fogelberg's The Reach which must have struck a chord with Ruth, Kath & Stan who then came up with Black Waters complete with guitar and banjo augmented by Kath's mandolin to make a nice full sound. Well done team! A this point some people were reeling from the high quality start and wondered if it could continue when up stepped Ged to do a great job on Thompson's Vincent Black Lightening, he can have mine in for service anytime, and the pace never slowed when The ex-Idle Young, now to be preserved forever as The Fridge Poets, came up with their original In Our Room. We also had no need to worry when Bob well surprised us all with his philosophical look at life in The Biggest Thing Any Man Has Ever Done which of course applies to all things. Gathering pace, and yes that was possible, with the arrival of old friend and song writing competition winner Richard Knott who also surprised us with a brilliant instrumental rendition of Heartbreak Hotel before Rob got sentimental about his month at sea with Cyril Tawney's The Grey Funnel Line and debutant Jean Crompton flowed suit with My Mistress The Sea. Always with unusual and great songs, Frank came next with The Longer The Waiting The Sweeter The Kiss and then returned to accompany Gloria for You Can't Weld A Body before David told us why he loves Larne with his poem about the light houses, The Light Hearted Maiden. This set us up for a quickie from Banjo John and his Joshua took us to the interval.
With a full room a bumper raffle saw a new set of winners in Sue, Ruth, Robin and Kath proving you have to be in to win.
The Fridge Poets than gave us a good start to the second half with The Girl With The Car followed by Isobel with the delightful South Winds and Fanny Powers and Frank with one of his favourites Scarborough Fair. Gloria, accompanied again by Frank, then kept the ball rolling nicely with Black Is The Colour which she knew he knew because she stole it from him. Curses! Ruth, Kath and Stan were then Hedgers and Ditchers and Bob stimulated Molly Malone from the audience almost leaving the room at one point. We next had another unusual moment from Jean Crompton when she sang Colin Rudd's Bluebird followed by Rob's Roll Alabama Roll, Ged's Hard Love and Lydia from John in Pepper Street. This brought us to a little highlight when Richard Knott unveiled a new song which of a totally different genre for him, The Question, and it was definitely a hit. Next Colin Rudd was Long Gone, Jean Finney carried on with her theme of doing covers with Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, Ed claimed It's Hard To Be Humble and Robin was in The Greenland Fisheries before we insisted Bob pulled his weight with Hares On The Mountain. Isobel again regaled us with her wizardry in Crossing The Minch and Richard Sails was away you Santee with the New York Girls before a special request brought Richard Knott back for his Feel Good Blues and we did!! Thanks Richard. To cap it all Don & Heather then led us all into the street with The Diamantina Drover. Well sung everybody!!