It was another good evening with one or two first timers but they were familiar faces. Sean Kavanagh did The Auld Triangle, but he had to leave before he could do a second one, and Mike Turner did As Tears Go By (Jagger/Richards) and his own song, Tommy For the Line, about a Welsh rugby player who came north to play Rugby League for Oldham before being killed in the First World War, and finally, Brian, who has been a regular in the audience for quite some time, did Georgia On My Mind with accompaniment from John Condy on harmonica.
Apart from them there was a lot of the regulars and Pepper Street kicked off the evening with Black Muddy River. Stan, Kath & Ruth then did Joe Hill's Pie in the Sky followed by Zoe with her own These Boys, which she introduced as being about her hometown in Pennsylvania which she will visit when she is off to the States for six weeks on Sunday. Richard then did the Bell Ringers, Poet Dave did Dead Dog Scrumpy and Carl followed with Jez Lowe's Cursed Be The Caller, which he introduced as being about the most hated man in the village, the "knocker upperer!!" Ged then got a big welcome back Bob Dylan's Seven Curses followed by Colin a fantastic Harry Chapin song called Better Place to Be and Bob with Worried Man Blues. Mark Taylor did Mardy about the last pit in the Rhondda Valley before Jan did the lovely Welsh song, Ar-Lan-y- Mor (Beside the Sea). Isobel was out of action with a sore finger but gets a mention! Shelley was solo for the first round and did A.A. Milne's Binker followed by Ann Cojeen who did Love is Teasing and Frank who did a lovely song called Learning To Live Again, which had been recorded by none other than Garth Brooks though we are not sure if he wrote it. Last but not least we had the return of Cockney Eric after a lengthy absence, welcome back, to sing his Metaphor Street.
Second time round Pepper Street did Arranmore, a bit of a hardluck story, followed by Stan, Kath & Ruth with Sleepy Desert and Zoe with Just Before I Go, a request with John on harmonica. Richard then led the singing with Dido Bendigo followed by Dave with A Pub With No Beards and Carl with Eric Bogle's wonderful tribute to Stan Rogers, Safe In the Harbour. Ged then did Iris Dement's wonderful Easy's Getting Harder Every Day, a song about a humdrum life going nowhere fast, Colin then gave us one of his own, When You Were Younger and Bob reverted to Lost John. Mark & Jan then did The Blue Cockade together and Shelley was joined at last by Karen to sing The Snows of Winter and Somewhere Along the Road. Ann Cojeen only wanted to Yodel It Over Again and Frank sang his second favourite song Lennon's You've Got to Hide Your Love Away before Eric had everyone singing along lustily with the old favourite, Carruthers!! Finally Pepper Street finished off the evening with I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water. How appropriate!?!?
Richard & Stella were the lucky people on this special occasion and Richard started lively with one of his favourites, Pit Boots, to be followed by Ruth, Kath & Stan with Let The Mystery Be but it wasn't for long as Banjo John Brown started his 75 Birthday Celebrations with You're Mean To Me. This was plainly not true from the rousing singing of Happy Birthday before Connie came next with the very appropriate and salutary There But for Fortune to complete the moment. Normal service was resumed when Ed said Goodbye To The Sea, Adam wanted us to Give Me All Your Lovin' and Bob was A London 'Prentice Boy. Pepper Street were next bemoaning the decline of rail travel with City Of New Orleans and Colin gave another form of warning with Don't Get Married, Girls, a rare comic song for him, before Isobel played The Whistler And His Dog which she informed us was a 'Beggar' of a tune! Dave, the Wythenshawe poet then came up with The Froth Blower's Last Wish, Mark was in fishermen's heaven on Fiddlers' Green when all the time Jan was after a Roving Ploughboy. Mike was also a sailor doing The Rounding Of The Horn but Ann Cojeen quite rightly gave up on Johnny Todd while Andy & Dave from Bollington claimed Love Is Lord Of All. Jean ended the round with her own MYOB. This time Ruth, Kath & Stan kicked off with John Lovell and Ed reclaimed All The Good Times are Past and Gone, that he swears was nicked by Don & Heather - true!, before Birthday Boy Banjo John Brown paid homage to Bobby McGee to take us to the interval for which John had very kindly provided sandwiches to celebrate Thank you John.
The Raffle was a bit incidental but Mick won the Wine, Connie deservedly got the Coffee Glasses, Sue won Mozart's Balls (Chocolate from Austria)and John Cojeen got the Madeira Cake.
With everyone well refuelled, Richard Sails then started the second half with The Future Mrs 'Awkins followed by a vote of thanks from Adam with Personal Jesus and Connie with Precious Lord. Bob then jumped up with Putting On The Style but Andy & Dave introduced a note of poignancy with The Beatles, This Boy, Colin said I Wonder When You're Coming Home, Richard Gray sent Delicate Flowers and Jean cried Tears in the Night. Then Dave, the Wythenshawe poet, next delivered The Angler's Prayer by Cliff Parker and Pepper Street sang Mick's lament about Orson Street. Ann Cojeen was next in The Berry Fields of Blair, Mike was at The Rout Of The Blues (the famous Regiment), Mark & Jan were in their Thirty Foot Trailer and Isobel played the Day Flower. Hurtling to a climax Bob sang The Old Man's Lament, really "Hares on the Mountain" and Richard Gray was the Lincolnshire Rover but Pepper Street were unimpressed and said Keep Your Distance before Andy & Dave said it's only a Grapefruit Moon by Tom Waits followed by Moon River and Lady Who Lives on the Hill by popular demand.
On a day with some shocking weather in the morning with the rain was lashing down like you wouldn't believe, the numbers were a bit reduced as we started with a text from Rob White saying that he and his gallant crew were sheltering from gales up in Mallaig on the west coast of Scotland. Not really a good enough excuse for absence!
However, back from a month in Tenerife, Robin got things under way with Four Strong Winds, surely no pun intended. Bob was next up with the Foggy, Foggy Dew and he was swiftly followed by Banjo John, who gave us all the Dallas Blues, and Merdy, who played a set of pipe tunes, The Bloody Fields of Flanders and Farewell to Sicily, on his new Fylde Mandola that had several people drooling over it. Brian then stepped up with The Old Bog Road with Kath & Stan following with Sweet Sunny South and Carl did a great John Prine song about growing old called Hello In There. The first self-penned contribution then came from Jean Finney with her What Will Be Will Be which set up Shelley, who was the sole Bailey Sister this evening, for My Bonny, Bonny Boy who was followed by Simon, who is fairly new to the club, he did a very long, very angry Roy Harper protest song called The White Man. Last but definitely not least, Pepper Street ended the first round with a storming Stony River Blues. They were not holding back they were held back because they had to wait for Shelley who had John's harmonicas after the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. The Erie Canal from Robin gave the second round some spin before Bob pleaded Rock Me All Night Long and Banjo John did Alexander's Ragtime Band before Merdy came up with Glen Isla. Brian then reminded us You've Got A Friend and Kath & Stan said he could be a Wayfaring Stranger before Carl brought the first half to a conclusion with Dirty Old Town.
Pepper Street then got the second half to a cracking start with A Good Noise, which got the place really rocking, so much so that by popular demand they had to tell how they Washed My Hands In Muddy Water. Jean Finney then asked us to Remember My Name, how could we forget, and Shelley treated us to Rick Kemp's Somewhere Along The Road followed by Simon with Girl On the Beach which we wondered if he had written himself. Robin came back again with The Star Of the County Down and Bob was Among The Leaves So Green-O before Merdy had us all thinking of Rob with The Belle Ballerina of the Bay although there is only one captain on his boat. Still relevant was Brian's Early Morning Rain before Kath & Stan cheered us up with Ring, Ring The Banjo and Carl had us all laughing with his wonderful rendition of Jake Thackray's The Blacksmith And The Toffee Maker. Then Jim Clarke came in towards the end and sang Delaney's Donkey, as he does, and Simon did a completely off the wall Syd Barrett song which was very entertaining and we think was called Honey Bunny Ice Cream!! Completely unfazed, Jean Finney drove us to the inevitable climax with John Denver's Country Roads followed by Bob with his Cockles And Mussels sending us all into the street singing and generating another lively atmosphere on a Tuesday night. Well done Pepper Street.
A top quality gathering at the club this week resulted in a great evening with John Condy starting the ball rolling in fine style with Dylan's Chimes of Freedom quickly followed by poet Dave who did My One And Only Love the twist being that it turned out to be a car. Mike Dixon then did the Rufford Park Poachers followed by Mick who sang Arctic Monkeys' Mardy Bum and Carl who did Jez Lowe's Soda Pop Man. Not to be outdone Bob, in his usual inimitable style, treated us to The Devil And The Farmer's Wife followed by Colin Rudd with his own Breaking My Heart and Albert, back after a lengthy hiatus full of Thespian activities, with his own World Wide Travelling Blues. Welcome back Albert. Anne next with Let No Man Steal Your Thyme then preluded Zoe's version of Chris Smither's No Love Today, fresh from her appearance at Fylde Folk Festival for which she got paid and we should think so but don't tell the tax man. Frank as ever then did his lovely interpretation of Black Is The Colour swiftly followed by Isobel with two tunes on her recorder South Winds and Fanny Powers, Gail who sang Come O Love and Karen came in with The Seeds of Love on a borrowed guitar. Much to their delight the smaller number of performers soon brought us a second round with John singing his own excellent composition Town You Know Too Well followed by Dave's football-related story of Earwig-O, Mike Dixon's moving Little Musgrave and Mick with his own Those Bad Old Days. Carl was next on his feet Eric Bogle's The Band Played Waltzing Matilda only for Bob to go Puttin' On The Style and Colin Rudd to celebrate the Libran Woman in his life. Albert couldn't then resist giving us Cyril Tawney's Oggy Man and Anne came up with The Sands of the Shore before Zoe sang My First Career with massed guitar accompaniment enabling her to do solos on kazoo and melodica. Frank reminisced about The Maid of Coulmore and Isobel again piped up with Dingle Regatta before Gail sang The Rose of Tralee and Karen did It Ain't Necessarily So with a massed guitar accompaniment.
With the usual raffle in between we hurried on to round three with John taking us to Anderson's Coast telling us about the escaped convicts from Tasmania from the singing of Nancy Kerr and James Fagan. Poet Dave was again on his feet for another for which the title escaped us and Mike Dixon explained the dangers of a Loony Love Affair by Loudon Wainwright III. Mick next gave us his own If You Are Here and Bob jumped up with The Sweet Nightingale while Albert told us of The Last of the Great Whales. Anne finished her set with The Rigs Of Time and Zoe's last one was her own song Our Lady Of The Highways, an absolutely superb and moving song about the protection of travellers, before Frank said I've got to Catch The Wind. Karen then finished her set with Donna, Donna before the evening was brought to a grand finale by Carl singing Stuck In the Middle With You accompanied by John on slide guitar. A fitting end to a great night.