March 2011

Newsletter No 125 - 29 March 2011

An evening of surprises and great quality awaited us so much so that it kept Banjo John up well past his bedtime as he quickly followed Don & Heather's Song For A Life with his own Simple Gift written in 1848 when he was a lad! All Ruth, Kath & Stan could reply to that was Beautiful, a gospel song, and from the same neck of the woods came Whippoorwill from our first surprise, Richard Knott, who was a welcome sight after too long away. Brian also took us back in time with What'll I Do? and Always before Robin gave the Last Farewell as Ed's McAlpine's Fusiliers marched by. Another very welcome face and second surprise, Colin Rudd, then delighted us with The Mallard which was much appreciated by Ged who followed it with Riley's Daughter and Derrick who gave us some Home Truths. True love ran smoothly for Ann C with her Young and Faithful Sailor and Joan, our third surprise, gave a stunning performance of her Mum's remarkable Journey Through Time before our fourth surprise, John Cartain, confused us with his own song that declared Love Isn't All There Is but without he said Lady I'm Lost. Gloria, with Frank's backing, was that Crazy Man Michael which led Frank to sing I Wish I Was Back Home In Derry setting up Zoe for The Snows They Melt The Soonest. Banjo John, still lively as a cricket, was next up the Lazy River where Pepper Street had Boats To Build as we came sailing up to the interval.

A great raffle with prizes donated by Kate, Ann & Michael and Carl saw the proceeds £61.00, matched by Don & Heather, making £122.00 for Childreach International who are building of a school in Tanzania. See:

Picking up where we left off Banjo John was still Leaning On A Lamp Post and latecomers Keep The Change Bob sang Freedom Come All Ye, a Scottish poem set to music. Ruth, Kath & Stan then reintroduced us to Anna Lee, one of their greatest hits, as Brian's Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square and John Cartain explained how tricky a New Baby could be. This was on The Borderline for Pepper Street and put Carl in mind of Jez Lowe's parody The Big Fear but Ed couldn't take it seriously as he sent up Morris Dancers. Equally improbable were Ged's Duncan and Brady as Ann C tried to calm things with a Highland Lullaby and Keep The Change Bob sent for The Reefer Man. Robin was next reminiscing about closure of The Belfast Mill and Richard Knott agreed It Was A Crazy World in his latest new song which we all agreed is another cracker. Colin Rudd then celebrated the Songs We All Used To Sing, Gloria reckoned Black Is The Colour and Frank thought If I Were A Blackbird but Zoe was that Angel In The Storm. Finally, Carl led us up to a climax with a new Jez Lowe song It's A Champion Life, Ged had the Fort Worth Blues and Pepper Street invited us to Meet Me Tonight.

Newsletter No 124 - 22 March 2011

Another craicing night and it was Jan and Mark's first time running the night and despite them claiming it was an appalling picture of them on the website there was a great turnout. Carl kicked the evening off with a lovely rendition of Scarborough Fair then Mike Dickson said Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy, Nancy's Loss said Jan, and John Condy commiserated with Richard Thompson's the End of the Rainbow. Then a workshop on unaccomplished, they are too modest, singing was the give by Mark and Jan with their Rowan's Lament, just to maintain a high level of melancholia and Richard Sails, having paid close attention, next gave us the wonderful Finnegan's Wake. Brian Tibby then sang One on the Right is on the Left, a political insight into how politics fail, followed by Ed with Paul Brady's Between the Earth and Sky. Ged sang Ragged and Dirty with some excellent blues harmonica playing from John C and Derek made up for 3 weeks absence with the tale of Albert and the Pancakes. Ann C was Dabbling in the Dew then Cast Iron Roof, sorry, Kath, Stan and Ruth, gave us the delightful Where Raven's Feed and Sleepy Desert. After the trip to the desert our thirst was slaked by Dave Cinnamond's Dead Dog Scrumpy, the tableau of poor Bendigo floating to the to the surface of a vat of cider would put you off drink forever! It was a relief when Zoe then took us to pleasanter scenes with Humboldt County and Brian Coakley followed with Breaking up is Hard to do. Rob, having been told to be on his best behaviour because he'd been away skiing with his little friends, gave us Cheery Man and managed not to insult anyone setting up Gloria for Early Morning Dew, beautifully accompanied by Frank who put his lift home in jeopardy by commenting on Gloria's driving skills, silly man. He himself sang Walking on Sunday, which he would be doing if he didn't get a lift. Eric then gave us She and I, another Jacques Brel translation, Richard Gray asked who Killed Davey Moore and Keep the Change Bob brought the first half to a close with Ride On.

After an "exciting" raffle, and for once Martin didn't get a prize, Ed started us of with the rather demanding Widow on the Moor and then Ann insisted Mother I Want to Get Married, which disturbed John and frightened the life out of Ed. Brian Tibby amused us all with the Bonzo's monologue The Big Shot and Richard Gray gave us Life before Brian Coakley sang Neil Diamond's Hello Again. Gloria sang the beautifully haunting Sound of a Tear Not Cried sending Mike Dickson into the Flying Cloud which Dave Cinnamonds viewed From a Mis-stance, his golfing poem. John Condy then gave us Tom Payne's Bones with several added expletives due to his short term forgetfulness which is catching because we've forgotten what Ged did next, despite it being a memorable performance, sorry Jed. Derek then gave us a short discourse on Plurals and Cast Iron Roof aka Ruth, Kat & Stan Hedged and Ditched! Frank again sang that lovely song of his I'll Wait for You and Keep the Change Bob meant it as he gave us No More, Kapn' Kozy and Rob continued in the negative with Go to Sea No More. Zoe then broke a few Crystal Glasses but put then to good use, Richard Sails was Easy and Slow, Carl was Jez Lowe with Champion Life and Eric sang the song with the longest title of the evening, The Sad, Sad, Song of Doctor Sidney Simpson and Mary Morgane, or how not to hang on to your kidney, which has a true American litiginous base! Jan and Mark wanted to go home on the Sloop John "B" but not before Zoe gave us the final song with Parting Glass. A wonderful evening, as ever, at the Sale Folk Club! Well done Jan & Mark.

Newsletter No 123 - 15 March 2011

What a thoroughly sublime quality evening from start to finish superbly stewarded by Ed & Sue! First Don & Heather visited Oz and the Diamantina River, which rises in Kirbys Nob, east of Selwyn in Queensland, to sing about the Diamantina Drover before the welcome return of John Muskett saw him salute to St Patrick when he recalled Kelly The Boy From Killan. Closer to his normal starting role, Big Brian Tibby then kept the ball rolling when he toted Sixteen Tons and Jan gave us the men from Mars scenario when her Teddy O'Neill went roaming instead of staying with her. Mark, who would never do that to her, then demonstrated his bourgeoning guitar skills with Sonny's Mazurka and Cricket's March Over The Salt Box before Ann C found For A New Baby a little too emotional to finish as it reminded her too strongly of her daughter's own recently new arrival and her extended grandmother status but she later came back strongly. Tipping an oblique cap to St Pat, Pepper Street continued with Pretty Penny by reflecting that the Irish economy which had been going well was now in hock to the IMF or should it be MFI?? So, no wonder Robin wanted to be a Country Boy Again and Carl cast his own doubt with The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda. It was then great to have Shelley, happily solo for a change, lead us in a good sing with The Grey Goose and Gander only for Ed to go all serious with a great song Goodbye To The Sea echoed by Brian with La Mer but leaving the sea behind Ged went all the way inland to the largest port in America to visit St Louis. Going back to his favourite golfing scenario David then gave us his philosophical From A Mis-stance and Andy was all humorous with A Little Bit but Bob stayed traditional with The London Apprentice to the Black Velvet Band Melody. Then we were very glad to welcome back Gloria and she certainly moved us with her version of Exile accompanied by Frank who then sang and played strongly for Withered and Died. Always unique, Eric stepped up with his extremely apposite conversion of Jacques Brel's Brussels into Manchest-o before Ruth, Kath & Stan took us up to the break with The Night Visitor and Pie In The Sky.

A big raffle, the arrival of the chips and a 2-1 score line to United then put most in a good frame of mind for the second half started by Brian who said I Don't Want To Talk About It but Isobel took him along to the Dingle Regatta to cheer him up. Ann C then came up trumps with Jack In The Green as did Ged who had Jesus On The Mainline but Bob still reckoned it could be a Stormy Monday. Ruth, Kath & Stan were next out with John Lover before Andy took us all by surprise with Hold On by Sarah McLaughlin which is the tragic story of a couple who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion to the man who not knowing passed it to his partner. John Muskett next covered The Beatles' I Get By, with all those tricky chord changes, but when all seemed clear David confused us with his Yes, No, No Hiding Place. Jan & Mark reckoned it was No Use Crying over it and Big Brian went even further and sang Rolf's Sun Arise supported by Robin who clearly stated I'm Gonna Try For The Sun. Sonny from Don & Heather also indicated it is best to get out there and sample the world because you never know what is round the corner as in Rob Johnson's Herald Of Free Enterprise sung by Carl but Ed didn't care as he settled for Trashy Women. Isobel then invited us to join her for Michael Turner's Waltz, Eric invited John Muskett et al to support his Caruthers and Frank sighed If I Were A Carpenter? He then stuck around to accompany Gloria as a Rock And Roll Slave, if only, and Farewell teeing up Mark & Jan for Love And Happiness. Pepper Street finally set us rolling homewards with Keep Your Distance and I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water only for John Muskett to complete the coup de gras with Mocking Bird Hill. Only the best at Sale Folk Club.

Newsletter No 122 - 8 March 2011

It was a good job Don & Heather got there before the coach arrived and kicked off with Dimming Of The Day because soon rattling through the door came Pepper Street to reveal stolen goods in the form of Diamantina Drover and City Of New Orleans and Banjo John who was determined not to be outdone by unsheathing his harmonica for Lily Marlene which was taught to him by his uncle who learned it from his German guard in a POW Camp in WW2. Richard Sails next told of The Man Who Waters The Workers Beer, naughty, before Ruth, Kath & Stan went on the road with Wagon Wheel calling on The Banks Of The Ohio and Chris retold his own Story Of John And Mary. We then welcomed newcomer Big Brian who gave us a spirited and individual version of the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies just before Rob was Courting Too Slow and Carl asked for percussion backing for his own song about the 1710 train which Brian, Heather & Don did their best to supply on bodhran, shaking eggs and tambourine. It made a good noise for a great song! Young Nic was up next with his clarinet for the theme tune of Desert Island Discs, By The Sleepy Lagoon accompanied by Accordion John, but Ged soon had us down to earth with How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live from the 1929 depression era. Ann C next treated us to What Will We Do from the singing of Mary Delaney which was recorded by Maddy Prior and June Tabor for their second Silly Sisters album while Mark & Jan relaxed Down In The Easy Chair before letting Bygones Be Bygones a song written by their daughter Cathy and Eric went High Diving. To take us up to the interval we were at long last able to welcome to the club our friends Nelson Peach who invited us to Follow The Heron Home and then to meet Paul Docherty.

A packed house was grateful for the opportunity to stretch its legs and join in a bumper raffle before Keep The Change Bob started us off again with a trip Down By The Sally Gardens before Karen confessed I Live Not Where I Love and Accordion John had us all singing away to his Amazing Grace. The Mountains Of Mourne were where we found Brian before David gave us two of his poems about The White Princess and his favourite twin lighthouses, Maidens, on entering Larne harbour. Big Brian was then back with A Drunken Sailor followed by Ruth, Kath & Stan who bemoaned How Will I Ever Be Simple Again but all Richard Gray wanted was Dignity. Banjo was then back with Beale Street Blues, written in 1916 by famous songwriter and "father of the blues" W C Handy, Rob was on The Alabama, Chris came up with his Story Of The Dancer and Richard Sails had us all singing with The Molecatcher. There But For Fortune reckoned Brian, it's all about Uncle Joe's Mint Balls claimed Accordion John but Karen didn't give a hoot as she went off with The Sailor. Jan & Mark had us in the farm yard with their Chicken Song and Ann C was off with her Blacksmith in Twankydillo but Carl was more philosophical with When Fate And Circumstance Collide something that seems to be happening around the world right now. It could be The Last Minstrel Show reckoned Ged but Nelson Peach preferred their John O'Dreams before joining Eric and a host of others for his Ancient Mariner Blues. She Was Once A True Love Of Mine claimed Keep The Change Bob before Richard Gray had his usual wrangle with Sylvia's Mother and Pepper Street rounded it all off by heading for Make Or Break Harbour. Phew, just made it!!

Newsletter No 121 - 1 March 2011

Another interesting mix of performers, music and verse provided a very entertaining evening for a large audience and Mick & John aka Pepper Street started us off on the right foot with Make And Break Harbour and Don & Heather accompanied by Claire with her Bodhran said they Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way. Ed was also soon in action with a great version of Kris Kristofferson's Silver Tongued Devil as was Robin with his Rose Of Allandale and Ruth, Kath & Stan with Sonny's Dream. It was good to see Tom & Lucy again and they first graced us with Tom's own Sweet Joy followed by Carl with James Keelahan's Sinatra And I and Claire with Lowlands Away. Debutante Helen was also soon in action with Joan Baez's Copper Kettle all about illegal whiskey making in the US followed by Rob who appropriately was Rolling Home and Ann C who mused Once I Had A True Love and Bob whose Yellow Girl remembered the salters. David also reminisced but on a more serious level with The Box marked War whose contents are too often released by foolish human beings leaving Isobel to transport us more gently with two tunes, Curly Headed Ploughboy and Davy, Davy Knick Knack. Then late arrivals Keep The Change Bob with Tomorrow Is A Long Time and Eric with Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues completed the first round by paying tribute to the legendary Bob Dylan. Again setting the pace for the second round Pepper Street gave us one of their best songs, Aaronmore, to be followed by Helen who was looking for Something in Red and Carl with The Ballad of Johnny Collier to take us up to the break.

After another monster raffle Don & Heather set the tone with Whisky In The Jar accompanied by Claire but only after giving her a signed card and a souvenir Sale Folk Club Mug to remember us by. Ruth, Kath & Stan then chirped up with Birds And Ships followed by Tom & Lucy with The Everly's Let It Be Me and Ed with the song about the woman looking for a Logger who stirs his coffee with his thumb. Claire was next up with The Saga Of Georgiou and Robin chipped in with Bread And Fishes before Rob said let's Fathom The Bowl. Ann C then bared her soul with I'll Go With Him Wherever He Goes, Bob's sore throat croaked Frankie And Johnnie, Keep The Change Bob revisited Sonny's Dream and Eric had us all smiling at his Thin Man Blues. Pepper Street had Boats To Build before Isobel whistled them aboard with Danny Back and The Rope Waltz and Ruth, Kath & Stan reckoned there was No Telling What A Love Song Can Do. Tom & Lucy sang another of Tom's own songs God's Own Land and then Helen delighted us with Sandy Denny's Who Knows Where The Time Goes before Carl had us lustily singing Old Bones, too close for comfort. Isobel followed up with The Rites Of Man, and Woman no doubt, and Keep The Change Bob gave Joan Baez another mention with Silver Dagger before Jim started his wrestle with Farewell To Tarwathie. Claire finally came back to say farewell and remind us that we will always be Together At Heart and Rob had us all singing our way home with his centipede song, I Wish I Was Back In Liverpool.


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