April 2012

Newsletter No 175 - 24 April 2012

Ed & Sue asked Don & Heather to start off the evening and they took the opportunity to celebrate the Mass Trespass with Manchester Rambler before anyone else did and it obviously struck a chord with many in the audience before Banjo John echoed the sentiment with Didn't He Ramble. Paul also had us singing with The Train That Never Returned which nicely set up The Chorlton Cloghoppers who danced in two teams first to the Dancing Waltz and then to The Welsh. Next Arthur Marshall claimed only one other person appreciated his Ballad Of The Man From Milton Keynes but there was a room full last night and Pete Roberts' Sunsets was also an upbeat song as was Rambling Boy from Jo which had the whole audience singing along. We were then grateful that Carl had been requested to go Singing The Ages Down which prompted Kamran to comment You Shook Me All Night courtesy of AC/DC but Brian preferred The Sound Of Silence. Next newcomer Chris blew us away with a great song from the west coast of Ireland, The Bold Thady Quill, before Stella responded by leading us all in Cohen's Halleluja followed by Trevor and Ruth with Rare Owd Times and Ged with Jesus On The Mainline. Mark & Jan celebrated America's intolerance to progress with Jez Lowe's song of their attitude to Charles Darwin, We'll Hunt Him Down, and David the poet explained it From A Mis-stance. Harry, the Cloggers Accordionist then gave us a medley of tunes as a prelude to John's The Day They Drove Old Dixie Down and Rod's Dock Of The Bay leaving Dave & Andy to take us to the interval with My Laggan Love.

After a great raffle Banjo John took us Up A Lazy River but The Chorlton Cloghoppers were far more lively with the Liverpool Hornpipe and the Ossie Jig both times accompanied by Harry's accordion. Trevor was next up with Maggie followed Robin & Isobel with Far, Far Away and Doreen who was Beside The Seaside. Janice took an anti-war stance with Willie McBride as Paul demanded People Get Ready and Kamran got the Stock Horse Blues. Jan & Mark were still chasing that Little Red Rooster but Carl on a higher plane took us to Hallowed Ground leaving Ged to Flip, Flop and Fly. Chris again stunned us with another superb Irish song, By The Hush, come back soon and with your violin was the cry. Pete Roberts then sang the less well known She's Got Everything She Needs before Rod expressed that well known sentiment, If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me, which had several in the audience smiling with approval. Stella & Brian then sang about Flowers Of Peace which was of a similar mood to John's Scarecrow. Arthur's After The Wedding had us all thinking before Don & Heather gave us some light relief with Irene and Cigareets And Whisky to leave the stage set for Dave & Andy to send us home contented with their own Along The Road When I Was Young. Lovely!

Newsletter No 174 - 17 April 2012

Despite the weather doing its usual British thing there were many sunny faces at Sale Folk Club for a great evening hosted by Mark and Jan. Pepper Street got us started with the popular Diamantina Drover, stolen from Don & Heather, followed by Paul "One Man Band" Riley, celebrating 40 years of marriage (the medal is being minted as we speak, for his wife of course), with his version of Seasick Steve's Walking Man. Next up was with Ged with the tale of Crow Jane's untimely demise and Jan, accompanied by Mark, celebrating 29 years of marriage (for which Jan deserves a good night out), sang that great and appropriate song Who Knows Where the Time Goes! Ruth, Kath and Stan then took us on a trip to the Andes with a lovely version of the melodic El Condor Pasa followed by Brian who sang Everybody's Talking at Me and Stella who had us all joining in with This Little Light of Mine. Trevor then sang a fine version of Now I'm Easy from the pen of Eric Bogle and Carl was telling Ricki not to Lose that Number. Next John Brown was resting his voice and so he took us to the American South with a medley of tunes including Down by the Swanee River and Oh Susanna before Jo asked Do You Love an Apple (Still I Love Him) and Baz Williams gave us his unique harmonica version of Wooden Heart using the Russian Doll style of using several harmonicas, cast aside one by one, and each time replaced by a smaller one! A most entertaining few moments and it has to be seen to be believed! Merdy showed us his Rocky persona with The Boxer and Janice, with Mick and John, sang Mick Hare's Song of the Planet (ours we presume). Whilst Robin was dealing with a tuning issue and lamenting putting new strings on his guitar only a few hours ago, Colin Rudd stepped up with Harry Chapin's Anywhere's a Better Place To Be. Robin thought, now having tuned up, that the Road to Dundee was a better place to be but Ken decided instead that with, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere. Isobel was in fine form with two lively tunes, The Scallawa Lasses and the Halting March and was followed by Peter Roberts with his own, thought provoking song, Whole Life Through. Guitar Brian then promised he could give us Anything You Want followed by Eddie's Bold Grenadier, since he was a latecomer due to a game of badminton, to take us up to the interval!

After yet another nail bitingly exciting raffle with prizes won by people holding the winning tickets, Mark and Jan set off in their 30 foot Trailer then Stan, Kath and Ruth lamented over John Lover before Robin was away to Greenland with The Greenland Whale Fishery. Should it not be the Greenland Whale Cetaceanery? Peter Roberts then sang Elton John's Your Song, Brian followed with Gentle on my Mind with Stella was telling us that The Water is Wide, and wet probably. Merdy sang the Leaves That are Green and Guitar Brian said Don't Blame Me, blame the chlorophyll presumably. Lifting our sprits even further, Paul Riley gave us a thumpingly good version of Good Morning Blues and Trevor followed with a fine rendition of the Eric Bogle song, Leaving Nancy which prompted Isobel to play the lovely air, Herr Roloff's Farewell and, despite Robin's disbelief that such a person ever existed, she earned herself two gold stars! Carl then followed with an excellent performance of a song recently learnt by him from the prog rock band, Gentle Giant, called Kites and was followed by Ged with Fort Worth Blues and Eddie with a commemorative medley for the Titanic which included the Belfast Polka and Nearer my God to Thee. Finally agreeing on the Key of F (effin' F as someone commented) Janice with Pepper Street Sang Haul Away and then Pepper Street Washed Their Hands in that Muddy Stream. Mark and Jan finally sent everyone home with Alan Bell's So Here's to You to finish off another excellent evening at Sale Folk Club. Well done everyone!!

Newsletter No 173 - 10 April 2012

Banjo John opened the night with a late nineteenth century piece by Kerry Mills called Whistling Rufus. Very modern for John and he even made it more authentic by whistling an accompaniment like Ronnie Ronalde! It was enough to make Ged want to Step it Up And Go but he didn't as he must have realised that Sally Stamford, from the group Full Circle, was about to make her debut. Professional and full of personality, she was visiting the north of England to cut a CD called I Believe with the proceeds to be donated to a children's charity which enables terminally ill children to have a once in a lifetime treat. She sang Van Diemen's Land followed by Pete Roberts with Woodstock and Merdy, certainly not mardy after he had trapped his finger making it too painful for him to play his guitar so we were treated to an excellent unaccompanied Haul Away My Laddie Oh. Kamran's response was the lesser known Portobello Belle from Dire Straits (1989) followed by Jo who came from the deep end to give us a nice rendition of Universal Soldier before the return Heather from the Uppermill Club who it was good to see back again at Sale to sing play Martha's Harbour. Despite the Masters Golf not being won by an Irishman, poet David then recited his self-penned From a Mistance and Ed sang a new one for him, Royal Charter, about a ship which sank on the coast of Anglesey in 1859. This was followed by some discussion with Rob who told us he had dived down to that wreck looking for the gold but without success. He thinks he might have another attempt now he's been reminded of it! Another get rich quick scheme fortunately interrupted by The Bailey Sisters who gave us two songs at this point, Follow the Heron Home and The Cuckoo, complete with all their beautiful harmonies but Rob, up to 'S' in his folk song alphabet, leapt back in to have us singing along with South Australia whilst he leant on the bar for support instead of the door. Ken once again braved the storm and sang a very confident version of Wagon Wheel. He has sat in the audience for too long hiding his light under a bushel and is now blossoming nicely which is just as well because Colin played and sang a superb John Denver song I'd Rather be a Cowboy followed by Brian who had us all singing along with Well I Ask Ya. The momentum continued when Rod, back for his second visit, gave us Knocking on Heaven's Door which we all sang with gusto before John Condy finished off Round 1 with Unicorns which nicely set up Banjo John for My Gal Sal and Heather who beat even John's modernism with The Maid of Llanwellyn by Joanna Bailey from way back in 1762. Late comer Eddie was next asked to catch up a bit so he kept in the same era playing his concertina and singing I Live Not Where I Love.

Brian was also down among the dead men with an Elvis number, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You, although some swear that he is still alive and working in Tesco, or even living In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that Kamran sang of next. Then it was Sally Stamford's turn to come up again and we listened attentively to the tale of The Indian Lass as we did to Merdy's unaccompanied Glen Isle before John Condy reckoned it was Will of the People as written by Jez Lowe. As a complete departure Pete Roberts sang a lovely St Paul's Song, the text of which was taken from the Bible, followed by Rob, now up to the letter 'T' who sang Thousands Or More and Poet David who recited two short poems of his own, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Double Contradiction. By way of more light relief Ed sang his comedy number Farewell To Nancy before The Bailey Sisters again delighted us with Oak And Ash And Thorn followed by Sally Gardens. Then Rod declared that his song had country in the title but it was not a country song, Going Up The Country being more Blues/Rock but we didn't mind. Ged responded by singing his Bob Coleman special The Last Minstrel Show to lead us up to a climactic finale which was started by Heather who had found a poem written by her father and printed in his school magazine when he was only 13. She had set it to music and sang it for us as The Pirate Song. Well done Dad! Not to be outdone, Kamran next had us all singing along with his Disney Production I Wanna Be Like You and as Eddie had arrived late and was only onto his second song he was also asked to amaze us with one of his many talents and duly did so by encouraging us all to sing along whilst this time he played the melodeon. John Condy surprised and thrilled everyone by singing the cheerful Here Comes the Sun which was very presumptuous but set the scene for Pete Roberts' penultimate song Neil Young's Heart of Gold before Sally Stamford was asked to finish the evening with something rousing and she certainly did that as she jigged around the room singing Tonight's The Night For Drinking which made a wonderful finale.

Newsletter No 172 - 3 April 2012

It was a full house tonight lots of performers including three newcomers. Pepper Street started at a high tempo with an Empty Heart but not with an empty heart if you know what I mean. This paved the way for Kamran to tell us we were My First, My Last, My Everything, a Barry White special delivered in context since he had a sore throat this week which lent itself to him doing it well. Mike Dixon then flew over us with Spitfires by Chris Wood while Dave with his Guitar told what he would do If I Had A Hammer but Doreen said the answer was Meditation with her poem about silence. Our first newcomer Sam didn't agree and wanted to Keep That Wheel A Turning and Brian pleaded Let Me Try Again but Banjo John was off with Lucille and Kenny Rogers. Ian, another newcomer this time from Middlesborough, not entirely surprisingly sang Yellow Hair by Jez Lowe. More emotionally, Robin told us that Sometimes When We Touch and Arthur was all dewy eyed over Miss Jones before Janice confessed it was Raining In My Heart. Rob continued his folk song alphabet soup with R for Rawtenstall Annual Fair but Carl was more ethereal with Magical Sky while Paul Riley sang Forever Young by Bob Dylan as a tribute to Kate on her birthday celebration. Richard Knott was next up with another excellent new song, Do Nothing, which prompted Barry to go Walking On Sunday leaving Eric to pay his first tribute a friend who died recently with Jojo by Jacques Brel. Kath Stan & Ruth next fell on Hard Times followed by Rod, another newcomer from Urmston this time, who came with The Weight by The Band, Dylan's backing at one time before Ged got tired and requested Make Me Down A Palette On Your Floor. To end the round Richard Gray summed it all up by singing his own Thanks For Another Day.

Throughout the evening Kate was much honoured both in song and in receiving a bouquet of flowers with great butties & chips at the interval. Pepper Street then powered off in the City of New Orleans which could have been taking Paul Riley to Fulsom Prison for those Blues before Isobel, who came at the break, played Sonny's Mazurka and a couple of others. Ian then sang The Yorkshire Song by Anna Shannon followed by Ged who warned us When The Levee Breaks in Memphis Minnie as did Rob with his story of Sam The Blackbird. Kamran, again in context, gave us Man In The Long Black Coat by Bob Dylan and Robin told us the story of Jock O' Hazeldean before Doreen delivered a message, Young At Heart, for Kate!! Sam then counselled us to Teach Your Children Well, the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young special, Arthur warned us of The Old Black Dog They Call The Blues and Rod reckoned there was no Substitute by The Who. Janice then had us all gooey with her Moon River but Richard Knott had another Night Falling, Blues Calling moment with a superb instrumental cross between bossa nova & blues which prompted a cheery retort from Dave who recommended us to Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life. This was seconded by Mike Dixon who reckoned we should Be Prepared by Tom Lehrer. Kath Stan & Ruth were still seriously saying there Ain''t No Sweet Man but Richard Gray dedicated Your Song by Elton John to Kate leaving Eric to complete his tribute to his friend with The Man At The Door to end a cracking evening.

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