February 2012

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Newsletter No 167 - 28 February 2012

A progressively full house was kicked off by Ruth, Kath & Stan with Loving Hannah and fresh from his trip over the Pennines Phil Sykes accompanied himself on the piano keyboard for Mrs Holroyd before Heather & Don explained the wonder of Black Clothes. Next Stella asked us to Turn, Turn, Turn while Rob was up to M in his Alphabet Soup with Muldoon The Solid Man leaving Colin to tell us about A Traveller Passing Through. Merdy then told us how we all had Reason To Believe leaving Mark to set off with O'Carolan's tune Loftus Jones and Jan to delight us with The Bells Of Aberdovey in Welsh to celebrate the imminence of St David's Day. Equally emotional was Brian's Song from you've guessed it, Brian Challenor, and in a totally different way Carl's When Fate And Circumstance Collide stirred the emotions in remembering the MS Herald of Free Enterprise disaster. Then Jo then came up with another classic I Live Not Where I Love as did Guitar Brian of the big chords with This Nearly Was Mine but Dave Holt tore up the script with Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead. The surprises continued when Janice Bell got up with Mick & John to temporarily form what you might call Sweet Pepper Street for Killing Me Softly which definitely wasn't A Blank Canvas that Doreen the poet spoke about but it was a love story like Robert's In The Washhouse but this was all in Spanish accompanied by his excellent Spanish Guitar playing. A history lesson followed when Jean told the true story of Humpty Dumpty that actually was a big cannon on Colchester Castle walls but Dave Cashell went all surreal in the Octopus' Garden before Eric & Guitar Brian did the bi-lingual version of La Vie En Rose. Pepper Street next tried to reclaim their identity with the Diamantina Drover but Keep The Change Bob reckoned he heard it all before with Deja Vu as he took us up to the interval.

In the second half Eddie started after The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God which caused Doreen to think of her poem Dream Catcher and Dave Cashell to in of Silhouettes on the shade. Straightforwardly Brian Challenor treated us to Sonny while Robert told us of The Spaniard That Blighted My Life and Jan & Mark followed The Blue Cockade. Still on M Rob took us The Mill Outing while Dave Holt was at Home On The Range leaving Richard Gray to mull over The Last Great War or more like a century of them. Merdy again brought some sense to the proceedings with Caledonia before Phil introduced more levity with a rousing version of My Old Man's A Dustman before Colin explained Sometimes When We Touch. Coming to the end of the evening, Guitar Brian reminded us of The Way We Were, Carl reckoned it was Time To Drop Anchor, Stella sang of the Rose Of Allendale and Ruth, Kath & Stan with Hedger And Ditcher helped us come to a close.

Newsletter No 167 - 21 February 2012

Ruth, Kath & Stan made a brilliant hosting debut and started the ball rolling with a great band up for Byker Hill, a new song for them. Ed next proved he was not All Used Up while Ged was wrestling with A Bourgeois Town and Allan fantasised about Nights In White Satin. Next Banjo John was At The Jazz Band Ball and Dave Cashell was down at The Alamo as was Colin in remembering The Ballad Of The Alamo. Robin then mused You Are Beautiful but John Condy was only interested in The Northern Sky and Kamran was thinking She's Funny That Way. Having none of that Don & Heather were off to The Roseville Fair while Carl was after a Taste Of Honey and Brian was saying Dream A Little Dream Of Me. A touch abstractly, Banjo John thought out loud There But For Fortune as did Ruth, Kath & Stan with What'll We Do With The Baby and Dave Cashell with Pearly Shell. Robin, however, went back to his roots with The Rose Of Allendale while Alan warned us of the Ring Of Fire.

After the raffle and general adjustment of the fluid balance, Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor then pleaded Ged before Ed opened The Box and Brian found an Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground. Keep The Change Bob then told us Her Eyes Dark Brown and on the same subject Don & Heather were saying You Will Be The Light and so will be Man City if they were To Win The Premier League as Colin Rudd reckons. Baz then both surprised and delighted us with the A J Clark classic, Walking On Sunday accompanied by some more of Brian's superb chording, and arriving late Rob caught with his alphabet soup of folk songs with K for The Good Ship Calabar. Where did he go to school? Carl then wished Health To The Company, obviously not mental in Rob's case, but Kamran shunned all that with One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer to which Keep The Change Bob retorted, What's Going On? We then had a lesson from Ed on how to come out The Winner but Robin reckoned it was all in the hands of the Honky Tonk Angels but Rob was still stuck in his soup as was The Last Leviathan. Getting towards their goal Kath & Stan took the Train On The Island while Ged visited The Last Minstrel Show and John Condy was lamenting the fate of the Motherland. Kamran next told us about his gal Willie Mae while Dave Cashell preferred The Young Ones but to Bob they were all The Weary Kind. Finally surfacing from his soup Rob woke up the sleeping beauty with Martin Said To His Man before Don & Heather were requested to tell of the hardships of The Diamantina Drover with some great chorusing.

Newsletter No 167 - 14 February 2012

Well, Saint Valentine would have laughed at the funny songs, plastic roses and electric candles, smiled at the serious songs of love demonstrated by the 70 quid raised for the Destination Florida Charity and cried with the sad songs at last night's celebration. Mark & Jan went for the straightforward I Got You Babe while Robin was A Country Boy Again and Paul was the sailor Jackaroo being chased on board by the transvestite stalker. Dave Cashell gave us the optimistic She Loves You Yeah Yeah but Carl as off to Scarborough Fair and Banjo John was Down In Louisiana. Pieter next gave us his up and down life story in Rolling With The Punches, a good song, to which Ann C said it's still Some Kind Of Love and young Omar tootled on the clarinet with When The Saints and Away In A Manger. It takes all sorts and Dave enlightened us on Drunken Love before Diane and Brian bemoaned You Don't Bring Me Flowers Any More and Richard Knott it's all Sugar For Sugar. Fortunately Ed go us back on track with Blue Moon as did Dave Holt with It's A Lovely Day and Isobel with O'Carolan's tune Hewlett. Jo, having prepared only the one, object lesson there, then gave us her a cappella version of Scarborough Fair and Don & Heather Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way before The Bailey Sisters explained that it can be bitter sweet as in Plaisir D'Amour. People even get killed as in Ged's Frankie And Johnny causing Rob to Wish I Was Back In Liverpool sensing that Zoe had No Love Today. Eric was the complete opposite with his own special Not Another Valentine before Banjo John finished the half with Ain't Misbehavin' and I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter.

A great raffle and buffet prompted everyone to give generously and 70 quid will help another very sick child have a mind blowing holiday with Destination Florida because after all it is made round to go round. Themselves desperately trying for a place on the plane, Jan & Mark then kicked off the second half with The Chicken Song which prompted Richard Knott to exclaim Take Me To The Doctor but Brian's Wonderful World told us how he felt. The Snows Of New York were celebrated by Robin as Omar warmed up his liquorice stick for Frere Jacques and in scarf resplendent Colin celebrated 80 Years Of Football At Maine Road. The other side of the coin came with Ged's Hard Love but Dave Holt was off Dancing Cheek to Cheek and Pieter was talking about his own One Night, another good song. Why Must I Be A Teenager In Love next exclaimed Dave Cashel while The Bailey Sisters extolled the virtues of a Capable Wife and Zoe listed the desirable characteristics she wanted in a man in All Of The Above but none of the ones below. Carl was next a bit more cynical with Thin Lizzie's Don't Believe A Word but Isobel's answer was the cracking tune Jump At The Sun while Paul Reilly sang about his namesake John Reilly. Don, Heather, Isobel & Robin aka Contraband the described another kind of love between pals in Rambling Boy followed by a seriously good song from Eric, Man At The Door rounded off by an equally un-serious song from Ed, She Is Woman and Johnny's Gone To Hilo from Rob. With a few minutes remaining Mark & Jan led us in Obla-di Obla-da before Zoe told us that, even though All Of His Songs Were Road Songs, they were actually all love songs for a fitting climax.

Newsletter No 167 - 7 February 2012

It's always handy when a coach party gets lost and deposits a full house on your doorstep and Mick & John aka Pepper Street took full advantage and went Shooting Bankers after almost being overwhelmed with a bit of a false start. They soon gathered momentum by turning to the experience of Andy & Dave who provided a Song For The Asking and Banjo John who instructed Johnny B. Goode. Still using the first team Eric retold The Very, Very Sad Story Of Dr Sydney Simpson demanding his kidney back followed by Ed relating the story of Georgina Bailey and Paul recalling the legend of the racehorse Stewball. Mark was then warning us that the Rout Has Just Come For The Blues, our first Man City reference, so Jan rang the Bells Of Aberdovey, the Welsh song to the tune of Down By The Riverside and Colin gave us our second Man City reference with his excellent Pride Of Manchester. Rob Grey was up to F in his Folk Alphabet so it was the grey Funnel Line but nothing could have prepared us for the stunning debut of Alan who was that Working Class Hero leaving Don & Heather to wait for the tumultuous applause to die down before attempting Honky Tonk Man who was the subject of Clint Eastwood's film of the same name. It was then good to see The Bailey Sisters reunited for Benjamin Bowmaneer and Kamran was equally classy with Erik Satie's Gymnopédie No.1 followed by Moon River as David recalled the joys of Riding On Top Of The Car. Carl again went looking for those Black Diamonds while Merdy was all philosophical about The Life Of Man and Jonathan somewhat more wistful with Hello In There written by John Prine when he was 24 years old, amazing insight. Brian was then back in a favourite era with Would You which not a lot of people know was actually dubbed for Debbie Reynolds in the film Singing In The Rain but there was no need for the artificial with Ruth, Kath & Stan singing Beautiful nor Ged who with Flip, Flop and Fly took us headlong to the interval.

Two bottles of wine, chocolates and a shopping bag later Pepper Street who didn't win any of them had Something Like The Blues after which Mark was on the case of Young Billy Brown and Rob continued to H with The Hauling Song leaving Andy & Dave to be Over The Hills And Far Away with the Sharpe theme song. Isobel was her usual delightful self with two tunes Danny Beck and The Rope Waltz while Paul stayed traditional with If I Had A Hammer leaving Karen Telling The Birds all about it. Kamran was still thinking about some Lazy Days and Merdy was equally dreamy about the fisherman's paradise Fiddler's Green leaving Ruth, Kath & Stan to suggest that we should all Let The Mystery Be. This left Ed to turn to the Old Peculiar and sent Brian on the Elvis trail with his medley of Dixie, Glory, Glory and Hush Little Baby but Ged's suggestion answer was to Take This Hammer prompting Heather, Isobel & Don to Steal Away. Alan was only worried as to Who'll Stop The Rain while Colin was marvelling at Mr Bojangles while Jonathan summed it all up with Ain't No Telling. The climax was kicked off by Eric, Carl and Pepper Street et al with Proud Mary with Andy & Dave taking us over the line with This Boy and Chattanooga Choo Choo which we were all happy to climb on board.