June 2012

  • Print

Newsletter No 183 - 26 June 2012

It was a full house this week and we had 41 performances in all with hosts Pepper Street starting the ball rolling with Mick's song about John Dillinger, Shooting Bankers, quickly followed by Banjo John who introduced us to Delia and Joan, one of our regular audience, who did her first ever performance with Whiskey In The Jar. She was clearly nervous but battled on gamely and will soon become a stalwart. Then Carl with Penny Lane offered a slightly belated celebration of Paul McCartney's 70th birthday before welcome back alive Mike Dixon joined us again with The White Cockade as did Richard Sails with old favourite None Of My Own. Paul Riley then introduced us to My Babe and Jo returned to her Ramblin Boy and Guitar Dave did the same with Runaround Sue. It all left Rod with Suspicion and Jean Finney, playing her new Q Chord (electronic autoharp all very angelic sounding) with her own comment, Life Is A Game, but any way up Robin reckoned Hey It's Good To Be Back Home. Kamran was next dealing with those Stole River Blues and Colin coping with A Rainy Day while Janice was off with Pepper Street looking for her Nowhere Man. Rob was then off on the Good Ship Calabar leaving Richard Knott to sing The Cape and Kath, Stan & Ruth sunning themselves on the Banks Of The Ohio. Guitar Brian next turned his big chords to a medley of Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered coupled with It's Magic which gave Ged the Big Leg Blues and Keith (aka Elvis) the urge to do one of his own poems entitled Why Oh Why all about sex. If he doesn't know by now!

The second half was again opened by Pepper Street who took us on a Pleasure Trip while late arrivals Eric, in praise of Gaia, and Keep The Change Bob, with Only A Rose kept the flow going nicely. Charles, another newcomer, then sang Gypsy Davey while Kamran still had that Travelling Riverside Blues while Robin insisted that The Battle Is Over. Did he mean the football or Scottish Independence? Then Keith as Elvis finally returned to the building with I Can't Help Falling In Love With You while Jean, with the Q Chord, summed it all up with another one of her own, I'm Alone, unlike Jesse James that Guitar Dave was to sing about. Next John, a visitor from Sheffield, in a tribute to the weather sang The January Man which immediately made Carl and many others think of Old Bones but Kath, Stan & Ruth reacted differently with A Call To Arms In Our Street. A bit extreme perhaps as was Guitar Brian's retort, You're So Vain, whereas on the other hand Janice told us Another Do Gooder's Tale with Pepper Street prompting Ged to take off in his Boots Of Spanish Leather. Mike Dixon returned to the fray with Icarus while Paul now had the Brownferry Blues making Rod shoot off to Nadine. Characteristically Richard Knott then went Too Fast as we hurtled towards the big climax with Rob nearly bringing his usual wall and the rest of the house down with the big chorus song Rolling Home.

All in all, it was another very good and varied night.

Newsletter No 182 - 19 June 2012

Well, at first we thought that everyone must have stayed home to watch the England football match because it was very depleted to start with only a handful of people arriving making it look like being a poor evening on the performance side. However, people began to come in including newcomer Stuart Warburton from Bolton who brought a copy of his latest CD to sell and it all turned out well.

Banjo John opened up the evening for us with Stormy Monday soon followed by Brian Challenor who was blown in by Four Strong Winds and since Paul McCartney celebrated his 70th Birthday this week, our own Paul sang Let It Be. It was great to see Ann Cojeen back at the club and she sang When I Was Single to which Kamran replied Daydream Believer with which everyone heartily agreed and sang along and on which Stella capitalised with The Water Is Wide. Ed then got out his train set and found The City of Chicago which set up Rob for a wonderful rendition of Trevor Morton's Mill Outing (where did X, Y and Z go in his Folk Alphabet?) and Pepper Street for The Diamantina Drover and Arran Moor. At this point we tried to persuade the three girls in the audience from a Polish Choir to help us increase the number of performers but they couldn't be coerced but to our surprise Emily, Rob's friend Sheila's daughter, was easily conned into borrowing John Condy's guitar and singing her version of Scarborough Fair with everyone joining in to help or was it hinder her with the order of the verses but she was excellent in her own right, without our help. Stuart Warburton on his first time at our club then took the floor and sang a Mexican Song from his latest album. It was the self-penned Old Lady of Guadeloupe and very professional too. Janice was next accompanied by Pepper Street for The Good Man and I Stand by You just as Keep The Change Bob appeared at the door and was press ganged into action with a song about a native American Indian, Drunken Ira Hayes.

Round two came upon us all too quickly but Banjo John was ready and willing to begin again with George Formby's Leaning On A Lamp Post which prompted Richard Gray to appear and be ushered forward for Dylan's Just Like A Woman with Kamran following with a Gospel Song, Oh Glory How Happy I Am. Still with the supernatural, Paul followed that with When the Saints Go Marching In but normal service was resumed on The Grey Funnel Line by Rob. Keep The Change Bob next tried to sing Summertime but the audience took over en mass and he could hardly get a word in edgeways, which saves having to know the words, for Brian Everybody was Talking while for Ann was worried What'll The Neighbours Say, a Sandra Kerr number from l963. Ed next had us all chuckling with Joan Gallimore's favourite, Bubbles, while Stella was upbeat with Summertime Is Coming prompting Emily, now on a roll and thinking of her suntan, to borrow the guitar again and play a very accomplished Golden Brown. Then Stuart came to the front again to sing another wonderful self-penned song from his album, Fragile Heaven, as we all cheered on the arrival of Isobel who by this time had warmed up her instrument to play a very fast Crossing The Minch leaving Janice to please us by singing Mick's Song of the Planet and Killing Me Softly.

Round 3 was a random affair with time running short and the only aim being a climax to what had been another excellent evening of music. Richard started off by singing John Willard Jones, Rob, with all actions included, did Cock Robin. Isobel played a slower tune called Elizabeth Claire and Kamran took us to The House Of The Rising Sun. Keeping up the quality Paul sang two short songs, One Man's Hand and We Shall Overcome setting up Keep The Change Bob for Duncan And Brady and, at Ed's request, Stuart for Day Glow Dashboard Jesus which made everyone smile. Finally to send us into the street happy Pepper Street concluded with a Pleasure Trip followed by I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water, requested by Alan.

Newsletter No 181 - 12 June 2012

Kath, Stan & Ruth stewarded another enjoyable evening which it all went quite smoothly with amazingly no complaints forthcoming from the throng about having to pay for their own chips this week. Sixteen performers presented themselves again this week with the hosts, Kath, Stan & Ruth starting the proceedings with The Last Goodbye only to make way for Robin, fresh from a tropical holiday in 33 degrees in Oban, to sing Killicrankie. John Condy then took us Across the Borderline with Ry Cooder before Banjo John was off to Louisiana with Oh Susannah which set the scene for Richard Knott to perform his new song, Like a Book. Rapidly becoming a stalwart, Pete rose to sing Dylan's Ain't No Use To Sit and Wonder Why Babe and keeping up the high standard Carl was next with his song All At Sea as Paul, who had brought his new long necked banjo (size matters) responded with If I had A Hammer. Ed then told us the tale of Red Headed Ann, not Red Deaded Dan as some seem to pronounce it, Kamran reminded to watch out for those Lying Eyes and poet Dave gave us his take on the "Troubles" with Londonderry. Then taking time away from extracting the gearbox of his narrowboat engine Arthur Marshall cheered us with his song about his neighbours with Sleep Easy (when they are dead) and Ged reckoned it was not possible with Bricks In His Pillow until Guitar Brian went all smaltzy with The Carpenters' Yesterday Once More. Picking up speed Kath, Stan & Ruth then asked us What'll We Do With The Baby? Is there something we don't know? Pete, however, stopped any embarrassing questions with the Medical Student Blues and Paul recommended us to Follow The Drinking Gourd. Then in a philosophical mood Ed told us the entirely credible story of The Widow And The Devil before Ged in a great ensemble with Kamran and Richard Knott decided to do what the devil should have done and Step It Up And Go. Banjo John, who was leaving at half time, left us with the insoluble How Long Baby How Long and Arthur Marshall stunned us with the thought that it was Almost Romance leaving Guitar Brian to be absolutely unequivocal with his suggestion to follow The Most Beautiful Girl In The World out to the bar for the interval.

Deservably Brian then took the wine in the raffle, John Condy won the Posh Cups, Ed the Handwash and Richard took the Chocolate probably home to his wife and quite right too.

When we resumed we thought who better than Robin to kick off with his medley of country songs by Hank Thompson as Carl took the floor with the ever popular No Man's Land (Willie McBride) by Eric Bogle before Kamran's Supergroup again assembled with Ged, Richard Knott and John Condy to be Going Down The Road Feeling Bad. Isobel then played for us One Hundred Pipers before John Condy seriously claimed to have No Regrets leaving Arthur Marshall to make us laugh with his Teddy Bears Rave-Up. A fair mixture than saw Paul sing Oh Mary Don't You Weep, Ed celebrate The Winner, Kath, Stan and Ruth sing and play the Billy Bragg/Natalie Merchant song Birds And Ships and Carl wishfully sang about the Summer Breeze. Coincidentally Isobel was next off to the Dingle for the Regatta, where Kath and Stan will be next week, John Condy then told us of The Devil's Partiality, which he got from Martin Simpson, and Robin sang the Buffy St Marie song Now That The Buffalo's Gone. Rushing towards a climax Arthur Marshall got everyone going with his own If It Wasn't For The Fences which set the scene again for Kamran's Supergroup with Ged, Richard, John Condy and almost everyone to finish the evening in style with Jambalaya and send us all into the night with a spring in our step. Magic!

Newsletter No 180 - 5 June 2012

There was a fairly good turnout for the end of the Bank Holiday with sixteen performers through the door to entertain our usual great audience. Maybe word got out about the free Chip Butties as hosts Ruth, Kath & Stan started the proceedings with Byker Hill and Merdy continued the North East theme with the Waters of Tyne before Kamran reminded us that Life Will Get You in The End in a cheery sort of way. Colin then sang us a Jez Lowe song with an interesting title, Black Cat And Blue......? before Janice, supported by John & Mick sang Matt Hyland and Banjo John went all sentimental with I Want A Girl Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad, a touch of Oedipus or just common sense? Still extending her repertoire, Jo next sang the Dylan song It's All Over Now Baby Blue followed by Guitar Brian commenting The Party's Over, but it wasn't as Ed continued with The Gambler and poet Doreen sent a Message On A Postcard. Carl was then on his feet to sing his own nostalgic song about the folk club having to move from From The Armoury To The Crown and appropriately Shelly sang A Rosebud In June before Pepper Street took the floor with Mick's own song, Orson Street Girls. Moving toward the interval Eric performed one of his bilingual songs Tommo, Ged sang about The Last Minstrel Show and Ruth, Kath & Stan explained what can happen with the Night Visiting Song before Keep The Change Bob supported by Kamran took us up to the break with the Elvis song I'm Left You're Right.

At 9.30pm on the dot the Chip Butties arrived kindly provided by the Club Stewards Anne & Graham and very nice too. The Raffle was uncannily won, with no cries of fiddle, by Kath who chose the Red Wine, the bottle of Sangria went to Alan's friend and John Brown won the Handwash or Banjo Lotion if you like.

Staying for the second half, Banjo John, accompanied by Merdy, John Condy, Kath with Harmonica, Stan & others too numerous to mention, got us off to a flying start with Jesse James, Shelly sang about The Spotted Cow and Guitar Brian sang Pretty Woman for Kate, he's such a smoothy. In memory of the good weather Doreen next took us off to be By The Seaside as Ged offered her a ride on Richard Thompson's Vincent Black Lightning 1952. Carl on the other hand warned that things are not always what they seem with the popular Jake Thackray song Sister Josephine and Ed condescended to join in the Jubilee celebrations with Monday She Does All Her Weshing and Merdy gave us Fox On The Run. Colin then briefly took us away from all celebrations of Empire with the Tom Paxton song about Slavery, Beau John, before Kamran, accompanied by John Condy's harmonica, was back to tradition with C.C. Ryder and Pepper Street were the same with Stan Rogers's Make And Break Harbour. John & Mick then stayed up front to be joined by Janice who sang one of her favourites, Dumbarton Drums. Keep The Change Bob then gave us the news that Joshua Gone Barbados and Banjo John, who for some reason didn't go home early, gave us Will the Circle be Unbroken while Ged informed us he had Jesus On The Main Line and Kamran appropriately took the remaining stalwarts of to St James Infirmary. Merdy then made the observation that She's Touched You before Ruth, Kath & Stan finished off the evening by rolling out the Wagon Wheel for a suitable 60 year celebration of whatever takes your fancy.