March 2012

Newsletter No 171 - 27 March 2012

The fine weather set us up for an excellent evening of music and poetry hosted by Mark and Jan who started off with Hush Hush about the Highland Clearances, Paul Riley was next with The Coal Tattoo then Robin with Alan Bell's Wind in the Willows (Bread and Fishes). Newcomer Pete Roberts was up next with a Michael Chapman song, Rabbit Hills, and then we had a thought provoking poem from Doreen called Jeopardy all about the danger to the planet caused by the human race. Hopefully they were not serious when Ruth, Kath and Stan were saying their Last Goodbye but just in case more newcomers Stewart and Bill, all the way from Urmston, each splashed out on a Tequila Sunrise courtesy of the Eagles. Brian then sang a lovely version of Stevie Wonder's Wishes while Jo then entranced us with the lovely ballad, Both Sides of the Tweed, and was followed by the recuperating Banjo John Brown who was accompanied by the ever in demand John Condy on harmonica, with 2.19 Blues. Keeping in the blues vein was Ged with I Got Stripes, and then Janice Bell, accompanied by Pepper Street, sang a beautiful version of Mancini's Moon River before Rob had us in stitches, although we’re not quite sure why, with his story about GM foods, Qubarb! Pepper Street's retort to that was John Condy's excellent song, See You in the Sunset, closely followed by another newby Robert Jones with Man of the World. Jean Finney then sang an old English song which was a dark tale of the Easter Tree followed by Keep the Change Bob who sang Springsteen's This Hard Land. Ruth, Kath and Stan started the second round with the Night Visiting Song, Brian was a Desperado and Jan was in fine Welsh fettle with Ar Lan y Mor. Late arrival Eddie sang the Farmer's Boy then Ged followed with Richard Thompson's '52 Vincent Black Lightning and John Brown took us up to the interval with She Wears Red Feathers (to say nothing of the Hooley-Hooley Skirt)!

After a most exciting raffle Mark sang about Dai the Motorbike Man and Rob, without his Ducati, gave us a rousing version of Rolling Home with Robin's Rebel Soldier next. Another late arrival, Charles, then entertained us with a great version of Sunny Afternoon and Pete Roberts sang about the Storm Rising and Bill, this time without Stewart, sang Bob Dylan's All Over now. Doreen then gave us another thought provoking poem, pun intended, about the so called big society, Think Big, before Paul Riley was then up and boozing away with his Bottle of Wine followed by There Was An Old Farmer from Keep the Change Bob. Janice, again with Mick and John, sang Haul Away and then Eddie gave us 2 excellent melodeon tunes, The Sloe and Dark Girl Dressed in Blue, with a few of us in accompaniment. Jean Finney then confessed that I Live Not Where I Love and Pepper Street Sang Lorelie which just gave us time to introduce Richard Gray who arrived a little later than some of the others, 10:55 pm to be precise! He sang Five Years Left which just gave us time to hear Ruth, Kath and Stan's Birds and Ships before Jan and Mark finished with Jez Lowe's take on American bible belt views of Charles Darwin, We'll Hunt Him Down. And thereby went another brilliant evening in Sale.

Newsletter No 170 - 20 March 2012

A great audience were waiting expectantly at 8.00pm as Don & Heather's Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way said it all as next Rob was that Process Man and Robin was Leaving Of Liverpool. Brian next made it clear that I Won't Send Roses and newcomer Pete was claiming I Shall Be Released while Merdy was tilting at Alan Bell's Windmills. More seriously Carl related the story of the Boys Of Belly Row but Paul was off with those Walking Blues and Ken was amazed at The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness. Then we were pleased to welcome back Banjo John who, in lieu of being able to pick up his instrument again, sang Shenandoah with much vocal support from the audience before Janice with Pepper Street dedicated Wooden Heart to Kate in celebration of her coming birthday. Pepper Street then stayed on to reminisce about the Orson Street Girls of Mick's past and Colin similarly remembered a song he wrote years ago called Spring before Jan sang about The Blacksmith. Mark then stepped up with the tale of Fiddler's Green before Kamran explained what was needed If You Want Me To Love You and Robert Jones bade Farewell To Welfare, his own composition. Ged then went all gospel like with Here I Am Lord Send Me leaving Keep The Change Bob to pay tribute to Dylan with If You See Her Say Hello and Eddie to attempt the Sleeper's Awake and part of a Lute Suite by Bach to bring us up to the interval.

After a big raffle Paul had Rambling On My Mind and Ken was that Universal Soldier with Keep The Change Bob having The Hopes Of Free Speech. Robert Jones was more philosophical with Come Let Us Wonder while Jan & Mark were again traditional with Bonny Ship The Diamond and Kamran a touch morbid with Angels Laid Her Away. Merdy also dedicated his songs to Kate with a medley of King Of The Road and Singing The Blues before Colin jokingly started an a cappella version of Living Doll finished off by the audience as a prelude to his Working On The Motorway. Robin was next more concerned with posterity as he sang Jean Finney's Will Someone Remember My Name and Pete also brought the human touch with his own You Bring Out The Best In Me before Isobel shot off a great speed to the Dingle Regatta. At a slower speed Rob explained what happens to the big top with Pull Down Lads and in a similar mood Ged had Trouble In Mind but Carl had us all chortling at Jake Thackray's I Love A Good Bum On A Woman It Makes My Day. Brian next went to a John Denver song The Wings That Fly Us Home as Pepper Street took up the Stan Rogers' Make And Break Harbour and Janice was sentimental with Buddy Holly's Raining In My Heart which prompted Eddie to break out with That'll Be The Day. Again dashing off at even greater speed Isobel was Crossing The Minch as Pete was approaching Kansas City before Janice & Pepper Street rounded off the evening with the meaningful I'll Stand By You to complete a very satisfying evening.

Newsletter No 169 - 13 March 2012

A very pleasant evening was kicked off by an advanced e-mail request from Baz & Lin for Don & Heather to sing Streets Of London, as it was the next one in Baz's song book, and Kamran continued the place theme by shooting off with the San Francisco Bay Blues and Paul took us off to Belfast with the Black Velvet Band. Down on the farm Mark extolled the virtues of his Little Red Rooster while Jan was in the kitchen with The Skillet Pot but making his debut Ken was soon Leaving On A Jet Plane. More sentimentally Brian asked us to Let It Be Me and Merdy was praising the Belle Ballerina Of The Bay as was Robin with the story of The Lass Of Fyvio. Long time no see Corrinna told us how One Night As I Lay On My Bed and Pepper Street were equally emotional with John's See You On The Island as was Janice with her legacy to her son I'll Stand By You soon to be recorded. On a completely different level Colin's view was self-explanatory with Patty Griffin's Poor Man's House as was Doreen's with her Lost And Found and Ruth, Kath & Stan with 10,000 Miles. Fortunately Isobel took us off to Sally Gardens and down Church Street to meet the Bonny Kate while Keep The Change Bob pleaded Don't Give Up On Me and Richard Gray explained I've Been Out On The Road Again but all Kamran wanted was Lazy Days as we went in for the interval.

The old adage "Be in to Win" proved to be very true as some early leavers missed out on some raffle prizes before Pepper Street kicked off the second half with Mick's Another Do-Gooders Tale but to Ruth, Kath & Stan Pie it was all In The Sky and Paul reckoned that You Gotta Walk It By Yourself in this life anyway. Late arrival Charles then had us all singing to Only You but Corrinna was definitely solo with Remember Me while Robin went with old favourite Rock My Cradle. Merdy mused When These Shoes Were New and Janice went all Misty but Brian was sure it wasn't The End Of The World. Jan & Mark said the answer was always more Love And Happiness but Ken went for Country Roads however Doreen wasn't sure about either as she had Nothing To Wear except the black silk, or was it satin, underwear. Keep The Change Bob then managed to entice newcomer Gary to unsheath his guitar and accompany him on Rock Me Momma before Isobel delighted us with two tunes, South Winds and Fanny Powers, and Richard Gray claimed We Got 5 Years. Kamran was that Desperado as Ruth, Kath & Stan were off to Where Ravens Feed leaving Paul to say May The Road Rise To Meet You. Corrinna was again deep and meaningful with The Part Of You In Me as was Janice Bell and Pepper Street with Killing Me Softly and Norma Waterson's Hard Times Heart to close a memorable night.

Newsletter No 168 - 6 March 2012

"We had to send for extra chairs, they queued for half a mile" as Keith Marsden wrote but undaunted Pepper Street crammed them in and started with And She Belongs To Me before yielding to a voiceless Kamran for his excellent Guitar Rag. Then a vote of thanks went out to Ed who introduced us to Siobhan, Ann and Evelyn and on their first outing together as Glortha they sang McGrahon and it as enough to put Rob on his mettle for The Nightingale. Arthur Marshall was however Kicking At The Gates Of Heaven, and not surprisingly they let him in, meanwhile Poet Jim was taking the Stepping Stone spoken of by G K Chesterton followed by Rose Flower. Paul then lamented the fate of Geordie while Sandra & Phil told us of a Richard Thompson's Strange Affair and Robin related the story of Johnny Cope. Eric was next Taken By The Sea and Richard Knott stayed down on Easy Street while Poet Doreen was on a totally different level with My Silken Purse. Dave then embarked on a bit of Silent Worship by Handel leaving Don & Heather to muse on the effects of Spanish Burgundy and Ged to be that Desperado Waiting For A Train. Brian then put in his usual romantic perspective with Here's That Rainy Day while Janice Bell took a much more pragmatic view with Don't Explain, a Billie Holiday original, and so did Ed with Red Headed Anne. Keep The Change Bob told us Good Time Charlie Got The Blues and Pepper Street were on the same theme with John's Something Like The Blues to take us up to the interval.

After a big raffle in which Chris won the wine and Joan won both the chocs and the hanging basket Eric & John appropriately started the second half with The Hangman And The Papist. Fortunately Paul soon had us happily chorusing again as did Brian with a medley which began with Sailing before Charles delighted us with Eleanor Plunkett a tune O'Carolan typically named after Eleanor Plunkett of Robertstown, County Meath, who is said to have been the last survivor of her family. Dave next boasted I have Twelve Oxen but Arthur was bemoaning his Old Bones and Ed & the ladies in Glortha sadly took The Parting Glass. Poet Jim was by no means anon but his poem was, Anon, as Don & Heather then set out for South Australia, Kamran retired with the Whiskey Lullaby and Doreen gave the most cogent explanation of why The Euro Fails. On a happier note Robin sang Hey! It's Good To Be Back Home Again leaving Richard Knott to Re-boot and Janice to sing in praise of The Good Man. Working towards a climax realism took over when Ged related the sad story of Barbry Ellen, Rob bemoaned the knocking down of The Old Pubs, Keep The Change Bob contemplated The Four Walls Of Rayford as he did time for armed robbery and Ed was driven frantic On My Way To Work. That's folk!!

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