To start off our 5th Birthday celebrations PETE declared TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU which prompted BANJO JOHN to kick off as MR BOJANGLES and LYNN & JIM to reach for the WHISKEY IN THE JAR but in sober mood PAUL DEARDEN immediately lit up the room with his classical guitar and the PRELUDE No 1 by Villa Lobos. On a completely different tack ARTHUR then gave us THE STORY OF HIS TROMBONE which had JO out CALLING MY CHILDREN HOME. To our great delight THE HEYES SISTERS had joined us for the first time and sang the Maddy Prior classic FOUR LOOM WEAVER which PAUL RILEY confessed made him feel FOREVER YOUNG. In tribute to Geoff & Jackie going off to live in Wales HEATHER & DON then sang ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE followed by IAN with his PRACTICE PIECE and JANICE with MICK claiming that their leaving was KILLING ME SOFTLY. Another new grouping then came in the form of CHARLES, LIZ & ROSIE who played the wonderful ASHOKAN FAREWELL which certainly left KAMRAN with NO REGRETS but JUDE was at pains to warn MAIDS WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG. Heading west FAIR PLAY then told us of the RIDER IN THE RAIN, it was Stan actually, as another newcomer HELEN RICH unfolded her violin to play us a medley of THE WATER OF THE TYNE, ELSIE'S WALTZ and NANCY before yet another newcomer PAT played his own guitar composition all in the key of A9. Despite all this ED was still tempted to DREAM (Dylan) and ROBIN had that old PEACEFUL EASY FEELING while the earlier Four Loom Weaver had CARL feeling NEARER TO NETTLES before GED was telling us that JOSHUA GONE BARBADOS as we reached the interval.
In the Raffle Janice won the Celebrations, Ella took the Wine, Liz won the Chocolate Orange, Ian won the Smellies and Janet went home with the Christmas Pudding.
THE HEYES SISTERS gave the second half a great start with FREIGHT TRAIN BLUES and JANICE issued an invitation to TICKLE MY HEART to which PAUL RILEY replied it's going to be a STORMY MONDAY. However, LYNN & JIM were off to find the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN just as PAT came back with his second composition inspired by OPENING TIME and again in a threatening vein JUDE warned us to TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT. Reminiscing, PETE took us ALL ALONG THE WATCH TOWER as CARL remembered SINATRA AND I and CHARLES told us of GHOSTS COME TO YOU. By request HELEN RICH gave us a great selection of FRENCH CAFE TUNES on her Accordion to which ARTHUR replied THAT DON'T MAKE IT JUMP and ROBIN bid us all a LAST FAREWELL but just before he was off KAMRAN somehow persuaded ARTHUR to give him some Trombone assistance with MACK THE KNIFE but was he expecting the hilarious outcome. Returning to sanity PAUL DEARDEN then took us OVER THE RAINBOW and FAIR PLAY gave us a lesson in WHAT'LL WE DO WITH THE BABY before IAN ran off to catch a FREIGHT TRAIN while waving BYE BYE BLACKBIRD. Coming to a great conclusion GED celebrated the JELLY ROLL BAKER before THE HEYES SISTERS again blew us away with HELPLESS HOPING followed by the Spanish Civil War Classic AY CARMELLA to end a truly great evening of music and craic.
A mass invasion of new talent and new listeners swelled our numbers to over 50 as BANJO JOHN went WAITING FOR THE ROBERT E LEE and JOHN CHILCOTT was telling us WALTZING'S FOR DREAMERS just as FAIR PLAY were saying THE LAST GOODBYE. Meanwhile CARL was miles underground chasing BLACK DIAMONDS and KAMRAN was miles away for his OVERSEAS STOMP and ROBIN was up in bonnie Scotland with JOCK O' HAZELDEAN. Thinking of the weather DOROTHY sang about THE SEASONS while PAUL invited us to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE where newcomer ANDREW sang the difficult to understand Jethro Tull song MOTHER GOOSE, good though! JO was next up to break THE SOUND OF SILENCE as DON & HEATHER bid FAREWELL TO THE GOLD in a tribute to Nic Jones who they saw on Sunday before PETE related the sad tale of DARCY FARROW. A poet came next in the form of ALAN THORPE with his cyclists story THE LYCRA BOYS as ARTHUR MARSHALL prepared to tell us about POLONIUS THE BADGER and JIM & LYNN lamented WHEN YOU AND I WERE YOUNG MAGGIE. On a literary note IAN FORSHAW told us what it's like to appear in THE BOOK before old friends and welcome newcomers AILSA & JOHN BOOTH sang their own NO ONE EVER SANG QUITE LIKE "BILLIE" as a fourth debutant, PAUL DEARDEN, unsheathed his guitar to play CAVATINA. Excellent! Climaxing up to the interval BANJO JOHN told us about WHEN I'M CLEANING WINDOWS just as CARL announced Jake Thackray's ON AND ON with the immortal words "I love a good bum on a woman it makes my day" which left KAMRAN with BUCK DANCERS CHOICE.
As we went to the raffle Kath won the wine, Bill won the cups, Alan got the Roses chocolates and yet another newcomer took the biscuits.
Opening up the second half DON & HEATHER led us in chorusing to THE GALWAY SHAWL leaving ANDREW to take us up Donovan's SUNNY GOODGE STREET as KATH & STAN boarded the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND. Last week's newcomer and back again DOROTHY sang the lovely JENNY STORM as IAN strode off in the FIELDS OF GOLD and JIM & LYNN eulogised over the BELLE OF BELFAST CITY. This stirred PAUL to claim the THE SINGING WILL NEVER END as ROBIN pleaded COME HOME PADDY REILLY and PAUL transported us to ASTURIAS courtesy of Isaac Albeniz. AILSA & JOHN then asked us to REMEMBER ME before PETE sang the poignant HURT as ARTHUR cynically reckoned, from the medics point of view, THERE AIN'T NO PROFIT IN THAT. Then DON & HEATHER returned for a third time with the true story of what some girls have to do for a living in DANCES FOR DOLLARS to which quite rightly KAMRAN exclaimed AIN'T WE CRAZY which ANDREW reckoned was strictly for the BLACKBIRD (Beatles). Or maybe LULLABIES LEGENDS AND LIARS claimed ROBIN but with an eye on the clock AILSA & JOHN decided to send us all home to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME as we headed off for DREAMLAND TONIGHT. A superb evening!!
Another half century for the record books as the place filled up last night with 27 listeners and 23 performers kicked off by DON & HEATHER who were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE prompting ARTHUR MARSHALL to say I'LL WALK YOU HOME because it's THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE reckoned JOHN CONDY. After that bright start BANJO JOHN invited John C and A N others to join him in GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY but DOROTHY insisted she was a SINGLE GIRL and PAUL said it's too much HARD TRAVELLING although PETE was sure IT'S ONLY LOVE. Still ROB could take it no longer and took us all ROLLING HOME just as MIKE changed sex to sing TEDDY O'NEILL but IAN TYZACK was into YELLOW HAIR. Now to the countryside DAVID treated us to BLACKBIRD (Beatles) complete with whistles and FAIR PLAY were HEDGERS AND DITCHERS when they found MARK playing a COUPLE OF TUNES and JAN out with a CHARMER. Meanwhile ACCORDIAN JOHN was UNDER THE BRIDGES OF BURY and DAVID was making the case for peace in LONDONDERRY as ED screamed past in THE FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY IN THE WEST. More sedate was IAN in the STREETS OF LONDON and CARL claimed he had NEVER BEEN NEARER TO NETTLES while in the end COLIN found A BETTER PLACE TO BE here in Sale Folk Club hopefully.
Following another bumper raffle FAIR PLAY opened the second half with THE FORSAKEN MERMAID who was dancing to a couple of VIOLIN TUNES by ARTHUR as JOHN BARLEYCORN was getting the "coup de gras" from DOROTHY. Bemoaning the loss of the fishing boats in Fife IAN TYZACK sang about the GUIDING LIGHT AND THE EVENING STAR and in a similar vein JAN, MARK & JOHN C asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES which ROB certainly appreciates when he is COURTING TOO SLOW to DAVID replied THOSE WERE THE DAYS and IAN responded by playing HALF WAY HOME. Getting a bit heavy JOHN C then gave us that great song THE SCARECROW, must do a cover of that. Unlike all the dead soldiers ACCORDIAN JOHN, like a lot of us, could claim to have NO REGRETS just as MIKE was taking off with THE BRENDAN BOYS and ED was setting off to do THE MANCH. In a pensive mood PETE then said THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND and COLIN warned us to beware THE CURSE OF ANNA'S STARE before CARL gave us the toast, HERE'S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY.
To end with a band ARTHUR MARSHALL reckoned he had come ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL to launch his compendium of THREE new CDs whereas MIKE COSGRAVE, who has been here all the time with his CD on which Saturday's guest, John Murphy, found himself playing, chose to end the night with KELLY FROM KILLANE.
The return of MICK HARE with JANICE BELL was greeted by a good sized audience well ready to listen as they took us to THE WILD MOUNTAINSIDE. The only dissenter was GED who said I AIN'T GONNA BE TREATED THIS WAY and BANJO JOHN pleaded CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA before COLIN went back even further with HE BALLAD OF MARY MAGDALENE. We then found it difficult to believe IAN when he played the very difficult KEEP IT SIMPLE by Tommy Emmanuel as we did when JOHN CHILCOTT raved about a SALFORD SUNDAY. It was easier to imagine PAUL RILEY who claimed he was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD but DON & HEATHER in a whaling fleet with a LITTLE POT STOVE stretched it a bit just as did KAMRAN who told us I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE. Here in England? Impossible! So much so that MIKE COSGRAVE was off lounging on a SUNDAY MORNING SIDEWALK while CARL warned that we might not make OLD BONES and ROBIN explained the background to THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK. Still in the States MICHAEL BRACKEN then sang A FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK in a tribute to Phil Chevron of the Pogues and JUDE gave us the mythical GOSPORT TRAGEDY before ARTHUR MARSHALL gave the even bigger tragedy of how are governed by 17 MILLIONAIRES in the Cabinet.
In the interval we had the usual bumper raffle before, on a happy note, DAVE reminded us of Elton's YOUR SONG and BANJO JOHN reminded us of the girls in Come Dancing with the CHARLESTON but to keep us in check COLIN sang the OCTOBER SONG. Then JANICE & MICK admitted ONCE I LOVED and RICHARD GRAY confessed to having ONE OR TWO FRIENDS while DAVE was still building his CASTLES IN THE AIR but PAUL had the GOOD MORNING BLUES. Not for ARTHUR MARSHALL who was off KISSING THE BLARNEY with JUDE, who had obviously done it before, saying STOP COPYING ME. They're both DESPERADOES WAITING FOR A TRAIN reckoned GED while RICHARD thought they were waiting for the SWEET, SWEET SOUND OF MUSIC but ROBIN, DON & HEATHER warned beware of THE TWA RECRUITING SERGEANTS. In a quieter mood KAMRAN told us SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY but MICHAEL thought she must be JEALOUS OF YOU and IT'S MY NIGHT OUT while MIKE COSGRAVE slipped away on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS with IAN saying he's gone to MISSISSIPPI BLUE. Anyway up ROBIN, DON & HEATHER were convinced that ALL OF THE HARD DAYS ARE GONE but PETE reminded us the DAYS OF '49 when it was tough in the gold rush but ever cheerful MICHAEL swanned off with PEGGY O'NEILL/MY WILD IRISH ROSE and KAMRAN was with SARAH JANE. In true celebratory mood after a great night, ARTHUR then said that after his good life, "Don't dig me a grave just find an empty bottle and POUR ME IN" and in a climax of his own DAVE exposed our naivety in THE COWARD OF THE COUNTY before JANICE & MICK suggested we should all go HOME AGAIN which, well satisfied, we surely did.
A nice balance between audience and performers gave a very satisfying evening hosted by SUE & ED BENTHAM and started as usual with the first available banjo player which was PAUL RILEY singing WAGON WHEEL. Swiftly following KAMRAN quickly applied OVERBECK'S REJUVENATOR which sparked ROBIN into action on the STREETS OF BALTIMORE and sent JO off with a WAYFARING STRANGER. Undeterred JOHN was away with a GALWAY GIRL as ED was saying GOODBYE TO THE SEA and MIKE was explaining AS I RODE OUT I met ARTHUR who said THE ONLY GOOD MUSICIAN is a dead one 6 feet under. This led JAN to speak with forked tongue singing alternate verses in both Welsh and English in BESIDE THE SEA. Then MARK went straight into THE STICKSWOLD HARVEST SONG as CARL was GOING UP THE POOL,MICHAEL was mowing THE ROCKS OF BOURNE and JIM & LYNN were off on THE BLACKPOOL BELLE. In celebration of Sunday's Canal Boat trip ROB then took us off on the THE GOOD SHIP CALABAR as HEATHER & DON confessed they MAY NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS and PETE took off to the RABBIT HILLS. Finally to reach the interval ARTHUR told us of his experiences with COWBOYS in the building trade which all went over JOHN'S head as he told I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.
In the rafle Derick won the wine, Kate got the compass and Pete took away th lephant donated by KAMRAN who immediately started the second half with LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIN. ROBIN then teamed up with HEATHER & DON for a rousing version of JOHNNY COPE followed by ED with IT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS and MICHAEL with the TINKER SONG. In a sombre mood ROB remembered the sinking of the ELLEN VANNIN as CARL skipped off SINGING THE AGES DOWN and MIKE was also serious with YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE. Then PAUL got s all singing with THE BOAT'S UP THE RIVER as did MARK & JAN who promised WE'LL HUNT HIM DOWN, Charles Darwin that is. JEAN then gave us her explanation of the Creation in ADAM & EVE before PETE warned of his own STORM RISING and JIM & LYNN said goodbye to MUIRSHEEN DURKIN and HEATHER & DON prophesied ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE.
Finally, JOHN reckoned we were all like DESPERADOS WAITING FOR A TRAIN or a big finish to the night as MICHAEL told his ALTRINCHAM JCB STORY and PAUL boasted YOUR BABY AIN'T SWEET LIKE MINE to which KAMRAN exclaimed YOU RASCAL YOU. Next MIKE explained the fate of THE LAZY FARMER who wouldn't hoe his corn as ARTHUR explained how he loved his wife JUST BECAUSE and to seal it all HEATHER & DON hinted that it was time to STEAL AWAY.