November-2013

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Newsletter No 255 26 November 2013 

Another full house greeted DON & HEATHER tonight as they kicked off by taking everyone down to THE ROSEVILLE FAIR. Next up was BANJO JOHN who had us down the STREETS OF LAREDO so PAUL chirped up PEOPLE GET READY and ROBIN said I'll bring the WATERMELON WINE. Better STEP IT UP AND GO called GED but IAN was busy off RAG PICKIN' while more altruistically ANDREW was up with the BIRD ON THE WIRE. In a philosophical mood MIKE COSGRAVE gave us some November thoughts on THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING and SIMON gave us his own take on the RIVER MERSEY before JO invited COME KISS ME LOVE. Also in November time CARL paid homage to THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD in a Lake Superior storm before calmly DAVID told how SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR. Next TONY PAUPERS, PEASANTS, PRINCES AND KINGS, a lesser known Dylan song, before ERIC explained the snobbishness of BURBERRY AND PRADA and BOB had us out in that WINDY OLD WEATHER. To our delight DIANE then recited REMEMBER THE MAN, a poem she wrote four years ago about her partner who actually taught a few people in the audience, one of whom received it as a gift. JUDE then had us joining in with A CLEVER YOUNG MAN just as ED was talking about ABSENT FRIENDS (Vin Garbutt) and ARTHUR was warning THIS OLD CLOCK KEEPS TICKING. To take us up to the interval and bumper raffle time BANJO JOHN had us down at the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL and ANDREW took us off to CAMDEN TOWN with his own composition.

Raffle-wise Martin won the wine, Ged won the chocolates for his wife, Paul won the torch and Jude took the cake as we started the second half with CONTRABAND who insisted we all FLY AWAY. ERIC was then up his METAPHOR STREET and ANDREW was claimed the SUN STILL SHINING BEHIND THE CLOUDS even though TONY was DANCING IN THE DARK. Next JUDE told us of the 20th OF APRIL and SIMON sang another of his own songs AS FAR AS I KNOW leaving BOB to tell us about the GREENLAND WHALERS. On another serious note DAVID played the LAMENTATION OF OWEN O'NEILL and equally serious PAUL told us NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU'RE DOWN AND OUT before ROBIN sang THE LAST FAREWELL briefly interrupted by PETE with a JOKE about BROKEN FINGERS. No wonder GED reckoned EASY'S GETTING HARDER EVERY DAY and CARL was taking ANOTHER TRAIN which IAN hoped was to SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW. Rising to a great climax ED had us all cheering the attitude of the BANTAM COCK before ARTHUR saddened us with the death of his friend in TOO LATE only to uplift again by taking us DANCING ON SATURDAY NIGHT. Receiving the baton on the up MIKE COSGRAVE celebrated the freedom of THE OKIE FROM MUSCOGEE and followed it telling us to NEVER TIRE OF THE ROAD, a suitable epitaph for anybody.

Newsletter No 254 19 November 2013

And still the new faces roll in to bolster the existing talent as JAN & MARK set off in their THIRTY FOOT TRAILER. Even faster than that DON, HEATHER & PAUL aka CONTRABAND were next off on a FREIGHT TRAIN while JOHN CONDY just decided to LAY ME DOWN. On a sadder note ED told us the story of CAROL ANN KELLY before HELEN cheered us immensely with CUBANOLA by Puccini and DAVE amalgamated FEAR AN BHATA with the LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR. In a daft mood KAMRAN went off SELLING ICE CREAM IN THE AUTUMN just as newcomers BETH & CLAIRE were bemoaning the fate of THE SLEEPLESS SAILOR and BANJO JOHN was warning against a CHEATING HEART. On a serious note JO said HELLO HANS to a German soldier buried in England during WW2 and also sad was PAUL RILEY who had us all proclaiming ALL YOUR LOVE'S IN VAIN and CHRIS who told us we will get no POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY from escapee bankers. Undaunted IAN played us a nice JERRY READ TUNE to which PAUL DEARDEN replied with LOS RECUERDOS DE LA ALHAMBRA but neither chased away PETE's ST JAMES' INFIRMARY BLUES. Building climactically to the interval ISOBEL was away with DUSTY MILLER to the WILLAFJORD to which BANJO JOHN replied WHO'S SORRY NOW which HELEN took to be a CHANSON D'AMOUR.

A bumper raffle followed with wine going home with John Condy, the leather wallet with Ann & Brian, the Christmas pudding with Paul Riley and the car seat tidy with Martin who promptly gave it to Kate. 

The second half then saw MARK take off rapidly with the INTERGALACTIC LAXATIVE despite KAMRAN saying SO RELAX and JOHN CONDY saying he must have been DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL. Returning again in fine voice BETH with CLAIRE's violin made the MOUNTAIN SOUND and JAN had us chorusing in Welsh with LAWR AR LAN-Y-MOR before DAVE played a tune in tribute to a PRETTY GIRL MILKING A COW. In a different mood CHRIS sang THE BALLAD OF WINNIE or WINNIE'S RAG and ISOBEL played SI BHEAG SI MHOR as DON, HEATHER & PAUL went off to the RED ROSE CAFE. Meanwhile ED was at Keith Marsden's FUNERAL while PAUL DEARDEN played the PRELUDE NO 2 by Villa Lobos and PETE celebrated his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH. Coming to the end of the evening PAUL RILEY tore down the line on THE OLD 97, BETH sang her own composition FREE and DAVE played AIRDI CUAN, one of the finest Irish songs in Gaelic, leaving MARK & JAN to send us all out swearing WE'LL HUNT HIM DOWN, Charles Robert Darwin that is. Great!

Newsletter No 253 12 November 2013

To quote Jean Finney, "What an absolutely brilliant folk club at Sale last night. Not a spare seat to be had, don't know where they all kept coming from, and loads of wonderful performers, some of which I hadn't heard before. Really glad I made the effort and did the trip. It did me a power of good." With ED & SUE at the helm it is always tops and with BANJO JOHN kicking us into action with COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER we were away. Picking up pace IAN next played TRIMBONE by Chet Atkins while PAUL went traditional with PEG & AWL as did MIKE with the story of the MARY ELLEN CARTER. Soon JO was on HARD TIMES as FAIR PLAY set off for OWENSBORO and COLIN queried AIN'T THAT RAIN? With the song about the woman with the hairy shoulder JIM & LYNN gave us the BLACK VELVET BAND while RICHARD KNOTT sang his own SHORTEST DAY prompting IAN FORSHAW to ask BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?  Next PETE took off with JIM and LES & JOHN were looking for THE GHOST IN THIS HOUSE to which CARL replied IF WISHES WERE FISHES. Next JAN told us about THE BLACKSMITH and MARK related the tale of the Glasgow cat SAM THE SKULL just as DAVE was about to give us the two sides of THE GRANEMORE HARE saga. GED was still WORKING ON THE RAILROAD and JEAN was explaining her grounds for divorce with PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE just as ROBIN was claiming THE BATTLE IS OVER which was denied by RICHARD GRAY who explained that all wars are THE LAST GREAT WAR.

Starting the second half DON & HEATHER discussed the merits of wearing BLACK CLOTHES and RICHARD KNOTT explained how his wife could read him LIKE A BOOK over which JIM & LYNN drew a LONG BLACK VEIL. The Beatles then featured when IAN FORSHAW took us ACROSS THE UNIVERSE as MARK & JAN set off in search of the BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND while IAN was wrapped up all WINDY & WARM but CARL was too busy being THE LODGER. It was good to see JEAN after a while and hear about MY OLD DAD who never gave her any of GED's HARD LOVE which set PAUL off ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS and DAVE eulogising over THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE. The only thing PETE could reply was HEYJOE and RICHARD GRAY called out LAND AHOY which FAIR PLAY thought was BEAUTIFUL (Barney Warren). Hurtling towards a climax PETER sang another of his own great songs, SHINING THROUGH, just as LES & JOHN were reaching the END OF THE LINE but MIKE was still up for it saying NEVER TIRE OF THE ROAD.

Newsletter No 252 5 November 2013

Another top quality night brilliantly stewarded by JAN & MICK HARE who extracted excellent contributions from a very talented bunch of performers. MICK himself set the tone with his own tribute to Newcastle with TAKE ME TO THE BRIDGE. He was followed by Guitar instrumental IAN and DANNY BOY just as JO rose to sing SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR and CHRIS was crying WEATHER THE STORM. Next PETE had to beg, steal or borrow as he was LEAVING OF LONDON (Paxton) while COLIN asked us to look at the POOR MAN'S HOUSE but ED had NO TIME TO CRY. A second guitar instrumental came from DAVE with the O'Carolan BRIDGET CRUISE 3RD AIR before Poet DAVE warned us not to open THE BOX of war and DON & HEATHER remembered how horrible it was going to WW1 with CALLING DOON THE LINE. Then ARTHUR gave us his response to ARMISTICE DAY as a welcome newcomer IAN took us back to SETH DAVY before ROB gave us yet another take on war with THINGS IN GRANDDAD'S ATTIC. At this point CARL played a trick on us with the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR which actually is a pub not a war zone and ROBIN exclaimed HEY, IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN and JIM went all romantic with WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN. Returning to normal GED reminded us when DEATH COMES CREEPING but on a more uplifting note MICK told us about the BATTLE OF STOCKTON when the local drove the Blackshirts from the town and CHRIS preferred some SWEET MYSTERY. Coming up to the interval ROBIN told how the red Indians are still badly treated with NOW THE BUFFALO'S GONE and GED played us out with RAW JANE.

In the raffle Robin won the wine, Ian took the chocolates and a Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake were also dispatched before DON & HEATHER kicked off again with DIAMANTINA DROVER and COLIN followed with his favourite BALLAD OF MARY MAGDALENE and IAN gave us a ride on the BLACKPOOL BELLE. Then ARTHUR told us SATURDAY NIGHT was for dancing as ROB gave us another of his poems FRED THE SLUG before CARL told us about Willy McBride in NO MAN'S LAND. Guitar IAN then gave us an instrumental version of I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS followed by DAVE who gave us O'CAROLAN'S QUARREL before PETE gave us REASON TO BELIEVE (Paxton). After telling us he spent 20 years down the pit JIM was truly a WORKING MAN just as ED was definitely a HYPOCHONDRIAC before ROBIN, DON & HEATHER went back to the coal with BLACK WATERS. Also on a serious note GED sang the BALLAD OF PENNY EVANS while boozy ROB said I'LL FATHOM THE BOWL and IAN was instrumentally HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE. To end a great evening, JIM choose to take us back to GALWAY BAY while ROBIN, DON & HEATHER invited everyone to TAK' A DRAM.