JANUARY - 2015

Newsletter No 310 27 January 2015

The house was full with a great bunch of people who came to celebrate Heather's Birthday in style so thanks to them all and to FAIR PLAY, aka Ruth, Kath & Stan, who conducted the proceedings brilliantly. Asked to start the singing DON & HEATHER were soon PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE but JOHN CHILCOTT remembered WHEN WE WERE GOOD as FAIR PLAY went even further back to see THE WEAVER'S DAUGHTER. Next DAVE BOULTON after chatting with Mike Cosgrave remembered his own song THE SESSION SLIPS AND SLIDES but still BANJO JOHN had those DALLAS BLUES before CARL brightened things up with GREEK LIGHTENING. Still sombre JO went back in time for THE GALWAY SHAWL but GEOFF & SUE insisted PLEASE DON'T TELL ME HOW THE STORY ENDS and even POET DAVE can only hope for peace in LONDONDERRY. For the next one JIM was sol as he greeted the JANUARY MAN and the welcome return of COLIN had him singing a Harvey Andrew song ABOUT A DUCK before EDDIE played the melodeon for PLANXTY IRWIN & FANNY POWER by O'Carolan. Back from Fuerteventura Janice with Mick aka GRASS ROOTS came up with a nice version of FACTORY GIRL and PAUL had singing along with TELL OLD BILL followed by CHRIS with THE TRAWLERMAN'S SONG. Next ROBIN had us drinking WATERMELON WINE and DAVE COWE told us of WINTER by R Burns but ED frightened the daylights out of us with THE HAGGIS HUNTER. Coming to a climax PETE was WILLING but RICHARD GRAY, after leading us in "Happy Birthday" told us LOVE IS A GAME but more sternly MIKE COSGRAVE sang us MICK RYAN'S LAMENT.

With the buffet and chips coming in on time much craic, viewing of birthday cards and opening of gratefully received presents took place before the raffle saw BAZ win the Wine; EDDIE win the bag of nuts; PAUL win the Olive Oil; and HELEN take home the Chocolates.

JIM & LYNN then led us out for the second half with THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL and FAIR PLAY took a quick CENSUS before GEOFF told us it was TWILIGHT TIME which left RICHARD with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES. Hope for Greece leaving the EU had COLIN proposing A TOAST TO FIDEL but GRASS ROOTS quickly claimed IT AIN'T ME BABE and for PETE they might just as well be DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL but for SUE there's a KIND OF HUSH certainly in Europe at the moment. Well done the Greeks!! Next we had Elvis turning in his grave as EDDIE brilliantly grabbed his hit DON'T BE CRUEL for the melodeon which also had PAUL of somewhere SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD but MIKE COSGRAVE was celebrating another birth in the family with his WONDERCHILD. Still with Burns DAVE COWE recited OUR HOLY WILLIE to which ROBIN responded with the ROSE OF ALLENDALE and CHRIS seemed to feel the same about NAOMI. To bring a great evening to a close and Heather saying it felt like a real birthday DAVE BOULTON celebrated JOHN BLUNT as ED was trying to learn to play the guitar with ROMANCE but to send everyone into the streets singing DON, HEATHER & PAUL called on Arthur Marshall to return soon as they sang his FENCES with strong chorusing.

Newsletter No 309 20 January 2015

Continuing with another room full of talent new and old to entertain the eager audience hosts MARK & JAN first took everyone off in their 30 FOOT TRAILER. Next up PAUL asked to tell him WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL before BRIAN enquired WHAT'LL I DO as PHIL set off to find the NORTH WEST PASSAGE. Much closer to home FAIR PLAY were in

BYKER HILL but ED was in Ireland with the story of RED HEADED ANNE but JIM said LET IT BE. On a different level BANJO JOHN told the story of the woman who said I WANT A BUTTER AND EGG MAN and newcomer GRAEME McGRATH responded by saying IT AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT MY OWN. Then ROBIN came up with some MEMORIES OF MARYLAND before KATHIE and MARK with flute and whistle played a great duet of the SPANISH CLOAK before DAVE BOULTON bade FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE, Jim Clarke's favourite song. POET DAVE, with THE LIGHTHEARTED MAIDEN, then celebrated the lighthouses at Larne just as DON & HEATHER suggested MAY YOU NEVER and EDDIE was ON OLDHAM'S BURNING SANDS. Another newcomer, GEORGE, then bemoaned THE COST OF A RING in his own song and CARL told us of the female ship’s captain who was ALL AT SEA leaving VINCENT to perform a brilliant WALKING BLUES and ERIC to give us his latest JE SUIS CHARLIE as BANJO JOHN lined up HELLO DOLLY before FAIR PLAY said the LAST GOODBYE before the interval.

A grand raffle had lots of prizes before EDDIE unsheathed his melodeon for the PRIMROSE POLKA. BRIAN then invited us to TIE A YELLOW RIBBON but FREE SPIRITS were on the road with WAGON WHEEL as was PHIL after chasing the BLACK VELVET BAND. Delighted with the audience singing GRAEME went for the LAST THING ON MY MIND and GEORGE sang a friend’s HOLBECK BLUES FAIR before KATHIE blew us away with SUMMER WINE. Equally moving was JIM’s version of PERHAPS LOVE but ED’s POISON was a rather alarming tale leaving JAN to put things right with LAGGAN LOVE. Back in his old stamping ground CARL was at THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, a pub, while PAUL was in America with STAGGER LEE but DAVE BOULTON decided to treat us to his own NIGHT THE ROYAL CHARTER WENT DOWN. Coming to a climax VINCENT went off to the MOTION PICTURES, ERIC went to sea with THE ANCIENT MARINER, FREE SPIRITS were off with the RAMBLING BOY before MARK & JAN tidied things up with THE END OF THE LINE to end a cracking evening. 

Newsletter No 308 13 January 2015

Another full room greeted hosts ED & SUE with Terry and his entourage up from Cornwall and newcomer Vincent all receiving a great reception.before BANJO JOHN amazed us with his rendition of the TIGER RAG for full orchestra in three different keys all supplied by the master himself. This prompted PETE to want to SHOWER THE PEOPLE while TERRY was off to CALEDONIA and JO was in sympathy with the RAMBLING BOY. Somehow this triggered CARL to remember SISTER JOSEPHINE with PHIL fancying the BROKEN FREEDOM SONG with his croaky voice and ROB dedicating MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN to keeping his namesake awake. There was a fairly new one for ROBIN was MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO as LYNN & JIM quietly stole the LONG BLACK VEIL from him but PAUL was the pacifist inviting everyone to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE. This was too far to come for SUE & GEOFF who were off on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS as it was for JAN & MARK who were in ROTTERDAM but DON & HEATHER were up for it at the DIMMING OF THE DAY. Then a wonderful surprise came when first timer VINCENT gave us a great REASON TO BELIEVE which had RICHARD GRAY suggesting LET'S START OVER AGAIN but BANJO JOHN with BARRY on harmonica went for the CAROLINA MOON and JO decided to hit THIS OLD ROAD. Heading to the break TERRY was THE HIGHWAYMAN as PETE celebrated it bringing out THE BEST IN ME.

The usual bumper raffle saw wine, CD's, magic candles etc flying in all directions before VINCENT confessed he had the BAR STOOL BLUES and RICHARD told us he was COMING IN FROM THE STORM to which ROB told us ALL'S WELL, Trevor Morton's Mill Outing. Sneaking up on the quiet side GEOFF then gave us his own excellent version of IN MY LIFE by the Beatles which had JAN & MARK hurtling of to JACKSON and ROBIN searching through the annals for just another WINTER'S TALE. Back to his roots JIM with LYNN were supping WHISKY IN THE JAR while PHIL was in the PALACE OF VERSAILLES but CARL was underground seeking BLACK DIAMONDS. Unhappily PAUL sang of CARELESS LOVE but DON & HEATHER countered with Robin Laing's happy love song to his wife, BLACK CLOTHES. A big finish in view MARK & JAN enlisted for the BLUE COCKADE while TERRY sang his song for his son, RYAN'S SONG, as LYNN & JIM were with the NIGHT VISITING SONG. A little known Pete Morton song from CARL was THANKSGIVING before PETE played the legendary YOUR SONG by E John and DON, HEATHER & PAUL explained how they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER.

Newsletter No 307 6 January 2015

A great full house which was jammed to the doors with visitors from as far away as Paris, the Algarve and spiritually from the west coast of Ireland so a brilliant night was kicked off under protest with STREETS OF LONDON from DON & HEATHER which paradoxically received great vocal support and got everyone in the mood. JIM & LYNN then told us that BLACK IS THE COLOUR as DAVE BOULTON ran off with SALLY WHEATLEY but BANJO JOHN was disinterestedly LEANING ON A LAMPOST. No wonder ROBIN declared IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN and CARL was off SINGING THE AGES DOWN but BRIAN was saying SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD. It needed no guessing what was on PAUL'S mind with MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR and FAIR PLAY were clear with DIG'S SONG as was SUE when she sang IF FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE. In reply GEOFF reckoned he had seen it ALL BEFORE but DAVID hoped it would different in LONDONDERRY and KAMRAN had enough on his mind as he was GOING TO BROWNSVILLE. That was too far for MIKE COSGRAVE & CLARE RIGBY who were AT THE IRISH SESSION followed by a tune THE TEETOTALLER as BANJO JOHN replied with SOME OF THESE DAYS which PAUL said SOUNDS SO SWEET. Not always warned DAVE BOULTON who explained the useful wiles of women in THE DEVIL AND THE FEATHERY WIFE but in what was a man's world CARL sang his own song about THE 1710 train before JIM & LYNN took us to the break with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES.

Much chat and a big raffle later FAIR PLAY got us underway with WATER BOUND with ROBIN claiming to have that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which according to KAMRAN you get if you TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL but not the same as JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN sang BRIAN. Just then SUE lifted everyone even higher with BRING ME SUNSHINE and GEOFF confessed he was OVER MY MOUNTAIN and MIKE & CLARE proceeded to STEP IT UP MARY followed by the SWEETNESS OF MARY on the flute. GEOFF was reminded of the BROWN EYED GIRL but PAUL was still talking to JESUS ON THE MAINLINE as JIM & LYNN were following the GYPSY ROVER. Further afield ROBIN was in DENVER and FAIR PLAY were 500 MILES away but KAMRAN was describing his week starting ON A MONDAY. Building to a climax MIKE & CLARE needed ROOTS but DAVE BOULTON said LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE which is what DON & HEATHER did as they led a great choir of us singing into the street to STEAL AWAY home.



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