Newspaper No 323 28 April 2015

As usual a lively and interesting evening with MARK & JAN who themselves started us off with KING OF THE ROAD swiftly followed by BANO JOHN who was that MR BOJANGLES which was enough to make JOHN CHILCOTT sing I'LL BE YOU BABY TONIGHT and JIM to warble I LOVE YOU AS I NEVER LOVED BEFORE, one of his dad's favourites. Becoming a welcome regular ANN then sang the lovely ERISKAY LOVE LILT as DON & HEATHER set off ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE which DAVID CINNAMOND contemplated FROM A DISTANCE as did JAN the VERDANT BRAES OF SKREE. Turning to Dylan ED hit us with RAMONA just as JO pleaded COME ALL YE FAIR AND TENDER LADIES but PHIL took to the air with SEAGULL. This left EDDIE who was SINGING THE BLUES and ROB was bemoaning the loss of THE OLD PUBS. Fortunately BANJO JOHN lifted the tempo with JOHNNY B GOODE before JIM waxed lyrical about the FIELDS OF GOLD leaving MARK & JAN off RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY through the corn. ED then had us all singing about his PALACE VISIT to see the Queen as JO was musing WHEN I WAS IN MY PRIME and JOHN CHILCOTT was contemplating the FOUR STRONG WINDS.

A bumper raffle in the interval saw JOYCE take the bottle of wine; ALAN take the box of tea; BILL'S mate won the BUBBLY and BRIAN won the chocolates which he promptly passed round. This left ROB to kick start the second half with MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN and PHIL to go for CADENCE AND CASCADE before ANN asked let me be your LADY FOR TODAY. It was EDDIE, however, who was that SAUCY SAILOR and DON & HEATHER who had the PEACEFUL EASY FEELING but PAUL addressed more basic matters with CORN BREAD AND BUTTER BEANS. Then a star in his own right SAM, a renowned busker, sang his own SKINNY LOVE to which ED ironically responded with THE JOGGER. On a serious note JIM lauded THE TOWN I LOVE SO WELL as PHIL turned to the SISTERS OF MERCY but ANN was just glad it was SUMMERTIME. This had no influence on ROB who took off for the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR and DON, HEATHER & PAUL went off with the DIAMANTINA DROVER before gave EDDIE us a master class with THE MAPLE LEAF RAG & PIG ANKLE RAG. As you would expect JIM extolled the virtues of the ORDINARY MAN before PHIL bade us GOODBYE and FAREWELL to which BUSKER SAM replied with his own DON'T BOTHER TRYING TO EXPLAIN as ROB set out on yet another MILL OUTING leaving MARK & JAN to close another excellent evening of music and craic.

Newspaper No 322 21 April 2015

Incredible craic this week in the club with ED & SUE in the driving seat as BANJO JOHN chose a fine time to leave us with LUCILLE. Then PHIL took the floor with a GUITAR MEDLEY including GREENSLEEVES which PETE ROBERTS confessed was the LAST THING ON MY MIND and ED was seriously ON THE SIDE OF A HILL (P Simon) all of which prompted ALAN to rise to his feet with MEMORIES OF CHILDREN'S RHYMES. With an old favourite CARL explained why THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATHILDA as did PAUL who was PUTTING ON THE AGONY before DON & HEATHER remembered the sad times of a HONKY TONK MAN. Then SUE brought a new one in 74/75 to which GEOFF replied YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND and JO appeared as the GHOST OF A ROSE. This left ROBIN to revive us with BREAD & FISHES (Alan Bell) and DAVE & PETE to form a new band FOR FOLK'S SAKE to sing their own BIG BELLY BLUES before MARIAN ran off with the DARK EYED SAILOR. Next saw the return of DAVE who asked us to meet MR DREAMSELLER as ANN entreated OH SUSANNAH as BANJO JOHN remembered the ROCK AND ROLL WALTZ by Kay Starr. Heading to the break PETE ROBERTS sang his own THE BEST IN ME as JO told us SHE MOVES THROUGH THE FAIR undoubtedly toward the interval raffle.

Chocolates, wine and olive oil all found good homes in the raffle as we embarked on the second half with DAVE pleading MAKE ME AN ANGEL (John Prine). Investigating a dimension of family relationships DON & HEATHER had us all singing with SONNY before CARL had us all laughing madly to Thackray's THE KISS and PHIL had us cold as ice in ANTARCTICA. Still after a man MARIAN was singing BILLY ARMITAGE just as SUE & GEOFF were seeking THE CURE and ED unfolded his difficulties ON MY WAY TO WORK. Back in the US of A ROBIN invited us to meet him tonight in LAREDO while ANN was off to WIDDECOMBE FAIR and PAUL had the MORNING BLUES. Still building their repertoire FOR FOLK'S SAKE tried us with another two songs YOU'RE GONE and LYING EYES as DAVE went a cappella with the MOVING ON SONG which had PETE ROBERTS away KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR. Aiming for a big finish FREE SPIRITS exhorted to STEAL AWAY then wheeled away with WAGON WHEEL to have us leaving on a high.

Newspaper No 321 14 April 2015

A sublime evening with a load of friends performing great music started with FAIR PLAY perversely singing THE LAST GOODBYE but BANJO JOHN was having none of it as he launched into PAPER DOLL and JOHN CHILCOTT swore it was MORNING AGAIN. This set JIM & LYNN thinking IT'S A WORKING MAN I AM and JO telling us it's TO ANOTHER TOWN I'M BOUND before PETE ROBERTS reckoned it was all FIRE AND RAIN. Thank goodness for IAN's instrumental medley of GLORY OF LOVE, FREIGHT TRAIN & BLACKBIRD before JAN & MARK set out for JACKSON and JOHN CONDY was off as the HIGHWAYMAN. All this prompted PHIL to say it was all like THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL which had ROBIN off NORTH TO ALASKA and CARL suddenly romantic with I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR. A note of warning next came from CHRIS with YOU WON'T MAKE OLD BONES before DAVID became philosophical with his poem IN A DISTANCE and PETE KING sang us a new one of his own songs SATURDAY MATINEE. Returning to the fray JO had us BLOWING IN THE WIND which had JOHN CHILCOTT confused as the NOWHERE MAN but BANJO JOHN was in no doubt as he ripped into the TIGER RAG so it was no wonder FAIR PLAY asked WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN to take us to the break.

The interval raffle saw the wine go to John Condy; the roses go home with Ian; the Shortbreads go with Alan; the Chocolates go home with Chris and the Argan Oil Handcream be won by Brian. FREE SPIRITS then kicked started the night with the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS whereas JOHN CONDY had BOATS TO BUILD and JIM & LYNN were celebrating the GALWAY SHAWL. Next PETE sang DARCY FARROW which was a candidate for the oldest folk song in America before they realised it had truckies in it and to prove they're a strange lot over there PHIL sang Mmmm X 4 (Brad Thomas) which was a bit weird so it was relief to hear IAN playing my BABY'S COMING HOME. In a fit of comradeship CARL then had a need to play something with JOHN and the result was NORWEGIAN WOOD but even further away CHRIS explained why after a major fraud there would be no POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY while ROBIN was more emotive when he explained the origin of THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK. Equally emotional was PETE KING with his Leonard Cohenesque DON'T EXPLAIN and JAN & MARK were also very interesting with ROTTERDAM OR ANYWHERE whereas PAUL was more straightforwardly RIDING ON A NEW RIVER TRAIN. Gathering momentum JOHN CONDY then had us banding up for THE MIGHT QUINN as PHIL took off with THE BOLD REYNARD and ROBIN sang a trilogy of FRAULEIN, BLACKBOARD OF MY HEART & THE WILD SIDE OF LIFE before IAN had us all WINDY AND WARM and PETE led us out with YOUR SONG to end a fine evening.

Newspaper No 320 7 April 2015

Another evening of great music and good craic hosted by Janice & Mick aka GRASSROOTS who started the ball rolling with one of Mick's greatest songs, THERE WON'T BE ANOTHER SUNSET. More topically BANJO JOHN was out in the APRIL SHOWERS as ED marvelled at the HANDSOME CABIN BOY and JANET made her debut very well with THE HOUSEWIVE'S LAMENT. Not to be stuck indoors DON & HEATHER were out on the WESTERN PLAINS while DAVID was back in LONDONDERRY with his own poem recently performed on the local radio there. SUE then told of the ROSE TATTOO as PETE celebrated the SUNNY AFTERNOON we had just had and even more dramatically CARL pointed to the MAGICAL SKY. Then DAVE COWE turned to Ogden Nash for MEL ALAN MEL ALAN MEL ALAN LEND ME YOUR CLICHE as ROBIN hit the STREETS OF BALTIMORE before DAVE BOULTON reported the story of LONG PRESTON PEGGY's exploits. Going all a cappella ANN sang THE TROUT and PAUL revved us all up with JOHN THE REVELATOR before GEOFF calmed us down by asking WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW. Then instrumentally EDDY played us two seasonal tunes O SACRED HEAD & THE GREEN BLADE RISETH NOW and KAMRAN sang the really touching FADE INTO YOU and GRASSROOTS had us all emotional with the JAR OF HEARTS. This left BANJO JOHN to lead us with the legendary UNCHAINED MELODY before he went home early.

Much socialising later we raffled and Janet took home the wine, Kamran won a box of teabags and Baz went off with a big bag of bulbs before GEOFF announced that ROY ROGERS IS RIDING TONIGHT. Then performing a favourite of Pete Morton's CARL vowed to CARRY IT ON and JANET was equally serious with DONNA DONNA before ED maintained the mood with SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SEA by our own Dave Boulton and with several others saying they were also going to cover it. With a complete change of mood KAMRAN took us all down to BROWNSVILLE as ANN yearned for the SUMMERTIME and ROBIN felt the same about COUNTRY ROADS. Then late arrival MARION told of the RECRUITED COLLIER before DON & HEATHER responded to a request to sing their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and SUE with GEOFF sang an interesting version of BAD MOON RISING. In lighter vein than earlier EDDY sang Buddy Holly's EVERY DAY followed by DAVE COWE with a couple of short poems WHOOPS & THE PERFECT CRIME and DAVE BOULTON asked us to STRIKE THE BELL. Heading for a big finish PETE announced that TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU to which MARION asked WHAT WILL WE DO and GRASSROOTS responded I THINK IT'S GONNA RAIN TODAY to end a very satisfying evening.



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