MAY - 2015

Newspaper No 327 26 May 2015

A massive welcome was given to Chris Ross upon her long awaited return to the club and it was good to see her looking well and enjoying the Party Night hosted by JANICE (with David Cowe) and she started the ball rolling appropriately with DREAM A DREAM. Then ROBIN took us back with JOCK O'HAZELDENE as did DAVID CINNAMOND with his vision of war in THE BOX but CHRIS was more relaxed with Knopfler's TRAWLERMAN. For SUE she wanted to be BACK AGAIN as BERNARD hoped the GAS MAN COMETH but HEATHER McNEILL was more serious with her own THE BIG ISSUE. Seeking to be more laid back FREE SPIRITS sought that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING before DAVE COWE went all Irish verse with BOGLAND which prompted ED to sing OH NO NOT THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY. Next a big clash of cultures saw our Cornish visitors DAVE & LINDA go across to America for when they DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN whereas DAVE BOULTON stayed at home for his own HEAR ALL, SEE ALL, SAY NOWT before GEOFF went all romantic with I ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU followed by PAUL RILEY revealing his feelings with FOREVER AND A DAY. This all brought a reaction from KAMRAN with TRIAD which gave PETE the ST JAMES' INFIRMARY BLUES before DON & HEATHER took us to the interval with BLACK CLOTHES.

After a superb buffet the raffle saw Alan's grandson win the CD stand, Robin win the wine and Pete win the Chocolates before PETE KING arrived with a new song WITHOUT YOU as he does. KAMRAN responded with the DOWNTOWN BLUES and preserving his voice GEOFF played the beautiful HECTOR'S LAMENT making ROBIN remark that it was GOOD TO BE BACK HOME. Deciding on a good old sing song CHRIS told us we won't make OLD BONES to which SUE replied THERE'S A KIND OF HUSH as BERNARD was ringing for a BIG YELLOW TAXI. Back down to earth HEATHER McNEILL then sang another of her own THE MEETING AND PARTING SONG before PETE took us on the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE. Back seeing the funny side DAVE BOULTON gave his take on life with WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S RELATIONS but PAUL RILEY seriously requested MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR and PETE KING told us what it was like to be BEATING TIME. Coming to climax FREE SPIRITS led a club band up with WAGON WHEEL and our Cornish guests DAVE & LINDA sent us home happy with FLOW RIVER FLOW.

Newspaper No 326 19 May 2015

They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew and a great night of music ensued with lots of talented performers many being new to the club. KAMRAN was more than happy to be back in harness with PETE who was back from his travels and kicked off with THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN. In hot pursuit was BANJO JOHN down the RED RIVER VALLEY and FAIR PLAY looking for the WILDWOOD FLOWER whilst ROBIN was seeking the ROSE OF ALANDALE. Then a rare visitor ALAN from the north east sang Graham Miles' WHEN THE SNOWS OF WINTER FALL as PHIL sang his longest song, TRAINS, and newcomer BRENDAN came all the way from Germany to sing I AIN'T GOT A HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE (W. Guthrie). Next JAN was a delight with FOLLOW THE HERON HOME to which MARK suggested we DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALL RIGHT which led SUE to take off after BLACK JACK DAVEY with her new stick dulcimer. Another newcomer ROGER declared a liking for THE RED SHOES before DAVE BOULTON went back to his childhood days with his own BLACK HILLS NO MORE and then we were blown away with newcomer JOHN's brilliant cover of Nic Jones' CANADEE-IO. Then KAMRAN was THE MAN IN THE LONG BLACK COAT (Dylan) before ANN recommended a ride with her in THE SHABBY OLD CABBIE but STEVE declared I WISH I WAS IN LANCASHIRE and CHRIS wished MAY YOU NEVER leave your bed out in the cold to take us to the interval.

In the raffle big spenders Martin won the CD, Steve won the Chocolates, Alan won the bottle of wine and Joyce won the other Chocolates before PAUL gave us all the KEY TO THE HIGHWAY in celebration of BB King's life as we started the second half. MARIAN then commented it was BONNIE AT MORN as ED & STEEL FRY PAN aka Fair Play assembled for the BLACK LEG MINER before FREE SPIRITS went even bigger with the SFC Choir and the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS. Then it was time for ROGER to come back with the FORTUNATE ONE and for BRENDAN to sing his own HUMAN TRAFFIC to launch SUE & GEOFF into WAGON WHEEL again with the SFC Choir. Again invoking Graham Miles ALAN took us OVER YONDER BANKS as STEVE was even further away sailing to LIBERTY'S SWEET SHORE (John Doyle) before FAIR PLAY re-assembled for YOUNG MARY. Another vision of life in the Potteries then came from DAVE BOULTON with his interpretation of thunder and lightning as a child represented by HORACE HOSKINS' lorries tipping their bricks at the colliery. Returning, JOHN told us the story of THE GREAT ESCAPER to which MARK & JAN replied IT'S ALL RIGHT before ANN related the sad story of THE FOLK SINGER. Quite why PHIL then told I WISH YOU WERE HERE but it could have been because CHRIS was SAILING TO PHILADELPHIA but according to ED nothing had an effect on JACUZZI JOE and his funky concertina or, as FREE SPIRITS related, on the train they called the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS as Robin, Paul, Heather & Don boarded it to the Gulf of Mexico to end an absolute belter of an evening.

Newspaper No 325 12 May 2015

An absolute cracker of an evening this week led by DON & HEATHER who kicked off with STREETS OF LONDON for Baz & Chris followed by BANJO JOHN being MEAN TO ME and CHRIS with WINNIE'S RAG (McTell). No wonder JOHN CHILCOTT came out with TAKE A MESSAGE TO MARY followed by EDDIE with a powerful delivery of ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND, with his temporary ping pong ball fingernails, and DAVE BOULTON with his own warning EVERY SILVER LINING HAS A CLOUD. Next we had another powerful performance of the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER by PHIL and the classic WATERMELON WINE by ROBIN before ANN blew us away with VAIR ME ORO VAN O. Then before we knew it MICK in super dominant form brought the house down with his version of BLOWING IN THE WIND before CHRIS came back with YOU WERE MY FIRST SONG and SUMMER LIGHTNING (McTell) before another tour de force from RICHARD GRAY with his own SWEET MUSIC. All this left ED claiming he definitely wasn't ALL USED UP and neither was BANJO JOHN with the PANAMA RAG nor JOHN CHILCOTT with his LONG BLACK VEIL. At this point we spotted that shrinking violet BAZ had snook in with a guitar but thinking he had been overlooked he quite rightly needed the love and adoration of the crowd who obligingly chanted "We want Baz" to be rewarded then with an excellent rendition of WALKING ON SUNDAY. Quite why but this prompted PHIL to sing LICENCE TO STEAL about lawyers and ROBIN to scoot off to DURHAM TOWN. Coming up to the interval DAVE BOULTON surprised with his tale of A HARD LIFE ON THE POTS to which BANJO JOHN paradoxically responded WHEN YOU'RE SMILING before PETE KING sang his latest and brilliant song COME ON BLUES with some of ever the best guitar accompaniment heard in the club. Mega!

A suitably big raffle saw Rosalyn win Chocolates; Helen win Wine; Joyce win a Torch; Vic the Shortbreads and Helen take the Handcream before MICK reminisced about his favourite pub at the BEND IN THE RIVER so no wonder RICHARD GRAY speculated WHERE HAVE THE GOOD TIMES GONE. Down the river according to ANN with her LORELEI and down even deeper with 
PHIL and the BLACKLEG MINER leaving PETE KING to sum up the efforts of the greatest performers with his SIMPLE SONG. Grabbing his melodeon EDDIE had us galloping to the WILLIAM TELL overture leading ROBIN to muse that THE BATTLE IS OVER and DAVE BOULTON to ponder that it TAKES MORE THAN BRICKS AND MORTAR to make a house a home. By special detest ED was asked to organise THE ROYAL VISIT and DON & HEATHER remembered their dads with FLOWERS ON THE WATER before 
RICHARD GRAY & PETE KING cheered us all up with DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALRIGHT. Entering the final furlong PETE KING sang another of his fine songs AFTER YOU before MICK again delved deep for DO RE MI (W. Guthrie) and DAVE BOULTON had us all a cappella ON THE CUT leaving ED to take us all for a memorable booze up on THE MANCH to end a fantastic night. 

Newspaper No 324 5 May 2015

Another busy evening in the expert hands of FAIR PLAY aka Kath, Ruth & Stan who welded 22 performers into great entertainment for an equally large audience. BANJO JOHN was invited to start us off with Arthur Askey's silly SEAGULL SONG but EDDIE immediately put us back on the straight and narrow with MICHAEL TURNER'S WALTZ & MARGARET'S WALTZ and FAIR PLAY continued with E. McColl's SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY. A big welcome next for the return of Cornwall's TERRY and his great interpretation of COLOURS to which JO added YOU'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG (I. Dement) which made GRASSROOTS wish they had Joni Mitchell's RIVER to sail away on. In a more cheery vein FREE SPIRITS were on the road with ME AND YOU AND A DOG NAMED BOO as CHRIS described HANDS OF JOSEPH (McTell) and ANN explained the dangers of THE LORELEI. Another welcome returner ALLEN sang his own warning to youngsters not to try to emulate PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE before DAVE BOULTON sang his own excellent tribute to SNOWDONIA and GORDON took us all off to THE HIRING FAIR. Then newcomer DENNIS also sang his own song TWO ROOMS ON PARK AVENUE about his mum and dad as JIM went all classical with Bill Caddick's JOHN O' DREAMS set to a tune by Tchaikovsky before CARL sang his excellent new song about the female "Postie" ANNIE IN BLUE. A quick burst of trad was next from ED with his POOR DITCHING BOY before ARTHUR went a bit political with his own HERE'S TO OLD GUY FAWKES and POET DAVID gave us his take on LONDONDERRY. Then er..er..it was PAUL with HESITATION BLUES which made DON & HEATHER think he might be PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE as BANJO JOHN was out looking MR TAMBOURINE MAN as the interval loomed.

The raffle saw the Wine go to Robin; the Olive Oil to Barbara; and the Chocolates go home with Eddie before FAIR PLAY started the second half with a new song, THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY, followed by RICHARD GRAY with his own EVERY GRAIN OF SAND as TERRY also unfurled one of his WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG before CARL turned to Jez Lowe for THE LONE BADGER. Still with homemade creations GRASSROOTS sang Mick's latest WHEN I LEFT MY HOME as did ARTHUR with his 27 ROADS and ALLEN with another take on youth with WHAT'S IT TO YOU. Then continuing her advancement as a performer ANN treated us to THE FOLK SINGER from the charts in 1963 before DAVE BOULTON sang another of his own GIVE IT TIME and GORDON gave us BOGIE'S BONNIE BELLE. A busy night for ROBIN continued with the LAST FAREWELL as EDDIE unsheathed his new melodeon for the ballad of ANDREW ROSE and RICHARD GRAY remembered it was CLOSING TIME by Mary Asquith. Finally as the curtain was falling on a great evening of original and excellent music ED got the devil in him with THE WIDOW'S MOOR and FREE SPIRITS took the devil of a train ride on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS down to the Gulf of Mexico. Top drawer!!

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