JULY - 2015

Newspaper No 337 28 July 2015

In fine form MARK & JAN delivered an excellent evening of music and song from a great range of performers of which some were new and some were returners after some considerable time and indeed it was all LOVE AND HAPPINESS as they kicked us into action. Then ED marched in with McALPINE'S FUSILIERS followed by JOHN CHILCOTT who told us YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE but JO was off to the FIELDS OF ATHENRY complete with her new guitar for the very first time in public. With a new tune PHIL then stepped up with THE HAUNTED CAROUSEL by Steve Marsh while back in time BANJO JOHN was hazing at a CAROLINA MOON and this week with his guitar came DAVID SARGENT who took us for a brilliant ride on ELECTRIC TRAINS. Not seen for a while JANET also took us on a JOURNEY by Eileen McGann while ROBIN celebrated that THE BATTLE IS OVER and ANN offered us a ride in a SHABBY OLD CABBIE. To their surprise DON & HEATHER revisited a new song borrowed from Paul FOREVER AND A DAY as BANJO JOHN said it all comes out right WHEN YOU'RE SMILING as indeed JAN was as she extolled the virtues of the BELLS OF ABERDOVEY in her native Welsh language. No wonder JOHN CHILCOTT came up with I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT and it made JO think of SUMMERTIME when the living is easy and DAVID SARGENT was also inspired to sing us his own song SHAPES AND SIZES. Coming up with a pertinent question PHIL asked WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE and we guessed there must be some on JANET'S MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE and definitely on MARK'S FIDDLER'S GREEN and DON & HEATHER'S STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. This didn't stop ANN taking off with THE FOLK SINGER and ROBIN going down COUNTRY ROADS but ED stayed local for the LIVERPOOL LULLABY. A late flurry of activity saw BOB come through the door and sing TAKE ME DOWN LITTLE SUSIE and ARTHUR joined JANET for the Beatles I'LL FOLLOW THE SUN as we hit the interval.

A bumper raffle saw Jackie win the Fudge, David won a bottle of wine and a CD, Bob also won a CD as did Heather Kenyon before Martin won a Book and Jan took home a DVD, Wow!

ROBIN was invited to start the second half with ROCK MY CRADLE before HELEN made a rare and treasured contribution with JUST A GHOST IN THIS HOUSE to with PHIL was prompted to ask IF? An interesting story from JANET about the fight against slavery was told in THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD before DAVID SARGENT impressed us with A PAUL BRETT TUNE and ANN warned us of the perils on the Rhine with LORELEI. We were left wondering when ARTHUR asked WHY DON'T WOMEN LIKE ME but DON & HEATHER certainly liked the GALWAY GIRL but BOB was HALF THE WORLD AWAY with Billy Bragg. All too serious for ED who obviously has a great liking for MORRIS DANCERS ?? before ARTHUR told us that that Barry Norman's theme tune was actually a song sung by Nina Simone called I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE leaving BOB to go all Carole King for SMACKWATER JACK to send us tap dancing into the street.

Newspaper No 336 21July 2015

A truly excellent evening with ED & SUE as hosts to many occasional visitors and some new faces as BANJO JOHN took us back in time to a Fats Waller medley starting with I'M GONNA SIT RIGHT DOWN AND WRITE MYSELF A LETTER. Then ED told us how hard it is to be a HYPOCHONDRIAC but PHIL was calm and controlled for a classical BOURREE by Bach as was OMAR who took to the piano for a SONG FOR GUY (E. John). Next JAN & MARK took us to ROTTERDAM as welcome returner CHRIS GILL had a MESSAGE TO MARTHA and COLIN sang his favourite love song about the MIDNIGHT WATCHMAN. More returners THE SOUTHSIDERS (John, Dave & Les) then took the floor with MERCURY BLUES and I WISH I WAS IN NEW ORLEANS (Tom Waites) leaving ROBIN to ask us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO and CHARLIE to come up with his own HYBRID SHUFFLE BLUES. All of this JO confessed was KILLING ME SOFTLY and KAMRAN admitted he would only get by with a SPOONFUL which had newcomer DAVID shooting of to SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Next it was good to see GEOFF back ON MY MOUNTAIN after breaking his ankle over the weekend as PAUL asked us all to TELL OLD BILL and ERIC sponsored free speech with JE SUIS CHARLIE. All this made DON & HEATHER wonder how many of us are PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE and certainly MARK sensed there was a BAD MOON RISING as KATH & STAN felt we might all soon be WATERBOUND (Powell version) which BANJO JOHN said would give us all the MAINS BLUES as we slid toward the interval.

After a bumper raffle and before going home OMAR played us THE ENTERTAINER as ED went off with GEORGINA BAILEY (Noosha Fox) and ERIC got the ANCIENT MARINER BLUES for a big band up. All PHIL could say to that was HALLELUJAH (L. Cohen) as ROBIN told a story of infidelity with JOCK O'HAZELDEAN leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL over in Oz with the DIAMANTINA DROVER. Next a nice version by CHRIS GILL of R. Thompson's VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING prepared us for KAMRAN's rendition of the STACK-O-LEE BLUES and DAVID's excellent singing of the POOR MURDERED WOMAN (Trad - arr M. Carthy). Either way up JAN & MARK reckoned we were reaching the END OF THE LINE as PAUL had us eating CORN BREAD AND BUTTER BEANS, in the words of KATH & STAN, BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW. With our show coming to a close FREE SPIRITS (Robin, Paul, Heather & Don) responded to a request from Ann for WAGON WHEEL which nicely set up THE SOUTHSIDERS to TAMP IT UP SOLID, as the miners say, and get to DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL for a late night spree before hitting the sack. An excellent evening of music and craic.

Newspaper No 335 14 July 2015

A top night with good friends well presented by JANICE & MICK aka GRASSROOTS who started the ball rolling with MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE swiftly followed by DON & HEATHER with FOREVER AND A DAY and meanwhile DAVE CASHELL was HALFWAY TO PARADISE prompting a discussion about Billy Fury's statue. All this gave BANJO JOHN the DALLAS BLUES which DOREEN celebrated with her poem about a BIRTHDAY CAKE which made ED go for Dylan and THE PILGRIM. In devilish mood PHIL went for SIX SIXTY SIX followed by another Dylan DON'T THINK TWICE from COLIN and SALMON TALES from DAVE COWE before RICHARD GRAY sang his own LAY DOWN EASY and ANN delighted us by singing THE TROUT. Again GRASSROOTS gave the evening a kick with JAR OF HEARTS as BANJO JOHN hit THE ROCK ISLAND LINE and PHIL went to his hero Al Stewart for BEDSITTER IMAGES. Still controversial COLIN claimed it was JUST LIKE A WOMAN but DON & HEATHER said certainly not the GYPSY WOMAN as DAVE CASHELL went back to Burl Ives for THE BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. Comically DAVE COWE came up with RHYMING SAUSAGES and ED went into BOB DYLAN'S DREAM as DOREEN recited her WHISTLE BLOW about the devastation of war. RICHARD, however, reminded us of his meeting with a Moroccan lass who took him to the EIFFEL TOWER to which GRASSROOTS were surprised he didn't say I'm NOT COMING HOME although even newcomers LOTTIE & SOPHIE declared that they were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Perhaps they sensed COLIN was going to sing about the GHOST OF PEACE or was it WAR. Anyway another newcomer ERIC recommended we COME BY THE HILLS but RICHARD stuck with his native LINCOLNSHIRE ROVER for inspiration which DOREEN declared was BEAUTIFUL. Delving the Nic Jones songbook PHIL sang the ballad of the LITTLE MUSGRAVE which gave DON & HEATHER a PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and had ED amazing us with his powers of observation by telling us his wife Sue, SHE IS WOMAN. Taking no notice DAVE CASHELL was off on a SLOW BOAT TO CHINA while GRASSROOTS were up on THE WILD MOUNTAINSIDE and LOTTIE & SOPHIE explained gave an insight into their love lives with WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL before the evening was closed by COLIN with a song about one of his heroes VINCENT (van Gogh).

Newspaper No 334 7 July 2015

A really great night this week bursting with top talent and bubbling with the craic in a supremely receptive audience. Choosing between the sophisticated and raucous DON & HEATHER went for GALWAY GIRL but ARTHUR MARSHALL immediately raised the tone with his lovely SOFA POET only for MIKE COSGRAVE to bring back the Irish with MICK RYAN'S LAMENT. On the other hand FAIR PLAY were RIDERS IN THE RAIN just as COLIN told us JESUS MET THE WOMAN AT THE WELL but DAVE BOULTON was off saying GET IT DOWN YA SON as he took him to the pub for the first time. ROBIN, however, was off to the country saying gee but IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN just as JO was away with a WAYFARING STRANGER and MICK was stamping his foot saying I DON'T WANNA GO TO ELLA'S PARTY. Next a surprise as DAVE COWE recited his own prize winning poem GREENS before ED was all sad for RED HEADED ANNE but fortunately ANN lifted us in chorus with VAIR ME ORO VAN O. It was then good to welcome HELEN & DAVE HOWARD with THE MANCHESTER ANGEL (E. McColl) just before COLIN introduced us to the POOR MAN'S HOUSE and with JO out there CALLING MY CHILDREN HOME. Of the relationship between Dylan and Baez GRASSROOTS concluded it was DIAMONDS AND RUST to which ARTHUR MARSHALL replied it got ALL WASHED AWAY which was different to HELEN AND DAVE who were KISSING THE MORNING EARLY while FAIR PLAY were singing to THE MAN IN THE MOON as we reached the break.

In a bumper raffle the Wine went with Helen; the Smellies were won by Ann; the Fudge was won and passed round by Martin; the Biscuits went with Sue's friend; the Big Candle was won by Kath and the Ouzo went to Barry as his oven cleaner.

When we got going again DAVE BOULTON raised the bar with PADDY AND THE WHALE to which ROBIN responded by drifting NORTH TO ALASKA while MIKE COSGRAVE searched for his ROOTS. Then ANN did a fair impersonation of THE LORELEI which certainly ended better than ED's song about multiple DISASTERS as GRASSROOTS went back in time for IF YOU GOTTA GO. An interesting poem by DAVE COWE talked about TRAVELLERS while ARTHUR's friend seemed to be always HALF WAY DOWN A BOTTLE OF WINE and it was a relief to hear FAIR PLAY tell us WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN without any actions and it certainly took a lot of us back when DAVE BOULTON sang of THE MEN WITH SKILL IN THEIR HANDS. A serious question was next posed by MIKE COSGRAVE when he said WHO NEEDS PIPES AND FIDDLES WHEN YOU'VE CLOGS AND SOLID STONE and ROBIN was all serious with the LONG BLACK VEIL before DAVE HOWORD teamed up with MIKE COSGRAVE to go RIDING ON THAT NEW RIVER TRAIN. Then GRASSROOTS were absolutely certain with I WILL just as was ARTHUR when he said THE NIGHTINGALE SHE SINGS and HELEN HOWARD when after some sightseeing she sang I WALKED A THOUSAND YEARS TODAY. Lifting to a climax ED took us on a ROYAL VISIT and GRASSROOTS took us down Joni Mitchell's RIVER before DON & HEATHER had us all singing as we went ACROSS THE BORDERLINE leaving behind one of the best nights of music and craic.  

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