Newsletter No 350 27 October 2015
No 7-year itch for SALE FOLK CLUB's seventh anniversary as hosts MARK & JAN started by leading us off to JACKSON. Then after years in the gestation ROBIN finally gave release to an old favourite he had been working on, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH, whereas PHIL happily shared another Al Stewart song, PALACE OF VERSAILLES, before CHRIS responded to a request for THE TRAWLERMEN (Knoppler). There was a big welcome back next for SUE and her ukulele who brought us REAL HOPE and of course GEOFF with the pertinent observation WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES before BANJO JOHN dispensed with the philosophical and went for SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL. Then JOAN surprised us THE BOSNIAN SONG to which JO replied LET IT BE and GRASSROOTS dedicated their song HIGHLAND LADDIE to Robin. A second request was met by DON & HEATHER with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER followed by she who requested it, ANN, who sang about what she got up to in THE SHABBY OLD CABBY. Good to see him back, BRIAN sang about the Eagles' DESPERADO and ED treated us to the real world of THE FLUSHERS which had MARK & JAN rushing for the boat to ROTTERDAM. Perhaps with the club in mind BANJO JOHN told us YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE IN YOUR DREAMS and similarly JO waxed lyrically THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE leaving RICHARD to ask WHAT WAS IT YOU WANTED.

This way we reached the interval as the excellent buffet and chips arrived and a bumper raffle saw Ukulele Sue win the wine, Ros win the box of tea, Brian win the Feta Cheese and Olives, Alan win a CD, Ann win the Chocolates, Alex win a CD and Paula win the Christmas Pudding.

Starting the second half 
ED just wanted was to be left alone TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM as GRASSROOTS dedicated another song to Robin, cos they missed his birthday last week, WILD MOUNTAINSIDE, to which PHIL replied with I'M ONLY SLEEPING (Lennon). Another story from JOAN contained some REFLECTIONS ON LIFE and after waking BRIAN sang about DREAMS to which CHRIS replied MAY YOU NEVER lay your head down without a hand to hold. By way of a change GEOFF then gave us a monologue, SPENCER'S COCK and SUE followed with 74-75 which still defies meaning today so no wonder ANN came up with ALL MY TRIALS LORD. Possibly with 11/11 in mind ROBIN then mused THEY SAY THAT THE BATTLE IS OVER which for DON & HEATHER was PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE but RICHARD insisted we DON'T QUIT. Back in another fantasy BRIAN asked DON'T IT MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE a CHRIS also conjectured about A PLACE WE USED TO LIVE while ED went with the true version of the Three Bears fairy story MI HUSBAND'S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN 'IM (Les Barker). At the end of a great party night GRASSROOTS strongly suggested LET'S GO TOGETHER when we go and DON & HEATHER rightly claimed we'd had some RARE OLD TIMES and MARK & JAN went back to the time of the flat earthers by swearing to hunt down CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN. Magic!
Newsletter No 349 20 October 2015

An excellent celebration of Robin's birthday hosted by FAIR PLAY who started with the FORSAKED MERMAID to which England's Devonian PHIL replied with Cornwall's Steve Knightley's COUSIN JACK. From his favourite and lesser known Dylan album PAUL then chose GOOD AS I'VE BEEN TO YOU before the first tribute to Robin came from JANET with the Outlander theme OVER THE SEA TO SKY whereas KAMRAN opened with WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, Catfish Keith's parallel story to Corrinna, Corrinna, which somehow prompted to JOAN to relate the first part of her GRANDMOTHER'S STORY. Still in holiday mood DON & HEATHER then took us off to Spain to drink some SPANISH BURGUNDY only for Heather's Mum, PHYLLIS, to echo Joan's story with THE CRABBIT OLD WOMAN for the longest applause of the night, two offers of marriage and a bed for the night. Also getting emotional ROBIN declared SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH and in another way GRAEME had us all getting worked up funereally with Louis Collins' ANGELS LAID HIM AWAY and in yet another way ANN was similarly involved with Rosie Hardman's LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY MISTER. Then getting really serious ED brought up Iris Dement's AIN'T GOT NO TIME TO CRY followed by FAIR PLAY with the BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY and another death in KAMRAN'S great singing of STACK O' LEE. Flying solo CHARLIE then played an instrumental piece, ROMANCE, of unknown origin but claimed by many including our Ed's parody, for the royalties of course, followed by JANET claiming Scottish kinship by singing CALEDONIA again for Robin. PHIL then decided on an anti-war theme with Wishbone Ash's THROW DOWN THE SWORD to which RICHARD sang I'LL FIND MY OWN WAY HOME and PAUL wished that Robin would STAY FOREVER YOUNG. Rolling toward the interval GRAEME told us he'd got JESUS ON THE MAIN LINE and DAVID cleverly turned a Ryan Adams' song to his own advantage for REAP WHAT YOU SOW. 

A great buffet and chips was provided by Robin in the interval which also saw a bumper raffle in which Paul won the wine; Robin won a litre of Olive Oil; Andy won the Chocolates and Kath, Heather and Janet won CDs before FREE SPIRITS opened the second half with CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. Next JOAN continued with HER GRANDMOTHER'S STORY to which ED added BOB DYLAN'S DREAM and ANN had us all singing along with VAIR ME ORO VAN O. Somehow this had ROBIN off to the STREETS OF LAREDO followed by RICHARD'S glossary of how MAN GAVE NAMES TO ALL THE ANIMALS accompanied by KAMRAN. Next DAVID made the sincere promise I WILL (Beatles) as FAIR PLAY introduced UNCLE BERNARD but PHIL explained his lack of progress as WALKING BACKWARDS DOWN THE STAIRS. Working to a big finish PAUL kicked off with  JUG BAND MUSIC, Memphis Jug Band version/Jim Kwiskin, and KAMRAN told us what happens WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS which for RICHARD got to THE HEART OF THE MATTER, just like his song dedicated to Robin & his wife Elizabeth, but for DAVID it was summed up by his song PUB TIME leaving FREE SPIRITS to say in that case we can wander off with the RAMBLING BOY (Paxton) to end a great night.

Newsletter No 348 13 October 2015
A superb evening was soon in progress as GRASSROOTS started off by taking us HOME AGAIN and the sentiment was shared by ROBIN with his BACK HOME AGAIN but ED couldn’t resist the serious turn toward the GRESFORD DISASTER. Also very traditionally JANET recalled the CAMBRIC SHIRT as DAVE COWE turned to poetry for the HOMAGE TO TED HUGHES and ROB went a cappella for CHEERLY MAN. Next there was a big welcome back from the USA for ZOE who sang a new song for her THE ACME FORGETTING SERVICE while BANJO JOHN went back over the Pond for THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND as did FAIR PLAY for WATER BOUND. Then PHIL came up with FOG ON THE TYNE just as ANN recalled THE FOLK SINGER and PAUL fancied the racehorse STEWBALL. Back her roots JAN sang the beautiful BELLS OF ABERDOVEY and CHRIS asked ARE YOU RECEIVING ME to which MARK replied DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. Coming to the interval RICHARD told us the story of his planet watching in THE BILLBOARD IN THE SKY which made GRASSROOTS decide to sing Mick’s THERE WON’T BE ANOTHER SUNSET leaving BANJO JOHN to raise us up with Fats Waller’s WHEN SOMEBODY THINKS YOU’RE WONDERFUL.

The interval raffle saw Chris win the CD, Alan win the Wine, Ros win the Jam, Jan win the Pate and Kath take home the Chocolates before ROBIN kicked off with the ROSE OF ALLANDALE and ED admitted of all his frailties I MISS MY MIND THE MOST. Coming up with one of her latest compositions ZOE told us about SNOW ON THE JUNK YARD before PETE KING blew us all away with own recent composition COME ON BLUES. To this FAIR PLAY played Stan’s new violin and Kath’s funky concertina for TWO TUNES and ANN took to the floor with RICHARD in DEFYING GRAVITY before DON & HEATHER recruited PAUL for DIAMANTINA DROVER. Then after having a request rebuffed ROB himself sung FLOWER OF SCOTLAND while PHIL called on Al Stewart for RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS and CHRIS gave us his own version of OLD BONES. Delving deep into the past PAUL found it DARK AS A DUNGEON while DAVE COWE was busy TAKING NOURISHMENT and GRASSROOTS were contemplating a dip in the RIVER. For PETE KING this was all summed up by his great song FOOL’S PARADISE and it made RICHARD think WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD it is. ROBIN, however, was back to being serious with the LONG BLACK VEIL but FAIR PLAY with the BANJO PICKING GIRL had us leaving on a bright note as we all went ROLLING HOME with ROB leading the singing. Great!

Newsletter No 347 6 October 2015

With the change in the seasons a nice group of friends had an excellent evening of good music and great craic started off by hosts PAUL & ROBIN the latter who first sang us over to DENVER. In a salute to the weather BANJO JOHN called up blues harp and guitar backing to celebrate a STORMY MONDAY as CHRIS seemed to speaking from experience with EVERYBODY LOVES A SMART ASS and MIKE COSGRAVE took us FROM GALWAY TO GRACELANDS. Then starting with an instrumental PHIL, so we couldn't join in and wreck it, didn't give us a key for JESU JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING to which CARL responded with Pete Morton's THANKSGIVING all of which had DON & HEATHER off to SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Ringing the changes DAVID, hoping for some Art Garfunkel harmony, sang about MRS ROBINSON as PAUL rose for his LONG JOURNEY HOME joined by Mike's cittern all of which took BANJO JOHN back in time for COME TO ME MY MELANCHOLY BABY. Somehow this made PHIL think of the second coming in the form of a UFO (L. Norman) and, on the same wavelength, CHRIS to come up with TEARS IN HEAVEN but any way up for CARL he thought THE CARNIVAL IS OVER and for ROBIN it certainly was THE LAST FAREWELL. Some welcome light relief then came when DAVID sang a Hotspots song about THE GIRL FROM THE BARGAIN BOOZE before MIKE sang his favourite MICK RYAN'S LAMENT. Taking us to the interval DON & HEATHER celebrated the Rockies with ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE and then followed BANJO JOHN to the deep south with MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA. 

From the interval raffle a bottle of red wine, chocolates, a box of Yorkshire tea and a history book all went to good homes before we got started again when PAUL had RAMBLIN' ON MY MIND as DAVID unsheathed his new song GHERKIN AND SHIRKIN' but to PHIL it was all ROCKS IN THE OCEAN before CHRIS celebrated the HANDS OF JOSEPH. A note of contrast came when CARL said we wouldn't make OLD BONES (J. Lowe) as MIKE told us it was A GREAT DAY TO ALIVE. On the other hand ROBIN'S woman was dragging him round the STREETS OF BALTIMORE whereas this week DON & HEATHER delivered Phil's history lecture with their CONQUISTADORES. Still in a blue frame of mind PAUL lamented the absence of CORRINA, CORRINA to which PHIL replied they're all OPTICAL ILLUSIONS as DAVID posed the question IF I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU (Beatles). Sunday School to meet MRS ADLAM'S ANGELS but MIKE had us off to an IRISH SESSION as FREE SPIRITS reconvened for MUDDY WATERS followed by WAGON WHEEL with everyone playing and singing along. Top class!