Newsletter No 353 24 November 2015

A top night of great talent much appreciated by a receptive audience as hosts JANICE & MICK aka GRASSROOTS led off with ONCE I LOVED. They were soon followed by SUE & GEOFF saying I'LL FLY AWAY and BANJO JOHN singing ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM but KAMRAN suggesting LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIAN. For poet DAVE he told us MY MOTHER REMEMBERS SRI LANKA whereas DON & HEATHER sand about ROMANY JACK while JO was by the BANKS OF THE OHIO. A new duo of PHIL & GORDON went all Dusty with I DON'T KNOW JUST WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF while BRIAN tried to define DIDDY WAH DIDDY as ANN delved into THE LAND THAT MADE ME ME. Next came BRENDAN with his own song of from DONEGAL TO AMSTERDAM but CARL was glad to be SAFE IN THE HARBOUR but for FAIR PLAY they told us that HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL. For JANET she craved BOOTS LIKE EMMYLOU'S which somehow made PHIL experience an AFTERGLOW but quite why it reminded PAUL of STAGOLEE. Still wheezing, however, ED had the BRONCHIO-DILATOR BLUES as ARTHUR told us about WHEN PAISLEY MET THE POPE which for PETER meant a fair STORM RISING to bring us up to raffle and chat time.

Opening up the second half GRASSROOTS sang a great song SILVERSCREEN before BRIAN took us back in time with ONLY YOU (Flying Pickets) and PHIL & GORDON had us rolling about laughing with Jake Thackray's ON AGAIN ON. With Northern Ireland having been mentioned several times PAUL then came up with a song that he had picked up over there DOWN BY THE LAGAN SIDE as PETER reminisced with one his brother taught him, RABBIT HILLS, but in view of the current weather FAIR PLAY reminded us of the dangers with WATERBOUND. In another vein PHIL was downbeat with I WISH WE'D ALL BEEN READY but was quickly trumped by ED and his song DISASTER before poet DAVE tried to lift the mood with HEY NONNY NONNY. On a serious note BRENDAN went back to his roots for CARRICKFERGUS as SUE & GEOFF had a BRIEF ENCOUNTER as did THE BLACKSMITH requested from CARL our Jake Thackray specialist. Then, going for the big sing out, DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and KAMRAN took us back to being a DAYDREAM BELIEVER before ARTHUR topped the lot with his excellent song FENCES to send us all home with the warm glow of a great night of music and craic.
 Newsletter No 352 17 November 2015

Not nice weather but excellent inside Sale Folk Club as PETE openly declared you bring out THE BEST IN ME followed by PHIL who dedicated MARTIN to Martin not surprisingly and BANJO JOHN with a duck joke and a song by Paul Robeson. SUE was next with her stick dulcimer and THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN whereas PAUL was chasing the CANDYMAN leaving CARL to confess he was ALL AT SEA with his own song and true story of a female matelot. Then BRIAN had us Googling THE VERY THING THAT MAKES HER RICH WILL MAKE YOU POOR as poor KAMRAN was out SELLING ICE-CREAM IN THE AUTUMN but ED & SUE didn't care as they went off to LANNEGAN'S BALL. With complete aplomb GEOFF then amazed with his rendition of OUR HOUSE (Crosby, Stills and Nash) as a solo DON sang YOU WILL BE THE LIGHT for the absent Heather as BANJO JOHN shot off on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Down in the darkness CARL was next digging for the BLACK DIAMONDS of Jez Lowe but PETE KING came through the door with his latest new song which was certainly not the POISON that it was about. Coming up to the break SUE was soon off with BLACK JACK DAVEY and PAUL sang a favourite of his JACKAROO before RICHARD patriotically celebrated OH, ENGLAND.

With much craic the interval raffle saw the Red wine go to Jackie, the Room fragrance diffuser go to Alan, the Biscuits temporarily go to Martin before he handed them round and the CD go to Paul. Starting the second half PETE urged us to say GOODBYE TO THE OLD as BRIAN again surprised us with the song THROUGH THE MORNING THROUGH THE NIGHT and ED sang in praise of IRELAND'S GREEN SHORE. Another favourite song then came from KAMRAN with the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES as GEOFF was all romantic with HE'LL HAVE TO GO and DON banded up with PAUL and ED for a GALWAY GIRL. Then PHIL surprised with SWEET BABY JAMES as did PETE KING by adopting the ukulele for his SIMPLE SONG before RICHARD strolled along to THE EIFFEL TOWER. Responding to clamour from the audience CARL treated us to SISTER JOSEPHINE while PAUL had the BLUES IN A BOTTLE before SUE & GEOFF set out on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and ED sang about NANCY. Soon PETE was KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR whereas to PHIL it was WEDNESDAY MORNING 3AM which led KAMRAN to ask DADDY, WHERE YOU BEEN SO LONG? Finally in response to a great night DON had us all singing away with SONNY before RICHARD said sadly that we should all soon be FAR AWAY FROM HERE as we headed for the door. Top drawer!

Newsletter No 351 10 November 2015
A great full house with every seat taken addressed many aspects of war started by DON & HEATHER with CALLING DOON THE LINE swiftly followed by BANJO JOHN with LILI MARLENE and SUE reminding us of the psychological damage with ALL YOU'VE GOT IS A HAMMER. Going back to roots JO came up with the GALWAY SHAWL and GRASSROOTS remembered WILLIE McBRIDE and JANET surprised us with REMEMBRANCE by Jake Thackray. Crossing the Pond KATH & STAN gave us THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY while crossing the Channel JUDE bi-lingally told us about THE PARTISAN but back in England MARK went recruiting for the ROUT OF THE BLUES while JAN addressed the aftermath of it all with MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS, WIVES. Interestingly, without war there would have been no for Pete Morton's song FURTHER which was well sung by CARL and certainly no GRANDDAD'S ATTIC for ROB to explore or for PETE to BEAT THE DRUM. Still on theme PHIL was away in the FIELDS OF FRANCE (Al Stewart) and RICHARD brought us his own take on the WAR TO END ALL WARS as PAUL went Mark Knoppler for PIPER TO THE END. Then on his own JONATHAN turned to SHIPBUILDING for a good song well played as JOHN turned to BROTHERS IN ARMS (M Knoppler) and MIKE COSGRAVE told us THE SHIPYARD SLIPS LIE EMPTY all of which led JO to decide to take ONE DAY AT A TIME. This gave BANJO JOHN the last word before the interval with BLUEBIRDS OVER THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER.

After the usual bumper raffle and much chin wagging 
KATH & STAN resumed for DINK'S SONG and MIKE COSGRAVE related the sad story concluding in JESUS WEPT. By way of a complete change GEOFF confessed he was FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN and SUE said she wanted him BACK AGAIN and PHIL gave us some thoughts that he would like to go back again to his home town the CITY OF PLYMOUTH (Maggie Duffy). Another favourite came from CARL in the form of PENNY LANE and ROB went to his favourite place for the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR but JAN & MARK were busy chasing that LITTLE RED ROOSTER. Next JUDE was aboard the MARCO POLO as JOHN swayed with the WAGON WHEEL and RICHARD wondered WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE but the implications of Arthur Marshall's FENCES, sung by PAUL, were quite clear. Finally. leaving the overall theme of remembrance and heading for a big finish PETE went with Bob Dylan for SHE BELONGS TO ME and MIKE went with a Christy Moore favourite THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO before everyone was invited to join with DON, HEATHER & PAUL to follow the DIAMANTINA DROVER down under to end a really top evening.
Newsletter No 350 3 November 2015
A bumper night with over twenty appreciative listeners coming to enjoy over twenty performers organised by ED & SUE into great entertainment starting with BANJO JOHN with his TEASING RAG complete with Ying Tang Giggle Eye Po chorus. This sent ROBIN of to DURHAM TOWN while amazingly ARTHUR suddenly declared I'M IRONING MY GOLDFISH FLAT and SUE burst out with FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE. Keeping it in the family JAN, KATHRYN & MARK were then off to Canada for LUKIE'S BOAT while ROB was up in GRANDDAD'S ATTIC and ED was saying GOODBYE TO THE SEA. All this had GEOFF going off for ONE FOR THE ROAD (John Martin) and JANET posing the question WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES but fortunately MISSISSIPPI TEA were on the RISE. Alternatively ANN was fishing for THE TROUT and ornithologist CHRIS was listening to the BLACKBIRD (Beatles) which for KEVIN was all a bit TOO CLOSE TO THE WIND (Fairport Convention). Another historical note from PHIL told of FRANKLYN'S TABLE (Al Stewart) while geographically CHARLIE & JONATHAN were away to ALABAMA (Jason Isobel Pines) leaving DON & HEATHER to confess they certainly did not have ALL THE ANSWERS. Coming up to the interval BANJO JOHN remembered Paul Robeson with OLD MAN RIVER as JAN & MARK went to the END OF THE LINE and JANET toasted us with SODA WINE as ARTHUR rounded off his brief recuperative visit with the poignant ROSES AND WINE.

The usual bumper raffle and socialising soon gave way to MISSISSIPPI TEA who introduced us to the ONE HOUR MAMA (Ida Cox) which certainly had ED confessing to being ALL USED UP as ROBIN eulogised about PADDY RILEY the theme to the old film, Blue Lagoon. Still in fine voice KEVIN tolled THE BELLS OF RHYMNEY (P Seeger) and also in traditional mood PHIL sang about the SHOALS OF HERRING (McColl) and ANN took us off to WIDDECOMBE FAIR. More recently GEOFF sang a great version of CRAZY MAN MICHAEL and SUE had us off with the URBAN SPACEMAN but back with the working classes ROB sang about the PROCESS MAN. Any way up CHRIS was that PIPER TO THE END and FREE SPIRITS were certainly JOKERS, NO-HOPERS AND ROGUES and KAMRAN definitely had the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES (R Johnson). Between the giggles MARK & JAN were recruiting for THE BLUE COCKADE and as usual ROB was COURTING TOO SLOW, or not at all at times, which had PHIL off LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Then, finally, we were up for a big finish with SUE & GEOFF celebrating with THIS IS THE LIFE and ED, ROBIN, DON & HEATHER leading us to the door after ALL THE GOOD TIMES had been had for a great night.


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