Newsletter No 358 29 December 2015
Back from the Canaries ED & SUE were greeted by friends old and new as amongst the great turn out we found some very familiar and some we see less frequently returning for a top night of excellent music and craic. BANJO JOHN soon had us in the mood with his TIGER RAG followed by DON & HEATHER with PAUL who had us singing away with THE DIAMANTINA DROVER and then JOHN WILLIAMS with the WHITE HARE. Then with an upbeat version came PETE with Dylan's DON'T THINK TWICE before, HILARY with the more sedate CAROLAN'S WELCOME and ED with a great version of another one from Bob Dylan, DREAM. And then, after years of absence, came the welcome return of ALBERT with his own HOUSE OF EMPTY DREAMS followed by the ultimate occasional JEAN, from North Yorkshire, who sang Graham Moore's LISTEN ON THE WIND. Thus enlivened PAUL determined to STEP IT UP AND GO while more seductively ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY which caused EDDIE to look at things FROM BOTH SIDES NOW before another welcome visitor, SUE BARGH, rose to sing Joni Mitchell's URGE FOR GOING which certainly had us all definitely wanting to stay. Then with no sign of the threatened storm BANJO JOHN still had the ST LOUIS BLUES but more optimistically JOHN WILLIAMS looked forward to the MISTLETOE MILE, and why not but HILARY was more pessimistic reminding us of Noah' Ark with THREE HA'PENCE A FOOT. All this had PETE looking to the day when I SHALL BE RELEASED but still in festive mood ALBERT simply wanted TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and JEAN took us all back to WWll with HOME LADS HOME, a poem put to music by Sarah Morgan. Also in a nostalgic mood JOAN read A TRIBUTE TO MARY HAWE from her Mum's book to take us to the interval.
A big raffle saw Joyce win a big fruit cake, Pete win the wine. Ian win a Christmas Pudding, Eddie take the Biscuits and Heather Kenyon win a CD before ED had us all in pleats with the fate of THE JOGGER. On the other hand ANN told us the fan forgave THE FOLK SINGER instead of dumping him whereas DON, HEATHER & PAUL were optimistic she who DANCES FOR DOLLARS would come out on top. EDDIE then gave us a short recital of THREE CAROLS: PATAPAN (French), The Angel to the Virgin came and Virgin most pure which certainly didn't give PAUL the HESITATION BLUES but certainly stimulated HILARY to play CAROLAN'S RECEIPT. Then, as if sensing the mood for a climactic finish, SUE BARGH had us all singing DONNA, DONNA, DONNA (J Baez) which gave ALBERT reason to tell us about his VISIONS for which JEAN sang him an IRISH BLESSING. Appropriately PAUL recognised it would be a LONG JOURNEY HOME for some especially EDDIE reckoned for THE SHEEP STEALER for whom all PETE could say was MAY YOU NEVER. Appropriately JOHN WILLIAMS then rose to his feet for two great songs the GODDESS OF MIDWINTER and GREEN TREES leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to lead the raising of the roof from the lusty singing of RED ROSE CAFE before suggesting we lay down the borrowed guitar aka ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD and get of home before New Year. Magic!!
Newsletter No 357 22 December 2015
A host of talented performers and an excellent audience were greeted by mulled wine and mince pies greeted us as DON & HEATHER set the tone with their ROMANY JACK followed by BANJO JOHN who was in WINTER WONDERLAND and JO was in THE BLEAK MIDWINTER. Going with one of his favourites JAMES told he AIN'T MISBEHAVIN as JUDE introduced him to PRETTY POLLY and PAUL RILEY retorted GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN. More seriously ANN told us the legend of THE LORELEI and JOAN recited TWO POEMS from her Mum before DON & HEATHER stayed on their original theme with GYPSY WOMAN. Back from the bar ARTHUR MARSHALL was in suffering still so we got RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER SINGS THE BLUES as BANJO JOHN shot off to California as the LITTLE OLD WINE DRINKER ME whereas ANN & JO went north for AMAZING GRACE. For JAMES this was all A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE as MARIAN went traditional for TAR BARREL AND NAIL and RICHARD GRAY went for his own WISE MAN'S TALE. Arriving late but still very welcome DAVID was seasonal with HALLELUJAH followed by JONATHAN & CHARLIE with a song we can't remember but it led to BANJO JOHN'S Pantomime with John, Joan, Ann, Pete and Martin giving us a good laugh with an excellent interpretation of CINDERELLA. Magic!
In the interval Banjo John donated a bottle of Whisky, Joan gave a bottle of White wine and Kate gave a bottle of Mulled wine to add to the Big Raffle which resulted in us finally reaching the cumulative Christmas grand total of £257.00 sent to the Children's Adventure Farm Charity. Then opening the second half another late arrival PAUL had all trilling to HOTEL CALIFORNIA followed by PETE with his own great song MADAME WHISKY and then the new duo of PAUL RILEY & JUDE singing about JOHN RILEY. Recovered from his thespian activities BANJO JOHN went back in time for MARGIE as DAVID went back to a Crowded House for BETTER BE HOME SOON and then MARIAN again went trad with SPINDLE BOBBIN AND SPOOL AWAY. Next JOAN recited CRISIS, the only fictional story her Mum ever wrote, as RICHARD decided to sing his song about the MANCHESTER HIGHWAY just as ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY. Called on once again JAMES declared he was WILLING while PAUL confessed to the BAD MAN BLUES just as JUDE was ROLLING DOWN THE RIVER before HEATHER KENYON gave us a rare performance of what A POLITICALLY CORRECT CHRISTMAS would be like. This time PAUL RILEY rose up with the New Seekers MORNINGTOWN and PETE gave us a great rendition of another classic WOODSTOCK as DAVID prepared a couple from the Beach Boys, GOD ONLY KNOWS & WOULDN'T IT BE NICE and JAMES dug deep for SWEET LORRAINE leaving DON & HEATHER to marvel at the excellent nature of the evening and Pete's borrowed guitar with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD. Tops!!
Newsletter No 356 15 December 2015
A full house and a fair eclectic mix for our Christmas Party was well stewarded by KATH & STAN into a great start to the festive season. Suitably BANJO JOHN defied the Bookies with WHITE CHRISTMAS before HILARY went east for CHINESE MELODIES 1 & 4 and KATH & STAN went down to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH. BRIAN couldn't help but ask for HOW LONG to which KAMRAN replied LIFE WILL GET YOU IN THE END as JANET went all angelic with DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR. On a serious note PHIL turned to BLIND (Deep Purple) as ANN decided to have us all singing VAIR ME ORO V AN O as did JAN with his version SUMMERTIME. Not content with that PAUL wanted to RAISE A RUCKUS TONIGHT but MICK reckoned NOTHING RHYMES (G O'Sullivan) despite JANICE with MICK saying it will only make you STRONGER. Back with Christmas JO led us all for SILENT NIGHT as IAN returned to the weather for FOUR STRONG WINDS before JOAN had us all seeing the funny side of life with TALES FROM HER MUM and THE OLD BUS. Philosophically PETE declared IT'LL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES just as DON & HEATHER told us WHEN SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES she can do just what she likes as did DAVE COWE's CLIVE THE FEARLESS BIRDMAN. Another slant on things came from JOHN CONDY with THE REBEL JESUS to which PETE KING replied with his customary new song WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO and JONATHAN turned to Sting for the HOUNDS OF WINTER. Finally what would we do without MARK & JAN and their Christmas mini-Panto entitled THE IVY AND THE HOLLY to take us up to the break with a Big Buffet and Chips.
The usual bumper raffle with all proceeds (£73.00) going to the Children's Adventure Farm Charity saw Heather win a CD, Martin win a DVD, Ian win the Biscuits, Hilary win the Wine, Kate win the Cava, Hilary win more Biscuits, Phil win the Smellies, Rosaleen take the cake and Joe win the Christmas Pudding. Then ROBIN got the ball rolling again with THE LAST FAREWELL and CARL sang one of his latest songs YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before ROB took up his guitar with harmonica form MARK for IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU. In good form KATH & STAN told us the sad BALLAD OF DAN MOODY but on the other hand JAN was simply HAPPY unlike HILARY who spent CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WORKHOUSE but nobody believed it so GRASSROOTS told us it was all LIES. On a completely different tack BRIAN told all women are CRAZY ABOUT AN AUTOMOBILE before IAN celebrated Salford with DIRTY OLD TOWN but again PHIL seemed to be sadly all TANGLED UP IN BLUE. All contrasty JAN & MARK revealed the secrets of ROTTERDAM but more simply KAMRAN told us I'm ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS leaving DAVE COWE to tell us about STONE SAINTS. Unable to resist adding to the £1,000,000 royalties Noddy Holder makes every year JOHN CONDY sang MERRY CHRISTMAS (Slade) and PAUL did the same with MARY'S BOY CHILD whereas PETE was more to the point with LIGHT MY FIRE. Still having fun in Trafford Park JOAN told us of more exploits SKATING WITH DANGER which ROB did when picking up the guitar again for RING OF FIRE which left FREE SPIRITS to asking everyone to TAK' A DRAM with them and then sing their way into the street with Paxton's RAMBLIN' BOY to end a night of great fun and frolics.
Newsletter No 355 8 December 2015
An absolutely excellent evening loads of top talent brilliantly hosted into great
entertainment by MARK & JAN who started it all off with a rousing version of YE JACOBITES followed by KATH & STAN taking the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and PETE announcing I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU. With an affair to remember JOHN CHILCOTT explained the LONG BLACK VEIL as BANJO JOHN told us there are always CHANGES as GEOFF introduced FOTHERINGAY. Next JO celebrated the 12 GATES TO THE CITY before BRIAN played more chords in AS TIME GOES BY than we knew existed making ROBIN was dragged by his love through the STREETS OF BALTIMORE so wonder CARL sang JEALOUS GUY. In complete and welcome contrast JOAN then told us WHAT MI MOTHER DID and SUE sang SONGBIRD before DON & HEATHER had us all off to the RED ROSE CAFE. Back by the wall ROB then led the chorus to COME WRITE YE DOWN and MIKE COSGRAVE introduced his COUSIN JACK before, after too long away, we were really glad to see and hear COLIN RUDD with his interpretation of ELEANOR RIGBY. Interestingly it was then this year ED's turn to sing A SPACEMAN CAME TRAVELLING but PHIL had full rights to Al Stewart's GETHSEMANE AGAIN before PAUL had us all aboard THE OLD 97. Coming up to the interval JOHN CONDY confessed I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS which had JAMES reaching for the COCAINE and RICHARD racing off FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.
The break saw the first of all the raffles up to Christmas which will be donated to The Children's Adventure Farm Trust Charity. Bill won the Whisky. Paul won the Wine, Martin won a CD, Bill won the Liqueurs, Sue won the Christmas Puddings and gave them to Kate, Martin won the Box of Biscuits and gave them to Heather's Mum before also winning the Mince Pies (he does buy a lot of tickets). No wonder CARL then came up with ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE but PETE was HURT and BRIAN was off KILLING THE BLUES which PAUL thought was the result of CARELESS LOVE. Fortunately, PHIL had us seeing the funny side of MY PERFECT COUSIN as JAMES told us about THE GLORY OF LOVE which in a way was ED's theme in the FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY IN THE WEST while KATH & STAN were something else with THE MAN IN THE MOON. Before his departure RICHARD had us all seek SHELTER FROM THE STORM as SUE & GEOFF wished us Merry Christmas the Hawaiian way with MELE KALIKAMAKA leaving ROB vowing to GO TO SEA NO MORE and, seasonally, ROBIN to ask us to TAK' A DRAM, This led JOHN CONDY to reckon it could lead us to DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and MIKE was a bit sentimental with CALEDONIA to which MARK & JAN assured us it was NO USE CRYING as we headed for the door after a belting night. Magic!
Newsletter No 354 1 December 2015
Starting the gentle freefall to Christmas hosts PAUL & ROBIN led the way with PAUL telling he would ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS whereas BANJO JOHN went back hundreds of years for his MARGIE long before SUE could have claimed WHEN I'M CLEANING WINDOWS. Seeking some light relief GEOFF sang about ROY ROGERS riding tonight which for ROD on his return sounded like The Faces' ALL OR NOTHING as KAMRAN & BANJO JOHN assembled to pay homage to DR JAZZ. Back from his rock climbing exploits ROB then gave us the Centipede Song I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL whereas PETE celebrated MARY FROM DONEGAL as ANN prepared to WELCOME BONNY BRID (Samuel Laycock). Welcoming Robin back from his cruise DON & HEATHER invited the reformation of Free Spirits with DIAMANTINA DROVER prompting ED to set our ALONG THE VERDIGRIS (Paxton) and ROBIN himself to chime in with MR DREAMSELLER. Coming round again BANJO JOHN insisted we should ROLL A SILVER DOLLAR as latecomer DAVE stepped up to the plate with E Costello's OLIVER'S ARMY and GEOFF kindly responded to an earlier request with TWILIGHT TIME. For ROD it was all becoming a bit of a TEQUILA SUNRISE to which KAMRAN advised SO RELAX (Leon Redbone) before BANJO JOHN again went back to 1851 for SWANEE RIVER which left us all needing a break.
In the usual bumper raffle Rod and Allan won Wine, Ann won the perfume, Kate took the CD and Barry got the Christmas Puddings before starting the second half PAUL posed the question WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL as another latecomer RICHARD told us he had fallen asleep but arrived to sing his own ABANDONED but ED was wide awake for Joan's request IT'S ME MARGARET! Seriously PETE told us the HEART IS LIKE A WHEEL as DAVE decided to sing us a WHISKY LULLABY and ROBIN told us the story of behind the SNOWS OF NEW YORK. What with all the talk of bad weather DON, HEATHER & PAUL said it was the ideal setting for the song FOREVER AND A DAY as ROB set out on his MILL OUTING and equally sad RICHARD told us what SYLVIA'S MOTHER SAYS. Again GEOFF & SUE directed us towards a cheery note with a join-in SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES followed by PETE who decided he was GOIN' TO KANSAS CITY with the same backing as did KAMRAN to say GOODNIGHT IRENE. Giving us the hint DAVE announced that he'd got a TICKET TO RIDE but ED completely missed it confessing I GOT STONED. Heading for the door with full chorus ROB led us off with the GOOD SHIP CALABAR, followed by RICHARD with the BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER and finally FREE SPIRITS with ROLLING HOME which we soon were with a spring in our step. Great!
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.
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!
Newspaper No 346 29 September 2015
A sublimely pleasant evening as people start to return from holidays started on a serious note with PETE singing ST PAUL'S SONG but PAUL couldn't wait to STEP IT UP AND GO but for NICHOLAS he was in a TROUBLED TOWN (Jake Bugg). On a completely different level ANN was certainly DEFYING GRAVITY as was MIKE COSGRAVE with is original version of the Furies COME BY THE HILLS with an O'Carolan tune interspersed and similarly ROBIN with his own parody of a PUB WITH NO BEER (Slim Dusty). It was then back to basics when JO told us ONCE I HAD A SWEETHEART and KAMRAN explained sometimes we LOVE IN VAIN leading DON & HEATHER to introduce the vagaries of KILLING THE BLUES. Moving up country ED reminded us of RAMONA as GRASS ROOTS sang a new song from Mick Hare, WITHOUT YOU, whereas CHARLIE & JONATHAN went shooting off to AMERICA. This prompted MIKE to return with the SHATTERED CROSS and in similar vein ANN lamented ALL MY TRIALS will soon be over but in complete contrast PAUL was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD. Somehow this made NICHOLAS think of life in jail for I'VE GOT STRIPES which didn't divert DON & HEATHER from Alison Krauss' WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL as we went into the interval.
The raffle saw the Olive oil go home with Jo: the Wine will be consumed later by Joan: the Chocolates departed with Rita & Alan: and the Risky Business CD was pocketed by Alan. Then in a good mood PETE was soon on his feet with HERE COMES THE SUN but sadly ED was wheezy with the BRONCHIOLE DILATED BLUES prompting KAMRAN suggest we GO GENTLE on him (Robbie Williams). Next we had a demonstration of how truth is stranger than fiction as JOAN told us about her Saturday LOST IN LYTHAM before ROBIN & ANN got lost in the country medley of PRETTY FRAULINE, THE BLACKBOARD OF MY HEART and HONKYTONK ANGELS leaving GRASS ROOTS to also relate a true story with the background to Mick Hare's JACKDAW. Another true story is the Irish migration to America related by MIKE in THOUSANDS ARE SAILING and PAUL was pretty sure that at the time there was plenty of the GOOD MORNING BLUES before ED went on to relate the ultimate blues story about BURNTBLACK AND SON the undertakers. In contrast DON & HEATHER sang about the girl who DANCES FOR DOLLARS but ROBIN had other intent with his PEACEFUL EASY FEELING as did PETE who we all know has a HEART OF GOLD. Coming to a close ANN related the story of LORELEI who lured the sailors on to the rocks in the Rhine before KAMRAN told us he was GOING TO BROWNSVILLE and GRASS ROOTS wound things up nicely with another of Mick's songs SI TU DOIS PARTIR - LETS GO TOGETHER.
Newspaper No 345 22 September 2015
A quiet but delightful evening back with many of their friends saw HEATHER & DON hosting on their return and reclaiming the DIAMANTINA DROVER for starters. Back from climbing in Spain ROB was soon FATHOMing THE BOWL as fresh in his eighties BANJO JOHN was doing the CHARLESTON. On the other hand CARL recalled his time sailing with Rob and Mark and recounted his dad taught him from his time at sea, THE COOK AND DECKIES, to which JOHN CHILCOTT commented WHEN WE WERE GOOD. This brought JOHN CONDY to the floor and he decided to reclaim the GALWAY GIRL with his own great version before PHIL sang Steve Knightley’s ROOTS bemoaning the over willingness of the English to turn to other cultures and not value their own. This left JAN & MARK somewhere between TEMPTATION AND SALVATION STREET as PAUL was off with the DRIFTING BLUES and ED was way ALONG THE VERDIGRIS. Still a bundle of energy BANJO JOHN almost took off with his version of TIGER RAG but fortunately JOHN CHILCOTT calmed us down with his quiet SALFORD SUNDAY before DAVID gave us his politically slanted SEE HOW THE COLD PLAY. Again rousing us to chorus ROB told us he was as happy as them who have got THOUSANDS OR MORE which made CARL think it must be like having AN INVISIBLE SUN and to JAN & MARK it was like fishing for the whale on THE BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND. Still on a reclamation theme JOHN CONDY treated us to his latest rendition of ACROSS THE BORDERLINE before PHIL again tested us, as he does, with Al Stewart’s THREE MULES (don’t ask just Google it) leaving PAUL to take us to the interval with THE MORNING BLUES.
After much catching up the raffle saw Ros win the wine, Alan win the Whisky Marmalades and Sue the big tin of Chocolates which she immediately passed round several times before ED led off the second half with RED HEADED ANNE followed by DAVID with THREE TUNES ending with GREENSLEEVES. Still COURTING TOO SLOW or not at all was our ROB before CARL lifted us with his great song parody of THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR and then shock horror JAN sang HE’S GONE TO MARRY ANOTHER. Definitely not MARK, then, to which he responded DRINK GOOD ALE. Miles away PAUL was next SITTING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY which might have prompted PHIL sing in praise of PLYMOUTH before JOHN CONDY poured cold water on life with John Prine’s SOME HUMANS AIN’T HUMAN. Cheering us up with his own humorous take on thinks DAVID told us SOME PEOPLE ARE FRIGHTENED most of all of taking their car to the garage to which ED added his contribution of the Dubliner’s COMICAL GENIUS. Building to a climax ROB complained about them knockin’ ‘em down, THE OLD PUBS, and JAN & MARK sang in praise of the LITTLE RED ROOSTER before PHIL introduced us to CADENCE AND CASCADE only for DAVID to take us UP THE JUNCTION and then to cap it all ED, PAUL, HEATHER & DON announced that ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE and they were as we all tripped into the street well satisfied.
Newspaper No 344 15 September 2015
It was soon apparent that this was no ordinary evening when KATH & STAN opened up with Ewan McColl’s SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY and then asked BANJO JOHN to begin the celebration of his 80th birthday with the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL. Not surprisingly PETE joined in with IF NOT FOR YOU and PHIL chipped in TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Then JO celebrated another hero in JOE HILL as did ED with AL BOWLEY by Richard Thompson and which gave SUE the UKELELE BLUES. ROBIN then invited us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO to which GEOFF replied with Jim Causley’s SUMMER END and with a nod to the rugby crowds PAUL enacted the DUELLING CHOIRS with MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE & SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT. Keeping up the pace KATH & STAN next gave us THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY and PETE had those ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY BLUES but not surprisingly BANJO JOHN was RUNNING WILD. Where does he get the energy asked JO as she explained I LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME. Back again CHARLIE & JONATHAN then came up with RICHARD COREY by Simon & Garfunkel as ROBIN tucked into the WATERMELON WINE and GEOFF & SUE promised I’LL FLY AWAY. Coming to the break PHIL played WELCOME and THE CLOWN, two Canadian tunes, but ED told us I LIKE MY WOMEN A LITTLE ON THE TRASHY SIDE as PAUL pleaded TAKE AWAY THESE CHAINS FROM ME.
The half time interval was made extra special when Banjo John and his wife Connie treated us to one of The Service Club’s special Sandwiches and Chips Buffet followed by the raffle which saw Kath win the Rum flavoured beer: Ella win the Picture frame: Alan win the Wine: and Jill take home the Bath Cream before KATH & STAN asked us HOW WILL I EVER BE SIMPLE AGAIN? Reprising their previous success CHARLIE & JONATHAN came back with those LYING EYES as PHIL took us to the ISLANDS of King Crimson and SUE introduced us to COUSIN JACK. Still rocking BANJO JOHN sang JAZZ ME BLUES which PETE swore BRING OUT THE BEST IN ME because GEOFF & SUE told us WALTZINGS FOR DREAMERS. Teaming up ROBIN & PAUL sang about the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN and ED was DOWN IN LOUISIANA but KATH & STAN were up with THE MAN IN THE MOON. Coming round to a big finish PAUL sang about BIG BAD BILL as BANJO JOHN gave us the ST LOUIS BLUES and PHIL brought in the SISTERS OF MERCY but the real climax came with a band up of PAUL, ROBIN, ED, KATH & STAN for the big favourite WAGON WHEEL. Happy birthday Banjo John and many more of them!!
Newspaper No 343 8 September 2015
There was nothing to disappoint those who attended a very pleasant evening at Sale last night with MARK and JAN as hosts, whilst numbers were modest the quality was nonetheless very high! Appropriately MARK and JAN started the first round with a bit of LOVE AND HAPPINESS and then BANJO JOHN sang MR TAMBOURINE MAN with PHIL hard on his heels with another Dylan song, SIMPLER TWIST OF FATE. Almost immediately PETE ROBERTS was heading off in a BIG YELLOW TAXI and JANET was up in the SOARING SKIES. Then there was a welcome appearance from JOHN CONDY who contributed the third Dylan song of the evening, CHIMES OF FREEDOM and not to be outdone PAUL JOHNSON maintained the Dylan theme with TOMORROW IS A LONG TIME followed by CARL with the ever popular NORWEGIAN WOOD. The other PAUL (RILEY) was next with TELL OLD BILL and KAMRAN, away from his hole in the road, gave us James Taylor’s HANDY MAN. It was then obvious that ED had been watching the latest BBC drama and was inspired to sing the Jim McLean version of the story of LADY CHATTERLEY to be followed by a duo, JONATHAN & CHARLIE making their debut acoustic appearance and producing an excellent version of the Eagles’ song, LYIN' EYES. Sadly, having only rehearsed the one this was their only contribution for the evening but we hope to hear more from them in the future! Up for a second time BANJO JOHN had us a rocking and rolling with ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN before PETE was off over Mike Chapman’s RABBIT HILLS. With one from his favourite Al Stewart PHIL sang SONGS OUT OF CLAY which prompted JANET to ask someone to BRING ME A ROSE before CARL took us up to the break with SINATRA AND I.
After the raffle which saw Alan take away the bottle of wine JAN, accompanied by MARK, sang the Beautiful South Song ROTTERDAM before JOAN rose to tell us the story of JOSIE'S DESK a lovely nostalgic snapshot of past times written by her Mum. DAVID SERGEANT was next with ALONE AGAIN NATURALLY and ED took us back to the days of coal pit struggles with THE BLACKLEG MINER. Then with his atmospheric self penned SMOKE THROUGH AUTUMN LEAVES the floor was KAMRAN'S before PAUL RILEY became JOHN THE REVELATOR and JOHN CONDY followed him with UNICORNS. Then unusual for him PETE found himself DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and equally serious PHIL sang Larry Norman’s GOODBYE FAREWELL a song he wrote when not expecting to recover from a serious heart attack in 1992. He lived to be 61. DAVID SERGEANT was next with his own picturesque song, WEIRD DREAMS, followed by CARL with HERE'S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY just as PAUL was GOING DOWN THE ROAD. Then with Pink Floyd’s currently appropriate ON THE TURNING AWAY came JOHN CONDY followed by ED with his little ditty about THE FLY. Finally coming to a climax KAMRAN Sang Rev Gary Davis’ OH GLORY HOW HAPPY I AM and MARK and JAN brought a very pleasant evening to an appropriate close with THE END OF THE LINE.
Newspaper No 342 1 September 2015
A great audience and loads of performers this as PETE kicked off with the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY FAIR chased by BANJO JOHN and C.C. RIDER + blues harp. JO was next out in a LONG BLACK VEIL as FAIR PLAY came p with DINK’S SONG and newcomer PAUL JOHNSON recalled the DAYS OF 49. Then Charley’s son GUY stepped up to show us how it should be done with Norah Jones’ DON’T KNOW WHY which was a dress rehearsal for a school concert in which he is to play the guitar and sing the vocal. It was then good to see and hear CARL sandwiched between the two youngsters and back to his best with SCARBOROUGH FAIR as ALICE rose to play the penny whistle for ALOUETTE JAUNTE ALOUETTE followed by JOHN CHILCOTT with his version of FIRE AND RAIN to end the generation swings. ED was also serious THE POOR DITCHING BOY as was ROBIN for BREAD AND FISHES and it certainly brought the best out of JOAN with her memories of Trafford Park in MILL LIFE and ANN who had us all singing with VAIR ME ORO VAN O. Reaching deep into his song book ARTHUR then sang one of his own NOTHING FOR THE REFUGEES to prove how little has really changed and to some extent PAUL’S song was the same, SUGAR PUDDING a.k.a. Keep Your Fingers Off It, before CHARLEY herself sang QUEEN OF WATERS. All this left BANJO JOHN telling us I’M FLYING HIGH with JO telling him in that case I’m CALLING FOR YOU. You’d better do it BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW sang FAIR PLAY in which case I SHALL BE RELEASED replied PETE as we reached the mid-session break.
PAUL struck a brave note with the story of the Irish rebel JAMES CONNELLY and in particularly good voice ROBIN was in a similar mood with THE LAST FAREWELL before MIRIAM rose with REYNARDINE. No wonder this all put CARL in mind of OLD BONES (J. Lowe). More light heartedly ANN invited us to ride with her in THE SHABBY OLD CABBIE to which ED replied in that case PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE and ARTHUR played a fiddle medley of THE HUMOURS OF GLENDART & MORRISON’S JIG and before he could put it down PAUL insisted ARTHUR’S fiddle and FAIR PLAY accompanied CORNBREAD AND BUTTERBEANS. Thinking of other beautiful things PETE came up with SUNSETS and PAUL returned with JOE HILL’S LAST WILL prompting ROBIN to take us all off for the MINGULAY BOAT SONG. Philosophically CARL told us WE’LL MEET AGAIN as ED came up with some CHILDHOOD MEMORIES and FAIR PLAY wistfully told us sadly MY LOVE HAS GONE before our spirits were finally raised by PAUL, ROBIN, ED, FAIR PLAY and all playing and singing us into the street with ALL THE GOOD TIMES. Magic!
Newspaper No 341 25 August 2015
A fair few performers arrived for hosts PAUL & ROBIN to coax into great entertainment for an even bigger audience prompting ROBIN to kick off with the MULL OF KINTYRE followed by GEOFF with BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT having had his foot free from the plaster cast which immediately made GRASSROOTS break out into BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES which Geoff fully appreciated. PETE then declared that the HEART IS LIKE A WHEEL just as JO was off to SCARBOROUGH FAIR with KEVIN swearing to BE A PIPER TO THE END all a cappella. Then how great it was to see and hear CARL back again and on form with Jez Lowe’s THESE COAL TOWN DAYS, a cappella again, followed by SUE with her UKELELE PARODY OF HALLELUJAH and DAVE SARGENT with his own children’s song BEDTIME. On the contrary BRIAN said I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT but ROB was only too happy to treat us to FRED THE SLUG to which ANN replied ALL MY TRIALS LORD will soon be over as ARTHUR hove into view with his BLUE EYES SHINING IN THE RAIN. Normally it is trouble but PAUL insisted on asking WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL and MICK demanded TELL ME WHY as up stepped JOAN to take us on A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME with her Mum’s memories of Trafford Park. Quickly back on his now two feet GEOFF was that ROCKET MAN, zero gravity helping, and JO was just hearing the SOUND OF SILENCE, in the same vacuum no doubt, but KEVIN insisted we should ROW ON. It was, however, time for CARL to hit that DIRTY OLD TOWN with SUE flaunting her ROSE TATTOO and RICHARD wishing he was FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.
With the theme from Barry Norman’s Film Programme GRASSROOTS told us I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE followed by another of DAVE SARGENT’S unnamed songs that we christened THE GARDEN SONG and which reminded PETE of the BLUE MOON we last saw in July this year. ROB, on the other hand, sang COME WRITE ME DOWN which is about as close to marriage as he will probably get and which ANN told him was about as obverse as him DEFYING GRAVITY and as likely said ARTHUR as there being no FENCES to stop him reaching the mountain. Digging deep ROBIN then came up with that old favourite THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK but MICK went to his recent past with his GEORDIE GIRL while PAUL gave a word of advice with DON’T GET TROUBLE ON YOUR MIND complete with violin solo by Arthur. After a sublime evening RICHARD insisted he had a LONG WAY TO GO so SUE & GEOFF called out the SLOOP JOHN B and ARTHUR sent us all home singing the blues with BOBBY McGEE which fair raised the roof. Magic!
Newspaper No 340 18 August 2015
Not huge turnout but enough good performers outnumbered by the audience provided a great
atmosphere and plenty of good craic encouraged by Hosts ED & SUE. The evening was started well by BANJO JOHN with Miss Lee Morse’s DANCE AROUND YOUR BONES swiftly followed by ROBIN with LYING EYES and ED who sang that eminently nickable ALONG THE VERDIGRIS by Tom Paxton. PAUL then took the floor, and a sly glance at our hostess, for BLACK EYED SUSIE which somehow persuaded JO that THE CARNIVAL IS OVER but certainly not for MARK who played a guitar instrumental ALBATROSS. Equally quietly JOHN CHILCOTT sang a lovely song LOOKING AT THE RAIN before ROB on his return from his trip round the south of Ireland exaggerated with SOUTH AUSTRALIA which enabled us all to sing along with gusto before ANN settled us all down with one of her favourites THE TROUT. Quite why but this prompted PHIL to play and sang DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL by Richard Thompson and again we all joined in the chorus before JAN treated us to one of her favourites WESTLING WINDS with words by Robbie Burns which left RICHARD GRAY to wind up the first round with his own Country Music Song EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN. You would think it would be full by now. Still with his mojo working BANJO JOHN opened the second round with the 1930’s WALKING MY BABY BACK HOME to which everyone sang along and suitably roused JO came to the front once more and had us sing along loudly with WE SHALL OVERCOME that was actually a tour de force which even JOHN CHILCOTT'S wrist slitter A SECOND CUP OF COFFEE couldn't dampen. Next we had the novelty of PHIL forgetting his hearing aids so deciding to play a Bob Dylan number TANGLED UP IN BLUE as he thought it quite appropriate if he sang it slightly out of tune! The writ will no doubt be in the post. With a lot to catch up on ROB did his best as did the horse with the GOOD SHIP CALABAR and ED was very amusing with RICKETY TICKETY TIN which went down well before ROBIN told the sad story behind THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK by Chris de Burgh. More promisingly RICHARD GRAY sang his own promise COMING HOME TO SEE YOU TONIGHT leaving PAUL to play some 1930’s JUG BAND MUSIC and JAN & MARK fresh back from their odyssey to the far north of Scotland sang JACKSON from the deep south. ANN on the other hand took us down the Rhine for LORELEI a German Folk Song leaving MARK to take us to the interval with the STIXWOULD HARVEST SONG urging us to drink good ale as we went off to the bar.
Robin, Martin and Vic won a raffle prize each and a newcomer whose name escaped us also guaranteed his return by going home with one.
With huge quality still remaining after the break PHIL sang the very lengthy ROADS TO MOSCOW with some feeling they could have walked it in the time and certainly had ROBIN thinking of the LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL but ED soon put everyone right with THE BANTAM COCK before PAUL gave us all the GOOD MORNING BLUES and still ANN was seeking THE FOLK SINGER. Still in that frame of mind RICHARD gave us an old Beatles number The LONG AND WINDING ROAD leaving JAN to sooth us with the beautiful LAGAN LOVE and hopefully he meant us all after his 6 week sailing trip when ROB sang IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU. We don’t know what they did to Carl on that trip but he has not been seen since! Hope he is alright! Finally and with great gusto MARK & JAN recruited us all to their gang with THE BLUE COCKADE to end a cracking night.
Newspaper No 339 11 August 2015
A small but perfectly formed audience welcomed hosts KATH & STAN to open with BLACK WATERS and BANJO JOHN soon had us rocking with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES before PHIL went for a STUDY IN by A M Carcassi. JANET’S reply to this was that THOSE WERE THE DAYS as ROBIN hit the STREETS OF BALTIMORE but all ED could see was MATCHSTICK MEN. Next JOHN CHILCOTT celebrated THE PONY MAN as ANN looked to the heaves for ALL MY TRIALS LORD but KATH & STAN were 10 THOUSAND MILES away. Sadly BANJO JOHN was still downbeat with SHOW ME THE PRISON and ROBIN was on his way out of DURHAM TOWN. Coming up with a novel idea PHIL asked us WHY DON’T YOU LOOK INTO JESUS to which ED replied IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS and JANET was equally pessimistic with DIAMONDS AND RUST. More cheerfully JOHN CHILCOTT took us to the Southern States to meet COTTON JENNY as ANN exclaimed O SUSANNAH and KATH & STAN took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND. Coming up to the interval ROBIN brought in his old favourite JOCK O’ HAZELDENE and BANJO JOHN very kindly invited us to HAVE A DRINK ON ME.
The raffle saw Carole win the wine, Janet win the tea, Kate take home the Smellies and Janet coming back to win the preserves cherries before PHIL opened with FOTHERINGAY. Going back to school days JANET had us singing GREEN GROW THE RUSHES O leaving ED to introduce us to CAROL AND KELLY but ANN was off to the WIDDECOMBE FAIR which for KATH & STAN was NINE HUNDRED MILES too far. So PHIL suggested we should take to the BARGES but ED was out roaming the WIDOW’S MOOR as JANET was all philosophical with WINGS. More cheerfully ANN tried to remind us it was SUMMERTIME as KATH & STAN went back decades for a revealing CENSUS but PHIL just went back as far as WEDNESDAY MORNING 3 AM. A greatest hit from JANET in the form of ODE TO BILLY JO started the build up to cracking climax as first ANN took us out to THE WILD SIDE OF LIFE and KATH & STAN went NIGHT VISITING before ED told us that ALL THE GOOD TIMES WERE PAST AND GONE!! Don’t believe it!