Newsletter No 258 17 December 2013
The last Acoustic Folk Night of 2013 turned out to be a great evening with a quite different mix of performers and audience kicked off by DON & HEATHER with a band up version of A LESSON TOO LATE FOR THE LEARNING with Paul, Claire and few others. STEVE then stepped in with his view of a relationship IN A BUBBLE while JO was IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER. Unusually cheerful GED told us he was BUILT FOR COMFORT while JIM & LYNN were off tasting a little bit of THE MOUNTAIN DEW and ARTHUR responded by talking to his friendly badger POLONIUS. Raising up a chorus PAUL said GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN as PETE decided to treat us to one of his own about the ALEXANDER LIGHT as did MARK with his FESTIVE BLUES. Next JAN had is laughing with the IVY AND HOLLY while CARL settled for the ever popular SCARBOROUGH FAIR and BRIAN led the next chorus with YOU RAISE ME UP. In need of a tune or two CLAIRE with Paul played THE HOYS OF WEXFORD & SHOE THE DONKEY and for some reason DAVID thought of his own LIGHT HEARTED MAIDENS which might have made DAVID decide to play and sing I SAW THREE SHIPS. Following this IAN played his own composition A RAG FOR TUESDAY NIGHT leaving BOB to be LONG, LONG GONE and ARTHUR to be propping up MURPHY'S BAR. Still celebrating Christmas JO then led us all in SILENT NIGHT followed by CARL with THE BRIGADIER and GED with the MULESKINNER BLUES and RICHARD GRAY with his own THE BEST IS YET TO COME as we reached the interval and raffle.
Starting the second shift with another band up DON & HEATHER with PAUL & CLAIRE had everyone out in the Aussie sun with the DIAMANTINA DROVER t which STEVE replied with another one of his own SAVE THE WORLD as JIM & LYNN dashed off on THE IRISH ROVER. Next JAN & MARK wished us all the best with SO HERE'S TO YOU as PETE doubled back with AIN'T GOT NO HOME and BOB went north for the WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Unexpectedly DAVID then had us all in pleats as he dedicated IF I SAID YOU HAD A BEAUTIFUL BODY WOULD YOU HOLD IT AGAINST ME to Kate, in tribute to their relationship at the door, to which IAN responded with another of his compositions RAG IN A MINOR KEY and PAUL also responded emotionally with his own song about SAILING DOWN THE MERSEY and crossing over to Ireland to see his family. CLAIRE then played IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR & WE THREE KINGS to which RICHARD replied with his own WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAYTO GO and in a lighter vein MARK & JAN in parody sang A REST TO THEM MERRY GENTLEMEN. In deadly earnest ARTHUR then sang his own only slightly cynical RUDOLPH'S BLUES to which GED exclaimed LORD SEND ME and IAN replied he must be HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE. Back in folk mode DAVID then sang and played GEORGIA ON MY MIND as DON, HEATHER banded up with PAUL & CLAIRE or I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER to send everyone into the street singing with seasonal greetings and best wishes for 2014.
A storming full house of over 70 brought massive talent and a great audience to share the Christmas Party "lock in" with a buffet and mulled wine followed by Janice's birthday cake and mince pies as JANICE & MICK started the evening with YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME but of course we did. Ten combining as WATTLE & DAUB guitarists IAN & DAVID played PAVANE before BANJO JOHN explained the meaning of BLACK AND BLUE and BRIAN sang the first CHRISTMAS SONG. Taking his lead FREE SPIRITS had us all singing to the RED ROSE (NOSE) CAFE but GED still had those DEEP ELLUM BLUES and BETH was telling us I WON'T BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. Back on track JO led us with AMAZING GRACE while FAIR PLAY sang RESIDUE and DOREEN recited her poem IT'S NEARLY CHRISTMAS. Joining in the spirit of things JOHN CONDY admitted I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS while CHARLES, LIZ & ROSE were off to EL GATO MONTES and in the same vein CLAIRE played ANDANTE. Deciding to leave London PETE was on the BEG, STEAL OR BORROW but ROB was off to the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR while MIKE COSGRAVE was off across "The Pond" for A FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK. This left ARTHUR a bit PARANOID to which JIM & LYNN replied they were happy with A MON LIKE THEE and CARL said it must be the MAGICAL SKY before DAVE recited LEATHER.
The interval raffle saw the proceeds go to the charity Chicks which offers children a break from their difficult home lives! See www.chicks.org.uk
After the great celebration buffet etc in the interval KAMRAN urged us to GO GENTLY but ROBIN said, "Yes, but SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH." Next we were delighted to welcome back PETER KING with his own brilliant song WISHING WELL but JUDE went all Latin with GAUDETE to which PAUL replied I'm following the DRINKING GOURD. Another old friend RICHARD GRAY then sang EVERGREEN and JANICE & MICK paid tribute to Nelson Mandela with I WISH I KNEW HOW IT FELT TO BE FREE before BETH was a bit naughty in GRANDMA'S FEATHER BED. A bit more naughty came JIM & LYNN and PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT as it did with ARTHUR and his brush with the RSPCA before DOREEN recited her WINTER CAROL. Preparing for a trip FAIR PLAY told us about BIRDS AND SHIPS while the song in CARL's head was I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR as FREE SPIRITS warned that ALL THE GOOD TIMES could be past and gone. That old romantic BRIAN then teamed up with JANICE for MY FOOLISH HEART just as PETE was KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR and KAMRAN invited us to join him on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Poet DAVE then had an interesting choice with Robbie Burns' TO A LOUSE just as PETER KING returned with another of his hits BACK IN YOUR WORLD and JOHN was equally serious down in THE CAVES OF JERICHO. Going for a big finish as midnight approached MIKE too us back to his ROOTS as GED told us the MOON GOING DOWN and ROB said we had better be ROLLING HOME. So we did after a mega night with 34 performers.
Newsletter No 256 3 December 2013
A very different but sublime evening of new songs, new performers and new band combinations was well organised by KATH & STAN to a massive 42 performances by an extremely talented bunch of people and it was enjoyed by a very receptive audience. DON & HEATHER kicked off with THE DIMMING OF THE DAY (Thompson) followed by CHRIS with RUDIGER (Knoppler) and KATH & STAN who were no WAYFARING STRANGERS. On early for a change GED took off for the THE LAST MINSTREL SHOW before CLAIRE played an O'CAROLAN AIR and JO told of the FAIR AND TENDER LADIES. Combining PAUL with CLAIRE told the story of GEORDIE before BRIAN explained how LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT as it did when ANN rose for the very first time to cross over from audience to performer and tell us the true story of WIDDICOMBE FAIR. Then it was confession time as ED told us he liked TRASHY WOMEN which had SIMON saying he was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and BOB relating the demise of COCK ROBIN. On a higher plane CHRIS sang of THE MERMAID AND THE SEAGULL (McTell) before DON & HEATHER had us all singing to the RARE AULD TIMES and PAUL taught us a new chorus in SWEET CAROLINA. Sadly BRIAN claimed he was ON MY OWN as GED extolled the virtues of those BUILT FOR COMFORT and KATH & STAN set forth on the GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL. Quickly on her feet CLAIRE then jumped up with 2 REELS as ED set out on the story of RED HEADED ANN. Coming to the interval SIMON stepped up with HONEY BUNNY ICE CREAM as BOB disentangled himself from AMONG THE LEAVES SO GREEN-O and KATH & STAN shot off after the BANJO PICKIN' GIRL.
The big raffle saw Pete win the Wine, Kath the Chocolates, Chris a Chocolate Orange Room and the room perfume go home with Barbara and it preluded another new band formation with PAUL, CLAIRE, GRAHAM & DON tentatively assembling as FREE SPIRITS to sing STREETS OF LONDON to which BRIAN replied YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE as SIMON was calling for JOE THE WAITER (Gary Newman). Having broken her duck ANN returned with THE WEE WEE SONG and MISS NAN KNOCK ABOUT which prompted BOB to unleash FRANKIE AND JOHNNY and CHRIS to wheel out THE BALLAD OF CURSED ANN just as GED was off to ST LOUIS. Then another new band MORE FREE SPIRITS, with ED, PAUL, CLAIRE, HEATHER & DON, raised the roof with ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PASSED AND GONE leaving ED with JOHNNY DEAREST JOHNNY and BRIAN to suggest we should BRING HIM HOME. A QUICK STORY from PETE set up KATH & STAN for a trip to the SLEEPY DESERT and CHRIS to play an instrumental THE WINO AND THE MOUSE followed by a song EIGHT FRAMES A SECOND (Mctell). Next CLAIRE was THE IRISH WASHERWOMAN and from the same vicinity BOB led us in COCKLES AND MUSSELS before ED told us about THE WIDOW ON THE MOOR which led GED to call JESUS ON THE MAINLINE. It also gave PAUL the BROWN FERRYBLUES and CHRIS a dose of SUMMER LIGHTENING but the grand finale was provided by another new band, THE JUBILADOS, comprising PAUL, CLAIRE, HEATHER & DON left everyone reluctant to leave with a rousing version of I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER before finally imploring everyone to STEAL AWAY.
Another full house greeted DON & HEATHER tonight as they kicked off by taking everyone down to THE ROSEVILLE FAIR. Next up was BANJO JOHN who had us down the STREETS OF LAREDO so PAUL chirped up PEOPLE GET READY and ROBIN said I'll bring the WATERMELON WINE. Better STEP IT UP AND GO called GED but IAN was busy off RAG PICKIN' while more altruistically ANDREW was up with the BIRD ON THE WIRE. In a philosophical mood MIKE COSGRAVE gave us some November thoughts on THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING and SIMON gave us his own take on the RIVER MERSEY before JO invited COME KISS ME LOVE. Also in November time CARL paid homage to THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD in a Lake Superior storm before calmly DAVID told how SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR. Next TONY PAUPERS, PEASANTS, PRINCES AND KINGS, a lesser known Dylan song, before ERIC explained the snobbishness of BURBERRY AND PRADA and BOB had us out in that WINDY OLD WEATHER. To our delight DIANE then recited REMEMBER THE MAN, a poem she wrote four years ago about her partner who actually taught a few people in the audience, one of whom received it as a gift. JUDE then had us joining in with A CLEVER YOUNG MAN just as ED was talking about ABSENT FRIENDS (Vin Garbutt) and ARTHUR was warning THIS OLD CLOCK KEEPS TICKING. To take us up to the interval and bumper raffle time BANJO JOHN had us down at the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL and ANDREW took us off to CAMDEN TOWN with his own composition.
Raffle-wise Martin won the wine, Ged won the chocolates for his wife, Paul won the torch and Jude took the cake as we started the second half with CONTRABAND who insisted we all FLY AWAY. ERIC was then up his METAPHOR STREET and ANDREW was claimed the SUN STILL SHINING BEHIND THE CLOUDS even though TONY was DANCING IN THE DARK. Next JUDE told us of the 20th OF APRIL and SIMON sang another of his own songs AS FAR AS I KNOW leaving BOB to tell us about the GREENLAND WHALERS. On another serious note DAVID played the LAMENTATION OF OWEN O'NEILL and equally serious PAUL told us NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU'RE DOWN AND OUT before ROBIN sang THE LAST FAREWELL briefly interrupted by PETE with a JOKE about BROKEN FINGERS. No wonder GED reckoned EASY'S GETTING HARDER EVERY DAY and CARL was taking ANOTHER TRAIN which IAN hoped was to SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW. Rising to a great climax ED had us all cheering the attitude of the BANTAM COCK before ARTHUR saddened us with the death of his friend in TOO LATE only to uplift again by taking us DANCING ON SATURDAY NIGHT. Receiving the baton on the up MIKE COSGRAVE celebrated the freedom of THE OKIE FROM MUSCOGEE and followed it telling us to NEVER TIRE OF THE ROAD, a suitable epitaph for anybody.
And still the new faces roll in to bolster the existing talent as JAN & MARK set off in their THIRTY FOOT TRAILER. Even faster than that DON, HEATHER & PAUL aka CONTRABAND were next off on a FREIGHT TRAIN while JOHN CONDY just decided to LAY ME DOWN. On a sadder note ED told us the story of CAROL ANN KELLY before HELEN cheered us immensely with CUBANOLA by Puccini and DAVE amalgamated FEAR AN BHATA with the LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR. In a daft mood KAMRAN went off SELLING ICE CREAM IN THE AUTUMN just as newcomers BETH & CLAIRE were bemoaning the fate of THE SLEEPLESS SAILOR and BANJO JOHN was warning against a CHEATING HEART. On a serious note JO said HELLO HANS to a German soldier buried in England during WW2 and also sad was PAUL RILEY who had us all proclaiming ALL YOUR LOVE'S IN VAIN and CHRIS who told us we will get no POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY from escapee bankers. Undaunted IAN played us a nice JERRY READ TUNE to which PAUL DEARDEN replied with LOS RECUERDOS DE LA ALHAMBRA but neither chased away PETE's ST JAMES' INFIRMARY BLUES. Building climactically to the interval ISOBEL was away with DUSTY MILLER to the WILLAFJORD to which BANJO JOHN replied WHO'S SORRY NOW which HELEN took to be a CHANSON D'AMOUR.
A bumper raffle followed with wine going home with John Condy, the leather wallet with Ann & Brian, the Christmas pudding with Paul Riley and the car seat tidy with Martin who promptly gave it to Kate.
The second half then saw MARK take off rapidly with the INTERGALACTIC LAXATIVE despite KAMRAN saying SO RELAX and JOHN CONDY saying he must have been DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL. Returning again in fine voice BETH with CLAIRE's violin made the MOUNTAIN SOUND and JAN had us chorusing in Welsh with LAWR AR LAN-Y-MOR before DAVE played a tune in tribute to a PRETTY GIRL MILKING A COW. In a different mood CHRIS sang THE BALLAD OF WINNIE or WINNIE'S RAG and ISOBEL played SI BHEAG SI MHOR as DON, HEATHER & PAUL went off to the RED ROSE CAFE. Meanwhile ED was at Keith Marsden's FUNERAL while PAUL DEARDEN played the PRELUDE NO 2 by Villa Lobos and PETE celebrated his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH. Coming to the end of the evening PAUL RILEY tore down the line on THE OLD 97, BETH sang her own composition FREE and DAVE played AIRDI CUAN, one of the finest Irish songs in Gaelic, leaving MARK & JAN to send us all out swearing WE'LL HUNT HIM DOWN, Charles Robert Darwin that is. Great!
To quote Jean Finney, "What an absolutely brilliant folk club at Sale last night. Not a spare seat to be had, don't know where they all kept coming from, and loads of wonderful performers, some of which I hadn't heard before. Really glad I made the effort and did the trip. It did me a power of good." With ED & SUE at the helm it is always tops and with BANJO JOHN kicking us into action with COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER we were away. Picking up pace IAN next played TRIMBONE by Chet Atkins while PAUL went traditional with PEG & AWL as did MIKE with the story of the MARY ELLEN CARTER. Soon JO was on HARD TIMES as FAIR PLAY set off for OWENSBORO and COLIN queried AIN'T THAT RAIN? With the song about the woman with the hairy shoulder JIM & LYNN gave us the BLACK VELVET BAND while RICHARD KNOTT sang his own SHORTEST DAY prompting IAN FORSHAW to ask BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? Next PETE took off with JIM and LES & JOHN were looking for THE GHOST IN THIS HOUSE to which CARL replied IF WISHES WERE FISHES. Next JAN told us about THE BLACKSMITH and MARK related the tale of the Glasgow cat SAM THE SKULL just as DAVE was about to give us the two sides of THE GRANEMORE HARE saga. GED was still WORKING ON THE RAILROAD and JEAN was explaining her grounds for divorce with PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE just as ROBIN was claiming THE BATTLE IS OVER which was denied by RICHARD GRAY who explained that all wars are THE LAST GREAT WAR.
Starting the second half DON & HEATHER discussed the merits of wearing BLACK CLOTHES and RICHARD KNOTT explained how his wife could read him LIKE A BOOK over which JIM & LYNN drew a LONG BLACK VEIL. The Beatles then featured when IAN FORSHAW took us ACROSS THE UNIVERSE as MARK & JAN set off in search of the BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND while IAN was wrapped up all WINDY & WARM but CARL was too busy being THE LODGER. It was good to see JEAN after a while and hear about MY OLD DAD who never gave her any of GED's HARD LOVE which set PAUL off ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS and DAVE eulogising over THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE. The only thing PETE could reply was HEYJOE and RICHARD GRAY called out LAND AHOY which FAIR PLAY thought was BEAUTIFUL (Barney Warren). Hurtling towards a climax PETER sang another of his own great songs, SHINING THROUGH, just as LES & JOHN were reaching the END OF THE LINE but MIKE was still up for it saying NEVER TIRE OF THE ROAD.
Another top quality night brilliantly stewarded by JAN & MICK HARE who extracted excellent contributions from a very talented bunch of performers. MICK himself set the tone with his own tribute to Newcastle with TAKE ME TO THE BRIDGE. He was followed by Guitar instrumental IAN and DANNY BOY just as JO rose to sing SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR and CHRIS was crying WEATHER THE STORM. Next PETE had to beg, steal or borrow as he was LEAVING OF LONDON (Paxton) while COLIN asked us to look at the POOR MAN'S HOUSE but ED had NO TIME TO CRY. A second guitar instrumental came from DAVE with the O'Carolan BRIDGET CRUISE 3RD AIR before Poet DAVE warned us not to open THE BOX of war and DON & HEATHER remembered how horrible it was going to WW1 with CALLING DOON THE LINE. Then ARTHUR gave us his response to ARMISTICE DAY as a welcome newcomer IAN took us back to SETH DAVY before ROB gave us yet another take on war with THINGS IN GRANDDAD'S ATTIC. At this point CARL played a trick on us with the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR which actually is a pub not a war zone and ROBIN exclaimed HEY, IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN and JIM went all romantic with WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN. Returning to normal GED reminded us when DEATH COMES CREEPING but on a more uplifting note MICK told us about the BATTLE OF STOCKTON when the local drove the Blackshirts from the town and CHRIS preferred some SWEET MYSTERY. Coming up to the interval ROBIN told how the red Indians are still badly treated with NOW THE BUFFALO'S GONE and GED played us out with RAW JANE.
In the raffle Robin won the wine, Ian took the chocolates and a Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake were also dispatched before DON & HEATHER kicked off again with DIAMANTINA DROVER and COLIN followed with his favourite BALLAD OF MARY MAGDALENE and IAN gave us a ride on the BLACKPOOL BELLE. Then ARTHUR told us SATURDAY NIGHT was for dancing as ROB gave us another of his poems FRED THE SLUG before CARL told us about Willy McBride in NO MAN'S LAND. Guitar IAN then gave us an instrumental version of I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS followed by DAVE who gave us O'CAROLAN'S QUARREL before PETE gave us REASON TO BELIEVE (Paxton). After telling us he spent 20 years down the pit JIM was truly a WORKING MAN just as ED was definitely a HYPOCHONDRIAC before ROBIN, DON & HEATHER went back to the coal with BLACK WATERS. Also on a serious note GED sang the BALLAD OF PENNY EVANS while boozy ROB said I'LL FATHOM THE BOWL and IAN was instrumentally HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE. To end a great evening, JIM choose to take us back to GALWAY BAY while ROBIN, DON & HEATHER invited everyone to TAK' A DRAM.
To start off our 5th Birthday celebrations PETE declared TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU which prompted BANJO JOHN to kick off as MR BOJANGLES and LYNN & JIM to reach for the WHISKEY IN THE JAR but in sober mood PAUL DEARDEN immediately lit up the room with his classical guitar and the PRELUDE No 1 by Villa Lobos. On a completely different tack ARTHUR then gave us THE STORY OF HIS TROMBONE which had JO out CALLING MY CHILDREN HOME. To our great delight THE HEYES SISTERS had joined us for the first time and sang the Maddy Prior classic FOUR LOOM WEAVER which PAUL RILEY confessed made him feel FOREVER YOUNG. In tribute to Geoff & Jackie going off to live in Wales HEATHER & DON then sang ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE followed by IAN with his PRACTICE PIECE and JANICE with MICK claiming that their leaving was KILLING ME SOFTLY. Another new grouping then came in the form of CHARLES, LIZ & ROSIE who played the wonderful ASHOKAN FAREWELL which certainly left KAMRAN with NO REGRETS but JUDE was at pains to warn MAIDS WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG. Heading west FAIR PLAY then told us of the RIDER IN THE RAIN, it was Stan actually, as another newcomer HELEN RICH unfolded her violin to play us a medley of THE WATER OF THE TYNE, ELSIE'S WALTZ and NANCY before yet another newcomer PAT played his own guitar composition all in the key of A9. Despite all this ED was still tempted to DREAM (Dylan) and ROBIN had that old PEACEFUL EASY FEELING while the earlier Four Loom Weaver had CARL feeling NEARER TO NETTLES before GED was telling us that JOSHUA GONE BARBADOS as we reached the interval.
In the Raffle Janice won the Celebrations, Ella took the Wine, Liz won the Chocolate Orange, Ian won the Smellies and Janet went home with the Christmas Pudding.
THE HEYES SISTERS gave the second half a great start with FREIGHT TRAIN BLUES and JANICE issued an invitation to TICKLE MY HEART to which PAUL RILEY replied it's going to be a STORMY MONDAY. However, LYNN & JIM were off to find the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN just as PAT came back with his second composition inspired by OPENING TIME and again in a threatening vein JUDE warned us to TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT. Reminiscing, PETE took us ALL ALONG THE WATCH TOWER as CARL remembered SINATRA AND I and CHARLES told us of GHOSTS COME TO YOU. By request HELEN RICH gave us a great selection of FRENCH CAFE TUNES on her Accordion to which ARTHUR replied THAT DON'T MAKE IT JUMP and ROBIN bid us all a LAST FAREWELL but just before he was off KAMRAN somehow persuaded ARTHUR to give him some Trombone assistance with MACK THE KNIFE but was he expecting the hilarious outcome. Returning to sanity PAUL DEARDEN then took us OVER THE RAINBOW and FAIR PLAY gave us a lesson in WHAT'LL WE DO WITH THE BABY before IAN ran off to catch a FREIGHT TRAIN while waving BYE BYE BLACKBIRD. Coming to a great conclusion GED celebrated the JELLY ROLL BAKER before THE HEYES SISTERS again blew us away with HELPLESS HOPING followed by the Spanish Civil War Classic AY CARMELLA to end a truly great evening of music and craic.
A mass invasion of new talent and new listeners swelled our numbers to over 50 as BANJO JOHN went WAITING FOR THE ROBERT E LEE and JOHN CHILCOTT was telling us WALTZING'S FOR DREAMERS just as FAIR PLAY were saying THE LAST GOODBYE. Meanwhile CARL was miles underground chasing BLACK DIAMONDS and KAMRAN was miles away for his OVERSEAS STOMP and ROBIN was up in bonnie Scotland with JOCK O' HAZELDEAN. Thinking of the weather DOROTHY sang about THE SEASONS while PAUL invited us to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE where newcomer ANDREW sang the difficult to understand Jethro Tull song MOTHER GOOSE, good though! JO was next up to break THE SOUND OF SILENCE as DON & HEATHER bid FAREWELL TO THE GOLD in a tribute to Nic Jones who they saw on Sunday before PETE related the sad tale of DARCY FARROW. A poet came next in the form of ALAN THORPE with his cyclists story THE LYCRA BOYS as ARTHUR MARSHALL prepared to tell us about POLONIUS THE BADGER and JIM & LYNN lamented WHEN YOU AND I WERE YOUNG MAGGIE. On a literary note IAN FORSHAW told us what it's like to appear in THE BOOK before old friends and welcome newcomers AILSA & JOHN BOOTH sang their own NO ONE EVER SANG QUITE LIKE "BILLIE" as a fourth debutant, PAUL DEARDEN, unsheathed his guitar to play CAVATINA. Excellent! Climaxing up to the interval BANJO JOHN told us about WHEN I'M CLEANING WINDOWS just as CARL announced Jake Thackray's ON AND ON with the immortal words "I love a good bum on a woman it makes my day" which left KAMRAN with BUCK DANCERS CHOICE.
As we went to the raffle Kath won the wine, Bill won the cups, Alan got the Roses chocolates and yet another newcomer took the biscuits.
Opening up the second half DON & HEATHER led us in chorusing to THE GALWAY SHAWL leaving ANDREW to take us up Donovan's SUNNY GOODGE STREET as KATH & STAN boarded the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND. Last week's newcomer and back again DOROTHY sang the lovely JENNY STORM as IAN strode off in the FIELDS OF GOLD and JIM & LYNN eulogised over the BELLE OF BELFAST CITY. This stirred PAUL to claim the THE SINGING WILL NEVER END as ROBIN pleaded COME HOME PADDY REILLY and PAUL transported us to ASTURIAS courtesy of Isaac Albeniz. AILSA & JOHN then asked us to REMEMBER ME before PETE sang the poignant HURT as ARTHUR cynically reckoned, from the medics point of view, THERE AIN'T NO PROFIT IN THAT. Then DON & HEATHER returned for a third time with the true story of what some girls have to do for a living in DANCES FOR DOLLARS to which quite rightly KAMRAN exclaimed AIN'T WE CRAZY which ANDREW reckoned was strictly for the BLACKBIRD (Beatles). Or maybe LULLABIES LEGENDS AND LIARS claimed ROBIN but with an eye on the clock AILSA & JOHN decided to send us all home to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME as we headed off for DREAMLAND TONIGHT. A superb evening!!
Another half century for the record books as the place filled up last night with 27 listeners and 23 performers kicked off by DON & HEATHER who were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE prompting ARTHUR MARSHALL to say I'LL WALK YOU HOME because it's THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE reckoned JOHN CONDY. After that bright start BANJO JOHN invited John C and A N others to join him in GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY but DOROTHY insisted she was a SINGLE GIRL and PAUL said it's too much HARD TRAVELLING although PETE was sure IT'S ONLY LOVE. Still ROB could take it no longer and took us all ROLLING HOME just as MIKE changed sex to sing TEDDY O'NEILL but IAN TYZACK was into YELLOW HAIR. Now to the countryside DAVID treated us to BLACKBIRD (Beatles) complete with whistles and FAIR PLAY were HEDGERS AND DITCHERS when they found MARK playing a COUPLE OF TUNES and JAN out with a CHARMER. Meanwhile ACCORDIAN JOHN was UNDER THE BRIDGES OF BURY and DAVID was making the case for peace in LONDONDERRY as ED screamed past in THE FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY IN THE WEST. More sedate was IAN in the STREETS OF LONDON and CARL claimed he had NEVER BEEN NEARER TO NETTLES while in the end COLIN found A BETTER PLACE TO BE here in Sale Folk Club hopefully.
Following another bumper raffle FAIR PLAY opened the second half with THE FORSAKEN MERMAID who was dancing to a couple of VIOLIN TUNES by ARTHUR as JOHN BARLEYCORN was getting the "coup de gras" from DOROTHY. Bemoaning the loss of the fishing boats in Fife IAN TYZACK sang about the GUIDING LIGHT AND THE EVENING STAR and in a similar vein JAN, MARK & JOHN C asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES which ROB certainly appreciates when he is COURTING TOO SLOW to DAVID replied THOSE WERE THE DAYS and IAN responded by playing HALF WAY HOME. Getting a bit heavy JOHN C then gave us that great song THE SCARECROW, must do a cover of that. Unlike all the dead soldiers ACCORDIAN JOHN, like a lot of us, could claim to have NO REGRETS just as MIKE was taking off with THE BRENDAN BOYS and ED was setting off to do THE MANCH. In a pensive mood PETE then said THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND and COLIN warned us to beware THE CURSE OF ANNA'S STARE before CARL gave us the toast, HERE'S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY.
To end with a band ARTHUR MARSHALL reckoned he had come ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL to launch his compendium of THREE new CDs whereas MIKE COSGRAVE, who has been here all the time with his CD on which Saturday's guest, John Murphy, found himself playing, chose to end the night with KELLY FROM KILLANE.
The return of MICK HARE with JANICE BELL was greeted by a good sized audience well ready to listen as they took us to THE WILD MOUNTAINSIDE. The only dissenter was GED who said I AIN'T GONNA BE TREATED THIS WAY and BANJO JOHN pleaded CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA before COLIN went back even further with HE BALLAD OF MARY MAGDALENE. We then found it difficult to believe IAN when he played the very difficult KEEP IT SIMPLE by Tommy Emmanuel as we did when JOHN CHILCOTT raved about a SALFORD SUNDAY. It was easier to imagine PAUL RILEY who claimed he was SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD but DON & HEATHER in a whaling fleet with a LITTLE POT STOVE stretched it a bit just as did KAMRAN who told us I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE. Here in England? Impossible! So much so that MIKE COSGRAVE was off lounging on a SUNDAY MORNING SIDEWALK while CARL warned that we might not make OLD BONES and ROBIN explained the background to THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK. Still in the States MICHAEL BRACKEN then sang A FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK in a tribute to Phil Chevron of the Pogues and JUDE gave us the mythical GOSPORT TRAGEDY before ARTHUR MARSHALL gave the even bigger tragedy of how are governed by 17 MILLIONAIRES in the Cabinet.
In the interval we had the usual bumper raffle before, on a happy note, DAVE reminded us of Elton's YOUR SONG and BANJO JOHN reminded us of the girls in Come Dancing with the CHARLESTON but to keep us in check COLIN sang the OCTOBER SONG. Then JANICE & MICK admitted ONCE I LOVED and RICHARD GRAY confessed to having ONE OR TWO FRIENDS while DAVE was still building his CASTLES IN THE AIR but PAUL had the GOOD MORNING BLUES. Not for ARTHUR MARSHALL who was off KISSING THE BLARNEY with JUDE, who had obviously done it before, saying STOP COPYING ME. They're both DESPERADOES WAITING FOR A TRAIN reckoned GED while RICHARD thought they were waiting for the SWEET, SWEET SOUND OF MUSIC but ROBIN, DON & HEATHER warned beware of THE TWA RECRUITING SERGEANTS. In a quieter mood KAMRAN told us SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY but MICHAEL thought she must be JEALOUS OF YOU and IT'S MY NIGHT OUT while MIKE COSGRAVE slipped away on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS with IAN saying he's gone to MISSISSIPPI BLUE. Anyway up ROBIN, DON & HEATHER were convinced that ALL OF THE HARD DAYS ARE GONE but PETE reminded us the DAYS OF '49 when it was tough in the gold rush but ever cheerful MICHAEL swanned off with PEGGY O'NEILL/MY WILD IRISH ROSE and KAMRAN was with SARAH JANE. In true celebratory mood after a great night, ARTHUR then said that after his good life, "Don't dig me a grave just find an empty bottle and POUR ME IN" and in a climax of his own DAVE exposed our naivety in THE COWARD OF THE COUNTY before JANICE & MICK suggested we should all go HOME AGAIN which, well satisfied, we surely did.
A nice balance between audience and performers gave a very satisfying evening hosted by SUE & ED BENTHAM and started as usual with the first available banjo player which was PAUL RILEY singing WAGON WHEEL. Swiftly following KAMRAN quickly applied OVERBECK'S REJUVENATOR which sparked ROBIN into action on the STREETS OF BALTIMORE and sent JO off with a WAYFARING STRANGER. Undeterred JOHN was away with a GALWAY GIRL as ED was saying GOODBYE TO THE SEA and MIKE was explaining AS I RODE OUT I met ARTHUR who said THE ONLY GOOD MUSICIAN is a dead one 6 feet under. This led JAN to speak with forked tongue singing alternate verses in both Welsh and English in BESIDE THE SEA. Then MARK went straight into THE STICKSWOLD HARVEST SONG as CARL was GOING UP THE POOL,MICHAEL was mowing THE ROCKS OF BOURNE and JIM & LYNN were off on THE BLACKPOOL BELLE. In celebration of Sunday's Canal Boat trip ROB then took us off on the THE GOOD SHIP CALABAR as HEATHER & DON confessed they MAY NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS and PETE took off to the RABBIT HILLS. Finally to reach the interval ARTHUR told us of his experiences with COWBOYS in the building trade which all went over JOHN'S head as he told I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.
In the rafle Derick won the wine, Kate got the compass and Pete took away th lephant donated by KAMRAN who immediately started the second half with LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIN. ROBIN then teamed up with HEATHER & DON for a rousing version of JOHNNY COPE followed by ED with IT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS and MICHAEL with the TINKER SONG. In a sombre mood ROB remembered the sinking of the ELLEN VANNIN as CARL skipped off SINGING THE AGES DOWN and MIKE was also serious with YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE. Then PAUL got s all singing with THE BOAT'S UP THE RIVER as did MARK & JAN who promised WE'LL HUNT HIM DOWN, Charles Darwin that is. JEAN then gave us her explanation of the Creation in ADAM & EVE before PETE warned of his own STORM RISING and JIM & LYNN said goodbye to MUIRSHEEN DURKIN and HEATHER & DON prophesied ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE.
Finally, JOHN reckoned we were all like DESPERADOS WAITING FOR A TRAIN or a big finish to the night as MICHAEL told his ALTRINCHAM JCB STORY and PAUL boasted YOUR BABY AIN'T SWEET LIKE MINE to which KAMRAN exclaimed YOU RASCAL YOU. Next MIKE explained the fate of THE LAZY FARMER who wouldn't hoe his corn as ARTHUR explained how he loved his wife JUST BECAUSE and to seal it all HEATHER & DON hinted that it was time to STEAL AWAY.
Newsletter No 246 24 September 2013
After a couple of quieter weeks they filled up every pew last night with MARK & JAN in great form starting us off with a good old singing of FIDDLER'S GREEN followed by PAUL RILEY telling us THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND and CARL CORBETT asking us to MEET ME ON THE CORNER. Sadly KATH & STAN couldn't make it as they were WATERBOUND and neither could KAMRAN because HE'S IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW and DON & HEATHER were up to their eyes in it KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER. Thank goodness for a moment of sanity when COLIN RUDD admitted that FROM THE MOMENT I SAW HER he was smitten before Poet DAVE reminded us of wars with SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS. Next JO skipped off to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR as JIM & LYNN confessed that PEGGY GORDON was their darling and IAN gave us his latest solo guitar interpretation of MOON RIVER. From his country repertoire ROBIN then filled his jug with some WATERMELON WINE as DOREEN celebrated an AUTUMN MORNING before MIKE COSGRAVE took us from GALWAY TO GRACELAND. Still in singing mode DAVE had us all trilling to KING OF THE ROAD before IAN FORSHAW took us SHIPBUILDING with Elvis Costello and DAVID COWE gave us a lesson in relativity with IN TENEBRIS by Thomas Hardy. Fresh and vibrant as ever, RICHARD KNOTT gave us his SCARECROW BLUES as JAN held up the FIERY CROSS to people invading the countryside but thankfully JOHN CONDY was on THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET and JANICE with MICK HARE sang her own autobiographical WHAT DIDN'T KILL ME MADE ME STRONGER to take us up to the interval.
After a whiff of oxygen and a lie down JAN & MARK bemoaned the passing of the THIRTY FOOT TRAILER and COLIN sang how he learned that ILLNESS ISOLATES YOU before IAN took us off to STRAWBERRY FIELDS and CARL was reminiscing about SMALL TOWNS. Poet DAVE contrasted the fortunes in LONDONDERRY while JIM & LYNN saw the whimsical side in the IRISH ROVER as did RICHARD with his philosophy when things go wrong to GO RIGHT BACK AND START OVER AGAIN. Meanwhile DOREEN was still in a DREAM sequence but KATH & STAN were off to OWENSBORO as KAMRAN was warning us about WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS as was ROBIN who questioned, YOU SAY THAT THE BATTLE IS OVER? On a different level JANICE with MICK HARE told us I THINK IT'S GOING TO RAIN TODAY as DAVE explored regrets with EMPTY CHAIRS. DAVID COWE then gave us RIDE MAN RIDE which prompted IAN to come up with FREIGHT TRAIN & BYE BYE BLACKBIRD and PAUL to lead us in RAILROAD BILL. To reach a rousing climax JOHN CONDY introduced us to WARM LOVE and MIKE COSGRAVE sang his own story of MOLLY DARCY before DON & HEATHER explained how they were glad to be back with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL to cap a great night of music and craic.
Newsletter No 245 17 September 2013
Newsletter No 244 10 September 2013
A quieter night but of supreme quality and voted by some as the best we have ever had in Sale Folk Club. The evening was opened by FAIR PLAY singing BYKER HILL after which ROBIN was selling BREAD AND FISHES. Then, accompanied by JOHN CONDY, BANJO JOHN stirred himself to perform a great ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN leaving JOHN to tell us I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS before IAN, with cold hands, played RAG PICKING. Next up PETE told us that THE BLUES RUN THE GAME before, as if through a mist, RICHARD GRAY appeared to sing his own unaccompanied sea shanty, HEAVE AWAY HAUL AWAY when it was time for BANJO JOHN to sing again and he chose I AM BLUE. Coming up on the rails FAIR PLAY then took to their tune book for BUTTERED PEAS and WINSTER GALLOP and ROBIN sang of THE STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN followed by ISOBEL with THE RIGHTS OF MAN. Spinning round at great speed we then came to JOHN CONDY who gave us a lovely performance of BEES WING followed by IAN who both wrote and performed BLUES. PETE then told us I SHALL BE RELEASED followed by RICHARD’S own BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER before JOHN C sweetened us up with HONEY PIE whilst ROBIN and ISOBEL were at THE SPINNING WHEEL. On his third lap BANJO JOHN sang us MAME’S BLUES followed by FAIR PLAY with Graham Mile’s WHERE RAVENS FEED and PETE who gave us his song SUNSET SAYS GOODNIGHT. Then RICHARD GRAY told us about his own experience in Israel with his song ELLEN MORE before IAN finished the first half by performing his own composition THE WOP, as he calls his cat.
In the interval raffle Champagne went to Helen and Andy, the Beer was collected by Heather no doubt for Derrick, the Chocolates went home with Isobel and Pete won the scarf.
Bravely starting the second half, ANN sang the unaccompanied WIDECOMBE after a visit to the Tom Cobleigh Pub, ISOBEL played HEWLETT while IAN was HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE. Now in the mood JOHN C next gave us THE SUNSHINE OF YOUR SMILE followed by two more tunes from FAIR PLAY, BEAR DANCE and HORSES BRAWL. Performing his own composition, RICHARD GRAY was in THE LAST GREAT WAR which for PETE was in the DAYS GONE BY long before ROBIN with JOHN C and great singing from the audience gave us ME AND BOBBY McGHEE. Taking the floor again IAN told us BABY’S COMING HOME and ISOBEL played SALLY GARDENSS CHURCH STREET, BONNY KATE and ANOTHER just as RICHARD became A LINCOLNSHIRE ROVER. Then submitting a complaint PETE told us I AIN’T GOT NO HOME so ROBIN performed the LAST FAREWELL before a request had JOHN C on his feet for Richard Thompson’s PHAROAH. Then FAIR PLAY ended a cosy-friendly evening of staggering quality with the NIGHT VISITING SONG. We were few but performed five songs each and it was GREAT!!
Newsletter No 243 3 September 2013
Another good turn-out greeted hosts ED & SUE who invited FAIR PLAY aka Kath, Stan & Ruth to open the evening with THE WEAVER'S DAUGHTER followed by COLIN who sang one of his best songs THE COAST IS MY COMMANDER and IAN, the finger picking guitarist, who gave us a beautiful interpretation of IT HAD TO BE YOU. Next a good sing along came from JO in the form of BLOWING IN THE WIND and CARL also had us trilling away to Jez Lowe's BLACK DIAMONDS before KATE took the floor with her true story of FOLLOWING A COMPLETE STRANGER at 70 mph up to Lancaster when all she wanted was the pub car park in Fleetwood which had everyone aching with laughter. Another welcome sight and sound was ARTHUR with his own WHERE ARE THE PONIES NOW closely followed by ROB with old favourite GREY FUNNEL LINE and young ROBIN wishing to be a COUNTRY BOY again. LYNN & JIM then stepped up with the WHISTLING GYPSY ROVER and LYNN stayed on to accompany ED with McCALPINE'S FUSILIERS only to be superceded by PAUL'S one man band and THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN with great chorusing. JOAN then related a lengthy story of working for the CAB and Manchester Soup Kitchens, Gay Village and feeding the homeless, followed by her song STREETS OF STOCKPORT with apologies to Ralph McTell This was swiftly followed by KAMRAN with his FISHING BLUES and then IAN FORESHAW, on his second visit to the club, who sang VAN DIEMAN'S LAND and DAVE with BACHELORS' HALL.
Round 2 again had FAIR PLAY on their feet for BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY and ARTHUR came ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL before COLIN observed SHE ALWAYS WORE BLACK. Then PETE, who at first was a shrinking violet, borrowed a guitar for LIGHT MY FIRE which he certainly did as he gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and reminded ED of the WIDOW ON THE MOOR. Picking away on his guitar IAN next had us drifting OVER THE RAINBOW while KAMRAN was off with those BIG ROAD BLUES and DAVE was musing ONE DAY. A rare Beatles song YOU SAY YOU WILL LOVE ME from IAN was short but very sweet which as well with PAUL up next PUTTING ON THE AGONY before LYNN & JIM ran off with THE HIGHWAYMAN.
Round 3 saw ROBIN away to ROCK MY CRADLE followed by FAIR PLAY with DIRTY OLD TOWN and KAMRAN with LAZY DAYS before ARTHUR MARSHALL sent everyone home happy with his all time favourite FENCES to close the evening brilliantly.
Newsletter No 242 27 August 2013
Despite this being holiday week the room filled up quickly with an eclectic mix of performers and audience and we were nearly sending out for more chairs! CARL started the ball rolling with SMALL COVE then JOHN CONDY sang a favourite of many, Mark Knopfler's OUR SHANGRI-LA. Then EDDIE, who we hadn't seen for a while, sang SUNNY AFTERNOON with an unusual and very pleasant classical style accompaniment, and BRIAN, another prodigal returning to the fold entertained us all with the tale of JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN. Swiftly behind came HEATHER McNEILL who was next with a beautiful rendition of Janice Ian's JESSE ably followed by "BANJO" JOHN with a modern song (for him) circa 1929, TIPTOETHROUGH THE TULIPS. Host MARK was then joined by daughter KATHIE, making a last appearance for a while before she leaves to live in Canada next Tuesday, to sing Bob Dylan's LAY LADY LAY followed by ROBIN who sang YOU CAN'T HIDE YOUR LYING EYES. With full audience participation PAUL RILEY then held us with OH SINNER MAN and MIKE COSGRAVE, playing his Weissenborn with the frets only painted on, gave us a superb version of Jay Unger's ASHOKAN FAREWELL. Next up JIM & LYNN, in their own inimitable style, sang a rousing version RING OF FIRE and Poet DAVE CINNAMOND related his currently apt and thought provoking poem, THE BOX (OF WAR) followed by JO with the contemporary AVE MARIA (Beyoncé). COLIN RUDD then came forth with MR TAMBOURING MAN and JOAN then had us all in stitches with her youthful tales of flat sharing in Liverpool and had us all joining in with IN MY LIVERPOL HOME while ROB WHITE, back home from his road trip around North America, headed off to another continent with SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Then it as the turn of co-host JAN to team up with KATHIE for SUMMER WINE followed by ED who presented Kathie with a signed card and gifts from the Club and wished her well on her travels before taking us up to the interval with the hilarious GRANDMA'S FUNERAL.
In the raffle Anne won the Rose wine, Robin took the white wine and lucky Brian the pink chrome cat shaped massager (batteries not included) before PETE kicked off the second half with WILLING, and KAMRAN had TROUBLE IN MIND and GED amused us all with TAKE A WHIFF ON ME extolling some of the benefits of cocaine! He was followed by a brief visit from Poet MARK with his sad teenage narrative AT THE FORK IN THE ROAD and HEATHER McNEILL, with Kathie's impending trip in mind, sang her own wonderful THE MEETING AND THE PARTING SONG, which prompted BRIAN to sing IT'S WONDERFUL. We then went back North of the border with ROBIN and JOCK O' HAZELDEAN followed by CARL with SINATRA AND I, PETE with KANSAS CITY and JIM & LYNN with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Digging deep in his repertoire EDDIE then played two French Canadian tunes LA BASTRANGUE and the GASPE REEL as another farewell to Kathie. PAUL meanwhile was out wandering THE STREETS OF LONDON only to find ROB who was COURTING TOO SLOW. Again sporting his Weissenborn MIKE COSGRAVE then sang A SONG FOR IRELAND and ED alluded to Kathie's desire to work in forestry with THE LOGGER who stirred his coffee with his thumb. JOHN was next with a new song for him, Mark Knopfler's GOLDEN HEART followed by KAMRAN joined by KATHIE for ITCHING HEEL before the TAYLOR CLAN brought a fantastic evening of fun, music, song and poetry to a rousing conclusion with a rendition of SQUEEZEBOX.
Newsletter No 241 20 August 2013
It was almost a full house before KAMRAN & PETE kicked off tonight with PETE taking the lead with the Monkees IF NOT FOR YOU for which LYNN & JIM would have jailed him with the FOLSOME PRISON BLUES which ROBIN thought would make them say GEE BUT IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME. Undaunted our own BANJO JOHN set out with JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO while at home ED was TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM and JOAN told a positive story of facing your fear and doing it anyway by searching for the hero inside yourself. This made IAN all WINDY AND WARM and the TAYLOR ENSEMBLE (Jan, Mark & Kathy) all quiet with HUSH, HUSH but COLIN was sure ANYWHERE'S A BETTER PLACE TO BE to which KAMRAN retorted so WALK RIGHT BACK there with the Everly Brothers. In a sweeter mood JO sang COME KISS ME LOVE and JOHN WILLIAMS came up with JULIETTE which set the scene for MERDY to sing FLOWER OF SCOTLAND and to be presented with gift, a well wishing card and a massive round of applause from everyone at the club who hope to see him when he returns occasionally from his new life over the border. It was then good to see JOHN CONDY again so soon who came forward to sing ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE, another cover version of one of Heather & Don's songs, followed by a young woman deceptively named CHARLIE who appropriately sang MY YOUNG MAN, a cover version of a Kate Rusby song, and it was with some relief that DAVID then performed that great favourite LITTLE MUSGRAVE to bring us up to the interval.
During the interval David had the great fortune to win the wine, John Condy annexed the Chocolates, Heather was welcomed with a bottle of Fizz and Linda won the hand cream.
The second half opened with PAUL singing the WHITEWASH STATION BLUES in his one man jug band style followed by ISOBEL who dedicated CROSSING THE MINCH to Merdy leaving ERIC all by himself by THE SEA which was not a bad place to be. JOHN WILLIAMS then gave us DRIFT while IAN was on THE ROAD BACK HOME which for MERDY is obviously going to be CALEDONIA. Watch out for the HIGHWAYMAN sang JIM & LYNN before up popped young DERRICK to say a few words of thanks for all the good wishes sent to him by the members if the club that have helped him in his recovery. ROBIN was then soon making tracks with the LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL as ED was warning Merdy about the dangers of THE HAGGIS which was a bit more fantasmagorical than THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD sung by DAVID and WOODSTOCK sung by PETE. Shortly before her departure to Canada KATHIE banded up brilliantly with MARK & JOHN CONDY for RUBY TUESDAY and ISOBEL said her goodbyes with HERR ROLLOF'S FAREWELL and PAUL again assembled his Jug Band for some JUG BAND MUSIC. Heading for the big finish the audience deserved JOHN CONDY was DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL followed by JOHN WILLIAMS playing IMAGINE on his Cello Mandolin, KAMRAN who was up that BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN and MERDY to finish us off by singing YOUR FAVOURITE SONG. MEGA BRILLIANT AND ALL THE BEST MERDY!!!!!!
Newsletter No 240 13 August 2013
So full was the house tonight that we had to send for extra chairs. They must have known that FAIR PLAY were the hosts and would start off with the Carter Family’s WILDWOOD FLOWER quickly followed by JOHN CHILCOTT with Gordon Lightfoot’s CHRISTIAN ISLAND and CARL then asking us to MEET ME ON THE CORNER accompanied by John Condy on harmonica. PAUL RILEY then sang THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE followed brilliantly by GRACE & FREYA (Barbara’s Granddaughters) who performed THE CUP SONG with great dexterity and BANJO JOHN who took us back to the Twenties for THE CHARLESTON. Celebrating Ewan McColl, LYNN & JIM then sang DIRTY OLD TOWN followed by Ed bidding IRENE GOONIGHT and ISOBEL playing a tune many remembered but had not heard since childhood THE WHISTLER AND HIS DOG. In band format ANN then sang SUMMERTIME with accompaniment from John Brown and John Condy. ZOE who was visiting us so soon after last time then sang her own latest album title COYOTE WINGS with ADAM telling us of the WAYFARING STRANGER and JOAN telling us a Story and singing a Song of Holidays with her grandchildren. GED DARBY o the contrary sang about HARD LOVE and in the same vein SHELLEY of the Bailey Sisters was solo with a song from Sandra Kerr’s book called PITY ME but straight from his narrow boat ARTHUR MARSHALL could only sing his own song of LOVE AND PEACE. Soon to return to his homeland MERDY said he was TRAVELLING LIGHT as JUDE took off with SAM HALL and MARK ABRAHAM related his poem YR-EIFEL (The Rivals about Three Welsh Hills it transpires) as PETE pleaded for us to look for THE BEST IN ME. Then without hesitation JOHN STERLING performed THE HESITATION BLUES and STEVE LANDAMORE played and sang his own NOT WHAT YOU SEEM before CHARLES sang OLD NED and JOHN CONDY related the buzzword and cliché riddled A MODERN MAN to bring the first half to a conclusion.
We resumed with The Raffle when Jackie took the Mini Boules, Charles won the Wine, Kate got Hand Lotion and Ann collected the Chocolates. A special Star Prize, a beautiful framed embroidery Dream Catcher, was kindly made and donated by Merdy's daughter in thanks for all the good times and support the club members had given to her Dad when he had his hip replacement and won by lucky Alan.
ZOE started the second half with her song AUNT MAXINE which made IAN FORSHAW think of The Beatles SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW and FAIR PLAY to play two tunes BEAR DANCE and HORSES BRAWL. Making his return, KEEP THE CHANGE BOB performed SPORTING LIFE BLUES accompanied by Mark Abraham mimicking the harmonica with his hands and he was amazing!. PAUL then told us of BLACK EYED SUZY leaving PETE to show his HEART OF GOLD followed by LYNN & JIM who related the tale of PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT. Turning to another Beatles song IAN FORSHAW told us I'M ONLY SLEEPING as JUDE said well it is THE 20th OF APRIL and GED said never mind throw A PALLETT ON YOUR FLOOR. Then ISOBEL played BLACK BUSH WALTZ and MIDNIGHT ON THE WATER which prompted STEVE to sing another of his songs ONE MORE STOP and JOHN CONDY to sing SILVER CITY by Joe Ely. Heading to a climax MERDY fittingly told us we were WONDERFUL TONIGHT and he was right, JOHN STIRLING sang that great song MENDACINO leaving ED to have us all amused with THE GROCER AND THE FLY. Finally ARTHUR MARSHALL played one of the first songs he learned BIRD ON A WIRE and then KEEP THE CHANGE BOB finished off the evening with TELL THE OLD BILL to end a brilliant night!!!
Newsletter No 239 6 August 2013
Another great evening of music, verse, song and mirth which was very entertaining for the excellent audience in Sale Folk Club last night. BANJO JOHN opened the night with YOU HAD A DREAM by Miss Etta Butler (1899) which was before everyone's time so we all pretended to know the words and mimed along! ED followed by reclaiming his stolen song ALL THE GOOD TIMES with IAN then playing an American piece by John Standofer called ALMOST HOME as a guitar solo and JIM & LYNN demanding the best chorusing for LONG BLACK VEIL. Close behind then came JO with an unaccompanied version of THE PHOENIX after which ZOE returned to sing us a song about vegetables, NO LOVE TODAY by Chris Smither with some of the unknown vegetables from the USA being queried by the audience at this point! Next we had a real treat when DAVE COWE, who we have known and seen at the club for many years during which he has never before delighted us with his poetry, recited from the early 1900’s DEEP WATER JACK by Cicely Fox Smith. KAMRAN was quick to respond with I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE by The Beatles (1965) and DAVE, with a backing group comprising Kate on Spoons, Ed on Coconut and Joan on a jangling rattle, sang and played a Caribbean number O ISLAND IN THE SUN by Harry Belafonte all of which gave CARL JASMINE IN MY MIND. In a sombre mood COLIN sang his own I WILL WATCH YOU WHEN YOU GO followed by MICK in a lighter frame of mind with DREAMER by Ry Cooder after which he was joined by JANICE for a beautiful rendition of BUTCHER BOY. To relieve the tension in his own inimitable way PETE then told a spectacularly funny joke followed by a Kate McGarrigle song CART LIKE A WHEEL before PAUL encouraged us all to join in with Pete Seeger’s IF I HAD A HAMMER and JOHN CONDY gave us his wonderful version of UNICORNS and the Poet DAVID finished the first round with THE LIGHT-HEARTED MEMORIAL. The second round was also started by BANJO JOHN with MY GAL SAL followed by COLIN with another self-penned number about the solar system STUDENT DAYS and ED with THE GAMBLER. Again having us all singing, JIM & LYNN struck up with THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL with PAUL, who was dressed accordingly, then singing BLACK BOTTOM BLUES and ZOE treating us to a song she had sung at the folk festival in New York when she was up to her knees in water, FALL DOWN AS THE RAIN. Inspired CARL then sang a new and very complicated song, ALICE, before JOHN CONDY was requested to cheer up the evening with a happy song which was not of the wrist-slitting variety and he came up with THE MIGHTY QUINN before being joined by KAMRAN for the superb GUITAR RAG. In the same mood PETE had us ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS after which DAVE moved the whole audience with a quieter Beatles hit, IN MY LIFE and DAVE COWE once again delighted us with a poem this time Charlotte Bailey’s FAR AWAY from Tales From the Inn. To bring us up to the interval IAN, the guitarist, played a very clever TO BE OR NOT TO BE (Chet Atkins) and MICK completed the second round with YOU GOT YOUR TROUBLES I'VE GOT MINE (The Fortunes).
During the break, amidst round 2, we enjoyed the raffle and banter, when Alan won a real bottle of champagne (donated by Barrie & Chris), Helen won a bottle of red wine, Ann won a box of Terry’s All Gold Dark Chocs and Jackie won a box of bathtime beauty to send a good few home happy before round 3 gave us just enough time for a selected few to finish the evening.
CARL & JOHN started by playing a magnificent STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU followed by PAUL who sang OH MARY DON'T YOU WEEP and KAMRAN & JOHN who revved things up with STOLE RIDER BLUES. ZOE then pleased everyone by singing the old favourite LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO FOLD UNDERWEAR followed by COLIN who sang a wonderful SWEET BABY JAMES and MICK who sang the penultimate song FOR EVERY MAN by Jackson Brown which left JIM & LYNN send us into the street humming I'LL TEL MY MA. Magic!!
Newsletter No 238 30 July 2013
A few less than last week but new faces and top quality performances kicked off by DON & HEATHER welcoming people with Allan Taylor's IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU but with BANJO JOHN warning of a STORMY MONDAY we had JO off singing HALLELUJAH. Then we had a nice new duo of LES RENSHAW & JOHN STIRLING who were soon off DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL while newcomer ALAN went all lyrical over LORD FRANKLYN as did MERDY over the PRETTIEST GIRL IN TRURO. Undaunted JIM & LYN were off down to the BELFAST MILL and CARL was off SINGING THE AGES DOWN with JUDE singing the praises of BOLD RILEY. The second banjo of the evening in TONY's hands played THREE TUNES including THE JUNE APPLE before CHARLES told us the unlikely story of how the heiress courted the poor young farmer with THE GOLDEN GLOVE and ROD explained how the ROCKET MAN was lonely out in space, a no brainer really. Next GED was out on the railroad for A DOLLAR A DAY as COLIN told us how he co-wrote LANDSCAPE FIGURES with his friend who sadly died recently before DAVID gave us his take on the SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS. Back for a second JO lamented MY LONELY SON before BANJO JOHN whooped it up with JOHNNY B GOODE and LES & JOHN both said I WISH I WAS IN NEW ORLEANS. Rising to the interval break PETE started with the story of the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY as GED reckoned he would FLIP, FLOP AND FLY when COLIN said he would tell us a GHOST story.
In the raffle Jude took the wine, Anne got the Road Atlas before Jackie won the chocolates and passed them round leaving CARL to direct us FROM THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN and COLIN claiming ANYWHERE'S A BETTER PLACE TO BE (Harry Chapin). Poet MARK then celebrated the cave paintings in Lescaux with BULLS as TONY celebrated getting BACK FROM LONDON with his own tune on the banjo and ALAN returned with SALLY FREE AND EASY. With one from the Who, ROD sang us MAMA'S GOT A SQUEEZEBOX as more traditionally CHARLES related THE GYPSY DAVY and JIM & LYN did the same with MUIRSHEEN DURKIN as did MERDY with BLACK JACK DAVY. On the other hand JUDE was bang up to date with AUNT MARIA by Steve Knightley as PETE set about it with BEAT THE DRUM and MARK was tracing his family tree to lace makers with his own SARAH'S LAMENT. Building up to a big finish GED kindly kicked off with the LAST MINSTREL SHOW which got its own round of applause and LES & JOHN kicked on with PARADISE (John Prine) and TAMP IT UP SOLID so it don't fall out, a mining song. This left COLIN to give us another of his best songs MR BOJANGLES and DON & HEATHER to thank everyone concerned and quietly suggest we all STEAL AWAY.
Newsletter No 237 23 July 2013
Hosts Mark & Jan invited RUTH, KATH & STAN to open with MOONSHADOW as the room filled almost to capacity. On early CARL told the story of the blind pit ponies in GALLOWAYS before MARK sang a new song WHOEVER CHOSE followed by JAN with MOLLIANNWN. Then MERDY was picking bottles of rum from every tree in FIDDLER’S GREEN as BANJO JOHN got those BEALE STREET BLUES leaving DAVE HOWARD with the BALLAD OF LOVE AND HATE. Metaphorically DON & HEATHER were then KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER which ROBIN thought was KILLING ME SOFTLY while ROB was still COURTING TOO SLOW. A welcome visit from HEATHER McNEILL had us all singing CALEDONIA and no wonder JAN commented SHE WILL BE LOVED just before KATHIE played SI BEAG SI MOR. Obviously ROD thought this was a bit of a REVOLUTION but JOAN just said QUE SERA SERA and PAUL had those HESITATION BLUES. Visitor IAN INNES plugged in a tiny amplifier for his solo DON’T KNOW WHERE (Norah Jones) just as PETE took the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE and ED confessed I’VE STARTED LEARNING TO PLAY THE GUITAR. This all gave KAMRAN the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES as JOHN CONDY stomped on TOM PAINE’S BONES being watched by BANJO JOHN who was LEANING ON THE LAMPOST.
Trying to avoid his screaming fans ED kicked off the second half with SHE IS WOMAN and SAM dropped in for JOHNNY B GOODE just as ROD opened up his SQUEEZEBOX. Artistically DAVE HOWARD told us about VINCENT and from WW2 CARL was in the cemetery saying HELLO HANS as JAN gave us a blues version of LAYLA. Coming back IAN INNES asked us to STAY CLOSE TO ME, Tommy Emmanuel inspired, as KATH, RUTH & STAN cheekily dedicated NAUGHTY BABY to the new baby, Jillian and Dolan Daniell's new grandchild!?! At the other end of the scale PETE made the nice observation KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR but ROB was more rustic with the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR as HEATHER McNEILL chased after THE WHITE COCKADE. Next MERDY explained why there can never be two captains in THE BELLE BALLERINA OF THE BAY followed by PAUL telling us what MAMA DON’T ALLOW which had KATHIE with KAMRAN assistance declaring I'm GOING BACK HOME. Heading to a big finish on this bumper night JOHN had THE WHOLE NIGHT SKY to go at but DON & HEATHER went for the SPANISH BURGUNDY while JAN & MARK ended the evening ROLLING MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS and why not?
Still hot outside and with a great bunch of people even hotter inside. KAMRAN & PETE did a brilliant job hosting a perfect evening of music, song and verse with loads of craic.
PETE kicked off in the RABBIT HILLS while JIM & LYNN were in the COTTON FIELDS helping PAUL to look for a TWO DOLLAR BILL. After a hard day in the fields ROB was ROLLING HOME with BRIAN clearly understanding his FEELINGS and MERDY reckoning it was all part of life's rich pattern with MAY THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN. However, JO was off to the CURRAGH OF KILDARE and MIKE was somewhere in CALEDONIA while DON & HEATHER were chilled out with LET YOUR BANJO RING as was BARRY who was saying JUST WALK ON BY. KAMRAN was then extolling the virtues of FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS while TONY was off to the LAKES OF PONCHARTRAIN followed by GED on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and KATHIE expressed her liking for JELLY ROLL. On a serious note ED related the perfidy of the Management in THE GRESFORD DISASTER while JAN idealised the life of the FACTORY GIRL and PETE claimed that it was different DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL. Pretty soon MERDY had REASON TO BELIEVE that JO was soon to hit THE OLD ROAD and leave for home at the interval which was upon us.
A grand raffle saw Jackie win the New Map Book of the UK & Ireland, Heather take the wine home to Derrick, Martin collect the roses for Hilary and Vic win the Sangria before KAMRAN played us a great instrumental DARK WAS THE NIGHT COLD WAS THE GROUND. MARK, the poet who hadn't been for ages, then delighted us with the philosophical poem OUR THOUGHTS ARE FREE but JAN & KATHIE were off ROLLING IN THE DEW and TONY went all political with YOU AIN'T DONE NOTHING IF YOU AIN'T BEEN CALLED A RED. Next JIM & LYNN started off a bout of chorusing with RING OF FIRE followed by BRIAN with DELILAH and ROB with THE OLD PUBS but GED soon put a stop that jollification with EASY IS GETTING HARDER from our favourite Iris DeMent. This made PAUL get out the KEY TO THE HIGHWAY and DON & HEATHER to recall WHEN I WAS A COWBOY OUT ON THE WESTERN PLAINS and for some reason ED to remember a beach incident with the FAT LADY'S BUM. Again serious MIKE took us back to ELLIS ISLAND - Phil Coulter's BALLAD OF ANNIE MOORE who was the first Irish immigrant to the US processed there and MERDY reminded us in another way of the American approach to things with MR PEABODY'S COAL TRAIN as did JIM & LYNN with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. Closer to home Poet MARK gave us his thoughts of Manchester's Central Reference Library with CHERRY ON THE TOP but TONY insisted he was going to RIDE ON before GED announced that he had JESUS ON THE MAINLINE. Undeterred PAUL celebrated the racehorse STEWBALL as DON & HEATHER reminisced about the RARE OLD TIMES and KAMRAN went off in a DREAM and MIKE was off with the WILD COLONIAL BOY to round off a brilliant evening.
We knew it was hot outside when we came in but surprisingly it became even hotter on the inside as lots of highly talented people came to perform in front of our great audience. With some new faces and many occasional visitors it was an excellent mix given a quick stir by DON & HEATHER with the requested STREETS OF LONDON and another twist by JIM & LYNN who introduced us to THE SPANISH LADY. In the CLOUDS were JAN & MARK as PAUL revved up his WHEELS ON FIRE and KATH & STAN were WATERBOUND. IF WISHES WERE FISHES was CARL'S reply as Dave MATHER & Pete ROBINSON from Salford City Radio responded with their excellent BORN & BRED before JOHN CONDY scared the life out of us with THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD. There was then a big welcome back for JONATHAN BEECH who, as usual, surprised us with YOUR SWANKY FLAGGED UP CAR (full of stickers) WON'T GET YOU INTO HEAVEN ANYMORE was followed by JOAN'S equally interesting story of her weekend trip to see THE ROLLING STONES and cheeking her way into a front seat and staying the night in an en suite Homeless Hostal?? Good on yer Joan! This prompted HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS from CHARLES and AT THE END OF THE DAY as JOZEPH, aptly put it, which left JEAN FINNEY saying I'M CONFUSED. To complete the circle ARTHUR MARSHALL sang his own romantic COLD WIND FROM THE NORTH would blow warm: the opposite of hell would freeze over, leaving JIM & LYNN to start a second lap with A MON LIKE THEE followed by MATHER & ROBINSON with another home made WHEN OUR SHIP COMES SAILING IN and DON & HEATHER with THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS to take us to the interval.
In a hectic Raffle Barry was first out with the wine, Jan was a close second for the Shortbreads, Vic snook in third for the Toblerones and Ann was last but not least for the Dark Chocolate Bar before MATHER & ROBINSON were forced to sing THE LONG GOODNIGHT as Pete had to go to pick his wife up in town. Back again with us NORMAN came next with two to catch up, first THE TRICKY QUESTION OF BEDDING A GIRL & second THE GOOSEBERRY TREE before JONATHAN returned with another John Prine song HELLO IN THERE and JOHN & CARL combined to take us through THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE. Obviously to CARL it was a SUMMER BREEZE but for KATH & STAN it was more like 900 MILES as CHARLES insisted we should SAY HELLO AND WAVE GOODBYE but either way PAUL had those SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES so it fortunate that JAN & MARK had lots of LOVE AND HAPPINESS. A history lesson came next from JEAN who explained the execution background to ORANGES AND LEMONS but for JOZEPH it was enough YOU BROKE MY ACHING HEART and for ARTHUR heading for his narrow boat trip his thoughts were on THE NIGHTINGALE.
Coming into the final straight JIM & LYNN sang I'M AN ORDINARY MAN before JONATHAN drove us all instrumental with his WINDY AND WARM and KATH & STAN were still chasing that BANJO PICKIN' GIRL. Picking up the pace JOHN & CARL pinched the Beatles great version of NORWEGIAN WOOD while JOZEPH insisted we DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY before ARTHUR put us all to bed with his brilliant FENCES and a fabulous evening came from nowhere and blew us all away.
Another great mix of old and new faces all sporting loads of talent before an equally excellent audience. Opening with old favourite DON & HEATHER reminded us of the tragic life of MARILYN MONROE before ROB shot off on the GREY FUNNEL LINE and JIM & LYNN rushed off crying I'LL TELL MY MA. Next DAVID from Rochdale related the story of GEORDIE with KAMRAN having the CANDY MAN BLUES which prompted PAUL to come up with WALKING MAN also inspired by hearing Seasick Steve at Glastonbury. In response PETE offered up his own LOVE SONG whereas JAN turned to Sam Sparrow's BLACK AND GOLD as DOREEN went into her garden and confessed of all her plants, I JUST CAN'T REMEMBER THEIR NAMES. In response to Jan's artistry we then turned to EDDIE, another man who plays all the right notes in the right order, and he rolled out THE SAILOR'S HORNPIPE and two others in fine style followed by POET DAVID who was wildly requested to do his DEAD DOG SCRUMPY all of which left JANICE admitting I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR. We certainly had found what we were hoping for when we saw MICK HARE walk into the room and when he sang WAITING HERE FOR EVERYMAN it brought the house down. CHARLES then told us of when I DREW MY SHIP ACROSS THE HARBOUR and MIKE COSGRAVE conducted an experiment with new song ROOTS by Steve Knightley before KEN sang Don McLean's O MY WHAT A SHAME. Heading in to the interval ARTHUR had us in tucks with POLONIUS THE BADGER as did ED with Les Barkers story of THE THREE BEARS before DON & HEATHER had everyone singing with the DIAMANTINA DROVER.
In the raffle Alan won the wine, Ken took the chocolates and Doreen walked away with the biscuits before MIKE had us back in tune with THE CURRAGH OF KILDARE. For KEN it felt like THE WEEK BEFORE EASTER but for CHARLES it was like CLOSING TIME (Leonard Cohen) as EDDIE took flight with some O'CAROLAN TUNES, SI BHEAG SI MHOR and two more. Next PETE gave us the punchy HEY JOE, what you gonna do with that gun in your hand, before JANICE with MICK told us about THE DARK EYED SAILOR and PAUL said the sky's the limit WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS and the same was true for DOREEN about the Cornwall she talked of in OCEANS. Seafarer ROB then related the tale of the ELLEN VANNIN as KAMRAN confessed he was GOING TO BROWNSVILLE and JIM & LYNN were off on THE IRISH ROVER. More traditionally DAVID was away with THE HIGHWAYMAN as ARTHUR unsheathed his concertina for MRS McGARRITY'S LAST DANCE and JANICE & MICK were HOME AGAIN. This reminded JAN that WHEREVER I HANG MY HAT THAT'S WHERE I CALL HOME and PAUL wished us all the best with MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU as JIM & LYNN chased after THE MOUNTAIN DEW. Returning DAVID then sang Janis Ian's best song AT SEVENTEEN which nicely set up MIKE to lead us to the door with THE RARE OULD TIMES. Mega.
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