June 2013

Newsletter No 233 25 June 2013 

By 8-00pm a good number of artists had arrived including one or two previously seen only occasionally as ROBIN agreed to start the evening with A PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which made DAVID think of his poem FROM A DISTANCE. For some reason this made PAUL feel DARK AS THE DUNGEONS as FAIR PLAY, aka Ruth Kath & Stan, departed from their usual song and dance routine with two tunes, THREE AROUND THREE and WINSTER GALLOP, played with Fiddle, Whistle & Mandolin before PETE wanted TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Next up JO sang SALLY FREE AND EASY with chorusing from the audience before BANJO JOHN asked IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT DIXIE? which prompted JIM AND LYNN to tell us I’VE GOT STRIPES. Then CARL with his own composition confessed that he was ALL AT SEA which was appropriate since GORDON who was again visiting us from Withernseaon the East Coast decided on the unaccompanied THE GREY FUNNEL LINE. GED then told the BOOMERS STORY just as MERDY was becoming all philosophical with WHEN THESE SHOES WERE NEW leaving newcomer DAVID HOWARD to sing KIT'S TUNE, the Martin Simpson version of WHEN A KNIGHT WON HIS SPURS.  Also in serious mood ED related BOB DYLAN'S DREAM to which ROD replied TAKE IT EASY (Eagles) and BANJO JOHN reckoned he was ready for bed with MR SANDMAN. Another self-penned then came from RICHARD KNOTT who sang his song simply called THE BLUES as CHARLES prepared to tell us he was GOING TO THE MINE and PETER gave us his song WHERE THE TRAINS GO BY. Keeping up the quality, PAUL mourned for ANGELINA BAKER before CARL went to one of his favourites Jez Lowe for THE SMALL COAL SONG and GORDON, not to be outdone, responded with THE COALTOWN ROAD. Finally GED asked LORD PLEASE SEND ME and ROBIN finished off the first half with THE GREENLAND FISHERIES.

The Raffle had a plethora of prizes with a Bottle of wine each to Roselynne & David Howard, a good leather instrument strap (donated by John Brown) to Merdy, Chocolates to Lynn, Richard Knott's new CD to Heather and Sue getting a watering can with seeds. 

The second half set sail with ROD starting in the DOCK OF THE BAY followed by IAN, using a small Amp., who played FREIGHT TRAIN and BYE BYE BLACKBIRD and JIM & LYNN who gave us THE RARE AULD MOUNTAIN DEW. FAIR PLAY again rose with AIN’T NO SWEET MAN followed by CHARLES who had us all singing with BYKER HILL before MERDY talked of LEAVING LONDON. PETE then reminisced about SOMEONE LIKE YOU and PETER had us laughing with THE BALLAD OF SARAH & GUY, written for a friend's wedding, which somehow prompted ED to sing I GOT STONED & I MISSED IT. Not surprising really. Really in the groove RICHARD KNOTT then sang Guy Clark's THE CAPE which had DAVID HOWARD saying he was HUNGRY FOR HOME and CARL being requested to treat us again to Jake Thackray's ON AGAIN ON AGAIN. Coming nicely to a climax IAN next played HERE, THERE & EVERYWHERE followed by ROBIN who gave us THE LAST FAREWELL and GED who confessed I LOVE MY LOVING. Still rising ROD went off on THE SLOOP JOHN B and MERDY complained THEN SHE TOUCHED ME before ED took us to the end of the night with his great version of WHIP JAMBOREE. What a cracking night!! 

Newsletter No 232 18 June 2013  

Well, SUE thought it was a brilliant night last night but she is never biased and all the new visitors were of the same opinion and there were plenty of them, particularly in the audience. In fact, there were hardly any regulars in for the singaround since the previous week Zoë had announced that she had a gig somewhere in Manchester this Tuesday so it seems some of our regulars supported that instead! As it happens it didn’t matter a jot as a new set of talent came to entertain us and they certainly did that.

 commenced the evening with two numbers, BAY OF BISCAY and then BLACK WATERS followed by MIKE COSGRAVE'S brilliant Hawaiian guitar when he played and sang SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN. Returning again from pre-Christmas, JOHN CHILCOTT then sang and played a wonderful version of Gordon Lightfoot’s COTTON JENNY but he was only able to stay through the first half so this was, unfortunately, the only treat we were allowed from John. JOHN WILLIAMS, who had been to the club once before when Mark and Jan were running the evening, returned again with his wife, ALLANNE, and he sang and played guitar and gave us a beautiful rendition of Ralph McTell’s – MARY FROM DUNGLOE and THE SETTING before KAMRAN was his usual talented self with THINGS THAT MATTER followed by JAN who got up to sing a brand new piece for her, a beautiful – NOW WESTLIN' WINDS by Robert Burns. ED then interrupted the procedure at this point and preceded his song by lecturing on annunciation before singing RED-HEADED ANN or should it have been REDDEADEDANNE? Unfazed PAUL then encouraged us all to join in his popular HOW LONG BLUES as JO came forward to sing an unaccompanied TO MY YOUNGEST SON by Mary Black. She was hopeful that we would all join in with her but no-one seemed to know it. Next Famous ARTHUR MARSHALL came ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL and his journey was certainly noisy before MARK sang a JUG OF PUNCH and we were treated to an absolutely superb self-written FREEFALLING by newcomer GARY who had come along with John and Allanne Williams. Luckily, PETER returned for a second week on the run and also gave us a self-penned number BLUE BEDROOM which was definitely something to write home about before DAVE & SUE also returned to the club again to play and sing a very unusual and lesser known SALTY DOG by Procol Harum to conclude the first round.

Again taking to the floor JOHN WILLIAMS then gave us a very memorable ONCE AROUND THE LAKE and equally memorable were FAIRPLAY with the familiar BEAUTIUL by Barney E Warren as MIKE COSGRAVE tuned up for THE LAKES OF PONCHARTRAIN accompanied by his Hawaiian guitar. PETER once more impressed us with THE BEAT RAN WILD and we wondered if this was related in any way to his first song Blue Bedroom as JAN complied with a request to sing LAWR AR LAN Y MOR and write the title in her own native tongue. We could at least understand the kissing part and not surprisingly PAUL was inspired to come up with the excellent CAROLINA CHOCOLATE BOX. Then SUE decided to sing FAITHFUL EMMA a cappella to which KAMRAN could only respond brilliantly with HONEY WHERE YOU BEEN and GARY was also outstanding with his IS HIS REAL? Not to be outdone MARK encouraged us all to join in with his LITTLE RED ROOSTER to which ED replied with his very appropriate BANTAM COCK, which was enough to put a smile on everyone's face, and taking a hint. ARTHUR MARSHALL then had us in fits of laughter with his very amusing QUORN, a hunting song with mention of Linda McCartney! DAVE then finished the second round with Richard Stilgoe’s CATCH THE WIND. This left just had enough time for a few performers to entertain us with a third song before the end of the evening, so MIKE started with THE DUBLIN MINSTREL followed by KAMRAN who amused us with his dedicated love song IF YOU WANT ME TO LOVE YOU and GARY sang a great MR LONELY TIMES. Keeping up the momentum JOHN WILLIAMS sang WISTERIA by Richard Shindell and PETER took a quick COFFEE ON THE RUN before ARTHUR MARSHALL was to receive many requests to sing one from his repertoire in Saturday Night’s Concert so we could all join in with his hysterical WILL YOU GLOW DAISY GLOW?

With all the visitors reiterating what a fabulous evening they had enjoyed and all threatening to return in the not too distant future, which was a very good sign, we shall have to send for extra chairs next time.

Newsletter No 231 11 June 2013 

Mark and Jan hosted a memorable and entertaining evening which produced a fine quality of music and song from all who performed to our appreciative audience! There was a good turnout even though many people were away, perhaps taking advantage of the recent bout of excellent summer weather. 

PAUL RILEY started us off with DRIFTIN' BLUES and then COLIN RUDD sang his fine version of Dylan's classic MR TAMBOURINE MAN. JAN next sang WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES accompanied by MARK on guitar with RICHARD SAILS then regaling us with a most amusing tale in the song BUTTER AND CHEESE. KAMRAN in contrast chipped in with SALLY WHERE'D YOU GET YOUR LIQUOR FROM and then JOHN BROWN was accompanied by several others jamming along with the ST. LOUIS BLUES to fine effect! IAN, a second time visitor and first time performer at Sale, guitar picked his way through a very melodic self penned piece called THE WHOP (which I understand is the name of his pet cat); his friend, DAVE HOWARD, with similar antecedents then gave us the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and there was a comment passed that is was great to hear it performed properly which produced a giggle!. ROD was then SITTING IN THE DOCK OF THE BAY, apparently about a Coastguard monitoring shipping, followed by ED who was next up with DON'T ASK (about the eggs and the cash in the loft) followed by CARL who then sang a great version of James Keelaghan's SINATRA AND I and then MARK and daughter KATHIE then played a lovely duet, SPANISH CLOAK, with Kathie on flute and Dad on descant recorder! Then we were fortunate to be able to welcome ZOE MULFORD, fresh from being spotted playing washboard in a session with Tom Doughty, Graham Bellinger and Andy Anderson at Wirral Folk Festival on Sunday and prior to the UK launch of her new album, Coyote Wings, at the Village Folk Club, Taurus Bar, Canal Street on the 18th June who sang a new song, SPEAK OF ME. After this ROBIN then sang a favourite of many, Alan Bell's fine song BREAD AND FISHES, and Charles followed with Jez Lowe's LONDON DANNY followed by MIKE COSGRAVE, back from his trip across the Pond, who sang CARRICKFERGUS and second time visitor to the club, PETER KING, brought the first round to a close with John Denver's ANNIE'S SONG. Then Mark and Jan hadn't lined any one else up next so, despite ED pointing frantically at John Brown, he was chosen next and sang JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO in his own inimitable style. BANJO JOHN was indeed up next and sang a modern song, by his standards, Kay Star's 1954 ROCK AND ROLL WALTZ and a surprised ROBIN was asked next but, despite suffering from encroaching toothache, gave us the fine song, THE BATTLE IS OVER before RICHARD SAILS was again in fine voice with the WIDOW OF WESTMORLAND'S DAUGHTER taking us up to the interval. 

The raffle took place and the first ticket picked out by Jan had been bought by daughter Kathie who promptly snaffled the whisky, (not a fix) the next number drawn was that belonging to the Taylor's, (no, really, it's just coincidence) and so it was redrawn and the choccies were won by Carl and serial raffle winner, Martin, won the Maltesers! (The choccies and Maltesers were shared, the whisky was not)!

JAN AND MARK then kicked off with Jez Lowe's WE'LL HUNT HIM DOWN and COLIN RUDD was then a DESPERADO followed by IAN who excellently picked his way through a CHET ATKINS TUNE (he couldn't remember what is was called probably due to the distraction of the choccies being passed around whilst his hands were full! PAUL RILEY was then in skiffle mood with a rocky version of the GOLDEN VANITY and CHARLES was WALKING THE LONG MILES HOME before ROD kept us rocking on with JUMPING JACK FLASH. ZOE then sang another of her new songs HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN with ISOBEL already warmed up o play two tunes, DUSTY MILLER and WILLAFJORD and RICHARD GRAY sneaking in after the interval to sing a HARD YEAR FOR MANY. DAVE HOWARD was up next with Louden Wainwright's WHITE WINOS and this was followed by KAMRAN and KATHIE renewing their partnership for DO RIGHT BY ME. PETER KING was then THE BOXER followed by MIKE COSGRAVE with YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAND ALIVE and CARL who gave a lovely rendition of HERE'S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY. To round off an excellent evening JAN & MARK went recruiting for THE BLUE COCKADE.  

Newsletter No 230 4 June 2013 

Another great night hosted by KAMRAN & PETE and kick started by PETE who was WILLING and BANJO JOHN who certainly wasn't reluctant as ANNE joined him for I COME FROM ALABAMA WITH A BANJO ON MY KNEE. Next ROBIN threatened I'M GOING TO BE A COUNTRY BOY AGAIN but CARL was off digging for BLACK DIAMONDS which FAIRPLAY claimed was IT'S THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. Some would disagree. JO then told us T LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE which ED claimed was ON THE SIDE OF A HILL near to SAMMY'S BAR reckoned newcomer NORMAN. Definitely A MODERN MAN reckoned JOHN CONDY as KAMRAN took off with THE UNIVERSE SONG which gave GED DARBY the DEEP ELLUM BLUES. Not to be confused GED GASKELL suddenly unfurled a tune of his own followed by A DORSET FOUR HAND REEL to end the first round. Rising again FAIRPLAY immediately took a CENSUS as BANJO JOHN took off to THE RED RIVER VALLEY as JO wandered over to THE SCARBOROUGH FAIR. THE LODGER, however, was on CARL'S mind as we came up to the break.

The usual socialising and raffle saw Pete take home a bottle of wine as did Anne and Helen grab some nice soap before PETE took everyone ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER followed by GED GASKELL with THE BALLAD OF SPRINGHILL (McColl) and NORMAN with a TIN OF SARDINES. THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE was then traversed by JOHN in the company of CARL but ROBIN was solitary along THE ROAD TO DUNDEE before GED DARBY gave us his FRAY BENTOS SAGA to which KAMRAN retorted that's NOBODY'S DIRTY BUSINESS. Then GED GASKELL gave us THE PLAINSMAN as ED returned to confess I MISS MY MIND THE MOST. FAIRPLAY were then off to South America for EL CONDOR PASA and CARL was SAFE IN THE HARBOUR (Bogle) and NORMAN was up in BOLTON'S YARD. PETE then had everyone chorusing with CORRINA CORRINA as did ROBIN with COME BACK PADDY REILLY and JOHN with THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. All KAMRAN could reply was NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU 'RE DOWN AND OUT which gave GED DARBY the BIG LEG BLUES to which ISOBEL responded with HEWLETT and to sum it all up ED told us that ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE as we left to get on with our lives.


May 2013

Newsletter No 229 28 May 2013

Slowly but surely the place filled up with DON & HEATHER first being requested to sing FLOWERS ON THE WATER in celebration of the life of Heather & Derrick Kenyon's friend in Corfu. BANJO JOHN then lifted the mood with a join in SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES only for it to become serious again with STEVE'S own WHEN YOU LEAVE A GIRL before MIKE COSGRAVE told us the uplifting story of the surprise birth in his family of the WONDER CHILD. Still on an upper JAN & MARK were off whale hunting on THE BONNIE SHIP THE DIAMOND but JUDE was more at home with BONNIE SUSIE CLELAND while KAMRAN was curious as to WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT. ROD, however, could only retort BUT YOU WEAR IT WELL as ROBIN reminisced about OLD DOGS & CHILDREN & WATERMELON WINE leaving JIM & LYNN to leg it with the HIGHWAYMAN chased by ISOBEL's 100 PIPERS. CARL then came up with Gerry Rafferty's NIGHT OWL and POET DAVID combined THE WHITE PRINCESS & THE LIGHTHEARTED MAIDENS in his celebration of Ireland before DAVE hit the nail on the head with IF I HAD A HAMMER. Again in serious mood ED sang Keith Marsden's CITY LAMENT as GED became more fanciful with FIDDLER'S GREEN and just when we thought he wouldn't PETE did with I AIN'T GOT A HOME IN THE WORLD ANYMORE leaving BANJO JOHN to tie up the first half with BYE BYE BLACKBIRD.

Much socialising and a big raffle later saw the wine go home with Jude, the chocs and shortbreads smuggled out by the two Jackies and Sue take off with the room perfume. Then starting seriously again DON & HEATHER told their story of the STREET CHILD as MIKE went on with A BRIGHT BLUE ROSE from favourite Jimmy McGovern and STEVE sang his recently recorded THE DRIVER. We didn't believe that KAMRAN could be MY FUNNY VALENTINE but he certainly could if JIM & LYNN could be GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY. ROD was sure it was all down to a TEQUILA SUNRISE as JUDE grounded us all with Dylan's half inched GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY and JAN & MARK plagiarised ON ILKELY MOOR B'AT HAT to the House of the Rising Sun. With Manchester City just having defeated Chelsea twice on tour PETE had to go with BLUE MOON but ROBIN's comment was that IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN and CARL delivered the lesser known ALICE from the pen of Jez Lowe. Still with Jimmy McGovern and having told us he used to be a jockey MIKE then sang RIDE ON but where ED got the FAT LADY'S BUM from we shall never know but certainly JIM & LYNN got the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES from Johnny Cash and DON & HEATHER ended a very enjoyable night with The McCalman's very appropriate LAY DOWN THE BORROWED GUITAR. 

Newsletter No 228 21 May 2013

The weekend atmosphere carried into Tuesday as ROBIN & HEATHER KENYON coaxed some great music, song and craic from the many talented performers who entertained a packed house in excellent style. ROBIN started the ball rolling with JOCK O' HAZELDEAN just as ED was climbing up into his IVORY TOWER and FAIRPLAY were shooting off to OWENSBOROUGH. That didn't stop ROB sailing off to SOUTH AUSTRALIA but STEVE was more reticent with WHENEVER THAT MAY BE. On a jolly footing GED DALE treated us to  LIVERPOOL JUDIES to which BRIAN retorted IMAGINE before on his very welcome return GED gave us the saga of BARBRY ALLEN. With another of his gems ARTHUR told us about hearing THE NIGHTINGALE and MERDY extolled the virtues of the CONNEMARA COAST but JO warned us that HARD TIMES can be just around the corner. Then in celebration of Sunday's boat trip PETE ROBERTS was of a mind to sing BARGES but LYNN & JIM decided on a trip on the BLACKPOOL BELLE before BARRY blew everyone away with his debut song CALEDONIA. CHARLES then surprised us with the rare DOWNEASTER ALEXA as did DON & HEATHER with their own ROMANY JACK and ARTHUR with another one of his finest ALMOST ROMANCE. As we rolled towards the interval we heard PETE's tale of drowning his sorrows in MADAM WHISKY with GED DALE trying to cheers him with THREE RUSTY SWORDS & DUSTY MILLER and ROB giving another solution with the LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL.

A bumper raffle in the break saw Ann & Mike win the Wine, Alan take the Perfume, Bob win a Club T-shirt, Arthur grab the chocolates and Isobel get the mystery prize before ED kicked off again with the send up of MORRIS DANCERS. Now warmed up ISOBEL triple tongued around the RABBIT MAN & HENRY'S CAT but FAIRPLAY were off on the GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL while to a tumultuous reception BARRY took us WALKING ON SUNDAY. BRIAN could only reply it was SOMETHING and STEVE's response was that it certainly is a BEAUTIFUL WORLD as MERDY went off to see it with LEATHER ON MY SHOES. On a different plain GED was off WORKING ON THE RAILROAD for a dollar a day as PETE warned HERE COMES THE SUN to which DON & HEATHER replied it's the same for the DIAMANTINA DROVER. In their own inimitable style LYNN & JIM then sang the SPANISH LADY and ISOBEL wrapped fingers around DANNY BECK & the ROPE WALTZ before the FAIRPLAY Band explained there's NO TELLING what a love song can do. ARTHUR was more blase in reckoning it could be a TRICK OF THE LIGHT as ED threatened TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT as ROBIN, DON & HEATHER to us to a big finish with MINGULAY & THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. A great night! 

Newsletter No 227 14 May 2013

ROBIN, DON & HEATHER were certainly not singing to a room full of NO HOPERS, JOKERS & ROGUES when they opened the evening for MIKE COSGRAVE to keep it lively with MICK RYAN'S LAMENT and BANJO JOHN to invite everyone to band up for ME & BOBBY McGEE. PETE then took us back to SHOWER THE PEOPLE (James Taylor) and ROB invited us to PULL DOWN LADS as the circus took down the tent and moved on as CARL contemplated ALOYSIUS Jez Lowe's dog that didn't bark. JO next reckoned THE CARNIVAL IS OVER and JUDE even more seriously warned MAIDS WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG never wed an old man before ED's  LIVERPOOL LULLABY warned of the consequences of a intemperate relationship. PAUL then took off but got the FISHING BLUES while ARTHUR wallowed in WHISKY, BEER, BRANDY & GIN, his latest You Tube offering and COLIN said GOODBYE MOMMA GOODBYE TO YOUR TEAPOT. Just as he walked through the door MIKE stayed on his feet to give his TRIBUTE TO ALEX BARRASS and ROBIN, DON & HEATHER rose to theirs in tribute to the RAMBLING BOY while BANJO JOHN remained seated for Fats Waller's AIN'T MISBEHAVING & WHEN SOMEBODY THINKS YOU'RE WONDERFUL. On a harder note PAUL urged DRILL YE TARRIERS DRILL whereas ROB gave us a glimpse of matrimonial negotiations with COME WRITE YE DOWN and JUDE, in celebration of her father who lived to 97, shared I THINK I MUST HAVE CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN. Not surprisingly PETE swore to spend his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH coming to Sale Folk Club before equally surreally ARTHUR hilariously celebrated SHORT SHIPS as against tall ships.

In the interval we celebrated some excellent new chips and in the raffle Helen and Jude took home bottles of wine and Marian got the chocolates as CARL reminded us of Pete Morton's songwriting skills with FURTHER. In the same class COLIN gave us his own take on FOXHUNTING before MIKE celebrated THE SACRIFICE OF YOUNG JAMES KEOGH and many others who died in the Spanish Civil War. ED, however, gave us some practical advice with THE GAMBLER and MIKE COSGRAVE reminisced about PADDY'S GREEN SHAMROCK SHORE as did ROB with FRED THE SLUG. We were a bit surprised when PETE insisted TONIGHT I'M STAYING HERE WITH YOU and even more surprised when JUDE explained summer is a coming in with HALANTOE but not so when MIKE explained there is JUST ONE (passenger) TRAIN TO DENTON in order to satisfy the regulations to keep the line open for freight. In different transport ROBIN, DON & HEATHER set sail on THE ERIE CANAL whereas CARL hallucinated with the MAGICAL SKY he once saw before COLIN demanded a week of RIO FERDINAND'S WAGES to make better use of. MIKE COSGRAVE then mused over the view through MY GRANDFATHER'S EMIGRANT EYES as did ED over a potential visit to the Queen with MONDAY 'ER DOES ALL 'ER WESHING before ARTHUR gave us the climax we deserved with his own very funny TRUE STORY OF WINNIE THE POOH and WE COULD WALK FOR EVER before our eyes were even dry. Magic!! 

Newsletter No 226 7 May 2013

A great evening starting on a high and finishing even higher as hosts FAIRPLAY (Kath & Stan) led us off with BANJO PICKING GIRL as MIKE COSGRAVE quickly took us off to a LITTLE TOWN IN KERRY, his own composition about a place he loves, and DON & HEATHER said you might as well take a FREIGHT TRAIN. JIM & LYNN decided to take along PEGGY GORDON and BANJO JOHN said what about LITTLE OLD WINE DRINKER ME and MERDY adamant about taking BONNIE BESSY LOGAN. This nicely set up the brilliantly original newcomer MICHAEL BURNS for his own tribute to the TAMESIDE LADS and COLIN to reflect on A BETTER PLACE TO BE when you are lonely (Harry Chapin) as PAUL set off GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD. On a brighter note RICHARD SAILS gave many reasons why he fancied OLD BROWN’S DAUGHTER before JOHN CONDY cooled him down with OCCADIAN DRIFTWOOD and STEVE contributed his own thoughts with TINY LITTLE BOX. EDDIE treated us to a guitar solo MARGARET’S WALTZ from The Shetlands and ROBIN exposed the cynicism in America with NOW THE BUFFALO’S GONE by Buffet St Marie and DAVE SLATER revealed the true story of the mill workers in THE BOLLIN VEIL. CARL was also critical of the Beeching Plan in his wistful THE 1710, one of the trains on a condemned line. Then, all the way from Leicester, SUE & DAVID pleaded DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE (Leonard Cohen) to which BANJO JOHN replied THAT’S AMORE. COLIN was then that SUNSHINE SUPERMAN as PAUL related the events behind the BLACK VELVET BAND and MIKE COSGRAVE explained how people can be raped by work with YOU’LL NEVER LEAVE HARLEM ALIVE.

After a great raffle was the springboard for SUE & DAVID, who didn’t win anything, to plead BUDDY CAN YOU SPARE A DIME and MERDY to go off to sea with HAUL AWAY MY LADDIE-O, an Archie Fisher song, before CARL gave us a cracking rendition of the all time great BAKER STREET. FAIRPLAY came back to us WAYFARING STRANGER leaving MICHAEL BURNS to take us off to a funeral with his own Oh MARIE as JOHN CONDY & CARL set off on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. RICHARD SAILS was next busy MOWING THE MEADOW, allegorically speaking, and JIM, without and with glasses, & LYNN took off after the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN before EDDIE celebrated May with the tune HASTE THE MAYPOLE. STEVE then insisted it is WHO I AM followed by ROBIN who sang ROCK MY CRADLE made famous by Jimmy Rodgers before DON & HEATHER raised us up with the Club’s Anthem CHILD OF MERSEYSIDE (Up Sale!!) COLIN, however, was insistent on warning us of THE CURSE OF ANNA’S STARE and MERDY was bemoaning the plight of THE DEPORTEES before EDDIE had us up and dancing at MARIES’S WEDDING & to the DASHING WHITE SERGEANT. MICHAEL again regaled us with another of his creations IMMIGRANTS TO DURHAM before JOHN CONDY headed us to a finish with WILD MOUNTAIN THYME and DON & HEATHER took us to the airport as we were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE.

April 2013

 Newsletter No 225 30 April 2013

Another great party night, this time for Ann, was brilliantly organised by ED & SUE who launched the evening with BANJO JOHN who started out with the Sheik of Araby followed by RICHARD KNOTT who played and sang a song from his new album Reboot, which will be available next week, COMING BACK FOR MORE and the tracks are available at PAUL then came up to sing CORRINA CORRINA and ROB sang COURTING TOO SLOW accompanied by peals of laughter when he arrived at his ‘clapped’ part. We then had a new singer and guitarist whom Jo brought along. He was GERRY, a relative of hers and a first-time visitor to our club, and he sang a song about a football match between the English and German soldiers during the First World War, CHRISTMAS EVE 1914. COLIN was in anti-religious mode when he sang STAND UP FOR JUDAS and PETE kept the miserable theme going by singing HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and ROD sang WILD HORSES written by The Stones. Fortunately JIM & LYNN cheered us all up in time with THE IRISH ROVER and KAMRAN continued the fun and games by making us join in with electrical sounds during the chorus of OVERBECK'S REJUVENATOR, which was self-penned. We were now in the mood and  we all joined in with gusto with JO and almost drowned her out in WE SHALL OVERCOME. ROBIN then sang STREETS OF BALTIMORE and JEAN treated us once again to NORMANDY ORCHARDS before finally ED dedicated his song NOW YOU'RE KNOCKING SIXTY to ANN and we took the opportunity of compensating her for that embarrassment by giving her a beautiful bouquet of flowers from all her friends at the club.

 At this point we had a break to celebrate Ann’s birthday by eating chips and sandwiches and conducting the raffle before BANJO JOHN commenced the second round with BILL BAILEY. PETE then came KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR and PAUL sang BOTTLE OF WINE followed appropriately by LIFE WILL GET YOU IN THE END from KAMRAN. COLIN had repented by this time and astonished us by singing a very religious WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS before JEAN told us about her wonderfully talented father who made an attempt at everything, even knitting and sewing, in her own song MY DAD. This prompted ROBIN to roll out his SPINNING WHEEL and GERRY to delight us again with ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN which we all knew and sang along with as RICHARD sang another from his new EP called ZERO. JO stayed later tonight and unusually sang a second number COME KISS ME LOVE and ISOBEL arrived just in time to play a lovely slow tune THE LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR as ED set out to exercise our laughing tackle with RICKETY TICKETY TINROB then took us up to GRANDDAD'S ATTIC leaving ROD to have us all singing along with his blast from the past, RUN-AROUND SUE which just left enough time to start a third round but unfortunately not fit everyone in before the close. ISOBEL started the round as she hadn’t had a second turn and played an extremely fast tune STOMACH STEINWAYMAN, very tricky. PETE came up and gave us FRIENDS, KAMRAN sang STONE RIDER BLUES and RICHARD sang GUESS IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE written by Paul Anka which was another blast from the past and set all the oldies singing again. In the same vein ROD continued the vintage theme with BAD MOON RISING and JEAN tickled us with her very funny LA DI DAH as did ROB with a Trevor Morton favourite MILL OUTING. Finally a great party night was closed on a high by JIM & LYNN with MOUNTAIN DEW. Happy Birthday Ann!! 

Newsletter No 224 23 April 2013

St. George's day saw a good turnout for the weekly sing around at in Sale Folk Club and Hosts Mark and Jan did a great job in presenting a good eclectic mix of contributions. In the absence of dragons to slay JIM & LYNN kicked off with 40 SHADES OF GREEN and then MARK lamented the virtually complete disappearance of the UK mining industry with Dave Roger's LAST PIT IN THE RHONDDA quickly followed by ED who sang LAKE CHARLES, a Lucinda Williams song, and MERDY with the popular BALLERINA OF THE BAY. JAN was next with Cyril Tawney's amusing ditty, FIVE FOOT FLIRT after which RICHARD SAILS came up with a song from his own neck of the woods THE SHOEMAKER'S KISS. TONY made a political reference to a recent bereavement with Rob Johnson's song DING DONG THATCH before JO had everyone singing the old favourite, BLOWING IN THE WIND (Dylan). At this point we welcomed a new face, JOHN WILLIAMS, who is a resident at the Hungry Horse Folk Club in Ellesmere port sang the LAST FARE OF THE DAY accompanied by the lovely ringing modal tones of his cello mandolin. JOHN CONDY then gave a fine version of WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL followed with BANJO JOHN BROWN with O HAPPY DAY after which DAVE, our poet, then recited Valleys of the Shifting Whispering Sands in a reference to conflicts in the Middle East. Then Ruth, Kath and Stan with a new name, FAIRPLAY, sang MOONSHADOW followed by two lively flute tunes, DRIBBLES OF BRANDY and THE BUTTERFLY, played by KATHIE TAYLOR. ROD came next with the somewhat less traditional but equally popular GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND followed by PAUL RILEY, who was back in fine form with his tale of JACKEROE, and PETE ROBERTS looking ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER. If he had been looking for ZOE MULFORD he just had to turn around and she was there back from hibernating from the cold with the lovely and appropriate song THE SNOWS THAT MELT THE SOONEST to conclude the first round and provide the moment when we could present a Birthday Card to Ann who is looking forward to the special day on Sunday with the Folk Club Party Time next week! Then suitably on with the singing as BANJO JOHN entertained us with WHEN YOU'RE SMILING followed by TONY with LET ME COME HOME by the Felice Brothers before RICHARD SAILS took us up to the interval with a music hall song THE FUTURE MRS HAWKINS, (with reference to Jan often being referred to by her spouse as the "Current Mrs Taylor")!

After a most exciting raffle where seemingly the sewing kit and pamphlet of poems did not want to be won, THE TAYLOR FAMILY (yes, Kathie as well) sang a traditional Newfoundland song, LUKEY'S BOAT, giving way to JOHN WILLIAMS for THE BALLOON MAN and ZOE who sang ANSWER THE KNOCK AT THE DOOR. This set up JIM & LYNN for the ever popular BLACK VELVET BAND and PETE ROBERTS who was dragging someone by the hand around THE STREETS OF LONDON followed by MERDY who was lusting after THE PRETTIEST GIRL IN TRURO. The still new FAIRPLAY then gave us THE WEAVER'S DAUGHTER swiftly followed by ROD who was a SUBSTITUTE and ED who was absolutely FED UP WITH THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY. KATHIE then teamed up with JOHN CONDY for a very hastily, but effectively, rehearsed version of Dylan's TANGLED UP IN BLUE and when alone at last JOHN sang WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING to which JOHN WILLIAMS responded with Richard Shindell's CHE GUEVARA T-SHIRT. Finally and not a reference to anyone who performed tonight, FAIRPLAY sang LAZY JOHN before MARK & JAN rounded off the evening with RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY THROUGH THE CORN which sent everyone home happy after a wonderful evening.

Newsletter No 223 16 April 2013

A great evening everyone was still saying the day after and no wonder as PETE kicked off with a joke about Morrisons and then sang Mike Chapman's RABBIT HILLS leaving BANJO JOHN to fight his way through A FAT SWALLOW MEDLEY (Fats Waller) and ROB to be that CHEERLY MAN as we all sang along. MERDY was next up with the traditional Scottish FAREWELL SHE, ridding himself of a false hearted lover, and JIM & LYNN were equally with FULSOME PRISON BLUES as was Poet DAVE with his BOX CALLED WAR. This all had COLIN swearing to look at BOTH SIDES NOW and ED delivering Richard Thompson's AL BOWLLY'S IN HEAVEN with conviction before KAMRAN hit us with M J Hurt's LONESOME VALLEY. Then we had to welcome newcomer STEVE with his own song MAKING A MESS followed by ROBIN with a Chris de Burgh song the SNOWS OF NEW YORK. The other MIKE COSGRAVE then blew us away with his Hawaiian lap-style guitar, because he had left his cittern on the drive, and THE LAKES OF PONCHATRAIN but ARTHUR was still DANCING ON MARGARET'S GRAVE which left it to BANJO JOHN to return us to sanity with the good old ROCK ISLAND LINE. Not slow on the uptake MERDY recruited MIKE on slide guitar for FIDDLER'S GREEN with lots of chorus after which PETE could sense a STORM RISING as we went into the break.

 In the raffle Merdy took the wine, Lynn the daffodils, Derrick the room fragrance set and then we were delighted to see Jill Daniels to take the biscuit as they say before COLIN bemoaned making the SAME MISTAKE again (we didn't agree) and STEVE was TIRED OF FIGHTING and ROB was tired of working in the Chemical Industry as THE PROCESS MAN. THE MANCH also certainly got the better of ED and JIM & LYNN couldn't cheer him with THE LONG BLACK VEIL until ROBIN announced that THE BATTLE IS OVER. All reverent now ARTHUR pleaded BLESS ME FATHER as MIKE set of on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS leaving KAMRAN with DELIA and ISOBEL with the STOMACH STEINWAYMAN. Another newcomer KEN, a friend of GED, then told us BLACK IS THE COLOUR as GED himself stepped up with THE WORST OLD SHIP before MERDY told us about the LIFE OF A MAN. Appropriately COLIN singled out ONE OF THE PEOPLE as MIKE set out on RAGLAN ROAD followed by STEVE who confessed he was a CITY ANIMAL. This left US THREE (Ken, Ged & Isobel) to build up to the climax with two tunes MOLLY THE WOOD and FOX & GEESE on which ROB capitalised with the rousing SOUTH AUSTRALIA to sing us into the street. Top drawer!

Newsletter No 222 9 April 2013  

A good night with some new talent was started off by ROBIN with his LAST FAREWELL and in seconds COLIN set off to SET THE TARGETS HIGHER to which JIM & LYNN responded with their IRISH ROVER. BANJO JOHN then raised the bar further with I VOW TO THEE MY COUNTRY with PETER shooting off with THE ST JAMES INFIRMARY BLUES which prompted Poet DAVID to come in FROM A DISTANCE. ARTHUR responded to this by taking the EARLY TRAIN but RICHARD SAILS was all SWEET LEMONY and JOHN CONDY urged us to KEEP ON LOVING. No wonder KAMRAN then came up with ROMEO AND JULIET to which JO replied with ALL MY TRIALS and RUTH, KATH & STAN reckoned we should LET THE MYSTERY BE. Any way up MIKE COSGRAVE forecasted that YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLEM ALIVE which newcomer RICHARD said it was all part of THE JOY OF LIVING to which another newcomer JAN declared his intentions by singing STAY. GED then sang CATCH THE WIND as CHARLES skipped away with Steve Tilston's SLIP JIGS AND REELS and ISOBEL played THE TWO SAINTS with BANJO JOHN completing the set with CAROLINA MOON.

 Starting up the PETER took off with THE GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY but COLIN reckoned she was being free and her heart was hollow just like the CACTUS TREE before RUTH, KATH & STAN added to the conundrum with THE FORSAKEN MERMAID. Getting off that subject JIM & LYNN told us about the other sex with A MON LIKE THEE and RICHARD SAILS was off on manly THE BOLD PRINCESS ROYAL before CHARLES returned with THE LADIES GO DRIVING AT WHITSUN. It won't make any difference WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS reckoned KAMRAN and certainly where the rights of man have gone had JOHN CONDY dancing on TOM PAYNE'S BONES before JAN returned us to sanity with JUST TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN. ROB also did his bit in that respect by having us chorusing with THOUSANDS OR MORE followed by ROBIN & ISOBEL with PLAISIR D'AMOUR and ARTHUR with SEVENTEEN MILLIONAIRES. This set up the grand finale from GED with two English folk tunes from the Playford manuals NEWCASTLE and PORTSMOUTH followed by MIKE COSGRAVE with THE BALLAD OF JACK DOLAN.

Newsletter No 221 2 April 2013

Rapidly filling up the room they came under the gentle guidance of KATH, STAN & RUTH for a top quality night of music, song and verse. DON & HEATHER, much o Derrick's delight roused everyone with John Prine's SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS and JIM & LYNN kept the ball rolling with THE GYPSY ROVER to nicely set up RUTH, KATH & STAN for a brilliant new rendition of the BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY. Cracking! RICHARD SAILS then unsheathed his nice guitar for the first time ever and surprised us with his vocal and digital dexterity on OLD SLEW FOOT and hopefully we shall hear more soon. Unaccompanied but not unaccomplished MERDY then sang the beautiful BONNIE GLEN SHEE followed by MIKE COSGRAVE with RAMBLES OF SPRING and EDDIE with Sydney Carter's JOHN BALL. Otherwise engaged, Jan then missed MARK TAYLOR telling us to DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALRIGHT and JO having THE IRISH BLUES before ROBIN was that finger picking good MR DREAMSELLER. Back in harness GED was one of the DESPERADOS WAITING FOR A TRAIN before ARTHUR had us all singing about SPRING...BOING....BOING and DAVID musing on the meaning of THE SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS. KATHY TAYLOR then joined KAMRAN to give us a new combination for the blues, ITCHING HEEL and TONY was equally serious with OPERATION IRAQI LIBERATION as was ED with LEARNING TO PLAY THE GUITAR. Then ROGER took the floor with JOHNNY COME LATELY and he was followed by DAVE SLATER, long time no see, with his own SONG OF THE SPINNING JENNY and GED GASKELL with SCARBOROUGH FAIR and TWO MAGICIANS. Next DANNY BECK and THE ROPE WALTZ were played brilliantly by ISOBEL to which PETE replied SHE'S GOT EVERYTHING SHE NEEDS as RICHARD SAILS unveiled THE THRESHING MACHINE just before the interval.

Some spontaneous music with fiddles, pipes, banjo, cittern and guitar and much chat led up to the two JACKIE'S winning the wine and chocs and DAVE SLATER taking the third prize before RUTH, KATH & STAN again gave us another brilliant version of RIDER IN THE RAIN to start the second half, MARTIN then came in with Hank Williams' COLD, COLD HEART which was enough for GED to get JESUS ON THE MAINLINE and ROGER to go to John Hyatt's ICY BLUE HEART. To lighten us up ED told us of his troubles ON MY WAY TO WORK but having none of it MERDY retorted THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR LOVING ME before KATHY & MARK TAYLOR had us away with THE BELLE OF BELFAST CITY. Still chasing that BLACK VELVET BAND we were next singing it with JIM & LYNN which EDDIE followed with two MEDIEVAL TUNES leaving ROBIN to again pick his way brilliantly through FOUR STRING WINDS. For some reason this gave KAMRAN THE CHUMP MAN BLUES before ISOBEL raised us up with HARVEST HOME and the IRISH WASHERWOMAN and PETE became the TROUBADOUR. TONY next came up with THE IRON WHEEL with DON & HEATHER sailing off to SOUTH AUSTRALIA as GED, ISOBEL, EDDIE, MIKE etc banded up for CONSTANT BILLIE and THE BLUE EYED STRANGER. DAVE SLATER then gave us another of his own CHILD OF THE LOOM as ARTHUR had us sentimentally singing Tom Waits' PICTURE IN A FRAME with MARTIN pleading TRY TO SLEEP and MIKE off with THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY to close a magic evening.    


March 2013

Newsletter No 220 26 March 2013

A surfeit of great talent washed up on the shores of Sale Folk Club tonight and it was skilfully guided to maximum effect by ED & SUE complete with new sign board to razz up each performer in turn stating with the eponymous BANJO JOHN who had us all playing along with THERE’S A TAVERN IN THE TOWN before PAUL made us all a TEQUILA SUNRISE. Inspired by a trip to hear Pete Morton, COLIN then sang his impressive GANDY which had MARK dashing about LOOKING FOR MY WALLET before JAN advised the ladies to beware of A DANDY MAN and KATHERINE completed the family trilogy with Billy Connolly’s A LITTLE OF YOUR TIME. Next PETE was in search of CLAUDIA as MIKE was chasing after DANCING MOLLIE and ROB was looking ahead to taking his boat back to Anglesey with THE ALABAMA. Newcomer DAVID then brought his lovely voice to bear on THE NORTH COUNTRY MAID and CARL had us rocking to another Pete Morton song, the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, which made JO think of THEDAK EYED SAILOR. The SWEET SONGS OF YESTERDAY brought MERDY to his feet before ROGER explained that GREY’S THE NEW BLONDE as KAMRAN sang the humorous, despite the title, I LOST MY LEGS IN A MOTOR WRECK. With no encouragement ROD then was the STAR MAN as MARTIN told us it was NO LONESOME TUNE and HEATHER & DON reckoned anything goes as long as SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES. Having turned up with his concertina ARTHUR then took a ribald look at Folkies with his PEWTER TANKARD SONG leaving BANJO JOHN to take us up to the interval by leading us in a band up for WORRIED MAN.

Roger won the wine as Martin took the Shortbread Biscuits and Alan had the Chocolates before Michael went home with the CD to complete a bumper raffle as ED explained the consequences of stalking MARGARET to which ROGER replied STONE ME (Van Morrison). Still nautical ROB took us on THE GREY FUNNEL LINE while MERDY was off chasing BLACK JACK DAVY which left one man band PAUL with TROUBLE IN MIND. Back with his pink ukulele MARTIN sang about SWEET JANE followed by THE TAYLOR CLAN who insisted MAMA’S GOT A SQUEEZE BOX which had PETE off KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR. This DAVID back to his feet with his own SEND ME TO HELL as THE BLACKSMITH went to the other place courtesy of CARL and ROD had us all pleading with JOLENE. All of this gave KAMRAN the RICHLAND WOMAN BLUES and had ARTHUR off ADMIRING THE VIEW which certainly LITTLE MUSGRAVE was not as COLIN made clear. With no more ado MIKE then set off after an IRISH SESSION as DAVID urged us to SING SUCCESS TO THE WEAVERS before DON & HEATHER wrapped it all up with their song about loss, FLOWERS ON THE WATER to end a great night of music. 

Newsletter No 219 19 March 2013

A wonderful evening with hugely talented people just erupted as the room filled within minutes. It reminded HEATHER & DON of the Nanci Griffith hit ROSEVILLE FAIR but to BANJO JOHN it made him think of THE GREEN LEAVES OF SUMMER after hearing about the death of Gordon Lightfoot and MERDY immediately thought of WINDS. In fine voice RICHARD led us all in DIDO BENDIGO and JIM & LYNN took up the baton to continue with heir a cappella version of THE NIGHT VISITING SONG, with twin bodhrans, leaving JOHN CONDY to sing the lovely RUBY TUESDAY. Leaping into action GED DARBY told us he had the HONKY TONK BLUES whereas ROBIN was soon at the WATERMELON WINE but GED GASKELL was dancing away to THE CUMBERLAND and THE WESTMORLAND waltzes. This left ISOBEL to play DAYFLOWER, short and sweet, and PAUL to have us TELL IT TO THE MOUNTAIN before KATH, STAN & RUTH shot off to SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Next VINCENT was sung by COLIN in response to a request from ED a year ago followed by MARTIN with his quiet version of ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES before CARL with JOHN CONDY claimed they were STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU. In a quieter vein ED was SAYING GOOD BYE TO THE SEA before MIKE COSGROVE blew us away with Danny Thompson's WITH A MEMORY LIKE MINE and ARTHUR MARSHALL remembered St Patrick's Day with ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL TO BUILD YOUR ROADS. DAVID completed the round with a joke before BANJO JOHN took us for a ride on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL prompting PAUL to continue in the same mood with THIS TRAIN before RUTH, KATH & STAN calmed us down with JOHN LOVER.

A great raffle and a good time later saw Jackie take home a nice wine, Vic win the chocolates and Ruth receive a presentation box of scissors, always handy before RICHARD SAILS roared into the second half with DADDY FOX. Then it was welcome back time to KEEP THE CHANGE BOB who also blew our minds with the great anti-war song I'D RATHER BE DANCING by Jim Page based on letters written home by Rachel Corrie before she was crushed by a tank as she was trying to stop the Israelis demolishing a doctor's house in Palestine. GED GASKELL then bid FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE and MARTIN took us BACK WHEN YOU WERE MINE before MERDY then delighted us a chance to sing CALEDONIA and fellow Scot ROBIN was moved to sing JOCK O'HAZELDEAN leaving ISOBEL wandering in the SALLY GARDENS. Stirred by Bob's great song, JOHN CONDY got up to sing Dylan's MASTERS OF WAR to which Poet DAVID suddenly replied with his vision of the Iraqi war with SHIFTING, WHISPERING SANDS. Also commenting on life in a different way JIM & LYNN recounted the story of the LONG BLACK VEIL as did CARL with BLACK DIAMONDS and GED with JOHN CONDY with LONG JOHN. By way of a change ED then gave us the hilarious monologue about JONOTHAN BURNTBLACK to which ARTHUR MARSHALL retorted YOU'RE SAFER ON THE GROUND WITH NOTHING AT ALL and MIKE COSGROVE took us FROM GALWAY TO GRACELAND. Rising to a climax RUTH, KATH & STAN rode us off to HORNCASTLE FAIR and then BOB was still on his anti-war theme with FRANK, DENNIS AND ME before, to finish an incredible evening, MIKE was in a similar vein with THE TOWN I LOVED SO WELL and ARTHUR explained IRELAND IS A STATE OF THE HEART. 

Newsletter No 218 12 March 2013

Cold outside but red hot in the Club with MARK & JAN in complete control of a highly talented bunch of performers numbering several newcomers as they kicked off with the COLLIER LADDIE. Certainly the packed audience responded brilliantly with some excellent singing and great craic as we approach St Patrick's Day. PETE was definitely WILLING as was CARL who sang big favourite WILLIE McBRIDE and BANJO JOHN who was off chasing Petula Clarke DOWNTOWN. Next Poet Dave told us his thoughts on the SHIFTING, WHISPERING SANDS but ROD reckoned we should all TAKE IT EASY and with a GAVOTTE by J S Bach EDDIE took his advice. ISOBEL, however, soon raised the tempo with BLACKTHORN STICK & the KESH JIG followed by GED with the BOOMER'S STORY and CONTRABAND with a trip to the SOUTHERN SKIES. COLIN then dug into his great repertoire for the BERKELEY WOMAN and suddenly RICHARD was that GRENADIER GUARD before JIM & LYNN told us the story of PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT. ED then took off with Kris Kristofferson's THE PILGRIM: Chapter 33 (Hang In, Hopper) as ROB gave the thumbs up to COURTING TOO SLOW before GED GASKELL himself took off down the RADCLIFFE HIGHWAY. KAMRAN then took the floor to surprise us with another new one THE BALLAD OF PATCH EYE AND MEG which set up newcomer MIKE COSGROVE for a brilliant rendition of CALEDONIA followed by MICHAEL BRACKEN who blew us away with a wonderful medley of GREAT DAY FOR THE IRISH, DID YOUR MOTHER COME FROM IRELAND, PEGGY O'NEILL and WILD IRISH ROSE. There was still time for CHARLES to set off WALKING THE LONG MILES HOME and another newcomer ROGER to debut with Jean Ritche's THE L & N DON'T STOP HERE ANYMORE before BANJO JOHN returned to take us up the break with THE OLD RUGGED CROSS.

A suitably large raffle saw the wine find a good home with Stella, Ged took the chocs, Marie the biscuits and Alan the photo album before we came to order for the second half as COLIN gave us a reality check with the POOR MAN'S HOUSE suitably followed up with ED'S comment on law and order FLOG 'EM, FLAY 'EM AND HANG 'EM. Next and close to St Patrick's Day EDDIE'S rendition of DANNY BOY was interesting with its English lyrics to an Irish tune before CHARLES confessed he was TIED TO ONE and JAN & MARK insisted YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE. KAMRAN then concluded THAT'LL NEVER HAPPEN NO MORE but arguably it did to Peter Green who wrote MAN OF THE WORLD sung by ROD before we all lashed into NEW YORK GIRLS well led by RICHARD. However, JIM & LYNN couldn't wait to be LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL and we all wanted to leave town when we heard MICHAEL BRACKEN'S incredible version of HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE, thanks for sharing it Michael. Undaunted, GED ripped into DEATH COMES CREEPING IN YOUR ROOM and GED GASKELL played PEGGY RYAN'S FANCY followed by JOHN RYAN'S POLKA leaving ROB to bemoan just one more day on THE GREY FUNNEL LINE. For his second song ROGER unveiled his own song IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME before ISOBEL gave us HERR ROLOFF'S FAREWELL and MIKE COSGRAVE gave us the recipe for COLCANNON. That just left time for PETE to say IF NOT FOR YOU and CONTRABAND to take us to THE VILLAGE ON THE SAND and then send us home singing to STEAL AWAY.  

Newsletter No 217 5 March 2013

A lively night was guided with great skill by KAMRAN & PETE although we had a few qualms when HURT was PETE’S first song and JIM & LYNN followed up with FOLSOM PRISON BLUES and BANJO JOHN gave us the POSTMAN’S LAMENT. Fortunately ROD soon lifted our spirits with LAY DOWN SALLY and KATH READE, born in London, celebrated her life in THE NORTH COUNTRY before GED explained what happened ON A MONDAY. JO then had us going again with the FIELDS OF ATHENRY as did PAUL READE with his own very apt HOUSE OF MUSIC and MARK with a trip down FIDDLER’S GREEN. Not to be outdone, JAN had us all singing in Welsh with MOLIANNWN as did JEAN with the FOUR LOOM WEAVER and RUTH, KATH & STAN with the CENSUS from about 1850. Then we had a treat from KAMRAN who sang his recent You Tube hit WITHOUT LOVE which even received plaudits from it’s famous composer before JOHN told us WE’RE ALL WORKING FOR THE PHAROAH and ED warned of THE SILVER TONGUED DEVIL. Back to basics for CARL who reminded us of hard times with NEARER TO NETTLES and DON & HEATHER who, with RARE OLD TIMES, showed that difficult times can even come with progress before BRILLIG consisting of GIN, PETE, PHIL & ROBIN, sang us to the break with a fine a cappella CAPE’S IN VIEW followed by MY LADY’S A WILD FLYING DOVE with guitars.

In the raffle Jackie won the Alpine floral display, Joan took the Bordeaux and Gin claimed the Rose bush before KATH, STAN & RUTH claimed they were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE as ROD rocked on with THE WEIGHT and CARL went even FURTHER. Going even further afield JIM & LYNN said goodbye to MUIRSHIN DURKIN on the way to California before in contrast GED dished out some HARD LOVE while MARTIN insisted we take THE BEST OF MY LOVE. Next MARK & JAN were LONG GONE as was KAMRAN who was IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW but PAUL responded with his extremely funny OH NO NOT AGAIN (IT’S THAT MOANING GIT) which prompted many to ask if they could get it as a ringtone. Still in a cappella mode JEAN sang us the poignant TESTIMONY OF PATIENCE KERSHAW with ED giving us some light relief with SH.. and PETE singing his own song dedicated to the person who brought out THE BEST IN ME. Taking us back in time JOHN sang about the HIGHWAY MAN after which MARTIN invited us to TAKE A TRIP IN MY AIRSHIP before KATH READE sang about her GRANDMOTHER and then about her conflict between HEART AND HEAD. Heading towards a big finish DON & HEATHER swore YOU WILL BE THE LIGHT before taking us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE after which BRILLIG raised the rafters with JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YOU before inviting us to A PARTING GLASS.  Magic!!


February 2013


Newsletter No 216 - 26 February 2013

A great mix of regulars and new faces made a spicy recipe for KATH & STAN to serve up to a pleasantly full house starting with their SLEEPY DESERT and soon taking off on THE BLACKPOOL BELLE with JIM & LYNN. Bursting forth BRIAN told us I HAD TO SAY I LOVED YOU IN A SONG and even BANJO JOHN agreed with I WANT A GIRL JUST LIKE THE GIRL THAT MARRIED DEAR OLD DAD. On the other hand ED couldn't wait to be off ON THE VERDIGRIS and ARTHUR was even more "left field" with his hilarious Viking Saga ERIC THE PINK quickly followed by RICHARD'S twist in the tale of THE SHEPHERD'S DAUGHTER. Next GED insisted I GOT MINE before newcomer DAVID beseeched FREE MY SOUL with his own song in memory of his friend who had served in Afghanistan. In a lighter vein PAUL told us about the life of the SHOESHINE BOY whereas ROBIN remarked HEY IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN before CARL took us off to the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, his own song. ERIC then returned with his JOJO followed by ISOBEL with THE LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR and JO with THE MYSTICS DREAM. COLIN was then LOOKING FOR LOVE before GED played his own composition RUE DE PARIS. This left PETE to take off in his RAMBLING SHOES and DON & HEATHER to have us huddled round that LITTLE POT STOVE before BANJO JOHN asked WHO'S SORRY NOW and newcomer DAVID took us to the interval with THAT'S NO WAY TO SAY GOOD BYE (Cohen).

Much chat later a grand raffle saw Pete and Geoff each take a bottle of wine, Baz the Chocolates and Lynn the Room Perfumer before KATH & STAN set us rolling again for the next NINE HUNDRED MILES. We were then urged to GO TO SEA NO MORE by GED and stay behind with THE BOLD DRAGOON courtesy of RICHARD to listen to ARTHUR play a couple of tunes with his violin BIDDY FROM SLIGO & CONNAUGHTMAN'S RAMBLES. GED next urged her to KEEP ON TRUCKIN' MOMMA before ROBIN  took off on a his Hank's trilogy with PRETTY FRAULEIN, BLACKBOARD OF MY HEART & HONKY TONK ANGELS leaving ERIC to take us down METAPHOR STREET. Then ISOBEL led us a FAIRY DANCE as JIM & LYNN explained the twists and turns of THE ORANGE AND THE GREEN leaving PETE to take us off to BARBRIGGAN FAIR with his own great song. SINATRA AND I was the interesting title of CARL'S next song about a dog with blue eyes to which BRIAN replied YOU GOT IT and DON & HEATHER said just LET YOUR BANJO RING. Rolling towards a big finish ED started by saying IT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS to which DAVID replied it must be COMING ON CHRISTMAS and RICHARD roared off to FAKENHAM FAIR to which GED reckoned it must be the MOON GOING DOWN. All too cheerful for ARTHUR who took us off to THE FUNERAL of the man who wasn't dead yet and, not to be outdone, ROBIN paid tribute to the actual dying soldier with ROCK MY CRADLE before DON & HEATHER took us over the top and into the street with GOODNIGHT IRENE. Another cracker!

Newsletter No 215 - 19 February 2013

This was another supremely enjoyable evening with ROBIN & HEATHER steering a fairly full house towards a very satisfying conclusion and starting us off in the THE GREENLAND FISHERIES. Next up PETE told us about TOM MOORE digging for gold while KAMRAN, after knowing it only 24 hours, gave us THE BED SONG which sent MARK off whistling O'Carolan's CARRICKFERGUS. Although without Kath & Stan, RUTH went solo with the lovely LADY MARY after which ED rebelled against Robin pinching his songs by singing FLOWER SCOTLAND whereas RICHARD, another welcome returner, jealously remarked that his sister had flown to Chile on holiday but there were different ways to get there with AROUND CAPE HORN. JAN the treated us to the beautiful RAVEN & THE HARE but ROB shot off on the GOOD SHIP CALABAR and COLIN was away on ENGLAND'S MOTORWAY. JIM & LYNN then gave us the classic PEGGY GORDON and JO celebrated with Mary Black's MY YOUNGEST SON CAME HOME TODAY before the welcome sight of old friend MICHAEL rising to his feet muttering, "Can anyone lend me a guitar?" to sing THE MAN WHO COULDN'T CRY. It was obviously catching as next GED rose with Ed's 12-string for JESUS ON THE MAINLINE before ANN C listed many Scottish inventions in WHO'S LIKE US. To complete the round DON & HEATHER echoed Pete's song with FAREWELL TO THE GOLD before PETE came back with OLD MAN who JIM & LYNN felt must have been AN ORDINARY MAN. Back again RICHARD was down in the far South West at THE BELL RINGING before CLAIRE stunned us with an amazing rendition of THE KING OF ROME leaving MARK & JAN to take us to the interval on THE BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND.

A bumper raffle for a bumper crowd saw Joan's friend take the Chocolates, Helen grab the Wine, Chris run of with the Shortbreads before one of our newcomers take the Room Perfume Evaporation kit.

To start the second half COLIN had us dancing with MR BOJANGLES and MARTIN celebrated how OLDER GUYS were around to show the youngsters how to have a good time to which KAMRAN replied DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET? ED gave further support to the theory with THE TRAVELLER before GED took us off to THE MINSTREL SHOW. Before his throbbing thumb took him home early ROB had us PULL DOWN LADS and MICHAEL confessed MY NAME IS FRANCIS TOLLIVER and CONTRABAND whisked us away to a DARK ISLAND. JIM & LYNN next admitted they were always glad to see A MON LIKE THEE before CLAIRE was again all regal with MY FATHER IS KING OF THE GYPSIES leaving ISOBEL to delight us with a couple of tunes DUSTY MILLER and WILLAFJORD. MARTIN then gave us a dose of Glaswegian life with COD LIVER OIL AND THE ORANGE JUICE before RICHARD became a BRISK YOUNG COWBOY and MARK & JAN were off to the ROUT OF THE BLUES. Heading for a big finish KAMRAN took us through the week with MONDAY FIRST TIME ROUND before GED, in cheerful mood, told us when DEATH COMES CREEPING but PETE refused to be down and shot off to KANSAS CITY for some crazy little women. ED was also in awe of the fairer sex with I LOVE MY WIFE before DON & HEATHER had us lay down the borrowed guitar for ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to close an excellent evening. 

Newsletter No 214 - 12 February 2013

Strangely quiet with the February Blues in town but more than three dozen happy souls turned out for a very enjoyable evening with ED & SUE at the helm. BANJO JOHN kicked off with the ST LOUIS BLUES but OMAR was off to SCARBOROUGH FAIR as EDDIE played us the HEN'S MARCH TO THE MIDDEN. ROBIN next swore I'M GONNA BE A COUNTRY BOY AGAIN (Buffy Marie Saint) as PAUL lamented the fate of FRANKIE & JOHNNIE to which KAMRAN replied AIN'T WE CRAZY. ANN C then marvelled at the changes we have had in the last century with WE'RE SURVIVORS before JIM & LYNN warmed up for Valentine's Day with BLACK IS THE COLOUR and PETER remembered the old Four Seasons' AIRPORT SONG. TONY delved into Tom Waits' CHOCOLATE JESUS before ARTHUR MARSHALL explained what YOU AND ME could get up to if only. COLIN then told us that between a man and a woman there is NO NEED TO EXPLAIN but GED's answer was to STEP IT UP AND GO while ED was off to the Palace with MONDAY HE DOES ALL HER WESHING. Also in a Valentine mood BRIAN then sang LATELY (Stevie Wonder) and DON & HEATHER also agreed with their I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY while CARL celebrated an old friendship with his THE OLD ENGLAND IN YOU. Bursting towards the break BANJO JOHN was soon JUST OVER IN THE GLORY LAND while young OMAR took off WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN.

A bumper Valentine's Day raffle saw JACKIE take home a dozen RED ROSES, JIM & LYNN walked off with the BUBBLY, PAUL won the CHOCOLATES, LIN & BAZ left with the STORAGE BOX and ED was pleased to win the PANCAKES since he hadn't had any earlier.

To start the second half EDDIE's Violin accompanied by DON's guitar took off to MARIE'S WEDDING and danced to the DASHING WHITE SERGEANT but COLIN was close behind with MR TAMBOURINE MAN but TONY was left enquiring WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON (Florence Reece - Tom Morella version). PETER reminisced with his own KERRY but ED refused to be serious as he told us of JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO WITH THE FUNKY CONCERTINA. Still over on the Emerald Isle JIM & LYNN had us singing along with the FORTY SHADES OF GREEN before BRIAN sang his only folk song THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE (Phil Oakes) but this still left GED GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD. PAUL, however, preferred the NEW RIVER TRAIN to walking but back to St Valentine ROBIN sang the lovely ANNA MARIE as KAMRAN set off on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. CARL was next requested to be THE LONE BADGER and ARTHUR was a bit tongue in cheek with JOY whereas JIM & LYNN were completely explicit with the SPANISH LADY. Coming round to a big finish EDDIE took us to the CURRAGH OF KILDARE while DON & HEATHER provided the FIRE AND RAIN leaving ROBIN, who rose to join them, to invite everyone to TAK' A DRAM AFORE YE GO. 

Newsletter No 213 - 5 February 2013

Another very enjoyable evening was hosted by DON & HEATHER who opened with the classic line "Friends I can count on" from KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER. The message was continued by RUTH, KATH & STAN who with banjo, guitar and mandolin sang the beautiful WILD WOOD FLOWER easily equalled by MERDY with BOGIE'S BONNIE BELLE. Back with a cut eye from ice-climbing in Italy, ROB then treated us to I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL (sung in our club as The Centipede Song) followed by ROD who regailed us with THE RHINESTONE STONE COWBOY (often sung in other places on Karaoke Nights as The Nine Stone Cowboy) before PETER returned with the mystical RABBIT HILLS. BRIAN then went into his French song book for YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS YOUNG which had PAUL exhorting PEOPLE GET READY before DAVID waxed lyrical about the LIGHTHOUSES OF LARNE. For KAMRAN it was more simple with IF YOU WANT ME TO LOVE YOU and for JIM too with A SONG FOR IRELAND but GED was still enraptured with the girl on the TRAPEZE. Back to basics ED next had us all chorusing with the sinking of THE ROYAL CHARTER as JOHN shot off to his paradise on SANIBEL but even more grounded was CARL who said plainly I LOVE A GOOD BUM ON A WOMEN. MARTIN was even more risque with the extremely humorous ANDREW IN DRAG. Heading toward the interval MERDY was suddenly LEAVING LONDON (T Paxton) and ROB was off even further to SOUTH AUSTRALIA as we sang our way towards the waiting chips ordered for 9.30pm.

After HELEN took away the WINE the QUALITY STREET went home with BAZ & LIN and MARTING HAD THE perfume FOR HILARY before KAMRAN revved us back into action with STOLE RIDER BLUES and JOHN was off in his FLYING SHOES. Slowing the tempo KATH, STAN & RUTH played and sang the haunting classic EL CONDOR PASA aqnd BRIAN was equally lyrical with ON MY OWN as was MARTIN with GALWAY AND HAWKEYE but GED was still off down Box Hill on his VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING. Then in a flash it all changed with the rafters rattling JIM's SWEET SIXTEEN, CARL & JOHN giving us a dose of NORWEGIAN WOOD, ROD pleading SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME and PETER telling us all the things you could be DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL. Still in a time warp ED then gave us a retrospective view of Burns' Night with his JOCK McCREA the HAGGIS HUNTER to which there was no answer. Instead Scot MERDY replied by calming everything down by singing YOUR FAVOURITE SONG and JOHN celebrated HERE COMES THE SUN  but GED reckoned thatif you are stuck somewhere you don't want to be you might just as well have the FORT WORTH BLUES. All you need is a spot of THE RARE OLD MOUNTAIN DEW claimed JIM or alternatively ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS solved it for KAMRAN while RUTH, KATH & STAN were still lamenting over the WEAVER'S DAUGHTER. This left CARL to capitalise on a great evening and lead us in singing HERE'S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY, very appropriate.


January 2013


Newsletter No 212 - 29 January 2013

They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew as Keith Marsden wrote and JAN & MARK managed a massive 30 performers with aplomb after they had kicked off with a new song I TAKE MY CHANCES (Mary Chapin Carpenter) quickly followed by ED who was in great voice with THE GRESFORD DISASTER and KATH, STAN & RUTH who gave us great interpretation of MOON SHADOW. Then EDDIE played THE VICTORY from the film Pride and Prejudice so no wonder MERDY remembered WHEN THOSE SHOES WERE NEW but CONTRABAND were off earning wages on THE ERIE CANAL to which KAMRAN retorted BRING ME SOME MONEY TOO. Appropriately STELLA then told us IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU as BRIAN said FIND ME and COLIN pleaded DO NOT FORSAKE ME. JO took on a new lease of life with SCARBOROUGH FAIR and TONY was equally joyous with OH SUSANNAH leaving ANDY, DAVE & PETER to lament the STARS ALL FELL DOWN. Guitar BRIAN then sang BRING HIM HOME from Les Mis but newcomer MARTIN was busy DOWN IN DIXIE and JIM & LYNN were after the SPANISH LADY. JEAN FINNEY's monologue then explained the danger in THE GIFT OF SHOES and RICHARD KNOTT's new song SCARECROW BLUES was a belter before we welcomed long time no see GED GASKELL who Melodeon-ed with the MOLE IN THE WOOD & FOX & GEESE. After a raft of lively songs and tunes ARTHUR suddenly went all romantic with his I SAVED THE LAST DANCE FOR YOU and GED was also emotional with ANGELS LAID HIM AWAY so a couple of tunes from ISOBEL in BLACK BUSH WALTZ & MIDNIGHT ON THE WATER led us nicely to JOHN who had BOATS TO BUILD during the interval.

Much socialising and a big raffle saw Merdy take the wine, Andrea the Ross chocolates that she handed round, Joan the biscuits, Alan the fudge and Heather walked away with the Bird feeder before we started the second half with JIM & LYNN telling everyone I'LL TELL MY MA. GED then gave us a soulful BARBARA ALLEN followed by EDDIE with MR BEVERAGE'S MAGGOT before COLIN went all socio-political and told us I DON'T GIVE A TOSS ABOUT YOU. This almost had STELLA & BRIAN LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and RUTH, KATH & STAN telling us that it was much worse in 1851 according to the CENSUS. Again MARTIN unsheathed his Pink Ukulele for A SONG FOR FREE followed by RICHARD KNOTT with another of his songs, THE SHORTEST DAY, before ANDY, DAVE & PETER unleashed a McColl special, THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE, JOHN replied with Richard Thompson's BEESWING and GED GASKELL took us off to HIGH GERMANY before TONY had us in the USA for the OHIO WALTZ & STEPHEN. JEAN, however, was SAVING UP MY MEMORIES and KAMRAN had a dose of the HESITATION BLUES before ARTHUR reckoned there AIN'T NO PROFIT IN THAT to lift us close to the climax of the evening. This was provided by CONTRABAND who had us all singing our heads off with THE MINGULAY BOAT SONG and JAN & MARK closed with us all RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY through the corn.

Newsletter No 211 - 22 January 2013

A bit of a general slowdown with the weather reduced us to only 36 but had no effect on the enthusiasm for the performance and the enjoyment of the audience as PETE started with his interpretation of MAY YOU NEVER. Keeping the ball rolling DON & HEATHER wet rural with SONNY and still from the Emerald Isle TREVOR reckoned ONLY THE RIVERS RUN FREE before BANJO JOHN crossed the Atlantic for THE TENNESSEE WALTZ. Coming quickly back MERDY then took us to the CONNEMARA COAST to which TONY replied OVER MY DEAD BODY and JO related the story of a German POW in England with HELLO HANS. Next CARL was THE SODA MAN and then newcomer FRANK told us in a poem that NOT UNTIL MUCH LATER that he started to realise the terrible effects of war which will hopefully begin to dawn on Prince Harry as soon as possible. Then KAMRAN recounted how he gave up the guitar for five years before picking it up again to sing THREE LITTLE FISHES to his son leaving EDDIE to give us a little medley of SCOTTISH TUNES in anticipation of Burns' Night but ED was unemotional as he had NO TIME TO CRY. It had been a long time no see for PETER who sang us an unusual love song COFFEE AND CHEESECAKE to which ROD answered I'M A BELIEVER too but COLIN reckoned it's not all it seems to be with THE BALLAD OF CURSED ANNA. Anyway up JIM & LYNN were calling out BYE BYE LOVE as PAUL was SINGING MY BLUES AWAY and BRIAN insisted on singing SOMETHING STUPID.

In celebration of HEATHER'S birthday a Chip Buffet was produced as a good raffle saw some great prizes taken and MERDY passing his winning chocolates round at the end.

Kicking off again EDDIE next produced an IRISH POLKA MEDLEY as MERDY proclaimed I'VE GOT LEATHER ON MY SHOES and PETER confessed HER FATHER DIDN'T LIKE ME ANYWAY. Then we had a gem from the pen of Jake Thackray when CARL treated us to the sad but true tale of THE HAIR OF THE WIDOW OF BRIDLINGTON and very aptly ROD came up with I SHALL BE RELEASED and TREVOR also empathised in his way with LEAVING NANCY. Getting into the swing of things FRANK next got up to sing STARDUST, PETE gave us BLUES RUN THE GAME and ROD, shock horror, sang a folk song BLOWING IN THE WIND prompting COLIN o stay with Dylan for DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALRIGHT. Still in the same frame of mind KAMRAN told us THE GREEN GRASS GROWS ALL AROUND and in sympathy ED recounted the story of THE HERMIT but PAUL was all serious with NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU'RE DOWN AND OUT.  That's what happens when SMOKE GETS IN YOR EYES reckoned BRIAN and you'll be PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE AS WELL said DON & HEATHER even if you are THE URBAN SPACEMAN that JIM & LYNN piped up with next. FRANK, on his first visit, then told us an AMUSING STORY ABOUT DATING, BRIAN insisted he was ONLY SIXTEEN and CARL kindly proposed A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY before PAUL pleaded TICKLE MY HEART. This sent PETER off saying I'LL TELL MY MA and MERDY telling us about IN MY TIME before ROD jazzed us up with JOLENE. This left DON & HEATHER to suggest we should STEAL AWAY before sending us dancing into the street on a high note with a GALWAY GIRL.

Newsletter No 210 - 15 January 2013

A cold and frosty evening did nothing to dampen the spirits as another full house warmed itself on the great atmosphere in Sale Folk Club tonight. MICK HARE & HEATHER SIDDALL kick started the proceedings with his ORSON STREET GIRLS before EDDIE went all matrimonial with JESU, JOY OF MAN'S DESIRE and MERDY was even more traditional with JOCK O' HAZELDEAN. JIM & LYNN were next off to the CITY OF CHICAGO while PAUL told us to TELL OLD BILL and DAVID the poet waxed lyrical about this WONDERFUL LAND. Next PETE surprised us with his own celebration of life DAYS GONE BY but ARTHUR was more ironic with his summary of health care, AIN'T NO PROFIT IN THAT, whereas DON & HEATHER went to John Prine's honest assesment of a relationship with THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS. For those who remembered him, ANN C then paid a wonderful tribute to TREVOR MORTON with one of his favourite poems, SARAH. KAMRAN then advised SO RELAX before ED himself reminded us of the debt we owe THE FLUSHERS and CARL revisited the last disastrous miner's strike with the BALLAD OF JOHN COLLIER. The irony was not lost on ROBIN who responded with one of John Denver's best songs, YOU SAY THE BATTLE IS OVER, and GAVIN commented that people don't always mean what they say with YOU KNOW THAT WAS THE LAST THING ON MY MIND all of which totally scrambled RICHARD GRAY'S brain as he explored 12 songs before confessing he couldn't even remember one in totality but it was a great journey. ISOBEL then jumped up with HARVEST HOME & THE IRISH WASHERWOMAN before a A BIT OF BANDERSNATCH took us up to the interval with IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR LOVE and YE JACOBITES.

Much socialising and a great raffle later MICK again pitched up with YOU'VE GOT YOUR TROUBLES and CARL took it even FURTHER, by Pete Morton, before GAVIN headed for FIDDLER'S GREEN. It's like SMOKE THROUGH AUTUMN TREES reckoned KAMRAN whereas ANN C reckoned it was more like ON TAKING THE DOG TO THE CINEMA all of which made RICHARD GRAY cry out WHO KILLED DAVY MOORE. ROBIN'S retort was COME BACK PADDY REILLY as PETE slithered off to WOODSTOCK and PAUL decided to STEP IT UP AND GO. Then in all seriousness EDDIE sang about MICKEY MOUSE'S SON & DAUGHTER as did ARTHUR with his own LOVE IN ANY LANGUAGE and JIM & LYNN with THE NGHT VISITING SONG. ED then had a terrible cold with the BRONCHIO-DILATED BLUES as ISOBEL went off to SYDNEY SMITH'S and MERDY remembered the PLANE CRASH AT LOS GATOS with The Deportees on board. DON & HEATHER suddenly found themselves KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER and dying of thirst, metaphorically speaking, as they led us to a climax with A BIT OF BANDERSNATCH closing with TURNING AWAY, THE WEIGHT and AIN'T NO GRAVE GONNA HOLD MY BODY DOWN to crown a cracking great evening, 

Newsletter No 209 - 8 January 2013 

A great night for MARTIN'S 60th BIRTHDAY was led by RUTH, KATH & STAN with their customary alacrity starting with their new song THE WEAVER'S DAUGHTER. O'CAROLAN'S DRAUGHT was then what EDDIE delivered before DON & HEATHER took us off to Australia to reclaim the DIAMANTINA DROVER and MERDY told us the story of the sinking of the BELLE OF THE BAY when the two equal owners of the boat fell out. JIM & LYNN next warned of PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT before MIKE played and sang a flawless version of ADIEU SWEET LOVELY NANCY and JO again extend her repertoire with THE PHOENIX from the singing of the long gone Pennine Folk Group. CARL then reminisced with his own KNIGHTS ROUND THE TABLE as our one-man band PAUL gave us Robert Johnson's WALKING BLUES with guitar, harmonica and cajon before it took five of us, ROBIN, JOHN, LYNN, HEATHER & DON, to band up for a very creditable ME AND BOBBY McGEE. Back in festive mood PETE treated us to a NEW YEAR'S SONG which sent COLIN off to SAIL ON SEVEN OCEANS and JOHN CONDY away chasing UNICORNS. On the other hand ARTHUR was much more seriously predicting the end of the world with his second coming of NOAH where access to the arc was on a financial basis so no animals and hence the end of human life when they all starved after reaching land which KAMRAN reckoned that it would be a bit like WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS. Next, in a tribute to MARTIN on his birthday and as a thank you for the buffet and chips he was providing, ROB sang MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN followed by ROD with Knopler's ROMEO AND JULIET and MARK who brought us to the interval with O'CAROLAN'S DOCTOR'S CHOICE. 

A rousing "Happy Birthday" and much social interaction later including another bumper raffle CHARLES started the second half with ON THE BANKS OF THE NILE followed by BERNICE with the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS with JOHN CONDY which left LORRAINE feeling like a MOTHERLESS CHILD. ERIC'S response was that the HEART HAS ITS REASON as KATH, STAN & RUTH led us singing DIRTY OLD TOWN and MARK was off chasing that LITTLE RED ROOSTER. It will be all sorted on JUDGEMENT DAY prophesied KAMRAN and PETE had similar sentiments with you're a BIG GIRL NOW but without a care ISOBEL was away with 100 PIPERS. On a serious note COLIN sang his CHILD'S SONG about kids leaving home and MIKE had another sad tale with RUE as did ARTHUR with his very poignant EVERYWHERE I LOOK. Equally wistful was JIM & LYNN'S song WHEN YOU AND I WERE YOUNG. MAGGIE and for that matter was SAM HALL from the melodeon and voice of EDDIE but PAUL had only RAMBLING ON MY MIND. It's the WILL OF THE PEOPLE we need reckoned JOHN but MERDY was still chasing after THE PRETTIEST GIRL IN TRURO and ROD was even more brazen with IF I SAID YOU HAD A BEAUTIFUL BODY would you hold it against me. Coming to the boil nicely ROBIN tested his New Year Resolution to play more guitar with a resounding ROSE OF ALLENDALE which set up BERNICE with WINDY HARBOUR and LORRAINE to bring us to a climax by throwing her BLANKET ON THE GROUND.    


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