Even though not a Party Night the place was again pleasantly full with over 20 performers rising to the occasion and almost completely ignoring the proximity of Christmas to give the large audience some great entertainment. Kicking off with another great place to be DON & HEATHER opened with RED ROSE CAFE for which BANJO JOHN provided ALEXANDER's RAGTIME BAND and PAUL laid on the BITTER, LAGER, CIDER, ALE & STOUT and we were off. Providing the mood KAMRAN gave us all a BLUE CHRISTMAS while JO sorted the weather with IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER before GAVIN returned to normal service with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. The ever romantic BRIAN then changed the mood with THREE TIMES A LADY to which ROBIN gave the LAST FAREWELL and IAN suggested to the MOVING ON SONG. Getting down to the nitty gritty ARTHUR MARSHALL reckoned the true story was summed in his RUDOLPH'S BLUES and equally telling was COLIN's SONG FOR VAN GOGH as was ED's relevant and funny SCARLET RAY GUNS, John Conolly's skit on Scarlet Ribbons of course. Next MERDY picked another John Conolly song FIDDLER's GREEN as CARL celebrated another phenomenon with his MAGICAL SKY but JIM & LYNN couldn't wait to leave MUIRSHEEN DURKIN and head for Americay to dig for gold when they had already found it in Sale Folk Club. ROD then came up with The Stone's DEAD FLOWERS after which PETER wanted to MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE before RICHARD GRAY took us off in THE GOOD SHIP ENTERPRISE. GED was then the JELLY ROLL BAKER before JO broke her record and got a second song in with AMAZING GRACE as did BANJO JOHN with a joining in BLUES to complete the first half.
A great raffle bolstered by a wine pack brought by MARTIN saw MERDY get the CAVA, LIN get the belt bag and MARTIN took the chocolates and immediately passed them round.
SIMON opened the second phase with LITTLE BOXES and newcomers RUTH & KATIE were accompanied by RICHARD GRAY for Louden Wainwright's ONE MAN GUY leaving Poet DAVID to mull over the SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS of the Iraqi war. BRIAN was next WITHOUT A SONG as GAVIN took us to the FIELDS OF ATHENRY and ROD was off on THE SLOOP JOHN B. COLIN was still in serious mood with 1982 about the Falklands war before GED gave us his very funny Dylanesque SPIDER AND THE FLY and PETER urged TAKE IT EASY. Back in serious mood MERDY told us he got LEATHER ON MY SHOES before another mood swing by JIM & LYNN saw us off with the URBAN SPACEMAN, but it was only briefly as CARL became philosophical with Bogle's IF WISHES WERE FISHES we'd all cast nets in the sea. Definitely on the funny side ED boasted of his exciting life to which we all replied SHURRUP YA BLOODY LIAR as PAUL begged O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP and KAMRAN openly confessed I'LL BE GLAD WHEN YOU'RE DEAD YOU RASCAL YOU. In true reflective mood ARTHUR admitted SOMETIMES I DREAM and then confessed IF IT WASN'T FOR THE MOUNTAINS which had SIMON heading for the airport and LEAVING ON A JET PLANE before ROBIN, HEATHER & DON aka CONTRABAND hauled him back saying TAK' A DRAM AFORE YE GO, a suitable sentiment to end a great evening before Christmas and New Year. All the best everybody!!!
Within half an hour we thought the place was full and still more managed to squeeze in to break the 70 barrier for the second time in three weeks. ROBIN started in great style with his newly developed picking technique backing his fine singing of BREAD AND FISHES followed by fellow Scot MERDY who treated us to BLACK JACK DAVY. Next KATH, STAN & RUTH sang an excellent version of an old New Year Carol Levy Dew or Levez a Dieu with cittern, whistle and violin which has been anglicised as RESIDUE to which PAUL replied GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN. Not to be outdone COLIN gave us his own very amusing parody with THE 12 DAYS OF MAN U vs MAN CITY but away from the festivities KAMRAN introduced us to THE CHUMPMAN BLUES after which, following an e-mail rehearsal, normally a cappella JO suddenly became accompanied by DON's guitar for THE SOUND OF SILENCE. She was just PUTTIN' ON THE STYLE next sang JOHN as ANN C set out across THE WELL MOOR before ARTHUR MARSHALL broke out into a HIPPY CHRISTMAS CAROL. Enough of that reckoned ROD with MAGGIE MAY and GED followed suit with TROUBLE IN MIND as did RICHARD KNOTT with his brilliant instrumental version of HEARTBREAK HOTEL. This led GAVIN to reckon CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER WHERE I'M BOUND to which PETE replied DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALRIGHT as EDDIE set off with a guitar instrumental of THREE CHRISTMAS TUNES. Next DAVE was on his feet at the GARDEN PARTY but BRIAN was off drinking WHISKY ON A SUNDAY before ROB amazed us when he stood up with his guitar round his neck to sing Johnny Cash's RING OF FIRE accompanied by John Condy's delayed action harmonica. Finally, after we had stopped laughing, we came to THE CLOGGERS - SUE, LYN AND ANN C dancing A WALTZ to ARTHURS's MELODEON to take us up to the buffet and bumper raffle in aid of THE RAINBOW TRUST.
The £83.00 raised was quickly made up to £100.00 by the Club and dispatched the following morning as this is being written with lots of people taking an extra Christmas present home.
Long time no see ALAN GRACE opened the second half with THE CHRISTMAS GOOSE leaving ED to tell us it can all be down to SENIOR MOMENTS as ISOBEL played AWAY IN A MANGER twice. Luckily they were different tunes. PEPPER STREET then took us to THE DUSTY DIAMANTINA before we were regaled by 3 DRUNKEN MAIDENS singing THREE DRUNKEN MAIDENS and DON & HEATHER reminded us of the plight of some people trying for a better life ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. CATHY & JAN then gave a great impersonation of HOT FROGS ON THE LOOSE after which JUDE sang the CHERRY TREE CAROL and MERDY sang A FAVOURITE SONG OF MINE. Then taking us off to OWENSBORO were RUTH, KATH & STAN after which PETE got emotional with MY WHOLE LIFE THROUGH and KAMRAN with RICHARD KNOTT explored the meaning of DITTY WAH DITTY. ARTHUR then took us to DINGLE'S REGATTA, GED wondered about WHEN YOU COME and EDDIE played a CHRISTMAS MEDLEY on the melodeon. ROD then pleaded DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD to which DAVE replied I WALK THE LINE and PAUL told us about THIS TRAIN which left JOHN CONDY to remind us of the REBEL JESUS to send us home with a good thought.
In about 10 minutes the place was full as Ed & SUE brought us to order for BANJO JOHN to start appropriately with AMORE swiftly followed by RUTH, KATH & STAN with JOHN LOVER and DON & HEATHER with IT'S WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT. JO as next on her feet with BOTH SIDES THE TWEED (Gaughan) and equally wet was COLIN with LET IT RAIN before PETE hit us with HURT (Trent Reznor). ADIEU SWEET LOVELY NANCY cooed ROB next and CHRIS GILL felt the same about LILY OF THE WEST before IAN BRUCE brought s back to earth with his WET WEATHER GEAR. It was then nice to welcome ANN C with SING JOHN BALL before GED warned us of CARELESS LOVE and ZOE was equally interesting about HOLDING DOWN THE COUCH. With another weather warning PAUL sang LET IT RAIN but without it CARL'S lady mariner really would have been ALL AT SEA and RICHARD GRAY would have been up ELON MOR. Next JIM & LYNN were wondering about NANCY SPAIN but ARTHUR MARSHALL told them WHEN LOVE IS GONE it's gone as surely were the rock stars in the plane crash that caused DON McCLEAN to write AMERICAN PIE next sung by newcomer TONY DARLINGTON and this made KAMRAN think of TROUBLE IN MIND. Finally JOHN CONDY walked on TOM PAINE'S BONES (Gaughan) and ROBIN sang a Chris de Burgh Song to take us to the interval.
A bumper raffle later we hit the ground running with best wishes for the birthday trio and ED particularly dedicated THE OLDEST SWINGER IN TOWN to John Condy before CARL returned us to sanity with his customary elan for BOYS OF BELLY ROW and COLIN took us to MINUS ZERO NO LIMIT. After that PETE ROBERTS was WILLIN' but for GED it was EASY GETTING HARDER EVERY DAY, however we fortunately had RICHARD GRAY who old us WE'RE BIGGER THAN THAT. ROB then gave us a SEA SONG and CHRIS GILL responded with the blues BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME take a look at yourself which prompted PAUL to take THE LONESOME TRAIN. Next IAN BRUCE was off on a VOYAGE OF DELIGHT which made ANN C think of WHEN I WAS SINGLE and KAMRAN to retort THAT'LL NEVER HAPPEN NO MORE. It obviously touched a nerve for JIM & LYNN who went off in search of some WHISKEY IN THE JAR while KATH, STAN & RUTH were bemoaning the fate of farmers with BLACK WATER on their land to which ZOE responded IF I HAD A BOAT. All this had no er er effect on JOHN CONDY who was off to ATLANTIC CITY as ARTHUR MARSHALL pleaded forgiveness for his sins with a rabble rousing BLESS ME FATHER before DON & HEATHER had us all confessing to be both SAINTS AND SINNERS as we hit the road home after another great night.
They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew and they all had a great night well stewarded by JAN & MARK who started the ball rolling in fine style with THE 30 FOOT TRAILER (McColl) and JIM & LYNN kept up the momentum with THE STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. PAUL then returned to last week's theme of strong women with JACKAROE to which GED replied LORD SEND ME and GAVIN soothed THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND. A great a cappella song SUMMER WINE then came from KATHIE TAYLOR which prompted BANJO JOHN to come right up to date with IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT DIXIE from the 1940s and CARL to sing one of Jez Lowe's humorous observational songs ALOYSIUS. Next RUTH, KATH & STAN fell back on HARD TIMES and with JO off BLOWING IN THE WIND (Dylan) KAMRAN came up with the idea of LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIAN. BOB DYLAN'S DREAM was next on ED'S mind as ALAN set out on some TUNES before TONY gave us SAVE THE HAMMER FOR THE MAN. Hot off the press ARTHUR updated us on his back garden travails with HARRY THE BADGER before COLIN observations were more human in THE MIDNIGHT WATCHMAN before BRIAN played NAGEELA. In fine picking form ROBIN then went back to his roots for JOCK O' HAZELDEAN but ROD must have gone on holiday for IF YOU'RE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO but any way up GUITAR BRIAN said I'LL BE WATCHING YOU. Heading toward the interval ROB hauled up the sails to BLOOD RED ROSES until DON & HEATHER reckoned we were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE.
A big raffle for the huge crowd interestingly saw a few prizes go to people with the free raffle ticket which shows you have to be in to win as we embarked on the homeward journey a climactic finish. First JAN & MARK mocked the American's failure to teach about evolution with HUNT HIM DOWN, i.e., Charles Darwin, before RUTH, KATH & STAN invited FOLLOW ME HOME and TONY was hoping it would lead to A PAIR OF BROWN EYES. Then suddenly GUITAR BRIAN was that DESPERADO but the other BRIAN just quietly played AND I LOVE HER (Beatles) before PAUL sang and played ANGELINE THE BAKER which he informed us is what all Banjo players cut their teeth on. ISOBEL in her turn then played a couple of tunes, SCALLAWA LASSIES & the HALTING MARCH, leaving JIM & LYNN to cut loose with BLACK VELVET BAND with full choral backing from the crowd and ROD kept them at it with IF I WERE A CARPENTER. There was no let up as chorusing was also the order of the day as CARL sang another Jez Lowe song, OLD BONES. KATHIE TAYLOR then unsheathed the flute for DENNIS MURPHY'S and MERRILY KISS THE QUAKER before GAVIN sang FAREWELL CISCO FARE THEE WELL, which was new to most of us, as GED fired up the VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING (Thompson). Too noisy reckoned ROBIN who said COME BY THE HILLS and KAMRAN who invited us to come SELLING ICE CREAM IN THE AUTUMN, a parody of Messing about On The River. In a much more sombre vein ARTHUR told us JOHNNY AIN'T COMING HOME before ROB headed us for the close with COME WRITE YE DOWN but that didn't stop ED from TEACHING ME WORM HOW TO SWIM before under instruction to provide a big finish DON, HEATHER, ISOBEL & LYNN banded up for GALWAY GIRL soon to be heard on You Tube. Mega!!
Another cracking evening with Ian dropping in on his way back to Middlesbrough, and him a Sunderland supporter, Gavin having just found us on the internet and lots of regulars and irregulars for that matter. Mick and John hosted and in the form of PEPPER STREET kicked off on a high with a great song of Mick's, ECHOES OF THE CIVIL WAR, Back from their tour of Lanzarote JIM & LYNN were definitely not wearing a LONG BLACK VEIL and goodness only knows where GED had been to come up with GET YOUR BIG LEG OF MINE but it was self evident with ROBIN'S excellent rendition of the MASSACRE OF GLENCOE. Next ED related the story of the POOR DITCHING BOY which made IAN think of Kieren Halpin's GOD HAS NO PLAN but looking on the bright side BANJO JOHN soon had us singing along with BYE BYE BLACKBIRD from 1926. As usual BRIAN was in a romantic mood with I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ME before DON & HEATHER took us off to THE WESTERN RANGE courtesy of Huddie Ledbetter, Leadbelly to his friends, while PAUL was sad about the fate of GEORDIE. KAMRAN, playing brilliant slide guitar on his knee, declared AIN'T GONNA BE TREATED THIS WAY while ARTHUR confessed YOU ARE STILL ON MY MIND but JO told us THE CARNIVAL IS OVER. Next ROB dedicated MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN to Martin, a no brainer really, and newcomer GAVIN went to Tom Paxton for I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER whereas more forthrightly PEPPER STREET dedicated DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL to that well known teetotaller, Rob. Hurtling toward the interval BANJO JOHN got a second go with MEAN TO ME, which we are definitely not, followed by ROBIN with NOW THAT THE BUFFALO'S GONE and IAN with BLAKEY RIDGE about that lovely place high on the North Yorkshire Moors where the pub does great food before PAUL sang us to the break with BLACK VELVET BAND.
A good raffle saw Derrick win the wine, Jim & Lynn won the bottle of bubble, John won the chocolates and where the Christmas cake went is a mystery as we started the second with JIM & LYNN singing THE GYPSY ROVER. BRIAN was still all smoochy with FIELDS OF GOLD as KAMRAN vowed WHEN I LAY MY BURDEN DOWN before ED stopped the show with MYRTLE THE TURTLE. DON & HEATHER could only respond with Tom Paxton's greatest hit RAMBLING BOY and GED answered the call by banding up with KAMRAN & JOHN for LOST JOHN whereas GAVIN turned to the WHISKY IN THE JAR. ROB then played safe on THE GOOD SHIP KALABAR but ARTHUR was down ON BLEAKER STREET before PEPPER STREET gave us Mick's application for Geordie status, TAKE ME TO THE BRIDGE, CONTRABAND aka ROBIN, HEATHER & DON then invited us to TAK' A DRAM while IAN was down looking for BLACK DIAMONDS and it was no wonder that ARTHUR reckoned THE POOR GET NOTHING AT ALL. All this just made PAUL want to STEP IT UP AND GO as ROB bemoaned the demise of THE OLD PUBS where ED reckoned he must have been HAPPY AS A PIG IN S***. On a higher plane JIM & LYNN sang in praise of THE SPANISH LADY before GAVIN sang the Irish National Anthem, FIELDS OF ATHENRY, with a respectful salute from some in the crowd, before KAMRAN reckoned it was all 50 SHADES OF SH***. Thankfully GED returned to cap it all and end a great night with the sad story of the girl on the TRAPEZE.
A pretty full and sublime evening with Ruth, Kath & Stan guiding us seamlessly through it after they had set the tone with Scarborough Fair. John Chilcott then reckoned we were in The Hazy Shade Of Winter (Paul Simon) while Rob had us all Fathom The Bowl before The Taylors (Cathy, Jan and Mark) were in fine form both instrumentally, guitar, flute, harmonica, percussion, and vocally with Wagon Wheel. Then there was a big welcome for John Muskett who asked the New York Girls "Can You Dance The Polka?" as Arthur Marshall bemoaned the Fat White Men In Suits and Jo elucidated All My Trials Will Soon Be Over. Carl was surprised to be called next but immediately reminisced with his own great song about the 1710 train while Paul had Trouble In Mind and Zoe remembered climbing Re-Union Hill (Richard Schindell). Giving us a rousing chorus Don & Heather then went back to The Rare Ould Times and Joan followed suit with In My Liverpool Home whereas Kaman was almost unintelligible with his brilliant rendition of the poem Jabberwocky (Lewis Carroll). Keeping up the high standard set, Ed dedicated his song To Ramona (Dylan) and Brian was equally poignant with Jessie (Janis Ian) but Ann C went straight for it with Can We Afford The Doctor, Mitt Romney's campaign song. Thus inspired Ged also got right to it with How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times As This before Pete sought to lighten things up by Trying To Catch The Wind (Donovan) before Kath, Ruth & Stan said Let The Mystery Be and John Chilcott took us back to our Roots (Show Of Hands), Jo announced that she was Leaving On A Jet Plane and The Taylors proclaimed Momma's Got A Squeezebox as we hit the interval.
In a good raffle Dave from The Services Club won the wine, Ann & John got the Christmas Pudding and the Box Of Biscuits went to the Mystery Man before Carl sang Nearer To Nettles by his hero Jez Lowe. Up from London Charlie then played Eanach Chuin on the whistle with Don as the safety net before Ged took off for some Hard Love and Brian played us the out take from Abbey Road with all those big chords of his. As we all know Pete next had a Heart Of Gold (Neil Young) which nicely set up Isobel, coming in after choir practise, for a rousing cheer after Harvest Home and the Irish Washerwoman followed by Ed having us falling about with his monologue Albert And The Wild Morris Men. No wonder Kamran next turned to the White Rabbit and John Muskett had the Good Morning Blues (Leadbelly) backed by Paul, Kamran, Zoe, Don et al all of which left Arthur Restless In The Morning. Getting us back on track Ann C told us Love Is Pleasing and Don & Heather agreed with The Galway Shawl as did Thousands Or More when sung by Rob. Well in the mood now, Zoe gave us a great version of the Gentle Arms Of Eden (Dave Carter). Despite this Paul was off on the New River Train to which Kath, Stan & Ruth replied Beautiful before Isobel danced us off with Danny Beck and The Rope Waltz which left Arthur to send us out into the street singing his own Ireland Is A State Of The Heart. It doesn't get much better than that!!
Smaller than last week but more perfectly formed were both the audience and the performers who all enjoyed one of the best quality and most humorous evenings in Sale Folk Club co-hosted by the new combination of Kamran & Pete. Pete opened with both a funny story and James Taylor's Shower The People before Don & Heather reminded of the proximity of Armistice Day with Calling Doon The Line which prompted Banjo John to remind us that there was little difference between the soldiers in WW2 with both sides singing and enjoying Lili Marlene or was it Marlene Dietrich? Ged was having none of it as he shot off at a tangent with Ring Tailed Tom and Jo led us all in Sally Free And Easy before Arthur Marshall sang his beautiful Footprints In The Sand. Rob then quickly lowered the tone with The Rawtenstall Annual Fair before Robin reminded us the The Battle Is Over and Eric provided his own perspective with The Man At The Door. Kamran was then the anchor man into round 2 with Whiskey Lullaby as he handed over to Banjo John who opened with Baby Wont You Please Come Home followed by Arthur with Fish Finger Disaster and Jo with Hard Times. In need of something extra Ged urged us to Take A Whiff On Me with the Cocaine Blues as Rob took us up to Granddad's Attic and Pete had us off to the North Country Fair before Don & Heather took us up to the break with Knee Deep In A River.
Much socialising and chips later City had pulled back to a draw as in the raffle Helen took the wine, Kate won the box of Toiletries and David grabbed the Chocolates which he promptly handed round which was nice.
In the second half Kamran went all psychedelic with See Emily Play followed by Eric's account of Dr Steve Jones' theory that The Healing Power Of Lust will solve all our problems to which many must have considered that the end of the planet will happen the sooner. Undaunted, Robin brilliantly picked his way through Spinning Wheel which reminded Emily of the other Tap On The Window. Arthur then announced I'm Going To Drown My Cat making Rob ask but Who Killed Cock Robin and Ged to moan Easy's Getting Harder. Pete with an even funnier story then set off into Sunsets before Robin, Isobel, Heather & Don as Contraband explained the meaning of The Vacant Chair before Ged returned With Trouble In Mind. Rob was then requested to take us all on Trevor Morton's Mill Outing and Isobel played two waltzes, Danny Back and Rope Waltz, before Pete took us All Along The Watchtower. Next Arthur again had us in tears with his Walking The Bulldog skit on Waltzing Matilda for which Ged reckoned we'd need Boots Of Spanish Leather before Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms from Kamran. Clearly reaching a climax Heather & Don sang their South Australia for Kas who was visiting from Adelaide and then with Isobel & Robin again became Contraband for All The Good Times Are Past And Gone for obvious reasons.
Well, the Club's 4th Birthday Party went with a bang when more than 70 souls jammed into the room as Robin opened with his parody on It's Good To Be Back Home Again after his trip to China. He and Sue went on to conduct the packed house with great skill as Brian first took us all off to the Dock Of The Bay before Jim & Lynn livened us up with Ordinary Man as a prelude to the return of Banjo Man who with John Condy's harmonica had us all singing to Cheatin' Heart. All the way from Southend on sea, Kate Denny and Charlie then kept up the tempo with William And The Boat before our door person Kate's grandson Omar treated us to When The Saints Go Marching In and How Graceful. Next we were all certainly under Carl's Magical Sky, one of his best songs, followed by Ellie's I Will Always Love You and Ged with Steve Goodman's Ballad Of Penny Evans. Stella then led us with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah as did Merdy with Paul Simon's Leaves That Are Green and Peter with Bob Dylan's I Shall Be Released. In sympathy with the beleaguered New Yorkers, Paul sang Dirk Powell's Waterbound and Colin was also in America with John Stuart's Mother Country before Kath & Stan sang the traditional Waterbound. Arthur then gave us our first heads up with Armistice Day before Kamran sang a blues, So Relax, and John Condy reminded us of Halloween with Werewolves Of London. Rod was next off to Itchy Coo Park as Zoe sang the traditional wedding song, The Water Is Wide, to take us up to the interval Buffet and Chips which was well received.
Wind and water permitting a nice group assembled to celebrate the start of our new season which coincided with Derrick's birthday so it was party time and everyone was in the mood initially set up by Don & Heather who opened with a visit to sunny Spain to meet The Conquistadores who certainly knew how to party over in South America. Trevor then made us think with his Gold Watch Blues before Paul went off to Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms and Merdy put it down to The Life Of A Man. Arthur Marshall attributed it all to the second coming of Noah with no animals on board only rich people. When they all died they certainly didn't have all the Things That Matter which Kamran sang about and Anne C summed it up another way with False, False Have You Been as did Colin with Denver's I Think I'd Rather Be A Cowboy. Ged's solution was to sing I Will Fly Away and certainly Guitar Brian agreed with When Your Body's Had Enough Of Me and Pete, after Dyson With Death decided on Whole Life Through. Robin and Isobel then broke the mold in several ways with Plaisir D'Amour with treble recorder and some nice finger picking while Ed was still Just Learning To Play The Guitar and John Condy was taking to recitation with George Carlin's A Modern Man. This prompted David to rise up with his Shifting Whispering Sands about the depleted uranium found after the Iraqi war but Charles insisted we go Dancing At Whitsun. Paul then started us off again with The Reverend Mr Black, Don & Heather led us all in the great chorus of Sonny, Peter had The Going Home Blues, Anne C Claimed I Must Love Him Still and John Condy took us to party time with Pharaoh.
There was a fine spread of talent at Sale tonight despite some notable absences, probably due to the aftermath of the Bank Holiday and various festivals, however Mark and Jan hosted an evening which produced an eclectic mix of songs opening with Allan Taylor's It's Good to See You. Then Paul Riley lamented incarceration with the Folsom Prison Blues before Carl then had a Change of Heart and Ged told us what life was like on The Old Trapeze. Next up there was a warm welcome for two visitors from across the Pennines, Huddersfield to be relatively precise! Robert Fowler with a fine rendition of the German Clock Winder and Phil Sykes, accompanying himself with an electronic piano with the lovely song, Stan Roger's Mary Ellen Carter were well received. Karina then sang Sailor's Life and Trevor followed with The Rivers Run Free before newcomer Tony sang St Patrick's Battalion about a unit of Irish immigrants who defected from the US army and fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American war of 1846 to 1848. Jo, with an old favourite Both Sides of the Tweed then sang a Scottish song while Merdy, a Scot, came up with I've Got Leather on My Shoes and Jim and Lynne sang happily about the Leaving of Liverpool. Robin then turned to one of his favourites by Chris de Burgh, Snows of New York before Pete was completely right with War Drags On as was Colin Rudd with his poignant song Illness Isolation before Zoe Mulford sang a new song she'd learned by William Joliffe, Laughlin Boy, and Eric sang Jacques Brel's Port of Amsterdam. More fairly newcomers Bridie and Ian concluded the first round with Rita McNeill's Working Man and Mark, alluding to the recent death of Neil Armstrong, took us up to the interval with Donovan's 1972 take on the space race The Intergalactic Laxative.
Well, we had to send for extra chairs as Banjo John summed it all up with I'm Flying High and Robin added, gee but It's Good To Be Back Home Again. Then in the words of one of Carl's fine songs, it must be When Fate And Circumstance Collide but at least nobody was missing the point as they did in Don & Heather's song Knee Deep In A River. Trevor then took us back to Northern Ireland for The Town I Loved So Well, Derry/Londonderry, but Kath & Stan were off Wayfaring Strangers and Paul had the How Long Blues. Next we were able to extend a welcome to newcomer Dave Slater who sang his own song Little Mill Girl which paved the way for the surprise visit of Nelson Peach who delighted us with the Copper Kettle and Jack Frighten 'em from their latest CD before another newcomer Gary also sang us his own song about his Grandad, Tommy. Yet another surprise visitor, George Pilch, took to the floor with his own composition My Friend Rossendale which he confessed gave him great pleasure because he had written a duplicate set of words about the Borders in Scotland and had got two for the price of one proving him to be a true Scot! Next up Eddie wrapped his fingers skilfully around the instrumental Planxty George Brabazon before Poet Dave, with his own poem, warned of the dangers of opening The Box (called War) leaving Ged to comment the Moon Goes Down. Guitar Brian then unfurled more fistfuls of chords in accompanying Every Time I Say Goodbye while a cappella Jo was that Sally Free And Easy and with a chorus of thousands, mostly her grandchildren, Joan pleaded Love Me Tender.
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DO & HEATHER
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22 JANUARY 2019