At first a few and then the multitude as this quickly developed into a lively session and gave reason to why we NEVER close. New faces and new performers mixed in with the regulars made it an excellent evening with so much banter and 40 songs to boot. Don & Heather's Roseville Fair set the tone followed by Adam's lesser known Dear Doctor by the Rolling Stones and Carl's more serious Boys Of Belly Row, Jez Lowe's mining song. We were certainly not the Passing Strangers that Brian claimed and we doubted Simon's claim that It Ain't Gonna Rain No More but we were definitely with Claire as She Moved Through The Fair. Ged then gave us a warning about Careless Love, Rob said you don't want to be Aboard A 98, Ed claimed life was so hard I Ain't Got No Time To Cry so we turned to Isobel who cheered us all with a couple of tunes Rakes Of Kildare and Tenpenny Bit to end the opening round. Simon then gave us an interesting moment with his own song I Believe In You that came about when his wife dreamed the words which he put to music. Only a chorus song would do after that and Rambling Boy from Don & Heather fitted the bill followed by Rolling Home from Rob just before the Charabanc arrived disgorging Frank for I'm A Believer, in his own inimitable style, Ian with the Hand Weaver And The Factory Maid and Richard for two jigs The Orphan and Langston Pony. Next, I Know Where I'm Going sang Claire and Brian asked Can't You Feel The Love Tonight, to commemorate Elton John's new family, leaving Adam to say You Gotta Move and Ged to echo Iris Dement's feelings in It Ain't Easy And It's Getting Harder Every Day. There was still time for some romance before the break with Carl's own All At Sea about the female matelot but Ed distinctly preferred Trashy Woman.
As Oscar Wilde said, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes" and another full house proved it to be true as hosts Don & Heather created the festival atmosphere with The Roseville Fair. Banjo John then said he was sure he knew that Coal Miner's Daughter before Mike shantied away with One More Day and Merdy came up with Tom Paxton's Beg, Steal or Borrow. Ruth (Vocal), Kath (D Whistle) & Stan (Banjo) then gave us a lovely version of Call To Arms In Our Street, a new one to us, and John Muskett reminisced about the Bonnie Lass Of Fyvie. Next Rob was in fine voice for the emotive Last Of The Great Whales, no not a contradiction in terms and well sung Rob, swiftly followed by Ged's equally sad tale of Riley's Daughter and this set the scene for Brian, one of our regular audience, to suddenly declare that he had been having guitar lessons on the quiet and had had the temerity to bring along the offending article for our delectation. All agog we were soon to be gobsmacked as he played and sang I Had To Say I Love You In A Song and received a tumultuous reception. Well done Brian!
Half full 15 minutes before the start and cramming people in by 9.00pm it was an excellent 2nd Anniversary Celebration. Ed & Sue were the ideal hosts as they invited Banjo John and his wife Connie to commence proceedings with Red River Valley swiftly followed by John Beech with the Lakes of Ponchatrain (Paul Brady) and Ruth, Kath & Stan's The Last Goodbye which it certainly was not. Mike then sang the Two Musicians before poet Dave Sidebotham told us the poignant story Goodnight Dad, See You In The Morning and old friend Terry came all the way from Conwy to delight us with October Song. Richard Sails then explained how Herring's Head happened to be on the menu, John Condy returned to The Motherland (Christy Moore) and Rob was in good form with Come Write Ye Down. Making a delayed entrance Ed then stepped out again with Lanagan's Ball which set Colin thinking of Arthur McBride. The Bailey Sisters then Two (more) Musicians and Ann Cojeen reminisced about My Faithful Johnny. Carl then claimed If I Could Read Your Mind what a tale he could tell but he didn't but he hadn't reckoned for Jan's Welsh Ar Lan Y Mor and Mark's Glasgow Cat - Sam The Skull or Isobel's Canal In October on the recorder. Ged then thought he should be on his toes with Step It Up And Go so Robin set off on The Road To Dundee but after a quick Happy Birthday to the club Don & Heather were Passed The Point Of Rescue, Lorraine was Free And Easy (her own) before Eric took us up to half time refreshments.
It was another good evening with one or two first timers but they were familiar faces. Sean Kavanagh did The Auld Triangle, but he had to leave before he could do a second one, and Mike Turner did As Tears Go By (Jagger/Richards) and his own song, Tommy For the Line, about a Welsh rugby player who came north to play Rugby League for Oldham before being killed in the First World War, and finally, Brian, who has been a regular in the audience for quite some time, did Georgia On My Mind with accompaniment from John Condy on harmonica.
As expected a smaller but perfectly formed turnout for Richard and Stella who started off with The Nightingale eagerly followed by Banjo John Brown who played Dr Jazz, The Last of the Summer Wine Theme as a tribute! Ruth, Kath & Stan were similarly sentimental when they said Follow Me Home to which Ed said you can Dream by Bob Dylan. Jean had the Dead Man's Stitch, unaccompanied this time and Mike reminded us of the folly of Icarus. Dave Cinnamond with The Light-hearted Maiden and debutante Linda Nacke with her own Corporate Identity next made a good start at the club followed by veterans Pepper Street who were Across the Borderline with John Hyatt and Ry Cooder's song and Bob was back to school with The Keeper. Heather was then Walking on Sunday with Anthony John Clarke followed by Brian who was On My Way Again with Fairport Convention and Colin was Untitled with his own song but Ann Cojeen was still claiming Young Men Are False but surely not Simon who was a Working Class Hero. Isobel decided to play let's all Jump at the Sun but Frank said he couldn't because he was going to be a Granddad so he went to The Hiring Fair but Dave Pugh soon put his mind at rest by singing Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. However going into the second round Banjo John Brown had the St Louis Blues probably at the demise of The Last Of The Summer Wine. Pepper Street showed no sympathy when they decided they had Boats to Build coming up to the raffle and the interval.
A sick note on Facebook from the Bailey Sisters didn't stop the flood gates opening again as we filled up quite nicely for Don & Heather to set the ball rolling with The Roseville Fair where they danced all night. Banjo John then kept toes tapping with Fats Waller's I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate and Merdy also had us dancing with Black Jack Davy singing through the green, green trees leading to Sonny's Mazurka and the Cricket Marched over The Salt Box, two tunes from Mark. Jan then shunned accompaniment for The Raven and The Hare which sent John Condy Rocky Mountain High but Robin only wanted to euphemistically Lay You Down. Then Leadbelly arrived in the guise of our Ged who took us down The Rock Island Line which had us all singing as we went Safe In The Harbour with Carl. The nimble fingers of Isobel next played the Newly Rigged Ship and Lady In The Boat followed by Brel's La Chanson de Jackie, performed superbly by Eric, and Let The Mystery Be from Ruth, Kath & Stan who still get better by the week. Ed was Hanging On In To The End, resisting the retirement home and the pillow (in Joke), as was Derrick with Sparky's Magic Contraceptive and debutante Jean with The Island Of Dreams, come back soon, but for another Marian, All Things Are Quite Silent. Bob then told us Last Night I Had A Lovely Dream but Colin pointed out that Illness Isolates You, Even if it is only addiction to folk music? Merdy then continued with Bob Jensen's Your Favourite Song and John Condy went 10,000 Miles followed by Ruth, Kath & Stan's Birds and Ships before Banjo John sang Take My Hand Precious Lord Lead Me Home to take us to the interval as he packed up his instrument and put on his coat leaving his raffle ticket for Sue to later claim his first prize.