Carl and Eric ran an absolutely electrifying night and everyone agreed that the evening was fantastic and had a real buzz. Banjo John Brown opened up with a Fats Waller Medley and then followed with a much shorter number dating back to 1907, to which Ed sang along loudly, making us realise that he is older than we originally thought! Jan delved even further back with her beautiful song Factory Girl and Carl followed that with a Jez Lowe Ballad of Johnny Collier. Mark stunned us all with his exceptional guitar playing of Albatross before we were then delighted to be entertained by two new faces from Blyth in the North East who luckily coordinated their visit to us with a house-sitting holiday in Liverpool. As Jiva they gave us first an Allan Taylor song Back Home to You and then followed this with one of their own songs, When. They were absolutely superb and John Condy did well to follow them with Across the Borderline by Ry Cooder with Eric, along with all the actions including his now famous spin on the spot, sang Amsterdam by Jacques Brel. Kath & Stan next sang Sweet Sunny South with humour then provided by Dave, the Wythenshawe poet, with his Wimbledon Widower's Lament which was very appropriate for this particular week in June.
With a quick double shuffle to cover for Mick, Heather was recruited to assist John Condy in providing a very entertaining evening which started off in fine style with a lesser known Dylan song Nobody 'cept You. Early bird Banjo John soon turned the bum spot to his advantage by telling us I'm Going Down This Dusty Road and inviting us all to join him in the key of G. We all went like lemmings only to be brought to our senses when Merdy accused us of tilting at Windmills. Next Karen, as the single Bailey Sister, took the opportunity to sing the lovely No My Love, Not I which at first hearing is a sweet song but, as with many folk songs, with a more sinister hidden message. The same was true when Carl sung of Jez Lowe's Galloways about blind retired pit ponies in the sun but unable to see, bitter sweet! Ruth, Kath & Stan continued the theme with Pie In The Sky (when you die) to keep us all cheerful before David the poet scrambled our brains with Larne. Don & Heather then bemoaned the lack of a greater plan with Saints and Sinners and Albert did the same with his Salford Song.
Not quite as many as the last two weeks but top quality from the opening by Pepper Street which was Black Muddy River through Sweet Lemony, a love song, by Richard Sails and then an old favourite, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, by Robin. Ed was soon in his Ivory Tower followed by the Bailey Sisters who sang Karen's original song The Navigator and Ged with Frankie and Johnny. Banjo John was in go form with Willie Nelson's On The Road Again and a beautiful version of My Melancholy Baby which brought a tear to John Condy's eye. Merdy took to Freedom Road courtesy of Chris de Burgh and Derrick was in Les Barker mode and did The Verb To Be in two instalments but Bob revelled in The Foggy Dew. Carl came in with Dandelion Clocks to further explore the Jez Lowe repertoire before David chipped in with The Box, his poem about war, to preface more of the same old xxxx from Rob who led us all in the good sea shanty, Alabama. Brian was next up with a nice rendition of Galway Bay followed by Stella with The Water is Wide and Wendy who surprised with The Unforgiven by Metallica in the form of a poem. Dave Pugh then put in an earlier appearance than usual with The Tent Poles are Rotten, originally a poem by Aussie bush poet Henry Lawson which was put to music by Martyn Wyndham Read, and he was followed by Peter who sang The Shores of Botany Bay. Richard Sails then slipped in with General Taylor before Richard Gray ended the first round with his own In The Morning.
A brilliant evening was had by all and not just because it was Carl's birthday and Sue's Quality Street Tin was passed around, delicious! Mississippi Banjo John opened up the evening with a Fats Waller medley including I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter and It's a Sin to Tell a Lie. Merdy then came to the front and sang a lovely version of Fiddler's Green and Robin gave us a nice rendering of Mull of Kintyre, which encouraged us all to sing along, and then Stella sang a religious song Said Judas to Mary, which was very Easter appropriate. Kath and Stan were Ruthless when they sang Sweet Sunny South which was followed by Isabel who played a couple of nameless hornpipes whilst balancing up against the piano, so as not to stand on one leg. Ruth sang a very pleasing Dear Mary alone before Adam also took up the Easter theme with Jesus Gonna Be Here. Birthday Boy Carl then sang a self-written number The Kindest Way followed by The Bailey Sisters' Rare's Hill. Bob, who had been singing all the previous night, gave us a very husky Stormy Monday before almost losing his voice, so Ed stepped in at this point and sang a miserable Staffordshire mining song called The Black Hills to make up for it. Rob, our own Captain Cook, was now up to letter T so he sang Thousands or More and Ged's first blues number of the night was Backwater Blues. Brian sang a nice quiet Cross Near Spancil Hill before Helen, from the Time Bandits, sang and accompanied herself on fiddle a wonderful version of Alberta whilst everyone joined in with the chorus and Frank accompanied her on guitar. Frank carried on to treat us to May Morning Dew and then Eric, with John Condy on guitar, gave us a rousing Bad Moon Arising again with everyone joining in. John stayed up with Pepper Street to sing North West Passage before Dave Pugh finished the first half with an Alan Taylor number Jimmy's Song.
Pepper Street guided us expertly through a great night of new faces, new songs and good old time religion, as they used to say. Take Me With You Tonight they pleaded as first on an Colin Evans took them a their word with a great interpretation of Blackwaterside and Leadbelly's When I Was A Cowboy before saying what a great time he had had and vowing to come back soon. Can't wait. Kath & Stan were Ruthless in there delivery of 900 miles and Banjo Pickin' Girl and Banjo John too us back to the beginning of the last century with Has Anybody Seen My Gal and Sweet Sue, surely a tribute to Ed's wife. Jan & Mark went solo for Rout of The Blues and Tawney's 5 Foot Flirt before joining hands for The White Cockade. Dave the poet came in with some truisms and words of wisdom in A Philosophy For Life and God Had A Plan. Oh Yes?? Isobel made a late start with two delightful pieces Danny Beck and The Rope Waltz before Rob ate more alphabet soup with The Last Leviathan and Martin Says To His Man. Look out for N next week. Colin Rudd had a 5.00am start in the morning so came in with just the one He Had A Long Chain On by Jimmy Driftwood but it was worth it! Albert, after much communication with Peggy Seeger, sang Dirty Old Town complete with his extra verse having gained royal approval followed by John Prine's Sam Stone. Next Robin, after grabbing Saturday's headlines, revealed his own extra verse in The Village, his real folk song about the take over of Cadbury by the American conglomerate Kraft and again had everyone singing with Sometimes When We Touch. Eric then kindly saved us a lot of mental stress by singing us his translation of L'Accordionist which we now fully understand and followed it with Ruby Tuesday. Thanks Eric.
We were reminded us of the old saying, "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!" Richard Sail returned from his thespian success at The Garrick to sing us the old traditional Bold Princess Royal and Yarmouth Town which we all joined in lustily. Dave Pugh, after a long time away, played us a new tune South Devon Atmospheric and Jean Finney treated us to something new in her own Saving Up My Memories about her Mum but later confessed to I'm Confused. Aren't we all? The rest of us simply borrowed from from all those wonderfully talented people whose music and words continue to delight us. Sometimes we were a little blue as with Pepper Street's Killing The Blues but the rest of the time we explored the whole range of the human condition. Nothing serious then!
Don't Miss Out!
Our Next WEEKLY ACOUSTIC FOLK NIGHT
KATH & STAN
at 8.00pm on
17 SEPTEMBER 2019