Newsletters 2018


Newsletter No 505 18 December 2018

A superb evening of reflection was started by PAUL McD who said I NEED YOU NOW while ED was WAITING FOR A TRAIN whereas ANDY was seeking guidance from the STAR OF BETHLEHEM. Meanwhile peter had the MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES and IAN had GEORGIA ON MY MIND while CARL was simply LOOKING FOR THE SUN, his own song. In seasonal mood STEVE gave us a Christmas Medley of JINGLE BELLS & SILENT NIGHT with his Autoharp to which PHIL replied I TALK TO THE WIND and HEATHER performed Les Barker’s story WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND. On the move DON & HEATHER then set of on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and PAUL RILEY went off to GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN leaving PAUL McD to ask whatever happened to SATURDAY NIGHT. Going back in time ED sang a song about AL BOWLLY whereas ANDY was up to date with SOMEONE TO RELY ON by Lily Allen before PETE replied with ST PAUL’S SONG and IAN mentioned CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE. Also rising to the occasion CARL performed his own excellent song YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE about a post person and STEVE contributed A CHILD IS BORN and PHIL played two tunes HORIZONS and JESU JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING and DON & HEATHER took us off to a WINTER WONDERLAND.
In the Big Raffle Kate won the Wine, Andy won the Mince Pies, Margaret won the Shower Gel and Steve won the Man Utd Calendar before PAUL opened the second half with a MORNING TOWN RIDE and late arrival RICHARD GRAY sang his own MAGNIFICAT. On a more personal level ED sang about ABSENT FRIENDS while PAUL McD commented HE THINKS HE’LL KEEP HER before ANDY went all heavy with Cohen’s HALLELUJAH and PETE proclaimed I SHALL BE RELEASED. A bit of rose tinted spectacles next as IAN played LA VIE EN ROSE and STEVE sang WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN and PHIL sang THE OUTLAW by Larry Norman. DON & HEATHER then needed us at the DIMMING OF THE DAY which RICHARD said was a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE followed by his patois Y’ALRIGHT MAN. Rising to a climax ANDY gave us some PERSUASION and IAN offered FIELDS OF GOLD before PAUL RILEY & PAUL McD finally delivered the frequently threatened WHITE CHRISTMAS with RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER in attendance. Season’s Greetings to everyone and here’s to a great 2019.

Newsletter No 504 11 December 2018
With Ed & Sue in charge BANJO JOHN lit the fuse with WHEN YOU WORE A TULIP as PETE ROBERTS set sail with THE AIRPORT SONG and PAUL RILEY hit the mark with MARY’S BOY CHILD. Surrealistically ED said it was a SPACEMAN CAME TRAVELLING to which CARL responded that’s FURTHER out and ROB just said I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL. With his own song PETE’S THE KING had us participating in SANTA’S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE and SIMON got heavy with SHE THINKS I STILL CARE before JAMES got all jazzy with SWEET LORRAINE. All was going swimmingly so it was an even bigger surprise when JAN & MARK came in fully dressed in pantomime gear and knocked us out as the GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY. A brilliant contribution Jan & Mark!! Coming back to earth DON & HEATHER then took us WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND and HEATHER herself stayed on with Les Barker’s humorous tribute to TURKEYS before WILF seriously sang THE WAY LIFE’S MEANT TO BE by ELO. Going back to his roots ALLEN sang the traditional ERIN GO BRAGH (Ireland Forever), ARTHUR went back to NATURE BOY and KATH & STAN went Deep South for SHAKE SUGAREE. Late comer MARIAN then sang the traditional WEE TOTUM FOGG followed by PAUL McD who came up with CORRINA, CORRINA before JOHN CONDY celebrated his birthday with the FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK which left BANJO JOHN to take us to the interval with YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF LOVE (Louis Armstrong).
With all the money going to Children in Need the bumper raffle saw Pete Roberts win the Wine, Pete’s the king win the Chinese Calendar, Allen win the Lynx Gift Set, Kate win the oven Glove, Kate also win the Special Christmas Cards, Paul Riley win the Tin of Quality Street, Gillian win the Cuddly Toy and Ed win the Sound Spa Rejuvenate. ED then stayed on his feet to tell the birthday boy YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD AS THE WOMAN YOU FEEL. On the canal ROB was aboard the GOOD SHIP KALIBAR and CARL commented IT’S A CHAMPION LIFE and PAUL Mc D issued a general invitation to SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME and a night UNDER THE BOARDWALK. Back to normal JAN & MARK next rocked us to LITTLE RED ROOSTER whereas more gently ARTHUR pleaded TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART before MARIAN related the tale of the MAID AND THE (talking) MAGPIE. Again with songs of the season PAUL RILEY led us in a Carol Medley starting with GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN to which PETE ROBERTS replied that’s YOUR SONG and ALLEN told us to take no notice of fashion PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE. Back on message WILF was IN MY LIGHTHOUSE while SIMON was with the tragic AMELIA EARHART which left JAMES in the BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY and JOHN CONDY saying, honestly, I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS. Oh no he doesn’t I hear you say, but having reached the end of the party DON, HEATHER & PAUL set out to rock us like a WAGON WHEEL etc to end a terrific night!!

Newsletter No 503 4 December 2018

As we filled up hosts MARK & JAN were setting off on the BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND with KATH & STAN waving them THE LAST GOODBYE and ALLEN empathising with oppressed countries in his own song O BOSNIA. Moving forward in time PAUL McD came up with HEY NOW as ED began to splutter with the BRONCHIAL DILATOR BLUES leaving voiceless PHIL to play us 3 GUITAR TUNES. It was all too tame for ANDY who yearned for the WALL OF DEATH but for PETE ROBERTS it was a question of his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH before HILARY had us laughing with her ONE-LINERS and EDDIE had us WALKING IN THE AIR. For IAN it was back in autumn with SEPTEMBER SONG but for PETER BRIDGE it was winter OUT OF THE SNOW as Pete’s friend MATT trudged through a DIRTY OLD TOWN. Next HEATHER introduced us to Les Barker’s DOG NAMED STAY before together DON & HEATHER got the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES and ANN warned mariners on the Rhine with her VAIR ME ORO VAN O. With an amusing parody PETES THE KING reckoned WE TILT THIS KITTY so fortunately PAUL RILEY could claim I’VE BEEN ALL OVER THE WORLD and SIMON asked HOW CAN YOU KEEP ON MOVING. Before the interval JAMES realised it was a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE that tonight we were presenting MIND THE STEP an Appalachian Dance Group who danced to KITCHEN CLOVERLEAF followed by MEDICINE MAN.
In the interval Raffle Vic won the Bottle of Red Wine, Simon won the Chocolates, Kath & Stan won the Box of Biscuits, Ann won the Shower Gel, Kate won the Santa Apron and Paul won the Beer Journal before PETE ROBERTS shouted out, HEY JOE. Thinking of the homeless PETER BRIDGE turned to the STREETS OF LONDON and KATH & STAN complained of LAZY JOHN before PHIL, still voiceless played the CARCASSI STUDY IN A and very nice too. Somehow this prompted ALLEN to go back to his Scout days for SHE SAT ON A HAMMOCK AND PLAYED HER GUITAR and PETES THE KING to recall hearing ARCHIE McPHERSON reporting all the football matches in Scotland. Also going for the solo guitar PAUL McD had the DELTA BLUES and IAN was crossing MOON RIVER before HILARY got us all giggling again at her ONE LINERS. Before Pumpkin time MIND THE STEP returned one last time for JESSE JAMES as ANDY went DOWN ALONG THE DIXIE LINE and SIMON was out with a JERSEY GIRL. This left JAMES to claim I AIN’T MISBEHAVIN but ED certainly was with SHE IS WOMAN before PAUL RILEY warned him YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE. Coming to a climax DON & HEATHER had us all singing away with SONNY’S DREAM before MARK & JAN finally drew it to a close with END OF THE LINE.


Newsletter No 502 27 November 2018

With much talent coming through the door DON, HEATHER & PAUL made a lively start with the GALWAY GIRL and PAUL RILEY had us joining in with TELL OLD BILL before KATH & STAN shot off 900 MILES from their home and PETE was even further away KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR. Next, in full traditional mode, STEVE, with his autoharp, sang of LOVELY MOLLY and ALLEN asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU as CHRIS went off with the SULTANS OF SWING. Then, time for some humour with HILARY and some of her hilarious ONE-LINERS. Pardon the pun. ANDY was next LOOKING FOR THE MOON and IAN played MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE before more fun from HEATHER with Les Barker’s EARWIG-O with much joining in. Unabashed BEN sang his own upbeat song MELANIE and PAUL McD informed us PEARL’S A SINGER (Elkie Brooks) leaving ED to relate BOB DYLAN’S DREAM before KATH & STAN went off to the BAY OF BISCAY-O. Heading to the break PAUL RILEY had us SINGING YOUR BLUES AWAY and PETE took us back to ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY all of which gave STEVE the URGE FOR GOING (J. Mitchell).
In the interval Raffle Margaret won the Bottle of Red Wine, Allen won the Christmas Pudding, Andy won the Chocolates and Pete won the Oven Glove before DON & HEATHER got the second half rolling with their own ROMANY JACK and PAUL McD responded, HOPE YOU HAD THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE. Following with his guitar IAN played AUTUMN LEAVES before ALLEN remembered the human tragedy of wars with his own great song PASSCHENDAELE. Talking to the birds BEN told us WINTERS COME AND GONE as HILARY came back with more ONE-LINERS and CHRIS told the story of FIRE AND RAIN by James Taylor. As he often does ANDY delved deep for TILL IT SHINES by Bob Seger as ED went back in time to the GRESFORD DISASTER before further back STEVE went OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY. For ANDY it was a case of SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN before PETE went back for MARY OF DUNGLOE and ALLEN bemoaned the POUND A WEEK RISE for miners. Finally, ED’S BAND summed up the evening with ALL THE GOOD TIMES are passed and gone as we headed for the door.

Newsletter No 501 20 November 2018

A brilliant evening of interesting music, song and good crack saw co-host PETE ROBERTS open with his own STORM RISING followed by PAUL RILEY with BLACK-EYED SUSIE and CARL with his own excellent ALL AT SEA. Slowing the pace PAUL McD sang his Mum’s favourite HE’LL HAVE TO GO and PETE gave us part 1 of his amusing RUSTY RED PARK BOX whereas JOHN REED came up with his children’s favourite THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND and KAMRAN demanded HOW LONG has this been going on? With pure tradition ANN sung about THE TROUT and topically ARTHUR demanded MAKE ‘EM GO HOME before RACING DEMON sang John Hiatt’s tragic song CROSSING MUDDY WATERS followed by JAMES with SWEET LITTLE MYSTERY and DON & HEATHER with MAY YOU NEVER by John Martyn. Coming to an interval climax JOHN REED sang his own RESTING PLACE and PETE gave us part 2 of his RUSTY RED PARK BOX before PAUL McD sang another of his Mum’s favourites, THE ROSE, and CARL celebrated Jake Thackray’s bloody funny non SISTER JOSEPHINE.

In the interval Raffle the Bottle of Red Wine was won by Vic, the Amaryllis won by Margaret, the Box of Shortbread won by Jackie and the gold Necklace won by Ken as PETE ROBERTS went off DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and ARTHUR celebrated MY GRANDFATHER’S FERRET again with his melodeon. ANN followed with the story of LORELEI while PAUL RILEY confessed it was THE NOODLING LIFE FOR ME and RACING DEMON told us that TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD (Nick Lowe). Following with the Beatles JAMES sang FOR NO ONE before KAMRAN, with a little mental preparation only, made up and sang his new song NORTHERN SKY as we listened before DON, HEATHER & PAUL headed off to THE ROSEVILLE FAIR. With another of his own JOHN REED sang SHE CRIES whereas CARL chose I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR by John Gorker before PETE explained the problems of walking his dog on a CYCLE RIDE. Looking on the bright side PAUL RILEY sang BRING ME SUNSHINE whereas more reservedly PAUL McD asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW as, on the same theme, PETE ROBERTS sang of lost love in RABBIT HILLS. Sensing a big finish RACING DEMON pointed out SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS but JAMES thought SOMETHING TELLS ME I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD and ARTHUR certainly was with his DRINK before we all sang into the night appropriately with THE THREE SPIRITS (Don, Heather & Paul) and I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD. Top class!!

Newsletter No 500 13 November 2018

On opening hosts GRASSROOTS convinced us that IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE but it did for the soldiers said BANJO JOHN as he sang LILI MARLENE but for PETE ROBERTS a pair of BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER were his wish. Lighter footwear for JIM & LYN who told us WE DANCED A REEL IN THE SHIMMERING LIGHT so PAUL RILEY had no need to ask WHERE IS THE LOVE as PETER went off piste with his PHANTOM INJURY BLOW ADDS TO UNTITLED’S WOO WOOS Pt 1. No wonder HEATHER whimsically claimed the first to the South Pole was SPOT OF THE ANTARTIC before DON & HEATHER then set off for SOUTH AUSTRALIA. For PAUL McD it was an invitation to LAY DOWN SALLY but for KATH & STAN a trip to the WINDMILL as JAMES cried HEY YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY and SIMON & JAMES were looking for a place to hide with THE WEIGHT. For JONATHAN it was case of THE DOLPHINS whereas RAY had a LONGING IN MY HEART FOR DONEGAL before RICHARD analysed THE LAST GREAT WAR. Coming up to the break GRASSROOTS spent some time CROSSING THE BAR before BANJO JOHN remembered his uncle from WWll with ROSES IN PICARDY & WE’LL MEET AGAIN before KATH & STAN took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND.
In the interval Raffle Sue won the Amaryllis, James won the Bottle of Red Wine, Richard won the Box of Tea and Joseph won the Stollen Cake. Then JIM told LYN I am AN ORDINARY MAN and PETE ROBERTS sang he had a HEART LIKE A WHEEL and PAUL RILEY sang he was as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU and JONATHAN declared he was a ONE MAN GUY. Next HEATHER certainly had that JE NE SAIS QUOIS before DON & HEATHER related the story of the PETERLOO MASSACRE and PAUL McD warned HANDLE WITH CARE. This was certainly needed when PETER continued with PHANTOM INJURY BLOW ADDS TO UNTITLED’S WOO Pt 2 followed by RICHARD with his YOU WERE THE HEART AND SOUL and visitor RAY sang Phil Coulter’s great hit THE TOWN THAT I LOVED SO WELL. Finally heading for a big finish SIMON & JAMES got us rocking with SHE’S NO LADY after which JAMES nailed it with ROUTE 66 as all hit the road!

Newsletter No 499 6 November 2018 

With more audience than the 18 performers KATH & STAN first took us off to HORNCASTLE FAIR and BRIAN warned of BAD BREATH before HEATHER & DON introduced the remembrance theme with CALLING DOON THE LINE by Alan G Brydon. In romantic mood PAUL McD complimented YOU LOOK WONDERFUL TONIGHT before PHIL sang Steve Knightley’s ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and PAUL RILEY led a singalong with LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY, PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES and BLUEBIRDS OVER THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER. In addition PETE decided to BEAT THE DRUM and CHRIS was a PIPER TO THE END and COLIN RUDD asked WHY NOT I. Another slant came from HELEN about the man good at being a soldier but NEVER ANY GOOD WITH MONEY by Martin Simpson whereas PETER BRIDGE was back in ENGLAND 1914, ANN sang the favourite LILI MARLENE and ED went back to the occasion when the fighting stopped on Christmas day with GERMAN SOLDIER. MARIAN then asked us to ONLY REMEMBER for what we have done and even after the event JONATHAN & CHARLIE pointed the aftermath with STILL FIGHTING THE WAR. Breaking away from the major theme KATH & STAN took us to the break with MOONSHADOW while BRIAN was LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL APART as HEATHER & DON followed the exploits of ROMANY JACK and PAUL McD was TALKING ABOUT MY GIRL.
In the Interval Raffle Jackie won the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen took the Box of Biscuits, Marian won the Handwash and Brian won the Necklace before PHIL appropriately played STUDY No 10 entitled PEACE and PAUL RILEY took us peacefully DOWN BY LAGGANSIDE while PETE calmly said TALK TO ME OF MENDOCINO. With new guitar in hand CHRIS continued with NANA’S SONG before JONATHAN & CHARLIE warned IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT. No wonder HELEN got the URGE FOR GOING and PETER BRIDGE was SOMEWHERE ALONG THE ROAD before ANN came back to NO MAN’S LAND. With another song of peace ED sang NANCY followed by MARIAN and THE WIFE OF USHERS WELL, KATH & STAN THE FORSAKEN MERMAID and PHIL with THE CROW ON THE CRADLE by Sydney Carter. Approaching the end of a great evening PAUL McD had us rocking with the BROWN EYED GIRL, BRIAN had us dancing to theTENNESSEE WALTZ and ED had us marching with THE UNIVERSAL SOLDIER before CHRIS played the instrumental NAKED LADIES AND ELECTRIC RAGTIME. To cap it all DON, HEATHER & PAUL had us all singing into the street with THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS. Magic!

OCTOBER - 2018

Newsletter No 498 30 October 2018

A first rate celebration of Halloween was started by PAUL RILEY with his own WEREWOLF WORRIED MAN BLUES followed by PAUL McD with the story of BILLY TYLER and BANJO JOHN who returned to sing THIS OLD HOUSE. On the other hand MARK TAYLOR took himself off to FIDDLER’S GREEN and with the closeness of Remembrance Sunday KEVIN remembered with a great song, TOMMY’S LOT. On the avant garde side BEN sang CHICKEN STEW in French while back home ANDY was DANCING AT WHITSUN and visitor ANDY sang his own song MINSTREL FAIR accompanied by his excellent 12-string. On the lighter side ED swore his Mum wished she’d never ‘AD ME, a humorous dig at Facebook, before HELEN was a poor WAYFARING STRANGER and ALLEN delivered the first hanging in McPHERSON’S RANT and DON & HEATHER delivered the second by hanging DANNY DEEVER. No wonder JAMES sang THINGS HAVE CHANGED before he formed RACING DEMON with SIMON for POCAHONTAS (Neil Young) just as BANJO JOHN said I GOT MY MOJO WORKING to which PAUL McD advised DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER and MARK warned there’s a BAD MOON RISING as we reached the break.
In the raffle Ben won the Wine, Jackie won the Roses, Andy won the Christmas Pudding and Allen won the Hand cream before PAUL RILEY introduced THE PHANTOM FOLK SINGER and KEVIN commented it must be a PICTURE IN A FRAME. Then suddenly BEN blurted out MORPHINE IS THE DEATH OF ME but TONY calmly picked up his twelve string and sang his own COME HOME TO ME and ANDY turned to CALEDONIA (Dougie Maclean). Still seeing the funny side ED walked THE BLOODY TOWER while HELEN was BLUE AROUND THE MORNING MOON and ALLEN sympathised with THE WORKER’S SONG. Reaching another high JAMES got the COCAINE BLUES and in another way SIMON did the same with a TOWER OF SONG before DON & HEATHER pointed out the target for the caravan in Honduras was THE BORDERLINE. Going for a big finish ANDY led us in singing the WILD MOUNTAIN THYME followed by ALLEN with THE GOLD WATCH BLUES and HELEN with THE WATER IS WIDE and SIMON & JAMES with the FOLSOM PRISON BLUES as we headed into the night. Sweet!!

Newsletter No 497 23 October 2018

A cracking evening jam-packed with music and songs began with PAUL RILEY with JOHN THE REVELATOR followed by KATH & STAN and the WAYFARING STRANGER before ED went down with the SS ROYAL CHARTER which, as CHRIS sang, had definitely reached the TERMINUS. Next PAUL McD gave us a totally different interpretation of CORRINA and MARIAN went over to Norfolk to HORKSTOW GRANGE before JOHN over from NZ/OZ went back in time for A LONG TIME AGO which PETE reckoned was all part of THE CIRCLE GAME (Joni Mitchell). With his own Shakespearean interpretation ALLEN sang ALMOST SONNET 18 before ANN went Country with HARPER VALLEY PTA and, still the US of A, DON & HEATHER celebrated the HONKY TONK MAN of Clint Eastwood & Marty Robbins. Also with his own composition PAUL RILEY told us it was A NOODLING LIFE FOR ME. On the other hand CHRIS pleaded LET ME DOWN EASY while PAUL McD headed for the BLUE CLEAR SKY before ED gave his opinion of the BLOODY ORKNEYS and KATH & STAN set out on THE GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL. Back on the darker side of life OZZY JOHN sang of THE DYING BUSHMAN, MARIAN sang of the TAVERN IN A TOWN and ALLEN told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER was in the pub on every corner. Coming to the break PETE cheered us briefly with some SHOPPING JOKES before ANN sang the sad BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN and DON, HEATHER & PAUL touched on the life of the DIAMANTINA DROVER.
In the Raffle Jill won the Bottle of Wine, Paul won the Box of Biscuits,Miki won the harmonica, Jackie won the CD and Joyce won the scarf before CHRIS opened the second half with AUTUMN LEAVES and ANN was following MR PUNCH & JUDY MAN. With a bit of strife ALLEN next asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU and ED, STAN & KATH chased after the BLACKLEG MINER and OZZY JOHN sang of LADY DIAMOND and the kitchen boy both dying in the action. No wonder PAUL McD started to DREAM, MARIAN thought forward to HALLOWEEN and KATH & STAN led an a cappella version of BRIGHT MORNING STAR before PETE had us smiling at MORE SHOPPING JOKES. With more a cappella PAUL RILEY & OZZIE JOHN led a vigorous shanty BULLY IN THE ALLEY and DON & HEATHER had us singing along with ROLL ON THE DAY as did CHRIS who had us singing YOU WON’T MAKE OLD BONES by Jez Lowe. Coming to a climax ED then had us all laughing with ERNIE and his fastest mobile library in the west but ALLEN had us joining in his FAREWELL TO SICILY before DON, HEATHER & PAUL completed the set as we sang our way in to the street with STEAL AWAY.

Newsletter No 496 16 October 2018

On their return MARK & JAN went back to the Peninsular war for OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY whereas PAUL RILEY went over to America for a TWO DOLLAR BILL and CHRIS HEARN implored MEET ME ON THE CORNER and PAUL McD pleaded HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Further North ALLEN turned to Robert Burns for NOW WESTLIN WINDS while up to date PHIL sang of the FOOTBALL HERO and HELEN brandished a SILVER DAGGER. In need of a shanty PETER went off to YARMOUTH TOWN to which ROB responded with I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL and WILF commented EVERY TIME YOU GO AWAY. Going back to basics ANDY sang us a SONG OF FREEDOM while CHRIS CALDWELL lamented a loved one with BLACK IS THE COLOUR. At the other end of the scale DON & HEATHER sang his Dad’s song, FLOWERS ON THE WATER, while IAN was instrumentally ALMOST HOME and SIMON advised TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD. Coming to the interval JAMES swore SHE BELONGS TO ME before CARL took us back in history with his philosophical trip DOWN IN THE DALE.
In the raffle Helen won the Wine, Chris & Barry took the Biscuits, James walked away with the Christmas Pudding, Andy won a Necklace and Earrings set, Allen won a CD and Simon got himself a new Beanie. Starting again JAN & MARK found each other’s BROWN EYES BLUE and CHRIS CALDWELL with PAUL McD found SHE GIVES ME CRAZY LOVE while alone PAUL McD had that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. No wonder PHIL needed a little DIVERTISSEMENT with two tunes. HELEN was losing a friend in FOR A DANCER while PETER was in SIN CITY and WILF was a ONE MAN BAND before RICHARD unleashed his latest gem of a song, NON-PHENOMENAL BLUES. With a Mark Knopfler special CHRIS HEARN sang THE TRAWLERMAN’S SONG and CARL sang his own FROM THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN followed by an instrumental from IAN which gave us the MISSISSIPPI BLUES which to ALLEN was all just LIFE, DON’T YOU KNOW. With a convoluted love story ANDY sang of JESSIE while JAMES was escaping it all as the RIDER IN THE RAIN whereas SIMON was more upbeat as he offered WHY DON’T YOU TRY ME? With a climax to a great evening in mind DON, HEATHER & PAUL led a band up for I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and ROB shantied with ALABAMA which set up PAUL for his sing-along KUMBAYA to THE SAINTS medley leaving MARK & JAN to sing us into the street. Top night!!

Newsletter No 496 9 October 2018

With the holiday season still upon us 7 performers took it upon themselves to entertain a great audience of 14 guided by DON & HEATHER in the chair who first took to the water of the ERIE CANAL. Next ALLEN told us the GOLD WATCH BLUES made famous by Donovan was actually written by Mick Softly who hardly got a penny out of it. BRIAN followed with the other version of ONLY YOU before HILARY had us chortling with her ONE-LINERS and KATH & STAN took us off to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH. Making a welcome return IAN summed up his current existence with his MYSTICAL DIABETIA (where Diabetes comes from) before DON & HEATHER confessed they had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL and ALLEN warned that we shouldn’t try too hard to emulate his PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE followed BRIAN who had a different warning in UKELELE LADY. Fortunately HILARY lightened us up with more ONE-LINERS as KATH & STAN slipped away to the WILLOW GLEN and IAN told all the singers who shun microphones, WE CAN’T HEAR YOU. Keeping up the momentum DON & HEATHER went for some diddly-dee music and the GALWAY GIRL before ALLEN sang a song about A POUND A-WEEK RISE for miners which was written by Ed Pickford. At the time he was a 15 year old lad working down a coal mine in the North East. Equally poignant was BRIAN with ACROSS THE BORDERLINE before HILARY lifted us again even more ONE-LINERS. With the interval in sight KATH & STAN burst out with two tunes, 3 AROUND 3 & COME TO THE CEILIDH, and IAN told us of his friend who was just a WHISKY IN THE JAR KIND OF GIRL before PAUL, coming straight from another gig, advised KEEP YOUR LAMPS TRIMMED AND BURNING.

A bumper raffle in the break saw Brian win the wine, Heather Kenyon win the Christmas Pudding, Kate win the after shave, Vic win the bulbs, Paul take hom eht e roses for wife Jen and Rob win the pen and pad before in the second half PAUL invited us to WALK RIGHT IN followed by DON & HEATHER who invited us away with the RAMBLING BOY before KATH & STAN told us JOHN LOVER was dead. It was not much better for BRIAN betrayed by the BLACK VELVET BAND but ALLEN made JOSIE a promise (Donovan). HILARY then gave us the last of her ONE-LINERS as PAUL set of down COUNTRY ROADS and BRIAN sang an unusual funeral song, I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS. By special request DON & HEATHER remembered a friend who DANCES FOR DOLLARS but ALLEN was at war again and WILD EYED before peacemaker PAUL suggested MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR. Then it was time for UNCLE BERNARD, another tune from KATH & STAN, and a burst from BRIAN entitled the FIVE FOOT TWO medley followed by the story of ERIN GO BRAGH by ALLEN. Finally a quick thank you and a few pats on the back ended a great evening with PAUL, DON & HEATHER fulfilling the request for FENCES by Arthur Marshall who at that moment was making a break for freedom on the canal to Marple. Superb!

Newsletter No 495 2 October 2018

A superb evening to celebrate 10 years of Sale Folk Club was had by all thanks to hosts Simon & Kamran with KAMRAN asking SALLY, WHERE’D YOU GET YOUR LIQUOR FROM followed by JOHN CONDY, one of the originals, who had BOATS TO BUILD and not helped by BRIAN who was full of TENNESSEE WHISKEY. It was a good job IAN calmed things down with a cool NO-NAME FINGERPICKING TUNE before PETER got warlike with the MAGINOT WALTZ and PAUL got the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES. This time we were lifted by HELEN strolling through FIELDS OF GOLD and ANDY who told us WALTZING’S FOR DREAMERS (Thompson) before ED told us how tough it is in real life with THE COWBOY SONG (Brookes). Then more hard life from ANN - LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY by Rosie Hardman to which JAMES agreed with A FOOL SUCH AS I and dittoed with Simon as RACING DEMON and PANCHO AND LEFTY (Townes Van Zandt). Complete with his folding guitar and Ian’s mini amp BEN suffered a SNACK ATTACK as we approached the interval buffet as DON, HEATHER & PAUL were first in Australia with the DIAMANTINA DROVER and then on the way to North Carolina with WAGON WHEEL.

Three trays of Sandwiches and great double fried chips preceded the Bumper Raffle in which the Wine was won by JOYCE, the Chocolates won by serial winner IAN, the packets of Biscuits taken home by JILLIAN, the Yorkshire tea won by HEATHER, a CD won by PETER, the Block of French Chocolate won by DIANE and the Spinning toy won by HELEN after which we were exhausted. ED, fortunately, had enough energy to become THE PILGRIM as JOHN boarded the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and HELEN sang the SMUGGLER’S SONG (Kipling). Quite why but BEN suddenly got the ELVIS PRESLEY BLUES but IAN was OVER THE RAINBOW as ANN related the story of THE FOLK SINGER. Philosophically ANDY asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES whereas pragmatically BRIAN gave the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER to his departing spouse which was totally opposite to PAUL who was ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS. Luckily KAMRAN was that HANDYMAN as JAMES & PAUL sang DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALL RIGHT and PETER took the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE just in time as RACING DEMON were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS AGAIN by this time. No wonder ED was feeling like THE HYPOCHONDRIAC and he was joined by DON, HEATHER & PAUL to compound matters with ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE which was completely untrue as we shall all be back next week for another top night of songs, music and great craic!!


Newsletter No 494 25 September 2018

A top quality evening was opened by hosts GRASSROOTS with a new song SAILING BY followed by ALLEN with the traditional NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS and PHIL with Steve Knightley’s POPPY DAY. With an American tune adopted by the Irish PAUL then took us to BELFAST MILL followed by PETE ROBERTS with his own TRACY’S SONG and DON & HEATHER with their own I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. For HELEN, however, the BLUES RUN THE GAME and for ED it’s all down to the MASTERS OF WAR so no wonder JAMES reckoned there AIN’T NO PLEASIN’ YOU. For PETE the King reckoned you can’t FOOL THE GIRLS as CHARLIE & JONATHAN arrived late with BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX and GRASSROOTS fell in love with THE RHYTHM OF GUITARS. Confrontationally ALLEN asked WHAT’S IT TO YOU but more peacefully PETE ROBERTS sang ST PAUL’S SONG and PAUL sang THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD, however, all was not well with PHIL who had some FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. What you need is the HAIR OF THE DOG returned ED as DON, HEATHER & PAUL set off down the USA with WAGON WHEEL and HELEN took us to the break with there’s a GHOST IN THIS HOUSE.
The interval raffles saw our Digital Demon Chris win the Box of Tea, Allen win the Bottle of Wine and Petes the King win the Box of Chocolates and promptly hand them round before GRASSROOTS opened the second half appropriately with IF YOU CO ULD READ MY MIND. Thus energised JAMES gave us a bluesy KANSAS CITY before PETE the King sang his own PUT THE BONNY BACK IN THE BOX and ALLEN inducted another folk song into his repertoire with WILD ROVER. Sometimes said PETE ROBERTS there can be ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS but any way up we all need ED and THE FLUSHERS even with PHIL who was in the PALACE OF VERSAILLES where for HELEN there are PASTURES OF PLENTY. Coming to the climax of an excellent night PAUL told us THE SINGING WILL NEVER END as DON & HEATHER sang their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and JAMES sent us all off HOMEWARD BOUND with a bounce in our step. Magic!

Newsletter No 493 18 September 2018

A relatively small but highly talented group of performers greeted KATH & STAN who quickly extracted themselves from being WATERBOUND to which PAUL McD replied I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND and PAUL RILEY sang YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE before IAN played THE WAY WE WERE. No wonder ANDY went to a higher power GOD ANSWERS BACK and HELEN went all philosophical by telling us THE BLUES RUN THE GAME leaving KATH & STAN to reply with two tunes, BUTTERED PEAS & WINSTER GALLOP. Introducing even more class JONATHAN turned to Nic Jones for MASTER KILBY as PAUL RILEY went to the Mr Dylan who said DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT as PAUL McD & ANDY came together for the first time for FOUR STRONG WINDS. Instrumentally for IAN it was a case of SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES as HELEN was seeking THE MARVELLOUS TOY but for JONATHAN it was all about love with Nick Drake’s TIME HAS TOLD ME. Next for KATH & STAN there is nothing worse than MONDAY MORNING but there was worse as PAUL RILEY related the story of GEORDIE. No wonder PAUL McD sang TAKE IT EASY but ANDY took us to DEVONSIDE and another strange love story before IAN went plain romantic with MOON RIVER. Hard and romantic it was too with HELEN who sang about Jan the gypsy in whom IT SUITS ME WELL before JONATHAN took us to the break on the back of DOLPHINS by Fred Neil.
In the interval raffle Michael won the Bottle of Wine, Joan won the Box of Chocolates and Linda won the Bag of Bulbs before KATH & STAN posed the question, WHAT’LL WE DO WITH THE BABY? No wonder PAUL McD exclaimed SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING and JONATHAN turned to Bruce Springsteen for the PROMISED LAND before ANDY advised FOLLOW YOUR ARROW and ignore all the naysayers. Quite simply PAUL RILEY then asked has ANYONE SEEN MY GAL to which HELEN replied she must have had an URGE FOR GOING and IAN responded hope she AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’. This made PAUL McD think of LET IT BE ME and JONATHAN came up with THESE DAYS and ANDY couldn’t resist ONE MORE TIME and KATH & STAN sang us DINK’S SONG. Then from the smallest of groups came the biggest finish as IAN played as we sang GEORGIA followed by HELEN singing FAITH’S SONG and PAUL McD confessing I WANNA GET LOST IN YOUR ROCK ‘n ROLL before PAUL RILEY got us all back on the straight and narrow with a fine GOSPEL MEDLEY so we left on a high! Top drawer!!

Newsletter No 492 11 September 2018

Slow in starting but the flood gates soon opened not long after PETE started to sing GOODBYE TO THE OLD followed by PAUL RILEY with CORRINA, CORRINA and IAN with a nice instrumental version of IF by David Gates before BRIAN razzed it all up with BROWN-EYED HANDSOME MAN, Chuck Berry in the style of Tony Joe White. Must request that again! Keeping the ball rolling PETE then threw in SOME TWO-WORD SWAPS before PAUL McD went all Tchaikovsky with JOHN O’DREAMS and ANDY sang LA CIENGA by Ryan Adams. For JOSH it was then a case of THE STORM RAGES ON but for KAMRAN it was plainly THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE before it was a big welcome back for HILARY who gave us some of her very funny ONE-LINERS. Next up were RACING DEMON aka SIMON & PAUL with FOOTSTEPS FALL which left JAMES on the stand to declare I’M ONLY SLEEPING (Beatles) followed by newcomer NICK who posed us THE RIDDLE (Nick Kershaw). All ways round this set up JONATHAN & CHARLIE for WILD WORLD and BEN for SNACK ATTACK (for his father-in-law who just had a jaw operation) and ARTHUR with THE TREE STILL FALLS to take us crashing into the Interval Break.

The Raffle saw the Bottle of Wine won by Brian, The Box of Chocolates won by Jackie, the Daffodil Bulbs won by Paul McD and the 1940s CD donated by Dianne won by Hilary and gifted to Kamran, thanks Hilary, before PETE took us all off to WOODSTOCK. Latecomer RICHARD then slipped in with EVERY GRAIN OF SAND before CHARLIE & JONATHAN conjectured BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX (Glen Campbell). In the same vein PAUL RILEY was on that MOBILE LINE just as ANDY teased us with NEXT TIME, THIS TIME before BRIAN took us to the DARK END OF THE STREET. In relief JOSH (et al) banded up for WAGON WHEEL before IAN went into those FIELDS OF GOLD and HILARY wheeled out some more of her ONE-LINERS and PAUL McD rather pointedly asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? On a serious note BEN sang THE MANCHESTER TREES, about the anniversary of the arena bombing, NICK came back with TAKE ON ME and KAMRAN had the CHUMP MAN BLUES before RACING DEMON sang SINCE I MET YOU, BABY. Left alone JAMES then came up with UNKNOWN LEGEND by Neil Young as ARTHUR returned with his song of the week EVERYBODY’S BROKE BUT BORIS and RICHARD sang of the MAN IN THE LONG BLACK COAT. This nicely set up a big finish with BEN off with the NEW YORK GIRLS, newcomer NICK going off THROUGH THE BARRICADES with Spandau Ballet, JOSH going off RIDING MY THUMB TO MEXICO and PAUL McD asking us to SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME before getting off UNDER THE BOARDWALK to end a craicing evening of music, songs and loads of banter. Magic!!

Newsletter No 491 4 September 2018

With a fairly full house PAUL RILEY got us all aboard the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and KATH & STAN took us away TEN THOUSAND MILES before CHRIS declared his CRAZY LOVE. For JAN it was a case of EVERYTIME YOU SAY GOODBYE just as PAUL McD declared I’M A FOOL TO DO YOUR DIRTY WORK and PETER BRIDGE came out with some WORD SWAPS. Then, back after a while, JOHN REED came up with one of his own HONEST JOHN after which poet OLIVER took us to the GRAND MALL HOTEL AT THE SAVOY FOR RICHARD HARRIS. Somewhat further away MARK had us in SAMMY’S BAR and PETE ROBERTS transported us to OXFORD TOWN with Bob Dylan. For BRIAN it was all a bit SOMEWHERE BETWEEN and ROGER sang about the FORTUNATE ONE which contrasted sharply with JONATHAN & CHARLIE who requested, HANG ME OH HANG ME just as SIMON & JAMES came on with L. Cohen paying his rent to the TOWER OF SONG. On the other hand JAMES told us I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE and for CARL it was a case of FURTHER before ANN sang about the temptation of LORELEI. Coming up to the break after a storming first half PAUL had the OLD WALKING BLUES while KATH & STAN reckoned WE COULD FLY as sadly CHRIS had the BREWER’S DROOP.

In the interval raffle Rosalie won the Bottle of Wine, Margaret won the Plant, Ann won the Box of Maltesers and CDs won by Jackie, Roger and Brian before PAUL McD declared I NEED YOU NOW and JAN & MARK agreed WELL, IT’S ALRIGHT but for JOHN REED it was all about DEPENDENCE. Poet OLIVER was then truly philosophical with HOW MANY DEATHS DO YOU HAVE TO DIE BEFORE YOU CONCEDE TO LIFE and PETE ROBERTS dug deep for RABBIT HILLS before BRIAN skipped off to GEORGIA and ROGER got CAUGHT OUT LIKE CLINTON. Next and with one of his own great songs CARL was ALL AT SEA and SIMON & JAMES climbed aboard the COOKSFERRY QUEEN before JAMES went off to a GARDEN PARTY. This somehow set the trend and PAUL McD hit it up with LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY before KATH & STAN recounted the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY which left MARK & JAN to up the tempo with BAD MOON RISING and PAUL RILEY to razz up a band and STEP IT UP AND GO to finish the night on a high note. Magic!


AUGUST - 2018

Newsletter No 490 29 August 2018

Continuing the run of great music, songs and good social interaction in Sale Folk Club’s Weekly Acoustic Folk Nights PAUL McD created a theme with NO ONE CAN MAKE MY SUNSHINE SMILE (Everly Bros) and BANJO JOHN jumped on the band wagon with THE SUNSHINE OF LOVE (L. Armstrong) and KATH & STAN were not to be left out as they told us to KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE. Breaking away for a moment ANDY sang that it was a SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE but for ANN it was a somewhat miraculous return as she finally found her lost voice to sing UNCLE TOM COBLEY followed by ALLEN with one of his favourites from a sunny clime in war time, FAREWELL TO SICILY. Instrumentally IAN pleaded CRY ME A RIVER and PETER requested BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER before BEN sang a song based on a friend’s poem, SERPENTINE. Next ED was out with McALPINE’S FUSILIERS before JANET re-ran her YORKSHIRE ROMANCE from last week and everyone who was here last week could join in the gaps with the right place names. CARL was then serious with I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR and COLIN introduced a big favourite, MR BOJANGLES, before RICHARD sang his mosaic of Dylan titles, PEACE IN OUR TIME. This left PAUL RILEY to go HOPPING DOWN IN KENT and PAUL McD to remind us AND BOYS CRY TOO which left BANJO JOHN to have us RUNNING WILD up to the break.
KATH & STAN started the second half with BYE BABY BYE followed by latecomer MARIAN who introduced BETSY THE SERVING MAID and ANDY who introduced ALISON (Elvis Costello). It then made sense for PETER to sing HEART LIKE A WHEEL and COLIN to sing ELEANOR RIGBY complete with the missing un-recorded verse he wrote with Paul McCartney on the beach in Liverpool! Hmmm! No wonder BEN decided to give us his take on NEW YORK GIRLS, Can’t You Dance the Polka, and ED went all Yorkshire with WILLY OIL LAD but ANN came back with another of her greatest hits, PUNCH AND JUDY MAN. Back to the sunshine theme, IAN treated us to SUNNY followed by ONLY YOU from JANET and SOLID AS A ROCK from RICHARD before ALLEN commented IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO and MARIAN retorted WHEN FISHES FLY. Heading for the door and a big finish KATH & STAN told us HEAVEN’S A BAR and ED claimed to be THE OLDEST SWINGER IN TOWN before PAUL McD said for goodness sake BRING ME SUNSHINE to end a great night.

Newsletter No 489 22 August 2018

To prove nothing stays the same in SALE FOLK CLUB we did NOT commence the evening with Banjo John AS USUAL, we had a change and heard from a famous performer with the same initials on his jacket as Banjo John - JB - James Brown!  Although he was a moving, plastic, battery powered, singing version, his performance standing on the bar, went down a treat with the audience! So many people wanted to take him home for their wives that we are thinking of offering him as a raffle prize at some future stage when his battery has been re-charged! 

However, the real BANJO JOHN soon followed on and went down equally well with SHE WEARS RED FEATHERS AND A HOOLIE HOOLIE SKIRT before ALLEN came up next to sing ERIN GO BRAGH and IAN was instrumental in some RAG PICKING. Maybe it was the time of year but PETE had us all singing HARVEST MOON and on his first hosting night PAUL McD asked everyone to waltz when he played ARE YOU WASTING MY TIME followed by JOHN who sang Jimmy Driftwood's BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS. Next with another, where does he get them from, ANDY started a romantic spell with DARLING GIRL by Mandolin Orange followed by ED with Bob Dylan's RAMONA and JANET talking us through A YORKSHIRE ROMANCE where the audience was invited to fill in the blanks. This left JAMES to sing another Bob Dylan number SENOR followed by SIMON accompanied by James singing PANCHO AND LEFTY by Townes Van Zandt and HILARY completing the round by telling us some more of her HILARIOUS ONE-LINERS. James Brown declined the offer of another performance, so BANJO JOHN BROWN took his place and came up with SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY followed by ALLEN with his own NEARLY SONNET 18 self-penned to include words by Shakespeare and Victor Meldrew and PAUL McD sang QUITTING TIME by Mary Chapin Carpenter. This left JOHN to sing a song from his very first appearance at Sale, FIDO (Faeces Intake Disposal Operation), before IAN played a flawless SCARBOROUGH FAIR to take us to the break in which we had the raffle.

The second half began with much hysterical laughter and joking, once again, for the umpteenth week on the run, Andy won the first prize - the Bottle of Red Wine, and Helen won the Show of Hands CD, Hilary won the bottle of Bucks Fizz and Fran won the box of Mints. Meanwhile Ed and Fran had set up her keyboard and accessories so that we were able to enjoy FRAN singing and playing her self-penned IF ONLY and then a beautiful WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES? On a different slant ED sang GREASY GRIT GRAVY AND GIZZARD GREENS which for some reason helped PETE get his voice back for MELLOR ROAD BOOZING BLUES. It was good to see JANET back for the night and to hear her sing SCARLET TOWN followed by SIMON & JAMES playing and singing 1952 VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING before ANDY sang Gordon Lightfoot's CAREFREE HIGHWAY. Then we tore into round 3 with JOHN leading us with YELLOW BIRD followed by ALLEN and his self-penned PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE and PAUL McD playing his own tune without a name which he called BLUFFING so it was good that FRAN was on hand to give them her own KISS OF LIFE. Without her it could have been more of JANET’s song THE GRAVE and not IAN’s tune BABY’S COMING HOME or even PETE’s song ALEXANDER LIGHT. Heading for a big finish to a great night HILARY had us all laughing again with her many ONE LINERS and ANDY had us singing along with WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW and SIMON accompanied by James told us what happened to AMELIA EARHART and JAMES closed the evening with a MEDLEY of ROCK AND ROLL SONGS where we could all join in with gusto. Magic!!

Newsletter No 488 15 August 2018

With a bumper crowd filling up the seats KATH & STAN stepped up to the plate with SHAKE SUGAREE swiftly followed by BRIAN with the TENNESSEE WALTZ as PAUL invited everyone to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE. With quite original poetry OLIVER gave us two of his works BYE THE BYE and STARING INTO THE EYES OF JOHNNY MATHIS IN A SUE RYDER and also original we then welcomed RICHARD KNOTT with his own START OVER AGAIN which nicely set up CASSIDY & friend ADRIAN to play SNOWDROP with banjo and guitar. BEN then came up with THE MANCHESTER TREE to which ED replied PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE followed by COLIN with COME MY LITTLE SON and I’ll tell you about my life. For HELEN it was SUCH A SIMPLE THING and for ROGER it was SUCH A LITTLE LIFE and for MARIAN it was the tale of TWO SISTERS before PETER gave us some amusing ANECDOTAL NOTES ON THE ROCK INDUSTRY before CARL told us what he saw in his MAGICAL SKY. Any way up it was 900 MILES away for KATH & STAN and even more for BRIAN who had GEORGIA ON MY MIND and even further for PAUL who had the UKULELE BLUES. It was that OLIVER then had us smiling with his poem NAN vs TV vs THE WORLD before RICHARD KNOTT hit the bottle with his DRINK A LITTLE WHISKY and CASSIDY tore into his own VASTOPOL RAG which left BEN with A FEAR OF MOUNTAINS as we reached the break.
In the raffle Pater won the Jam, Margaret won the Table Mats, Brian won the Wine and Andy won the Mulling Syrup before ED got trapped under the FAT LADY’S BOTTOM. No wonder COLIN asked WHERE DID YOU GO TO MY LOVELY and HELEN replied I’m an ANGEL FROM MONTEREY and ROGER admitted IT STONED ME. Next MARIAN chased after THE GREY MARE before PETER gave us some more amusing ANECDOTES as a prelude to THE BALLAD OF BILLY KERSHAW from CARL. Building to a big finish RICHARD KNOTT introduced THE MAN WITH THE LONG BLACK CLOAK which KATH & STAN said could have been the MOONSHADOW but surely not in the SUMMERTIME reckoned BRIAN. Hitting the heights RICHARD confessed I’M IN LOVE WITH MY SHRINK which had CASSIDY reaching for his VASELINE MACHINE GUN before PAUL cried, YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and had us all singing into the street at the end of a terrific night of music.

Newsletter No 487 7 August 2018

Back from his sojourn in France PETER ROBERTS kicked an excellent social and musical evening with a POEM called ADAM’S NEEDLES about a garden plant but for BRIAN it was amazing HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY but in ALLEN OGG’s case he was the one slipping away to THE MINGULAY BOAT SONG. Still on the water PAUL RILEY developed the BROWN FERRY BLUES as ANDY sang that superb song, TALK TO ME OF MENDOCINO before KATH & STAN crossed the continent to OWENSBORO. Next we welcomed JOHN of Girth, Wind and Tired to sing his own SUPERMAN before IAN went CRAZY by Willie Nelson on a different guitar than the usual Taylor which left us to welcome back CASSIDY with SUNFLOWER RIVER BLUES written by John Fahey and played on the guitar. All of this prompted ED to come up with a new song WAITING FOR A TRAIN by Jimmy Rodgers which for some reason made RACING DEMON think of ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY and JAMES, flying solo, to think BUCKETS OF RAIN by Bob Dylan and we could hear it had just started. 

This brought PETER ROBERTS to his feet again with Lowell George’s WILLIN’ followed by BRIAN with another Willie Nelson composition AN UNWEATHERED FRIEND and ALLAN to rise with his own PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE. Most modern PAUL RILEY then sang SWEET CAROLINE by Brian Adams which he introduced as being a 21st century song but still folk in his eyes and definitely a good song. ANDY also came up with a true-ism in that A GOOD TIME MAN LIKE ME HAS NO BUSINESS SINGING THE BLUES followed by CARL playing his new OCTIVE MANDOLA and singing the AUSTERITY ALPHABET by Jez Lowe so no wonder IAN somehow got GEORGIA ON MY MIND which sent us up to the break in a good mood.
In the raffle James won the Bottle of Rose Wine, Brian won the Box of Shortbreads, Andy won the Ouzo, Sue won the Novel and Brian won the Tuning Pipes before 
KATH & STAN started the second stretch with BRIGHTON CAMP. This was swiftly followed by JOHN leading us with ME & BOBBY McGEE nad then CASSIDY with a SPANISH DANCE, another John Fahey composition, and ED with HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS. Reunited sangas RACING DEMON, SIMON & JAMES a Bruce Cockburn song SEE HOW I MISS YOU before JAMES went CRAZY for the second performance of this song but this time with lyrics. Hey ho! To this CARL responded with OLD BONES by Jez Lowe with his new Octave mandola which PETER said brought out THE BEST IN ME, one his own songs, before BRIAN went even further with the FACE OF GOD. Suddenly ALLEN remembered a POUND A WEEK RISE by Ed Pickford which made PAUL think of life in those times as DARK AS A DUNGEON which for ANDY THAT'S THE WAY it was. KATH & STAN were not having any of it and took the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and IAN said I certainly AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' to which JOHN responded with the QUESTION SONG, which had us all laughing. Finally as we came up to a big finish CASSIDY gave us a wonderful rendition of MY LADY JAZZ, on a new banjo he’d only had a few days, and RACING DEMON had us all singing into the street with FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. 

JULY - 2018

Newsletter No 486 31 July 2018

Entering an almost empty Services Club HEATHER & DON couldn’t believe it as the room filled up with top talent as they washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Cheekily BANJO JOHN then played and sang the TEASING RAG and CHRIS followed suit with the SAUCY SAILOR so no wonder PHIL was TRANSPORTED. Even BRIAN was inspired to go THROUGH THE MORNING and THROUGH THE NIGHT as NAOMI accompanied by Phil went to Scotland for THERE GROWS A BONNY BRIAR BUSH, a Robbie Burns song. With his own song MARK told us I AM A SON OF THIS NORTH COUNTRY SOIL before PAUL celebrated not seeing the orange moon with BAD MOON RISING and STEVE went Celtic for the SKYE BOAT SONG with hit Autoharp. Pointedly ANDY then asked ARE YOU SURE THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE and PETER replied no, I want to be in ABILENE to which IAN commented, DON’T KNOW WHY! Next ALLEN reminded us it was the anniversary of the battle with his own ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE and RICHARD reminded us of the gold rush with DAYS OF 49 before CARL celebrated the girl from the Salvation Army with his own LOOKING FOR THE SUN. With a light hearted moment HILARY gave us some more of her ONE-LINERS before PAUL McD hit the slide guitar for LITTLE RED ROOSTER and BANJO JOHN jazzed it up for BABY FACE. This left GIRTH, WIND & TIRED to tell us LOVING HER WAS EASIER as we reached the break.
In the raffle Jackie calmly won the Bottle of Red Wine, Paul won the aftershave (ha ha), Andy won the Handwash, Allen won another book for his wife and Chris, who is about to go camping, won the camping mugs before PAUL kicked off with BLUES IN A BOTTLE followed by CHRIS with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Again deeply thoughtful MARK sang another of his own songs about his friends Barry & John, BETTER TO BUILD BRIDGES THAN WALLS, and ANDY introduced ALL THE LOVELY LADIES before PETER hit a sombre note with the DEPORTEES. In hushed tones BRIAN confided NOBODY KNEW HIS NAME and PHIL told us that sadly Prof.
Alasdair Clayre committed suicide not long after writing his song ADAM AND THE BEASTS which commented on the natural order in the animal kingdom. No wonder ALLEN turned to his own WILD EYED but fortunately CARL was more upbeat with his own YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before NAOMI returned to Scotland for AYE WAUKIN O. With his guitar this time STEVE mused on the MOUNTAINS O’ MOURNE and RICHARD sang, it’s JUST THE WAY YOU ARE and PAUL McD it is ROCK & ROLL before GIRTH, WIND & TIRED pinned our ears back with their AIM IN LIFE before sending us home smiling with JAMBALAYA. Mega!!

Newsletter No 485 24 July 2018

A superb evening was hosted by GRASSROOTS who first of all set out to MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE which for MARK & JAN definitely was THE END OF THE LINE as it was for BRIAN when he cried out DAMN THIS TOWN. It was also tough for CHRIS in HIGH GERMANY before DON & HEATHER had us all celebrating THE GALWAY SHAWL to which JAMES replied with the Beatles’ YOU CAN’T DO THAT. By this time ED was ALL USED UP but KATH & STAN were off tilting at WINDMILLS which to PAUL McD was the perfect start for a DAYDREAM. Not to be cheered, however, SIMON announced THERE’S A HEARTBREAK FOLLOWING ME and PETER had the HONEYBABE BLUES and MARIAN was musing, IF I WERE WITH MY LOVE. Quite unconcerned GRASSROOTS just went SAILING BY whereas MARK & JAN met uncertainty with CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN but BRIAN was most definite when he sang, I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU ANY OLD TIME. Certainly not if she is wearing a CHASTITY BELT responded ED which was enough to have newcomer TONY saying, well I’LL WALK THE STREETS UP and I’LL WALK THE STREETS DOWN. Next we had two great tunes from KATH & STAN who played TWIGLET and BODMIN RIDING on whistle and cittern just before CARL came in to sing ALICE. Coming up to the interval CHRIS told us TO THE BEGGING I WILL GO and PETER said he was off AROUND CAPE HORN but PAUL McD said he preferred LIVING IN THE ‘60s.
In a bumper raffle Peter took the Red Wine, James went home with the Rose Wine, Ann won the set of Cheese Knives, old friend Julie Astbury won the Handwash and Rosalyn won the Box of Tea before DON & HEATHER complained they had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL. On the other hand JAMES told us DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT and MARIAN prayed for better luck next time to the LORD OF ALL. Returning TONY sang THE WALKING SONG by Kate & Anna McGarrigle followed by GRASSROOTS with THESE HANDS about
Sybil Phoenix who came to Britain from British Guiana in 1956 to overcome racism and personal tragedy to become the first black woman to be awarded the MBE for her work fostering hundreds of children in Lewisham. Now 89 she is still active with the charity she founded in memory of her daughter – the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust. Fortunately for SIMON it was not a BLUE, BLUE DAY but, as CARL told us, THE HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE was another matter. Coming to a climax KATH & STAN said HANG YOUR HEAD AND CRY and DON & HEATHER brought us to a close with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD to end a top night!

Newsletter No 484 17 July 2018

Opening the evening in grand style BANJO JOHN gave us OLD MAN RIVER before KAMRAN weighed in with SO LONG MARIAN (L. Cohen) and DON, HEATHER & PAUL banded up for the DIAMANTINA DROVER. More intimately ANDY then asked DID SHE MENTION MY NAME (G. Lightfoot) before we welcomed newcomer CASSIDY to play us his magnum opus COMPOSITION FOR BANJO which left BRIAN a little SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (Merle Haggard). In somewhat joyous mood ED was next out along THE VERDIGREE (T. Paxton) before we welcomed another newcomer CHRIS who gave us a great rendition of BYKER HILL followed by IAN who was SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU. This heralded the return of old favourite ROBIN who asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO who was followed by PAUL McD with his cheeky little TIMPERLEY BLUFF and PAUL RILEY who celebrated BIG BAD BILL. This left HILARY with the job of making us laugh with more of her ONE-LINERS so there was no reason for KAMRAN to have the DELTA BLUES or ANDY needing PERSUASION or LUCILLE leaving BANJO JOHN with all those children and crops in the field.
An interesting raffle saw Kamran win the Chocolates, Ian took the CD, Margaret won a nice bottle of Red Wine and Brian won the fancy Hand Cream but RICHARD recommenced with FORGETFUL HEART followed by CHRIS with another great traditional song THE MAID OF CULMORE. This left the way for CASSIDY to delight us with a SPANISH TWO STEP for guitar by John Farley followed by BRIAN who gave us the TERMS OF MY SURRENDER as ROBIN took us off along some COUNTRY ROADS. Instrumentally then IAN insisted THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU but PAUL McD still asked WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW as PAUL boarded the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. All of this left the way clear for HILARY to have us laughing at more of her ONE-LINERS which continued with ED and his TRASHY WOMEN. More straightforwardly DON, HEATHER & PAUL explained when I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER and RICHARD did the same when he was ON MY WAY HOME.  Coming to a big finish IAN treasured THE NEARNESS OF YOU as ROBIN went NORTH TO ALASKA to discover gold isn’t everything whereas BRIAN declared there is NOTHING I LOVE more. On the other hand KAMRAN discovered how a friend turned out to be YOU RASCAL YOU but finally ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL directed us towards ALL THE GOOD TIMES to end an excellent and varied evening. 

Newsletter No 483 10 July 2018

A superb evening brilliantly stewarded and kicked off by PAUL & HEATHER on washboard singing WORRIED MAN BLUES skiffle style after which KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER while PETER BRIDGE was on WOLVERTON MOUNTAIN. We were then jazzed up by BRIAN who sang IF I HAD YOU before PHIL was more trad with THE BUTCHER AND THE TAILOR and ALLEN sang his own DON’T YOU KNOW. We don’t know how she does it but HILARY next had us laughing with her ONE-LINERS before IAN took us instrumentally off to the SCARBOROUGH FAIR and ROD had us high in ITCHYCOO PARK. To HELEN it was all a SILVER LINING but for ED’s story of the three bears MY HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ANDY was back LOOKING FOR THE MOON and that silver lining. More darkly DON & HEATHER tested the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and RACING DEMON were DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS with JAMES asking HOW LONG BLUES. On the bright side RICHARD stated HOW GLAD I AM but KATH & STAN were still WATERBOUND as was PETER BRIDGE in the BIG RIVER and ALLEN as he told us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER was in every pub on every street corner.
In interval the big raffle saw a bottle of Red Wine won by Rod; a bottle of Rose Wine won by Heather Kenyon; a big Box of Tea won by Ian and the big Box of Chocolates won by Andy before ED had us chorusing with SHUT UP YOU BLOODY LIAR before he went off to hospital to get a cure for his bleeding finger! PHIL applied the soothing balm of J.S. Bach’s BOUREE in E Minor as he went before PAUL recalled FRANKIE & JOHNNY were lovers. Then it was all go as BRIAN was off DOWN GEORGIA WAY and ANDY commented LONG MAY YOU RUN and HELEN said she was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. For ROD it was all OUT OF TIME but fortunately IAN was there to slow it down for MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Still on a high, however, were RACING DEMON who were all strung up on CARMELITA but for JAMES it was all different as THINGS HAVE CHANGED (Dylan) and for RICHARD it was all a long WINDING ROAD as DON & HEATHER hit the road with WAGON WHEEL and BRIAN was GONE, GONE, GONE. Heading to a big finish RICHARD said I WILL with the Beatles and HELEN had NOTHING BUT TIME as PHIL set off a WANDERING (James Taylor). This left PAUL & HEATHER to lead us into the night with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER to end a fantastic evening with a great number of songs from wide ranging genre. Magic!!

Newsletter No 482 3 July 2018

With the Services Club bursting at the seams, albeit with England football supporters, DON & HEATHER greeted 26 folkies by warning of the DIMMING OF THE DAY but the theme was set only to be relieved when England won on penalties which PAUL RILEY claimed was WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS. Back to pure folk HELEN sang that it’s SUCH A SIMPLE THING and PAUL McD was DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR before JAN went back to her Welsh roots with CANEUON and MARK warned there may be a BAD MOON RISING which ANDY just thought was WIERD (Clem Sneide). Looking on the bright side IAN played us a nice arrangement of OVER THE RAINBOW but it was left to ED to give us another take on the siege of Badajoz in the Peninsular Wars with SAM SMALL’S CHRISTMAS PUDDING to which DON & HEATHER commented, they were RARE OULD TIMES. Next PAUL RILEY fulfilled a long time ambition by singing MR BOJANGLES to which HELEN replied I HOPE YOU DANCE before PAUL McD asked IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM (Joe Jackson). JAN & MARK were then filled with LOVE AND HAPPINESS whereas CARL followed the Flag with his own excellent song THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR before ANDY commented it’s RAINING IN BALTIMORE. Then instrumentally IAN claimed I DON’T KNOW WHY as ED chased after the BLACKLEG MINER and CARL asked WHO CALLED THE COOKIE A B.....D to reach the interval.
A bumper raffle saw Margaret win the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen win the Bottle of Rose Wine, Andy win the Suffragette Film on DVD and Jan take a book home before DON & HEATHER started the second half by hoping England were not PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE whereas PAUL McD was asking LORD WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. Keeping up the volume PAUL had us shanty singing with BULLY IN THE ALLEY as did MARK & JAN who reckoned any way up it is NO USE CRYING before IAN became romantic with a smooth guitar instrumental of THE NEARNESS OF YOU. This nicely set up HELEN for FAITH’S SONG followed by ANDY with COMING DOWN ON A SUNNY DAY and CARL for DOWN IN THE DALE, a nostalgic look back in Railway History. DON, HEATHER & PAUL then came together for ACROSS THE BORDERLINE before PAUL McD confessed to LYING IN THE ARMS OF MARY and ED told the story of the waitress looking for a LOGGER who stirs his coffee with his thumb, ouch! PAUL R also went back in time for a medley of HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL; YES SIR THAT’S MY BABY; AIN’T SHE SWEET before HELEN had the URGE FOR GOING J Mitchell and MARK & JAN confessed to having washed their hands in MUDDY WATER. Coinciding with the moment of England’s success IAN was in FIELDS OF GOLD and ANDY asked WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES since it happened before and CARL asked whether we could go even FURTHER. Finally we all saw the funny side as ED insisted TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT and PAUL McD said don’t forget who’s taking you home with SAVE THE DANCE FOR ME to end a cracking night.


Join Our Mailing List

Don't miss out join our mailing list - just enter your details below:
Your details will only be used for folk club newsletters and not distributed to any third parties.