MARCH - 2016

Newsletter No 371 29 March 2016

As usual KATH & STAN coaxed a sublime evening from a willing bunch of performers starting with WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN after which they turned to BRIAN who went all romantic, as he does, and gave us WHAT’LL I DO and I WONDER WHO’S KISSING HER NOW so no wonder EDDIE confessed I LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE and ANN prayed ALL MY TRIALS LORD will soon be over. Moving forward in time DAVID asked WHAT HAPPENED TO SATURDAY NIGHT with 10cc and DON & HEATHER confessed they may not have ALL THE ANSWERS as MIKE stepped up to wish ADIEU SWEET NANCY. Swinging back to the old music hall SIMON sang DOWN THE ROAD WENT POLLY as GRASSROOTS turned to the CIRCLE DANCE leading DAVE COWE to give us all a rousing call with SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE NOUGHT AVAILETH. It obviously worked as ED insisted he was not ALL USED UP. Neither was GIO with his rousing version of TROUBLED TOWN, the then to TV’s Happy Valley, nor KATH & STAN with two tunes THE RAKES OF MALLOW and THE DORSET FOUR HAND REEL and EDDIE certainly didn’t have a WOODEN HEART but not sure about BRIAN though with his FUNNY FAMILIAR FORGOTTEN FEELINGS. Next SIMON told us SOMETIME SHE FORGETS but MIKE was off to CANADEE-IO and DON & HEATHER were off down to Antarctica with their LITTLE POT STOVE while ANN remained home eulogising THE TROUT. No wonder DAVID thought about THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE leaving GIO to explain the significance of the LONG BLACK VEIL and GRASSROOTS to unravel the love life of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan with DIAMONDS AND RUST as we broke for the interval.

The raffle saw Ann win the Wine, Brian win the Box of Biscuits and Kath win the Guinness Crisps before ED confessed I LIKE MY WOMEN A LITTLE ON THE TRASHY SIDE which made EDDIE think of the PIG ANKLE RAG but DAVE COWE had NO TIME TO STAND AND STARE. This led DAVID to unveil his own WAITING FOR CLOUDS TO COME while DOUG was more traditional with THE SAILORS LAMENT by Cyril Tawney while BRIAN was still in his romantic period with I’LL LOVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE. In similar vein MIKE announced THE SHEARING’S NOT FOR YOU as DON & HEATHER went off to the desert for that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING and ANN took a trip in a THE SHABBY OLD CABBY but KATH & STAN put us all in the shade going off NINE HUNDRED MILES leaving SIMON courting when RIDING ON TOP OF THE CAR. Subterranean DOUG, however, went off DOWN BELOW with Sydney Carter and GRASSROOTS chased after the MOCKING BIRD while ED was off ALONG THE VERDIGRIS with Tom Paxton. Coming to a close DON & HEATHER invited us all back again with RED ROSE CAFE and EDDIE warned us things are not always rosy down at the HEARTBREAK HOTEL. Top drawer.

Newsletter No 370 22 March 2016

Still in St Patrick’s Day mood DON, HEATHER & PAUL struck off with a GALWAY GIRL and in the same frame of mind EDDIE joined in with the CURRAGH OF KILDARE before JAMES declared he was HOMEWARD BOUND. Coming up to Easter BANJO JOHN then provided us with a RUGGED CROSS as JO was saying you’re NOBODY’S DARLING BUT MINE and BRIAN was sending LOVE LETTERS STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART. Still on the same theme, however, SIMON told the allegorical story of disastrous love in MR FOX (Dave Pegg) whereas DAVE sang the poignant SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME which was written by wheel chair bound Doc Pomus on his wedding day to actress/dancer Willi Burke while she was dancing with friends. On the other hand ANN went the whole hog with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN who went over the edge with boredom when RICHARD could have sorted her out with a PROPER CUP OF COFFEE but PAUL thought she must have had the HOW LONG BLUES. It was then time for some soothing music as EDDIE played three jigs BLACKTHORNE STICK, RAKES OF KILDARE & TEN PENNY BIT and in sombre mood JO got out her LONG BLACK VEIL as BANJO JOHN told of the COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER. Just as we thought he wasn’t to be heard BRIAN sang Dylan No 1 MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE  and DAVE sang Dylan No 2 WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN before JAMES announced he was that RIDER IN THE RAIN. Coming to the interval SIMON treated us to BEES WING and RICHARD played the beautiful COLUMCILLE on his D whistle or some bit of plumbing and PAUL had us PUTTING ON THE STYLE.


The raffle saw Baz win the Box of Tea; Alan win a bottle of Champagne; Jackie win the Easter Egg and Vic win the Easter Bunny before PAUL concluded as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU. Still in romantic mood BRIAN delivered more LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND and RICHARD sang his own LITTLE DROPS OF LOVING. More lustfully DAVE went into rhapsodies over a GYPSY WOMAN and more melodically EDDIE & RICHARD were all tuneful with O’CAROLAN’S DRAFT before JAMES declared he was GOING TO GERMANY. Still all wistful ANN was thinking of the MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while DON, HEATHER & PAUL reminisced about the ROSEVILLE FAIR and EDDIE proposed a PARTING GLASS which sent DAVE off along COUNTRY ROADS and PAUL to pack for LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Back in serious vein RICHARD sang his own FIRE DOWN BELOW a cappella before JAMES went Beatles with TILL THERE WAS YOU and ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to fulfil a request for the story of their friend in New Orleans who DANCES FOR DOLLARS and PAUL to send us into the night for the LONG JOURNEY HOME having metaphorically spent everything but a two dollar bill.


Newsletter No 369 15 March 2016

With another full house, four in a row, MARK started the evening very appropriately with a great guitar instrumental of SONNY’S MAZURKA & THE CRICKETS MARCH OVER THE SALT BOX quickly followed by the welcome return of JIM & LYNN who revealed the contrast between THE ORANGE AND THE GREEN. Then after this KAMRAN sang SUICIDE IS PAINLESS the theme from M*A*S*H* before BANJO JOHN surprised us with the WILD ROVER as did PHIL in his 30’ TRAILER before JAN declared her feelings for TEDDY O’NEILL. Then CHRIS provided a complete departure with his excellent version of the SULTANS OF SWING before HILARY again went Irish for PLANXTY IRWIN (O’Carolan) and GEOFF did his bit with ARTHUR McBRIDE. Then after all of 30 seconds rehearsal ANN introduced her latest song about the PUNCH AND JUDY MAN as CARL went back at least 40 years for Harvey Andrews’ HELLO HANS leaving ROB to give us a lesson in sailing the GOOD SHIP CALABAR. On the other hand SUE was chasing round the countryside after BLACK JACK DAVY and PAUL was over in Northern Ireland and DOWN BY THE LAGANSIDE but GIO confessed I WISH I WAS BACK HOME IN DERRY. Then, apropos of nothing, SIMON commented THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR before MIKE told us the history of the ISLE OF HOPE ISLE OF TEARS and FREE SPIRITS welcomed Robin back with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Just in time to take us to the interval CHARLIE & JONATHAN offered us WHISKY IN THE JAR and KAMRAN told us of the SIX RIBBONS which left BANJO JOHN and his good friend Fats O’Waller to claim I AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.

A bumper raffle saw Geoff win the Irish Cream, Jim & Lynn win the Irish coffee kit, Hilary win the Irish Cake, Joan win 4 tins of Guiness, Rosalyn win the CD of Irish Songs and he who never wins, Robin, win a big tin of Roses Chocolates.

The end of this saw MARK & JAN off OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY and even SUE & GEOFF went off singing I’LL FLY AWAY but SIMON was regretting his impecunity on THE BANKS OF THE BANN. Then for her next trick ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY which left CARL trying to reach FURTHER (P. Morton) before we were back with HILARY on BRIAN BORU’S MARCH. Then, from another country seeking independence, PHIL produced COUSIN JACK and ROB related the demise of ELLEN VANNIN before CHRIS went the whole hog telling us we won’t make OLD BONES. Equally a disaster was JIM & LYNN’S story of the good ship IRISH ROVER before PAUL wished us all the very best in our travels with MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU and MIKE invited us all to his own IRISH SESSION. Finally and still in Celtic mood FREE SPIRITS treated us to be a PIPER TO THE END before MARK & JAN sang us all into the street after another excellent evening. 

Newsletter No 368 8 March 2016

With people wandering in and chatting PAUL & HEATHER decided on a rolling start on the SLOOP JOHN B which not only let everyone settle down and within minutes bring up the “House Full” sign for the third week running. BANJO JOHN then bemoaned the CURSE OF THE ACHEING HEART before CARL sang MOTHERS DAUGHTERS WIVES in celebration of the International Women’s Day and ANN sang in praise of THE FOLK SINGER. In response to the growing crowd EDDIE decided to lead us with 2 tunes, SOLDIER’S JOY & STATEN ISLAND, and ROB kept Martin awake with MARTIN SAYS TO HIS MAN before FAIR PLAY sang to THE MAN IN THE MOON. Next and still with home grown talent JO brought out her new guitar for the second time as she sang THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY before the SALLY SLIDERS descending from Pendle told us I LIVE NOT WHERE LOVE and the SOUTH SIDERS over from Poynton sang of STORMY MONDAY. The answer from PETE was simplification as he sang Dylan’s two chorded OXFORD TOWN which side tracked JAMES, who also had Dylan in mind, to go off TRAVELLING LIGHT and left BRIAN fighting his way out of a TEQUILA SUNRISE and ARTHUR down in THE LAST CHANCE SALOON. On the other hand JONATHAN & CHARLIE were off strolling through FIELDS OF GOLD as DAVID was confessing his affection for THE GIRL FROM BARGAIN BOOZE before the very welcome return of RICHARD SAILS saw him go traditional with KNIGHT WILLIAM AND THE SHEPHERD’S DAUGHTER. Somewhat more rustically ED came across the waitress searching for a LOGGER LOVER who stirs his coffee with his thumb before PHIL introduced us to the GREEN ANTHEM and DON & HEATHER took us OUT ON THE WESTERN PLAINS as we reached the interval.

The raffle saw Sue win the DVD, Heather win the CD, Paul take the wine and Sally Sliders win the box of Roses and then the second half was well and truly launched by special guests SALLY SLIDERS with their memories of HARD TIMES and THE OLD MAN IN THE WOOD before JAMES turned to the rare SENOR by Bob Dylan and RICHARD SAILS again brilliantly stepped up to the mark at FAKENHAM FAIR (trad. Norfolk). All this reminded FAIR PLAY that HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL and caused ROB to return to the MILL OUTING by old friend Trevor Morton so there was no need but BRIAN insisted on saying I’M SORRY. Then in complete contrast CARL celebrated another special female quality with ON AGAIN ON by Jake Thackray whereas PETE was more eulogistic of the fair sex with his own STORM RISING before ANN reminded us of the feminine temptation LORELEI the siren on the Rhine. Classically EDDIE then played Bach’s AIR ON A G STRING and PHIL shared Al Stewart’s hatred of lawyers who in his opinion have a LICENCE TO STEAL and ED confessed it was HARD TO BE HUMBLE before the SOUTH SIDERS wrapped up a great evening with LORD FRANKLIN, TAMP IT UP SOLID & KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. Top night, top teamwork. 

Newsletter No 367 1 March 2016

A jam packed full house met in celebration of St David’s Day and memories of Wales and our links with Welsh friends and GRASSROOOTS hosted the evening brilliantly starting the ball rolling with THE MOCKINGBIRD quickly followed by MARK with 2 WELSH TUNES on the whistle. After ED sombrely reminded us of the killing of CAROL ANN KELLY our first song in Welsh was SUO GAN sung by JAN before CARL was more political with the AUSTERITY ALPHABET. Back on the ale ROB insisted we FATHOM THE BOWL as DON, HEATHER & PAUL went with the puzzling FOREVER AND A DAY (Kruger Brothers) before BRIAN satisfied his fans with DON’T YOU MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE. Next ANN had us all smiling at an amusing and very true SOLILOQUY OF A SAFETY PIN giving EDDIE time to undress his cello for 2 well known WELSH TUNES before JAMES treated us to his version of BUCKETS OF RAIN (Dylan). This put KAMRAN on TOP OF THE WORLD and sent KATH & STAN off by TRAIN ON THE ISLAND as newcomer SIMON girded his loins for his debut with the TWO SISTERS and he was really good as expected. PAUL then came out with SPENCER THE ROVER as DAVE read the poem CLINK before PETE left us still wondering why the man was in the fridge as he sang CLAUDIA. Coming up to the interval MIKE COSGRAVE sang GALWAY TO GRACELAND before MARK & JAN gave another shot of real Welsh with CYFIR ‘R GEIR leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to sing their DANCES FOR DOLLARS about the way a Welsh friend tried to subsist whilst a student in Louisiana State University.

A great buffet and loads of chips led to the Raffle in which James won the Leeks, Jackie won the Rose wine, Alan won the Welsh Brandy, Chris took the Maltesers. Rita & Alan won the box of Roses Chocolates and Alan was delighted with the CD by GRASSROOTS who started us off again with WHEN I WAS NO BUT SWEET SIXTEEN. With a quick translation PAUL then sang WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL to which we chorused Felin dorri i lawr (it done broke down) before CARL gave us one of the Beatles best JEALOUS GUY which DAVE punctuated with two poems LIGHT SLEEPER and TAKING STICK. This time with a song ANN was fishing for THE TROUT and BRIAN was on the Kop singing YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE with PETE was telling her you’re a BIG GIRL NOW as JAMES took us back to our youth with the R&B style KANSAS CITY. Even earlier times saw SIMON ask HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE while more recently with The Everlys KAMRAN had us WALK RIGHT BACK before MARK & ROB returned to theme for DAI THE MOTORBIKE MAN before ROB went told with his story of SAM THE BLACKBIRD leaving EDDIE with his clever Welsh link for GAVOTTE Bach. With a big finish on the cards ED chanced his arm with SHE IS WOMAN but MIKE was off on the boat DOWNEASTER ALEXA as KATH & STAN chased the FORSAKEN MERMAID which only left MICK, DON, HEATHER & PAUL to confess their sins with I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER to end one of the best ever Party Nights.


Newsletter No 366 23 February 2016

KAMRAN & PETE were greeted by a full house and 22 different performers who PETE led off brilliantly with a great version of DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL that stirred HILARY into action with MALAGUEÑA and BANJO JOHN to reminisce when he was the SHEIKH OF ARABY. The connection with Rudolph made GEOFF turn to VALENTINO but JOHN CHILCOTT, eager for one last performance before Spring, sang us A SONG FOR A WINTER’S NIGHT (Lightfoot) and before KATH & STAN were off with the WAYFARING STRANGER. Then PHIL gave a great demonstration of how difficult it is to play the discordantly with THE HAUNTED CAROUSEL which set up ROB for the story of THE ALABAMA which made SUE think of UKULELE, the Hallelujah Spoof by Leonard Cohen, Guy Snape & Geoff Thorpe. With another interesting song DAVID came up with ONLY NATURAL by Crowded House famous for Weather With You to which ANN & ROBIN replied with DID YOU EVER and KAMRAN went romantic with MY FUNNY VALENTINE. With a few Biblical references PAUL said we should WADE IN THE WATER and right on cue JONATHAN & CHARLIE said we should always take the WEATHER WITH YOU (Crowded House) which convinced ED that IT'LL TURN OUT ALL RIGHT IN THE END (Boulton). Coming up to the interval MARK had us singing to FIDDLER'S GREEN and RICHARD introduced his LADY OF THE MORNING before DON & HEATHER said every folk club needs plenty of people who are PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE!

After the Wine found a home with Kath and the Heart ornaments went home with Ed Jillian settled for the Chocolates and Geoff took the Smellies before PETE ordered his BIG YELLOW TAXI. Again DAVID found an interesting song in his locker with RADIO WEST (ELO) and HILARY was back to Spain for TIENTOS POR ZAMBRA before ROB had us in the Navy for the GREY FUNNEL LINE. Calling for support ROBIN led us to the WATERMELON WINE to which RICHARD replied I GUESS I'M DOING FINE and SUE called in on Dropkick Murphys for their ROSE TATTOO. Next STAN & KATH were WATERBOUND and solo CHARLIE took A CLASSICAL MEANDER before ANN shocked us with THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN and PHIL was equally bold with SIX SIXTY SIX (Larry Norman). Back down to the sunny south PAUL sang in praise of OH SWEET CAROLINA (Ryan Adams) and KAMRAN beseeched us to TEACH YOUR CHILDREN (CSN) to which GEOFF claimed I'VE JUST SEEN A FACE and MARK sang it’s the BAD MOON RISING. Then sensing the end of something ED turned to JACUZZI JOE the Gigolo before FREE SPIRITS shot off the Australia for the DIAMANTINA DROVER before changing continents altogether for their favourite pick-up band song WAGON WHEEL to send us dancing into the night. Magic!

Newsletter No 365 16 February 2016

Undeterred by the weather some hot talent rolled up as DON & HEATHER kicked off with THE SMUGGLERS SONG and BANJO JOHN shot off to the DARKTOWN STRUTTERS BALL making ARTHUR MARSHALL exclaim OMG I WISH I WAS A YOUNGER MAN. Then uniquely EDDIE next unsheathed his Mandola inherited from the locally famous Mary Asquith for the SAUCY SAILOR before GRAEME sang in praise of OUR MOTHER THE MOUNTAIN. Knoppler devotee CHRIS then sang about THE TRAWLERMAN and with one of Dylan’s best JANET sang TO RAMONA as did JAMES with SHE BELONGS TO ME. Before it passes us by JOHN CHILCOTT wanted to give us a HAZY SHADE OF WINTER which newcomer LUCAS reckoned was alright IN TIMES LIKE THESE but on another level ANN confessed she would be sad without us in other words VAIR ME ORO VAN O which was nice. Reaching for the history books, in other words the Al Stewart songbook, PHIL told us about the ROADS TO MOSCOW which Adolf would have done well to have known. GIO returning for a third time and with a new song I WILL WAIT FOR YOU delighted us with his progress before JAN wowed us with I CAN’T GO FOR THAT and PETE was poignant with OLD MAN which resulted in ED remembering THE PILGRIM. To bring us up to the interval BANJO JOHN took us back to the STREETS OF LAREDO and JOHN CHILCOTT recalled Paul Simon’s song for his English girl friend EMILY before he became famous, big mistake, which made JANET think of DIAMONDS AND RUST.


A bumper raffle saw Alan& Rita win a bottle of wine; Martin win the box of Tea and kind give it to Alan’s grandson; Joan win the Love, Live, Laugh stickers and Phil take the Beer home before ARTHUR show his gentle side with IT’S AFTER MIDNIGHT AND SO LATE. With another instrument EDDIE then played O’CAROLAN’S CONCERTO, his hardest piece, leaving PETE to sing about JIM and supply the social comment as did GRAEME with the HESITATION BLUES leaving JAN to introduced us to the BLACK MAGIC WOMAN. All this led ED to conclude IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS. On the other hand PHIL went all traditional with the BLACKLEG MINER as did JAMES in his way with VALENTINE’S DAY by Steve Earl but ANN settled for a ride in a SHABBY OLD CABBY. Still on a high LUCAS sang a great song which turned out to be his own composition, SEE YOU AROUND, and CHRIS was also creative with his own interpretation of ANGIE with ARTHUR completing the set with THE NIGHTINGALE which was one of his own. Building to a climax GRAEME gave us the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES while more up market PETE gave us THE MEDICAL STUDENT BLUES before there was a lull as EDDIE sang the beautiful DEAREST by Buddy Holly. Not to be denied after a few thanks, however, JAN had us all rocking with RUN AROUND SUE before ED teamed up with HEATHER & DON to state the obvious with ALL THE GOOD TIMES. A quality night! 


Newsletter No 364 9 February 2016

ED & SUE greeted a full house by welcoming KAMRAN to the front where he set the proceedings alight with his version of TRAVELLING RIVERSIDE BLUES from 1932 whereas DON & HEATHER settled for their more recent ROMANY JACK before PHIL recalled the days of Emerson, Lake & Palmer with LUCKY MAN by Greg Lake. Then it was good to hear BRIAN with ME AND THE ELEPHANT, a tribute to Terry Wogan who sang it, before the first big surprise of the night when JO stepped up for the first time brilliantly playing her new guitar and singing the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN followed by CARL with his own lament for the enforced moving of the folk club FROM THE ARMOURY TO THE CROWN. Then EDDIE invited his cello to THE FLORAL DANCE while DAVE was BLOWING IN THE WIND which left our guest from Ireland PAT KELLEHER to sing THE BALLAD OF JACK DOYLE. Raising the bar higher and higher COLIN sang the ballad of LITTLE MUSGRAVE followed by FAIR PLAY with THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY and then JAN sang in Welsh LAWR AR LAN Y MOR. Determined to ignore the weather MARK declared it a SUNNY AFTERNOON so not surprisingly PETER was off O’ER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY making GIO all ghostly with LONG BLACK VEIL and ROBIN asked us to MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO. Coming to the interval ANN reminded us of the miners with DARK AS A DUNGEON before PAUL generated a band-up with PAT to the fore with some great banjo playing when ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY’S ARMS which left MIKE with MICK RYAN’S LAMENT.


A bumper raffle saw Paul win the pancakes kit, Alan take the pink champagne, Pete go home with the toiletries for Jan, Jackie win the Hot Chocolate and Helen win the Bag of Licorice before opening up the second half PAT took up with LITTLE MAGGIE and COLIN asked rhetorically AIN’T THAT RAIN before another surprise returner DOUG sang John Conolly’s RANTER’S WHARF. Then ROBIN took us round the STREETS OF BALTIMORE but PETE was happy DOWN IN MY EASY CHAIR before BRIAN went all lovey-dovey with THE NEARNESS OF YOU. Next and instrumentally EDDIE treated us to a medley with GREENSLEEVES and KAMRAN celebrated the song writing of old friend Arthur Marshall with his OLD BONES STILL DREAM before DAVE with his harmonica for the first time sang SEA OF HEARTBREAK so no wonder ANN exclaimed ALL MY TRIALS will soon be over. With another big hit PHIL sang BROTHERS IN ARMS which had JAN & MARK off RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY while FAIR PLAY were WATERBOUND. Sensing a big finish FREE SPIRITS led us all with John Cline’s SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS which was followed by MIKE with COUSIN JACK and then PAT KELLEHER with his own composition MOVING ON before PAUL produced another band-up with PAT, KAMRAN & MIKE prominent as they STEP IT UP AND GO. Top drawer!!


Newsletter No 363 2 February 2016

A sublime evening started with KATH & STAN in the MOONSHADOW while BANJO JOHN said I WISH I WAS IN DIXIE and EDDIE was playing us the RIGHTS OF MAN followed by JACKIE TAR. Leading a tribute to Terry Wogan DON & HEATHER parodied his favourite with FLORA DANCE while PHIL chased THE HARE and ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY. Then the welcome appearance of MIKE COSGRAVE with a great version of THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME and the ASHOKAN FAREWELL was topped by DAVID’s own great song YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. Back from the sun complete with tan and thromboses was Janice as GRASSROOTS with ANGEL just in time to hear PAUL’s gospel according to JOHN THE REVELATOR which JAMES thought happened EVERYDAY. Next DAVE COWE turned to Roger McGough for the funny side of ANOTHER MIDLIFE CRISIS and MY PHILOSOPHY IN A NUTSHELL while CARL exclaimed CURSED BE THE CALLER with his knock, knock, knock. With one of the best ED then turned to Dylan’s RAMONA and equally good was CHRIS with Dire Straits’ SULTANS OF SWING and BANJO JOHN with JESSE JAMES. Then to our amazement EDDIE unsheathed his latest guitar, a bargain Bulgarian beauty picked up from a second hand stall, to play a great sounding BLUEBELL POLKA which inspired PHIL to introduce his MAN OF THE WORLD and DON & HEATHER to invite all comers to express PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which left PAUL to proclaim THE SINGING WILL NEVER END but it did for the half time break.

An extra bumper raffle Mike win the Easter Egg, Barry take the Big Musical Book, Joyce win the Viva for Men and Jill win the Wine before GRASSROOTS opened up again with THE MOCKING BIRD to be followed by DAVID with the showstopper AMARILLO and ANN and THE FOLK SINGER and JAMES with HANDYMAN. With more humour DAVE COWE gave us THE WEATHER and GLOBAL WARMING. Then more seriously CHRIS told us about HANDS OF JOSEPH just as ED was ON MY WAY TO WORK and KATH & STAN were recruiting MIKE COSGRAVE to join in DINKS SONG before leaving him to it for THE LAZY FARMER. Then Al Stewart entered the room via PHIL’s delivery of HANNO THE NAVIGATOR but DON, HEATHER & PAUL were cheerfully likening the RED ROSE CAFE to Sale Folk Club before EDDIE went off with the RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSIES. On the other hand GRASSROOTS yearned for ENGLISH RAIN while DAVID had FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY while all took refuge with PAUL and his JUG BAND MUSIC. Heading for door JAMES just had time to introduce his LITTLE SISTER before KATH & STAN said their THE LAST GOODBYE and we waved MIKE COSGRAVE off on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. Top drawer!

JANUARY - 2016

Newsletter No 362 26 January 2016

Despite the gloomy weather forecast hosts MARK & JAN greeted a lively gathering with the rousing YE JACOBITES in honour of Burns’ Night which Scotsman ROBIN followed with LYING EYES and CARL chose CAT’S IN THE CRADLE. Still on the Scottish theme PAUL was that PIPER TO THE END and JANET was really traditional BY YON CASTLE WALL but for TREVOR it was like SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN. Then we gave ROB the thumbs up after his operation to remove some bone from one of his as he led us to SOUTH AUSTRALIA but BANJO JOHN was busy SETTING THE WOODS ON FIRE while COLIN sang Jimmie Driftwood’s HE HAD A LONG CHAIN ON. To follow that DON & HEATHER summoned help from ROBIN & PAUL for NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL which was much the same theme as JO’s song SONNY’S DREAM while JAMES went for the jugular with FOREVER YOUNG. Long time no see DAVE then livened us up with THINGS before ED gave us the sad story of RED HEADED ANN and JOAN read some more of HER MOTHER’S STORY OF JOAN’S BIRTH AT THE END OF WWll before CHARLIE & JONATHON shipped up with WEATHER WITH YOU. Heading for the break JAN went solo with the beautiful NOW WESTLIN’ WIND to which BANJO JOHN said FETCH IT ON DOWN TO MY HOUSE and COLIN asked WHERE WILL THEY GO to which DAVE replied off to FIDDLER’S GREEN.

Another bumper raffle saw Vic win the Champagne and pass it to Barbara's charity, Heather won the Whisky and gave it to Ed, Sue won the White Roses, Alan won the Chocolates, Trevor won the Haggis and Jan & Mark won the Robbie Burns Beer. Then starting of the second half JAMES introduced MY OLD FRIEND THE BLUES as ROB confessed to COURTING TOO SLOW but MARK was more basic with LAY LADY LAY, however, DON & HEATHER said they WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. Also plain speaking TREVOR looked forward to when ONLY THE RIVERS RUN FREE and ED had his own advice with LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE WHERE THEY WILL before PAUL had us all chasing the BLUES IN A BOTTLE. No wonder CARL preferred A TASTE OF HONEY and JAMES commented THINGS HAVE CHANGED as ROB took himself off to the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR. Not surprising DAVE admitted I’VE GOT THE BLUES and CARL was off with THE DEMON and TREVOR was LEAVING. Coming to a climax PAUL was GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD just as ED was telling us ALL THE GOOD TIMES are passed and gone leading DON, HEATHER, PAUL & ROBIN to invite us to STEAL AWAY and MARK & JAN offered us a parting glass in SO HERE’S TO YOU to end a great evening. Excellent!


Newsletter No 361 19 January 2016

A full house and extra chairs greeted PAUL & ROBIN who stewarded the host of talent starting with FREE SPIRITS who chose to see them as NO HOPERS, JOKERS AND ROGUES before GEOFF celebrated the DESPERADO in memory of Glen Frey. Also rising to the occasion JAMES gave us a great blues version of HOW LONG before ANN told us the story of LORELEI and ALAN, a new face from Midlands tried to tell us I'M A WAYFARING STRANGER. With his own version BRIAN insisted LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING as FAIR PLAY were off to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH and COLIN was searching for A BETTER WAY TO BE, leaving HILARY to play THE LORD'S SEAT on her guitar. Then who should walk through the door but PETE KING not with a new song but LIFE ON MARS as a tribute to David Bowie swiftly followed by very welcome guests DAVE CARTWRIGHT & HOWARD WOOLLEY also celebrating Glen Frey with TEQUILA SUNRISE and then FIRE AND RAIN (J Taylor). Next our own highly talented CARL turned to Jez Lowe for THE LONE BADGER as JO went off DOWN BY THE SALLY GARDENS but locked in his own time warp PHIL celebrated David Bowie with SPACE ODDITY. Then by way of a complete change SUE asked for A KIND OF HUSH as ED went back to WWll with AL BOWLLY'S IN HEAVEN before KEN told us YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND and ARTHUR also went off-piste with his CAN'T COMPLAIN. Even further off piste went DAVID playing with ELECTRIC TRAINS by Squeeze so no wonder JANET went more traditional with WHEN THE SNOW OF WINTER FALLS by Graham Miles and JAMES led us to the interval with THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS.

The bumper raffle befitted the large gathering and Joan took home the Baklavas, Carl won the wine, David lifted the torch set, new boy Alan took the biscuits and Alan won the CD before ALAN himself returned with SLIP SLIDING AWAY to which COLIN replied TAKE IT EASY. Then JOAN came up with more of her Mum's MEMORIES OF TRAFFORD PARK. Then as if to prove his loyalty PHIL came up with THREE MULES by Al Stewart which had BRIAN saying I'm GONE, GONE, GONE. This time as a duo SUE & GEOFF sang LADY OF PLEASURE followed by another instrumental by HILARY called GEORGE BRABAZON followed by FAIR PLAY with BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY and ED's telling of THE MIGHTY HAGGIS HUNTER, the prelude to Burns' Night. For ARTHUR there was definitely NO RIVER TO CROSS to which KEN mused OH! WHAT A SHAME and ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY. Then as we headed for the customary big finish DAVE sang REQUIEM leaving DAVE & HOWARD to set us on THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS followed by JACK with SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Then it was back with DAVE & HOWARD to first set us up with the lyrical AFTER YOU'VE GONE before kicking us into the street with A WHOLE LOTTA SHAKING GOING ON. We haven't recovered yet!! Magic!!! 

Newsletter No 360 12 January 2016

Smooth as silk were hosts GRASSROOTS as ensured the assembled talent delivered for a very receptive audience as they started off with MOCKINGBIRD. Then swiftly on his feet BANJO JOHN had us all singing with MR TAMBOURINE MAN which filled BRIAN with SORROW as ED gave us advice from THE GAMBLER. Not interested ROBIN soon shot off NORTH TO ALASKA as JANET rose to celebrate her birthday with I'M STILL STANDING. For DAVE COWE he was happy to tell us about THE SCHOOLBOY as TONY debuted with SONG FOR THE ASKING (Simon & Garfunkel) to which SUE replied with David Bowie's AFTER ALL. Next, politically fired up, CARL taught us THE AUSTERITY ALPHABET as DON & HEATHER were looking at another aspect of migrants with ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and no doubt ANN's song DARK AS A DUNGEON come to mind sometimes. Very traditionally PAUL followed the fortunes of GEORDIE as did EDDIE with MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE in rehearsal for Burn's Night before JOHN CHILCOTT took the floor with THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE, E McColl's greatest hit and PHIL drew it all to a close with CIRCLE'S END. With his own excellent interpretation GEOFF confessed I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU before ARTHUR gave his opinion on the Doctor's Strike with THERE AIN'T NO PROFIT IN THAT leaving MARION with MOLLY AT MORN. Coming up to pumpkin time BANJO JOHN was WAITING FOR THE ROBERT E LEE and JOHN CHILCOTT joined him in the queue with RAINY DAY PEOPLE as the interval loomed. 

A tasty raffle gave the Prosecco to Mick, the biscuits to Carl, the chocolates to Arthur, the head massager to Martin and the CD to Sue & Geoff before GRASSROOTS restarted with PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. Next CARL well covered LADY ELEANOR as ANN shot off to WIDDECOMBE FAIR and DAVE COWE recited a SALUTATION. This made PAUL exhort us to LAY ME DOWN A PALETTE ON YOUR FLOOR and EDDIE to give us his instrumental rendition of TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC and DON & HEATHER to get off to Dublin for some RARE OULD TIMES. Even more serious ED was off DOING THE MANCHE as TONY unveiled another Simon & Garfunkel in APRIL COME SHE WILL and still across the Pond ROBIN was over in DENVER. Out of season but GEOFF it felt like SUMMER'S END while MARION was off with BILLY ARMITAGE and BRIAN was at the DARK END OF THE STREET building up to a climax. Suitably warned ARTHUR was at MRS McGARRITY'S LAST DANCE and SUE had us all band on for WAGON WHEEL before PHIL gave us some respite with VINCENT which left GRASSROOTS singing us into the street with LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT. A perfect end to a great evening.  

Newsletter No 359 5 January 2016

The New Year was welcomed in with a sublime evening in the safe hands of hosts KAMRAN & PETE and with our Digital Demon CHRIS ROSS' finger on the shutter we were all set as PETE appropriately set off with his NEW YEAR SONG. Soon on his feet BANJO JOHN went back in time with AFTER YOU'VE GONE before ARTHUR went all modern with his own BILLY THE LEPRECHAUN leaving KATH & STAN to swing back in time with HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL. Somewhere in the middle ROBIN declared its GOOD TO BE BACK HOME as PHIL introduced the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER as ANN celebrated THE TROUT. Then with a new one to most people KAMRAN sang RISE and JAMES followed suit with an UNKNOWN LEGEND before PAUL demonstrated some nice banjo frailing on Zoe Mulford's WELCOME IN ANOTHER YEAR. Then after the furniture van arrived EDDIE treated to THE GREEN EYE OF THE LITTLE YELLOW GOD accompanied by his Cello. Drifting in late RICHARD GRAY asked us WHAT WAS IT YOU WANTED with his own composition as DON & HEATHER croaked their way through HONKY TONK MAN and JOAN asked WHAT'S IN A FACE from her Mum's Memoirs. Then slithering toward the Mulled Wine and Mince Pies BANJO JOHN asked us AM I BLUE to which ROBIN said he had a PEACEFUL EASY FEELING leaving ARTHUR to sing his own tribute to THE WINDS OF CONNEMARA.

The usual bumper Raffle saw the Red Wine go to Dolan, the Biscuits go to Pete, the Diary go to Eddie and the chocolates reside with Martin. Both the biscuits and chocolates were soon circulating as PAUL told us about the train in KC MOAN. Still keeping the faith PETE had REASON TO BELIEVE as PHIL took to THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA (Al Stewart) and ANN & ROBIN went Country with a MEDLEY including Honky Tonk Angels. THAT'LL BE THE DAY reckoned EDDIE as KAMRAN was looking for THE MAN IN THE LONG BLACK COAT and JOAN was recollecting THE CAR her Mum bought. Then time for a couple of tunes from KATH & STAN with THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH as JAMES set out in the EARLY MORNING RAIN and DON & HEATHER again croaked their way KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER leaving RICHARD to ask WHERE DID THE GOOD TIMES GO? Sensing the finishing line PAUL recruited ARTHUR with Stan's violin for CORNBREAD & BUTTERBEANS but PHIL insisted he was a ONE MAN GUY as ROBIN headed back to his roots for JOCK O' HAZELDEAN. All ways round ANN was glad that ALL MY TRIALS, LORD, WILL SOON BE OVER and they certainly were as EDDIE related the story of FRANKIE & JOHNNY and things were certainly tough in lead mining as KATH & STAN discovered in THE CENSUS which left JAMES to lead us in a band up for AIN'T MISBEHAVING to complete a great night.



Newsletter No 358 29 December 2015

Back from the Canaries ED & SUE were greeted by friends old and new as amongst the great turn out we found some very familiar and some we see less frequently returning for a top night of excellent music and craic. BANJO JOHN soon had us in the mood with his TIGER RAG followed by DON & HEATHER with PAUL who had us singing away with THE DIAMANTINA DROVER and then JOHN WILLIAMS with the WHITE HARE. Then with an upbeat version came PETE with Dylan's DON'T THINK TWICE before, HILARY with the more sedate CAROLAN'S WELCOME and ED with a great version of another one from Bob Dylan, DREAM. And then, after years of absence, came the welcome return of ALBERT with his own HOUSE OF EMPTY DREAMS followed by the ultimate occasional JEAN, from North Yorkshire, who sang Graham Moore's LISTEN ON THE WIND. Thus enlivened PAUL determined to STEP IT UP AND GO while more seductively ANN pleaded LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY which caused EDDIE to look at things FROM BOTH SIDES NOW before another welcome visitor, SUE BARGH, rose to sing Joni Mitchell's URGE FOR GOING which certainly had us all definitely wanting to stay. Then with no sign of the threatened storm BANJO JOHN still had the ST LOUIS BLUES but more optimistically JOHN WILLIAMS looked forward to the MISTLETOE MILE, and why not but HILARY was more pessimistic reminding us of Noah' Ark with THREE HA'PENCE A FOOT. All this had PETE looking to the day when I SHALL BE RELEASED but still in festive mood ALBERT simply wanted TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and JEAN took us all back to WWll with HOME LADS HOME, a poem put to music by Sarah Morgan. Also in a nostalgic mood JOAN read A TRIBUTE TO MARY HAWE from her Mum's book to take us to the interval.

A big raffle saw Joyce win a big fruit cake, Pete win the wine. Ian win a Christmas Pudding, Eddie take the Biscuits and Heather Kenyon win a CD before ED had us all in pleats with the fate of THE JOGGER. On the other hand ANN told us the fan forgave THE FOLK SINGER instead of dumping him whereas DON, HEATHER & PAUL were optimistic she who DANCES FOR DOLLARS would come out on top. EDDIE then gave us a short recital of THREE CAROLS: PATAPAN (French), The Angel to the Virgin came and Virgin most pure which certainly didn't give PAUL the HESITATION BLUES but certainly stimulated HILARY to play CAROLAN'S RECEIPT. Then, as if sensing the mood for a climactic finish, SUE BARGH had us all singing DONNA, DONNA, DONNA (J Baez) which gave ALBERT reason to tell us about his VISIONS for which JEAN sang him an IRISH BLESSING. Appropriately PAUL recognised it would be a LONG JOURNEY HOME for some especially EDDIE reckoned for THE SHEEP STEALER for whom all PETE could say was MAY YOU NEVER. Appropriately JOHN WILLIAMS then rose to his feet for two great songs the GODDESS OF MIDWINTER and GREEN TREES leaving DON, HEATHER & PAUL to lead the raising of the roof from the lusty singing of RED ROSE CAFE before suggesting we lay down the borrowed guitar aka ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD and get of home before New Year. Magic!!

Newsletter No 357 22 December 2015

A host of talented performers and an excellent audience were greeted by mulled wine and mince pies greeted us as DON & HEATHER set the tone with their ROMANY JACK followed by BANJO JOHN who was in WINTER WONDERLAND and JO was in THE BLEAK MIDWINTER. Going with one of his favourites JAMES told he AIN'T MISBEHAVIN as JUDE introduced him to PRETTY POLLY and PAUL RILEY retorted GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN. More seriously ANN told us the legend of THE LORELEI and JOAN recited TWO POEMS from her Mum before DON & HEATHER stayed on their original theme with GYPSY WOMAN. Back from the bar ARTHUR MARSHALL was in suffering still so we got RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER SINGS THE BLUES as BANJO JOHN shot off to California as the LITTLE OLD WINE DRINKER ME whereas ANN & JO went north for AMAZING GRACE. For JAMES this was all A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE as MARIAN went traditional for TAR BARREL AND NAIL and RICHARD GRAY went for his own WISE MAN'S TALE. Arriving late but still very welcome DAVID was seasonal with HALLELUJAH followed by JONATHAN & CHARLIE with a song we can't remember but it led to BANJO JOHN'S Pantomime with John, Joan, Ann, Pete and Martin giving us a good laugh with an excellent interpretation of CINDERELLA. Magic!

In the interval Banjo John donated a bottle of Whisky, Joan gave a bottle of White wine and Kate gave a bottle of Mulled wine to add to the Big Raffle which resulted in us finally reaching the cumulative Christmas grand total of £257.00 sent to the Children's Adventure Farm Charity. Then opening the second half another late arrival PAUL had all trilling to HOTEL CALIFORNIA followed by PETE with his own great song MADAME WHISKY and then the new duo of PAUL RILEY & JUDE singing about JOHN RILEY. Recovered from his thespian activities BANJO JOHN went back in time for MARGIE as DAVID went back to a Crowded House for BETTER BE HOME SOON and then MARIAN again went trad with SPINDLE BOBBIN AND SPOOL AWAY. Next JOAN recited CRISIS, the only fictional story her Mum ever wrote, as RICHARD decided to sing his song about the MANCHESTER HIGHWAY just as ANN was DEFYING GRAVITY. Called on once again JAMES declared he was WILLING while PAUL confessed to the BAD MAN BLUES just as JUDE was ROLLING DOWN THE RIVER before HEATHER KENYON gave us a rare performance of what A POLITICALLY CORRECT CHRISTMAS would be like. This time PAUL RILEY rose up with the New Seekers MORNINGTOWN and PETE gave us a great rendition of another classic WOODSTOCK as DAVID prepared a couple from the Beach Boys, GOD ONLY KNOWS & WOULDN'T IT BE NICE and JAMES dug deep for SWEET LORRAINE leaving DON & HEATHER to marvel at the excellent nature of the evening and Pete's borrowed guitar with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD. Tops!! 

Newsletter No 356 15 December 2015

A full house and a fair eclectic mix for our Christmas Party was well stewarded by KATH & STAN into a great start to the festive season. Suitably BANJO JOHN defied the Bookies with WHITE CHRISTMAS before HILARY went east for CHINESE MELODIES 1 & 4 and KATH & STAN went down to the SWEET SUNNY SOUTH. BRIAN couldn't help but ask for HOW LONG to which KAMRAN replied LIFE WILL GET YOU IN THE END as JANET went all angelic with DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR. On a serious note PHIL turned to BLIND (Deep Purple) as ANN decided to have us all singing VAIR ME ORO V AN O as did JAN with his version SUMMERTIME. Not content with that PAUL wanted to RAISE A RUCKUS TONIGHT but MICK reckoned NOTHING RHYMES (G O'Sullivan) despite JANICE with MICK saying it will only make you STRONGER. Back with Christmas JO led us all for SILENT NIGHT as IAN returned to the weather for FOUR STRONG WINDS before JOAN had us all seeing the funny side of life with TALES FROM HER MUM and THE OLD BUS. Philosophically PETE declared IT'LL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES just as DON & HEATHER told us WHEN SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES she can do just what she likes as did DAVE COWE's CLIVE THE FEARLESS BIRDMAN. Another slant on things came from JOHN CONDY with THE REBEL JESUS to which PETE KING replied with his customary new song WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO and JONATHAN turned to Sting for the HOUNDS OF WINTER. Finally what would we do without MARK & JAN and their Christmas mini-Panto entitled THE IVY AND THE HOLLY to take us up to the break with a Big Buffet and Chips.

The usual bumper raffle with all proceeds (£73.00) going to the Children's Adventure Farm Charity saw Heather win a CD, Martin win a DVD, Ian win the Biscuits, Hilary win the Wine, Kate win the Cava, Hilary win more Biscuits, Phil win the Smellies, Rosaleen take the cake and Joe win the Christmas Pudding. Then ROBIN got the ball rolling again with THE LAST FAREWELL and CARL sang one of his latest songs YOUNG ANNIE IN BLUE before ROB took up his guitar with harmonica form MARK for IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU. In good form KATH & STAN told us the sad BALLAD OF DAN MOODY but on the other hand JAN was simply HAPPY unlike HILARY who spent CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WORKHOUSE but nobody believed it so GRASSROOTS told us it was all LIES. On a completely different tack BRIAN told all women are CRAZY ABOUT AN AUTOMOBILE before IAN celebrated Salford with DIRTY OLD TOWN but again PHIL seemed to be sadly all TANGLED UP IN BLUE. All contrasty JAN & MARK revealed the secrets of ROTTERDAM but more simply KAMRAN told us I'm ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS leaving DAVE COWE to tell us about STONE SAINTS. Unable to resist adding to the £1,000,000 royalties Noddy Holder makes every year JOHN CONDY sang MERRY CHRISTMAS (Slade) and PAUL did the same with MARY'S BOY CHILD whereas PETE was more to the point with LIGHT MY FIRE. Still having fun in Trafford Park JOAN told us of more exploits SKATING WITH DANGER which ROB did when picking up the guitar again for RING OF FIRE which left FREE SPIRITS to asking everyone to TAK' A DRAM with them and then sing their way into the street with Paxton's RAMBLIN' BOY to end a night of great fun and frolics. 

Newsletter No 355 8 December 2015

An absolutely excellent evening loads of top talent brilliantly hosted into great
entertainment by MARK & JAN who started it all off with a rousing version of YE JACOBITES followed by KATH & STAN taking the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND and PETE  announcing I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU. With an affair to remember JOHN  CHILCOTT explained the LONG BLACK VEIL as BANJO JOHN told us there are always  CHANGES as GEOFF introduced FOTHERINGAY. Next JO celebrated the 12 GATES TO  THE CITY before BRIAN played more chords in AS TIME GOES BY than we knew existed  making ROBIN was dragged by his love through the STREETS OF BALTIMORE so wonder  CARL sang JEALOUS GUY. In complete and welcome contrast JOAN then told us WHAT MI  MOTHER DID and SUE sang SONGBIRD before DON & 
HEATHER had us all off to the RED  ROSE CAFE. Back by the wall ROB then led the chorus to COME WRITE YE DOWN and  MIKE COSGRAVE introduced his COUSIN JACK before, after too long away, we were really  glad to see and hear COLIN RUDD with his interpretation of ELEANOR RIGBY.  Interestingly it was then this year ED's turn to sing A SPACEMAN CAME TRAVELLING  but PHIL had full rights to Al Stewart's GETHSEMANE AGAIN before PAUL had us all  aboard THE OLD 97. Coming up to the interval JOHN CONDY confessed I BELIEVE IN  FATHER CHRISTMAS which had JAMES reaching for the COCAINE and RICHARD racing  off FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.

The break saw the first of all the raffles up to Christmas which will be donated to The Children's Adventure Farm Trust Charity. Bill won the Whisky. Paul won the Wine, Martin  won a CD, Bill won the Liqueurs, Sue won the Christmas Puddings and gave them to Kate,  Martin won the Box of Biscuits and gave them to Heather's Mum before also winning the  Mince Pies (he does buy a lot of tickets). No wonder CARL then came up with ALL YOU  NEED IS LOVE but PETE was HURT and BRIAN was off KILLING THE BLUES which PAUL  thought was the result of CARELESS LOVE. Fortunately, PHIL had us seeing the funny side  of MY PERFECT COUSIN as JAMES told us about THE GLORY OF LOVE which in a way was  ED's theme in the FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY IN THE WEST while KATH & STAN were  something else with THE MAN IN THE MOON. Before his departure RICHARD had us all  seek SHELTER FROM THE STORM as SUE & GEOFF wished us Merry Christmas the  Hawaiian way with MELE KALIKAMAKA leaving ROB vowing to GO TO SEA NO MORE and,  seasonally, ROBIN to ask us to TAK' A DRAM, This led JOHN CONDY to reckon it could  lead us to DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL and MIKE was a bit sentimental with  CALEDONIA to which MARK & JAN assured us it was NO USE CRYING as we headed for  the door after a belting night. Magic!

Newsletter No 354 1 December 2015

Starting the gentle freefall to Christmas hosts PAUL & ROBIN led the way with PAUL telling he would ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS whereas BANJO JOHN went back hundreds of years for his MARGIE long before SUE could have claimed WHEN I'M CLEANING WINDOWS. Seeking some light relief GEOFF sang about ROY ROGERS riding tonight which for ROD on his return sounded like The Faces' ALL OR NOTHING as KAMRAN & BANJO JOHN assembled to pay homage to DR JAZZ.  Back from his rock climbing exploits ROB then gave us the Centipede Song I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL whereas PETE celebrated MARY FROM DONEGAL as ANN prepared to WELCOME BONNY BRID (Samuel Laycock). Welcoming Robin back from his cruise DON & HEATHER invited the reformation of Free Spirits with DIAMANTINA DROVER prompting ED to set our ALONG THE VERDIGRIS (Paxton) and ROBIN himself to chime in with MR DREAMSELLER. Coming round again BANJO JOHN insisted we should ROLL A SILVER DOLLAR as latecomer DAVE stepped up to the plate with E Costello's OLIVER'S ARMY and GEOFF kindly responded to an earlier request with TWILIGHT TIME. For ROD it was all becoming a bit of a TEQUILA SUNRISE to which KAMRAN advised SO RELAX (Leon Redbone) before BANJO JOHN again went back to 1851 for SWANEE RIVER which left us all needing a break.

In the usual bumper raffle Rod and Allan won Wine, Ann won the perfume, Kate took the CD and Barry got the Christmas Puddings before starting the second half PAUL posed the question WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL as another latecomer RICHARD told us he had fallen asleep but arrived to sing his own ABANDONED but ED was wide awake for Joan's request IT'S ME MARGARET! Seriously PETE told us the HEART IS LIKE A WHEEL as DAVE decided to sing us a WHISKY LULLABY and ROBIN told us the story of behind the SNOWS OF NEW YORK. What with all the talk of bad weather DON, HEATHER & PAUL said it was the ideal setting for the song FOREVER AND A DAY as ROB set out on his MILL OUTING and equally sad RICHARD told us what SYLVIA'S MOTHER SAYS. Again GEOFF & SUE directed us towards a cheery note with a join-in SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES followed by PETE who decided he was GOIN' TO KANSAS CITY with the same backing as did KAMRAN to say GOODNIGHT IRENE. Giving us the hint DAVE announced that he'd got a TICKET TO RIDE but ED completely missed it confessing I GOT STONED. Heading for the door with full chorus ROB led us off with the GOOD SHIP CALABAR, followed by RICHARD with the BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER and finally FREE SPIRITS with ROLLING HOME which we soon were with a spring in our step. Great!


Newsletter No 353 24 November 2015

A top night of great talent much appreciated by a receptive audience as hosts JANICE & MICK aka GRASSROOTS led off with ONCE I LOVED. They were soon followed by SUE & GEOFF saying I'LL FLY AWAY and BANJO JOHN singing ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM but KAMRAN suggesting LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIAN. For poet DAVE he told us MY MOTHER REMEMBERS SRI LANKA whereas DON & HEATHER sand about ROMANY JACK while JO was by the BANKS OF THE OHIO. A new duo of PHIL & GORDON went all Dusty with I DON'T KNOW JUST WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF while BRIAN tried to define DIDDY WAH DIDDY as ANN delved into THE LAND THAT MADE ME ME. Next came BRENDAN with his own song of from DONEGAL TO AMSTERDAM but CARL was glad to be SAFE IN THE HARBOUR but for FAIR PLAY they told us that HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL. For JANET she craved BOOTS LIKE EMMYLOU'S which somehow made PHIL experience an AFTERGLOW but quite why it reminded PAUL of STAGOLEE. Still wheezing, however, ED had the BRONCHIO-DILATOR BLUES as ARTHUR told us about WHEN PAISLEY MET THE POPE which for PETER meant a fair STORM RISING to bring us up to raffle and chat time.

Opening up the second half GRASSROOTS sang a great song SILVERSCREEN before BRIAN took us back in time with ONLY YOU (Flying Pickets) and PHIL & GORDON had us rolling about laughing with Jake Thackray's ON AGAIN ON. With Northern Ireland having been mentioned several times PAUL then came up with a song that he had picked up over there DOWN BY THE LAGAN SIDE as PETER reminisced with one his brother taught him, RABBIT HILLS, but in view of the current weather FAIR PLAY reminded us of the dangers with WATERBOUND. In another vein PHIL was downbeat with I WISH WE'D ALL BEEN READY but was quickly trumped by ED and his song DISASTER before poet DAVE tried to lift the mood with HEY NONNY NONNY. On a serious note BRENDAN went back to his roots for CARRICKFERGUS as SUE & GEOFF had a BRIEF ENCOUNTER as did THE BLACKSMITH requested from CARL our Jake Thackray specialist. Then, going for the big sing out, DON, HEATHER & PAUL took us ACROSS THE BORDERLINE and KAMRAN took us back to being a DAYDREAM BELIEVER before ARTHUR topped the lot with his excellent song FENCES to send us all home with the warm glow of a great night of music and craic.
 Newsletter No 352 17 November 2015

Not nice weather but excellent inside Sale Folk Club as PETE openly declared you bring out THE BEST IN ME followed by PHIL who dedicated MARTIN to Martin not surprisingly and BANJO JOHN with a duck joke and a song by Paul Robeson. SUE was next with her stick dulcimer and THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN whereas PAUL was chasing the CANDYMAN leaving CARL to confess he was ALL AT SEA with his own song and true story of a female matelot. Then BRIAN had us Googling THE VERY THING THAT MAKES HER RICH WILL MAKE YOU POOR as poor KAMRAN was out SELLING ICE-CREAM IN THE AUTUMN but ED & SUE didn't care as they went off to LANNEGAN'S BALL. With complete aplomb GEOFF then amazed with his rendition of OUR HOUSE (Crosby, Stills and Nash) as a solo DON sang YOU WILL BE THE LIGHT for the absent Heather as BANJO JOHN shot off on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Down in the darkness CARL was next digging for the BLACK DIAMONDS of Jez Lowe but PETE KING came through the door with his latest new song which was certainly not the POISON that it was about. Coming up to the break SUE was soon off with BLACK JACK DAVEY and PAUL sang a favourite of his JACKAROO before RICHARD patriotically celebrated OH, ENGLAND.

With much craic the interval raffle saw the Red wine go to Jackie, the Room fragrance diffuser go to Alan, the Biscuits temporarily go to Martin before he handed them round and the CD go to Paul. Starting the second half PETE urged us to say GOODBYE TO THE OLD as BRIAN again surprised us with the song THROUGH THE MORNING THROUGH THE NIGHT and ED sang in praise of IRELAND'S GREEN SHORE. Another favourite song then came from KAMRAN with the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES as GEOFF was all romantic with HE'LL HAVE TO GO and DON banded up with PAUL and ED for a GALWAY GIRL. Then PHIL surprised with SWEET BABY JAMES as did PETE KING by adopting the ukulele for his SIMPLE SONG before RICHARD strolled along to THE EIFFEL TOWER. Responding to clamour from the audience CARL treated us to SISTER JOSEPHINE while PAUL had the BLUES IN A BOTTLE before SUE & GEOFF set out on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and ED sang about NANCY. Soon PETE was KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR whereas to PHIL it was WEDNESDAY MORNING 3AM which led KAMRAN to ask DADDY, WHERE YOU BEEN SO LONG? Finally in response to a great night DON had us all singing away with SONNY before RICHARD said sadly that we should all soon be FAR AWAY FROM HERE as we headed for the door. Top drawer!

Newsletter No 351 10 November 2015
A great full house with every seat taken addressed many aspects of war started by DON & HEATHER with CALLING DOON THE LINE swiftly followed by BANJO JOHN with LILI MARLENE and SUE reminding us of the psychological damage with ALL YOU'VE GOT IS A HAMMER. Going back to roots JO came up with the GALWAY SHAWL and GRASSROOTS remembered WILLIE McBRIDE and JANET surprised us with REMEMBRANCE by Jake Thackray. Crossing the Pond KATH & STAN gave us THE BALLAD OF DAN MOODY while crossing the Channel JUDE bi-lingally told us about THE PARTISAN but back in England MARK went recruiting for the ROUT OF THE BLUES while JAN addressed the aftermath of it all with MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS, WIVES. Interestingly, without war there would have been no for Pete Morton's song FURTHER which was well sung by CARL and certainly no GRANDDAD'S ATTIC for ROB to explore or for PETE to BEAT THE DRUM. Still on theme PHIL was away in the FIELDS OF FRANCE (Al Stewart) and RICHARD brought us his own take on the WAR TO END ALL WARS as PAUL went Mark Knoppler for PIPER TO THE END. Then on his own JONATHAN turned to SHIPBUILDING for a good song well played as JOHN turned to BROTHERS IN ARMS (M Knoppler) and MIKE COSGRAVE told us THE SHIPYARD SLIPS LIE EMPTY all of which led JO to decide to take ONE DAY AT A TIME. This gave BANJO JOHN the last word before the interval with BLUEBIRDS OVER THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER.

After the usual bumper raffle and much chin wagging 
KATH & STAN resumed for DINK'S SONG and MIKE COSGRAVE related the sad story concluding in JESUS WEPT. By way of a complete change GEOFF confessed he was FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN and SUE said she wanted him BACK AGAIN and PHIL gave us some thoughts that he would like to go back again to his home town the CITY OF PLYMOUTH (Maggie Duffy). Another favourite came from CARL in the form of PENNY LANE and ROB went to his favourite place for the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR but JAN & MARK were busy chasing that LITTLE RED ROOSTER. Next JUDE was aboard the MARCO POLO as JOHN swayed with the WAGON WHEEL and RICHARD wondered WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE but the implications of Arthur Marshall's FENCES, sung by PAUL, were quite clear. Finally. leaving the overall theme of remembrance and heading for a big finish PETE went with Bob Dylan for SHE BELONGS TO ME and MIKE went with a Christy Moore favourite THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO before everyone was invited to join with DON, HEATHER & PAUL to follow the DIAMANTINA DROVER down under to end a really top evening.
Newsletter No 350 3 November 2015
A bumper night with over twenty appreciative listeners coming to enjoy over twenty performers organised by ED & SUE into great entertainment starting with BANJO JOHN with his TEASING RAG complete with Ying Tang Giggle Eye Po chorus. This sent ROBIN of to DURHAM TOWN while amazingly ARTHUR suddenly declared I'M IRONING MY GOLDFISH FLAT and SUE burst out with FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE. Keeping it in the family JAN, KATHRYN & MARK were then off to Canada for LUKIE'S BOAT while ROB was up in GRANDDAD'S ATTIC and ED was saying GOODBYE TO THE SEA. All this had GEOFF going off for ONE FOR THE ROAD (John Martin) and JANET posing the question WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES but fortunately MISSISSIPPI TEA were on the RISE. Alternatively ANN was fishing for THE TROUT and ornithologist CHRIS was listening to the BLACKBIRD (Beatles) which for KEVIN was all a bit TOO CLOSE TO THE WIND (Fairport Convention). Another historical note from PHIL told of FRANKLYN'S TABLE (Al Stewart) while geographically CHARLIE & JONATHAN were away to ALABAMA (Jason Isobel Pines) leaving DON & HEATHER to confess they certainly did not have ALL THE ANSWERS. Coming up to the interval BANJO JOHN remembered Paul Robeson with OLD MAN RIVER as JAN & MARK went to the END OF THE LINE and JANET toasted us with SODA WINE as ARTHUR rounded off his brief recuperative visit with the poignant ROSES AND WINE.

The usual bumper raffle and socialising soon gave way to MISSISSIPPI TEA who introduced us to the ONE HOUR MAMA (Ida Cox) which certainly had ED confessing to being ALL USED UP as ROBIN eulogised about PADDY RILEY the theme to the old film, Blue Lagoon. Still in fine voice KEVIN tolled THE BELLS OF RHYMNEY (P Seeger) and also in traditional mood PHIL sang about the SHOALS OF HERRING (McColl) and ANN took us off to WIDDECOMBE FAIR. More recently GEOFF sang a great version of CRAZY MAN MICHAEL and SUE had us off with the URBAN SPACEMAN but back with the working classes ROB sang about the PROCESS MAN. Any way up CHRIS was that PIPER TO THE END and FREE SPIRITS were certainly JOKERS, NO-HOPERS AND ROGUES and KAMRAN definitely had the DEAD SHRIMP BLUES (R Johnson). Between the giggles MARK & JAN were recruiting for THE BLUE COCKADE and as usual ROB was COURTING TOO SLOW, or not at all at times, which had PHIL off LEAVING ON A JET PLANE. Then, finally, we were up for a big finish with SUE & GEOFF celebrating with THIS IS THE LIFE and ED, ROBIN, DON & HEATHER leading us to the door after ALL THE GOOD TIMES had been had for a great night.

OCTOBER - 2015

Newsletter No 350 27 October 2015
No 7-year itch for SALE FOLK CLUB's seventh anniversary as hosts MARK & JAN started by leading us off to JACKSON. Then after years in the gestation ROBIN finally gave release to an old favourite he had been working on, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH, whereas PHIL happily shared another Al Stewart song, PALACE OF VERSAILLES, before CHRIS responded to a request for THE TRAWLERMEN (Knoppler). There was a big welcome back next for SUE and her ukulele who brought us REAL HOPE and of course GEOFF with the pertinent observation WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES before BANJO JOHN dispensed with the philosophical and went for SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL. Then JOAN surprised us THE BOSNIAN SONG to which JO replied LET IT BE and GRASSROOTS dedicated their song HIGHLAND LADDIE to Robin. A second request was met by DON & HEATHER with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER followed by she who requested it, ANN, who sang about what she got up to in THE SHABBY OLD CABBY. Good to see him back, BRIAN sang about the Eagles' DESPERADO and ED treated us to the real world of THE FLUSHERS which had MARK & JAN rushing for the boat to ROTTERDAM. Perhaps with the club in mind BANJO JOHN told us YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE IN YOUR DREAMS and similarly JO waxed lyrically THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE leaving RICHARD to ask WHAT WAS IT YOU WANTED.

This way we reached the interval as the excellent buffet and chips arrived and a bumper raffle saw Ukulele Sue win the wine, Ros win the box of tea, Brian win the Feta Cheese and Olives, Alan win a CD, Ann win the Chocolates, Alex win a CD and Paula win the Christmas Pudding.

Starting the second half 
ED just wanted was to be left alone TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM as GRASSROOTS dedicated another song to Robin, cos they missed his birthday last week, WILD MOUNTAINSIDE, to which PHIL replied with I'M ONLY SLEEPING (Lennon). Another story from JOAN contained some REFLECTIONS ON LIFE and after waking BRIAN sang about DREAMS to which CHRIS replied MAY YOU NEVER lay your head down without a hand to hold. By way of a change GEOFF then gave us a monologue, SPENCER'S COCK and SUE followed with 74-75 which still defies meaning today so no wonder ANN came up with ALL MY TRIALS LORD. Possibly with 11/11 in mind ROBIN then mused THEY SAY THAT THE BATTLE IS OVER which for DON & HEATHER was PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE but RICHARD insisted we DON'T QUIT. Back in another fantasy BRIAN asked DON'T IT MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE a CHRIS also conjectured about A PLACE WE USED TO LIVE while ED went with the true version of the Three Bears fairy story MI HUSBAND'S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN 'IM (Les Barker). At the end of a great party night GRASSROOTS strongly suggested LET'S GO TOGETHER when we go and DON & HEATHER rightly claimed we'd had some RARE OLD TIMES and MARK & JAN went back to the time of the flat earthers by swearing to hunt down CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN. Magic!
Newsletter No 349 20 October 2015

An excellent celebration of Robin's birthday hosted by FAIR PLAY who started with the FORSAKED MERMAID to which England's Devonian PHIL replied with Cornwall's Steve Knightley's COUSIN JACK. From his favourite and lesser known Dylan album PAUL then chose GOOD AS I'VE BEEN TO YOU before the first tribute to Robin came from JANET with the Outlander theme OVER THE SEA TO SKY whereas KAMRAN opened with WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, Catfish Keith's parallel story to Corrinna, Corrinna, which somehow prompted to JOAN to relate the first part of her GRANDMOTHER'S STORY. Still in holiday mood DON & HEATHER then took us off to Spain to drink some SPANISH BURGUNDY only for Heather's Mum, PHYLLIS, to echo Joan's story with THE CRABBIT OLD WOMAN for the longest applause of the night, two offers of marriage and a bed for the night. Also getting emotional ROBIN declared SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH and in another way GRAEME had us all getting worked up funereally with Louis Collins' ANGELS LAID HIM AWAY and in yet another way ANN was similarly involved with Rosie Hardman's LET ME BE YOUR LADY FOR TODAY MISTER. Then getting really serious ED brought up Iris Dement's AIN'T GOT NO TIME TO CRY followed by FAIR PLAY with the BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY and another death in KAMRAN'S great singing of STACK O' LEE. Flying solo CHARLIE then played an instrumental piece, ROMANCE, of unknown origin but claimed by many including our Ed's parody, for the royalties of course, followed by JANET claiming Scottish kinship by singing CALEDONIA again for Robin. PHIL then decided on an anti-war theme with Wishbone Ash's THROW DOWN THE SWORD to which RICHARD sang I'LL FIND MY OWN WAY HOME and PAUL wished that Robin would STAY FOREVER YOUNG. Rolling toward the interval GRAEME told us he'd got JESUS ON THE MAIN LINE and DAVID cleverly turned a Ryan Adams' song to his own advantage for REAP WHAT YOU SOW. 

A great buffet and chips was provided by Robin in the interval which also saw a bumper raffle in which Paul won the wine; Robin won a litre of Olive Oil; Andy won the Chocolates and Kath, Heather and Janet won CDs before FREE SPIRITS opened the second half with CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. Next JOAN continued with HER GRANDMOTHER'S STORY to which ED added BOB DYLAN'S DREAM and ANN had us all singing along with VAIR ME ORO VAN O. Somehow this had ROBIN off to the STREETS OF LAREDO followed by RICHARD'S glossary of how MAN GAVE NAMES TO ALL THE ANIMALS accompanied by KAMRAN. Next DAVID made the sincere promise I WILL (Beatles) as FAIR PLAY introduced UNCLE BERNARD but PHIL explained his lack of progress as WALKING BACKWARDS DOWN THE STAIRS. Working to a big finish PAUL kicked off with  JUG BAND MUSIC, Memphis Jug Band version/Jim Kwiskin, and KAMRAN told us what happens WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS which for RICHARD got to THE HEART OF THE MATTER, just like his song dedicated to Robin & his wife Elizabeth, but for DAVID it was summed up by his song PUB TIME leaving FREE SPIRITS to say in that case we can wander off with the RAMBLING BOY (Paxton) to end a great night.

Newsletter No 348 13 October 2015
A superb evening was soon in progress as GRASSROOTS started off by taking us HOME AGAIN and the sentiment was shared by ROBIN with his BACK HOME AGAIN but ED couldn’t resist the serious turn toward the GRESFORD DISASTER. Also very traditionally JANET recalled the CAMBRIC SHIRT as DAVE COWE turned to poetry for the HOMAGE TO TED HUGHES and ROB went a cappella for CHEERLY MAN. Next there was a big welcome back from the USA for ZOE who sang a new song for her THE ACME FORGETTING SERVICE while BANJO JOHN went back over the Pond for THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND as did FAIR PLAY for WATER BOUND. Then PHIL came up with FOG ON THE TYNE just as ANN recalled THE FOLK SINGER and PAUL fancied the racehorse STEWBALL. Back her roots JAN sang the beautiful BELLS OF ABERDOVEY and CHRIS asked ARE YOU RECEIVING ME to which MARK replied DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. Coming to the interval RICHARD told us the story of his planet watching in THE BILLBOARD IN THE SKY which made GRASSROOTS decide to sing Mick’s THERE WON’T BE ANOTHER SUNSET leaving BANJO JOHN to raise us up with Fats Waller’s WHEN SOMEBODY THINKS YOU’RE WONDERFUL.

The interval raffle saw Chris win the CD, Alan win the Wine, Ros win the Jam, Jan win the Pate and Kath take home the Chocolates before ROBIN kicked off with the ROSE OF ALLANDALE and ED admitted of all his frailties I MISS MY MIND THE MOST. Coming up with one of her latest compositions ZOE told us about SNOW ON THE JUNK YARD before PETE KING blew us all away with own recent composition COME ON BLUES. To this FAIR PLAY played Stan’s new violin and Kath’s funky concertina for TWO TUNES and ANN took to the floor with RICHARD in DEFYING GRAVITY before DON & HEATHER recruited PAUL for DIAMANTINA DROVER. Then after having a request rebuffed ROB himself sung FLOWER OF SCOTLAND while PHIL called on Al Stewart for RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS and CHRIS gave us his own version of OLD BONES. Delving deep into the past PAUL found it DARK AS A DUNGEON while DAVE COWE was busy TAKING NOURISHMENT and GRASSROOTS were contemplating a dip in the RIVER. For PETE KING this was all summed up by his great song FOOL’S PARADISE and it made RICHARD think WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD it is. ROBIN, however, was back to being serious with the LONG BLACK VEIL but FAIR PLAY with the BANJO PICKING GIRL had us leaving on a bright note as we all went ROLLING HOME with ROB leading the singing. Great!

Newsletter No 347 6 October 2015

With the change in the seasons a nice group of friends had an excellent evening of good music and great craic started off by hosts PAUL & ROBIN the latter who first sang us over to DENVER. In a salute to the weather BANJO JOHN called up blues harp and guitar backing to celebrate a STORMY MONDAY as CHRIS seemed to speaking from experience with EVERYBODY LOVES A SMART ASS and MIKE COSGRAVE took us FROM GALWAY TO GRACELANDS. Then starting with an instrumental PHIL, so we couldn't join in and wreck it, didn't give us a key for JESU JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING to which CARL responded with Pete Morton's THANKSGIVING all of which had DON & HEATHER off to SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Ringing the changes DAVID, hoping for some Art Garfunkel harmony, sang about MRS ROBINSON as PAUL rose for his LONG JOURNEY HOME joined by Mike's cittern all of which took BANJO JOHN back in time for COME TO ME MY MELANCHOLY BABY. Somehow this made PHIL think of the second coming in the form of a UFO (L. Norman) and, on the same wavelength, CHRIS to come up with TEARS IN HEAVEN but any way up for CARL he thought THE CARNIVAL IS OVER and for ROBIN it certainly was THE LAST FAREWELL. Some welcome light relief then came when DAVID sang a Hotspots song about THE GIRL FROM THE BARGAIN BOOZE before MIKE sang his favourite MICK RYAN'S LAMENT. Taking us to the interval DON & HEATHER celebrated the Rockies with ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE and then followed BANJO JOHN to the deep south with MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA. 

From the interval raffle a bottle of red wine, chocolates, a box of Yorkshire tea and a history book all went to good homes before we got started again when PAUL had RAMBLIN' ON MY MIND as DAVID unsheathed his new song GHERKIN AND SHIRKIN' but to PHIL it was all ROCKS IN THE OCEAN before CHRIS celebrated the HANDS OF JOSEPH. A note of contrast came when CARL said we wouldn't make OLD BONES (J. Lowe) as MIKE told us it was A GREAT DAY TO ALIVE. On the other hand ROBIN'S woman was dragging him round the STREETS OF BALTIMORE whereas this week DON & HEATHER delivered Phil's history lecture with their CONQUISTADORES. Still in a blue frame of mind PAUL lamented the absence of CORRINA, CORRINA to which PHIL replied they're all OPTICAL ILLUSIONS as DAVID posed the question IF I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU (Beatles). Sunday School to meet MRS ADLAM'S ANGELS but MIKE had us off to an IRISH SESSION as FREE SPIRITS reconvened for MUDDY WATERS followed by WAGON WHEEL with everyone playing and singing along. Top class!


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