By Don Davies
In 2008 Sale Folk Club was newly founded in The United Services Club, Southern Road, Sale M33 6HQ at the invitation of the Secretary Jim Clarke. Having had plenty of experience running folk clubs, Don & Heather Davies hit the ground running by recognising the need for a WEEKLY ACOUSTIC FOLK venue and choosing TUESDAY NIGHT in order not to clash with other local clubs.
With many interested friends and contacts, it was soon clear that such was the enthusiasm only an 8.00pm start would meet the demand and it was quickly apparent that people also didn't want to leave until at least 11.30pm giving them plenty of the performance time they craved.
From the beginning old friends Ed Bentham and his wife Sue had a major role in running the club and in addition they are regular hosts, Ed with his songs, funny and serious, and Sue with her clog dancing and bodhran playing.
Another is the wonderful American professional Zoe Mulford who comes along in time honoured fashion to try out her new songs on us and even use some of our regulars on live CD tracks. Book her now!
Other hosts to immediately emerge were Mick Hare and John Condy aka Pepper Street with their rapidly burgeoning double act continuing to develop with a mixture of their own other well known songs.
Resident Cockney Eric is a leading creativet alent and the one who keeps us in touch with our new European roots thanks to his brilliant Jacques Brel interpretations and then blows our minds when he explores our European roots and performs his own a cappella songs like I Do It For Me, Burberry & Prada, Song for Older Lovers and Carruthers.
Other resident hosts are Stella & Richard Sails who both have professional theatre in their blood and in between acappella singing at the club Richard has appeared in plays and musicals at the Garrick.
In fact, as well as John Condy and Carl Corbett, the almost ever present Bailey Sisters joined Zoe in her concert at the club and they also travel the country giving concerts of their own with three part harmony singing accompanied by guitar, violin and recorders. Old friend Robin Butler was also in at the founding of the club bringing his own mix of traditional Celtic songs, American country music and modern folk.
Many regulars also add to the eclectic flavour of the club starting with ever present Ged Darby who sings and plays early American Blues.
Banjo John tends to go back even further for his repertoire which also includes songs from Fats Waller to George Formby and even further afield.
Every single week Isobel demonstrates her mastery of this instrument with jigs, airs and other dance tunes from all over the British Isles.
And Ruth, an old friend from the Railway Folk Club days both surprised and delighted when she came with her guitar and even sang some of her own compositions which were very, very good.
Ruth soon came together with Kath & Stan to form an enduring new combination that immediately began build a new repertoire and extended their range of instruments in their accompaniment.
And where would we have been without a resident poet and Derrick has fitted the bill admirably even having his wife Heather as his own 'Roadie' who not only is the chauffeur but also collects, edits and produces all his material. She is very valuable asset to Derrick and to the club.
And finally Andy Darbyshire heard about us after a few months and not only brought his immense voice and spirited guitar playing he also surprised us with his other talent for photography taking many of the pictures in this article.
SALE FOLK CLUB meets EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT and MID-MONTH for SATURDAY SPECIAL CONCERTS in THE UNITED SERVICES CLUB, 30 SOUTHERN ROAD, SALE M33 6HQ.