AUGUST - 2017

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Newsletter No 443 29 August 2017

Another good night with, interestingly enough, the audience easily out numbering the performers who as you can see entertained us royally with great songs and stimulating lots of banter. GRASSROOTS opened up with TROUBLE IN THE FIELDS and KATH & STAN headed away in the distance with TEN THOUSAND MILES only to encounter ED and other MASTERS OF WAR. By the shoreline they found CHRIS and THE TRAWLERMAN and on the way SIMON was with a HIGHWAY PATROLMAN and SUE was with ELI THE BARROW BOY. Then it was time for HILARITY from HILARY with some of her funnies before IAN plugged in the toaster (Mini-Amp) for a masterly version of FIELDS OF GOLD which gave DJ DAVE time to give us some serious poetry, THE WHITE SHOE OF AUSCHWITZ, from Ted Snee which not surprisingly made HELEN feel RESTLESS TONIGHT. This brought PETE to his feet in OXFORD TOWN and JOHN to his feet as THE POP SINGER before BRIAN invited us DOWN AROUND MY PLACE and ANDY gave us a look IN MY SECRET LIFE. Completing the circle GEOFF gave us a trip to the capital city with SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY which led us nicely to the interval.

The second half saw GRASSROOTS happy SCHOOLDAYS OVER whereas KATH & STAN were more sombre in BLACKWATERS so luckily CHRIS was more upbeat with SUMMER LIGHTNING. In the same vein IAN was again in fine form with THE NEARNESS OF YOU as BRIAN bade ADIOS TO CALIFORNIA but SIMON could only remember the BAR ROOM GIRLS which made MICK propose a toast FOR A DANCER and ED to celebrate the lives of COOKIE AND LILA before GEOFF declared his intentions with HE’LL HAVE TO GO. Equally seriously DJ DAVE again turned to Ted Snee for two poems HERO and TIME PASSES as ANDY reminded us to look at BOTH SIDES NOW. In praise of the countryside SUE treated us to a SHADY GROVE before JOHN took us down some COUNTRY ROADS and KATH & STAN had us in the TRAIN ON THE MOUNTAIN. This left SIMON to get serious with SHORTY McKAY and ANDY to ask DID SHE MENTION MY NAME to which IAN recommended he TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS. Coming to fine conclusion ED took us back to basics with THE FLUSHERS before CHRIS appropriately lifted us up with JOSEPH’S HANDS to send us home on a high after a top night.  

Newsletter No 442 22 August 2017

As they came in droves BANJO JOHN opened the round with a romantic oldie THAT’S AMORE and KATH & STAN had a busy night ahead so they came on early with RIDER IN THE RAIN before HELEN sang and played guitar for a lovely MAGNOLIA WIND. Then, since they were away, PHIL dedicated his first song to Don & Heather, Al Stewart’s THE DARK AND ROLLING SEA before BRIAN treated us to an extremely high and beautiful song from Les Misérable’s BRING HIM HOME and JO sang by the BANKS OF THE OHIO. Coming swiftly to his feet ED next interrupted with a Bob Dylan number TO RAMONA and stayed on the floor to accompany KATH & STAN with the music for ALL THE GOOD TIMES whilst Sue and Lin clog danced THE WALTZ together. PETER then came KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR as John, newcomer Mike & Simon (previously Girth Wind and Fire) rapidly assembled to be announced as GIRTH, WIND & SPARE TYRE to perform LUCKY MAN by Greg Lake. Then it was thank goodness for HILARY who came up and told some hilarious jokes together with heckling from Ed and hysterical banter from the audience before JAMES brought us all back to reality with a 1950’s number made famous later by the Beatles, ‘TILL THERE WAS YOU followed by JONATHAN & CHARLIE who sang a familiar but difficult WICHITA LINEMAN in tribute to Glen Campbell. BEN then sang a very soft and unusual SEA SONG followed by PAUL with a song which must have been written especially for him, ROVE RILEY ROVE, finally RICHARD GRAY sang a wonderful BACK COUNTRY LANES to end the round. This left just time for BANJO JOHN to squeeze in another before leaving at the break, STUPID CUPID from 1958 so the majority of elderly audience were able to participate and GIRTH, WIND & FIRE were up again with two numbers this time, PARADISE and JAMBALAYA as JO rose to sing another and declare it pumpkin time before leaving at the break, FAIR AND TENDER LADIES.

There was a quick break and the longest raffle ever recorded! James had donated a prize and I think his entire CD collection, so we offered a choice of CD to each performer and the remainder went into the raffle. Eddie became weary as Kath and Stan kept winning with every ticket drawn and each time asked for it to be re-drawn. It was unbelievable! Anyway, it caused a good laugh. Finally, Brian won the set of ornamental candles. Kath & Stan won the French wine. Gill won the make-up bag. Joan won the bottle of Bucks Fizz. Helen & Andy won the Spectacles Case. Lots of others won CD’s including Alan Poole who rejected the last remaining Elvis and Sue loves her Buddy Holly one!


We continued with JAMES and another Dylan number, DON’T THINK TWICE as JONATHAN & CHARLIE came up with BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX and KATH & STAN kindly got up again to accompany LIN and SUE clogging THE OSWALDTWISTLE JIG to the tune of Winster Gallop. Still emotional BRIAN sang a Dr Hook song GONNA GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE and BEN sand the unusual POOR PADDY before PHIL turned to Steve Knightly for LONG DOG. Coming back one last time GIRTH, WIND & FIRE bade us SO LONG as they split leaving JOHN to solo SUPERMAN. Fortunately we had RICHARD to perform a deep, rich and super MR BOJANGLES before KATH & STAN joined forces to play a well-practiced at our house EL CONDOR PASA and after the complicated Pan Pipes of the Andes instrumental KATH & ED sang the chorus together. It was just like being in Peru! Moving north HELEN played guitar and sang LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME followed by PETER who was up with a funny joke and also sang HEY JOE as a prelude to HILARY who was up again for the usual heckling and banter and had everyone in stitches with her jokes. This nicely set up the finale with PAUL singing another Beatles song, CAN’T BUY ME LOVE as finally, SIMON & JAMES came back together to finish the evening with two brilliant numbers, SHIVER MI TIMBERS (Tom Waite) and then Dickey Lee & Steve Duffy’s, SHE THINKS I STILL CARE to end a magical evening.


Newsletter No 441 15 August 2017

A quieter but very pleasant evening was led off by PAUL with CORRINA, CORRINA followed by BANJO JOHN who gave tribute to Glen Campbell who was that RHINESTONE COWBOY which made JOHN STEADMAN turn to his own SONG, REBEL. Quite why but KAMRAN decided he was HURT whereas SIMON said I WANT TO SING THAT ROCK AND ROLL (Gillian Welsh) to which BRIAN retorted DAMN THAT TOWN which he pointed out was no reference to Sale. Next HILARY took us by storm with a DOWN WITH MEN – joke set which certainly applied to RED HEADED ANN as sung next by ED and quite possibly in the HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. as sung by ANN. For ROBIN it was like being BACK HOME AGAIN as BANJO JOHN tuned in with the ROCK AND ROLL WALTZ and JOHN STEADMAN sang in tribute to the BELLE OF BELFAST CITY as KAMRAN was recovering in ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY. Next SIMON briefly turned into DIAMOND JOE as BRIAN sang THROUGH THE MORNING, THROUGH THE NIGHT and ANN was down DARK AS A DUNGEON way down in the mine. Equally eerie ED related the story of the HUNTER OF DUNOON as HILARY tried to inject more HUMOUROUS STORIES in spite of ROBIN singing his LAST FAREWELL. Fortunately BANJO JOHN told us of some VERY NICE PEOPLE and MARION told us of JOHNNY MY OWN TRUE LOVE before PAUL took us to the interval with WHAT’S TE MATER WITH THE MILL?

Opening the second half KAMRAN swore I’LL NEVER GET TIRED OF YOU as BRIAN gave us his TERMS OF SURRENDER to which SIMON and JOHN STEADMAN said SO LONG. Still looking for a man MARION caught up with the GENTLEMAN SOLDIER and ED also gave her McALPINE’S FUSILIER’S to chose from while ANN offered THE PUNCH AND JUDY MAN while on the other hand ROBIN was dragging his wife round THE STREETS OF BALTIMORE. Coming back SIMON claimed, I LIVE IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE, while PAUL was on the LONG JOURNEY HOME with a two dollar bill and BRIAN was on the TRAIN TO BIRMINGHAM. Finally it was agony aunt time as KAMRAN said SHE’S FUNNY THAT ONE and JOHN & PAUL teamed up to discuss DARCY FARROW leaving MARION to yearn for WHEN I WAS NOT BUT SWEET SIXTEEN and ED to plead TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT. How else to close the night but to turn to ROBIN with full chorus for THE MINGULAY BOAT SONG. Excellent!

Newsletter No 440 8 August 2017

A very pleasant evening was hosted by KATH & STAN who paradoxically started with THE LAST GOODBYE which made ALLEN think IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO but ROBIN got us back in line with THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Digging into the American songbook BANJO JOHN came up with SIDE BY SIDE as JO was off with the RAMBLING BOY and JOHN REED gave us one of his own, IN BLUE LIGHT. Then traditionally and in his own style BEN interpreted THE UNQUIET GRAVE which for SIMON brought out THE BEAST IN ME as PAUL turned to LITTLE MAGGIE. Next there was a big welcome back for PETE ROBERTS who sang an old favourite, ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY BLUES, just as ED was off with THE MORRIS DANCERS and JOHN STEEDMAN confessed IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE when you’re perfect in every way?? With an injection of pace KATH & STAN came back with WESTERDALE whereas JOHN REED sang another one of his own, CLOUDS, as did ALLEN who re-interpreted Shakespeare’s SONNET 18. With one of life’s truisms SIMON told us THE VERY THING THAT MAKES YOU RICH MAKES ME POOR which for JOHN STEEDMAN was THE LAST THING ON MY MIND while JO declared I’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER YOU as we hit the interval buffers.

The bumper Raffle saw Jo win the Wine and Stand, Simon win the after shave, Sue win the Picture Frame, David win the Place Mats, John Reed win a CD and Pete win a CD before PETE himself kick started the second half with a HEART OF GOLD and BEN was down in LONDON TOWN. Then a new combo saw PAUL with Simon and Ben sing the BROWN FERRY BLUES which prompted HILARY to play A FEW TUNES which gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. For ED, however, it was Les Barker’s MI HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN ‘IM before ALLEN remembered JOSIE and JOHN REED turned to THE JUDGE who BEN could have done with in the DOWIE DENS OF YARROW. Then returning with his own great song was PETE with THE BEST IN ME as STAN & KATH took up the fiddle and whistle for the BEAR DANCE and HORSE’S BRAWL and ED turned to Keith Marsden for THE FUNERAL SONG. With a top notch evening coming to a close ROBIN put on the LONG BLACK VEIL and PAUL set off in the SLOOP JOHN B which prompted JOHN & SIMON to sing JAMBALAYA but for KATH & STAN it made them think of the SLEEPY DESERT and why not it was going home time.

Newsletter No 439 1 August 2017

Tuesday night came around again and Sale Folk Club was attended by an eclectic group of performers and listeners with JAN and MARK as our hosts. They started the evening with YE JACOBITES to arouse folk from their slumbers. BANJO JOHN followed with SANDMAN and PHIL took us to various holes in the ground with COUSIN JACK. Continuing with the industrial theme was CHRIS with FACTORY GIRL and DAVE C regaled us with a fine poem about the HUMBER BRIDGE. IAN was next with an instrumental he referred to as his WARM UP PIECE to get his fingers under control for later on followed by ALLEN with Donovan’s TO TRY FOR THE SUN and then MARION sang a traditional song ALONG WITH YOU I WILL GO. In bluesy mood PAUL then sang YOU GOTTA MOVE followed by ED with NO TIME TO CRY. SIMON & JAMES teamed up for YELLOW ROSES and ANDY brought the first round to its conclusion with FOUR STRONG WINDS. ALLEN started round two with a self penned song WILD EYED then JAMES gave us the Beatles’ THINGS SHE SAID TODAY and, in contrast, JAN sang Burns’ NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS. BANJO JOHN’s second contribution was SOME OF THESE DAYS with PHIL then giving us Dylan’s SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. MARK then played two traditional Irish tunes SONNY’S MAZURKA and THE CRICKET’S MARCH OVER HE SALT BOX and then PETER, who had not long arrived, sang a powerful rendition of CARRICKFERGUS. CHRIS was next with SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES and PAUL took us up to the interval with HARD TRAVELLING.

After the raffle which saw the Red Wine going to our serial winner, Martin, ED started proceedings with a robust view of the Criminal Justice System, HANG ’EM, FLOG ‘EM and FLAY ‘EM and ANDY followed with THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES. IAN’S fingers were now warmed up enough for him to produce a lovely rendition of CLARA’S THEME and Simon predicted, accurately as it turned out, I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY. MARK then took us North of the border to meet the GLASGOW CAT (it was requested by someone who shall remain nameless) before JAMES brought the evening back to normality with MY OLD FRIEND THE BLUES. PETER was next with the Ben Sands’ bitter sweet song COFFEE AND CHEESECAKE as PHIL was all TANGLED UP IN BLUE followed by ANDY with DESDERADO. IAN’S next delightful piece was DON’T KNOW WHY and JAN took us across yet another border with the Welsh coloured goat counting song CYFRI’R GEIFR (cheese from these animals should be avoided). SIMON, again in partnership with JAMES was having a BLUE, BLUE DAY followed by CHRIS with POSTCARDS FROM PARAGUAY. ALLEN was next with THE WORKER’S SONG by Dick Gaughan followed by another Donovan song from ED, the UNIVERSQAL SOLDIER. PAUL then had us all in shanty mood with a great rendition of HAUL AWAY JOE, complete with sail hauling actions, leaving MARK & JAN to round off an excellent evening of music, poetry and song with us all RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY for the door presumably. Magic!