August 2011

Newsletter No 147 - 30 August 2011

Carl started off the evening with Dandylion Clock and Kath & Stan were then on their feet to introduce the Wayfaring Stranger before diving down to the Sweet Sunny South which triggered Big Brian to break out with Jambalaya. Robin became altogether more serious with the Last Farewell and Arthur fantasised about Summer in December before Kamran broke out with a Guitar Rag. Colin then came up with Long Chain On before Richard Sails made a welcome return with Rounding The Horn and Pepper Street sang a great cover version of Diamantina Drover followed by that great song of man's efforts to find a North West Passage. Brian, with all those lovely 6-string chords, then insisted You Don't Know Me but regardless Banjo John declared that he was Gonna Lay Down My Burden leading to newcomer Stephen to say I Wanna Go Home. This handily led up to Isobel who closed the first round with the tune Stomach Steinwayman. Where do they get these titles from? Robin was again in good form with that well known Scottish tune written by Paul McCartney, Mull of Kintyre, swiftly followed by Keep The Change Bob with Young's Town and in the same vein Colin with When You Were Younger which is often asked for by Ged and was sung at his latest request, even though he wasn't there!! Banjo John then came with the great San Francisco Bay Blues to take us up to the interval, raffle and the usual fluid balancing act.

Carl again got us underway with Black Diamonds an old favourite and big chorus song from the pen of Jez Lowe and Richard Sails effortlessly collected the baton to run with Baby Lies Easy before Kamran counselled the Eagles' Desperado to a life. Kath & Stan next came back with Angelina Baker but Arthur was intent on Burning The House before Brian poured oil on troubled waters with the famous Beatles hit Till There Was You but Big Brian still reckoned life was a One Way Ticket To The Blues and Stephen wanted to know Who's the Fool Now? At this point Keep The Change Bob thought he would go for The Parting Glass but Pepper Street decided on the Make & Break Harbour as they introduced comedy into their routine with John rooting around for the capo he had lost and then the plectrum he had also lost!! One week words another week equipment breakdown?!? Colin was unperturbed as he claimed The Wife's A Bitch, was this REALLY the title, or was this for the shock effect, Richard Sails, however, was also unperturbed as he rattled off to Fakenham Fair. Kamran had other things on his mind with Careless Love as did Arthur with Bless Me, Father and Kath & Stan with Awake, Awake and Keep The Change Bob who was Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad. This left newcomer Stephen with Today and Pepper Street to wind up an entertaining night.

Newsletter No 146 - 23 August 2011

Rob got the evening off to a rousing start with South Australia then Carl followed with a lovely rendition of Ewan McColl's the Father's Song. Dave Cashell then reminisced with Dream Lover and Jan sang Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue accompanied by Mark on guitar and then John Brown was just a Country Boy. Brian Tibby did an entertaining version of Do The Hucklebuck ably followed by Jean Finney who asked Do You Want Your Old Lobby washed down? Robin sang I'm Going to be a Country Boy again and Colin, showing no apparent loss of musical dexterity, was a Travelling Man and Isobel played the exquisite Roxborough Castle. Our poet, Dave, kept us in suspense when he gave us the first episode of Dead Dog Scrumpy followed by Ged who gave us Patty Griffin's Trapeze and Shelley who sang Binker, a poem from A.A.Milne's Now we are Six, a lovely tale for which she has composed a lovely tune! Coming back again Brian Coakley played a Kind of Hush and Ed was in a Celtic mood with Caledonia. Ann was Abroad as I was Walking and Pepper Street completed the first round with Before the Deluge and Empty Heart and who can forget Mick's Cornflake joke?! John Brown started the second round off with There'll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight, a Bessie Smith song from 1927, relatively modern for John! We then had the full rendition of Dead Dog Scrumpy from Dave and Brian C brought us up to the interval with the ever popular Unchained Melody.

After the raffle, 5 minutes of nail biting excitement, Jean Finney sang the lovely song Carrickfergus and Richard Gray sang his own song the thought provoking If, then Ged was a Desperado Waiting for Train and then Keep the Change Bob sang Bob Dylan's Dark Eyes and Shelley sang about a Saucy Sailor. Brian Tibby followed with Paul Simon's Richard Cory and Ed then entertained us with the tale of Jake Thackray's Bantam Cock. Dave Cashell gave us a nostalgia fix with Travelling Light, Cliff Richard's 1959 hit, then Colin sang his own song, penned in 1971, I Don't Give a Toss About You! Ann then sang a song about the Drunken Maidens followed by Robin with Snows of New York. Bob, still hanging on to his change, gave a great rendition of Robert Burns' Dainty Davy. Pepper Street followed with See You in the Sunset and then Richard Gray sang Sweet Life. Coming to a climax Mark and Jan sang the song Long Gone and Rob told us the wonderfully self penned story of Fred the Slug. We just had time to squeeze in Shelley with the Ballad of Penny Evans, another true story written by Steve Goodman about a lady who refused compensation when her husband was killed in Vietnam before Pepper Street sang Mick's Spinney Hill, a clever song based around his home town of Leicester and Rob rounded the evening off in fine style with Fathom the Bowl.

Newsletter No 145 - 16 August 2011

For those who made Joan Galliemore's funeral on Wednesday, Tuesday night at the club was equally as good with numerous new faces both as performers and also in the audience. At first there were only five performers but the number increased quickly to a final eighteen and good atmosphere was created. Banjo John opened the evening with I Can't Give You Anything but Love and Pepper Street followed closely behind with Keep Your Distance and City of New Orleans before Brian sang Scarlet Ribbons especially requested for Heather Kenyon. Rob then gave us Come Write Ye Down and succeeded in getting everyone's attention for Foz who, joining us in Sale the first time, played guitar and sang Christy Moore's Ride On and he was followed by Carl who had been speaking to Ed earlier in the evening about the riots in Sandiway, between a Badger and Hedgehog, so he kindly offered to sing Jez Lowe's Lone Badger song, The Big Fear! Kath, Stan & Ruth were next asked to sing two numbers at this point and treated us to Dirty Old Town and Red River Valley after which Ged came to the front and sang The Greatest Hustler of All from the Old Crow Medicine Show followed by Ann C who had purposely learned a new song, Alice White, from Joan Galliemore's repertoire as a tribute to her. A complete departure came from Ed with The Gambler and from Jan with the beautiful Onn in Welsh, which translates as The Ash Grove, and the Stickswold Harvest from Mark. Another new face, David South then delighted us all with Gordon Lightfoot's In the Early Morning Rain to his own guitar accompaniment, followed by the equally talented Colin Rudd who treated us to a Jackson Brown number, For A Dancer, and another newcomer Paul Baines who played an unnamed instrumental piece on his mandolin which we think he had written himself. In his customary role of anchor man, Keep the Change Bob sang an unaccompanied version of My Old Man and Eric gave us a very enthusiastic Zangra before Banjo John took us to the break by singing and playing After You've Gone.

The raffle of two bottles of wine, a box of chocolates and a booby prize CD gave everyone chance to re-adjust their fluid balance before the second half was started by Pepper Street, John and Mick, singing one of our favourites, Boats to Build by Guy Clark. Jan and Mark then changed the tone with a sentimental love song, Love and Happiness recorded by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler followed by Isobel, who was all warmed up by now and she stood at the door to play her magic recorder for Dusty Miller & Willa Fjord. Paul Baines, who had travelled all the way from Bury and had to rush off to catch the last Metro home, then played yet another unnamed instrumental piece on his mandolin before he departed and again we think he had written it himself. Next there was a ground swell of feeling that Carl should give us a Jake Thackray song and he responded by singing the very amusing The Lodger to which Ann C retorted What'll The Neighbours Say and Foz sang and played Fog Town by Michelle Shocked. Keep the Change Bob this time sang and played Parcel of Rogues in a Nation before Rob recited Trevor Morton's extremely funny The Mill Outing before Ged gave us all a reality check with Death Comes a Creepin'. We were soon on the up again when Ed sang his classic song The Winner, about the fisherman caught poaching claiming to be just teaching his worm how to swim, and emotion ran high when David South sang the moving Soldier's Prayer but fortunately Brian rescued us all with the sing along You Made Me Love You. Bringing the evening to a climax Eric impressed us with his new The Man at the Door, Colin gave us a superb rendition of Arthur McBride, Kath, Ruth & Stan sang Black Water and finally, Pepper Street finished our very varied evening with Arran Moor.

Newsletter No 144 - 9 August 2011

Hosts Carl, with A Taste of Honey, and Isobel, with two Hornpipes, started of what appeared to heading for a quiet evening but it soon picked up with eighteen performers coming through doors to augment a fulsome audience. John Condy, after saying he wouldn't start with a miserable one, then came up with A Hard Day On The Planet, which in these troubled times seemed to be his idea of a cheerful song, Robin was equally sombre with the Shadows Of Her Mind and Brian commented It's Only the Lonely. Thank goodness Eddie was in a better frame of mind with his medley of the Rights of Man, Jackie Tar and Shakin' All Over followed by Rob wishing he was back in Liverpool with his "Centipede Song" but Ged was still Working On The Railroad for a dollar a day so no joy there then. Kamran was all philosophical with She's Funny That Way but Colin was more topical with his own They Set The Target Higher with the title agreed on the night for this Newsletter. Can't be hotter than that! Ed then related the story of The Gresford Disaster but Ann C was only worried about What Will the Neighbours Say while Richard Gray was absolutely sure It Ain't Right. Eric then told us about The Man At The Door before Jon Beech and Banjo John reckoned everything had been alright Since I Laid My Burden Down but still Banjo John had the Tin Roof Blues as did John Condy who ably assisted him with a Mouth Organ. Ultimately Keep The Change Bob related the Ballad of John McClean to take us up to the break.

After a good raffle Jon Beech still thought it was a Big Old Goofy World but certainly not as tough as the time of Robin's Greenland Fisheries but certainly more in keeping with John Condy's To Live is to Fly and the time of Eddie's The Entertainer. Brian then pulled another from the charts with his Lady In Red and Peter, a friend of Richard Gray making a return visit, summed it up perfectly with You've Got a Friend but Ann C didn't fall for the Blue Muslin trick and demanded a wedding gown. Ed then sang a word perfect I've an Antisocial Problem as a tribute to our old friend Joan Galliemore who sadly died on Monday which was a credit to him since he had never done it before. Kamran then saw the Smoke Through Autumn Trees which made Richard Gray claim We still Have a Long, Long Way To Go and Keep The Change Bob to lead us to Tecumseh Valley. Next Eric certainly wasn't The Devil in Jacques Brel's song about the evils of this world, rather appropriate sadly, and Ged was also on the same tack with Ballad Of Penny Evans a Vietnam war widow. Heading for a climax Rob was Rolling Home, John Condy fantasised about Unicorns but was on the end of Ed's Rough Justice with his Flog 'Em, Flay ''Em, Hang 'Em! response to the riots!! Jon Beech soothed the savage brows with a nice guitar instrumental, Baby's Coming Home which Peter said was Always On My Mind. Finally, Isobel set up a fine ending with Dayflower followed by Carl with his New Moon's Arms who generously handed the closing spot to Ged who had us on our toes with his Flip, Flop & Fly.

Newsletter No 143 - 2 August 2011

Isobel & John hosted a quieter but top quality evening started by John with Jez Lowe's Will of the People which had Ged Solid Gone riding the Cannonball from Buffalo to Washington and Big Brian Tibby celebrating with Rolf Harris' Sun Arise. This had Carl in a positive frame of mind with Wishing Well by Free with Ruth, Kath & Stan adding Ruth's own Letting Sorrow Go and hankering after the old days when there were Hedgers & Ditchers. Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again Naturally then came from the other Brian, accompanied by his nice chording on the guitar, setting the mood for Colin Rudd own excellent ecological song Where Will They Go and Ed's Home Is Where The Heart Is about an old person determined to stay independent at home rather than go into care. Zoe was in a less serious frame of mind and lightened things up with her excellent song, Party Cows, off her Travelling Moon album about what might happen when the food they have eaten ferments in their stomachs and they get drunk and appropriately, Kamran asked Sally Where D' Ya Get Your Liquor From from the writings of Blind Gary Davis in 1928. Keep the Change Bob also sang one of his own Keep It In Mind but unusually Poet Dave cited The Cloud by Walter De La Mare. John was next inspired to try on those Flyin' Shoes of Townes Van Zandt while Carl echoed Eric Bogle's tribute to Stan Rogers with Safe In the Harbour as Ged recounted how Hard Love can shape a life. Big Brian Tibby was then back again with the very entertaining I Am A Mole & I Live In A Hole but Colin Rudd was more serious with his own song about how the child's land of make believe gets stolen away by education and the hypocrisy of the adult world, When I Was A Child, and Ruth, Kath & Stan said their Last Goodbye. Poet Dave was also humorously thought provoking with his very short but very true Mr Anomaly before Ed gave us Dr Hook's solution, I Got Stoned, to finish the half.

Kamran was invited to start the second phase which he did with James Taylor's Handyman followed by Keep the Change Bob with Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ballad of Curtis Loew with John Condy excellent harmonica accompaniment before releasing another version of the secret of life in Richard Thompson's Down Where The Drunkards Roll. Ruth, Kath & Stan provided the counterbalance with No Telling What A Love Song Can Do by Linda Thompson who was unable to sing for many years after Richard left her unexpectedly to further his own career. A happier romantic notion was the basis of Eddie Cochran's Cut Across Shorty in Colin Rudd's own inimitable style followed by Ring Tail Tom from Ged and Lindisfarne's Lady Eleanor from Carl before Kamran returned with Robert Johnson's Come On In My Kitchen with his slide guitar played lap style, which was so good it had John Condy promising to look to his own laurels and return home to practise into the small hours. Brian again unsheathed his guitar for Elvis' Are You Lonesome Tonight, with Sue attempting the spoken part, followed by Keep The Change Bob's Blowin' In the Wind and latecomer Cockney Eric with his own composition, Lover Boy, written back in 1981. Hurtling toward a climactic finish Ed took everyone on The Manch, a legendary booze cruise in Bradford, and no wonder Kamran thought What A Wonderful World, the Louis Armstrong one, and Ruth, Kath & Stan were stirred to sing The Night Visiting Song. Eric finally decided he needed help and got Carruthers before John Condy had us all singing into the street to Will Ye Go Lassie Go to close.

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