May 2011

Newsletter No 134 - 31 May 2011

Log jam? Jam packed? Any way up it was another huge night both in terms of numbers and performances. Don & Heather started the landslide with A Song For The Life followed by Banjo John who reminded us of the real meaning of "gay" with The Old Kentucky Home from way back in 1853 and The Young Banker from Mike was also gay. Merdy was also upbeat with I've Got Leather On My Shoes as was Richard Sails with the response and call John Kanaka, prior to his shanty week on a sailing ship, which prompted Derrick to ask Have You Any News Of The Iceberg on behalf of the polar bear that lost its family on the iceberg hit by the Titanic. Next Mark was that Worried Man but Jan was more concerned about avoiding a Dandy Man but Robin's Jock O'Hazeldean reckoned women were more tricky than men. Then in tandem newcomers Monologue John with Beat The Retreat and Dorothy with The Malvinas absolutely delighted us with their double act as Story & Song followed by Rob with Cheerly Man and Black Water from Ruth, Kath & Stan. On his second visit from Withernsea on the North Sea Gordon Beastall next came up with Prospect Providence by his friend Keith Marsden and also on his second Eddie gave us another virtuoso guitar performance of Miss Hamilton followed by a couple of lively jigs. Continuing the rise in tempo Pepper Street sang Stan Rogers' Make And Break Harbour, Ann C was Searching or Lambs and even Ed joined in the sad side with Dylan's Ramona. Carl was then with John Condy and Stuck In The Middle With Rafferty & Egan all of which brought on Eric's Club Singer's Lament but fortunately The Bailey Sisters were there to cheer us up with Tidy The Cow but still Richard Gray said It Ain't Right as Isobel led us all off into the Sally Gardens for a couple of jigs.

A big raffle saw Karen take the wine, Dorothy got the knives, Mike took the Truffles and the Big Candle and Toiletries all found good homes as the second half got underway. You couldn't believe it when Ruth, Kath & Stan told us What'll We Do With The Baby and Mike was out in The English Summer Rain but Rob insisted we Let The Bulgine Run. Eddie again pinned our ears back with his Sydney South March as did Ann C as she caroused with the Three Drunken Maidens but Mark & Jan just bobbed off in their 30 Foot Trailer. Back with Monologue John he was that Ordnance Burton and Dorothy told us of the many reasons why we may be Not Leaving On A Jet Plane and Robin was also wistful in asking Will Someone Remember My Name. Then it was thank goodness for Richard Sails with O You New York Girls, Merdy with Fiddler's Green, Gordon Beastall with Old Peculiar and Ed with It's Hard To Be Humble who all gave us a jolly good sing. The Bailey Sisters then put the opposite spin on things with The Cuckoo but it was all Occasional Tables to Derrick. Richard Gray changed tack with Forever Young and Isobel was similarly lyrical with The Lark but Eric reverted to the graphic with his own Port Of Amsterdam. This led Pepper Street to say Keep You Distance and Don & Heather to wrap things up with Dances For Dollars topped off with the moral for all folk singers, It's Not What You Are Born With, It's What You Do With What You've Got!!

Newsletter No 133 - 24 May 2011

Another excellent evening and a crazy mix of thirty odd in the audience and only ten performers who revelled in the chance to dig deeper into their repertoire. Pepper Street were our hosts and sporting a sick note Mick ran the show while John sang the songs so he was able to dedicate himself to gloriously celebrating Bob Dylan's birthday stating with the Chimes Of Freedom. Ruth, Kath & Stan hoped that it was The Last Goodbye but it wasn't as Don, sadly without Heather who sent in another sick note, insisted You Will Be The Light and Rob shot off to South Australia. True Love Ways were next explored by Brian but Ed was off to the Whip Jamboree and Carl was strolling down Penny Lane. On a serious note, Robin next reminded us what happens metaphorically Now The Buffalo Have Gone from one of his favourites Buffy St Marie but John again took up Dylan to show that he could also write rubbish, er, er I mean nonsense songs, with Million Dollar Bash followed by Rob who said I can do better than that with his own story about Sam The Blackbird terrorising his cat. Debatable!?! Still drinking that Dizzy Blonde Ale Robin then came over all sentimental with I Still Miss Someone but Ruth, Kath & Stan were altogether more practical with Hedger And Ditcher leaving Brian to his Complicated Compilation of songs based the same chord sequence. Dylan again raised his head when Eric turned up Like A Rolling Stone with help from John but Ed was unimpressed telling his wife to Put Another Log On The Fire whilst you tell me why you are leaving. Black Clothes from Don put a completely different slant on male/female relations before Carl sang Wind Of The Wannie Wild from Jez Lowe's songbook. Still in serious mood Robin mused on The Vacant Chair about those lost in war before John with The Blackest Crow and Ruth, Kath & Stan with John Lover closed the first half.

A good raffle saw the wine, chocolates, Sale Folk Club T-shirt and Roses all go to good homes before latecomer Peter King kicked off the second period with his own brilliant Walking The Dog. Eric was again up Metaphor Street, aren't we all, but Brian was Somewhere Over The Rainbow before Rob brought him back to earth with Come Write Ye Down. We were soon off in fantasy land again with Ed's story about The Fat Lady's Bum, where does he get them, and Don's There's No One As Irish As Barack O'Bama before Carl's I Saw Hans. Love Minus Zero/No Limit came next from John's Dylan eulogy and Robin & Don had us rockin' and rollin' to The Mingulay Boat Song with Peter King pleading Come Out Of The Rain, another of his excellent songs. Ruth, Kath & Stan then urged Martin to Awake, Awake, Brian did it My Way, Eric reasoned Don't Think Twice It's Alright and Rob led us all in Fathom The Bowl before we hurtled towards the climax with Don razzing us all up with Let Your Banjo Ring and John Condy banded us all up for The Mighty Quinn. It doesn't come any better!!

Newsletter No 132 - 17 May 2011

They came from near, they came from far, they filled up every pew so a jam packed house greeted Carl when he requested them to Meet Me On The Corner where Jan declared her Lagan Love and Mark said Don't Think Twice. Then nostalgia set in early as Brian, after searching high and low for his music, next asked Will You Remember Mine, song of love that is, and Eric visited A Slumbering Town as Pepper Street were Crossing Over The Border. They were, however, concerned about entering next year with an Empty Heart and Rob was swearing he would Go To Sea No More, a likely story from a born seafarer, but Mike was extolling the virtues of being in the Army with Marching Through Rochester when not confusing it with Waltzing Matilda. All this was just a prelude to the first appearance of our star guests Tony Gibbons and Kate Bradbury who started off with The Old White Cottage, Kate's wonderful poignant song about Tony going back Ireland to find his grandmother and lots of family relatives he didn't know existed, followed by a couple of tunes Farewell To Whisky and The Morning Mist. In the same vein Carnlough Bay came from Cary and Ann C was confessing that He Was Under My Window before Ged broke the spell with his ballad of Duncan And Brady with the lesson don't bite off more than you can chew. Shortly after arrived with Emily who was on holiday, Richard Gray was on his feet with another of his own songs Pretty, Pretty Eyes before Don & Heather worked their way through a bottle of Spanish Burgundy setting Banjo John up perfectly for his Mood Indigo followed by On The Road Again with help from John Condy's harmonica.

A great raffle saw the Sale Folk Club T-shirt go to Alan, the biscuits to Derrick, the camellia to Jenny and the wine to John before Keep The Change Bob took The Rocky Road To Dublin and Isobel took to Crossing The Minch. Carl was still promising Greek Lightening as Brian embarked on a showboat medley featuring Ol' Man River and Can't Help Lovin' That Man o' Mine. Mark & Jan then gave us a great version of The Blue Cockade and Eddie played Staines Morris and Mr Beveridge's Maggot before Richard was Awa' Across The Glen, another of his own songs. Ann C declared Catch Me If You Can and Rob next sang his Centipede song, which had Tony Gibbons smiling as he had never heard I Wish I Was Back In Liverpool referred to as such. Then it was Tony and Kate's turn to play us a couple of tunes, Twilight In Tangen and Boys Of Ballysodare before Tony had us all laughing with his own song, Merseyside Puts One Over Manchester or The Beatles were better than Oasis. Eric was next up with another apposite Jacques Brel translation Tommo followed by Mike's chimney sweep Jack/Sam Hall and Cary's Bold McShane. Rising to a climax Ged kicked us off with the Last Minstrel Show with Don & Heather's Borrowed Guitar starting the chorusing carried on by Pepper Street with John's new song See You In The Sunset and that old favourite City Of New Orleans to a mass band up. Mega!!!

Newsletter No 131 - 10 May 2011

Quality and quantity all in one signalled a mega good night in Sale Folk Club this week and with hardly time to turn round Don & Heather took us on a visit to The Roseville Fair, however, Banjo John preferred The Red River Valley but Big Brian insisted on bringing his Sixteen Tons with him. On his welcome return Adam introduced us to his Hound Dog, a bluesy version of the Presley original, and conquering his nerves Robin proclaimed Come Home Paddy Reilly in great style before Richard Sails introduced us to his Six Jolly Miners. We were next delighted to have Arthur Marshall with us and he surprised us with his lovely Blue Eyes Shining In The Rain swiftly followed by Jan, who was happily un-Marked for Verdant ...... the Green, and then Ruth, Kath & Stan who had fallen on Hard Times. Will You Love Me Tomorrow queried Brian to which Ged replied "He's one of those Desperadoes Waiting For A Train" and another very welcome guest Richard Knott said " You'll have a better chance down On The Beach" where Isobel said "There, you can Jump At The Sun." Things In Granddad's Attic then fascinated Rob as did the thought of the island paradise Sanibel for John Condy and Dr Hook's Everybody's Making It Big But Me for Ed. Finally, Carl summed it all up with Eric Bogle's If Wishes Were Fishes leaving Cockney Eric to blow us all away with his well perceived translation of Chanson Pour Pierrot Renaud which he Anglicised to Tommo. To complete the circle Banjo John, after being threatened with the Red Card if he sang Rock Around The Clock, came back cheekily with Shake, Rattle And Roll, another big Bill Haley hit, to take us up to the impromptu buffet well supplemented with the club's superb double fried chips by many.

After the interval Rob and Brian won the wine but Jane took the Roses and Jenny slid off into a corner with the chocs before Ruth, Kath & Stan took us Night Visiting. Arthur Marshall was, however, overcome with contrition and pleaded "Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned" but only so that "I Can Go Right Out And Do It Again." Rob was still missing the boat by Courting Too Slow but Adam didn't care because he had The Ace Of Spades and Big Brian was off with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies. Brian then declared his love Always but Robin's Long Black Veil didn't quite share the same sentiment and Richard Sails was of Pace-Egging anyway. This was No Problem to Richard Knott and Isobel was off Blackbush Waltz-ing across The Moonlight On The Water and Jan was chasing The Raven And The Hare while Ed was even more sporting in Teaching My Worm How To Swim. John Condy then took off to the County Down while Mark was that Glasgow Cat and Carl was Jake Thackray's Blacksmith. A more than cheeky Take A Whiff On Me then came from Ged before Cockney Eric ended the second round with Farewell My Lovely ably accompanied by John Condy and Baz. With time to spare Arthur was prevailed upon to give us a nice chorus to sing with If It Wasn't For The Fences as did Richard Knott with on a scale of 1 to 10 you'd be Zero and Carl who sang Baker Street for us to hum the instrumental. All that was enough to sending us all rushing to consult with Quinn The Eskimo led by John Condy.

Newsletter No 130 - 3 May 2011

Despite Bank Holiday Number 2 in a fortnight a good turnout greeted Pepper Street who launched the evening with Boatman by James Taylor swiftly followed by Carl with his own song Magical Sky and Ed with Iris Dement's No Time To Cry interrupted when his mobile phone rang and Sue had to take it out of his pocket while he continued playing. Then came the song's lyric about all kinds of people trying to call me on the phone!! Funny how that happens!! Rob then interrupted with The Grey Funnel Line which had everyone murmuring the last line before Ruth, Kath & Stan asked, or did they tell us, Where Ravens Feed. It was then nice to see Zoe before her next tour and she road tested a new song, A Pocketful Of Quarters, a portrait of Ocean City, New Jersey where one of the biggest concerns is that coastal erosion will wash away all the shops on the front, followed by Mark's The Town of Oswaldtwistle and Jan's Bells of Aberdovey. Isobel came next with Sweets of May and Robin with his nice unaccompanied version of Sometimes When We Touch which Brian thought was Unforgettable accompanied by John Condy's harmonica. Ged, however, still had Trouble In Mind and Pepper Street commented in round two that he must have been Born in the Wrong Time courtesy of Robin Laing but Kath, Stan & Ruth said was strictly for Woody Guthrie's Birds & Ships. Mark & Jan didn't care 'cause they were Long Gone, featuring Jan on egg, as was Robin who on The Road to Dundee and Brian said for goodness sake Please Release Me. Ed was next up with Waylon Jennings' Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me followed by Isobel's Sonny's Mazurka and Proinsias Manoughs and late arrivals Keep The Change Bob with Steve Forbert's Streets of This Town. Rob's pet Fred The Slug then slithered in followed by Ged's Trapeze by Patty Griffin and Zoe Sleeping In Her Evening Gown, another new song with a lyric that keeps you guessing. Carl was on top form with Hello Hans, Harvey Andrews' story of a German POW who died in England

Interestingly the raffle threw up a new set of winners in Isobel, Keep the Change Bob and Zoe before the Mick half of Pepper Street went solo in round three and did a new song of his called Edge of Eternity with John Condy then teaming up with Brian for Rose Marie and another late arrival Richard Gray singing Until I Reach The End, a song with a lilting Scottish melody. Ged again had us rolling in the aisles with his Dylanesque I Knew An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly on Ed's 12 string which Ed then used for Flog Em, Flay Em and Hang Em. Mark & Jan weren't having any of it with their Love and Happiness by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris and Robin went Springsteen's way with The River accompanied by John Condy who seemed to be looking a new partner! Isobel was again delightful with Scalloway Lasses and Halting March and Keep the Change Bob sang This Land Is Your Land before Rob went on Trevor Morton's Mill Outing. As the night wore on Kath, Stan & Ruth said their Last Goodbye but Cockney Eric, who arrived very late in the day but was very welcome, treated us to his own Dear George which included a topical reference to bin Laden. Carl made Old Bones of it and set up Zoe to close the evening with another new song, Sunrise Susquehanna, inspired by a 300 mile road journey through Pennsylvania at night, and the old favourite, Life's Too Short to Fold Underwear. Too right!!! Have a good trip Zoe!!

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