A surfeit of great talent washed up on the shores of Sale Folk Club tonight and it was skilfully guided to maximum effect by ED & SUE complete with new sign board to razz up each performer in turn stating with the eponymous BANJO JOHN who had us all playing along with THERE’S A TAVERN IN THE TOWN before PAUL made us all a TEQUILA SUNRISE. Inspired by a trip to hear Pete Morton, COLIN then sang his impressive GANDY which had MARK dashing about LOOKING FOR MY WALLET before JAN advised the ladies to beware of A DANDY MAN and KATHERINE completed the family trilogy with Billy Connolly’s A LITTLE OF YOUR TIME. Next PETE was in search of CLAUDIA as MIKE was chasing after DANCING MOLLIE and ROB was looking ahead to taking his boat back to Anglesey with THE ALABAMA. Newcomer DAVID then brought his lovely voice to bear on THE NORTH COUNTRY MAID and CARL had us rocking to another Pete Morton song, the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, which made JO think of THEDAK EYED SAILOR. The SWEET SONGS OF YESTERDAY brought MERDY to his feet before ROGER explained that GREY’S THE NEW BLONDE as KAMRAN sang the humorous, despite the title, I LOST MY LEGS IN A MOTOR WRECK. With no encouragement ROD then was the STAR MAN as MARTIN told us it was NO LONESOME TUNE and HEATHER & DON reckoned anything goes as long as SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES. Having turned up with his concertina ARTHUR then took a ribald look at Folkies with his PEWTER TANKARD SONG leaving BANJO JOHN to take us up to the interval by leading us in a band up for WORRIED MAN.
Roger won the wine as Martin took the Shortbread Biscuits and Alan had the Chocolates before Michael went home with the CD to complete a bumper raffle as ED explained the consequences of stalking MARGARET to which ROGER replied STONE ME (Van Morrison). Still nautical ROB took us on THE GREY FUNNEL LINE while MERDY was off chasing BLACK JACK DAVY which left one man band PAUL with TROUBLE IN MIND. Back with his pink ukulele MARTIN sang about SWEET JANE followed by THE TAYLOR CLAN who insisted MAMA’S GOT A SQUEEZE BOX which had PETE off KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR. This DAVID back to his feet with his own SEND ME TO HELL as THE BLACKSMITH went to the other place courtesy of CARL and ROD had us all pleading with JOLENE. All of this gave KAMRAN the RICHLAND WOMAN BLUES and had ARTHUR off ADMIRING THE VIEW which certainly LITTLE MUSGRAVE was not as COLIN made clear. With no more ado MIKE then set off after an IRISH SESSION as DAVID urged us to SING SUCCESS TO THE WEAVERS before DON & HEATHER wrapped it all up with their song about loss, FLOWERS ON THE WATER to end a great night of music.
Newsletter No 219 19 March 2013
A wonderful evening with hugely talented people just erupted as the room filled within minutes. It reminded HEATHER & DON of the Nanci Griffith hit ROSEVILLE FAIR but to BANJO JOHN it made him think of THE GREEN LEAVES OF SUMMER after hearing about the death of Gordon Lightfoot and MERDY immediately thought of WINDS. In fine voice RICHARD led us all in DIDO BENDIGO and JIM & LYNN took up the baton to continue with heir a cappella version of THE NIGHT VISITING SONG, with twin bodhrans, leaving JOHN CONDY to sing the lovely RUBY TUESDAY. Leaping into action GED DARBY told us he had the HONKY TONK BLUES whereas ROBIN was soon at the WATERMELON WINE but GED GASKELL was dancing away to THE CUMBERLAND and THE WESTMORLAND waltzes. This left ISOBEL to play DAYFLOWER, short and sweet, and PAUL to have us TELL IT TO THE MOUNTAIN before KATH, STAN & RUTH shot off to SCARBOROUGH FAIR. Next VINCENT was sung by COLIN in response to a request from ED a year ago followed by MARTIN with his quiet version of ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES before CARL with JOHN CONDY claimed they were STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU. In a quieter vein ED was SAYING GOOD BYE TO THE SEA before MIKE COSGROVE blew us away with Danny Thompson's WITH A MEMORY LIKE MINE and ARTHUR MARSHALL remembered St Patrick's Day with ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL TO BUILD YOUR ROADS. DAVID completed the round with a joke before BANJO JOHN took us for a ride on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL prompting PAUL to continue in the same mood with THIS TRAIN before RUTH, KATH & STAN calmed us down with JOHN LOVER.
A great raffle and a good time later saw Jackie take home a nice wine, Vic win the chocolates and Ruth receive a presentation box of scissors, always handy before RICHARD SAILS roared into the second half with DADDY FOX. Then it was welcome back time to KEEP THE CHANGE BOB who also blew our minds with the great anti-war song I'D RATHER BE DANCING by Jim Page based on letters written home by Rachel Corrie before she was crushed by a tank as she was trying to stop the Israelis demolishing a doctor's house in Palestine. GED GASKELL then bid FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE and MARTIN took us BACK WHEN YOU WERE MINE before MERDY then delighted us a chance to sing CALEDONIA and fellow Scot ROBIN was moved to sing JOCK O'HAZELDEAN leaving ISOBEL wandering in the SALLY GARDENS. Stirred by Bob's great song, JOHN CONDY got up to sing Dylan's MASTERS OF WAR to which Poet DAVID suddenly replied with his vision of the Iraqi war with SHIFTING, WHISPERING SANDS. Also commenting on life in a different way JIM & LYNN recounted the story of the LONG BLACK VEIL as did CARL with BLACK DIAMONDS and GED with JOHN CONDY with LONG JOHN. By way of a change ED then gave us the hilarious monologue about JONOTHAN BURNTBLACK to which ARTHUR MARSHALL retorted YOU'RE SAFER ON THE GROUND WITH NOTHING AT ALL and MIKE COSGROVE took us FROM GALWAY TO GRACELAND. Rising to a climax RUTH, KATH & STAN rode us off to HORNCASTLE FAIR and then BOB was still on his anti-war theme with FRANK, DENNIS AND ME before, to finish an incredible evening, MIKE was in a similar vein with THE TOWN I LOVED SO WELL and ARTHUR explained IRELAND IS A STATE OF THE HEART.
Cold outside but red hot in the Club with MARK & JAN in complete control of a highly talented bunch of performers numbering several newcomers as they kicked off with the COLLIER LADDIE. Certainly the packed audience responded brilliantly with some excellent singing and great craic as we approach St Patrick's Day. PETE was definitely WILLING as was CARL who sang big favourite WILLIE McBRIDE and BANJO JOHN who was off chasing Petula Clarke DOWNTOWN. Next Poet Dave told us his thoughts on the SHIFTING, WHISPERING SANDS but ROD reckoned we should all TAKE IT EASY and with a GAVOTTE by J S Bach EDDIE took his advice. ISOBEL, however, soon raised the tempo with BLACKTHORN STICK & the KESH JIG followed by GED with the BOOMER'S STORY and CONTRABAND with a trip to the SOUTHERN SKIES. COLIN then dug into his great repertoire for the BERKELEY WOMAN and suddenly RICHARD was that GRENADIER GUARD before JIM & LYNN told us the story of PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT. ED then took off with Kris Kristofferson's THE PILGRIM: Chapter 33 (Hang In, Hopper) as ROB gave the thumbs up to COURTING TOO SLOW before GED GASKELL himself took off down the RADCLIFFE HIGHWAY. KAMRAN then took the floor to surprise us with another new one THE BALLAD OF PATCH EYE AND MEG which set up newcomer MIKE COSGROVE for a brilliant rendition of CALEDONIA followed by MICHAEL BRACKEN who blew us away with a wonderful medley of GREAT DAY FOR THE IRISH, DID YOUR MOTHER COME FROM IRELAND, PEGGY O'NEILL and WILD IRISH ROSE. There was still time for CHARLES to set off WALKING THE LONG MILES HOME and another newcomer ROGER to debut with Jean Ritche's THE L & N DON'T STOP HERE ANYMORE before BANJO JOHN returned to take us up the break with THE OLD RUGGED CROSS.
A suitably large raffle saw the wine find a good home with Stella, Ged took the chocs, Marie the biscuits and Alan the photo album before we came to order for the second half as COLIN gave us a reality check with the POOR MAN'S HOUSE suitably followed up with ED'S comment on law and order FLOG 'EM, FLAY 'EM AND HANG 'EM. Next and close to St Patrick's Day EDDIE'S rendition of DANNY BOY was interesting with its English lyrics to an Irish tune before CHARLES confessed he was TIED TO ONE and JAN & MARK insisted YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE. KAMRAN then concluded THAT'LL NEVER HAPPEN NO MORE but arguably it did to Peter Green who wrote MAN OF THE WORLD sung by ROD before we all lashed into NEW YORK GIRLS well led by RICHARD. However, JIM & LYNN couldn't wait to be LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL and we all wanted to leave town when we heard MICHAEL BRACKEN'S incredible version of HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE, thanks for sharing it Michael. Undaunted, GED ripped into DEATH COMES CREEPING IN YOUR ROOM and GED GASKELL played PEGGY RYAN'S FANCY followed by JOHN RYAN'S POLKA leaving ROB to bemoan just one more day on THE GREY FUNNEL LINE. For his second song ROGER unveiled his own song IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME before ISOBEL gave us HERR ROLOFF'S FAREWELL and MIKE COSGRAVE gave us the recipe for COLCANNON. That just left time for PETE to say IF NOT FOR YOU and CONTRABAND to take us to THE VILLAGE ON THE SAND and then send us home singing to STEAL AWAY.
A lively night was guided with great skill by KAMRAN & PETE although we had a few qualms when HURT was PETE’S first song and JIM & LYNN followed up with FOLSOM PRISON BLUES and BANJO JOHN gave us the POSTMAN’S LAMENT. Fortunately ROD soon lifted our spirits with LAY DOWN SALLY and KATH READE, born in London, celebrated her life in THE NORTH COUNTRY before GED explained what happened ON A MONDAY. JO then had us going again with the FIELDS OF ATHENRY as did PAUL READE with his own very apt HOUSE OF MUSIC and MARK with a trip down FIDDLER’S GREEN. Not to be outdone, JAN had us all singing in Welsh with MOLIANNWN as did JEAN with the FOUR LOOM WEAVER and RUTH, KATH & STAN with the CENSUS from about 1850. Then we had a treat from KAMRAN who sang his recent You Tube hit WITHOUT LOVE which even received plaudits from it’s famous composer before JOHN told us WE’RE ALL WORKING FOR THE PHAROAH and ED warned of THE SILVER TONGUED DEVIL. Back to basics for CARL who reminded us of hard times with NEARER TO NETTLES and DON & HEATHER who, with RARE OLD TIMES, showed that difficult times can even come with progress before BRILLIG consisting of GIN, PETE, PHIL & ROBIN, sang us to the break with a fine a cappella CAPE’S IN VIEW followed by MY LADY’S A WILD FLYING DOVE with guitars.
In the raffle Jackie won the Alpine floral display, Joan took the Bordeaux and Gin claimed the Rose bush before KATH, STAN & RUTH claimed they were LEAVING ON A JET PLANE as ROD rocked on with THE WEIGHT and CARL went even FURTHER. Going even further afield JIM & LYNN said goodbye to MUIRSHIN DURKIN on the way to California before in contrast GED dished out some HARD LOVE while MARTIN insisted we take THE BEST OF MY LOVE. Next MARK & JAN were LONG GONE as was KAMRAN who was IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW but PAUL responded with his extremely funny OH NO NOT AGAIN (IT’S THAT MOANING GIT) which prompted many to ask if they could get it as a ringtone. Still in a cappella mode JEAN sang us the poignant TESTIMONY OF PATIENCE KERSHAW with ED giving us some light relief with SH.. and PETE singing his own song dedicated to the person who brought out THE BEST IN ME. Taking us back in time JOHN sang about the HIGHWAY MAN after which MARTIN invited us to TAKE A TRIP IN MY AIRSHIP before KATH READE sang about her GRANDMOTHER and then about her conflict between HEART AND HEAD. Heading towards a big finish DON & HEATHER swore YOU WILL BE THE LIGHT before taking us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE after which BRILLIG raised the rafters with JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YOU before inviting us to A PARTING GLASS. Magic!!