By 8-00pm a good number of artists had arrived including one or two previously seen only occasionally as ROBIN agreed to start the evening with A PEACEFUL EASY FEELING which made DAVID think of his poem FROM A DISTANCE. For some reason this made PAUL feel DARK AS THE DUNGEONS as FAIR PLAY, aka Ruth Kath & Stan, departed from their usual song and dance routine with two tunes, THREE AROUND THREE and WINSTER GALLOP, played with Fiddle, Whistle & Mandolin before PETE wanted TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE. Next up JO sang SALLY FREE AND EASY with chorusing from the audience before BANJO JOHN asked IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT DIXIE? which prompted JIM AND LYNN to tell us I’VE GOT STRIPES. Then CARL with his own composition confessed that he was ALL AT SEA which was appropriate since GORDON who was again visiting us from Withernseaon the East Coast decided on the unaccompanied THE GREY FUNNEL LINE. GED then told the BOOMERS STORY just as MERDY was becoming all philosophical with WHEN THESE SHOES WERE NEW leaving newcomer DAVID HOWARD to sing KIT'S TUNE, the Martin Simpson version of WHEN A KNIGHT WON HIS SPURS. Also in serious mood ED related BOB DYLAN'S DREAM to which ROD replied TAKE IT EASY (Eagles) and BANJO JOHN reckoned he was ready for bed with MR SANDMAN. Another self-penned then came from RICHARD KNOTT who sang his song simply called THE BLUES as CHARLES prepared to tell us he was GOING TO THE MINE and PETER gave us his song WHERE THE TRAINS GO BY. Keeping up the quality, PAUL mourned for ANGELINA BAKER before CARL went to one of his favourites Jez Lowe for THE SMALL COAL SONG and GORDON, not to be outdone, responded with THE COALTOWN ROAD. Finally GED asked LORD PLEASE SEND ME and ROBIN finished off the first half with THE GREENLAND FISHERIES.
The Raffle had a plethora of prizes with a Bottle of wine each to Roselynne & David Howard, a good leather instrument strap (donated by John Brown) to Merdy, Chocolates to Lynn, Richard Knott's new CD to Heather and Sue getting a watering can with seeds.
The second half set sail with ROD starting in the DOCK OF THE BAY followed by IAN, using a small Amp., who played FREIGHT TRAIN and BYE BYE BLACKBIRD and JIM & LYNN who gave us THE RARE AULD MOUNTAIN DEW. FAIR PLAY again rose with AIN’T NO SWEET MAN followed by CHARLES who had us all singing with BYKER HILL before MERDY talked of LEAVING LONDON. PETE then reminisced about SOMEONE LIKE YOU and PETER had us laughing with THE BALLAD OF SARAH & GUY, written for a friend's wedding, which somehow prompted ED to sing I GOT STONED & I MISSED IT. Not surprising really. Really in the groove RICHARD KNOTT then sang Guy Clark's THE CAPE which had DAVID HOWARD saying he was HUNGRY FOR HOME and CARL being requested to treat us again to Jake Thackray's ON AGAIN ON AGAIN. Coming nicely to a climax IAN next played HERE, THERE & EVERYWHERE followed by ROBIN who gave us THE LAST FAREWELL and GED who confessed I LOVE MY LOVING. Still rising ROD went off on THE SLOOP JOHN B and MERDY complained THEN SHE TOUCHED ME before ED took us to the end of the night with his great version of WHIP JAMBOREE. What a cracking night!!
Well, SUE thought it was a brilliant night last night but she is never biased and all the new visitors were of the same opinion and there were plenty of them, particularly in the audience. In fact, there were hardly any regulars in for the singaround since the previous week Zoë had announced that she had a gig somewhere in Manchester this Tuesday so it seems some of our regulars supported that instead! As it happens it didn’t matter a jot as a new set of talent came to entertain us and they certainly did that.
FAIRPLAY commenced the evening with two numbers, BAY OF BISCAY and then BLACK WATERS followed by MIKE COSGRAVE'S brilliant Hawaiian guitar when he played and sang SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN. Returning again from pre-Christmas, JOHN CHILCOTT then sang and played a wonderful version of Gordon Lightfoot’s COTTON JENNY but he was only able to stay through the first half so this was, unfortunately, the only treat we were allowed from John. JOHN WILLIAMS, who had been to the club once before when Mark and Jan were running the evening, returned again with his wife, ALLANNE, and he sang and played guitar and gave us a beautiful rendition of Ralph McTell’s – MARY FROM DUNGLOE and THE SETTING before KAMRAN was his usual talented self with THINGS THAT MATTER followed by JAN who got up to sing a brand new piece for her, a beautiful – NOW WESTLIN' WINDS by Robert Burns. ED then interrupted the procedure at this point and preceded his song by lecturing on annunciation before singing RED-HEADED ANN or should it have been REDDEADEDANNE? Unfazed PAUL then encouraged us all to join in his popular HOW LONG BLUES as JO came forward to sing an unaccompanied TO MY YOUNGEST SON by Mary Black. She was hopeful that we would all join in with her but no-one seemed to know it. Next Famous ARTHUR MARSHALL came ALL THE WAY FROM DONEGAL and his journey was certainly noisy before MARK sang a JUG OF PUNCH and we were treated to an absolutely superb self-written FREEFALLING by newcomer GARY who had come along with John and Allanne Williams. Luckily, PETER returned for a second week on the run and also gave us a self-penned number BLUE BEDROOM which was definitely something to write home about before DAVE & SUE also returned to the club again to play and sing a very unusual and lesser known SALTY DOG by Procol Harum to conclude the first round.
Again taking to the floor JOHN WILLIAMS then gave us a very memorable ONCE AROUND THE LAKE and equally memorable were FAIRPLAY with the familiar BEAUTIUL by Barney E Warren as MIKE COSGRAVE tuned up for THE LAKES OF PONCHARTRAIN accompanied by his Hawaiian guitar. PETER once more impressed us with THE BEAT RAN WILD and we wondered if this was related in any way to his first song Blue Bedroom as JAN complied with a request to sing LAWR AR LAN Y MOR and write the title in her own native tongue. We could at least understand the kissing part and not surprisingly PAUL was inspired to come up with the excellent CAROLINA CHOCOLATE BOX. Then SUE decided to sing FAITHFUL EMMA a cappella to which KAMRAN could only respond brilliantly with HONEY WHERE YOU BEEN and GARY was also outstanding with his IS HIS REAL? Not to be outdone MARK encouraged us all to join in with his LITTLE RED ROOSTER to which ED replied with his very appropriate BANTAM COCK, which was enough to put a smile on everyone's face, and taking a hint. ARTHUR MARSHALL then had us in fits of laughter with his very amusing QUORN, a hunting song with mention of Linda McCartney! DAVE then finished the second round with Richard Stilgoe’s CATCH THE WIND. This left just had enough time for a few performers to entertain us with a third song before the end of the evening, so MIKE started with THE DUBLIN MINSTREL followed by KAMRAN who amused us with his dedicated love song IF YOU WANT ME TO LOVE YOU and GARY sang a great MR LONELY TIMES. Keeping up the momentum JOHN WILLIAMS sang WISTERIA by Richard Shindell and PETER took a quick COFFEE ON THE RUN before ARTHUR MARSHALL was to receive many requests to sing one from his repertoire in Saturday Night’s Concert so we could all join in with his hysterical WILL YOU GLOW DAISY GLOW?
With all the visitors reiterating what a fabulous evening they had enjoyed and all threatening to return in the not too distant future, which was a very good sign, we shall have to send for extra chairs next time.
Mark and Jan hosted a memorable and entertaining evening which produced a fine quality of music and song from all who performed to our appreciative audience! There was a good turnout even though many people were away, perhaps taking advantage of the recent bout of excellent summer weather.
PAUL RILEY started us off with DRIFTIN' BLUES and then COLIN RUDD sang his fine version of Dylan's classic MR TAMBOURINE MAN. JAN next sang WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES accompanied by MARK on guitar with RICHARD SAILS then regaling us with a most amusing tale in the song BUTTER AND CHEESE. KAMRAN in contrast chipped in with SALLY WHERE'D YOU GET YOUR LIQUOR FROM and then JOHN BROWN was accompanied by several others jamming along with the ST. LOUIS BLUES to fine effect! IAN, a second time visitor and first time performer at Sale, guitar picked his way through a very melodic self penned piece called THE WHOP (which I understand is the name of his pet cat); his friend, DAVE HOWARD, with similar antecedents then gave us the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and there was a comment passed that is was great to hear it performed properly which produced a giggle!. ROD was then SITTING IN THE DOCK OF THE BAY, apparently about a Coastguard monitoring shipping, followed by ED who was next up with DON'T ASK (about the eggs and the cash in the loft) followed by CARL who then sang a great version of James Keelaghan's SINATRA AND I and then MARK and daughter KATHIE then played a lovely duet, SPANISH CLOAK, with Kathie on flute and Dad on descant recorder! Then we were fortunate to be able to welcome ZOE MULFORD, fresh from being spotted playing washboard in a session with Tom Doughty, Graham Bellinger and Andy Anderson at Wirral Folk Festival on Sunday and prior to the UK launch of her new album, Coyote Wings, at the Village Folk Club, Taurus Bar, Canal Street on the 18th June who sang a new song, SPEAK OF ME. After this ROBIN then sang a favourite of many, Alan Bell's fine song BREAD AND FISHES, and Charles followed with Jez Lowe's LONDON DANNY followed by MIKE COSGRAVE, back from his trip across the Pond, who sang CARRICKFERGUS and second time visitor to the club, PETER KING, brought the first round to a close with John Denver's ANNIE'S SONG. Then Mark and Jan hadn't lined any one else up next so, despite ED pointing frantically at John Brown, he was chosen next and sang JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO in his own inimitable style. BANJO JOHN was indeed up next and sang a modern song, by his standards, Kay Star's 1954 ROCK AND ROLL WALTZ and a surprised ROBIN was asked next but, despite suffering from encroaching toothache, gave us the fine song, THE BATTLE IS OVER before RICHARD SAILS was again in fine voice with the WIDOW OF WESTMORLAND'S DAUGHTER taking us up to the interval.
The raffle took place and the first ticket picked out by Jan had been bought by daughter Kathie who promptly snaffled the whisky, (not a fix) the next number drawn was that belonging to the Taylor's, (no, really, it's just coincidence) and so it was redrawn and the choccies were won by Carl and serial raffle winner, Martin, won the Maltesers! (The choccies and Maltesers were shared, the whisky was not)!
JAN AND MARK then kicked off with Jez Lowe's WE'LL HUNT HIM DOWN and COLIN RUDD was then a DESPERADO followed by IAN who excellently picked his way through a CHET ATKINS TUNE (he couldn't remember what is was called probably due to the distraction of the choccies being passed around whilst his hands were full! PAUL RILEY was then in skiffle mood with a rocky version of the GOLDEN VANITY and CHARLES was WALKING THE LONG MILES HOME before ROD kept us rocking on with JUMPING JACK FLASH. ZOE then sang another of her new songs HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN with ISOBEL already warmed up o play two tunes, DUSTY MILLER and WILLAFJORD and RICHARD GRAY sneaking in after the interval to sing a HARD YEAR FOR MANY. DAVE HOWARD was up next with Louden Wainwright's WHITE WINOS and this was followed by KAMRAN and KATHIE renewing their partnership for DO RIGHT BY ME. PETER KING was then THE BOXER followed by MIKE COSGRAVE with YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAND ALIVE and CARL who gave a lovely rendition of HERE'S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY. To round off an excellent evening JAN & MARK went recruiting for THE BLUE COCKADE.
Another great night hosted by KAMRAN & PETE and kick started by PETE who was WILLING and BANJO JOHN who certainly wasn't reluctant as ANNE joined him for I COME FROM ALABAMA WITH A BANJO ON MY KNEE. Next ROBIN threatened I'M GOING TO BE A COUNTRY BOY AGAIN but CARL was off digging for BLACK DIAMONDS which FAIRPLAY claimed was IT'S THE ROAD TO ELDORADO. Some would disagree. JO then told us T LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE which ED claimed was ON THE SIDE OF A HILL near to SAMMY'S BAR reckoned newcomer NORMAN. Definitely A MODERN MAN reckoned JOHN CONDY as KAMRAN took off with THE UNIVERSE SONG which gave GED DARBY the DEEP ELLUM BLUES. Not to be confused GED GASKELL suddenly unfurled a tune of his own followed by A DORSET FOUR HAND REEL to end the first round. Rising again FAIRPLAY immediately took a CENSUS as BANJO JOHN took off to THE RED RIVER VALLEY as JO wandered over to THE SCARBOROUGH FAIR. THE LODGER, however, was on CARL'S mind as we came up to the break.
The usual socialising and raffle saw Pete take home a bottle of wine as did Anne and Helen grab some nice soap before PETE took everyone ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER followed by GED GASKELL with THE BALLAD OF SPRINGHILL (McColl) and NORMAN with a TIN OF SARDINES. THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE was then traversed by JOHN in the company of CARL but ROBIN was solitary along THE ROAD TO DUNDEE before GED DARBY gave us his FRAY BENTOS SAGA to which KAMRAN retorted that's NOBODY'S DIRTY BUSINESS. Then GED GASKELL gave us THE PLAINSMAN as ED returned to confess I MISS MY MIND THE MOST. FAIRPLAY were then off to South America for EL CONDOR PASA and CARL was SAFE IN THE HARBOUR (Bogle) and NORMAN was up in BOLTON'S YARD. PETE then had everyone chorusing with CORRINA CORRINA as did ROBIN with COME BACK PADDY REILLY and JOHN with THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. All KAMRAN could reply was NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU 'RE DOWN AND OUT which gave GED DARBY the BIG LEG BLUES to which ISOBEL responded with HEWLETT and to sum it all up ED told us that ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE as we left to get on with our lives.