August 2013

Newsletter No 242 27 August 2013

Despite this being holiday week the room filled up quickly with an eclectic mix of performers and audience and we were nearly sending out for more chairs! CARL started the ball rolling with SMALL COVE then JOHN CONDY sang a favourite of many, Mark Knopfler's OUR SHANGRI-LA. Then EDDIE, who we hadn't seen for a while, sang SUNNY AFTERNOON with an unusual and very pleasant classical style accompaniment, and BRIAN, another prodigal returning to the fold entertained us all with the tale of JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN. Swiftly behind came HEATHER McNEILL who was next with a beautiful rendition of Janice Ian's JESSE ably followed by "BANJO" JOHN with a modern song (for him) circa 1929, TIPTOETHROUGH THE TULIPS. Host MARK was then joined by daughter KATHIE, making a last appearance for a while before she leaves to live in Canada next Tuesday, to sing Bob Dylan's LAY LADY LAY followed by ROBIN who sang YOU CAN'T HIDE YOUR LYING EYES. With full audience participation PAUL RILEY then held us with OH SINNER MAN and MIKE COSGRAVE, playing his Weissenborn with the frets only painted on, gave us a superb version of Jay Unger's ASHOKAN FAREWELL. Next up JIM & LYNN, in their own inimitable style, sang a rousing version RING OF FIRE and Poet DAVE CINNAMOND related his currently apt and thought provoking poem, THE BOX (OF WAR) followed by JO with the contemporary AVE MARIA (Beyoncé). COLIN RUDD then came forth with MR TAMBOURING MAN and JOAN then had us all in stitches with her youthful tales of flat sharing in Liverpool and had us all joining in with IN MY LIVERPOL HOME while ROB WHITE, back home from his road trip around North America, headed off to another continent with SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Then it as the turn of co-host JAN  to team up with KATHIE for SUMMER WINE followed by ED who presented Kathie with a signed card and gifts from the Club and wished her well on her travels before taking us up to the interval with the hilarious GRANDMA'S FUNERAL.

In the raffle Anne won the Rose wine, Robin took the white wine and lucky Brian the pink chrome cat shaped massager (batteries not included) before PETE kicked off the second half with WILLING, and KAMRAN had TROUBLE IN MIND and GED amused us all with TAKE A WHIFF ON ME extolling some of the benefits of cocaine! He was followed by a brief visit from Poet MARK with his sad teenage narrative AT THE FORK IN THE ROAD and HEATHER McNEILL, with Kathie's impending trip in mind, sang her own wonderful THE MEETING AND THE PARTING SONG, which prompted BRIAN to sing IT'S WONDERFUL. We then went back North of the border with ROBIN and JOCK O' HAZELDEAN followed by CARL with SINATRA AND I, PETE with KANSAS CITY and JIM & LYNN with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN. Digging deep in his repertoire EDDIE then played two French Canadian tunes LA BASTRANGUE and the GASPE REEL as another farewell to Kathie. PAUL meanwhile was out wandering THE STREETS OF LONDON only to find ROB who was COURTING TOO SLOW. Again sporting his Weissenborn MIKE COSGRAVE then sang A SONG FOR IRELAND and ED alluded to Kathie's desire to work in forestry with THE LOGGER who stirred his coffee with his thumb. JOHN was next with a new song for him, Mark Knopfler's GOLDEN HEART followed by KAMRAN joined by KATHIE for ITCHING HEEL before the TAYLOR CLAN brought a fantastic evening of fun, music, song and poetry to a rousing conclusion with a rendition of SQUEEZEBOX.

Newsletter No 241 20 August 2013

It was almost a full house before KAMRAN & PETE kicked off tonight with PETE taking the lead with the Monkees IF NOT FOR YOU for which LYNN & JIM would have jailed him with the FOLSOME PRISON BLUES which ROBIN thought would make them say GEE BUT IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME. Undaunted our own BANJO JOHN set out with JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO while at home ED was TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM and JOAN told a positive story of facing your fear and doing it anyway by searching for the hero inside yourself. This made IAN all WINDY AND WARM and the TAYLOR ENSEMBLE (Jan, Mark & Kathy) all quiet with HUSH, HUSH but COLIN was sure ANYWHERE'S A BETTER PLACE TO BE to which KAMRAN retorted so WALK RIGHT BACK there with the Everly Brothers. In a sweeter mood JO sang COME KISS ME LOVE and JOHN WILLIAMS came up with JULIETTE which set the scene for MERDY to sing FLOWER OF SCOTLAND and to be presented with gift, a well wishing card and a massive round of applause from everyone at the club who hope to see him when he returns occasionally from his new life over the border. It was then good to see JOHN CONDY again so soon who came forward to sing ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE, another cover version of one of Heather & Don's songs, followed by a young woman deceptively named CHARLIE who appropriately sang MY YOUNG MAN, a cover version of a Kate Rusby song, and it was with some relief that DAVID then performed that great favourite LITTLE MUSGRAVE to bring us up to the interval.  

During the interval David had the great fortune to win the wine, John Condy annexed the Chocolates, Heather was welcomed with a bottle of Fizz and Linda won the hand cream.

The second half opened with PAUL singing the WHITEWASH STATION BLUES in his one man jug band style followed by ISOBEL who dedicated CROSSING THE MINCH to Merdy leaving ERIC all by himself by THE SEA which was not a bad place to be. JOHN WILLIAMS then gave us DRIFT while IAN was on THE ROAD BACK HOME which for MERDY is obviously going to be CALEDONIA. Watch out for the HIGHWAYMAN sang JIM & LYNN before up popped young DERRICK to say a few words of thanks for all the good wishes sent to him by the members if the club that have helped him in his recovery. ROBIN was then soon making tracks with the LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL as ED was warning Merdy about the dangers of THE HAGGIS which was a bit more fantasmagorical than THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD sung by DAVID and WOODSTOCK sung by PETE. Shortly before her departure to Canada KATHIE banded up brilliantly with MARK & JOHN CONDY for RUBY TUESDAY and ISOBEL said her goodbyes with HERR ROLLOF'S FAREWELL and PAUL again assembled his Jug Band for some JUG BAND MUSIC. Heading for the big finish the audience deserved JOHN CONDY was DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL followed by JOHN WILLIAMS playing IMAGINE on his Cello Mandolin, KAMRAN who was up that BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN and MERDY to finish us off by singing YOUR FAVOURITE SONG. MEGA BRILLIANT AND ALL THE BEST MERDY!!!!!!  

Newsletter No 240 13 August 2013

So full was the house tonight that we had to send for extra chairs. They must have known that FAIR PLAY were the hosts and would start off with the Carter Family’s WILDWOOD FLOWER quickly followed by JOHN CHILCOTT with Gordon Lightfoot’s CHRISTIAN ISLAND and CARL then asking us to MEET ME ON THE CORNER accompanied by John Condy on harmonica. PAUL RILEY then sang THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE followed brilliantly by GRACE & FREYA (Barbara’s Granddaughters) who performed THE CUP SONG with great dexterity and BANJO JOHN who took us back to the Twenties for THE CHARLESTON. Celebrating Ewan McColl, LYNN & JIM then sang DIRTY OLD TOWN followed by Ed bidding IRENE GOONIGHT and ISOBEL playing a tune many remembered but had not heard since childhood THE WHISTLER AND HIS DOG. In band format ANN then sang SUMMERTIME with accompaniment from John Brown and John Condy. ZOE who was visiting us so soon after last time then sang her own latest album title COYOTE WINGS with ADAM telling us of the WAYFARING STRANGER and JOAN telling us a Story and singing a Song of Holidays with her grandchildren. GED DARBY o the contrary sang about HARD LOVE and in the same vein SHELLEY of the Bailey Sisters was solo with a song from Sandra Kerr’s book called PITY ME but straight from his narrow boat ARTHUR MARSHALL could only sing his own song of LOVE AND PEACE. Soon to return to his homeland MERDY said he was TRAVELLING LIGHT as JUDE took off with SAM HALL and MARK ABRAHAM related his poem YR-EIFEL (The Rivals about Three Welsh Hills it transpires) as PETE pleaded for us to look for THE BEST IN ME. Then without hesitation JOHN STERLING performed THE HESITATION BLUES and STEVE LANDAMORE played and sang his own NOT WHAT YOU SEEM before CHARLES sang OLD NED and JOHN CONDY related the buzzword and cliché riddled A MODERN MAN to bring the first half to a conclusion.

We resumed with The Raffle when Jackie took the Mini Boules, Charles won the Wine, Kate got Hand Lotion and Ann collected the Chocolates. A special Star Prize, a beautiful framed embroidery Dream Catcher, was kindly made and donated by Merdy's daughter in thanks for all the good times and support the club members had given to her Dad when he had his hip replacement and won by lucky Alan.

ZOE started the second half with her song AUNT MAXINE which made IAN FORSHAW think of The Beatles SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW and FAIR PLAY to play two tunes BEAR DANCE and HORSES BRAWL. Making his return, KEEP THE CHANGE BOB performed SPORTING LIFE BLUES accompanied by Mark Abraham mimicking the harmonica with his hands and he was amazing!. PAUL then told us of BLACK EYED SUZY leaving PETE to show his HEART OF GOLD followed by LYNN & JIM who related the tale of PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT. Turning to another Beatles song IAN FORSHAW told us I'M ONLY SLEEPING as JUDE said well it is THE 20th OF APRIL and GED said never mind throw A PALLETT ON YOUR FLOOR. Then ISOBEL played BLACK BUSH WALTZ and MIDNIGHT ON THE WATER which prompted STEVE to sing another of his songs ONE MORE STOP and JOHN CONDY to sing SILVER CITY by Joe Ely. Heading to a climax MERDY fittingly told us we were WONDERFUL TONIGHT and he was right, JOHN STIRLING sang that great song MENDACINO leaving ED to have us all amused with THE GROCER AND THE FLY. Finally ARTHUR MARSHALL played one of the first songs he learned BIRD ON A WIRE and then KEEP THE CHANGE BOB finished off the evening with TELL THE OLD BILL to end a brilliant night!!!

Newsletter No 239 6 August 2013

Another great evening of music, verse, song and mirth which was very entertaining for the excellent audience in Sale Folk Club last night. BANJO JOHN opened the night with YOU HAD A DREAM by Miss Etta Butler (1899) which was before everyone's time so we all pretended to know the words and mimed along! ED followed by reclaiming his stolen song ALL THE GOOD TIMES with IAN then playing an American piece by John Standofer called ALMOST HOME as a guitar solo and JIM & LYNN demanding the best chorusing for LONG BLACK VEIL. Close behind then came JO with an unaccompanied version of THE PHOENIX after which ZOE returned to sing us a song about vegetables, NO LOVE TODAY by Chris Smither with some of the unknown vegetables from the USA being queried by the audience at this point! Next we had a real treat when DAVE COWE, who we have known and seen at the club for many years during which he has never before delighted us with his poetry, recited from the early 1900’s DEEP WATER JACK by Cicely Fox Smith. KAMRAN was quick to respond with I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE by The Beatles (1965) and DAVE, with a backing group comprising Kate on Spoons, Ed on Coconut and Joan on a jangling rattle, sang and played a Caribbean number O ISLAND IN THE SUN by Harry Belafonte all of which gave CARL JASMINE IN MY MIND. In a sombre mood COLIN sang his own I WILL WATCH YOU WHEN YOU GO followed by MICK in a lighter frame of mind with DREAMER by Ry Cooder after which he was joined by JANICE for a beautiful rendition of BUTCHER BOY. To relieve the tension in his own inimitable way PETE then told a spectacularly funny joke followed by a Kate McGarrigle song CART LIKE A WHEEL before PAUL encouraged us all to join in with Pete Seeger’s IF I HAD A HAMMER and JOHN CONDY gave us his wonderful version of UNICORNS and the Poet DAVID finished the first round with THE LIGHT-HEARTED MEMORIAL. The second round was also started by BANJO JOHN with MY GAL SAL followed by COLIN with another self-penned number about the solar system STUDENT DAYS and ED with THE GAMBLER. Again having us all singing, JIM & LYNN struck up with THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL with PAUL, who was dressed accordingly, then singing BLACK BOTTOM BLUES and ZOE treating us to a song she had sung at the folk festival in New York when she was up to her knees in water, FALL DOWN AS THE RAIN. Inspired CARL then sang a new and very complicated song, ALICE, before JOHN CONDY was requested to cheer up the evening with a happy song which was not of the wrist-slitting variety and he came up with THE MIGHTY QUINN before being joined by KAMRAN for the superb GUITAR RAG. In the same mood PETE had us ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS after which DAVE moved the whole audience with a quieter Beatles hit, IN MY LIFE and DAVE COWE once again delighted us with a poem this time Charlotte Bailey’s FAR AWAY from Tales From the Inn. To bring us up to the interval IAN, the guitarist, played a very clever TO BE OR NOT TO BE (Chet Atkins) and MICK completed the second round with YOU GOT YOUR TROUBLES I'VE GOT MINE (The Fortunes).

During the break, amidst round 2, we enjoyed the raffle and banter, when Alan won a real bottle of champagne (donated by Barrie & Chris), Helen won a bottle of red wine, Ann won a box of Terry’s All Gold Dark Chocs and Jackie won a box of bathtime beauty to send a good few home happy before round 3 gave us just enough time for a selected few to finish the evening. 

CARL & JOHN started by playing a magnificent STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU followed by PAUL who sang  OH MARY DON'T YOU WEEP and KAMRAN & JOHN who revved things up with STOLE RIDER BLUES. ZOE then pleased everyone by singing the old favourite LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO FOLD UNDERWEAR followed by COLIN who sang a wonderful SWEET BABY JAMES and MICK who sang the penultimate song FOR EVERY MAN by Jackson Brown which left JIM & LYNN send us into the street humming I'LL TEL MY MA. Magic!!

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