Newspaper No 319 31 March 2015
Slightly fewer brave souls as our hosts KAMRAN & HEATHER invited a full band up as a tribute to John Renbourne WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN which encouraged BANJO JOHN to pick a medley of BANJO TUNES and SUE to sing the UKELELE BLUES with Geoff playing bass. Multi-instrumentalist EDDIE then took his Melodeon for a DOUBLE LEAP THROUGH towards a DARK GIRL DRESSED IN BLUE as JO was chasing a TRAVELLING SOLDIER and FAIR PLAY were chasing WINDMILLS. Any way up ROBIN asked them MEET ME ON THE CORNER and with ROB as usual COURTING TOO SLOW, despite his appearance on Facebook aboard a racing Ducati, GEOFF decided to take the train called the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. In good spirit DON & HEATHER wished them all the best with MAY YOU NEVER before ED explained the hidden meanings of SCARBOROUGH FAIR and CARL gave us a warning about war with WILLIE MCBRIDE. This left JO to return to the STREETS OF LONDON and BANJO JOHN to tell the secrets of the ACE IN THE HOLE and SUE to explore the mysteries of the gypsy gentleman BLACKJACK DAVIE. Coming to the interval FAIR PLAY gave us one of their shocking songs, NAUGHTY BABY, and CARL dug out one of his saddest, THE BOYS OF BELLY ROW, which sent some to the bar for a stiff drink.
The raffle brought Chocolates for Martin which handed round; Wine for Alan which he took home; Ramekins for Carl; and a Glen Campbell CD for Geoff as KAMRAN unveiled the STACK O'LEE BLUES and ROB was that CHEERLY MAN. After years of trying EDDIE finally got to sing A WEEK BEFORE EASTER a week before Easter but ROBIN was in protest vein with Buffy Sainte-Marie and NOW THAT THE BUFFALO'S GONE. Late arrival on the night MARIAN then became the FEMALE DRUMMER at the Siege of Valenciennes as DON & HEATHER reflected on THE DIMMING OF THE DAY and GEOFF lifted us all with a great version of BACK IN THE HIGHLIFE AGAIN (Winwood). To ED it made everyone a WINNER as ROB was invited to tell us about the THINGS IN GRANDAD'S ATTIC, bloody hell, as ROBIN was swept away by FOUR STRONG WINDS. Then no secrets were disclosed when KAMRAN said SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY and GEOFF trilled ALL BEFORE and we could think what we liked with EDDIE and the Everly's DREAM. There was, however, no mistaking ED's sentiments with FLOG 'EM & FLAY 'EM & HANG 'EM and thankfully FAIR PLAY & EDDIE were on hand with the tuneful BUTTER PEAS and WINSTER GALLOP before they got sentimental about Salford with DIRTY OLD TOWN. Determined to go out on a high DON & HEATHER had us lifting the roof to THE SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and then singing our heads off to ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD otherwise known as the borrowed guitar to end a cracking night.
Newspaper No 318 24 March 2015
An evening of great variety from the traditional to the latest new born and one day old song from PETE KING they were gently coaxed from the assembled talent by PAUL & ROBIN who started the ball rolling with
PAUL's invitation to WALK RIGHT IN. Quickly JOHN CHILCOTT introduced the BALLAD OF A TEENAGE QUEEN as GEOFF celebrated BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT and PHIL sang the GREEN ANTHEM. This prompted GRASSROOTS to open a JAR OF HEARTS as JO was out CALLING MY CHILDREN HOME before EDDY went European with WOODEN HEART. Enough seriousness said DAVE BOULTON as he explained how to convert a SPRINKLE TO A SQUIRT and SUE was also full of levity with her UKELELE Hallelujah parody before DON & HEATHER contemplated the BORDERLINE. Also very serious GRAEME did full justice to SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN as ROBIN was off being trapped into matrimony in DENVER and JOHN CHILCOTT was getting hooked up with THE MIGHTY QUINN. Still impressed by the eclipse RICHARD GRAY remembered his own FOUR BLOOD MOONS while MICK was looking for a PAIR OF BROWN EYES and JO was seeking that BEALE STREET MAMA but nothing compared with PHIL's LONLIEST PLACE ON EARTH. When asked what he thought DAVE BOULTON replied TIFFANO while PETER KING was out in the MORNING RAIN with his latest song hot off the press before EDDIE turned to the cruel story of ANDREW ROSE.
In the raffle Gill won the soap; Alan took the Lynx aftershave; Dave B had the Tea; Joyce Railway won the book by Portillo and Aimee won the wine before PAUL had us ROLLING IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS and SUE & GEOFF had us singing JAMBALAYA. With another new song GRASSROOTS came back with LIES prompting RICHARD to sing his own IRISH LAMENT before GRAEME sang another greatest country hit FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN. Then DON & HEATHER were over in Australia with the DIAMANTINA DROVER to which ROBIN said it was GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN before PETER KING was also on his travels with his SONG OF THE SEA. All this made EDDIE think of HARD TIMES and DAVE BOULTON to conjecture that you are ONLY AS OLD as the woman you feel while PHIL was a bit ironic with SAFE AS HOUSES. Coming to a big finish GEOFF went for FOTHERINGAY and RICHARD was also heavy with TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE which had DON & HEATHER thinking of ALL THE GOOD TIMES and GRASSROOTS saying I WILL to end a cracking good evening.
Newspaper No 317 17 March 2015
They came early and they came quickly as more than fifty filled the room for FAIR PLAY to start the evening with their BROWN EYED BOY. Another favourite was then ED as the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER as was BANJO JOHN with OLD MAN RIVER just as JO & ANN beautifully sang AMAZING GRACE. However this didn’t stop CHRIS taking the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE as DON & HEATHER celebrated St Patrick with the RARE OULD TIMES as CARL turned to the equally beautiful ALICE. Delving into the archives ROBIN next came up with those LYING EYES as JIM & LYNN celebrated the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN and PETE sang his own song in praise of his home town with BALLYRIGAN FAIR. Then DAVE BOULTON was unable to resist the story of the barrel of bricks in SICK NOTE and MARK TAYLOR treated us to LOFTUS JONES before KAMRAN blew us away with STONE RIDER BLUES. Traditionally MARIAN told of THE OLD MINER as BANJO JOHN invited HAVE A DRINK ON ME and FAIR PLAY sang us a BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY. Coming to a climax toward the interval RICHARD GRAY sang one of his greatest hits THE DIAMOND ROSE as for JO it seems THE CARNIVAL IS OVER but still with the Irish DAVE BOULTON explained how PADDY STOLE THE ROPE before PETE sang his own tribute to KERRY.
A bumper crowd deserved a big raffle and Jillian won the Cava, Steve won Fair Play’s CD, Mary took the Easter Egg, Heather Kenyon took the Chocolates and Jim went home with the Coffee.
Then it was all systems go as JIM & LYNN sped off on THE IRISH ROVER but more leisurely CARL told of THE BLACKSMITH AND THE TOFFEE MAKER and DON & HEATHER remembered THE GALWAY SHAWL. Wrapping his tonsils and fingers around another McTell classic for CHRIS it was all SWEET MYSTERY as MARIAN mourned THE BONNIE LIGHT HORSEMAN as and MARK explained the need for an INTERGALACTIC LAXATIVE. Still in blues mode KAMRAN sang about WILLIE MAE as ROBIN went Country for THE CRYSTAL CHANDELIER and RICHARD in sentimental mood said IF YOU SEE HER SAY HELLO. Next ED was reminded of the rebel song THE FOGGY DEW as in a romantic frame of mind PETE told us the HEART IS LIKE A WHEEL but this left JIM & LYNN running off crying I’LL TELL MY MA. All this led DAVE BOULTON to sum it up as EXCEPTIONAL TIMES IN IRELAND to which FAIR PLAY replied BEAUTIFUL leaving DON, HEATHER & ROBIN to have us all singing into the street with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL which certainly was not true of this wonderful night.
Newspaper No 316 10 March 2015
A sublime evening led superbly by JAN & MARK and topped by the appearance of the wonderful GRASSROOTS & ZOE MULFORD. Our hosts started the rout with ROTTERDAM followed by GRASSROOTS with ALL THE LIES THAT YOU TOLD ME and JOHN CHILCOTT with THE DIVE. This hade PETE ROBERTS remembering DAYS GONE BY and GRAEME telling us he is going back to school to learn Italian in Rome no less with BELLA CIAO to which COLIN replied with WHERE DO YOU GO TO MY LOVELY. All of this had PAUL off SINGING MY BLUES AWAY and JO off with a WAYFARING STRANGER and ROB sailing THE GREY FUNNEL LINE. Even deeper in the memory ED brought back good old AL BOWLLY and after going back for his forgotten banjo BANJO JOHN gave us HOT TIMES and KAMRAN was ALABAMA BOUND. For a change DAVE BOULTON said he SWIMS THE SEAS IN FREEDOM, the whale that is, as DON & HEATHER greeted THE DIMMING OF THE DAY and ZOE went in search of a QUALITY SHOE leaving MARIAN to seek THE NORTH WEXT PASSAGE. Returning JOHN CHILCOTT himself went searchi8ng but for ANNIE as BANJO JOHN swore I AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' as he was MAKIN' ALL MY DREAMS COME TRUE as MARK did when we all joined in with LITTLE POT STOVE.
In the raffle Rosaleen won the wine; Dave Boulton won the roses; Alan won and passed round the chocolates and Jackie won the Coffee for Vic before GRASSROOTS pleaded YOU CAN'T FAIL ME NOW. Not surprisingly ED then confessed IT'S HARD TO BE HUMBLE before JAN went all Welsh with OES GAFR ETO and DAVE BOULTON he was going to HEAR ALL, SEE ALL AND SAY NOWT. Quite from where ZOE told us how to get A MUCH BETTER VIEW OF THE MOON as indeed did DON & HEATHER with SONNY and MARIAN who HEARD THE CURLEW CALLING. Still PAUL this time had the BLACK BOTTOM BLUES and for KAMRAN he was after the BAD BAD LEROY BROWN but ROB was up the valley to the RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR. None of this, however, could beat PETE ROBERTS' SUNSETS before MICK went solo with a new song COUNTED UP TO TEN and ZOE returned to sing one she heard from her Mum JOHNNY BUILT A HOUSE. To finish DAVE BOULTON told us his brush with a LISH YOUNG BUY A BROOM and PAUL, HEATHER & DON celebrated Arthur Marshall's great song FENCES and MARK & JAN rounded off a cracking evening with RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY.
Newspaper No 315 3 March 2015
This was a top class evening from start to finish with a wide variety of talent performing brilliantly for an almost full house. ED & SUE invited BANJO JOHN to get the ball rolling and he introduced us to FANLIGHT FANNY so all our senses were alight and they were not disappointed. In great form COLIN RUDD sang HELLO IN THERE as FAIR PLAY set off for SANTA GEORGIA and MICK had to confess I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD. Meanwhile a breathless JAN was after RUNAROUND SUE while more sedately JO confided WHEN I WAS IN MY PRIME before PETE gave us a chilling reminder with HURT (Johnny Cash & Nine Inch Nails). Soon on the ED ED was next off along the VERDIGRIS (Paxton) and still over there JIM & LYNN had got STRIPES which had ROBIN giving his LAST FAREWELL. On the trail of the baddies CARL told us of the BIG FEAR (Jez Lowe) just as PAUL decided to STEP IT UP AND GO but still DON & HEATHER had that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. However, BANJO JOHN went all religious with JUST OVER IN THE GLORY LAND (Gospel) as JO was out walking ONE MISTY MOISTY MORNING and COLIN was looking for a BETTER PLACE TO BE. Reminding us of the old days CARL advised RICKY DON'T LOSE THAT NUMBER and ROBIN also seeking a rendezvous suggested MEET ME TONIGHT IN LAREDO guided no doubt by FAIR PLAY with their BRIGHT MORNING STAR as JAN encouraged them with HIT THE ROAD JACK.
Another bumper raffle saw Joyce win a CD; Paul take the Wine; Heather win the Olive Oil; Marian go home with the Chocolates; and Joseph take another CD before JIM & LYNN gave us all a warning with MAIDS WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG and MICK also cast a shadow with YOU'VE GOT YOUR TROUBLES I'VE GOT MINE before PAUL put the tine lid on it with DARK AS A DUNGEON. Nothing, however, fazes ED who was EASY AND SLOW as DON & HEATHER set out on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and PETE remembered his first trip to Ireland with his own ALEXANDER LIGHTS. After a few weeks MARIAN returned with POLLY PARKER and COLIN said that most of it is MAKE BELIEVE and ROBIN asked ROCK MY CRADLE ONCE AGAIN. Still in good fettle JAN took us off to BUDAPEST as MICK was off saying I WILL but CARL was away flying KITES. In a more bluesy frame of mind PAUL pleaded CORRINA, CORRINA won't you please come home but it seems ED had no trouble attracting TRASHY WOMEN whereas PETE complained he AIN'T GOT A HOME IN THIS WORLD ANY MORE. Heading for a climax JIM & LYNN said all we need is some RARE OLD MOUNTAIN DEW but FAIR PLAY were away on the BANKS OF THE OHIO as FREE SPIRITS combined to have us singing into the street to WAGON WHEEL to end a thoroughly enjoyable evening.