22nd June 2008
written by Clive Meggs
It's a lovely sunny day outside and the rays are pouring into the function
room, but there is sufficient draught through a partly open door to keep
the temperature of the room comfortable. Quite a few of the regulars are
missing today, for various reasons, but performers and audience are
arriving and it promises to be a great afternoon.
Jojo has volunteered to be our compere for the first half of the afternoon
and starts off with a Buddy Holly song, Raining in my Heart. It takes
tremendous courage not only to be the first act, but to sing
unaccompanied and hold the tune. Jojo does this admirably.
Bernard is introduced next as a man who does a lot of clever things with
his fingers (whatever does Jojo mean). Minus his organ today, Bernard
gives us a couple of lovely tunes on his concertina. His fingers go on
strike after the first tune but make a fine recovery for the second.
An old favourite, Len, is next having returned recently from his travels to
Turkey. He starts with a song called Only Love Can Break Your Heart,
which I think may have been by the Beatles, followed by a song
definitely by the Beatles called I'll Follow The Sun. Great stuff Len!
Maureen has hurt her hand so is unable to play the guitar. She tells a
couple of jokes, one about cowboy boots, the other about toilet paper
and the audience are in fits of laughter.
We are graced this afternoon by an all too infrequent visit from an old
friend of the club, Paul Ballantyne. Paul starts with a Nancy Griffiths
song entitled A Hard Life Is All That They'll Know, followed by a song
written by Bobby Sands called I Wish I Was Back Home In Derry. We
have missed your exceptional talent, Paul. Please return again soon to
Our next guest has also just returned from his travels, to sunny Spain.
Norman takes to the stage with the smallest ukulele you have seen. He
placates our compere by announcing that he will be doing a Rock n' roll
song as opposed to a George Formby number and goes straight into A
Whole Lot Of Shaking Going On. The audience are impressed. Still no
Formby for the second number, a lovely old singalong tune, Walking My
Baby Back Home. Jojo is looking pleased, but for how long we ask
Here comes Margaret with another ukulele and her newly found voice.
She starts with the theme song from Last Of The Summer Wine. What,
no George Formby! Jojo is now looking eggstatic! She follows with a
Hank Williams song, Your Cheating Heart. In between songs we are
treated to a update of the escapades of Charlie ( Margaret's grandson ),
sounds like a bit of a party animal to me!
Tone Deaf Leopard are on next and start with a very appropriate Bob
Dylan song entitled Brand New Leopardskin Pillbox Hat. Surely if there
is such an apparel of clothing the Leopards would have made every
attempt to find one by now. They follow this with a ballad about a
psycho American murder - Banks of the Ohio. Olivia Newton-John will
never be the same to me after hearing this.
Ben then comes to the stage and tells us he is entering the young folk
musician of the year contest for the first time in September. Ben will be
15years old in August and is so talented. He tries two folk tunes which
are works in progress for the contest. The first is called Tell Old Bill and
the second a more traditional number called The Duke of Marlborough.
Ben certainly has talent and ambition and we all wish him well in the
We take a break at this point to re-fuel and empty, not necessarily in that
Margaret takes over as compere for the second half of the afternoon and
introduces Jojo who sings an unaccompanied song about Van
Dieman's entitled Andersons Coast. A haunting tale beautifully sung.
Bernard gives us another couple of tunes on the concertina. His fingers
are working OK this time. The rattles and shakers come out for the
second tune as the audience feel the need to join in.
More Beatles from Len next with Strawberry fields Forever. Paul made a
comment earlier on after Len's first set that why should you use 3
chords when 10 will do. This must be an in joke between guitar players
because it goes completely over my head. Nevertheless Len completes
his set with a 3 chord song, If I Were A Carpenter.
Maureen tells us two jokes about 3 beers and then 3 dogs. That reminds
me, I must cut my nails when I get home.
Paul returns to the front and starts with a Show of Hands song called
Cousin Jack, a request from Margaret. Paul is so talented. He hasn't
played this song for ages but is able to go on stage and play the song
almost as good as his mentors. He follows with a song by a group called
Five for Fighting called Superman.
Norman comes to the front full of courage and announces that he will do
2 George Formby numbers. Never mind Jojo, the rest of us enjoy
George. The first is the famous Fanlight fanny then another Formby
song called I Promise To Be Home By 9 O'clock ( I've never heard this
TDL open with one of my favourite parodies, a song about lab rabbits
called Wild Clover (I think). They are then joined by Ben for their second
number Scarborough Fair. It is played to a different tune - very
interesting, and well received.
Margaret returns for her second spot and sings us Forget-me-not Lane.
She finishes wish an old favourite, Lord of the Dance, with lots of
Next on is Ben . He sings Sweet Baby James, which was written by
James Taylor for his son who was named, yes you've guessed it,
James. It was also the theme music for a cookery programme starring
the chef James Martin. He then sings an old Ron Truman Border classic
Somedays It Doesn't Pay You To Get Out Of Bed . Ben is developing
quite a range of different music.
To finish what has been an excellent afternoon Paul is invited back to do
an extra couple of numbers. He firstly sings On the Ledge by Richard
Thompson, one of the best chorus songs I have heard and follows this
with a second Richard Thompson song, Vincent Black Lightening. Ben
also covers this song in a completely different way.
Well, another fantastic afternoon of good music and good company had
to come to an end but we meet again in two weeks time, on 6th July,
when we are celebrating Liz's birthday. Please bring along a plate of
food to share and try to come early to get a seat. See you then. Clive..