It is wet and windy today, for a change. The leaves are falling and it seems
autumn has finally arrived. Quite a few people have arrived and the tuning
of instruments has taken place. We have a willing volunteer to act as our
compere for today. Maureen has taken up the mantle and is strutting
around like a Sergeant Major taking names- she is really enjoying herself.
She makes a firm declaration that she is in charge. She is really scary.
Bernard and Maureen are on first. They start the afternoon with some jolly
tunes for us to tap along to. No domestics this afternoon. Bernard certainly
knows his place.
Margaret is next with a new song she wants to try out on us - Things Are
Coming My Way- played on the ukulele banjo. Quite a jolly little song with a
chorus. She follows this with Morning Blues, another new song to me, I
don't think I have heard Margaret sing this one before. Two new songs in
one session, well done Margaret.
I am then called upon to tell (or rather read out) a couple of jokes. These
seem to go down well - and are clean for a change.
Paul is up next and tells us he has no idea what song he is going to do. Any
song will be fine as far as I am concerned. He starts with his version of a
Bob Dylan song - I Want You - excellent. After an aborted attempt at a
difficult song we will never know, and a bit of tinkering about on the guitar
(which I love) he breaks into a Springsteen number, Born To Run, but not as
you know it. Paul has a unique style all his own, and we love it.
Mike is on next and does his first number on the guitar - Magic Toy- a
childrens song I haven't heard since I was a child. He continues on the
childrens theme with a song called What Did You Learn In School Today,
another one from the past.
Linda is next without her other sandwich, Clive. She sings a song she only
performs once a year and apologises for using a cribsheet - The Unquiet
Grave. Her second song is about ploughing with a toorolooroleyeaye
chorus we all gladly join in with, called The Jolly Ploughman. Great
traditional songs Linda.
Len is next and tells us he is about to show us what excrement is. I don't
believe it. He does a Beatles song - For No-One. He follows with a Tim
Harding song I haven't heard before Black Sheep Boy. Great Stuff, Len!
Clive is next and gives us a humerous monologue about Albert on a trip to
the Tower Of London involving ghosties and ghoulies. It is remarkable how
he remembers the words without a cribsheet. Great stuff, Clive! He follows
this with a song written by Mike Sparks entitled Thirteen Florins. He tells us
it is a tale where thirteen half crowns were left on a bar in a pub but florins
fit better into the song. We are informed by Linda that when she sings solo
she is known as a sandwich short of a picnic.
We have a short break for necessary things.
Joe is called on to start the second spasm and produces a guitar that plays
like a banjo to sing a hillbilly type of song called Talking Blues. He
continues with a new song he has written in honour of Bill Pardon who has
just lost his mother. You have our condolences, Bill. Joe really booms it out
on his melodeon and is accompanied by Kathy on her concertina. They call
the song Pardons Rant and it receives a huge round of applause from the
audience. Nice one Joe!
In contrast our next act, Mike Chapman, who has appeared here once
before, plays us a lovely quiet instrumental on his guitar - Away From The
Smoke. This is followed by another tune - Wait For It! - and Mike warns us
that there is a gap before he does a twiddley bit. I wonder if that is designed
to get an extra round of applause. He received a great ovation at the end
anyway, for some excellent guitar playing.
The culture is interrupted by a couple of jokes from yours truly, and we
start the whole process again with a couple of toe-tapping tunes from
Bernard and Maureen,
High Speed Plough and The Big Ship.
Margaret is next and starts with Play Me A Ukulele Tune. She continues with
Buffalo Girls. Both new songs to me - has Margaret got a new songbook or
Paul continues with a Motorhead song about the Life of a Soldier. Very
powerful and emotive lyrics you wouldn't have thought possible from a
heavy metal band, as usual brilliantly sung by Paul. He continues with a
song he couldn't remember in the first half and makes an excellent job of it
Mike is next with I'll Go No More A-Roving, and we all join in with the chorus.
A Tom Paxton song - Rambling Boy, follows this. Both tunes are
accompanied on the guitar. No accordion this week, what a shame.
Ploughman's Lunch are on next together and sing a Keith Marsden song
from the second world war called The Mad Dogs of War. No picnic this war
business. They follow this with My Lady of Autumn, a song with a great
We have a second break, and it is our last chance to buy raffle tickets. The
raffle is drawn and we win a bottle of wine - hic!
Len starts the third spasm with a BeeGees number - To Love Somebody,
beautifully sung and beautifully joined in by the audience. He continues with
another Tim Harding song - If I Were A Carpenter - a song everyone knows.
Nice one Len!
We all say hello to solo Joe. He gives us Handsome Meadow Boy
accompanied on his non-guitar and finishes with a Kinks hit - Waterloo
Sunset. The guitar sounds like a piano on this one - what an amazing
Mike, our expert guitarist, is next. He tells us that he remembers seeing
Jasper Carrot at Hornchurch Folk Club some 30 years ago for 45pence,
when he sang If I Were a Carpenter I would Screw her to the table, and the
song hasn't had the same meaning for him since. This brought great
laughter. His first dance tune is from a French Group - Le Gop and is called
Le Shakker(not sure about the spelling). His second tune is called a
Fousand Dreams (Hornchurch spelling). It is so nice to hear guitar played in
this fashion. Please come again soon, Mike.
Our regular, Mike, is then asked to give us another one (so to speak) to see
us out. He gives us Paddy McGinty's Goat and we are guaranteed to go
away humming the tune. What a great afternoon. We are back again in a
fortnight in the bar where we will be entertained by Whatever Next. I look
forward to seeing you there.