Harbury Folk Club Reports 2019

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Home page

Last updated: 19 June 2019

Click on a month below:

June 2019 'Whatever makes you happy' Ted & Sue 415
May 2019 'Light and Dark' Sue
April 2019 'Town and Country' Ian
March 2019 'Springing into Life' Pete B
February 2019 'Cheery Songs for Dreary Days'
Sue C
January 2019
'Family and Friends' Debbie

June 2019

Your scribe remarked during the evening that in fifty years of singing in folk clubs throughout the country, I had never found a club which displayed such a talented and entertaining set of floor singers as Harbury.  Thursday night’s crop of musical talent produced an evening of laughter, moments of poignancy, and chorus singing of a mighty standard.

The theme was “Whatever makes you happy”.  Sue and I began proceedings with Sovay (a kind-hearted lady highway robber) and “The Gasman Cometh” from Flanders and Swann.  Following us came Rik Middleton who sang the show song “Oh what a beautiful morning” and “Flying down to Rio”.  Maureen and Janny told us they’d searched the folk annals for a happy song from the female perspective, but found to their consternation that all the girls’ songs were about death, lost love, pain and misery!  They gave us “Searching for Lambs” and “Cupid’s Garden” in their own inimitable style.  A welcome return from Bob Clucas brought a cleverly contrived out-of-tune self-penned song about his Dad, followed by his tribute to his favourite football team Liverpool.  What else could it have been but “You’ll never walk Alone”, which prompted the Harbury Chorus Engine to fire up with a vengeance!  Sue followed with a lovely rendition of Pam Ayres’ monologue about gardening “Once I get up from me Chair”, and we then delighted in a second serving of Flanders and Swann with a mighty “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud”.  Norman brought the first half to a fitting end with one of his rib-tickling compositions which included the revelation that one of the happiest moments in life is getting out of bed and realising that nothing is hurting!  He finished with James Taylor’s “Carolina on my Mind”, and we all retired to the bar for much-needed refreshment.

Pete Bones began the second spasm with a song detailing the horrors involved in setting up a band, and was then joined by Liz for a super interpretation of Enda McCabe’s glorious “Wind and Tides Permitting”.  Peter Cooke unleashed the Harbury Chorus Engine with “The day we went to Rothesay-o” and a fine version of “Fiddler’s Green” accompanying himself on English concertina.  Laura took us to America with Eric Bibb’s poignant “Shingle by Shingle”, followed by “Happy Together”, the 1967 hit from the Turtles.  Peter McDonald then transported us to New Zealand, from whence Paul Metsers wrote “Play it All Again”, his tribute to the legend that is Nic Jones.  Back halfway round the world to Trunch in Norfolk, Peter gave us Sid Kipper’s lifestyle advice song, “Jam Tomorrow”.  Next came Poacher’s Pocket – Campbell and Colin were joined by Carol Gillespie, and their “Lady came from Baltimore” and “Rolling Home” were a joy to listen to.  Don presented a dilemma by stating that the things that made him happy were sad songs.  Hmm.  He sang Gretchen Peter’s “When you are Old” followed by Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” in exemplary style, leaving guitarists in the audience weeping in envy!  Peter Mason brought us “Lancashire Lads” and “Going for a Soldier”, a medley first put together by Dave Burland and that man Nic Jones.  His second song was the admirable Jez Lowe’s “Idle Time”.  Last came our very own Rumble-o, whose well-orchestrated versions of “Ye Mariners All” and “Row my Bully Boys, Row” brought the evening to a most satisfying conclusion.

Thanks to our lovely audience and musos, our June raffle made 90, which is winging its way to the Warwick Hospital charity fund SWFT.  Don’t forget next month’s theme is “This land is your land” and Peter McDonald will be in the chair.

Ted Crum

Back to the top

May 2019

The theme for Folk Club Number 414 was “Light & Dark.”

Sue & Ian kicked off the first half, keeping to the theme, with “The Light from the Lighthouse” and “Bonny Light Horseman.” Bob was next with 2 Paul Simon songs, “Patterns” and “Duncan”. Sue Harris followed with “Once upon a time” and “The Turn of the Road”. Rik sang about May Day frolics in the outdoors and then a very serious song about clowns. Robin followed with “This is all the Light I Need” and “Light Flight”. Norman closed the first half with “Early Morning Rain” (written by Gordon Lightfoot) and “Switch the Light Off” and as instructed I switched the lights off at the end of his performance!

The second half commenced with The Choir singing “The May Song” and “Lay Down your Weary Tune”. Peter McDonald followed with “We Stayed Awake” and “Here is My Home”. Laura made a welcome return to the Club, she sang “Dawn” followed by “There’s a Rugged Road” Peter Mason was next with “The Island” and “Man of War”. Don followed, having already helped out and accompanied 2 previous acts, he sang “Made of Light” and “Dark End of the Street” Des had us all joining in with his 2 songs, “New York Mining Disaster” and “When Autumn Skies are Blue” Pete Grassby sang “I Just Want You to Know” and “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”. Rumbelow closed the evening with “Hal an Tow” and “Keep Hauling”

Thank you everyone who supported the raffle which raised 94.55 for Cancer Research.

The theme next month is “Anything that makes you happy” so don’t miss it.

Sue Hartland

Back to the top

April 2019

“God made the country and man made the town”. So wrote William Cowper in 1785. Harbury Folk Club performers embraced “town and country” equally to find a wide range of material suitable for the April club’s musical theme.

The Harvesters (Sue and I) started the evening with Mark Knopfler’s “The Next Time I’m In Town” and followed that with “Who Will Watch The Home Place?”. Bob was next and sang the Kinks’ “Village Green Preservation Society” and Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”. Janny and Maureen can always be relied upon to find ideal songs for any occasion and gave us “What Will We Do?” and then “My Husband’s Got No Porridge In Him”. Rik followed them and sang Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town” and then one of Jake Thackray’s more serious songs about “Old Molly Medcalfe”. Pete and Liz were next to the fore with Ralph McTell’s delightful “Nigel The Nightingale”, blithely singing in Berkeley Square. Their next offering was “The English Meadow”. Sue Harris had chosen to go solo this time and sang the lovely “Beating of My Own Heart” followed by another Jake Thackray favourite, “The Widow Of Brid”. The first half was brought to a close by Ted and Sue, commencing with the plaintive “Rambleaway” and then “The Farmer’s Toast”, which got everyone singing lustily in the chorus.

The number of available performers meant that second half would be the final one for this night and was opened by Harbury Folk Club choir with Jez Lowe’s “These Coal Town Days” and then followed with “Home Lads, Home”. Peter McDonald was next to perform and sang “Painting The Town” and “Where Ravens Feed”. An infrequent visitor to the club, but always welcome, Barbara sang “Still Waters” (written by yours truly) and then “When Yellow’s On The Broom”. Don, the man of infinite guitar chords, sang “A Town Called Birmingham” and the enchanting “Rhythms Of Your Grace”. Robin had also chosen to perform solo this time and gave us “City Of New Orleans” and another fine Ralph McTell song: “England”. Debbie was next and recited her poem “The Coffee Morning” and sang her own song “The Carnival Queen” with its rousing chorus. Peter Mason can always be relied upon to meet the brief and gave us “From Hull and Halifax And Hell” followed by Maggie Holland’s “A Place Called England”. Our next performer announced that he had performed at the club before but not in the present premises. Much head-scratching in pursuit of recollection ensued while Peter Scott sang “The Truro Agricultural Show” and the “Devon Bellringers Song”, accompanying both expertly on English concertina. The final spot of the evening went to the ever-popular “Poachers’ Pocket” (Campbell and Colin) who gave us “Scarlet Town”, giving Campbell the opportunity to play his recently-acquired banjo. Their final song was called “The Canadian”, another fine chorus song.

A total of sixteen different acts comprehensively covered the evening’s theme. The raffle raised an impressive 116.00 for Cancer Research. This will go towards the money being raised by Sue and me who will be taking part in May’s Great Birmingham 10K on behalf of this important charity.

Sue will run next month and her chosen theme for the evening is “Light and Dark”. Make it a date in your diary to see more excellent music: Thursday 2nd May, starting 8:00pm, in Harbury Village Club.

Ian Hartland

Back to the top

March 2019

Every meeting of Harbury Folk Club is unique, and beforehand, no one can ever predict what it will be like.  The only thing we can be pretty sure about is that, whatever happens, we will be treated to fine music and entertainment.  The evening of 6 March 2019 was no exception.

I must confess to becoming a little concerned when learning that there would be quite a number of regular performers who, for one reason or another, would not be able to attend.  However, by 8:00pm, there were enough performers to fill two halves of the evening, and the room was filled to capacity with a warm and responsive audience who were soon found to be in good voice as well.

After Liz and I started with a chorus song, we were followed by contributions from Rik Middleton, “Ragged”, Bob Clucas, and Don, before Ian and Sue, aka The Harvesters, brought the first half to a close.  The second half included items from Maureen and Janny, Peter Mason, Sue Harris and further contributions from Rik, Ian and Sue, and Liz and me. 

Perhaps the most memorable act also came in the second half when two young newcomers, Ben and Stuart, performed some Gypsy Jazz on guitar and fiddle.  This was to give us a foretaste of what was in store for the Harbury Jazz Club which was due to have its first meeting the following Thursday.  Their amazing musical talent and quality of entertainment electrified the atmosphere and left us all buzzing.  We hope they will come again. 

With the number of performers being less than usual, the evening drew to a relaxing close at the early time of 10:00pm, but I don’t think any member of the audience or performer would have felt they had been “short changed”.  It had been yet another unique meeting, the likes of which could not have been predicted.

Many thanks to those who performed and also those who supported the raffle.  It raised 90.00 which has been donated to Harbury Village Club.  Once again the staff and committee of the club were welcoming, helpful and friendly and contributed to the success of the evening.

The next meeting of the club will be on April 4th and will be hosted by Ian Hartland. The theme is to be “Town and Country”.

Who Sang What

First Half
Pete & Liz: Green Grow the Rushes O
Rik Middleton: John Barleycorn, Bantam Cock
Ragged: Lady Lie Here, Feeling Groovy
Bob Clucas: Furgus the Frog, April Come She Will
Don Arthurson: Why do you Whisper?, On the Road
Ian and Sue H: The Stranger, East Virginia

Second Half
Pete  Bones: Wild Mounting Time
Maureen and Janny: Whitby Maid, The Slain
Peter Mason: Ginger Bill, Knocker Upper Man
Stuart and Ben: Minor Spring, Soureneir Disenprogan
Sue Harris: It’s Spring Again
Rik Middleton: A Frog he Did a Wooing Go
Ian and Sue H: Wagon Wheel
Pete and Liz: Celtic Blessing

Pete Bones

Back to the top

February 2019

The theme for the February Folk Club was “Cheery Songs for Dreary Days” so, on a fairly dreary evening, the performers set out to cheer a willing audience.  Sue started off the evening with a song about proving love by performing various tasks, including killing dragons!  Pete and Liz Bones followed with a beautiful song, “Over the Lancashire Hills”, written by Simon Nicol.  Pete performed a glorious version of Albert and the Lion written about Cleethorpes by John Conolly.  It was Rik’s turn next and he sang “Cock of the North” and a song about Adam and Eve which showed his amazing ability to remember very complicated words.  The next group of musicians (Robin, Sue and Sally) caused your compere a great deal of trouble by changing their name yet again.  This month they called themselves “Ragged”.  The name established, they sang two very cheery songs including “Jambalaya on the Bayou” featuring Sue playing lager-phone.  Bob then made a lovely first visit to the Club by singing Paul Simon’s “Red Rubber Ball” and a self-penned song “Georgie”.  We hope he will become a regular visitor and we await the next verses of Georgie with impatience.  Peter McDonald sang two Tom Paxton songs, “I thought you were an A-Rab” and an impassioned plea against veganism, “Don’t Slay that Potato”.  Each was sung with tongue firmly in cheek.  The first half was brought to a close by the Choir performing two songs they sang at the Folk Club Concert, “Hand Me Down” written by Nancy Kerr and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallellujah”.  Both are firm favourites of the choir, featuring Lynne on accordion, Ruth on cello and the Peters playing guitar and piano.

The second half started in rather alarming fashion with an invasion of WW2 pilots.  No wait!  It was The Daft Dames performing a poem by Les Barker in their own inimitable fashion.  The performance would cheer even the most miserable onlooker!  The only way to follow such craziness was to introduce Keith Donnelly who got the audience moving left, right, up and down to accompany his first song. Keith then sang a version of “Scarborough Fair” which started off in a very gentle traditional fashion and changed as it went along….  By way of a complete contrast, Laura came on to sing two lovely songs accompanied by guitar and ukulele, “Life is a Long Song” by Jethro Tull and a 1950’s song “Tonight, You Belong to Me”.  Rumble-o came on to perform a super version of the song from the series “The Detectorists” and a song about Cornwall, “Cousin Jack”.  It was such a treat to hear these lovely songs again for those of us who had been at the Village Concert last month.  Sue and Ian performed their songs with their customary skill and dexterity with Sue playing banjo (a much-maligned instrument). “Keep on the Sunny Side” and “The Cuckoo” had the audience joining in the choruses with enthusiasm.  Morris Oxford performed the oldest known drinking song, “Bring us in Good Ale”, and “The Phantom Flasher” which gave us all another chance to join in with excellent choruses (when we weren’t laughing too much).  To finish the evening, The Somerville Gentlemen came on to sing two songs.  This was a very special performance as it was the first appearance as a “Gent” for Peter McD, but they were a depleted band as Ted was not able to join them.  Not withstanding, they sang the beautiful song “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” followed by a Cosmetheka music hall favourite “Love, Love, Love”.

What a lovely evening! We all went on our ways cheered and having had a really good sing.  We had raised a marvellous 100 for Cancer Research.  Peter and Liz Bones are running the Folk Club next month and the theme will be “Springing into Life”.

Sue Crum

Back to the top

January 2019

With Christmas over for another year, and having celebrated the New Year only a few days before, we had our first Folk Club of the year. Tonight’s theme (and number 410) was ‘Family and Friends’. I had also read on social media that this year 2019 is the Centenary Year of the Village Club.

To start the evening Deb began proceedings with “Liverpool Lullaby” and then handed over to Rik who sang about “Three Drunken Maidens” who were sisters and came from the Isle of Wight. He then told us some fabulous stories about his upbringing and the use of Cockney between him and his friends. He then sang “Crazy World” which had a chorus for the Harbury Chorus Engine, which was all about family life. Then Sue sang a wonderful visual song about “When Father Painted the Parlour” and decorating nightmares. Then she performed the “Grandparents Song”. Up came Robin whose first song was by Ralph McTell, “First and Last Man”, which was rather spiritual and ethereal too. His second song was by John Denver called “Poems, Prayers and Promises” with Don on guitar. Laura (a Spa Strummer) played her guitar and sang a Gary Jones song, “A Child is Born” which had a beautifully simple chorus. Her second offering was “Miner’s Dream of Home” which was about a Miner who had been away from home for over 10 years and had been dreaming of home. The Harvesters sang about “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “I Don’t Believe You’ve Met my Baby”. Our final performer for the first half was Don who sang about a family member developing dementia with “I Get Lost in my Home Town”, where they are seen arguing with ghosts and not recognising members of the family anymore. He finished with an Eddie Reader song, from her album of Robbie Burns songs, with “Wild Mountain Side”.

The second half was begun with the Harbury Folk Club Choir and “My Dancing Day” from their recent appearance at Harbury Church’s annual Christmas Eve Carol Service. Their second offering was a Roger Jones song from the musical “The Inn Crowd”, “For to us a Child is Born”. Peter McDonald followed that with “The Friend” written by Alan Richardson who appears at Warwick Folk Club. This song was about meeting a ‘friend’ called Trevor in a bar. His second song was a Scottish song by Lionel McClelland called “Come and Spend a While wi’ me”. Then I continued my run of Peters. Pete Grassby sang a John Conolly song, “Widow Maker”, about how difficult it is in raising a growing lad. Then “Mother’s Day” and how we all love ours the best. Then without re’pete’ting myself, I introduced Peter Mason who sang about leaving people behind and “Brothers”. Keith Donnelly sang a song not for public consumption in the shape of a song for Bill Bates 60th Birthday and then “My Sister, Laura and Me”. He also told us of a secret trip he made to Ullapool to visit relatives but, when he got there, he found that they had made a similar trip to Leamington Spa on exactly the same date. Rumble-o sang about “Three Jolly Fishermen” about work colleagues/friends and, in jest, sang “Here comes the Sun”.

The third half was begun by Debs who sang “Summertime” and read one of her poems called “Mum” which she wrote for a friend’s Mum who had died. Des finished off the evening with “The Cherry Tree Carol” about Mary and Joseph and then “Shallow Brown” which was a rousing finish to the evening’s entertainment.

The raffle raised 92.00 for the Missing People charity. The next Folk Club is on February 7th when your hosts will be Ted and Sue Crum and the theme is “Cheery songs for dreary days”.

Debbie Ellis

Back to the top