Friday 4th December 2020

Hey ho and welcome all, as usual, a box of delights was seen and heard yesterday evening. Before I report on the ups and ups of last night and its many tunes and merriment, I must  alert you to the final day of the RFC Black Friday sale. This will be your opportunity and,indeed, last chance to secure some rare and valuable items. Some have not been seen before, bit like Alun’s wallet. So, look upon these items as your last chance, we have low stock on some of the more popular lines. This is a final clearance and things are selling fast.

We start with the offering by ARJ of his string-free banjo. This is a rare and delightful instrument that comes with ( at no extra cost! ) a free tuning manual. £299.99 , a real bargain. Alun has also released for sale, an accordion (limited edition) p.o.a.. Next up, John Shepherd’s bespoke Kwhyeton guitar. It’s ability to key change is legendary and can be yours for a mere £7,500.99p. Available in dropped D only. Mike Hawkins has managed, via his vast contacts amongst the Whaling community to offer six Penguin Eggs for a week in March at the very reasonable price of £799.09. You can pick them up in Valparaiso, ask for Juan. Keith Prices’ pipes are only £909.50 and can be played up or down. DADGAD tuning is available for this item at an agreed rate. We are grateful to Lesley for her donation of a violin bow (the fiddle is extra) for £789.99p. This bow can knock out traditional Scottish dance tunes at a rate of knots, and potential customers with dodgy knees, ankles and other orthopaedic impediment should seek professional advice. Nick Jackson has donated a compoundium of memory-rich hilarity to enliven any day out. Family ticket £5. Note: All animals were protected and fed in the making of this must-have volume. We come now to the Gaffer monologues- what can I say? Anything and everything in verse and innuendo with the added frisson of historical accuracy. A four volume C90 tape set is only £499.99. Please note, the shorter versions have sold out. The peep-show photo album is only £110.99 and brings an unbelievable clarity to your favourites, whatever your F-stop. This is a limited edition print run. All photos reveal fully clothed performers. Finally, and well, what can I say about a self-tuning triangle. This instrument has entertained audiences up and down our street, as well as Bodnant Infants. Yours for £899.99. This item may be subject to a product recall as it cannot play The Ashokan Farewell. So there we are, please turn to page 567 for details of how to pay.

The evening started, as usual, with a sound check. And, by Jove, a prompt start on the muppet boxes with a welcome new pair of Dewi and Eileen and a predicted 2245 hrs finish. We will see. John started with a Jez Lowe special, A small coal song. An Eric Bogle song with bad language and irreverence was next. John W and Carol were next. He started with a J Tull number masquerading as a carol. Universal Soldier was next. This Donovan number is  always a favourite, and written by Buffy Saint-Marie in 1964. Carol has three Xmas poems for us. We will have one a week and thank you for them. Better than cards. Well done, indeed! Ian gave us a love song by the group Imissedit . They should be quite well known to deaf reviewers. Surely by Now followed, and very nice too. A Dev Cooke song. Nick Jackson was a welcome returner and even more welcome for his KK cover of The Pilgrim- Chapter 33. Nick’s next was a wassailing song that he hasn’t done since , er , last December. We look forward to hearing it again next year, but Nick, don’t leave it that long before you return to the muppet boxes. Brian was up next with a John Denver number. It was good to hear It Was good to be back home again. I’m in love with a Morris-Dancer, is not an expression you want to hear every day. It was clean, but fraught with danger. It would not end well, and didn’t.

Steve and his tadpole were to follow the Morris-Dancer. From bonkers to utter madness. On the good ship Lollipop was a treat indeed. From fully twelve foot away we were presented with a song, it being twilight, and we were weary. The glistening shadows have never been more entertaining. A saw is a saying, unless it’s a thing for trimming wood. Mike Davies was in the Red River Valley with a lady called Imissedit (see above).

Helen it was, helping with Little White Dove.

Gaffer’s offering was in response to a request from JS. A song in the best tradition of historical accuracy and wit. It involved the Kaiser and his hat. Best get Wikipedia-upped and run it again on the YouTube re-run. Then you’ll know what he is on about. The next one involved the identity of a corpse. Three men were having trouble identifying a gentleman, mercifully expired, and whether it was Hughes-or not, was mystifying the whole of Llanrwst. When Ellie Waves Goodbye was Geoff Durno’s first . A Harvey Andrews song. A Tom Paxton number, I Followed Her Into the West was one I’d not come across before. As Geoff said, that Paxton lad will go far. Mike Hawkins brought his guitar to the first offering, Colours, a Donovan classic. Raglan Road was next, and was as lovely as it always is. T Gwyn had a sad poem by Idwal Lloyd. Dust to Dust was a poignant air. His next was the Drifters hit Save the Last Dance for Me. A song with an interesting back-story just as poignant as the funeral song- nearly.

Phil Hartley gave us two Scottish songs. The first from Stu McGregor about itinerant labour and its concomitant risks to relationships. His next was a Glasgow school-childrens’ version of the school nativity play and the risks involved there.

John introduced Bee for her poem. As always, it was much enjoyed and thought provoking. Dafydd was trying for Rab C, in a poem about Bee-keepers. A big effing success and effing D was on song tonight. New people (welcome welcome) Dewi and Eileen started with a Strange Affair. A Richard Thompson song, and he is always a favourite.

They did not disappoint and by the way, they, and indeed John and Carol can be heard at Dragon’s Breath Folk Club. Google it. Their second was a song of the sea and seafarers from Caernarfon. In cymraeg mind! Excellent stuff.

Alun finished off the splendid first half of tonight’s entertainment with Dougie McLean’s song of a mid-life crisis Down Too Deep. The Beatles song Norwegian Wood was the song to bring us to a finish for the first half.

Steve Andisaw gave us a potted history of his musical beginnings in Stoke (me Duck) and I would love to explain it to you, but  this breath of fresh air defies standard description. Phil had to follow that, in a Moggie Minor. The Road to Penrith was a coming to pass song, in all that implies and that’s to say nowt about using stockings to repair a fan belt. Beware. Dewi and Eileen had a Kate Rusby song that is called Bitter Boy . This does not involve a predilection for Tetley.

Nick Jackson brought us all to a nice finish with a cracking tale about getting to the song ahead of the turn, and put the decimal point on the night with the Likely Lads theme. What became of the people indeed…….

Thank you all, and everyone else too. See you next week and don’t forget, if you would like to do the report, give it a go and send it to John. We need to hear from everyone and try to get everyone involved. So, give it a try.

Here’s the link to the video; very handy for those who missed bits……

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