Archive for the Club Night – What happened? Category

Friday August 23rd 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 24, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

On a lovely summer evening, the room was full,with the crowd expecting a great night’s entertainment. My set included Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” – the extended metaphor of “crossing the bar” represents travelling from life through death. Now we’re all at the age when we’re contemplating booking the bijou single room with satin lining and screw down lid, it’s always wise to have a few funeral songs under your belt. After the initial disappointment of me being on first, things picked up.

We thought Mike had used his guitar as kindling as we hadn’t seen it for months, but it was back tonight for two songs. Still, with winter imminent, and the need for some warmth from a fire, maybe there’s hope yet?

Christina, a Yorkshire lass, sang “On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘at” – there is another chorus we sing in Lancashire but we won’t go into that here. She followed this with “Scarborough Fair” from a female perspective (tell him to make me a cambric bra?).

Brian is living off the Scottish diet of fried breakfasts, Irn Bru, white pudding suppers and deep fried Mars Bars in order to put back the pounds (note to self – learn more funeral songs).

Tonight he sang two love songs – the first, “Queen of Hearts”, was a pale copy of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”. Not a song to pull the ladies I fear, Brian.

Jeffrey, after a stuttering start, gave us “Hesitation Blues”. He had to rely on the audience for the whistling in “What a Day for a Daydream”

Adrian was unable to assist in the whistling, being challenged in the “blowing air through the puckered lips” department. He’d been to the Kurdish barbers this week (why?? Baldilocks and the 3 hairs?). He’d also been thrown out of the library as his shirt was too loud.

T Gwyn read John Lennon’s “Deaf Ted, Danoota and Me”, which I particularly like as it includes a significant win by Burnley over Aston Villa, before losing me with something in Welsh.

Star prize in the raffle was a giant tin of Butcher’s Tripe, but not only was the chocolate orange back, it was dark chocolate! – that one wasn’t offered round.

Alun started after the break. “Lisa Lan” is one his best songs in Welsh, but I couldn’t tell you what it’s about.

Jim had made the journey from LLanGodknowswhere with his fiddle, tonight playing a polka and a Scottish lament.

Continuing on the Scottish theme, Andy Gallagher started the general downward drift of the tone of the night with “Knocking Nellie”. I dragged things further into the mire with last week’s request, “Dogging”. The requests are anonymous (unless you choose to put your name on the slip), but apparently “Dogging” was written in Latin, so…. .

Time for one each. EmCee asked “Where’s Terry McKenna?” Come and sing to us Terry, we miss you.

With Alun away next week we had to bring forward the request for “Martha the Watercress Girl” which Alun and Jeff performed in the usual genteel manner.

“Mingulay” was the big finish – always sends people away with a song in their hearts.

Here’s Alun, solo.



Friday August 16th 2019

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 17, 2019 by deputyfolk

It’s fifty years since Max Yasgur hosted one of the most important musical events ever and there are eerie comparisons with our club: Our show went on tonight despite sporadic rain (like Woodstock), Bob Dylan declined our invitation (just like Woodstock) and most of our audience were born in the 1940’s (totally like Woodstock). Oh, and John Shepherd wasn’t here tonight (And he wasn’t at Woodstock either!!!). Coincidence?
Yeah. Prob’ly.

Emcee had it easy tonight. He had a list full of great turns. Funny how we always have such a good night when John Shepherd’s away.

Mr West opened proceedings with the first genuine Child ballad of the night: Robin Hood & The Fifteen Foresters (Child 139), which he’s now learned the missing verses of (since the full lyrics were tracked down and printed for him by a helpful younger member). He professed himself very pleased with his faultless performance.
Normal service was resumed when Nancy Of Yarmouth proved determined to trip him up. More gaffs than a Yarmouth fishing boat!
Tonight’s Morris tune was the Headingley short stick dance, Rigs of Marlow. That’s the one that sounds like the red red robin going bob-bob-bobbing along.
The Maid And The Palmer is such arrant nonsense it could only be traditional. (Child 21)

Mr Durno sang The Hobo’s Lullaby as a request. The committee will be debating whether such a request was legal, having not gone through the proper channels (i.e. the request box).
His potted history of Woodstock was the night’s longest and most interesting intro, in this instance to Amazing Grace (in the style of Arlo Guthrie). A music stand was requested but Geoff had to make do with Neal Jones holding his paper up for him while we all sang along.

Mr Hawkins has recovered from his recent bout of tummy trouble and was in fine voice. Ewan MacColl’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your face is truly one of the great love songs but when Mike sings it I always feel he’s really only singing to Sheila and we’re all playing gooseberry.
Rambling Boys Of Pleasure really is a pleasure, every time. Tonight Mike had a third song: The request box song from two weeks ago. The Last Trip Home is a relatively recent addition to Mike’s repertoire and a very worthy one.

Mr Blythin put another log on the fire. Not literally. It’s a country song written by Shel Silverstein. Pity T Gwyn missed it. Jeff then proceeded to steal another of Dave Costello’s songs: Dave Wiffen’s Driving Wheel.

The Bull Boys were back. Brian ably supported by Richard for Roll, Alabama, Roll and One Starry Night (collected from Mary Duke).

Alun Rhys Jones promised a short intro. He lied. He played the tune Glaw’r Hydref (Autumn Rain) leading into Ffair Scarbwrch (Scarborough Fair) then Ewan MacColl’s Thirty Foot Trailer.

The raffle was a complete fiasco. There was no chocolate orange!

Mr Barratt brought a new song along: The Leaving is about final high school exams in Ireland. Funny subject for a song but it actually worked rather well and anyway, I’d probably give Mel a good review if he sang a shopping list (bread, cheese, supermarket wine…).
His second song was another request: The Original Honkytonk Train. Geoff Skellon will be gutted he missed it.
Jake Thackray’s The Lodger brought the tone right down, not even bothering to thinly veil the smut, but it’s a brilliantly witty bit of lyric writing and Mel’s delivery and timing were impeccable.

I said Emcee had a list full of talent. Well, rounding it off in the last-but-by-no-means-least spot were our old friends Neal and Shereen and Alan. Here Comes The Sun seemed overly optimistic this August. Shereen took the lead for I Say A Little Prayer For You and Simon &Garfunkel’s The Boxer, which was my personal choice as song of the week. Unfortunately for those of you who missed tonight, Neal and Shereen have never given us recording permission (& it’s a matter of policy to respect performers’ wishes) so you’ll just have to take my word for it that they delivered a brilliant cover of a classic song.

Emcee cracked the whip and rushed through our first few turns again for one apiece before our customary shanty to finish.

Next week’s request is John Shepherd’s dogging song.

And there’s just time to mention that there is a meeting in Tynewydd Community Centre at 1:30 PM next Friday (23rd) regarding the future of the building. We urge all those who can attend to do so in support of all the groups who use the centre and who will suffer if it’s closed down.

Goodnight and joy be with you all.

Andrew the Younger

Friday August 9th 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 10, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

With the “spot of shame”on his left trouser leg still damp, Alun transported us back to the 60s with the Seekers’ “World of our own” – didn’t have Judith Durham’s appeal but he did have a gob iron. I imagine the Seekers are about as popular as John Denver with an ex teacher. Hands up those who give a monkey’s. Lovely chorus song, although I couldn’t reach the top notes.

I had to follow Alun (never easy), first with the poignant “Billy Austin” and then “Caledonia” for Lesley. Shame she wasn’t there.

Thanks again to Jeff for organising last week’s quiz night (usually spelled “nite”?) and to the Piccadilly in Caerwys for catering for us so well once again. Jeff raised the tempo  and we were all singing along with “Wagon Wheel”.

Christina was also back in the 60s with some Pete Seeger and Dylan classics. What happened to the last 50 years? A life?  Refreshing as always to hear someone who’s not a bloke.

The aforementioned ex teacher sang what has been described as “a moribund song”. Few would disagree. Then he done the “Dunn” song.

Brian then made “Billy Austin” sound like a comedy classic with Child Ballad no. 1642 about an arranged marriage. The 16 year old groom sires a child then rapidly pops his clogs. If he sings this one again you now know what happens and you can nip outside for a fag till it’s finished.

There was Scots stuff from Jim in the form of “Miss Rowan Davies” followed by a lively Scott Skinner tune which was apparently written for Mr Skinner’s dentist; undoubtedly a worthy gentleman and consummate professional who worked long hours in difficult conditions for little reward.

Straight from the mud of the Eisteddfod, where she’d won first prize (albeit in a class of one) was Maggie with her poem. We don’t get female performers for years on end then they’re there in droves.

That took us nicely to the break. Some varied stuff in the raffle tonight – Christian took home the “Agony or ecstasy” prize of a pack of Anadin plus a pack what the French call “Preservatifs”. It will be interesting to find out how things went. In addition to the usual stuff to put down your neck, there was also a book about pancakes – I’m no pancake expert but I know a tosser when I see one. Are the old gags the best?

There was more verse from Geoff Skellon and then Andy Gallagher had some Johnny Cash followed by the song about the bloke who stole a car one bit at a time. Andy will need to go to the hole in the wall this morning to get cash for my reward when I return his guitar to him in the home, after he managed to leave it at the club.

Geoff Durno’s set was worth the wait with another Seekers song and this week’s choice which you can hear below.

Only time for singles  as we went round again. Good News!! I won’t be there next week.


Friday August 2nd 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on August 3, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

This evening, EmCee had a vast amount of talent to call upon, as well as me. He’s been dropped from his bowling team, so we should have heard the last of that, but it will give him more time to practise on his Dobro.

Brian had moved on from last week’s whaling adventures and was back to regular “old stuff”. Still looks like he needs to eat more pies, but more of that later.

Alun was preparing for next week’s quiz (get to the Piccadilly for 7.00) by playing “Spot the River”. First was the Shenandoah River in “Country Roads” and the second was the Missouri in the song “Shenandoah”.

A rare treat for us is the appearance of a performer of the female persuasion, so it was a joy to hear Christina, who knocked out “High Germany” and a ditty from the Chester area, “The Jolly Miller”. Hopefully, she’ll be back with more next week.

Mel had brought yet another guitar with him tonight. This one didn’t show the fingermarks. Maybe he only has a couple and keeps painting ’em different colours? He was back in ladies underwear, peddling some new Folk Club merchandise – a customised “Folk Thong”. Suits you, Sir! “Last Train and Ride” was the first of the night’s selection from Ralph McTell’s first album, the classic “Spiral Staircase” – should be in everyone’s collection. OK, perhaps not Adrian’s.

Jeffrey sang “One Too Many Mornings”. Brilliantly. This was  my request song – next week ‘s request pulled out of the bag by EmCee is for Mike to sing “Last Trip Home”, assuming he’s back.

Robshaw played whistle (in our heads) with Jeff for for “Get your hands off her”. For those of you who remember the real Ted, here is a photo of him singing that same song. The ladies shoes? Don’t ask.

Geoff Skellon recited some poignant Rupert Brook,before delving into deepest Lancashire  for(most of)”I’m always glad to see a man like thee”.

The first half was brought to a close with some traditional Scottish Country and Western from Andy Gallagher.

Ruth had been multi-tasking tonight, as only a woman can, working the door and taking the photos. I remember a patient explaining why women are so good at multi-tasking – they are unable to prioritise. More letters coming my way.

Now Boris is in charge, anyone earning over £150K a year will of course be admitted to the club (and everywhere else) free. I’d paid tonight’s admission with some of the newly minted 50p coins, made to commemorate the appointment of our new PM.

I opened part 2. Tonight’s second offering from “Spiral Staircase” was “Factory Girl” – a shame to spoil such a lovely song. I then had them weeping in the aisles with the original version of the Everly Brothers’ “Ebony Eyes”, the classic “Hollands Meat pies”. Other meat pies are available, but frankly, why would you bother? Get some down your neck, Brian.

Time for just one each before the finale of “Wild Mountain Thyme” – we haven’t done that for ages.

Adrian had been a sartorial disaster once again. His song “The Nutting Girl” disappointed when we discovered it was not about a girl who went round headbutting people.

For those of you going to Caerwys, be there about 7.00, it’s going to be a great night.

Meanwhile, have a listen to Jeff, at his best. Then play it again.





Friday July 26th 2019.

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on July 27, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

As you know, everything you read in this column is solid fact – no fake news here. Stuart and Edna were away ( with The Pritchards and Roly?) at a Motown do, presumably at Halewood (the Bridgend one was cancelled). Couldn’t make it up if I’d tried.

AWR did his intro in Esperanto; talking to 10%of the audience means you’re losing 90%?The point seemed lost on some.

He put me on first. I’d been for a haircut this week; there was a military man having a cut at the same time. I got through my set without too many cock-ups for a change. Robshaw took my photo but I haven’t put it on here; you can see this and his other attempts on our Facebook page.

Brian was back!


It was good to see him again. “Was it good to hear him again?”, I hear you ask. My brief says I don’t have to answer that question. He was heavily into whaling tonight, but thankfully we were spared the full audio-visual experience.

Adrian was cutting a dash in his brilliant white outfit. Or he would have been if Liz hadn’t put her new, bright purple thong (85p, Aldi special) in the wash with it last week. More of a muddy mauve now (and shirt needed an iron). We had the usual Morris tune on the gob organ – Adrian explained that although women were now allowed to join Morris teams, the decision had to always be approved by the men in the team first. How do you spell “misogyny”?

Alun enlisted the “help” of Jeffrey for “Clare to Here”. Excellent chorus song, followed by the equally excellent tune “Miss Rowan Davies” and the mass hanging song – not entirely cheerful but another good chorus.

With Brian tonight obsessed by exterminating the whale, Mike took over the vacant poaching and press gang slots. More good chorus songs.

Jeffrey then returned for his own slot. His body was knackered after shovelling sand and cement all day. I’d spotted him with his phone, during my spot, perusing e Bay for low mileage mobility scooters. Stuff about the quiz appears at the end.

T Gwyn had some Banjo Paterson for us – one of Australia’s greatest contributions to the civilised world (along with ball-tampering and “sledging” in the cricket). John Cooper Clark’s gritty “Beasley Street” took us to a late break.

The second half was round again in ones. My contribution was the first request spot. “Maggie” was apparently requested by Edna. As she was elsewhere getting on down to the Motown sounds, she missed it. Next week Jeff will sing “One too many mornings” (my selection) . I will write all the requests down on single slips and we will pick out one each week at random to performed the following Friday. You can add further requests at any time. Similarly, the Suggestion box will be available each week.

THE QUIZ. Tuesday 6th August 7.30pm at the Piccadilly, Caerwys (where the treasure hunt ended last year). YOU NEED TO TELL JEFF YOUR FOOD CHOICES BY NEXT FRIDAY. If you didn’t get a menu last night there will be more available next week or here is the link to their page. A main course is usually pretty filling. There will be a “Jeff style” quiz (ie  a high IQ is probably a disadvantage) and we will be playing music after. If you can’t get to the club e mail me at . Please bring your friends, there’s plenty of room. Here’s a reminder of last year’s event.

And for Edna here’s “Maggie”

Friday June 14th 2019

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on June 15, 2019 by Rhyl Folk Club

As a special treat this week , the blog is being written by me, Robshaw. I believe an honest appraisal will come as a breath of fresh air when compared to the drivel turned out each week by that toadying sycophant, the ex dentist.

The supposedly regular but seldom present EmCee turned out this week and promised some great music. He didn’t mention anything about the dross we had to wade through before the good stuff came.

The first turn was a fat lad called Alun double barrel Jones. I remember someone with a similar name from years back, but he was a thin lad with dark hair and played a proper accordion, not the glorified Stylophone (batteries not included) that this bloke had.

His set quickly passed and he was followed by a Mr. Adrian West. Ex teacher. Having experience in this field, I can tell you that teaching is one up from a paper round. A 5 hour day and 3 months paid holiday. As Mark Knopfler once said, “Money for nothing and your chicks for free” (generally frowned upon if you taught at a primary school). Also, apparently, a Morris dancer. Speaks volumes.

Me being dead for getting on for ten years, I no longer have to worry about John Shepherd fixing my teeth, although to be fair he wasn’t the butcher everyone else said he was. What could only be described as an error strewn set. He’s had that guitar for 29 years this month, you think he’d have had time to get some lessons. Mike Hawkins wisely missed John’s set by nipping out to the bog.

Mike Hawkins. Couldn’t be arsed to play an instrument, although to be fair his singing wasn’t bad. His first song came with the chorus in Portuguese and French. A bit pretentious and doomed to failure with the numpties in the audience. Nelson would be turning in his barrel of brandy. At least we drowned him out in the chorus of “N W Passage”.

We were fortunate tonight that the bloke who plays the dreadful concertina was away again, presumably still got the shits. The next “highlight” of the night was a Jeff Blythin, who, in contrast, had verbal diarrhoea (I always have to Google that word for the spelling). Most of his allotted time was taken up recalling his mis- spent youth. It was so long ago, I’m surprised he can remember it.

A few weeks ago, a fiddle player called Jim turned up. The half wit of an EmCee got his name wrong; a bit of a slap in the face really. However Jim must be fairly thick skinned and is obviously at a loose end, living somewhere near Bala, and turned up again with his fiddle. Ever considered learning some songs, Jim?

We thought it would never come – the Beer Break. This week’s star prize in the raffle was a rubber chicken with a squeaky valve stuck up it’s  arse (or do they have a cloaca?), brought all the way from Kiev by the trainspotter.

It was Margaret’s birthday.

Her mate Edna had brought a cake in, but had to settle for one candle for each of her ten years. Edna demonstrated the knife skills endemic in all Scousers as she carved up the cake with a large blade she happened to have on her person, imagining it to be an Everton supporter.

All too soon the break was over.

T Gwyn did some tuneless songs, often described as poems. One was mildly amusing.

Thankfully, there was only time for just one each in the second half, plus two from Andy Gallagher, who had turned up very late to be certain of missing John Shepherd.

Andy spent his formative years in the Strathclyde area, but despite having spent much of his later life in civilisation, he still appears to have only a tenuous grasp on the English language. Sub-titles would have helped. At least he put Jeff’s guitar in tune. One of Andy’s offerings was a Scots poem; without the subtlety of Betjeman, it was pure filth and innuendo.

Probably the highlight of the second half (indeed the night) was when the woman with the camera “played” the rubber chicken, almost as out of time as the ex dentist’s song she was accompanying.

Still waiting for the good stuff to arrive, it was time to bog off home. Despite all the crap, I somehow managed to have a good night; I had a couple of wet patches on my fur – one on my leg from laughing and a damp cheek after the fat lad with the Stylophone played “Mrs Robshaw’s Fancy”, a tune he’d written for my mum. That’s all from me, “Robshaw”. My podgy furry fingers find it difficult to use a keyboard, so it will be back to the usual flunky next week.





Review of 2018

Posted in Club Night - What happened? on December 28, 2018 by Rhyl Folk Club

No club this week so no blog, but AWR has put together some of the highlights (and a few lowlights) of 2018. WELL worth watching.