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January 2018


I hadn’t planned an early or energetic start to Sunday 3rd December as I was just about to start a week’s holiday and there were trips to Glastonbury and South Shields ahead of me but then a text from Mr Bentham changed all that.

As you will read further on in the newsletter our guests for the night Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman were forced to cancel their appearance at Tigerfolk due to illness and we had to let our potential audience know of the change. Thankfully due to modern technology this is a relatively easy and inexpensive task unlike the days when telephoning everyone was the method. It might be suggested that you don’t forewarn people and let them find out when they arrive but that is totally unfair especially as they will have made the special effort on a cold winter’s night to see their chosen guest! I have also seen people arriving at a club and upon receiving the information that the proposed guest would not be appearing turning round and going home rather than accept what the club is providing as an alternative.

It did mean that we ended the year in a slightly low key fashion but at the same time it should be pointed out that over the twenty six years that we have been operating this is a very rare occurrence. Over the years I can only think of a couple of occasions that this has happened and the main one being the birthday night when we should have had Martin Carthy but illness prevented his appearance; however we were told in good time and we managed to present Chris Wood as his replacement (Martin fulfilled his booking the following year). This episode was not without its bizarre side as the day we found out I was due to take our youngest one to University Hospital to undergo some pretty heavy duty dental work and we had to be there for 10:30am. Whether it was due to my exuberance following the match the previous night (on a Thursday for television!!!) where after being 0 – 2 down at half time to run out 4 – 2 winners; or diligently trying to tidy the car for the morning journey I had left an interior light on and thus flattened the battery. That entailed having to borrow my daughter’s car to get through the, then, tramworks blighting Nottingham’s roads to meet the appointment time. I was only armed with my works mobile (ancient even then) for emergency use but it was the one outlet that I had to take part in the negotiations that ensued in order to obtain a suitable replacement for Martin Carthy (and Chris Wood turned in an excellent night). With about 2% of the battery life left I returned to my fatherly duties only to find from my wife that he hadn’t even been seen to by then and the latest projection was 14:30 at least. Eventually around eleven o’clock at night we were able to return home in the borrowed car to set about getting mine roadworthy again as there were more trips to local dentists for follow up inspections to undertake the following day (and to purchase some decent jump leads).

I have to go right back to December 2004 for the only other occasion and that was when Pete Coe was stricken with influenza which was at epidemic proportions at that time. When Pete did fulfil his booking the next year it was an exceptional night form him.   

Correct me if I am wrong but these are the only two other occasions that I can think of when we have been unable to present the designated guest on the night at Tigerfolk.

As John states further on we are currently working on getting Anni and Dave to appear at Tigerfolk as soon as possible and be assured that once that this date is confirmed then you will be the first to know.


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Sunday 3rd December 2017


I was very tempted to read emails from across the room with a pair of binoculars just in case germs would come flooding over the ether.  The sound was turned up on my speakers to try and hear what people might be saying but all that came over were coughs, croaks and splutters.  

Yes folks, it’s that time of year when the dreaded lurgy invades and infects and sadly, it took its toll on our long looked forward to guests, Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman.  We all hope you are fully recovered and back in good singing voice and fear not, a re-booking will be organized.  So what’s to do? We’ll have a good old sing that’s what.  As is the way of these things we naturally expected that we wouldn’t have as big an audience so it is many thanks to all who came along.  The fire was burning brightly in the grate so we gathered around for a convivial evening.  Now it is not unusual for us to have the odd or out of the ordinary contribution to our evenings but, well it was that sort of night, and…………………

Well, things got off to a normal start with Lancashire, Cumbria, Sussex and Wales all being brought into song but then we went slightly out off piste with Barclay James Harvest and then The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.  Lavenders of a blue hue and good old mistletoe, that of the bough, followed by a wassail brought us closer to our roots.  A few reminiscences were bandied about and the unsavoury behaviour of a dog in Gundagai got us wandering again, a bit like the fiddler who had too much to drink but still managed to pacify his protagonist with a carol and they both lived happily ever after. Tunes came as a pleasant change and we were definitely back in the groove with a grand Sussex Christmas Song but then we were veering off to the Czech Republic with Half Man Half Biscuit (If you are interested, and who wouldn’t be, the Dukla Prague away kit is still available over the internet). Poems, Gilbert and Sullivan, tunes, vampires, shipwrecks, shepherds, a war horse, a dubious defence for a vicar, ale, murder, songs at twilight and quite a few more contributions were enjoyed before a fine finale of seasonal songs rounded off a thoroughly entertaining evening. 

Thanks to all who came along especially to Corinne, Lyn, Sheila, Bill, Dave, John Mordue, Martin, Paul, Martin, Sam and Steve for keeping our feet tapping, our faces smiling and our voices singing.

John Bentham


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Bendle’s Bit

By the time you read this, that’s if you do, I will have successfully dug up the leeks, cut the cabbage and picked the brussels that as I tip-tap away here at the PC are frozen in the ground.  Hopefully you will have all had a splendid festive season and are looking forward to what we at Tigerfolk and other clubs will be offering you in the coming year. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the past year for it means that we look forward with confidence ………………...hold on this is beginning sound like newspeak and all that dross, baloney, bull whatsit, fake news or whatever.  In essence it’s upwards and onwards into 2018.

In this edition of TATTERS you will find details of our programme for the coming year which we hope you will fine to your liking.  As you peruse it you will see familiar names some local and others from further afield but all well respected for what they bring to the songs and music we love to hear at Tigerfolk.  I just want to say one or two things about some of our guests as more information will be available on our website;  

Usually you will see Moira Craig with Carolyn Robson but her partner, Malcolm Austen, is always there in the background encouraging and giving quiet support.  We felt it was time that Malcolm, who is a very good singer in his own right, should be given an equal booking with Moira.  This will be a charity night but we will reveal all a little closer to the time. A couple of singer songwriters who have eased their way into the traditional side of folk music, Tom Lewis with songs maritime and Dave Goulder steaming down the line, both evoking nostalgia for past industries are eagerly anticipated.  Dave, a man of these parts is joined by others of the same, Sarah Mathews, Doug Eunson and Brian Peters. Local singers and regular faces Karen Harris, Bill Wilkes and Ed Butler will be with us as well as the ever popular Martyn Wyndham-Read.  A great group of singers and musicians who would be a fine line-up for a festival but as we are not greedy, we will bring you that smorgasbord of talent in monthly instalments.

On behalf of everyone involved in running Tigerfolk we wish you all a grand New Year, keep singing, dancing, playing, telling, visiting folk clubs and we look forward to seeing you at Tigerfolk during 2018 and beyond.

John Bentham


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2018 Programme

January 7th   New Year Sing   /    February 4th   Brian Peters   /   March 4th Awaiting Confirmation    /   April 8th   Tom Lewis   /  

 May 6th   May Sing   /   June 3rd  Sarah Mathews & Doug Eunson    /    July 1st Moira Craig & Malcolm Austen   /   August   Closed  

/     September 2nd  Welcome Back Sing   /October 7th   50 Shades of Grey & Embrace   /    November 4th  Dave Goulder    /    

December 2nd Martyn Wyndham-Read                                



And finally……………………….Happy New Year






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