FaBclub review
28th September2008
written by
Clive Meggs

The room is filling slowly and guitars are being tuned, it promises to be a good afternoon's entertainment at the FaBclub. Glasses are filled with various liquids and we are ready to go.

Before we begin I am introduced to a wonderful black and red wooden figure attached to a stick that is instantly recognisable, dare I say it, as a gollywog. I am informed by its owner, JoJo, that it has been given the name Wally Gee, and was made for her by one of our regulars, Bernard. The model has not yet had any dancing lessons so will not be performing today, but we look forward to seeing it at the FaBclub in the near future.

Our compere for the first half this afternoon is Jo Jo, who starts by introducing the first guest, John Stafford. He is caught slightly unawares, anticipating JoJo to sing something first but JoJo is never conventional. John starts by picking a pick and singing an old favourite - Swing Low Sweet Chariot, one of his favourite chorarse songs. He follows with a slower number - Bring it on Home to Me - during which there are requests for favourite verses (just to help out his memory). John is a master at improvisation and got the proceedings off to a fabulous start.

Bill Pardon is up next with a polital correctness song called Equality Diversity Enhanced. Very cleverly written and full of the usual Bill humour. He follows with a second song entitled Maypole Dancer, where I detected that the person referred to in the song at some point ended up outside a pole dancing club in Soho. It conjoured up quite a picture.

JoJo follows with a very short song, an Irish Blessing, in fact one of the shortest songs I have heard. Nevertheless it was beautifully sung and the audience were transfixed.

Ben is introduced as a person under 20 with fantastic talent and he proves this by singing a song called Cape written by Guy Clarke from Texas. A bouncy plucky number that I haven't heard before at the FaBclub. Ben certainly is building up a huge repertoire. He follows with a folky number played in his own unique style called the Hills of Granmore. Ben has reached the sem-finals of Young Folk Artiste of the Year, and is easy to see why.

Be afraid, very afraid. The female leopard has recovered from last week and is back in full fettle, although not attired in leopard gear. They begin with a calypso song called The Foggy Dew. Wrong climate I fear! The rattles and whistles are then handed around for a joiny in song called I'm Not As Homosexual As I Used To Be. Quite an energetic song, The Leopards are puffing and blowing at its finish.

Next is Alan Neville who starts with an advert for a couple of events he is appearing in over the next couple of weeks. A Bob Dylan Evening at The Plough, Wood Street Walthamstow starting at 7.30pm on Saturday 4th October and a charity event starting at about 4.00pm on Saturday 18th October at The Old Rose and Crown , Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E.17. Please try to support him if you are able. He starts with a song he says he has never performed before at the FaBclub, I certainly have never heard it. Self penned, he calls it I'm going to Stopathome. Alan seems surprised to hear that most of the audience have been to this place before. A jolly chorus song. He then sings a song, unaccomplished, as he puts it, without instruments. He sheepishly sings a song called Sheeps that Baa's in the Night. Full of sheep related jokes - Baa Humbug!!!

We have an interval when glasses are re-charged and bladder emptied and the second session is started by our second compere Sue Leopard. As a special treat, Sue sings us a song entitled Willy's Wild Woodbines. Unaccompanied, she makes a great job of it, and most people are impressed.

John Stafford takes the floor again with a singalong song - Them Old Cottonfields Back Home, including a change of tempo towards the end. He follows with House of the Rising Sun. John talks himself into getting this one wrong and succeeds. Nevertheless, he puts such a lot of feeling into both playing and singing that his mistakes are hardly noticed by the audience, who are all joining in with the words.

Bill Pardon sings us a couple of songs with a backing track using the pub hi-fi in the corner. A very sad tale about a child in the Far East entitled Cyclone Child. Quite a thought provoking song. The second number, called Take Me Home, with chickens. Is this Karaoke? Not as we know it.

After Bill we welcome back Ben, our other flowerpot man. He sings Nobody's Business But Mine. A lot of finger-picking on the guitar, excellently executed by Ben.Our young talent then follows with a very different version of the traditional song Down Where the Drunkards Roll. I love this arrangement.

The raffle is drawn and I am not complaining for a change. We win the bottle of wine.

Tone Deaf Leopard are up next and sing one of the Child Ballads. A very slow quiet number with Sue accompanying Trevor on the bongos. A lovely tale brilliantly told. The tempo quickens for their second number with an old favourite The Wild Clover, a humorous tale of laboratory rabbits.

Our last performer of the afternoon is the excellent Alan Neville. He starts with a serious ballad entitled Treasure of Pure Gold. A moving story I have not heard him sing before. He follows with another serious ballad called Footsteps Fall by Boo Hewerdine. Both songs were enjoyed by all. It is a pleasant change for Alan to sing serious songs.

The afternoon is brought to a close with all performers joining in a jamming session singing the song Pay Me My Money Down ( or something like that ), led by Tone Deaf Leopard. We leave, and as we make our way to the car park several people, myself included, are heard humming the infectious chorus. Another great session at the FaBclub ends.