FaBclub review
6th December 2008
written by
Liz Montgomery


A quiet Sunday today - but we are already beginning to exchange Christmas cards and talking about all the Christmas shows and parties that are going on during the next few weeks.

Clive picks up the baton of compere at very short notice - a BIG THANK YOU, Clive, especially as you are compering alongside Dennis next week at the big FaBclub Xmas party… here 2pm-6pm - don't forget to book your performers slot with Sue! We'll also have a big Christmas posting box so we can swap cards

"Santas Troubles" - written by Charlie - kicks off the seasonal fayre with MARGARET on ukulele which makes us all laugh and then a real ukulele toon - "Play me a ukulele tune". We have a bumper set today, with "Blackpool by the Sea"

BILL tells us about planning problems in Castle Point as the intro to "They're taking the Green Belt away". What telling words there are in Bills songs and poems always. "Rolling down the River", the Jack Forbes song, gets us all singing along. JoJo tells us that Jack Forbes lives in Southend.

After some saucy stories from Clive, JoJo takes the floor. She recites the Lennon lyrics - "Happy Christmas- War is Over" - actually much more compelling as a poem than as a pop song -its anti-war words still so very relevant. "The song of the Holly Fairy" is a lovely modern fairytale Christmas song

I do some other people's poems - a couple from U.A. Fanthorpes book of Christmas Poems - one about the Christmas visitation ("The Contributors") and one based on The Twelve Days of Christmas ("Dear True Love"), Then a beautiful set of verses given to me by an 8 year old in a local school called "Ice" - to which I have to write a response

KEN has been enjoying some fruit loaf in the corner at the back. He has lost his Pam Ayres book tho - so he has turned to a book from Liz Cowley called The Red Dress and Other Poems and reads us "Christmas" and "Ouch". Beautifully observed and funny writing. Then an Anthony Newley song "What kind of fool am I?" just in case we turn into a case of poets cornered….and "Stranger in Paradise". Apparently some complete stranger on the bus recently accused Ken of being 'that bloke who screeches down the pub' - but it was clearly a case of mistaken identity.

PHIL has been battling with his tuning in the cold weather, but is now ready to entertain us with his silken easy voice. "Ships that pass in the night" and some unaccompanied numbers - "Peggy Gordon" and from County Cavan "My Cavan Girl"

And to round up the second half Linda gives us a twirl through "Albertina"

Here we go again….Clive tells us the tale of a turtle mugged by a gang of snails (you really DON'T want to hear the punchline) and (separately) a blind parachutist…

A tribute to L.S. Lowry "Matchstick Men" - (as opposed to "Pictures of Matchstick Men" which I think was from Status Quo) opens the contributions from the artistes for this 2nd session, performed by MARGARET. "Sloop John B" gets us singing along. And then some book titles with a twist….and some more jokes.

We have a little technology moment next - BILL sings to some of his arrangements he happened to have with him. "Old Mother Moore"; "White Horse of Kilborne" - love the words to that one, especially the chorus - and Bills hippy moment about Leylines and the West Country - "Come browse with me, come dowse with me"

After a Mother In Law moment from Clive…the tone is brought to a better level. "Under the Waterfall" by Thomas Hardy has been set to music by JoJo - a lovely song. And some numbers on the harmonica - a seasonal theme - "Oh Come All ye faithful" then some tunes on a watery theme (Michael row the boat ashore, Shenandoah) and Campdown Ladies to round the sequence off..

I recite a few poems - "Christmas Morning at Coalhouse Fort" - then another U.A. Fanthorpe Christmas number - "Open House" - and as we have someone in the room who has not heard it before "Oh my- haven't they changed?"


PHIL returns to the front - "I can't help falling in love with you" from the King, then a song covered by Ronan Keating, among others, "The smile on your face". And a new "national anthem for Wales"… but its really about the spirit of place -lovely stuff.

Another lovely Liz Cowley poem from KEN - "What do you most like in bed?" which provides an interesting segue into "Ain't misbehavin.." ;-) And another lovely poem from Liz Cowley - "Lost"

After the grand raffle - PHIL plays us out "Singing the Blues" with the FaBclub choir in full cry.

What a fun afternoon - see you at the Christmas Party