FaBclub review
18th January 2009
written by
Clive Meggs

It is a bright sunny day outside but a bit on the nippy side, but it is winter after all. We start our first Club in the Pub session of the year in style with our guest artist Anthony John Clarke. The room is buzzing with anticipation.

Our compere for the afternoon, Margaret, opens the proceedings with a lively rendition of Fanlight Fanny. She follows this with Blackpool Belle. Two great chorus songs.

Bill Pardon is next on the stage and takes advantage of the PA system. He introduces his first song as being soppy and romantic, about a ladies' long dark hair called I think Nothing More Precious than You. Bill does extremely well competing with the cheers from the football crowd in the other bar. His next song is quite new entitled Cakehole Presley Is My Friend, a tale of facebook on the internet, very cleverly written.

Margaret searches for our next guest and finds him in another room eating his sandwich. Ever the unpredictable Ken eventually wins after a battle with the microphones and gives us a poem followed by a song called In the Wonderful World of the Young. It is very short so he sings us another one A Portrait Of My Love, again very short. He then returns to his lunch.

Norman is next with a couple of George Formby numbers. The first he introduces as one of his favourites, TT races. This is followed by Andy the Handyman a tale of innuendo and naughtiness.

Maureen and Keith are on next on a visit from Spain. In fact it is Maureen by herself at this time, Keith is only acting as her 'roadie'. She sings a joining in song, self penned, about a Satnav that keeps going wrong. Very funny, and like all Maureen's songs cleverly written. She follows this with an old favourite He's All Mouth And Trousers. I am not sure if this is one of Maureen's. It may be a Chas and Dave song, it has that ring about it. On second thoughts I don't think Chas and Dave's mentioned Hard Drive in any of their songs. Very enjoyable Maureen.

Margaret starts her tale about getting lost on the way home (I have heard this before), so I take the opportunity to go out for a comfort break. The story is just reaching its conclusion as I return. Margaret introduces our guest. Anthony John Clarke starts in very entertaining style and insists the audience join in from the word go. His first song is a new one on me but there are several lines in it that I recognise from his other songs. Very cleverly written and performed. He follows this with a song he wrote in 1964 - I Know Now Love's a Long Long Way To Go, a very serious song for him, but he tells a humorous tale about his schooldays in the middle of it. The next is a song called Keep Smiling played especially for Margaret, or Lady Formby as Anthony knows her, and written to celebrates his wife's conversion to Catholicism. He follows with another serious song - I Fell Back in Love With You, a lovely melody and very touching words. He finishes with a song called Millionaire Pie dedicated to Ken, who is still eating in the corridor. A great set, looking forward to more of the same in the second half.

We have a break where raffle tickets are sold by Helen and Linda in the main bar, and the rest of us refresh our glasses and make ourselves more comfortable.

The second half resumes with the man with the exclusive guitar, Ron. He starts with a well known song, I'm Gonna Keep on LovingYou. We are informed by Margaret that Ron won the Over 60's musician of the year in 2007. He deserved to. His second song, Kept On Moving On, another well known tune. The audience join in with the chorus.

Joe Migdal makes his way onto the stage. He is having a lot of problems with aches and pains at the moment and it is a bit of a struggle for him, but he perseveres admirably. He starts with a song called Boxing Day Blues, about Santa Clause who gets a job after Christmas working at the Dome. I believe Joe wrote this song, very untraditional for once, Joe. This is followed by a more traditional song, Pittenwing Joe written by a Scotsman, John Watt.

Len is on next with the wrong glasses. This is rectified and he sings The First Cut is The Deepest in true Neil Young style. He follows with an old favourite You Don't Know What It's Like. I don't know who performed the original but Len certainly does it justice.

Keith is on next and declines to go on the stage for reason he explains about a recent performance in his local club where everything went flying. He masters an audience participation song originally performed in the 60's by The Scaffold. It is called Today's Monday, and each section of the audience is given a day to sing, a bit of a folk club X Factor. Roast beef wins my vote.

Young Ben is on next and gives his version of the traditional song, Down Where The Drunkards Roll. Time is running out so we only have one song from Ben, more the pity. Maybe we can get him to do a complete session someday. He really is a talent. Ben is appearing at the Orpington Folk Club on Friday 23rd January, so please try to get along to see him.

TDL are next with a true folk song about a quest for something, a parody written by Trevor about the Kentish folk. Tivot and tavot and having a laugh come into it somewhere. Nice to see the dynamic duo back in fine fettle.

Antony John Clarke returns to the stage and sings one of my favourite songs, which I requested but I do not know the name of. He took it and he took it appear in the chorus of the song. His next song, As Good as it Gets is a ballad, once again cleverly written, about a relationship. A loud cheer is heard from the bar when one of the teams score. AJ has a great adlib at the ready. What a performer. He features the Clarkettes on his next number Spray a Little Perfume, written for someone with a foot odour problem. The next song is dedicated to Dave Harman of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky,Mick and Tich, who died this week. The names of the group were in the chorus, and guess what, it was our part. What a mess! But we tried and it was quite funny. The next one is about the plight of being Irish and is quite sad and serious. The audience sit transfixed. He finishes with a song inspired by the poem Christine Rosetti wrote called Remember. Another beautiful serious song slightly ruined for me by the noise of the football crowd in the other bar. A huge round of applause forces an encore from Anthony John. He sings this unplugged as there is a small problem with the sound system. The song he chooses is called I Wanna Know What Brings You Here Tonight - so great to finish the afternoon with a resounding chorus song.