It's a grey day outside at the FaBclub, Grays, but I am sure it is going to turn
into a greyt day. It is a bit warmer than of late, so maybe the weather is
turning the corner. Performers are arriving and our guest for the afternoon,
Bill Farrow is here already. We wait in eager anticipation.
Our host for the day is Dennis Homes. He starts with a jolly little number
called, I think, And If I Could Only Seize the Moment. Then after a stiff joke
he sings an 8 bar blues number for the benefit of our guest, Bill Farrow,
called The Loser's Blues. Great stuff Dennis!.
Lady Formby climbs the stage next and a search party is sent out to looks
for a music stand for her. She starts off with a new song called Ukelele
Lady, very brave of you Margaret. Her next song is also new to me and is
called Buffalo Girls. SToday I Started Lounds a little like one of Charlie's
Ron with the fabulous guitar is next and he starts with a country song
entitled Today I Started Loving You Again. He follows with a skiffle song but
does not know the title. I will call it, Oh Lord I've Sinned which was
prominent in the chorus. The rattles are taken out and given a good dusting
off. Nice one Ron!
Bloke in a Hat is next. His first song is an old favourite, The Sun Shines
Over Romford, followed by Easy Street. I haven't seen Trevor for a while
and he certainly hasn't lost his touch.
Ken the unpredictable is next, and he has persuaded some gullible
members of the audience to join him in a reading of Macbeth. Least said the
better. I thought this was a folk club. Ken has already devoured at least one
chocolate pudding straight from the tin. I am beginning to wonder what
substance he is on.
After telling us a hilarious joke about Gordon Brown Dennis introduces our
guest. Bill starts by saying he is one of those old fashioned musicians who
doesn't plug in his guitar. Adjustments are therefore made to the
microphones and we are away. He starts with a blues song which I think is
called WayDownThe Road. He follows with an instrumental and apologises
if the vocals were too loud. Margie is next, a song I remember from years
ago. I think my father used to sing it. Bill's songs are quite short and I am
finding it difficult to get the review into words. He is joined on stage by a
friend on the harmonica, and after an introduction launches into Odd Sock
Boogie Blues. The next song was also written by Bill as part of a play he
was appearing in and was recorded by Jackie Linton. It is called What am I
Doing Now and he says it reflects what he and Jackie were about. Another
self penned chorus song followed called You Can't Take It With You When
You Go. Believe Me Woman is next, and Ken is shaking his 67year old body
in the doorway, although he is wearing a birthday badge that is 2 years old.
Bill continues with a more recent song called Barefoot and Blue and goes
straight into another rock and roll number - Walk On. The next is an East
End gospel number called Number 23 Bus. I remember this one from years
ago, one of the best chorus songs I know, and I think the audience agree by
We take a break for light refreshments and a leak and look forward to
more of the same in the second half.
Tone Deaf Leopard start the second half with a protest song Who Started
the Iraq War. Trevor looks very angry and scary, he is obviously better. Sue
is hidden by the music stand. They follow with a Kentish farming song
about hand cranking - ooh matron!
Joe Migdal is next and he starts with a song called Romford Market, quite
topical as he is appearing at Romford Folk Club on Tuesday. Joe says he
has a touch of the lurgeey, but he sounds fine to me. His next song is about
getting old, something I associate with, called Startrail. Wish you better for
Our next act was Ben Little who started with Nobody's Business But Mine, a
sort of country ragtime number and followed with a bluesy number written
by Lydon Hopkins called Bring Me My Shotgun. Great guitar Ben! I spotted
the maestro Bill Farrow viewing him in admiration.
Bill Pardon is next singing a song about a nicotine stained pub ( I hope the
landlord is not listening). I wonder if he is writing the song from experience,
and whether the pub is fictional. Not the sort of place you would want to
visit. He then goes down to the river with a song called The Bonny Banks of
Tilbury. Hey Ho Chavvy!!!
Our guest makes a welcome return to the stage for his second set. He starts
with a little drinking song to get his fingers moving called Drink This Whole
Place Dry. This is followed by a romantic song called That's the Story of
Love. The audience really enjoy joining in the chorus. Bill then relates the
story of how his next song came about whilst in conversation with some
American Blues artists. It is called Canning Town Blues and is a humorous
song about his roots. A song from the 80's, and I have the E.P. This is
followed by Now and Then and Get No Blues from Me, both with
accompaniment on the mouth organ. He follows with his first mangle song,
Mangle, Mangle Blues. The next is a yodelling song called Milkman Blues
with a chorus of Milkyo, Milkyo Milkyo. Very enjoyable but as Bill says
"What is a grown man doing singing a song like that." - Great Fun!!! Then it
was Ain't No Use Me Loving You, another short but very good song. Back to
the mouth organ accompaniment next with a Lonnie Donnigan number,
Midnight Special. He finishes with one of Margaret's favourite songs,
Goodnight Irene, a great chorus song enjoyed by the audience but I am
sure there will be an encore. I was right, he finishes with another well
received chorus song Hally Loo.
What a great finish to a great afternoon.