FaBclub review
15th February2009
written by
Clive Meggs




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 nursery rhymes.

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 their reaction.

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 Tuesday, Joe.

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.