FaBclub review
22nd February2009
written by
Sue Tuckey

Trevor and I arrived early to find the room already buzzing with activity. Clive and Jean's table is full of cards and presents, and the team is busy assembling the buffet and putting up banners.It is also the other Clive's birthday, and he and Linda are here too. Barbara is today's MC. The last time she did it was at the Orsett Cock.

She welcomes everyone and gives birthday greetings to both Clives. We start with a joke worthy of Clive himself before Ron takes the floor. He sings a Bobby Baer Song, "If you love Somebody Enough", a country style song. Not heard it before, Ron has such a wealth of material. He follows up with another country number about a prison execution.. How can such subject matter be so cheerful?

Margaret is next with her yellow yuke today. First song is "A Billy of Tea". "This Train" is the next song. Margaret is not put off by Trevor's "train noises."

Dennis is next. He has a song we haven't heard here yet, "The Other Side of Morning." Lovely words, great tune, performed with true emotion. His second song is Buddy Holly's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" in Dennis's style, of course! This has the Fab Choir singing loud.

Ken is next and calls Bill Pardon up they give us a comedy sketch, scripted by Ken about patrolling the streets, looking for hoodies, barking like dogs, and knitting. Ken follows with a song, "Fools Rush In", beautifully sung without accompaniment. Claudine makes him an offer and immediately retracts it.

Maureen and Bernie next with some tunes. The first is Walter Bulwer. "The Big Ship" is next, invoking memories of playground games. They finish with "Speed The Plough."

Liz, our resident poet has a new piece which she calls "February Garden". It is well written and looks forward to the coming of Spring. Trevor requests "Geological Soup."

Len is up next, wishing both Clives a happy birthday, "You wait all day for a Clive, then two come along at once" quips Trevor. Len's first offering is a Beatle song, "I'll follow the Sun", which has the choir singing loudly. Len wouldn't be Len without a Neil Young song, today's is "Heart of Gold" complete with harmonica solo!

T D L end the first half with "Salt of The Earth." We set out to write a folk opera but have only managed the cast list so far. An energetic song, "Halfway Down the Stairs" follows, the words are by A A Milne and the tune by Jagger/Richard, and it has Len almost busting a blood vessel! Fortunately, the break is next, and the buffet is beginning to be devoured.

Barbara gets her nuts out again to call us to order. Jo Migdal gives us his version of John Martin's "May You Never", performed ith great sensitivity. He picks up a second twelve string for his second number, a slide piece about Southend seagulls, entitled "The Stuffed Seagull Blues". I thought that only Leopards did surrealism! This had words specially written for today. The song ended to cheers and great applause. Jo was then joined by Bill. With Jo dressed as a Dalek, and Bill a Cyberman, they sang "Happy Birthday" to Clive, followed by loud bangs from the party poppers! Bill stayed on the stage to sing "Jack Forbes, Rolling Down The River" with hearty chorus singing. As it is Clive's bus pass birthday, he just had to sing "The Wrinklies."

John and Margaret are up next, their first song is a love song from near Scunthorpe , "Brigg Fair". Margaret plays a very small hammered dulcimer in this song, complimenting John's guitar beautifully. They have been researching Margaret's family history and found a brothel keeper amongst them. A hilarious song is the result. "Two Shillings Inside, and One shilling Out."

Barbara introduces "The Man In A Hat". His first song is "The Sun Shines Over Romford", The second number is one of Clive's favourites, and everyone's it seems. "Breathe".

Claudine is back from America and has some covers rather than her own songs today. First she sings "Santiago", the French version of the well-known shanty. The Fab choir sing the choruses. I think her confidence has improved greatly for her USA experience. Her second song is Pete Morton's "Another Train."

Mark Read hasn't been to the club for ages. It seems he had an email requesting his presence. Good guitar riffs embellish his first song. His second is "Sunset Vision". New to me, but it seems it is one of Claud's favourites.

Barbara announces break two for cutting the birthday cake. Anyone got a fire extinguisher? The raffle is drawn before the singing starts. Linda is first up, giving us "Pleasant and Delightful" in memory of Valentine's Day. Its rousing chorus getting us off to a great start..She then sang a song that we heard on Friday, a West Country version of "Bitter Withy". Margaret calls for another "happy birthday" to the other half of Ploughman's Lunch before Clive sings his first song, a Bob Copper poem, set to a tune, "The Old Songs." His second song is a Keith Marsden one, about going on a pub crawl, and forgetting a pub or two at each verse, the protagonists have to restart the crawl. Must have been four pubs in each street at least.

Last act of the day is Alan Neville. His first song is by Anne Carpenter, "The Day That The Pier burned Down" not about Southend, but Weston- Super-Mare. Nice guitar work, Alan! He noticed that we'd given Clive a Beano Annual for his present which inspires him to sing his comic book song, "The Beano, The Beezer and The Dandy.", bringing the afternoon to a close. Clive thanks everyone and then the clearing up starts.
Let's do it all again next week shall we?