FaBclub review
1st March 2009
written by
Clive Meggs

It is quite a mild day in Grays and the crowd are slowly gathering at the White Hart for what is sure to be a brilliant afternoon. There are some new faces amongst the regulars and Bill has been elected as the compere for the day, so we wait in eager anticipation.

Bill starts the afternoon off with a traditional number I believe is called Go Down You Blood Red Roses. This is followed by his familiar tale involving Icarus Schmicakerus with a couple of newly written verses. A good start to the afternoon.

Bernard and Maureen are next with a couple of Scandinavian tunes and not a cross word - yet! The dumb waiter is heard being pulled and sounds quite spooky. The next tunes are quite lively and the audience are encouraged to join in with percussion.

Our FaBclub virgins are next. Maggie and Mark, part of a group called Sandragon. They start with a traditional song called If I Were a Blackbird. Maggie has a beautiful folky voice and is accompanied by Mark on guitar. This is followed by another traditional folk song which is unusual in that it is happy and no-one dies. It is familiar to most of the audience and is called A Rosebud in June.

Ken is introduced next, and as usual we have no idea what to expect. He comes on finishing his food and starts with a poem appropriately about dental hygiene called dirty teeth. This is followed by the tale of the Dungeness Cat, and another audience participation poem that doesn't go quite to plan. The men in the audience are asked to go to the front with their beer and refuse to. The fearsome Sue takes up the mantle and sings a duet with Ken called The Whiffenpoof Song by Moss Hart. Intriguing!

Len is next and asks why he always appears to follow Ken. This is obvious he is told - because their names rhymes. Len drops Neil Young for this week and sings two Tim Harding songs - Reason to Believe and If I Were A Carpenter. Nice one Len!

Maureen then comes to the front and gives us one of her stories, this one about bums, wooden legs and toffee apples. The audience are appreciative of the humour.

TDL are on next and for their first number are joined by Bill and Ken. Trevor reminds us that it is St Davids Day and has selected two songs with that in mind. The first, a self-penned version of Love potion Number 9 called Love potion Number 2 involves sheep and the second, with a Leek connection, is called Rebel, only the leak has an entirely different meaning. Very funny, Trevor!

We take a break for 10 - 15 minutes for comfort and re-filling our glasses

Joe Migdal starts us off for the second session with a lovely song he has sung before called Natures Wonderland. He follows this with a traditional song Black Jack Davey. which he describes as being basically about picking up a bit of rough. Very well sung Jo!

Our resident poet, Liz, is next and recites one of her self-penned poems Oh My Haven't They Changed. I haven't heard this for a while. It always reminds me of reunions I have attended in the past. 'Shoes' is next, and is delivered with dramatic aplomb by Liz.

It is Ben's turn next and he starts with a ragtime number called Don't Get Up by Ron Truman Border. He follows this with a tune, because he can't think of any songs (I can't believe this having heard his repertoire), called She Slips Away by his hero Martin Simpson. Ben holds the audience in complete silence with this moving tune.

Maggie and Mark are asked on next to give us a couple of extra songs. The first, a traditional Scottish song called The Hills of Glenshee is again beautifully sung by Maggie and well accompanied on guitar by Mark. They continue with a French tune called Le Garcon de Montagne. Mark plays the hurdy gurdy for this and is accompanied on the bellows organ by Maggie. Together they produce a fantastic sound made all the more richer by Maggie's vocals during the tune.

Ken is on next and gives us a song this time with Morningtown Ride. He really does have a good voice and should sing more. His second song is Danny Boy which he makes an excellent job of. Well Done Ken!

Bernard and Maureen are next and give us some tunes. The first couple are called Uncle Bernard and Grandfathers. Maureen loses it a little and we all anticipate a domestic, but it does not materialise. They continue with another set of tunes, title unknown to me and the tapping of feet is unavoidable. Well done!

Len makes a return to the front with a Stevie Winwood song from 1969 called I Can't Find My Way Home, a new one to me. This is followed by Norwegian Wood, an early Beatles song. As soon as you hear the first chord you know what it is. Excellent Len!

After a second short break Joe gives us his version of Girl of Dances. He makes an excellent effort and retires from the stage in acute pain from an injury to his neck. A valiant performance Joe!

Father and son are on next in the form of Trevor and Ben. They do a Bob Dylan song called A Simple Twist of Fate and make an excellent job of it.

Following parish notices our no longer fabclub virgins are asked to return to finish the afternoon off. Maggie and Mark start with another traditional song, The Bushes and The Briars. The hurdy gurdy is tuned again for a French tune entitled La Petite Net followed by a Dutch tune Franz Morgans Gern meaning French morning star in our language. I have heard their last song, Dance to Your Daddy, a traditional song from the northeast, performed by various artists. Their version certainly holds its own with those I have heard. Maggie and Mark are appearing with Sandragon at Orpington Folk Club on Friday 6th March, so if you wish to hear them make it a date.

We are back on 15th March in the pub with Roy Mette.