FaBclub review
19th July 2009
written by
Clive Meggs

I know we are in for a treat today as we are being entertained by Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer. Some of our regulars have arrived and the soundchecks have provoked some interest from members in the bar. It is not surprising considering the variety of instruments tried out.

Margaret (Lady Formby) has volunteered to be our compere for today. She starts the afternoon with one of her stories about her travels, this time to Ireland. Whilst there she acquired a ticket to see The Dubliners, and fell in love with the next song, I Wish I Had Someone to Love Me, which they performed. I must say I have never heard this before. She follows this with a song written specially for her by Dennis Homes - I Feel Lucky . Great stuff Margaret.

Bill Pardon is next with a traditional song - The Green Fields of Flanders- sung beautifully. Such a lovely song, with a great chorus that most of the audience knew. He follows this (note I didn't mention follow through) with We Are The Wrinklies, a song that always gives us a smile, and is becoming more and more relevant to me.

Next on are a duo who don't get to this club very often so it is great to see them. John and Margaret, known together as Foxen, start with a song called Mississippi Queen. I have seen them numerous times at Havering Folk Club and am amazed at how infrequently they repeat songs. This is no exception, as I haven't heard this before. A lovely song sung by John with a great vocal accompaniment by Margaret. Friends Reunited Blues is next, written about an experience Margaret had using the notorious website. What a way to get your own back on an ex who has requited your friendship. Please come back more regularly Foxen.

Our Special guests Jonny and Vicki are next and start their first set with a toe-tapping set of tunes Rebel Stoke Wedding / Whist With A Twist. This is followed by a song called Sweet Lovely Joan which is designed to split the audience and has some degree of success. The chorus contains the words 'Never try to trick a Lady 'cause she will always get her way'. Vicki's actions are very provocative but it is a great song. They continue with two Swedish tunes which I am not going to attempt to spell. Jonny plays the accordian and Vicki plays a strange looking instrument called a nyckelharpa (see photo), a cross between a violin, a keyboard and a guitar. A traditional song is next called Lord Yuleens Daughter, written sometime between 1720 and 1850, Jonny tells us. Great harmonies by our guests accompanied by guitar and nyckelharpa. Follow Me Home is next, which was played on the Mike Harding Show last Wednesday to the great delight of Vicki. Quite an achievement for them. A Broadside Ballad is next about a Blacksmith and a Lady, a song of unrequited lust and rejection. Jonny announces that during the interval they will be having a special deal on their CD. If you don't like it bring it back and he will give you one he doesn't like. They finish the first set with a set of three tunes played on pipes and accordian. The percussion and tapping feet really come out during this. What a way to end the first half.

We have a break with heated discussion and re-filling of glasses. The gents toilet cubicle is out of action. The door is closed and secured with red and white incident tape. The mind boggles as to what incident provoked this.

We have a change of compere for the second half. Bill Pardon steps into the frame and introduces Joe Migdal and his omnichord. He sings a song called The Three Poachers a traditional sounding piece, followed by Hares On The Mountain. Both songs are fairly short, but what a sound his instrument makes.

Tone Deaf Leopard are next, after a brief absence. There is a slight delay to build up the tension, as Trevor puts it, before they start with a Willy Nelson song all about cowboys. Reminiscent of Brokeback Mountain the song is powerfully sung by Trevor and accompanied in tune by Sue on the bodhran. I cannot believe the words were not written by Trevor, though. They continue with Child Ballad 19A, from King Ortheo sung in the dialect of Shelty with a Norn chorus (as opposed to a dawn chorus).

Len is next on stage with a melodic ballad. I find out, to my amazement, that this is a Led Zeppelin song called Thank You. Len sounds even better over the PA. He follows with I Can't Find My Way Home, a Stevie Winwood song. Great performance, Len !!

Helen is then asked to give us a song. She sings a song she hasn't aired for some years, written by Ralph McTell, called The Hiring Fair.

Our guests return with a set of tunes that really get the legs moving. They call these Trad Set 2 because they have another Trad Set that they play. They follow with a child ballad known to them as William, because as Jonny says, that is easy to remember. Their humour between songs is very dry. Vickie says Jonny has difficulty in naming tunes he has written. They usually are called after a nearby object or place where the tune is written. The next beautiful tune was
written in Sweden at a place called Ista, and is titled, therefore, Ista Vista. One of my favourite folk songs is next - Young Hunting - a strange story with some exquisite flute accompaniment. Some more tunes next, one being called Vintage Fugit easily remembered because of the alcohol content. Pipes and guitar for this set. A really haunting sound, followed by a tune calling out for a percussion backing, which it certainly got. The next song is about a girl who sets her suitor an impossible task before she will marry him. To get three one year roses that are strong. He gets an artist to paint them for him and succeeds in his task. Jonny said he would have gone to Wyvale to get some. They go straight into their last song of the afternoon - Spencer The Rover - Oooh Betty! , but are inevitably asked back for an encore and give us another set of fantastic tunes, to go away humming to. What a great afternoon. See you all in the function room next week for our last session of the season. We are closed for August and are back on 6th September. Have a good holiday!