FaBclub review
1st November2009
written by
Clive Meggs


It is wet and windy today, for a change. The leaves are falling and it seems autumn has finally arrived. Quite a few people have arrived and the tuning of instruments has taken place. We have a willing volunteer to act as our compere for today. Maureen has taken up the mantle and is strutting around like a Sergeant Major taking names- she is really enjoying herself. She makes a firm declaration that she is in charge. She is really scary.

Bernard and Maureen are on first. They start the afternoon with some jolly tunes for us to tap along to. No domestics this afternoon. Bernard certainly knows his place.

Margaret is next with a new song she wants to try out on us - Things Are Coming My Way- played on the ukulele banjo. Quite a jolly little song with a chorus. She follows this with Morning Blues, another new song to me, I don't think I have heard Margaret sing this one before. Two new songs in one session, well done Margaret.

I am then called upon to tell (or rather read out) a couple of jokes. These seem to go down well - and are clean for a change.

Paul is up next and tells us he has no idea what song he is going to do. Any song will be fine as far as I am concerned. He starts with his version of a Bob Dylan song - I Want You - excellent. After an aborted attempt at a difficult song we will never know, and a bit of tinkering about on the guitar (which I love) he breaks into a Springsteen number, Born To Run, but not as you know it. Paul has a unique style all his own, and we love it.

Mike is on next and does his first number on the guitar - Magic Toy- a childrens song I haven't heard since I was a child. He continues on the childrens theme with a song called What Did You Learn In School Today, another one from the past.

Linda is next without her other sandwich, Clive. She sings a song she only performs once a year and apologises for using a cribsheet - The Unquiet Grave. Her second song is about ploughing with a toorolooroleyeaye chorus we all gladly join in with, called The Jolly Ploughman. Great traditional songs Linda.

Len is next and tells us he is about to show us what excrement is. I don't believe it. He does a Beatles song - For No-One. He follows with a Tim Harding song I haven't heard before Black Sheep Boy. Great Stuff, Len!

Clive is next and gives us a humerous monologue about Albert on a trip to the Tower Of London involving ghosties and ghoulies. It is remarkable how he remembers the words without a cribsheet. Great stuff, Clive! He follows this with a song written by Mike Sparks entitled Thirteen Florins. He tells us it is a tale where thirteen half crowns were left on a bar in a pub but florins fit better into the song. We are informed by Linda that when she sings solo she is known as a sandwich short of a picnic.

We have a short break for necessary things.

Joe is called on to start the second spasm and produces a guitar that plays like a banjo to sing a hillbilly type of song called Talking Blues. He continues with a new song he has written in honour of Bill Pardon who has just lost his mother. You have our condolences, Bill. Joe really booms it out on his melodeon and is accompanied by Kathy on her concertina. They call the song Pardons Rant and it receives a huge round of applause from the audience. Nice one Joe!

In contrast our next act, Mike Chapman, who has appeared here once before, plays us a lovely quiet instrumental on his guitar - Away From The Smoke. This is followed by another tune - Wait For It! - and Mike warns us that there is a gap before he does a twiddley bit. I wonder if that is designed to get an extra round of applause. He received a great ovation at the end anyway, for some excellent guitar playing.

The culture is interrupted by a couple of jokes from yours truly, and we start the whole process again with a couple of toe-tapping tunes from Bernard and Maureen,
High Speed Plough and The Big Ship.

Margaret is next and starts with Play Me A Ukulele Tune. She continues with Buffalo Girls. Both new songs to me - has Margaret got a new songbook or something.

Paul continues with a Motorhead song about the Life of a Soldier. Very powerful and emotive lyrics you wouldn't have thought possible from a heavy metal band, as usual brilliantly sung by Paul. He continues with a song he couldn't remember in the first half and makes an excellent job of it this time.

Mike is next with I'll Go No More A-Roving, and we all join in with the chorus. A Tom Paxton song - Rambling Boy, follows this. Both tunes are accompanied on the guitar. No accordion this week, what a shame.

Ploughman's Lunch are on next together and sing a Keith Marsden song from the second world war called The Mad Dogs of War. No picnic this war business. They follow this with My Lady of Autumn, a song with a great chorus.

We have a second break, and it is our last chance to buy raffle tickets. The raffle is drawn and we win a bottle of wine - hic!

Len starts the third spasm with a BeeGees number - To Love Somebody, beautifully sung and beautifully joined in by the audience. He continues with another Tim Harding song - If I Were A Carpenter - a song everyone knows. Nice one Len!

We all say hello to solo Joe. He gives us Handsome Meadow Boy accompanied on his non-guitar and finishes with a Kinks hit - Waterloo Sunset. The guitar sounds like a piano on this one - what an amazing instrument.

Mike, our expert guitarist, is next. He tells us that he remembers seeing Jasper Carrot at Hornchurch Folk Club some 30 years ago for 45pence, when he sang If I Were a Carpenter I would Screw her to the table, and the song hasn't had the same meaning for him since. This brought great laughter. His first dance tune is from a French Group - Le Gop and is called Le Shakker(not sure about the spelling). His second tune is called a Fousand Dreams (Hornchurch spelling). It is so nice to hear guitar played in this fashion. Please come again soon, Mike.

Our regular, Mike, is then asked to give us another one (so to speak) to see us out. He gives us Paddy McGinty's Goat and we are guaranteed to go away humming the tune. What a great afternoon. We are back again in a fortnight in the bar where we will be entertained by Whatever Next. I look forward to seeing you there.