FaBclub review
15th November2009
written by
Clive Meggs

We are in the bar this week, and it is fantastic that lots of people have not been put off by the storms of last night. Thankfully the storm has abated - temporarily I believe - and the weather is bright and clear. Liz is back in the fold and has volunteered to be our compere for the afternoon. No poems from Liz this week though, she is saving them for the function room next week. Something for us all to look forward to, it has been a long time. We have one of the largest crowds I have ever seen in the bar today. I am sure they are in for a great afternoon.

Margaret (Lady Formby) is our first act of the day and starts her spot with a John Denver song - Leaving On A Jet Plane. She tells us that she has been allowed three songs today and continues with a song in a similar vane - Country Roads - always guaranteed to get the audience joining in. She finishes with another chorus song - Blue Blue Day. Thank you Margaret, not a Formby song in sight.

Ken is next and starts with a well known song with a chorus - Stand By Me. He follows this with a Simon and Garfunkle song - Bridge Over Troubled Waters. He knows how to get the audience going, the old rogue. Ken has a lovely voice, and does both songs justice.

Joe Migdal is on next and is accompanied by his good wife Kathy on her concertina. This is going to be a treat. Joe straps on his squeezebox and they go straight into a self penned song in honour of Bill Pardon which they call Pardon's Rant. To my knowledge this is the second time they have played this when Bill has not been here. It should be well practised by the time he hears it. More about the content next time. Their second song is a traditional number - Rout of the Blues - with Joe playing his appellation dulcimer. Great stuff!

Whatever next! By chance that is the name of our guests, four musicians with various instruments take to the stage and I feel we are in for a treat. After a bit of adjusting and tuning they start with a tune called Lunch at the Pub. Two guitars, button accordion and mouth organ on this one - a bit of a foot-tapping morris type tune. The accordion is exchanged for a double bass for the next song, a bluesy number called, I think, Where You Bin So Long. A slower one next, but still bluesy - Know Why You Have Them Blues. Some mean harmonica played on this one. The next number is also bluesy. I didn't catch the title but it was another one written by the lead singer. They say they know he has been reading when he comes up with a new song because this is his inspiration for writing. A bluesy chorus song next - Mother Earth being the last words in the chorus. I Should Have Known Better, another one of Den's in D minor is next. Still on the bluesy side but it has a rhythm that gets JoJo and Ken dancing at the back. We are moving across to country now with the next number, a Steve Earle song - Home Is Where The Heart Is. This brings the percussion out into full force. Continuing on the country theme we then enjoy a jolly little country number with a joiny in chorus - Let The Four Winds Blow. A brand new number next, and we are told it is a line dancing song. Margaret gets up and does a bit on line dancing by herself and totally puts them off. They have to change songs. Good job it wasn't belly dancing - they might not have come back for the second half. What a great first set by our guests.

We have a statutory break for our comfort and Linda and Helen are sent off into the bar to sell raffle tickets.

We start the second spasm with a poem recited by Debbie Anne. One of Joyce Grenfell's famous poems about Ethel. Debbie can certainly get some volume out of the PA. It makes several of the audience jump.

Ploughman's Lunch are next with a song about the recession 50 or 60 years ago, Cornish Lads. A traditional song about the Cornish Fishing and Mining industries. Another traditional song follows about a dredging vessel written by Martin Babb. It has a great chorus which is repeated numerous times, and is sung with their usual energy.

Be afraid - be very afraid. Tone Deaf Leopard are next with what Trevor describes as a folk song - I Will Survive - a song made famous by Gloria Gaynor many years ago. As he says, any song that a folk singer wants to sing can be classified as a folk song. Some nice harmonica can be heard in the background played by John Stafford. This is followed by a song called She Bangs The Drums - a hit by The Stone Roses. Chosen especially to highlight Sue's drumming. Will there be a drum solo I ask myself. The answer is no. These are two new songs from Trevor's repertoire, which is becoming extensive and varied. We love your funny ones though, don't forget.

We have a break for the raffle.

Our guests come back for their second session and explain that they are called Whatever Next because you never know what is coming next. They start with one of Rocking Bob's favourite songs Million Dollar Baby played on ukuleles - sounds very different. This is followed by a song written for the group by Bill Farrow, a rock and roll song about The Wall Of Death which really gets the toes tapping - but no dancers though. A serious song next about an inter- racial marriage explained in detail before some excellent vocals by Den bring the song to life. A very moody jazzy ballad. A singalong one next - Momma Talk To Your Daughter - bluesy with some great rhythm and a strong chorus. This is followed by a slow bluesy number called Fools Paradise, again brilliantly sung by Den with true feeling. The next song was written in 1927 (not by any member of the group I must point out) and is called How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live, a catchy refrain being in the title. A Walker Brothers song next - No Regrets - but not as you know it. The chorus is well known to the audience and they show it. Another Steve Earle song next -Just a Pilgrim On this Road - no relation to Bernard and Maureen though. Mary Don't You Weep is next with a great gospel chorus. That was the last song of the afternoon, but we wouldn't let them get away with that. They are called back for an encore and give us an instrumental, similar to havva nagilla which we have great fun with and are sure to be humming on the way home. What a great set by Whatever Next.

This was one of the best afternoons we have had in the pub. If you want some more we are back in the function room next Sunday 22nd November for a get a floor spot session.