FaBclub review
13th December 2009
written by
Clive Meggs

It is only 2.00pm and we are frantically setting up the function room for our Christmas Party. The room is humming and no-one cares what the weather is like today, we are all looking forward to having a great time. Guitars are standing all over the place it really is like a music shop. A large table is overflowing with food and balloons are being put up all over the place. We are nearly ready to go. Liz has reported in sick with the lurgy as have the Leopards. We wish them a speedy recovery. Thus you have to suffer my review yet again.

Trevor was planning to compere the event but Bill has volunteered to step in at the last minute to take up the mantle for the afternoon. He opens the proceedings with a short song he wrote on the way to the White Hart, a very funny little ditty featuring flatulence. If anyone ever asks him how long it took to write his answer would be, he said, twenty miles.

Rocking Bob is our first act today and he sings a song in his own imitable style called, I think, That's My Desire. He follows with another song I have never heard before titled Was That The Human Thing To Do ( I think). Bob has set the scene for the afternoon.

He is followed by our Ken who bursts into song with a shortened version of On the Street Where I Live. After a short Spike Milligan Poem he goes straight into another song - You'll Never Walk Alone. Great voice Ken. You should perhaps try a full length song sometime.

Mike is next looking very debonair in his cravat. He starts with a carol - On a Starry Night - very appropriate for the time of the year. It is not one I am familiar with, but very well sung, Mike. He does a quick change from guitar to accordian and gives us a medley of carols. These are all very familiar. We are invited to sing along - and every opportunity is taken to comply. Great Stuff, Mike.

Joe Migdal is next, on guitar. He starts with a festive song - Harps in Heaven - written by Barry Dransfield. A very gentle tuneful song. He then gets his organ out and is joined by Kathy for a medley of Christmas carols, Kath playing her concertina, which we all love to hear.

Debbie Anne is next and it is time for the annual outing of Joyce Grenfell's Nativity play, which we all enjoy. Great writing and as usual well performed by our Joyce Grenfell tribute act.

Alan Neville is next with a self-penned song - Blue Grass Christmas. A foot tapping song appropriate for his transgression into being part of a bluegrass band. His second song, again written by Alan is a clever modern day version of the nativity story. Such a talent! What a great song!

We take a break at this point to feed our faces and refresh our glasses. We are told that there is a bumper raffle which will be drawn in two goes - so we can get more performers on after each break. We also make a presentation to Ben and Chris - the landlord and his wife.

The next session gets off to a great start with Claudine giving us a new song - Fortune Cookies Do Not Have the Answers. Claudine informs me that Anthony John Clark had a hand in the arrangements of this song. It has been a long time since she has been back to the Fabclub, and it is always good to see her. Where Are You Love is her next song accompanied by Paul Ballantyne, a song written by Show Of Hands. They make a great job of it. Claudine takes over the compering and introduces Paul to do two songs of his own.

He starts with one of my favourite songs - Senior ( An American Story) - written and performed by Bob Dylan. Paul's version comes a close second. I could listen to this song all day. He continues with another Bob Dylan song, his personal favourite, from the Blood on the Tracks album - If You See Her, Say Hello. It is like having Bob Dylan in the room. Please come back again soon, Paul.

Bill gives us a fantastic poem wot he wrote because we were missing a bit of culture with Liz not being here. A Great verse, Bill. JoJo then gives us a song from the sixties - He's in Town, performed originally by The Rocking Berries, my, I haven't heard that for a few years. I understand from JoJo that it was written by Goffin and King and consisted of only 12 lines of verse. I have learnt that the King in the duo was the infamous Carol King, of Tapestry fame.Well sung JoJo!

Len is next as he is sufficiently oiled and he starts by singing I Would Still Be Loving You in his own fantastic style. He continues with an equally well known song, what is it called, oh yes, (Fire and Rain) . Len recommend Kronenberg for on stage nerves. I wonder if it works for memory. Thanks Len!

Steve O'Kane is on next and starts with a song he wrote, the subject matter coming from events in the first world war, called The Star In The East. This song is new to me, and on first hearing I am very impressed. Fiona is called upon to join Steve for their second song. Her beautiful voice glides immediately into the familiar tones of the carol Silent Night. Nobody dares to join in. The silence is an appreciation of the quality of her voice, and yours of course, Steve.

We take our second break to have another crack at the buffet, and the remainder of the raffle follows.

Helen is the last floor spot of the day. She suggests that we read out some of the cracker jokes which we do for a short while, but they become so pathetic that we give up shortly into the exercise. She starts with a Joni Mitchell song - I Wish I Had a River- beautifully sung. She continues with the Slade hit Merry Christmas Everybody, a great chorus song which we all join in with.

I tell a lie, John Stafford has been persuaded to do a floor spot and He is the last act. He performs Swing Low Sweet Chariot using the guitar won by Steve in the raffle. The longest version I have heard for a long time with loads of chorarses. John then gets his gobiron out and is joined by Steve, Alan, Joe and Paul in some finale songs - Twelve Bar Blues, The Mighty Quinn and Runaway. Great fun for the audience. The afternoon is appropriately brought to a close by our founder, Claudine, who sings us her beautiful version of Streets of London. What an afternoon!!!!

Well that's it for this year. I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And we are back again in the function room at The White Hart on 3rd January for a get a floor spot session. Hope to see you there.