FaBclub review
21st February 2010
written by
Clive Meggs



We arrive a little later today and things are humming in the pub. The band are setting up and conversations are drowning out the noise from the bar. The sound checks are taking longer than usual because Pigs Ear have so many instruments. Looks like we are in for a feast of an afternoon with plenty of floor spots in addition to our established guests. I fear that it will be only one song each though.

Our compere for the afternoon is Trevor. Tone Deaf Leopard start the afternoon's proceedings with a traditional folk song set in a reggae rhythm titled The Foggy Foggy Dew. Not folk as you know it but nevertheless a great version.

Our own Lady Formby is next. Margaret gives us a rendition of a well-known Beatles hit - When I'm 64. Sounds different with the ukelele which makes it all the more special.

Mick Brown is next with a country song. He is joined by John Stafford who is providing the accompaniment on his gob iron. I am sure he is on something, probably Fosters, but the song is tremendous.

Bill Pardon is brought on as a substitute before the football starts in the pub. He gives us one of his self penned songs written to the tune of Match of the Day. There is great joining in the chorus. More noise is made than I have ever heard in the bar.

We are treated to a snack next as Ploughmans Lunch give us a song. As usual it is a traditional song, this time a little wedding number. Great chorus to get the vocal chords working.

Our guests, Pigs Ear, are introduced for their first session. The first song is about a very silly law called, I think, We Will Sing. It reflects the absurdity of music and dancing licensing in public houses. This is followed by a song about a travelling salesman of the past called The Pedlar. A lovely gentle tune played with gusto by our guests. After all the setting up of their instruments they continue with an unaccompanied song. A traditional song about a ploughboy sung powerfully with beautiful harmonies. The next song, written by Graham Moore from Dorset is introduce by a gentle tune but turns into something altogether more lively. Dance To Tom Payne's Bones is the title. The washboard is produced to accompany this song. I haven't seen one of those since I was a child. A new song next, again written by Grahame Moore, called The Last of England, about people leaving our country. A bit different today with everybody trying to get in. The Reluctant Mariner is the next song accompanied by a little crackling on the PA from Pigs Ear.(their joke not mine), a song with a great chorus. Our guests finish their first set with a smuggling song written from the perspective of the excise man, called I believe The Excise Man's Rule. This was written especially for the percussionists amongst us. Their set seems to have gone so quickly, a sure sign that it was very enjoyable. Can't wait for the second half.

We have a comfort break at this point, where most of the discussion was probably about how well our guests have played. Raffle tickets are sold and glasses refilled. Lots more floor singers to listen to in the second half.

The second half is started off by our sound technician, Joe Migdal. He plays to us a new song he has written all about Broadstairs Folk Festival called Heading Out. A great first airing, Joe.

Norman is next with a Dean Martin song and his banjo ukelele - I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine, with a mouth trombone middle eight for good measure. We sure are getting some variety this afternoon. Kriss is on next to prove this point, giving us a beautiful tune on the Native American Flute.

Paul Steele is next with a fantastic version of the Bob Dylan classic Just Like a Woman. Great to hear with a heavy accompaniment from John Stafford on his mouth organ.

Foxen are next. John and Margaret give us a self penned song called Waiting. I've not heard this before, their repertoire is getting larger than ever. Margaret's excellent voice comes to the fore in this song and John plays a mean 6 stringed instrument. Like a guitar with a narrow body. Sounds great!!

The raffle is drawn at this point and five out of six prizes are one in the club - result!

Our guests return for their second spasm - more crackling - and they start with a song from the slit your wrists school of folk music The Ruins By The Shore. Great harmonies though. Another song with a nautical theme next and a variety of instruments small cymbals, violin, large and small recorder and wave sounding instrument which leads seamlessly into another sea song with a great chorus - Waiting For The Day When We Get Our Pay. A song called Flash Company is next, again with a great chorus. I like the way the instrumental piece at the end of this song gradually sped up in stages. Another song about Tom Payne next, this time written by Steve Tilston titled simply Tom Payne. A Hugh and Tony Williams song next -Jack of Kent- which is nothing about Kent but a place in Wales. I have never heard this song sung by anyone else before. I am impressed. A nursery rhyme next - Magpie - sung without instruments- a true display of their excellent harmonies. They finish with a lively song - The Bold Ballad Seller- but I suspect there will be a resounding request for an encore, and I was right. They finish with a Dubliners song, Whiskey in the Jar - a great soong to hum all the way home. What an excellent afternoon thanks to our guests Pigs Ear. We are back again next week in the function room for a get a floor spot session. See you there!!