21st February 2010
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
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.
The raffle is drawn at this point and five out of six prizes are one in the club
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!!