FaBclub review
16th May 2010
written by
Liz Montgomery

Club in the Pub this afternoon.. The Leps are going to be MC'ing but are stuck in the traffic…

Never mind, we get going anyway. Mike Willmore starts us off with numbers on guitar and piano accordion, including "The Wild Rover" and "Streets of Laredo" to get the FaBclub choir joining in. And the Leps have arrived …

Paul Ballantyne claims he "needs extra stuff to make up for lack of talent"… but once he is all plugged in he gives us some Dylan…"Don't think twice it's alright"; Nancy Griffiths; "Hard Life" and the beautiful "Youngstown" - for some reason I'm always surprised this is by Springsteen

TDL are in the building and are in fine voice with an a cappella version of "Glory glory what a helluva way to die".

Our guests are all the way from New York today - the lovely Anne Price and Steve Suffet. After a great show at Friday Folk Orpington we are pleased to welcome them back to FaBclub. And they get us singing along from the outset with a storming version of "Settle down".. then chugging on into a song written in the style of Woody Guthrie "High Ballad Man" written by Steve (and with a special verse written for this UK tour!). "John Randolph", is led by Anne - the US version of Lord Randolph - beautiful. Then we're off into freedom territory - "Roll Jordan Roll". And into an interesting song about organic gardening.. great words "Let's have a bug squashing party tonite!" (I think its actually called 'Squishybugs'!) Steve is "Crazy about a lady called Amera" and Anne is on kazoo for chorus. "Bury me not on the lone prairie" takes us into more traditional cowbow territory again.. "Stagalee" is a great standard about a very bad man and Steve and Anne produce a great arrangement of this song.

A quick break and TDL are off again with "Roadkill Café".. I'm sure the hand gestures are getting more and more OTT with this song.

More tunes now with Len Reeder - straight into classic Neil Young territory with "Heart of Gold"; then "Mad John" - not one I have heard him perform before - and then that great Zep song.. "Thank you"

And Jo Migdal is temporarily unchained from the (brand new) sound desk…some lovely rippling music "Rip it up Jo": Kathy joins him on stage for a good rework of "Oh no John no".

TDL are back with a fine rework of that traditional song "It will not be long before our 'washing' day" - with the inevitable results.

After this our guests take the stage again - with a great cowboy song "Santa Fe trail"; a great 'givin up' blues from Anne next with Steve on twiddly bits (great line - 'they say the best revenge is livin' well'); segues on into a mining disaster song written by Steve "Can you hear that steam whistle blow?" Ann reminds us of the early Woody Guthrie - it is sometimes forgotten that he started out in cowboy songs.. "Lay down little doggies" (Doggies in this song are cattle being driven to the slaughter house across the cold prairie). Next is that great protest song about strip mining.. and its effects on the landscape and people of Kentucky - "Blackwaters", written by Jean Ritchie. "John Henry" drives us ever deeper in to the American psyche…followed with more Jean Ritchie with a soulful song written from the point of view of the miners wife - the perils of the flooded West Virginia mine. A song written by Canadian James Gordon about a whaler "Frozen in Frobisher Bay"…as Steve comments - more fun than the actual experience.. and then back to a different form of transport with the "66 Highway Blues". They close out the main set with the classic Utah Phillips "Singing through the hard times".

Our encore is Anne's "Broken Bagel" song…in traditional style but involving both analysts and scientologists! And with a happy ending….

Lovely to have you both back with us again… and how fast this afternoon has disappeared…