26th September 2010
Joe was our MC for the afternoon and introduced Rocking Bob Cash as the first act. Bob
said he had a cold but that certainly didn't stop him giving us a clear and heartfelt
rendition of 'Beautiful Dreamer'. He followed this with 'Louisiana' all about someone who
wanted to get back to the place which was home, nowhere could be better.
Joe brought us back to reality in Grays and then introduced Norman Faulkner. Norman
said that as a change from George Formby he would sing us something which was top of
the charts in 1957, when he had just had his call-up for National Service. 'We will make
love', originally sung by Russ Hamilton. He was playing his soprano ukulele and followed
that with 'Lady of Spain'. Apparently some people didn't realise there was a polite version!
Bernard Pilgrim delighted us next with three tunes on his English Concertina: Three
around three, Pet of the pipers, and Great North Run. Maureen wasn't with him today so
we were happy we could have 'one without the other'.
Len sang two Neil Young songs for us: 'Alabama', with some very well articulated and
varied rhythms on his guitar, followed by 'Hearts of Gold', instantly recognisable from the
first few chords. Played his harmonica too and everybody hummed along.
I switched the lights on at this point, to a few oohs and aahs. I'll have to do fireworks next
Bill Pardon sang us a couple of ballads in traditional style, which he had written. Mother
Moore, about a hag who lived in Old Leigh and sold 'fair winds' to sailors. She came to a
sticky end. He also provided special effects of thunder to set the scene.
This was followed by a song about 'Ten little sisters living in Leigh' and a chap who had
decided to choose one of them for his wife. They all sounded a bit hard-to-get and fickle to
Joe introduces Helen Islip 'from the fields of gold to the beaches of Grays' She played 'Oh
blah di Oh blah da' on her lovely new ukulele and everyone joined in. Incidently she is
selling her soprano Mahalo ukulele if anyone is interested.
Next she sang a seasonal song called 'Autumn Leaves' which is a poignant love song about
missing someone who has left, especially as the autumn approaches. This has also been
sung by Eva Cassidy.
Joe Migdal sang a new song to us which he has written. It is a romantic ballad called
'Loving You'and although a love song has a melodic chorus to join in with.
He followed this with 'Romford Market' and gave a strong and practiced performance with
lots of interesting guitar work. Said he used to go to Romford when a struggling art
student to buy cheap selotape.
We then had a break, followed by the raffle. Helen won three little ceramic pals, tried
kissing the frog but nothing happened.
Bob started the second half with 'The very thought of you'. My favourite song. He then
sang 'When my blue moon turns to Gold Again' That's a new one I think.
Joe performed again and sang a song from Barry Dransfield's latest CD 'Reckless'. Gave a
beautiful performance of 'Harps in Heaven' with strong singing and some ethereal
harmonics to finish.
Bernard played some tunes on the bowed psaltery; the instrument was made by him. Gave
a heavenly and echoing sound. Bernard looked very accomplished using two bows with a
fluid technique. The tunes were: Galway Shawl, Tramps & Hawkers, and The Willows by
Bill reminds himself of a tune via his camcorder: The Ratcliffe Highway. A saucy
traditional song using seafaring idiom to describe an assignation. He then surprised us
with a solo harmonica tune, which also included a couple of impressions of him swatting a
buzzing bluebottle. Very clever.
Len then played us 'Catch the Wind' by Donavan, followed by some blues: Love in Vain by
Robert Johnson. Two interesting numbers.
Joe introduces Helen again, mentioning Troy. He has a thing about places today. Helen
sang 'Angela Flacton' with her ukulele. It's all about her being a five year old and blaming
Angela, who is only imaginary, for all sorts of antics that she herself had got up to in
school and driven the teacher to despair with. What a naughty child.
She finishes with 'Fields of Gold' a beautiful song which needs no introduction.
Norman Faulkner finished the afternoon for us with three numbers: Walking my baby
back home, then a bit of rock n roll with 'Shake Baby Shake' and finally finishing with
George Formby's 'Swimmin with the Wimmin'. That sounds like it would have been a bit
risqué when it was written as the gentleman in question definitely enjoys mixed bathing.
We enjoyed a friendly afternoon with plenty of music and musical chat. Looking forward
to the next meeting on 3rd October.