FaBclub review
7th November 2010
written by
Kathy Migdal

Joe Migdal is MC'ing and starts off on his ukelele with 'The flies crawled up the window'. A very old comic number from the 1930's, life from a fly's point of view.

He is followed by 'the living miracle' Bernard Pilgrim, who plays solo English concertina.(not quite sure why Joe called him that, he's not that old! Must be about the quality of his playing) Firstly 'The battle of the Somme', followed by a set of two tunes: The Forty Six Seconder and Down the Glen. Joe briefly explains about the differences between the two types of concertina most commonly used.

Norman Faulkner plays a Johnny Ray number from the fifties on ukelele: 'Walking my baby back home', which includes an interlude of excellent whistling. Then a George Formby number 'Oh don't the wind blow cold'. The song mentions a few risque situations which might be a bit draughty, in the tradition of saucy seaside postcards.

Len has a break from taking the pics to treat us to his excellent rythym guitar and two songs: I Can't find my way home by Stevie Winwood and the Beatles favourite 'you've got to hide your love away'

Brian Eastern follows on guitar playing the somewhat technical 'Chase the weasel' . He says it's the first outing for that number. There are definite echos of John Renbourn. His next number is After Dark by Al Petteway - a luscious bluesy first section followed by some atmospheric technical work with a hint of jazz. We are hearing a few great Al Petteway tunes from Brian and we thank him for introducing us to them.

Joe follows with his Andrea Corr impression on bazouki and loop station. A lovely song that was a big hit and is good to hear again: 'Run Away' He sweeps us along with his playing, and what he has recorded into the loop station provides some extra contemporary backing.


Joe starts of the second part playing his song English Roses on bazouki, all about local lady morris dancers and the pleasure their musical traditions give. Lively and with a good chorus.

Bernard Pilgrim now plays his bowed psaltery with a bow in each hand. Bernard made the instrument and fitted case himself and it has a beautiful tone. He plays with style and looks very at ease. His tunes were: the hymn Lord of all hopefulness lord of all joy,The Galway shawl, and 'The Willows by Johnny Dyer.

Next we have Norman Faulkner on wooden ukelele. Norman's precise playing sounds good on either type of ukelele. Lady of Spain ( I adore you),then Swimmin with the Wimmin by George Formby. All about a chap's thoughts on the bonuses of swimming with women but who then accidentally rescued his wife and gave it up after that.

Len plays the mellow 'Only love can break your heart' followed by Warren Zevon's 'Accidentally like a Martyr'. This has some interesting key changes in the middle.

Brian Eastern plays a traditional tune called Spindrift. A real pleasure to hear his versatile and musical technique. He waggles his eyebrows at the cheers from the bar; they don't usually carry through to the back room so it must have been a goal. Then 'Auburn' by Stuart Ryan, a member of the guitarist community Apparently it has been used as an exam piece and certainly sounded testing.


The Raffle and then Joe plays the title song from his CD 'Nature's Wonderland' The song really sums up the mood of the Isles of Scilly and make us think of sea, sun and relaxation.

Bernard follows on his concertina with an Irish tune, then a lovely slip jig: King of Faeries.

Then Len on guitar and harmonica with and John Lennon's 'I'm just a jealous guy' with nice deep guitar sound. Has also been sung by Roxy Music.

Brian played a tune that he finished very recently, but which was based on a song from thirty years ago called Up the pool (Blackpool).

Norman then plays TT Races by George Formby - to remind us of summer, then to finish off at Joe's request: Sergeant Major, by George Formby. The sergeant sounds like a universally disliked chap, and is compared to the wild and warlike mascot goat.

Many thanks to the performers who each played several numbers this afternoon as we had quite a high proportion of listeners. Thanks to the great audience too.