FaBclub review
21st November 2010
written by
Liz Montgomery

Club in the Pub time and we welcome The Andy Smythe Band today, to brighten up a dull grey late November afternoon.

Jo Migdal kicks us off with his prog rock type arrangement of "Riding Down to Portsmouth".

"Whiskey Priest" is a rousing start from our guest act. Last time Andy was with us was a solo artist: he is now supported on bass and fiddle. Andy is in absolutely fine voice, the first few numbers on guitar, fiddle and bass, with a really rounded sound, often reminiscent of Charlie Daniels Band. This includes a number inspired by a visit to John Lennon's house - as Andy says a "sort of tribute song" which has apparently also been played by the curator there.

As well as songs from their latest "Nation of the Free" album they treat us to a great upbeat version of "Raggle Taggle Gypsy"..

Andy switches over to piano to perfom "Sweet England" inspired by his native Shropshire plus a cracking version of "Hallelujah". Back to the guitar with the Woody Guthrie style "Power of the Union" - (I think - may need to check the album for that ;-) )

Part two - and we are delighted to welcome Claudine : - who performs a mini set for us with a mix of traditional and self-penned songs including one of my faves "Fortune cookies are not the answer": everyone is in such fine voice today and Barry joins her (on super purple fiddle) on several of the numbers - FaBulous.

Bill Pardon shows us how its done "Fifteen Times a Night".

After the FaBclub ruffle - Andy takes the stage again for a beautiful lyrical solo number on piano, then to be rejoined by the rest of the band for a bit of a rock. Including a particularly ascerbic number called "Election night blues",with a superb lead guitar break slipping into two tone ska with Andy on sax .. remember we are Folk Acoustic and BLUES… and much much more. Moving on to the superb "Changing seasons ".. and a song inspired by a Herman Hesse novel (which sounds a lot like a lot of folk songs - good guy stays at home, bad guy goes off, meets Lords lady and the inevitable consequences..) Next up is a Waterboys song that really suits their style. And keeping in with the distinctly upbeat second part is the maind- "This Land is Your Land". Well it wasn't hard to get them to do an encore … the vaguely appropriate "One more tumble". And "England in the Summertime" in the honour of the England cricket team.

A lovely afternoon of quality entertainment…