Club in the Pub
January 27, 2008
Review by Liz Montgomery

Trevor/Man in the Hat is our MC this afternoon and kicks off the afternoon with a relaxing version of "Easy Street". Outside the sun is shining in the deepest blue sky - and although it is quite chilly - we all have summery thoughts. Very appropriate for the afternoon, where we enjoy a relaxing afternoon full of summery sounds, happiness, flowers and the odd murder ballad (well it IS FaBclub) and demanding a large glass of Pimms with a large sprig of mint - ah well - we can all dream.

Warming up for our guest act some Fab Club regulars have fun.

Bill Pardon has updated "The Boggy Banks of Foordie" as promised, and has us all in stitches with the localised version of this trad number - "Boggy Banks of Tilbury", followed by the "Mermaid Song" - also trad but this time from Zennor. We can tell that the winter solstice has passed as Bill has his famous hat on - and one wag in the corner thanks him for "taking time off from Interflora and the Bird Rescue Centre to be with us"

Two new numbers next from Margaret on Ukelele - getting us all singing along to "From a Jack to a King" and "Hallo Mary Lou" - she's never one to stick to Formby numbers. It's great to hear she is introducing the next generation to this accessible instrument too.

Welcome to Ron - who we don't see often enough. We all love (and covet) the beautiful guitar he plays. Empassioned versions of "Confusion" and "Do you believe me now" are our reward.

BAG FULL OF HATS are here with us for the afternoon up from East Grinstead. They play two solid sets for us - and sell LOTS of CDs as they are a big hit with FaBclub members. Sometimes they play with a drummer, but today it's the two guitarists - George and Dave - and Pete on laid back bass and backing vocals. George writes much of the music and performs lead vocals. Apart from acoustic rhythm, Dave also pitches in with boozaphone - must be the biggest boozaphone in Sussex.

For the first set, after a great little opening number called "Sound Check" which is the sound check - they play us the numbers from "Every Little Song" - their recent CD. George tells us that today they are playing "café style" - they also perform with a heavier rock format in some venues; but these arrangements suit our mood and the weather perfectly. The songs are relaxing, and well crafted, and very British folk rock - interesting and sometimes slightly cynical word pictures, great harmonies, appropriate guitar solos and use of percussion - very tightly arranged. Some are wistful - like "Stile, Stile" and "Turnaround" while others, like the reggae back beat number "Happy Feet" get us all clapping along.

After the break Trevor gives us another number off his new CD - "Until next year", which I had not heard before - can't wait to hear the whole album now.

More new material from Jo Migdal next - a beautiful ballad "Let your dreams unfold". Jo has a new CD in the offing as well - there is so much creativity around at FaBclub nowadays. "Boxing Day Blues" closes Jo's contribution. I love this song - it wraps up all the awful leftover bits of Christmas in one neat parcel and presents them in a very funny way.

Tone Deaf Leopard also bring us an old and a new song - well the new one is new to me. "Born to drink Mild" is allegedly about Morris Dancing - and has the normal high quotient of TDL parody, followed by their classic "Wild Rabbit". After you have heard a song recrafted by TDL the original will NEVER be the same to you again.

BAG FULL OF HATS close off the afternoon - and give us a tremendous second set from their older numbers.

Most of the songs are on their "Live" album, recorded in December 07, and which most of us are now proud owners of! The songs show off a variety of styles - but the whole holds together in a consistent style, and are wonderfully performed.

They included scat ("Geometry of Life"), several numbers with a latin beat ("Santana Beat", "Spirit of Music"), and others with various inspirations from environmental and philosophical viewpoints ("Islands in the Flood", "Impossible Dream"). Friends and holidays also influence George's lyrics with numbers like "Other side of the world" and "Golitha Falls". What a great end to the afternoon. BAG FULL OF HATS play regularly in East Grinstead and around Sussex - and I do hope they come back to play for us again too.