FaBclub 3rd Birthday celebrations
Sunday 3rd February 2008

Oh dear what can the matter be - both Leopards are ill and they were supposed to be reviewer and MC (no that doesn't quite scan does it?).

BIG THANK YOU to Bill P for emergency stand-in as MC and I pick up the baton on reviews ….

And Rumford Morris came to say hello cos they want to do some sides in September for us and we have a film/sound crew and writer from the Royal Opera House Community project too - so we have an extra packed house today too. Vicky, Claudia and Peter from the ROH- it was lovely to have you along - I hope you have recovered from the shock (and the heat…)

BILL opens up with "The Man from the Pru" taking us back to the days when things were not quite so flush and the credit crunch had quite a different meaning- and gets us all laughing and singing.

Lots of people here - means lots of live stuff and we have a long first half - to give us time for the buffet.

Pitsea's very own ROCKIN' BOB kicks off our acts for the afternoon with his unique rendition of "If I had a talking picture of you" ; then "The very thought of you" (I think that's what its called)

Nearly a FaBclub virgin - PAUL - starts with a Show of Hands song with a strong Cornish mining flavour "Follow me down Cousin Jack" . Gorgeous voice, amazing picking on the second number - "Vincent Black Lightning 1952" - that lovely Richard Thompson song - and a really covetable guitar. Claims he is thinking about driving busses when playing (what ever!)

Bob tells us about his week of icons - a new music pub in Southend and a secret gig by Ed Tenpole Tudor (YAY!) - and Martin Carthy at the Hoy and a fag break with Roy Mette.

*Gangsta* Ukelele player stars next - as she says promoted to an icon - Margaret "Lady Formby" - with "Chinese Stir Fry Blues, followed by something to cheer Maureen up - "Island in the Sun" on her chirpy yellow uke. Unusually for FaBclub Sundays the sun is not shining today, but everyone sings along anyway.

Bernard "without his organ but with Maureen" is up next. One of their trad medleys on concertina and guitar today

Helen gets set up while Bill runs through part of "Bonnie Banks of Fordie" in his very dodgy Scottish Tam O'Shanter and fitted ginger wig. She kicks off with a McColvin number "Sonny comes Home"; then a Ralph McTell song - "From Clare to here"

Raising our spirits further is Len -offering to show us the bit of bone from his latest knee operation - a Cat Stevens song to kick off with, followed by a Beatles classic

Yay - Dennis Homes gets out the first 12 guitar string of the afternoon and is definitely feeling retro. First he plays a tune to kick off written by Charles Daw, a US Vice President from the early part of the 20th Century - "All in the game" - believe it or not. Then links smoothly into "Dream Lover" which definitely gets the crowd participating.

Vicky from the ROH updates us on the Community Project in Tilbury Docks - at the Cruise Terminal, starting on 5th July for 5 nights. The script is in progress. Current themes emerging are Duty, Justice and Sunlight - human spirit rising against adversity.

Time for the buffet….and the Big Chocolate Birthday cake -

Today unusually a two half bash

Jo Migdal and another 12 string guitar, and again beautifully in tune, which is tough with this instrument - he wants to add seagulls to this one on his Loopstation but can only find a sample from The Birds so far - "I am a sailor" - an amazing haunting work. Then a quick switch to the mandolin for "English Rose" - about a local ladies morris side

Our wonderful exotic dancing duo of Margaret and Barbara entrance us next with their fab swirling eastern dances - a time honoured tradition at our big FaBclub events- they told us they had danced for an hour at a venue in Brentwood last night and were aching - well it didn't show. Normally they perform as part of a larger troupe called Benazir.

Our second Ukelele artiste of the afternoon is the lovely Norman looking very chic in black turtleneck and white jeans - "Has anybody seen my girl?" and a classic from the 40s - "Bless them all" which has lots of joining in on the chorus.

As introduced by Bill - it's the superb Steve O'Kane - "As beautiful as you" a beautiful love song and nostalgia piece,- which was also performed the first time ever at the FaBclub. And Steve reprises one of his newest numbers for us - also debuted at FaBclub the other week - "Wakan Tuka" this time with bodrhan backing from Fiona

And now onto another debut piece - well it was last week - Bill provides us with a run through of "Boggy Banks of Tilbury" - while Vicki assists him on hats.

I do my bit for the afternoon with "Chanson du Salon FaBClub" and getting everyone joining in with "Christmas Shopping at Lakeside"

Alan Neville claims he was going to do some eastern dancing but Barbara and Margaret beat him it to it. He kicks off with one of my favourites - a modern fairy tale about Prince Kevin and Princess Sharon…than unaccompanied a great song about a new washing machine. "Leave plumbing to plumbers"

And our last guest - who has not been here for AGES - is Fiona McBain accompanied by Steve. "Solitary Hero" with all sorts of dubious activities involved in it is rendered very emotionally, and to close "Amazing Grace", John joining in on harmonica.