Club in the Pub 2nd March 2008
Review by Clive Meggs

Today is Mothers Day so we are not sure how many people will have other commitments, but we need not have worried as the audience begins to fill. We are in the pub today because the White Hart is holding a real ale festival, and the function room is decked out with numerous barrels of real ale and ciders. Oh how I wish I was not driving.

Trevor(TDL) kicks off the afternoon with a rousing steamship shanty called The Fire on the Mauritania. I have not heard him sing this one before, he must have quite a repertoire. Great stuff Trevor!

Bernard is on next with his mighty organ. He plays some tunes including the Match of the Day Theme, I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles, Amarillo, and Toot Toot Tootsy. Halfway through Maureen cranks up his organ whilst he gets his little man out who does a nifty little tap dance on his knee. We are also entertained by a loudmouth standing at the back who is becoming rather tedious. Bernard and Maureen carry on in true professional style.

Our own answer to Neil Young, The Beatles and whoever else you care to think of is on next. Len sings us two songs in his own unique style. The first is a Beatles number, I'll Follow the Sun and the second, a song I know to have been sung by Rod Stewart many years ago, Reason to Believe. The idiot is still at the back and making quite a fool of himself as well as a lot of noise. Quiet words are had in his ear, and he decides to leave - Hooray!

One of our favourites, Steve O'Kane is on next. He has travelled directly from his country abode in East Anglia, and we await his performance in eager anticipation. Steve informs us that he has just received a phone call. He apologised but said he had to leave shortly. Nevertheless, in true folk club style, Steve gives us three numbers. The first, Hero in Retreat is one of his own numbers and can be found on his album. He than sings a Neil Young song, Old Man and rounds off his session with The Weight, a rousing chorus song from the 60's written by Robbie Robertson. Well done Steve!

Bill Pardon is on next and he gives us a couple of songs sung in his own unique style. The first, a song about a pub with a yellow ceiling stained by nicotine ( an all too familiar setting which thankfully has become a thing of the past with the smoking ban) is not entirely appropriate to the venue as The White Hart has been undergoing some decoration of late but gets the audience tapping their feet. The second was a rousing local chorus song, The Boggy Banks of Tilbury, and the audience are really joining in now. Thank you Bill.

John Stafford is persuaded to perform next. He sings a bluesy version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot, apologising after every line, which was totally unnecessary. John, we love to hear you play and sing! He follows with an unaccompanied version of a very old song. I don't know the title but my dear old Dutch features in the song. Maybe that is what it is called. Everyone joins in.

Jo Migdal then prizes himself away from the sound desk to entertain us on guitar with a song about Romford Market, a jolly little number. He then sings us The Ploughboy's Dream playing the accompaniment on his organ. No electrics for Joe, the organ being powered by the constant pumping of his leg. I love the sound it produces. Just like being in church. Then, assisted by Kathy, he sings a song about ale from the 1500's called The Malts Come Down. He finishes his mini set with a song containing the chorus 1,2 3 Jolly men all in a line. I must remember to get the correct title. An excellent set, Joe.

Liz, our resident poet, then gives us a couple of her poems. The first is a nostalgic verse she wrote for her dad 2 years ago for his 90th birthday. He is obviously now 92 years old and she tells us he still drives, quite remarkable. Then we went off shopping to Lakeside. Have you got the bags, well we've got the ride - a chorus much loved by the audience.

Trevor sings a little tale of doom and gloom called St James' Infirmary, then a chorus song, about drinking called Drunk and Disorderly (cornflakes and gin, what a combination!). This appeals to John who joins in both vocally and with his mouth organ, almost turning it into a duet. A humorous song follows about Eskimos entitled When the Ice Worms Nest Again. Where does he find these songs? Great stuff Trevor!

A short break is now taken for a tiddle and sale of raffle tickets, so eloquently put by our MC.

We resume with Bernard getting his organ out again, what an exhibitionist. He starts with Puppet on a String, which is quite topical as the Eurovision song contest entry for this country was picked out last night. This lead into a popular tune, Puff the Magic Dragon. His able assistant Maureen then gets up to wind the organ while Bernard plays with his little fellow, a dancing monkey this time, to the tune of Oh Yes We Have No Bananas.

Trevor is absent to introduce the next act so Jo sings Oh Yes we have no MC.

Len comes back to the stage with a Cat Stevens song, The First Cut is the Deepest followed by Tim Harding song If I Were a Carpenter. I just love the way he plays and sings.

Bill introduces two songs that he doesn't actually get round to performing, The wurlitzer song, wurlitzer one for the money (blue suede shoes) and the big horse song (Maybe its big horse I'm a Londoner) . He does actually sing a humorous version of House of the rising Sun about Leigh on sea and the Hoy at Anchor folk club, followed by Icarus schmicurus show us your niccarus, who knows how to spell it, we all join in.

The raffle is drawn next and I win a box of ferrero rocher for mothers day, you see it pays to say you win naff all ( I must do that again sometime).

John Stafford gives us an unaccompanied version of Danny Boy, the audience goes completely silent and I can see a tear or two in some eyes. Excellent John!

Liz then recites the shoes poem. She tells us this arose from the fact that her husband and son insisted that they only need two pairs of shoes, but of course Liz disagreed, and came up with this very humorous verse. She then lapses into a coughing fit before reciting Oh My Haven't They Changed, one of our favourites. (Liz admits she used to smoke 40 a day but is now a non smoker).

Eddie, from the bar, braves the audience and says a poem about a girl he likes - least said the better.

The afternoon is concluded by Trevor, who invites other performers onto the stage to join in the finale. It is a song that used to be sung by slaves packing cotton onto the slaving ships, and dates from the 1870's. It is a lengthy song with a repetitive chorus 'pay me my money now!'. We all join in and are humming the tune as we leave the premises. Thank you to all the performers for a great afternoon!!!!!