FaBclub Review
16th March 2008
Written by Liz Montgomery

It's a wild and windy afternoon outside, just like the rest of the week, but inside is cosy and warm. And the room is pristine in its new blue and white paintwork. A packed house today - so lots of gossip to catch up on.

Dennis eases us into the afternoon with a gentle slightly sad song about Old Age and Loneliness. Up-pace next with "Bookworm" -one of his jaunty songs - this time one about passion (?) in the library - and not on the pages of a Mills & Boon novel either…the historical fiction section will never be the same again.

Ron and his beautiful Gibson guitar joins us. He always has surprises for us and today is no exception - a Robert Plant/Alison Krauss song from their excellent recent collaboration gets the Ron treatment and that beautiful C&W classic "Keep on Movin on"…

Margaret provides us with some Irish songs for St Patricks Day - The Black Velvet Band and Wild Rover - and lots of singing along from the assembled masses.

Bernard and Maureen continue the Gaelic theme with some haunting tunes on concertina and guitar.

And onto another duo - Len is joined by his cousin Dave also on guitar and we move forward into acoustic music from the 20th century. "Cry Baby Cry" - a relatively rarely played Beatles song nowadays. And then Dave sings for the FaBclub for the first time with the Dylan classic - "Knocking on heavens door" -aye and a FaBclub virgin too.

John Hare teaches us to sing along with his chorus to the rousing "Knocking at the door" - sweet segue there. And another Irish one - this time a slow and deeply soulful ballad - "Maids of Coolmore". Beautiful and barely a dry eye in the house after.

Helen in great voice keeps the Irish theme up and running with "Spatschill Hill" and follows this with the Ralph McTell song "From Clare to Here" - which is sort of Irish too (maybe not : - discuss)

Dennis has his new album ready to go - 14 tracks for only £5 - of which 7 have a full orchestration.

Tone Deaf Leopard round off the first half. "Foggy Foggy Dew" has been misplaced historically according to Trevor. So now it's not from Ireland but from an Island - calypso style - limbo dancing not obligatory though. The World Tour continues on into the African continent with "Wee and a Shave" - of course.

After an appropriate break for a shave and a wee (well maybe just the fluid rebalancing part) we are off again. And we needed an opportunity to open the doors and cool the room down a bit - it must be all that creative energy!

Jo and Kathy together today with lovely work on concertina and guitar. "Song of the Fool." And "Enrico". Then Bernard joins them with a second concertina for an appropriate tune for the afternoon "Fanny Power".

Back to solo artistes with Bill Pardon and the famous FaBclub collapsing music stand (we must buy a new one - donations welcome). Bill is threatening to retire "Man from the Pru" and his maturing endowment, so this may be the last time we hear it for a while. His contribution to the Irish theme is "Whiskey in the Jar" - a bit more traditional than the Phil Lynnott version though.

Norman is on guitar today. "Your Cheating Heart", "Girl of your Dreams" and "Livin' Doll" rock us through the 50s and 60s. Cliff eat your heart out.

The raffle has lots of prizes today and Clive wins the (very vocal) cuddly duck.

A Ron Trueman-Border song is the opening song for Ben - "Whatever floats your boat" with subtle harmonies from round the room. He follows up with the lovely Richard Thompson number - "Bees wing" - one of my favourite Thompson songs ever -such amazing lyrics. Thank you Ben.

What a great line up this afternoon! Struggling to retrieve a plectrum from his pocket to ribald comments from the audience, Alan Neville provides some social commentary with "Not enough" about growing up -dangerously and terminally. Moving stuff. Alan has also been inspired by the terracotta army exhibition at the British Museum, and performs most of this great song about the questionable plans of the "worst Emperor of China", with some classic Neville rhyming couplets "Army of Clay". And "An Irish song" to complete the contribution - about Irish singers always singing about Ireland.

I'm on next with "Winter Dreaming" which seems to be an appropriate poem for a cold winter's afternoon, then "Growing Old Disgracefully" gets a fresh outing. I'll get them both right soon.

To round off the afternoon John Stafford has been lent a guitar by John H to perform. And we all have to sing along to a bit of skiffle. Or actually some good solid home town blues in Johns inimitable style. "Worried man" gets us all rattling and rolling and a mixed rhythm presentation of "Bobby Magee".