FaBclub Review
6th April 2008
Written by Dennis Homes

April, the height of spring and the start of apple blossom time and what did we wake up to this morning? Snow, snow and more bloody snow. I was therefore quite surprised to arrive at the club to find the room absolutely packed. It may be lousy weather outside but inside the atmosphere was definitely Fine And Bright. It was also Margaret (Lady Formby's) birthday so there was much celebration in the air.

Clive was our genial host for this afternoon and first up was good old Rocking Bob who opened up with Your Cheating Heart sung in his usual cheery style. He followed this with the old Hoagy Charmichael favourite Georgia which soon had everyone humming along and forgetting the lousy weather outside.

Next up was Ron with his fabulous Gibson jumbo guitar. His first song was Singing the Blues, a song recently recorded by Alison Kraus and Robert Plant. He has a really nice relaxed style when performing country and western songs of which he is quite a master. His second song was the old Hank Williams classic Honky Tonk Angels. John Stafford who had only just arrived provided quite a nice accompaniment on mouth organ.

Bernard and Maureen were then introduced by Clive as the FaB Club's answer to Relate! And as usual they provided us with a medley of most melodic instrumentals including Swiss Boy, Swedens Anden Fyloo and Lord OF the Dance.

Clive kept us all well entertained with his jokes before bringing on the infamous Tone Deaf Leopards who opened up with Time to Check the Freezer. This was the first time that I'd heard this song and as to be expected was a most amusing song with song great lyrics from Trevor. I love the way he rhymes "Keys are" with "freezer". Next was another classic from this mad duo called Saga Louts!

It was my turn next and I dug out a couple of old songs of mine that I've never previously sung at the club, "Battered Old Guitar" and "Pull Your Trousers Up".

Simon Vogel who is quite well known around the local folk clubs entertained us with a number of his highly amusing and very clever poems. Simon is a FaB Club virgin and I really hope that he makes many more visits here at the club.

Mike Parrott made a most welcome return to the club, his first this year. His first song was The Girls of Amsterdam sung in a really nice relaxed style. He followed this up with one of his own songs which a great favourite with the regulars here "It's a Girl I'm Searching For" which is more commonly known as "Have a Banana". A great way to end the first half as Mike got everyone joining in.

After the break in which everyone enjoyed the great spread of food that was brought along to celebrate Margaret's birthday we were treated to some great music from a marvellous duo called Rosa's Daughters. The first song featured a citeria which is something like a dulcimer. Their second song was called It's Only Love that was sung in a most emotional and beautiful way. Everyone was most touched by their wonderful rendition as you called almost hear a pin drop, that is until the song ended when there was a very loud applause.

If you would like to see and hear Rosa's Daughters please click on their photo to the right.

Joe Midgal was the next performer who as usual gave an excellent performance of two of his owner numbers. The first was called Star trails and featured some really nice guitar phrasing, Joe is an absolute master when it comes to playing guitar in DADGAD tuning. I really do admire his guitar playing, his phrasing is so sensitive to the feeling of the song. The next number was School Days was about his own childhood with mention of Eagle Pond, a place that I know very well and have in fact written a song about that pond myself.

The birthday girl Margaret came on next and sang one of my songs which I wrote for Margaret. (Thanks and Happy Birthday, Mags).

Bill Pardon gave us one of his great rousing songs which had everyone joining on the Na na na na na na na chorus and John Stafford improvising away on the mouth harp. He followed this with his famous Fifteen Times A Night which as usual aroused a great deal of laughter and a rousing applause.

Liz (our second poet of the afternoon) gave us a rendition of her very original and cleverly written poem about shoes. The second poem was Growing Old Disgracefully which was so very apt for Margaret's birthday.

Trevor 'Bloke in a Hat' Bareham was\the next performer. And indeed with a new Burberry style hat. You Really Make my Day was his first number, which like so many of his songs has a really great sing along chorus which is so infectious and soon has\ everyone joining in. And as to be expected he had even more people joining in when he sung his next song "Breath" which has become a bit of an anthem here at the FaB Club.

We were so pleased to welcome Claudine back to the club from San Francisco. She gave us a lengthy chat on what she has been up to over the last three months in the States. She then sang a delightful song, one which she had only recently written and sang in her native French. Even though I didn't understand the lyrics (I don't speak French) the sheer emotion and sensitivity shone through. A most beautiful rendition.

John Stafford performed just one song, the old classic blues number "aint nobody seen the trouble I've seen", and as usual his rendition contains long conversations between each verse, including placing a drink order with Claudine while still singing the song. It was great to hear loads of people playing various percussion instruments and shakers etc.

It was great to see Rosa' Daughters come back for one final song Sky Dancers which had everyone joining in. A really nice performance with some lovely harmonies and sung with great feeling. I really hope that it's not too long before this lovely duo returns to the club. A truly lovely way to round off the afternoon and bring the spirit of spring back into what started off as a wet, cold day.

Finally, a big thank you to Clive who did an excellent job as compere with loads of jokes that kept everyone well entertained.