FaBclub review
22nd June 2008
written by Clive Meggs

It's a lovely sunny day outside and the rays are pouring into the function room, but there is sufficient draught through a partly open door to keep the temperature of the room comfortable. Quite a few of the regulars are missing today, for various reasons, but performers and audience are arriving and it promises to be a great afternoon.

Jojo has volunteered to be our compere for the first half of the afternoon and starts off with a Buddy Holly song, Raining in my Heart. It takes tremendous courage not only to be the first act, but to sing unaccompanied and hold the tune. Jojo does this admirably.

Bernard is introduced next as a man who does a lot of clever things with his fingers (whatever does Jojo mean). Minus his organ today, Bernard gives us a couple of lovely tunes on his concertina. His fingers go on strike after the first tune but make a fine recovery for the second.

An old favourite, Len, is next having returned recently from his travels to Turkey. He starts with a song called Only Love Can Break Your Heart, which I think may have been by the Beatles, followed by a song definitely by the Beatles called I'll Follow The Sun. Great stuff Len!

Maureen has hurt her hand so is unable to play the guitar. She tells a couple of jokes, one about cowboy boots, the other about toilet paper and the audience are in fits of laughter.

We are graced this afternoon by an all too infrequent visit from an old friend of the club, Paul Ballantyne. Paul starts with a Nancy Griffiths song entitled A Hard Life Is All That They'll Know, followed by a song written by Bobby Sands called I Wish I Was Back Home In Derry. We have missed your exceptional talent, Paul. Please return again soon to entertain us.

Our next guest has also just returned from his travels, to sunny Spain. Norman takes to the stage with the smallest ukulele you have seen. He placates our compere by announcing that he will be doing a Rock n' roll song as opposed to a George Formby number and goes straight into A Whole Lot Of Shaking Going On. The audience are impressed. Still no Formby for the second number, a lovely old singalong tune, Walking My Baby Back Home. Jojo is looking pleased, but for how long we ask ourselves.

Here comes Margaret with another ukulele and her newly found voice. She starts with the theme song from Last Of The Summer Wine. What, no George Formby! Jojo is now looking eggstatic! She follows with a Hank Williams song, Your Cheating Heart. In between songs we are treated to a update of the escapades of Charlie ( Margaret's grandson ), sounds like a bit of a party animal to me!


Tone Deaf Leopard are on next and start with a very appropriate Bob Dylan song entitled Brand New Leopardskin Pillbox Hat. Surely if there is such an apparel of clothing the Leopards would have made every attempt to find one by now. They follow this with a ballad about a psycho American murder - Banks of the Ohio. Olivia Newton-John will never be the same to me after hearing this.

Ben then comes to the stage and tells us he is entering the young folk musician of the year contest for the first time in September. Ben will be 15years old in August and is so talented. He tries two folk tunes which are works in progress for the contest. The first is called Tell Old Bill and the second a more traditional number called The Duke of Marlborough. Ben certainly has talent and ambition and we all wish him well in the contest.

We take a break at this point to re-fuel and empty, not necessarily in that order.

Margaret takes over as compere for the second half of the afternoon and introduces Jojo who sings an unaccompanied song about Van Dieman's entitled Andersons Coast. A haunting tale beautifully sung.

Bernard gives us another couple of tunes on the concertina. His fingers are working OK this time. The rattles and shakers come out for the second tune as the audience feel the need to join in.

More Beatles from Len next with Strawberry fields Forever. Paul made a comment earlier on after Len's first set that why should you use 3 chords when 10 will do. This must be an in joke between guitar players because it goes completely over my head. Nevertheless Len completes his set with a 3 chord song, If I Were A Carpenter.

Maureen tells us two jokes about 3 beers and then 3 dogs. That reminds me, I must cut my nails when I get home.

Paul returns to the front and starts with a Show of Hands song called Cousin Jack, a request from Margaret. Paul is so talented. He hasn't played this song for ages but is able to go on stage and play the song almost as good as his mentors. He follows with a song by a group called Five for Fighting called Superman.

Norman comes to the front full of courage and announces that he will do 2 George Formby numbers. Never mind Jojo, the rest of us enjoy George. The first is the famous Fanlight fanny then another Formby song called I Promise To Be Home By 9 O'clock ( I've never heard this one before)

TDL open with one of my favourite parodies, a song about lab rabbits called Wild Clover (I think). They are then joined by Ben for their second number Scarborough Fair. It is played to a different tune - very interesting, and well received.

Margaret returns for her second spot and sings us Forget-me-not Lane. She finishes wish an old favourite, Lord of the Dance, with lots of audience participation.

Next on is Ben . He sings Sweet Baby James, which was written by James Taylor for his son who was named, yes you've guessed it, James. It was also the theme music for a cookery programme starring the chef James Martin. He then sings an old Ron Truman Border classic Somedays It Doesn't Pay You To Get Out Of Bed . Ben is developing quite a range of different music.

To finish what has been an excellent afternoon Paul is invited back to do an extra couple of numbers. He firstly sings On the Ledge by Richard Thompson, one of the best chorus songs I have heard and follows this with a second Richard Thompson song, Vincent Black Lightening. Ben also covers this song in a completely different way.

Well, another fantastic afternoon of good music and good company had to come to an end but we meet again in two weeks time, on 6th July, when we are celebrating Liz's birthday. Please bring along a plate of food to share and try to come early to get a seat. See you then. Clive..