Canterbury Folk Club. Sunday 1st March, 2009
By Marjorie Mitchell
God Bless the Queen! Victoria that is. Dave Hart (Fat Boy) and John Jones (Slim) right royally entertained us at the Folk Club last night.
Vaudeville is what Fat Boy and Slim excel at - like you have not seen for many a year. On a very small stage, they changed costumes in a trice and in so doing, they changed into any manner of characters. We were in turn, serenaded , scared, mocked and shocked - while being fed on outlandish tales of pretend mayhem from characters intended to thrill or chill sending shivers down the spine. It was very well done, mainly because the words came across so clearly – albeit a tad Cockney. The sense of energetic ridiculous drama, was highlighted by Jane Hart, playing her trombone for The Fella What Plays the Trombone.
Enjoying the Victorian humour, the audience participated by either hissing, groaning or screaming – all the while chortling in their seats at the surprising madness of it all. Singing was not compulsory but we all joined in with items such as: I’m Shy Mary Ellen, A Mother’s Lament. Sweeney Todd and You Can’t Take That Thing On the Train and many others – all easy to sing along with.
It was an evening of thrilling melodrama. My advice to Dave and John is that those unplanned errors on stage bring unintended laughs and those are simply loved by the audience. You don’t need to try too hard, as the enjoyment comes from watching your antics– turned into art, via a keyboard and mandolin plus two eccentric personalities.
So please keep up the tradition - tunes, songs and poems were all in the best British taste. Along with us, Queen Victoria would be very amused.