I decided this was enough to risk going to see him at Cadogan Hall, a rather swish venue off Sloane Street full of rather swish people, and I had a lovely evening.
Tom is sincere and twee and everything else my mum hates about the folk movement. He knows he's not Woody or Bobby, but that hasn't stopped him from pegging away all these years - he has things to say and he enjoys saying them. He sings songs written for his daughters when they were toddlers, and shares his astonishment that they are now 40 and 43. He sings about strip mining and civil rights, and also about bottles of wine and marvellous toys.
(During a song about 9/11, a woman a few rows behind me shouted out "What about Palestine? It's not only Americans who get killed!" Protest in action!)
He's not too earnest to sing the parody version of his most moving song, or to do a wicked impression of Pete Seeger.
I rode home over Chelsea Bridge, which was lit up like a fairground ride.