Tony introduced the acts tonight. We saw a plethora of Steves - Steve M did one of his own sngs, Steve S gave us a fine version of 'Good Year For The Roses' and Steve G did some Donovan. Nice to see Kev again with some banjo tunes and Lovely to hear Sheila sing some unaccompanied Irish traditional songs. Richard went kazoo crazy and we had duelling ukuleles from Stuart & Pete.
Stuart was our MC on an evening that saw a good turn-out, including Steve, Keith, Gail (a great version of Light Flight) and Tom. Tony sang a version of The 'Welsh' Rover, with some Welsh words in the chorus - the gist of the song being attempting to do some sheep shearing, but being sent away castrated by the farmer who thought his intentions towards the sheep were dodgy! As ever delivered with Tony's usual aplomb!
Pete was MC as we treated (by chance) to songs with a French theme and about the seaside. The Gallic connection may be as a result of Brexit, the World Cup or recent events, but included a version of "La Mer" from Pondlife. Sean did a couple of his own splendid songs while Richard was joined by Stuart and Phil was joined by Grace - nice to see some collaboration, We also celebrated Tony's birthday with a lovely version of the Wellwishing Song from those members of Red Notes who were present.
Sarah took charge as we welcomed back some faces not seen for a while. Good to see Keith with beautiful classical guitar playing of his own compositions, Gayle, who gave us a fabulous rendition of 'Woodstock', Alison with some unaccompanied traditional folk and Keith Hodges with his splendid version of the Kinks' 'Sunny Afternoon'. The summer theme was also in evidence with a version of 'Summertime' by Sarah & Pete, a duo formed spontaneously at the beginning of the evening! Nice to see a new face, Dan, who gave us some lovely mellow bluesy songs. Some old favourites too - the Captain Pugwash theme on accordions from Viv & John, 'The Runaway Train' from Phil and 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely?' from Neil.
Andy took MC duties on a quieter night. There was no lack of quality however as we saw John Blake do his usual Jake Thackray songs as well as his own brilliantly witty words set to the music of Delibes. Terry gave us a superb version of 'She Moves Through The Fair' and Phil did an old skiffle number with Grace on washboard. Tony and Grace sang about the 'glorious' mud of Glastonbury as well as a fitting tribute to Chris Roach by doing one of his favourite sea shanties.
Away from the usual Cross Hands venue, FAF regulars made up a large proportion of Folk@St Peter's, an acoustic evening at St Peter's Church in Frampton Cotterell. Malcolm, the vicar, welcomed Sarah Wrann, John Blake Steve Goodfield, Pondlife, Jo Cullum and Andy Danford & David Parker to join others for a performance in the wonderful acoustic of the church.
Tony was our MC as we introduced the new "FAF Featuring...." spot, kicking off with Andy Danford & Dave Parker (aka “12-volt Joe”, although they wouldn't tell us why!). Andy & Dave gave us a splendid selection of Americana and folk, a particularly excellent version of 'Black Jack Davy" was a stand-out track. Stuart & Pete played their ode to the ukulele by Louden Wainwright and Les Barker's take on the use of a banjo (dedicated to Andy!). Nice to see Guy (of Thornbridge) and Gayle (a fine version of 'Chelsea Morning'). Colin did a couple of Leon Rosselson songs and Neil, still on a high from seeing Neil Young, gave a nod to his hero.
We were very sad to hear of the recent passing of Chris Roach. Chris had become a regular at the club over the last few months, bringing his extensive knowledge of traditional song as well as other material that was at different times thought provoking, funny and often with a message. As leader of the Pill Whalers, he graced the stage at the recent Cross Hands Beer Festival.
The highlight of the evening was seeing Jonathan again after a lengthy time away. Good to see him performing again with Bob.
A relaxed evening with some splendid performances hosted by Pete. Terry was in fine form despite having a cold and Guy gave us a couple of his own songs, one of which sounded like a classic traditional song. Alison did some Maytime folk songs (assisted by Louise and bev) and new instruments were shown off by Steve (banjo) and Jo (12 string guitar). To top everything off, Colin let his hair down and gave us some feisty songs!
After the thrills and spills of the Cross Hands Beer Festival, it was back to business as usual. Sarah took the MC role and tributes were paid to Victoria Wood from Pondlife (complete with props!) and Prince from Sarah & Tony. The findings of the Hillsborough disaster enquiry were also recognised by both Chris and Tony.
FAF at the Cross Hands Beer Festival (part 2)
The Saturday afternoon got under way with a storming set of sea shanties from the Pill Whalers. Antje & John then gave us a lovely set of instrumentals on the unusual but wonderfully sounding combination of accordion and sax. Steve Smith was back in solo mode with a set of originals and covers, before Sarah Wrann gave us her usual soulful mix of gospel and folk. The afternoon was finished off in style by a full strength Pondlife who had them dancing in the aisles!
FAF at the Cross Hands Beer Festival (part 1)
The Thursday evening session got under way with a raucus set from The Whiskey Headed Buddies playing their earthy brand of blues. They were follwed by Blueyonder, lead by Steve Smith with his self penned songs, again in a bluesy style. MAGRAT finished off the evening with a fine selection. FAF stalwarts Tony and Grace were joined by Martin (guitar/vocals) and Anna (fiddle) for some stomping tunes.
A fabulous night was had by all with our guest Mike Scott. Mike gave us a great range of songs, with his clever wordplay, great wit and charm. Tony introduced a few floor singers and many fine song writers were represented - the other Mike Scott (Waterboys) from Tony & Grace, Ralph McTell from the Willbees and Ewan McColl from Pondlife.
FAF are delighted to have been asked to provide some musical entertainment for the Cross Hands Beer Festival. A selection of FAF regulars will perform on Thursday 21st April from 9-11pm and Saturday 23rd April from 2-5pm. The festival runs from 21-23 April and up to 12 beers will be available!
Andy rushed back from Leicester to MC the night! We had a welcome return from Terry, and Sean gave us his own songs, one particularly interesting one about Cuba. Dave played some nice slide guitar with Andy, and John was on good form, ably assisted by Pete S.
Stuart took on the MC role as we saw another fine mix. Many of those who are the newer visitors to the club have now become regulars and have added greatly to the variety. Appropriately, there was a strong show from the women, some marking International Women's Day. Alison & Louise gave us some beautiful harmony singing and Sarah marked the day wit a poem. There was also some lovely singing from Christine and FAF newcomer Helen, who not only sang with great skill and wit, but also ran up a few lines of knitting during the evening! Good contributions from the men too - a couple of Show Of Hands songs (Colin and Martin), humour from Phil and some John Tams from Richard.
On an evening hosted by Pete, we were treated to music from around the country and indeed the world. Gary gave us a tongue -in-cheek riposte to recent celebrations of Yorkshire and Tony acknowledges St David's Day with a couple of Welsh songs. There was a European flavour from Viv & John, with the wonderful sound of two accordions. Roger took us to Brazil where there is an awful lot of coffee! Some fab renditions of Jake Thackray from John B too.
Stuart was our MC on a night that saw many of our newer visitors. There was plenty of unaccompanied singing and traditional songs, but surprisingly few love songs despite the upcoming Valentine's Day (although Rev Richard gave us his splendid love song to ale!). We did, however have 2 Max Boyce songs (Richard and Lesley)! It was great to see Vicki & Richard again, playing wonderfully on guitar, fiddle and whistle. Nice too to see Terry as he joined Jo & Steve on the accordion. Tom did a beautiful version of 'Autumn Leaves'. Club regular Malcolm gave his last performance before moving to Cornwall, so we wish him well in his new home.
Another busy night, hosted by Andy saw various nods to the recentlydeparted. There were many Eagles songs to honour Glen Frey, some Bowie from Jack and Stuart & Pete and even a bit of Motorhead from Tony & Grace! Jack, Paul and Sean performed their own songs and Dave marked Burns Night with his Address To A Haggis.
A superb evening with Tony at the helm saw FAF paying tribute to Alan Mitchell. There were numerous mentions of Yorkshire and songs from the county by Tony & Grace, Rev Richard, Martin and Gary (sporting a "Brighouse On A Saturday Night" t-shirt). Dave and Malcolm (making a welcome visit) performed some of Alan's favourite monologues, and there were some thoughtful and spiritual pieces from Steve, Pondlife and Sarah. People spoke with fondness of their memories of Alan and the club gave a collective and rousing rendition of "Brighouse On A Saturday Night", Alan's 'greatest hit'.
There were also nods to the recently departed Lemmy and David Bowie (with a couple of the latter's songs performed), a rare and beautifully sung performance by Lola and some fine classical guitar from Keith.
Looking forward to seeing everybody at FAF in 2016, starting on January 12th when we will paying tribute to our great friend Alan Mitchell.
All at FAF wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and musical New Year!
Another jolly evening of festive fun with MC Stuart. We were treated to Carols from the All Saints choir as well as the usual familiar faces. Martin gave us some Elvis Costello, Dave did his hilarious 'thank you' letters regarding the gifts of the 12 days of Christmas and there was some lovely singing from Christine. Nice to see Paul with his thought provoking songs and new face Steve with some very tasteful stuff. John was ably assisted by Keith, who also gave us some 'dirty old blues'!
A packed programme hosted by Pete saw many of the regulars and others (too many to mention) in a festive mood. A fine spread of food appeared as the room filled up and there was even a surfeit of mince pies!
Look out for a double page article about FAF in the new edition of Fishponds Voice. Sarah & Stuart are interviewed and give some insights into the club along with photos of some of the regulars.
A Fantastic night with the wonderful Carrivick Sisters. Charlotte & Laura were in superb form with their beautiful harmony singing and instrumental virtuosity - so many instruments! Thanks to the floor singers and Andy for MC-ing. Thanks also to Dave Williams for the loan of chairs, much needed on a sell out evening.
A terrific night, ably hosted by Sarah. Songs to mark Remembrance Day were in evidence in a varied evening. Richard gave us a medley of music hall songs dressed in a bowler hat and waistcoat, Kevin brought his newly acquired banjo and we were delighted to see Keith and Colin. It was also great to see performers who are new to the club or who had only been a couple of times before - Vicki & Richard gave us some beautiful harmonies and lovely playing, Carol sang unaccompanied superbly, Jacki did some old favourites and Steve showed his songwriting talents. Variety too with poetry from Trevor - the Bard of Windmill Hill and his ode to tea!
We're delighted to say that the Carrivick Sisters have sold out!
Tickets for the Carrivick Sisters on 24th November are selling fast - only a few left. This is likely to sell out in advance so make sure you book your ticket ASAP.
Tony was our MC on a busy evening. Dave brought the family band, Pete from Somerset gave us some blues and Phil did a bit of CSN&Y. We had a Halloween theme from Tony & Grace and Pondlife. Good stuff to from Henry, Jo and Steve and nice to hear newcomer Sean with a couple of his own songs.
Stuart took the helm tonight.
Pete was MC on a fairly quiet night. Eddie gave us his unique wit and Richard became a one man band. Steve (who has been once or twice before) gave us own reflections on life and it was good to see Jo again.
Tony took the helm and we welcomed back Jonathan after major surgery. It was good to hear a couple of his old favourites again. We also had Paul from Weston-super-Mare with his tasteful guitar instrumentals, lovely singing and playing from Gayle, and Pete revealed his new cigar box guitar for a song with Stuart. Tony & Grace finished with some 'community singing'!
Andy found himself MC-ing (again!) as we saw the welcome return of Pete from Somerset and Kev. Martin and Steve both gave us fine renditions of Richard Thompson songs. Pondlife took us Mingulay by boat. We ended the evening, not with the usual "Keep Your Lamp", but with a version of "Country Life", a song often performed by Jonathan, who has not been well lately. We hope we sent some positive vibes to one of our founder members!
Pondlife Pete, the writer of this column was at Cropredy and lack of information means that he can't report on this particular evening! No matter, we'll move on to the following FAF night.
Andy was our MC for a fine mix of songs and styles, with some nice stuff from all including Martin, Sarah, Steve and Tony & Grace.
Stuart was at the helm for a fine evening, with the usual mix of styles. It was good to welcome back John Blake with his wonderful Jake Thackray songs, and Gayle, who we haven't seen for a while. We were also treated to a couple of self penned songs from Jean on her performing debut at FAF.
Sarah took charge for a busy evening including Chris, Kevin and Stuart & Pete.
Pete was on MC-ing duties and we had a fine selection. Roger, Tony & Grace, Jo, Neil and Martin were all on good form and it was nice to see John Shaw.
A regular night hosted by Andy with some great stuff from the regulars plus visitors Sian and Rob.
A fabulous night with a blues special from the Whiskey Headed Buddies, with FAF regular Keith Hodges leading the band. Tony was in the MC hotseat.
A more intimate evening hosted by Stuart and performed in the round. Some lovely stuff from some of the regulars and very tasteful guitar playing from Neil, who did some of his Brazillian tunes. Special mention goes to Seren The Heron, a young singer/songwriter from Abergavenny who came over and delighted us with her beautiful songs and voice.
Jonathan introduced yet another assortment of allsorts, from Cuban (Pondlife) to Match of the Day (Tony), via Richard Thompson (Jonathan & Bob) to Johnny Cash (Richard & Colin) and a beautiful tribute to the late John Renbourn (Steve). We also had a true travelling minstrel, Ian, who was en route and called in to give us some stunning Renaissance music, complete with lute!
MC duties were shared by Grace and Sarah who welcomed FAF newcomer Dawn doing some beautiful songs. Mentions also go to Steve, Sarah and Kev in another varied evening.
Our next guest evening will be on May 12th with FAF regular and favourite Keith Hodges plus his band the Whisky Headed Buddies. More details to follow soon.
A fabulous evening was had by all with the wonderful Jez Lowe, a performance full of charm, wit and thoughtfulness with some great playing and singing. There was a full house, so a big thanks to Jez. Tony did his usual cracking job as MC and there were a select number of floor spots. It was nice to hear a couple of songs from the FAF CD done live (Keith and Steve) and a song beautifully sung by FAF debutant, Jacqui.
Tickets for the Jez Lowe gig on March 10th have sold out!
A quieter FAF night, but with the usual eclectic mix. Hosted by 'Pondlife' Pete, we saw fine performances from Steve, Jo doing T-Rex, story telling from Gary and a mix of philosophy and classic songs from Roger. Amid some interesting tuning issues, Grace got her washboard out! Tickets for Jez Lowe were selling well and there are now only a few left.
Jez Lowe is coming to FAF soon and we are delighted that he has been nominated for two BBC Folk Awards - Folk Singer of the Year and Best Original Song ("The Pitmen Poets"). Good luck to Jez on 22nd April.
A cracking FAF night, busy and full of quality with lots of regulars. MC was Andy who did a splendid job. Nice to see Joss again, who made his first appearance last time and lowered the average age! Richard and Colin were the new 'super duo' with Colin showing us his percussion skills. Love was in the air with Valentine's Day approaching and there were a fine selection of love songs, including Tony's version of "Angels" and Pondlife doing "It Must Be Love". Tickets went on sale for the Jez Lowe gig and sold well - get yours fast to avoid disappointment.