Folk Around Fishponds (FAF) is an acoustic folk club run by live music enthusiasts. "Folk" music can mean different things to different people, but basically FAF is a live music performing club with a foot firmly in the folk tradition. During an average evening, music played may range from traditional folk to blues, Americana, jazz, rock, pop covers, old faves, humorous songs and more. We're acoustic, so can't really be called an "open mic" night, and use amplification only occasionally if guest performers require it. All welcome - singers, musicians and audience!
We cater for different levels of ability ranging from experienced performers to relative beginners, but you do obviously need to be able to hold a tune! We're a friendly bunch, very supportive of newcomers and regulars alike. Come along and give it a try! Normally there's an MC and other members of the "committee" are there to see things run smoothly, and on a normal night we may start with each performer playing or singing 2 songs each in turn, then see how the time goes! We have special guests every 3-4 months, so on a "guest" night other performers may be limited to 1 or 2 songs each depending again on time.
FAF started in 1999 as an informal musical get-together, and 2 of the 4 "founder members" - Colin & Richard - are still regulars at the club. Over the years, living up to its name, the club has at various times been held in a number of pubs in Fishponds - starting out in The Cross Hands, residing for a couple of lengthy spells at The Cross Keys, and also briefly flirting with The Portcullis and The Star. Autumn 2012 saw the club move back into The Cross Hands, in the very pleasant atmospheric upstairs function room.
Since late 2012, folk nights are held twice a month - on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 8pm. See Home page for details of future dates.
Cross Hands Tavern,
1 Staple Hill Rd, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 5AA
at the junction of Fishponds Rd and Staple Hill Rd up by Straits Parade.
Entrance: £2 to cover the cost of the room.
The bar is downstairs, and has a good selection of ales, lagers, cider, wines and other drinks. For pub details and location see www.thecrosshandsbristol.co.uk. If you're arriving by car, there is plenty of parking space on nearby streets - Straits Parade, Downend Rd, Staple Hill Rd or Fishponds Rd itself.
Hope to see you there!!
THE CLUB SONG
The story of "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed & Burning"
FAF has a tradition of finishing the evening with the club 'anthem'. Anyone can take to the stage and join in - there are often more on stage than in the audience at that point! You can hear the song on the FAF charity CD, both as a studio version and as performed
live in the club.
Previous regular, Steve, tells us a bit more on the history of how this
tradition came to be...
"In the early days about 50% of the club also played in what was loosely called ‘the ceilidh band’, we didn't actually play for dances in those days but did get booked for a range of weird and wonderful functions at which we always finished with‘Keep Your Lamp’ which I had purloined from the Rev. Gary Davis ‘Songbook’. On club nights we were usually given the last spot, simply because there were more of us and it was less of a kerfuffle that way, and so always finished with ‘Keep Your Lamp’’ and Keith would also invite all the other singers and musicians to join us. A tradition which continued even when the ceilidh band (later ‘lumbered’ with the name Canon Fodder) did not close the evening. Another interesting point is that the song predates Rev. Gary Davis by some considerable time. It was originally sung in churches in the south and Gary Davis, and Mississippi John Hurt picked it up from there."