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This is the, "what's been happening at FAF" column.
Here you'll find regular updates on FAF activity, trivia and gossip......
The FAF faithful continued to turn out despite recent floods, storms and coronavirus. Plagues of locusts have yet to spotted over Fishponds! Tony was our MC and got things under way. With this FAF landing between St David’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, he sang Sosban Fach in Welsh and followed with Black Velvet Band and The Wild Rover. Tom had his 12 string guitar which was well suited Hotel California and a rather jazzy Still Crazy After All These Years and Paul sang two of his own, Summertown and Holly Bush. John had a splendid red guitar and sang A Good Year For The Roses before returning to his punk roots on the Members’ Solitary Confinement. It was great to see Gayle after a long break from FAF and she sang Feelin’ Groovy, Pentangle’s Light Flight and Dylan’s It’s All Over Now Baby Blue. There was a rare appearance from Chris who did The Kids Are Alright (inspired by Greta Thunberg) and a couple of his own songs with some very tasty guitar work. Andy had a new song about the current political state and also sang the Steve Earl song Come Back Woodie Guthrie and Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor to remember Jon Davy. Pondlife did an old favourite, Those Were The Days and an ode to Scotland Come By The Hills and Geoff was in light hearted mood with Jerry Keller’s Here Comes Summer and the Flanders & Swann classic The Gas Man Cometh. Tony (number 2) returned to the club with two classics, Nick Drake’s Northern Sky and Richard Thompson’s Beeswing and Terry did the traditional Wearing Of The Blue and Anne Lister’s Icarus.
Once again good numbers braved the winter weather for a busy FAF, hosted by Stuart. Richard was our traditional starter, marking St David’s Day with his little red dragon as he sang his version of Jamaica Farewell, Patagonia Farewell (it was  a Welsh colony apparently) and followed with Sloop John B. Tom was next with Ain’t Misbehavin’  and Allan Taylor’s Standing At The Door and it was good to see Mike make a welcome return as he sang Tom Paxton’s I Give You The Morning and played a nice bit of ragtime guitar. Andy’s voice had returned and 12 Volt Joe were back as a duo with the Steve Earl song I Can’t Remember If We Said Goodbye and Andy’s own Be Bold Be Courageous Be Free, Dave playing lap slide on both. Pat sang Woody Guthrie, Oregon Trail and Harry Chapin’s All My Life’s A Circle, Ron (returning for a second visit) did All The Roadrunning (Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris) and Gordon Lightfoot’s Sundown before our very own Gordon made a rare appearance singing The Water Is Wide and Jonathan Kelly’s I Used To Know You. Sean sang the long traditional ballad Sir Patrick Spens and was persuaded to do a short instrumental and Tony & Grace were also marking St David’s Day, singing in Welsh and English on Calon Lân (A Pure Heart). They also reminded us that it was Shrove Tuesday and Mardis Gras with Tony doing his ode to the pancake complete with pancake tossing from Grace! Stuart & Pete were in jolly mood with Loudon Wainwrights’ Ukulele Song and I Wanna Be Like You and John (number 1) played splendidly, a mussette called Indifferently and a tune by John McCusker Khazi (for his friend Ian Carr). Sarah was next with the Beach Boy’s Goin’ South and the gospel flavoured I Heard It Through The Grapevine. Back with us after a long break was John (number 2), complete with bodhrán he sang Down By The Riverside and You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond (Blind Willie Johnson), then Paul sang two of his own songs Still Life and Barbara Says and Geoff did McAlpine’s Fusileers and The Oldest Swinger In Town. Terry gave us It Was You and an ode to his courting days Bist Going To Or What? Before Martin rounded the evening off in traditional mood with Two Magicians and The Jolly Waggoner.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it was a night sprinkled with romance. Our MC Pete introduced Richard, who impressed us all with his new resonator ukulele and sang Freight Train and Goodnight Irene. Tom was next with Jim Croce’s These Dreams and his own Memory Store before Stuart & Pete gave us a couple of tongue in cheek love songs, Oh Sue and Roseville Fair. John was in romantic mood, playing Love Is The Sweetest Thing and an eastern European tune A Night In The Garden Of Eden and Roger sang For All The Girls I’ve Loved Before and Rhinestone Cowboy. It was nice to see a couple of new faces at the club and first up was Stefan who played some superb guitar whilst singing a sadder love song (it ended in murder in true folk song style) and of the Battle Of Lansdown. Geoff (number 1) was next with Died For Love and the old Joy Division 'folk' song Love Will Tear Us Apart (well, June Tabor did a version). Our other newcomer was next, Ron sang Billy Bragg’s A New England and continued the Kirsty McColl connection by singing her song Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me. Sean gave us the Si Kahn song It’s Not Just What You’re Born With and his own untitled instrumental and Andy (who had lost his voice) played some banjo tunes including Buffalo Girls. Tony sang a love song to mark his Mum’s 90th birthday, one of her favourite songs, Roger Whittaker’s The Last Farewell and was joined by Grace to celebrate Mardis Gras with Paul Simon’s Take Me To The Mardis Gras. Jake gave us some blues with When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too) and our second 80s synth pop song of the night, Yazoo’s Only You. It was nice to see Neil again and especially nice to hear him play some very tasty Bossa Nova before Colin sang two Tom Lewis songs Down By The Dockyard Wall and The Bos'n, The Gunner And Me. Geoff (number 2) was in good form with his versions of Lucile and The Wild Rover (with a couple of nice variations) and a busy evening was rounded off by Martin with She Moved Through The Fair and Pretty Peggy O.
Another busy evening, this time with Geoff as our MC. Stuart & Pete kicked off with the ever popular Show Of Hands song The Napoli and Ukulele Man with Pete doin’ the pickin’. There were more flying fingers as Sean & Sandi (Folie à  Deux) sang an ode to January dieting We Eat A Lot Less Now before Sean played Pentangle’s version of Once I Had A Sweetheart with some very fancy guitar work. Tom was next with Dave Paskett’s I Could Not Take My Eyes Off Her and You’ve Got A Friend then Andy played some banjo tunes including Paddy On The Railway and sang his own song Tom Lee about a 17th century murder. Jane had another poem set to her own tune Gypsies and an old song of hers to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, Holocaust. John took us to France with his accordion with Sous Le Ciel De Paris and played a couple of klezmer tunes Peace Be With You/Dance Young Man and it was nice to see an occasional visitor, Paul with his songs Summertown (remembering childhood holidays in Cornwall) and Ulysses. Jake brought his resonator guitar for a couple of his own songs Only Lying To Ourselves and Vanishing Man and Pat sang Nobody’s Child and Jug Of Punch. Tony did South Australia in tribute to his friend Aussie Pete and What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us? In tribute to Terry Jones. Terry sang about Bristol merchants and the slave trade and an ode to pianos, before the two Geoffs. Geoff (number 1) sang Galway Shawl and Benny Hill’s Jose's Cantina before Geoff (number 2) did Tending My Sheep and The King Of Rome. There was just enough time for Stuart & Pete to do The Snake (“more key chnages than Eurovision” said Geoff), Sean to sing Model Of  A Modern Prime Minister and Andy doing Refugee Blues from the W.H. Auden poem.
The first FAF of the New Year and a fine turnout considering the wet and windy weather. Andy was our MC and got us underway with a couple of banjo tunes, Chilly Winds/Boatman plus Mike Waterson’s The Scarecrow. Pat followed with Lost Highway and Warren Zevon’s Carmelita. Gavin & Simon sang Si’s song Unseen Heroes and The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love and Jane had two new poems set to her own tunes taken from a book she found in a charity shop, The Echoing Green and A Ship Sails Up To Bideford. Roger was in mischievous form again (his electronic keyboard gave us snippets of Mozart at various points in the evening) singing his show tunes, including Oh What A Beautiful Morning. John gave us some Scottish tunes on the accordion Stronsay/Sailing Through The Narrows as well as Walter Bulmer’s Polkas/The Quaker, then Geoff sang the first wassails of the night Stroud Wassail and the Kipper Family’s twist on the genre Trunch Wassail. Jake did a couple of his own songs Reminders Of You and Leave On Your Light, later singing What A Day For A Daydream. Stuart & Pete began with their tribute to Neil Innes I’m The Urban Spaceman (another kazoo holder malfunction included!) and were joined by Louise for the Gloucestershire Wassail. Tony & Grace followed the theme with Here We Come A Wassailing and Tony sang Christie Moore’s City Of Chicago. Nice to see Jo & Steve again as they sang The Storms Are On The Ocean, John Prine’s Never Gonna Let Her Go and Dylan's Farewell Angelina. Dave was also back after his Christmas triumph, this time in more serious mode with a monologue from Jaws about sailors lost to sharks after Hiroshima, leading into Spanish Ladies. He followed with the Fisherman’s Friends song No Hopers Jokers And Rogues. Colin was also in a nautical vein with a song about the 1899 sea disaster off Lynmouth where the lifeboat was carried over land from Porlock before singing Jez Lowe’s Morpeth Olympics. Martin was in a more reflective mood with Sally Gardens and The Parting Glass.