FAFFING ABOUT (2017)
This is the, "what's been happening at FAF" column.
Here you'll find regular updates on FAF activity, trivia and gossip......
It was the traditional FAF Christmas bash with Tony doing the MC honours. There were festive songs aplenty, some with a twist, starting with Eddie's I Don't Like Christmas (very tongue in cheek, of course). Terry did a wonderful Silent Night and Rosemary's Sister, Antje & John gave us a German Christmas song, Phil a bit of nonsense about a frozen logger (!) whilst Roger had a Welsh theme. Steve followed his familiar Dylan routine with a fine Girl From the North Country, Pondlife did Winter Song and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Tony a medley of Christmas tunes on the harmonica. It was good to see Dave make a visit doing his brilliant version of Ronnie Barker's Problem Of Pismonunciation sketch and there was more comedy from Geoff with his hilarious Squeaky Floorboard song (FAF's second after Sean's version), ably accompanied by Pete on the uke. Sarah did a lovely rendition of Joni Mitchell's River, Andy an Americana style Christmas song and a reprise of his latest opus, Body Count, Alison a 17th century carol and we finished with Martin doing a Kate Rusby song. Some splendid buffet grub completed the evening.
Stuart took charge for an evening that began quietly but picked up and proved as eclectic as ever. Stuart himself gave us witty observations on women in the Navy, the demon alcohol and a twist on Marie's Wedding. Phil went back to the 60s with I Can't Stop Loving You ('for the ladies!'), Andy did some Tom Paxton and Jackson C Frank, Roger the orchestral theme from Romeo And Juliet (unaccompanied!) and Sarah sang a Paloma Faith song. There were new songs from Tony (World Leaders, A Folking Rap, complete with actions) and Andy D (Body Count, about the Vietnam war). There was a hint of the festive season in the air, Eddie did a lovely instrumental version of The Holly And The Ivy and Gavin (accompanied by Simon on the cajon) performed Mumford And Sons' I Will Wait. Geoff and Pete teamed up for a brace of Jethro Tull songs ("Tulltastic!' said Tony). Sarah, Gavin and Simon ended the evening with a fine version of the recent Rag 'n' Bone Man song, Human.
Pete was MC for what has become a traditional theme at this time of year - remembrance and anti war. Most performers did at least one song on the theme, some with personal stories. Pondlife kicked off with The Blue Cockade, and there were war songs from Terry, Sean, Geoff, Andy (singing unaccompanied!), Jo, Colin, Martin and Gavin. Steve did a song begun by his Grandfather in 1916 which he had completed and Chris (with Stuart) had an alternative take, singing the Beatle's Revolution. There were lighter moments too from Roger and Phil. Nice to see a couple of new faces - Kevin (who had been once before some years ago) with a lovely version of The Hiring Fair and Fraser, calling in on a passing trip to Bristol, and doing some fine unaccompanied singing.
A fine and varied evening hosted by Andy. Richard kicked off, ably accompanied by Roger on the tea chest bass. Stuart & Pete then set the tone with a version of the Kink's Autumn Almanac and Ronnie Lane's How Come, the Halloween theme being taken up by Eddie, Tony & Grace (Warewolves Of Fishponds and Sympathy For The Devil), and Sarah (Put A Spell On You). Martin was on good form with some traditional material and a John Martyn song, John gave us Flanders & Swann (The Sloth) as well as his usual Jake Thackray, Sean sang about immigrants struggling across the Med and we had some Dylan from both Steve and Gayle. Andy was in fine form with a stunning version of The Scarecrow by Lal & Mike Waterson and Gavin continued his songs with a local theme, singing about the Britannia air crash, WG Grace and his love of Bristol. Tony had a slightly off beat tribute to Glen Campbell - Gaviscon (!) and Sarah & Pete brought Hip Hop to the club with a very funky verson of Rapper's Delight/Good Times.
A wonderful guest night from the fabulous Ange Hardy. Ange gave us an evening of beautifully observed songs, drawing from her extraordinary life story and experiences, as well as some traditional material. She dazzled with her lovely voice, a range of instruments and her use of loop pedals to create layers, textures and beautiful harmonies. Thanks must also go to Ange's husband, Rob, who handled the PA with great skill and empathy. There were a few floor spots too from Tony and Grace (a tribute to Tom Petty), Steve (October Song), Gary (an anti war song), Sean (a reprise of his Squeaky Floorborad Song), Guy (singing about murder with humour), Martin (John Martyn's Over The Hill), 12 Volt Joe (Andy's touching tribute to his granddaughter, Little Wren) and Pondlife (their greatest hit!). Tony handled the MC duties with suitable aplomb on a packed night.
Stuart took charge tonight and there seemed to be a weather theme. Sarah (Rainy Night In Georgia) and Andy both sang about rain and Eddie did Fog On The Tyne. Elsewhere, Steve gave us a couple of Dylan songs and John some of his Jake Thackray repertoire. Gayle delighted with a version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes?, Pondlife went back to the 70s for A Horse With No Name, Roger some thought provoking stuff, Geoff some unusual choices (Song To A Siren and Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm) and Martin a rousing New York Girls. Special mention must go to Sean, who performed his new song about the club's famous squeaky floorboard!
Pete was our MC and a rainy night didn't dampen the spirts. There was plenty of jolity around - Pete & Stuart doing Shame And Scandel In The Family and a funky Kung Foo Fighting, and Eddie with his usual witty wordplay including his Nonsense Song. Geoff did a tribute to Glen Campbell with a couple of Jimmy Webb songs, Sean a couple of his own compositions and there was some Cajun from Tony & Grace. Roger gave us hits from the shows, Colin some passionate politics, Martin some good old trad and Jo a fine rendition of Hard Times. Fresh from his triumph as a co-organiser of Party In The Ponds, it was good to see Steve Smith again. We were treated to an extended spot by Guy Hawthorn, ably accompanied by Gene. Guy has recently been raising money from the sale of his CD Poaching For Eels with proceeds going to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Wonderful stuff.
Andy took charge for a wonderfully varied evening. There was plenty of the usual fare from Eddie (including two poems), Martin, Sean, Steve (some nice Joni Mitchell and John Martyn songs), John (a bit of Jake Thackray), Keith with some classical guitar and Tony (doing Rhinestone Cowboy as a tribute to Glen Campbell). Terry and Geoff gave us some good old trad and David and Andy appeared seperately (each as 6 Volt Joe?). Andy also did a wonderful tribute to John Davy, who we lost a year ago. He performed The Cape, a song which they had played together and the club joined together to sing and play Country Life, one of John's best known songs. Nice to see Mike Scott with his wonderful wit and clever wordplay. We were pleased to see some new faces, Laura sang with Keith before doing a couple of her own with an early music influence. Gavin performed his own songs, one was a particularly interesting piece about the air crash in Britannia Woods in Downend, 60 years ago. The other new face was Webbly the trainee Guide Dog, brought along by Pete & Louise. He made some new friends and seemed suitably impressed by the music (no howling!).
Tony was MC for what was no doubt another fab evening. Your editor was heading off to the Cropredy festival!
Tony was MC on the eve of his birthday, so we naturally had to mark the occasion with a rendition of Happy Birthday! Pondlife kicked off with their 'greatest hit', Meet Me On The Corner and set a French theme with La Mer, taken up later by Roger with some of Autumn Leaves in French. Smooth talking Terry serenaded Louise, John gave us his take on some classics, Tony & Grace did some old favourites and Martin did some nice versions of Caledonia and How Long Will I Love You? It was good to see some new faces, June with some beautiful unaccompanied singing, including some Thomas Hardy to her own tune, and Nigel who sang his own songs as well as a version of Sumertime. A highlight was Roger playing the tea chest bass that he had lugged all the way without the help of a roadie! He accompanied Terry and Tony & Grace and you can see a picture of him in the gallery.
Stuart took the helm tonight and he got things under way with Pete with some Woody Guthrie. Eddie gave us his take on the perils of nuclear fallout and an ode to the greasy spoon before Steve with a couple of Dylan songs. Colin had some social comment, Terry exercised his baritone vocal cords and Gayle took to the banjo again with some old classics. Keith was back with an Eric Bibb song and the Kinks' Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon, Sarah did a lovely version of Alicia Keys' New York, Tony some Van Morrison before trad stuff from Martin. After the break there was some fun from Stu & Pete (Jollity Farm with everyone doing the animal noises) and some fine banjo playing from Steve (Loudon Wainwrights' Dump The Dog). Colin then set the tone for the rest of the evening with a chorus song (some fine harmonies from the audience), a theme taken up by Terry, Gayle (Rockin' Robin), Keith, Tony (Wild Rover) and Martin. The evening ended with a rousing version of Keep Your Lamp.
Pete was MC for the usual eclectic mix. Richard, Pondlife, Andy (with his song about the Orange Tip butterfly), Geoff (some Jimmy Webb and Waterboys), Roger, Tony (fresh from Glastonbury with a Status Quo tribute), Ollie, Pat, Gayle (on the banjo as well as Andy) and Martin all served up their usual mix. Nice to see Eddie with his unique humour (I'm The Urban Spaceman and Tiptoe Through The Turnips!) and Neil (some beautiful bossa nova guitar playing).
A warm summer evening and a relaxed session held in the round was hosted by Sarah. We had some humour form Stuart and Kev did his 'jolly' songs! The recent election brought politics to the fore with songs from both Andys, Chris (making a rare appearance) and Sean (who also did some traditional songs with some very tasteful guitar). Nice to see Colin doing a hearty sea shanty, Ollie with some contemporary songs, Steve with his own songs (about his kids) and Sarah, who sang beautifully in Turkish! Geoff and Pete reflected the summer with a rendition of When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease.
A night of quality despite lower numbers with Andy acting as MC. Andy and David (12 Volt Joe) kicked off with their fine Americana, including some Kate Tempest. Pat gave us some Leonard Cohen and blues and Ed, making a solo FAF debut, sang Honky Tonk Angels and the 'reply' song. Nice to see Gayle back with her beautiful versions of Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell. Viv & John gave us the Dam Busters in their inimitable style, Martin did Jez Lowe and John Martyn songs and John provided a typically witty set with some Jake Thackray. There were some wonderful versions of traditional songs from Geoff (a fabulous Bows Of London), Steve (Pretty Polly), Jo (The Duke And The Tinker) and Ed (Shoals Of Herring). It's alway nice to see new visitors to the club, and tonight we were delighted to welcome Adam & Jayne, known together as Wildwood Jack, who looked us up on their travels. They played some lovely stuff, with classy guitar playing and ukulele including their own songs and a terrific version of Gracelend.
Another splendid evening from our guests Folklaw, who never fail to provide an evening of enrgy and quality entertainment. Great singing and playing, and great songs too! Our MC, Tony also introduced a few floor spots, himself and Grace, Steve, Sarah, Sean and Pondlife were all on good form.
Stuart was our MC for the usual fun and frollicks. Nice to see Mike Scott again at the club.
FAF saw a good selection of regulars and visitors, with MC duties from Pete. Nice to see a contingent from the Nova Scotia, including Mike who was visiting the club for the first time. Fine performances too from Terry, John and Pat who have become regulars now. Some of the others FAFers, including Andy, Stuart & Pete, Neil and Steve did their stuff, while Geoff and Ollie brought their fresh approach.
There's an article in the April edition of Fishponds Voice about how FAF has raised money for the CLIC charity shop appeal and other charities. You can see it by clicking the button below.
A packed night with Sarah and Grace sharing the MC duties. We welcomed Mitch Reynolds from Telford to the club. Mitch is visiting as many folk clubs as she can and raising money for cancer research, so we gave her a spotlight slot. She sang some unaccompanied songs, played the concertina and did some of her own tunes on the flute. Others highlights included much humour (John's Making A Gateaux to the tune of In The Ghetto), Stuart and Pete doing Tom Lehrer and Tony giving his 'Fecksit' speech (don't ask!) on the day Article 50 was triggered. We also had two newcomers, Helen, who sang a Victoria Wood song and Pat with his version of A Pub With No Beer. All this and a mixture of old folk songs, Velvet Underground, spirituals and Chuck Berry!
A fabulous evening with our special guest Nicola Clark. Nicola entertained a packed house with her wonderful voice, accomplished guitar playing and her songs full of wit and charm with twists of melody and narrative. A truly unique talent. Andy was our MC, introducing a selection of floor spots from many of the regulars. It was also nice to see the return of Mike Scott and good to see the Willbees in full swing.
FAF has donated £150 to St Peter's Hospice from our Jonathan Davy tribute. Click the button below for more details.
We have also donated £200 to the Fishponds CLIC charity shop appeal following a fundraising evening.
FAF returned after our enforced Valentine break with Tony as MC. Tonight we were raising money for the Fishponds CLIC charity shop appeal with all the door money being donated. A FAF regular also gave a generous donation of £100. Many of the regulars were in attendance and it was good to see Steve and Jo with their mixture of Dylan, Springsteen and Neil Young. St David's Day was marked by Tony & Grace and Roger, who gave us a typical mix of jokes, song and history lesson! Nice to see someone at the club for the first time - Ollie did a fine rendition of the Hosier song Cherry Wine.
A quieter evening, but not without quality as Pete did the honours as MC. Nice to see Terry (lovely versions of Icarus and a Nic Jones song) and Gayle (doing some Neil Young). Geoff returned with some trad material and Sean gave us some thought provoking material of his own. We welcomed Azelie to the club for the first time, ably accompanied by Andy on banjo and then unaccompanied with a beautiful rendition of a Joan Baez song.
Stuart MC'd as we kicked off again, and what better way to start the New Year than with Richard, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Cavern Club with 2 Beatles songs. On a busy evening we were pleased to welcome newcomers to the club - David, who gave us two of own songs and Dee, with a beautiful version of You've Got A Friend. Nice to see the return of John doing some blues and Geoff with a fine version of the Kipper Family's Male Female Highwayman. Andy marked the passing of Peter Sarstedt and Tony & Grace the first anniversary of David Bowie's departure.