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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......


It was time for the festive FAF. Sarah and Pete were our MCs as the Christmas favourites were rolled out once again. John began with his version of A Christmas Song ("kneecaps roasting by an open fire") and added Mike Scott's Rudolph, then Richard performed (in a curly wig and bowler hat) Lily The Pink and Dedicated Follower Of Fashion. Jess made her always welcome seasonal appearance accompanied by Stuart and singing Winter Wonderland and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas then we had a newcomer to the club, Mac, who did splendid versions of Arthur McBride And The Recruiting Sergeant and a rather beautiful Coventry Carol. Grace & Tony gave us John Tams' Snowfall and a jolly Dylan number Must Be Santa, then Martin sang the Albion Band song We Won't Come Home Till Morning and produced his new guitarlele for Drive The Cold Winter Away. Sean had been searching for something jolly and came up with Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and also played his beautiful tune For Those Who Left Too Soon and Sandie reflected the weather with Snowy Path and Snow On The Tracks. Gary made a return and sang I Am Christmas and a tale of an uncomfortable Christmas gathering then Trevor gave us two of his poems, one about the excesses of Christmas (to the tune of Good King Wenceslas) and As One, which he described as, "a song about copulation"! Sarah sang the Joni Mitchell classic River and Keith did a medley of favourites Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer/Jingle Bells/Silent Night/We Wish You A Merry Christmas before returning to his familiar blues with Every Day I Have The Blues with some cracking harmonica from Tony. Colin can always be relied upon for some tastelessness and didn't disappoint with Paddy Roberts' Merry Christmas You Suckers and Chipmunks Roasting On An Open Fire then Mick sang one song to the tune of another with While Shepherds Watched to the tune of House Of The Rising Sun and A Woody Christmas Carol. Geoff enlisted Pete, first on ukulele for and updated version of his Squeaky Floorboard (including the almost impossible F#7 chord! ) and then handling the flipchart for everyone to follow the words of The Barley Mow. Andy (after claiming, "you don't get comedy from me"!) sang his 'industrial relations' version of Postman Pat and Otis Gibbs' Lookin' Like A Hippie and Pondlife rounded off with a lovely version of Winter Song and The Napoli.


Tony was our MC tonight and we were treated to a spotlight set from Mick. Richard got us underway with We Shall Not Be Moved then Martin had two songs about rain Fire And Rain and Why Does It Always Rain On Me? Steve sang his own song Famous People Called Sydney and Andy did Agnes Moore and Let The Sun Shine Down On Me (he and Martin had all weathers covered!). Pondlife were next with The Blue Cockade then we had FAF newcomers Roland & Heather playing two Alistair Anderson tunes on accordion and concertina Dog Leap Stairs/Road To The North. Sean sang his own I Don't Think So and Blackwaterside and Stuart & Pete did I Wanna Be Like You. Sue gave us Sting's Fields Of Gold, Bob the old blues number Matchbox and Pat Walk On The Wild Side and Put A Quarter In The Jukebox. Geoff sang the traditional Henry Martin and it was nice to see Keith who did Waterloo Sunset and Flatfoot Sam. Tony marked the start of the world cup with There's Too Much Football On The Tele (to the Match Of The Day theme) and, in tribute to the Welsh team, We're Still Here. Mick completed the evening with an extended set, mixing his own songs with some covers and all to his stylish guitar accompaniment. He played You Took It All, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean and The World Turned Upside Down (to the tune of Star Of The County Down). His 'greatest hit' was next From The Wolfs Point Of View, then Cocaine and The Line Of Beauty with help from Roland on acoustic bass guitar.


Tony was our MC for the Remembrance Day theme and we had plenty of songs to fit the bill, beginning with Richard's versions of the Dad's Army theme and Down By The Riverside. Sean was up next with two of his own songs, The Days Before The War and Soldier (written 45 years ago!), then Sandie played Monk's March and Adieu. We welcomed back some faces that we hadn't seen for a while, Andy C being the first, and he sang The World Turned Upside Down and Universal Soldier. Mick was catching up with Halloween, doing Reynardine before returning to the current theme with High Germany, then we had three more returnees with Paul singing two of his own songs The Ties That Bind Us and Hedges, Sonia singing Alice Annie Wheeldon and I Didn't Raise My Son To Be A Soldier and Geoff gave us Shipbuilding and Chris Wood's Spitfires. Stuart & Pete did Jez Lowe's If I Could Buy A Blighty and Hotel California and Pat stayed on the West Coast for San Francisco Bay Blues followed by Midnight Special. Andy D sang his own songs Picture In My Pocket and a brand new one, The Merry Bomb Maker, Martin did Steve Knightly's The Gamekeeper and On The Road To Passchendaele and Tony (number 1) sang his own version of My Favourite Things (relating to the World Cup being played in inappropriate places) and Will You Go To Flanders. Colin was back with Roy Bailey's Ghost Story and a John Tams song from Warhorse Only Remembered and the evening was finished by Tony (number 2) singing Hallelujah and the Kate Bush song Army Dreamers.


With Halloween just around the corner, there was no shortage of spooky songs on offer, with Pete and Stuart on MC duties. Richard began with Tom Dooley and This Land Is Your Land, then Stuart & Pete did Then He Bit Me and Love Potion Number 9. Jerry gave us The Ghost Of Lily Fog and two Todd Snider songs Just Like Old Times and Play A Train Song then Sue was joined by Bob for Ghost Riders In The Sky before singing Fly Me To The Moon. Bob then took centre stage for Ghost Train and John Prine’s You Got Gold and Sandie played Steve Fisher’s Lament (a tune dedicated to a skeleton) and Katy’s Theme. Martin sang Hallows Eve, Lau’s Ghosts and The Unquiet Grave and Sean did The Ghost Of Tom Joad (Springsteen), She Moves Through The Fair and Isle Of France. Stuart gave us is own version of Kiss Of Fire, Tony & Grace sang The Detectorists theme and the perennial favourite Warewolves Of Fishponds before Tony ended with Joe Hill.


It was another busy night at FAF, with Stuart as MC and a spotlight set from Sarah. Richard began on ukulele with The Bristol Song and another Wurzels classic Drink Up Thy Cider in tribute to former FAF regular John Emary who we lost recently. Martin sang some Tom Paxton, I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound and the traditional A Begging I Will Go. We then had two Steves, both new to the club. Steve (number 1) sang Eve Of Destruction and Waterloo Sunset then Steve (number 2) played a couple of his own songs Losing Nothing and The Love That You Need with some very tasteful guitar playing. Bob played a couple of Brownie McGhee songs, Blood Red River and Living With The Blues then Sue sang Frankie And Johnny and Don't Fence Me In to her ukulele accompaniment. Andy sang an Australian folk song The Wreck Of The Dandenong and All The Girls Go Wild Over Me and Jerry gave us two Todd Snider songs, DB Cooper and Play A Train Song. Stuart & Pete gave us more ukes in the form of Ukulele Man and a version of New York Girls, then we had the return of Eric with The Beast In The Castle and Plastic World. Sandie played Liberty Bidice and Sous Le Toits De La Rue Tiquetonne and Sean sang Tom Waits' Ruby's Arms and a new song of his Trickle Down. Mick did See That My Grave Is Kept Clean and Raglan Road and Tony & Grace sang a poignant version of Streets Of London. Sarah was tonight's star with her spotlight, beginning with Money In My Pocket, with Pete on uke and Clare on percussion. Clare joined Sarah on a combination of ukulele, vocals and percussion for (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman, Put Your Records On, One Note Samba and Ain't Nobody. Sarah also sang Just To See You Again and What A Wonderful World to finish off a wonderful set!


Pete and Stuart were our MCs for a regular singers’ night, getting underway with Richard singing two shanties about ships, Ellan Vannin and Sloop John B. Stuart & Pete took to the Deep South with Texas Love Song and the 60s hit Come A Little Bit Closer and also did the old favourite Right Said Fred. Martin paid tribute to Paul Sartin, who sadly died recently, with a couple of Faustus songs, I’m A Stranger In This Country and Slaves and also sang another shanty about a ship, Roll Alabama. Alan sang two Dylan songs, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight and Baby, Let Me Follow You Down and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot’s Cocaine, then David did unaccompanied versions of Three Ravens, Silver Dagger and Agamemnon. Jerry had a brace of Tod Snider songs, Play A Train Song and Just Like Old Times as well as Kris Kristofferson’s Here Comes That Rainbow Again then Steve played Joni Mitchell’s Amelia, Dylan’s If You See her, Say Hello and the traditional Blackwaterside. Pat was next with Folsom Prison Blues, Lucille and Whiskey In The Jar then Andy with his own Red Wall Town, Postman Pat (his version about the postal strikes) and a Townes van Zandt song Pancho And Lefty. Geoff sang a couple of B-Sides, What Exactly’s The Matter With Me? (the other side of Barry McGuire’s Eve Of Destruction) and Cheryl's Goin' Home (B-Side of Bob Lind’s Elusive Butterfly) before flipping the vinyl for an A-Side, Theme From A Teenage Opera. Tony also went back to the 60s with Marty Wilde’s Abergavenny and even further back for The Goose And The Common, ending with Mike Scott’s brilliant Pasties.


FAF welcomed back Jez Lowe for a special night as we had our first full scale gig for many months. A packed house had a cracking evening, with Tony and Grace on MC duties and kicking off with a few floor spots. Martin got us under way with Oh Mary Don’t You Weep, then Alan sang his lovely version of Eleanor Rigby and Steve was on great form with Jeffrey Foucault’s Northbound 35. A slimmed down Pondlife sang Black Muddy River, Sean went trad with The Cuckoo and Sandie played Mrs Sykes. Andy was in playful mood, singing The Brother Brothers’ The Banjo Song and Mick did his version of Dylan’s Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues. The rest of the evening belonged to Jez Lowe as he weaved his wonderful wordplay and melodies around a variety of themes. He sang about his native North East and the lost shipbuilding and mining industries, songs from his Radio Ballads series and the first World War (The Wrong Bus). There were observations of life and ‘experts’ and he had us in stitches with the brilliantly funny Talk To Me Dirty In Geordie. A brilliant night!


It was a packed night at FAF, with new faces and a spotlight set from The Fridge Mechanics. Tony and Pete were on MC duties and we started with Martin, playing accordion for Linden Lea and switching to bazouki for Slaves (from a poem by William Sankey). John (number 1) was next, providing the wit as ever with Flanders & Swann’s The Spider and Jake Thackray’s Frida The Cat. We then had three people new to the club, Lucy sang delightfully, including Willie Nelson’s Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning, Bob sang You Got Gold (John Prine) and The Lost Highway and Sue accompanied herself on ukulele for Big Rock Candy Mountain and Wagon Wheel. Pondlife marked the passing of Judith Durham with The Carnival Is Over plus While & Matthew’s The Skin That I’m In, Tony did the Third World song 1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade) and Les Barker’s Sloop John A, then John (number 2) continued the theme with Sloop John B! Sean resisted the temptation to do Sloop John C, instead singing his own Hold On (with Sandie on backing vocal) and the traditional Once I Had A Sweetheart and Alan sang two of his own, one untitled and the other called Sunbird. Geoff gave us Building Up And Tearing England Down and The Patriot Game and Steve & Jo sang Kate Wolf’s Green Eyes and another John Prine song In Spite Of Ourselves. The rest of the evening belonged to the Fridge Mechanics, with their extended set played on a bewildering array of instruments - guitars, slide dobro, saxophone, flutes and dulcimer. Their songs were mostly written by singer Barry Lane and included Didn’t We Dream, Circle Of Care, The Watchet Tragedy/The Water Is Wide and Coming Back To Bantry.


The hot weather tonight meant many attendees were sporting suitable shorts and sandals etc to keep cool. We sat “in the round” due to expected numbers tonight, but as it happened we just about managed to get through two rounds of songs  before closing time – three songs or tunes each during the evening. The layout also encouraged more collaboration and joining in with others’ songs, by permission of the performer of course, as is customary! The evening started with Richard singing Singing In The Rain, a humorous choice due to the current drought and Living Doll by Sir Cliff. Next was Roger with classics Are You Lonesome Tonight? and Someone To Watch Over Me, then later joined in with John on Sloop John B. John (Beveridge) sang Melanie’s Look What They’ve Done To My Song Ma then The Velvet Underground’s Sweet Nothing. Martin was on accordion for two traditional songs, Butter & Cheese and Twas On An April Morning, and later another trad song The Cock. Tony played tribute to two top class female singers who both sadly passed away in the last week, The Banks Of The Ohio by Olivia Newton-John, and I’ll Never Find Another You by The Seekers for Judith Durham, then later Don’t Be A Stranger by Show of Hands. Sean was in trad mood too, with The Isle Of France about Mauritius, and The Oak & The Ash (nice arrangements of both), and later a tune he explained he called Pacelbel’s Revolver as it was in the “canon” style of Pacelbel’s famous piece, but not so long! Sandie played some lovely traditional accordion tunes , Valentini and Harper’s Frolic/Bonnie Kate, then Albert’s Last Dance by Andy Cutting. Geoff sang some interesting and lesser known unaccompanied songs as ever, Amanda by Waylon Jennings (this did apparently get to No.1 in the US Country charts in 1979!) and Bush Girl by The Seekers (again in tribute to Judith Durham), then a rousing rendition of the trad song Courting In The Kitchen with accompaniment of guitars, mandola, accordions, bodhran and of course choruses from the floor! John (Blake) sang an eclectic and enjoyable selection of songs, Beyond The Sea by Bobby Darin (based on French song La Mer), My Ukelele by Max Bygraves, and Pearly Gates by Mike Scott. Next there were two visiting musicians, Luna and Virgil, over from the Isle of Man (!) to visit friends in Bristol where Luna used to live. They sang a beautiful song The Book Of Love (written by Stephen Merritt of Magnetic Fields, covered by Peter Gabriel) and trad sea shanty Haul Away Joe, accompanied by fiddle and mandola, then later The Water by Johnny Flynn and Wayfaring Stranger (trad). Keith was the final performer, singing Sunny Afternoon (for obvious reasons!) by The Kinks and The Whole World’s Got The Blues by Eric Bibb, then to finish off the evening Do-wah-Diddy by Manfred Mann and then he led the whole group singing the club song Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning by Reverend Gary Davis. A few photos and videos from this hugely enjoyable evening can be found on the FAF Facebook page .


We were back in the Cross Hands for our regular singer’s night, starting with Richard singing Midnight Special, Pick A Bale Of Cotton and When The Saints Go Marching In, then Bob did Fireball Mail, Went To The River and The Gates Of The City. Martin gave us his usual varied repertoire with I Live Not Where I Love, Angeline and The Year Of The Cat and Gavin returned with his own songs Bob Dylan Taught Me and Hannah Moore. John sang Will The Circle Be Unbroken?, Blind Willie McTell and I Still Haven't Found What I’m Looking For and Stuart sang Glorious Ale, Roadkill and Catherine Shaw. Roger performed Doing What Comes Naturally (from Annie Get Your Gun) and This Nearly Was Mine (from South Pacific), Sean Bukava, Black Water Side and his own It’s Risky To Go Far and Sandie played The Bay Tree/Sommervais and Travellers Joy/The Road. Another newcomer to the club, Joe sang Yesterday and Wonderful Tonight and Tony did Hallelujah, Northern Sky and Baba O'Riley/Working Class Hero.


FAF went outdoors for our second Summer Extravaganza and a celebration of our 23rd birthday at All Saints. The weather stayed mostly kind but we did venture inside towards the end. Sarah and Stuart were our MCs. Tony (number 1) got us going with How Can You Keep On Moving?, 1952 Vincent Black Lightening and Everybody’s Talking, the Andy did his own songs Painted Lady, Milk Of Human Kindness and The Kiss. Pondlife were almost at full strength for Black Muddy River and Crazy Man Michael then Tony (number 2) sang Ronnie Lane’s Anniversary, The Goose And The Common (a 17th century comment on the Enclosures act) and Still Here (with its chorus in Welsh). Richard entertained us with Worried Man Blues and Walk The Line and Sarah sang her own Where’s The Lion? and Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On. Sean gave us his own Universal Credit (after Universal Soldier) and the traditional Once I Had A Sweetheart then Sandie played The Abbess and Mrs Saggs. It was lovely to see Clare and she sang Ewan MacColl’s Sweet Thames Flow Softly and Adge Cutler’s Easton In Gordano then Martin did England (Ralph McTell) and Springsteen’s The Price You Pay. We had a new face to FAF, Bob, who  sang Matchbox and the John Prine song New Train, Geoff did traditional songs Oak Ash And Thorn and Bold Sir Rylus and Keith rounded things off with Kingdom Come, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da and Walking The Dog.


The summer heatwave had arrived and FAF was here again for a spotlight evening, this time with Sean. Stuart was our MC, kicking off with Richard doing This Land Is Your Land, Sloop John B and Salonika. Stuart & Pete had their duel ukes and sang I Wanna Be Like You, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite and Viva Lyme Regis, then Roger sang Stu Are My Heart’s Desire (!) And The Mountains Of Mourne, Tony (number 1) marked the 60th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ first gig with You Can’t Always Get What You Want, then his own take on Springsteen Born In The NHS and some full blown Springsteen Independence Day and Sandie played The Hunter’s Mountain, The New Land (a tune from Cape Breton) and Seven Years/At Halsway. Tony (number 2) was next with a guitar improvisation and two Richard Thompson songs 1952 Vincent Black Lightening and Beeswing then we went trad with two similarly named songs from Geoff Rosebud In June and Rose In June (also a little late!). Mick also had a traditional song Reynardine, then his own General Haig and Lowell George’s Willin’. The rest of the evening belonged to Sean as he took us through a varied selection, from his own The Pirate’s Pardon, Coat Of Blue, Hold On (with Sandie on backing vocals), Cradle To Grave and the instrumental Felucca Ride to the traditional Sir Patrick Spens and The Cuckoo. Cracking stuff!


It was a quieter night, but an excellent one, performed in the round and with a very special guest - Webbly, our favourite dog, made a long awaited return! Tony was our MC for an evening full of dog themed songs starting with Martin doing Springsteen’s The Promised Land (with its lyrics, “the dogs on Main Street howl”), Adieu to Bon County, Shelter From The Storm and Big Yellow Taxi. Tony & Grace gave us a good dog themed selection including two from Les Barker (!) Git A Long Little Dogie (ie a Dachshund) and Spot Of The Antartctic (a monologue given by Tony). They also sang a Fabulous Poodles song Workshy, and Let It Be and Hey Jude in honour or Paul McCartney’s recent Glastonbury performance, and Tony sang Adge Cutler’s There Ain’t No Ferry To Glastonbury and The Wild Rover (possibly another song about a dog!). Sarah was joined by Pondlife for Harry Nilsson’s The Puppy Song and then sang Summertime and I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free. Pondlife did a haunting version of the Tears For Fears song Mad World and were joined on harmonica by Tony for Meet Me On The Corner. Stuart & Pete performed a song by John Blake (requested by John as he couldn’t make it) Walking My Doggy Back Home.


It was a packed house tonight with Grace Tony sharing the MC duties and a spotlight set fron Andy Danford & James Slater. Richard got us going with Folsom Prison Blues and I Saw Her Standing There (for Paul McCartney's upcoming 80th). We were pleased to see the return of Gary, who sang Clip And Coin and Rag 'n' Bone then Stuart & Pete did Fred Wedlock's Let's Walk Round The Harbour Again and Stuart's dog themed take on Wild Mountain Thyme featuring Lassie (of course). Tony & Grace sang Hard Times Of Old England (with an extra Jubilee verse) and Still Here (a song about Wales) then we had Pat with Lucille and Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down. Martin sang a Billy Joel song Downeaster Alexa and Caledonia and John did Mike Scott's Bad Word and James Taylor's Secret O' Life. Sean marked 5 years since the Grenfell disaster with his song of the same name and another of his Refugee then Sandie played Tarantella Calabrese. Mick sang You Took It All, Tony (number 2) did Wild Horses, Geoff sang Waylon Jenning's Wrong and Colin did The Romany Rye. Andy & James entertained us for the rest of the evening with their tasteful Americana, including Andy classics Ladder Of Love and White Man's War and James' I've A Mind To Go To Louisburg.


Pete and Tony were MCs for our first theme night and to celebrate Bob Dylan's 81st birthday, we encouraged everyone to do at least one of his songs. Richard started with This Train before doing his own birthday tribute, for his grandson's first, Ewan's Birthday (with the tune from Marie's Wedding). Dave was next and it just happened to be his birthday too (there was even a cake). He sang Days Of '49, Chumbawumba's Add Me (complete with nose flute solo, possibly a FAF first) and Neil Diamond's Pretty Amazing Grace. Pat returned with Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, Shelter From The Storm and Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, then Andy sang Who Killed Davey Moore, Buckets Of Rain and his own very moving song about his father's part in the war. Pete & Louise did Mozambique and the Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg song Birds And Ships then Alan sang  It Ain't Me Babe and Forever Young. Martin did Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, I Pity The Poor Immigrant and Love Minus Zero before Sandie gave us a Dylan interlude with Royal Wedding, Zodiac and Traveller's Joy. We were back with Bob D as Tony & Grace sang Lay Down Your Weary Tune, and a talking blues in the Dylan style The Merthyr Tydfil Walking Country Blues then Sean sang Simple Twist Of Fate, Knocking On Heaven's Door (his George Floyd version) and Traveller's Despair. We welcomed back Geoff with She Belongs To Me and Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson) and Steve rounded things off with North Country Blues, You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go and Girl from the North Country.


Sarah and Stuart did joint MC duties on a night that saw a few more regulars returning. Richard (with wig and crash helmet for reasons only he will know) got us in the mood with Whip Jamboree, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da and Football Crazy then Dave sang The Moving On Song, Life Gets Tedious Don't It? and Billy Connolly's My Granny Is A Cripple In Nashville. Martin did the John Martyn song Back Down My River, the Zuton's Valerie and This Love Won't Let You Fail (Chris Wood). It was good to see John doing a couple of Mike Scott songs, Nostalgia and Graduate as well as Richard Digance's Sod's Law and a version of Blue Bayou and Geoff made a welcome return singing Santiana to his own concertina accompaniment before being joined by Pete on guitar for two tunes Butterfly and Enrico. Mick sang Boys Of Bedlam, played a beautiful guitar version of Sí Beag Sí Mór and did his own song about St George The World Turned Upside Down then we had Keith with I Heard The Angels Singing, Lady Madonna and Let The Good Times Roll. Sarah sang her own Just To See You Again and Nina Simone's How It Feels To Be Free, then a full strength Pondlife gave us Black Muddy River (The Grateful Dead via Norma Waterston), Dirty Old Town and A Horse With No Name and Colin sang A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man, Oh The Wild, Wild Moors and Three Jolly Fishermen.


We again sat and sang “in the round” due to a quiet night number-wise. We roughly went clockwise round the circle, with Grace doing a fine job of MC-ing tonight. The evening started with the inimitable Richard, who sang two Bristol football related songs - Leadbelly’s Goodnight Irene for Rovers, and to balance things up Drink Up Thy Cider by The Wurzels for City. Next was John Blake with two great humorous songs Jobsworth By Jeremy Taylor, and one of Mike Scott’s less well known songs Bacon lamenting the declining standards of this favourite foodstuff! Alan Kirkpatrick was next on with a very nice version of Richard Thompson’s classic Dimming Of The Day, then one of his own fine songs She’ll find her own way through. Next on were Grace & Tony who were in trad mode tonight - Grace singing All The Little Chickens In The Garden with Tony accompanying on guitar, then the unaccompanied classic sea shanty South Australia which was joined in with gusto from all assembled. Martin completed the first round with Boo Hewerdine’s Sweet Honey In The Rock then Dylan’s New Morning. Richard started round 2 with a little known but very funny Adge Cutler song The Bristol Song with many word plays on different areas of Bristol, then Carl Perkins’ Hound Dog in honour of Louise who will be looking after his and Mair’s dog Tegwyn while they are away! John’s second set started with Jake Thackray’s Jumble Sale all about the delights found therein... then another Mike Scott song Dull, which was anything but.... Alan continued with Van Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately? and a nice blues My Liquor Store by Sleepy John Estes. Grace & Tony continued with their traditional seafaring selection with the Mingulay Boat Song and a rousing version of The Drunken Sailor then Martin brought round 2 to a close with the trad Fairwell To Fuineray, another song from the Scottish Isles, the Orkneys this time, based on the version by Kris Drever (Lau) who was born in the Orkneys, then another Dylan song As I Went Out One Morning. The final round of songs again started with Richard, with a version of Irving Burgie’s Jamaica Farewell called Patagonia Farewell referring to the Welsh colony in South America. John then went mellow country with Jim Reeves’ Guilty, followed by another blues by Alan, Big Bill Broonzy’s Black, Brown And White. Grace & Tony departed from their trad theme for Steve Earle’s Steve’s Last Ramble then everyone (including audience Louise, Barbara and David) joined in with the club song Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning to finish the evening in style. See you next time!



Tonight was an Easter special, MC'd on Zoom by Tony & Grace, who opened the proceedings with Steve Earl's Steve's Last Ramble, then Tony's Little Blue Plaques and 42 (both from his new album!) and Stephen Foster's Hard Times. Martin was on a keyboard for the Ninebarrow song Blood On The Hillside, returning to guitar for Chris Drever's Blackwater (Steel And Stone) and the traditional Rigs Of Time and London Town. Gordon sang Mercedes Benz and then Pete became the second keyboard player of the night with two improvised piano pieces Lament For Loch Down and Easter Tuesday. Andy sang Empty Pocket Blues, Rolling Home and I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound then Sonia did I Didn't Raise My Son To Be A Soldier, The Curragh Of Kildare and Rob Johnson's Alice Annie Wheeldon, before they joined forces for Bright Phoebus. Rose sang Each Coming Night (Iron And Wine), Lonestar (Norah Jones), Leaving London (Tom Paxton) and Like A Sad Song (John Denver).

Covid was casting its web, with a few regulars missing either with it or knowing someone who had. Tony was our MC on a quiet night and we performed in the round, and despite the low numbers there was plenty of quality on offer. Terry began (appropriately) with the Carpenters classic We've Only Just Begun, then I Get Carried Away (George Straits), the traditional She Moves Through The Fair and Canada-I-O. Martin gave us a passionate rendition of Show Of Hands' Country Life, then moved to a bit of prog rock with the Yes song Time And A Word, 80's pop with The Cure's Love Cats and some John Martyn - Fairytale Lullaby. Eric was next with his song The Beast And Beauty and Roger made a brief appearance, celebrating his 65th anniversary with Chris by singing All The Things You Are. Tony (number 1) was next, singing Nick Lowe's What's So Funny About Peace Love And Understanding?, his own Coronavirus Blues (from his new CD Lockdown? What Lockdown?), No Regrets and Donovan's Yellow Is The Colour. Mick sang St James Infirmary Blues, All Along The Watchtower (with some nice lead guitar from Tony (number 2)), his own The Night Is Ours and See That My Grave Is Kept Clean with most of the others joining for a bit of a jam! Tony (number 2) played great versions of Wild Horses (Stones), Northern Sky (Nick Drake), Heroes (Bowie) and It Must Be Love (Labi Siffre).


Stuart was our MC for the latest FAF and he was joined by Pete for the topical Ra Ra It's Putin and in lighter mood Fred Wedlock's Sunkissed and The Cat Came Back. David made a welcome return and sang a song of lost sailors and Ian Campbell's The Sun Is Burning, then Jo & Steve, on great form with Roll Me On The Water, John Prine's Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness, Diamonds And Rust and Leonard Cohen's One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong. Alan sang some Tom Paxton, I Can Tell, the ever classic Woodstock and his own Give Me A Fragment Of Your Time and Eric returned with two songs about John The Baptist. Sean played the bouzouki for My Father's Suitcase, the balalaika for his instrumental Lament To Mariupol and sang unaccompanied Farewell To Tarwathie, then Sandie played two Andy Cutting tunes At Halsway and Albert's Last Dance as well as Traveller's Joy. Andy did his own Mark Zuckerberg Blues and When Jimmy Ruffin Sings and Guy Clark's Dublin Blues and Mick played beautifully a guitar instrumental Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór and sang Song For George (about St George) and A Thousand Miles Behind. Sarah did The Wind On The Downs (Jess Vincent) and Collide and Chris made a rare appearance with his own songs Look After Yourself and Mr Brown's Boys.



We celebrated the gradual return of live music with our first guest night in many months. Tony was our MC as we welcomed Miranda Sykes. A few floor spots began the evening and there was a theme of thoughts going to the people of Ukraine. Sarah & Tony sang He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, Sean did his own Hold On (written about COVID but just as applicable now) and Martin gave us the Jez Lowe/James Keelaghan song My Blood Running. Tony & Grace continued with Peggy Seeger’s Love Call Me Home, Mick sang his own From The Wolf’s Point Of View and Keith did Eric Bibb’s Saucer ’n' Cup. The rest of the evening belonged to the wonderful Miranda Sykes, effortlessly switching between guitar, double bass and ukulele, she sang a selection of great songs from her recent albums Behind The Wall and The Farmhouse Sessions. A splendid evening!


It was back to the Cross Hands for a regular live FAF, with Pete as our MC. Richard put on his pink wig and specs for versions of Lily The Pink and Mellow Yellow, then Martin sang the Vin Garbutt song She Waits And Weeps, Shoals Of Herring and the Dubliners’ Rambling Rover and Alan was in good form with Lindisfarne’s Run For Home, Dylan’s I Shall Be Released and his own Wandering In Sweet Burren Rain. Eric was a newcomer to FAF and donned a cape and full face mask for his own pieces The Masked One, Joseph and a passage from the Psalms before Steve brought us back to earth with a couple of Jeffrey Foucault songs Walking at Dusk (The Liberty Bell) and Northbound 35 and Ray LaMontagne’s Burn. Roger was back with us and sang The Teddy Bear’s Picnic and I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen then Louise & Pete did Heart Of Gold, Crazy Man Michael and The Ashgrove. Andy was on the banjo for Martin Simpson’s Dark Swift And Bright Swallow, off to America for The Poor Cowboy and a song from the Brother Brothers, appropriately called Banjo Song, John gave us Will The Circle Be Unbroken? and You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond and Sandie played Robin’s Waltz and Liberty Bodice. Sean sang a couple of songs from the Pentangle repertoire Lord Franklin and Once I Had A Sweetheart and Tony did his own A Stranger’s Just A Friend You Haven’t Met Yet and How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?


Tony and Grace hosted a Valentine Special on Zoom, and love was certainly in the air! Terry began with Two Sleepy People and Have to I Told You Lately That I Love You? before we moved to Zoom regulars Sonia and Andy. Sonia sang two songs in tribute to Norma Waterson Bunch Of Thyme and North County Maid as well as the Ron Hines song Sonny's Dream, then Andy did two Incredible String Band songs How Happy I Am and Everything's Fine Right Now and Tom Paxton's I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound. James performed a couple of his own songs Nice And Slow and Battle Grey along with Springsteen's I Wish I Were Blind, then it was off to the Cusacks where Sean sang his own Two Minute Love Song, Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars and Dylan's Tomorrow Is A Long Time before Sandie played The Unloved, Kisses and Valentine (with Sean making a brief appearance in his Rag Morris attire!). There was was a new combo as Geoff teamed up with Louise & Pete for The Ballad Of Freda And Barry (complete with props), the Louise & Pete performed Birds And Ships. Tony & Grace had a Guy Clark song Magnolia Wind, Peggy Seeger's Love Call Me Home and The Dubliners' Holy Ground. Martin sang 500 Miles and the 80s ABC classic The Look Of Love and Rose did Go Away From My Window, In My Life and another Tom Paxton song Leaving Home.


Stuart was our MC for the pre Valentine FAF. Richard got us in the mood with Down By The Riverside, Swing Low Sweet Chariot and I Saw Her Standing There before Stuart & Pete gave us some of their old favourites The Jogging Song, The Napoli and The Snake. Tony & Grace sang Steve Earle's Last Ramble, a couple of tributes to Norma Waterston Wayfaring Stranger and Bunch Of Thyme plus The Hills Of Conamara. Martin was in traditional mode with Creeping Jane, Matty Groves, Limbo and Ewan McColl's Man Of The Travelling People then Sandie played Sky House, The Land Bar, Mrs Saggs and Traveller's Joy. Sean sang four of his own songs Pirate's Pardon, On The Gloucester Road and two odes to our squeaky floorboard Johnny B Wood and Woody (The Loudest Floorboard In The West) then Sarah did Money In My Pocket (with Pete on uke), Collide (The Earth Gang) and Who's Loving You? Colin rounded off with a song from the Isle of Man The Sheep Are Neath The Snow, Pete Seeger's Get Up And Go and a love song to Midland beers!


Tony was our MC for the latest FAF at the Cross Hands and he started us off with his Coronavirus Blues (from his forthcoming album!), a comment on events in the news There Was No Party and the first Scottish song of the evening to mark Burns Night Annie Laurie. Martin did some Dylan Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Hard Times and Farewell To Fuineray, Sean sang Sir Patrick Spens and played his instrumental Pachelbel’s Revolver and Sandie played The Yellow Haired Laddie, The Rakish Highwayman/Kelso Accordion And Fiddle Club and The Roman Wall. Terry was back, singing The Writer’s Song (Paul Metsers) and The Water Is Wide (joined with some lovely harmonies by Sarah) and Alan sang Sleepy John Estes’ Liquor Store Blues, Tom Paxton’s Hold Onto Me Babe and his own Rain On Stoney Ground. Keith was in good form with Let The Mothers Step Up, Kingdom Come and Deeper In The Well and Stuart & Pete gave us The Ukulele Song, Stuart’s version of Marie’s Wedding and Roseville Fair, Mick had more Dylan You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, his own take on Red Riding Hood and Love Hurts and Sarah sang her version of It’s My Party and her own Just To See You Again.


FAF was back for the New Year with Pete as MC. What better way to get under way than with Richard? He produced the usual bagful of props for Midnight Special and When The Saints Go Marching In. Martin was next with Sting’s Englishman In New York, Cat Steven’s Here Comes My Baby, Steve Knightley’s All At Sea and the shanty Roll Alabama Roll. We welcomed back Eddie and his National guitar for some serious blues - Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground/What Fun We Had In Illinois, Can’t Be Satisfied, Somethin’ I Like and Oh Glory How Happy I Am. Dave gave us The Union Of Different Kinds (Fishermen’s Friends), Spike Jones’ I’m My Own Grandpa, Song For David and Where Do You Go To My Lovely? Pondlife sang The Gloucestershire Wassail, Come To The Hills, The Skin That I’m In and were joined by Alison for Meet Me On The Corner. Mick continued to delight us with The Story Of Bonnie And Clyde (lyrics by Bonnie Parker herself), the traditional High Germany, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Stand By Me. Sarah sang Beautiful Tango and had us doing the gospel choir thing on Aretha Franklin’s Rock Steady and Colin did Peggy Seeger’s Come Fill Up Your Glasses, Sid Kipper’s Death Or Glory Wassail, a spoof Good King Wenceslas and The Day We Went To Rossey-o.


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