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CONNECTIONS

An essential reference guide for anyone sad enough to play "Six Degrees of Kirsty"

Connections: F is for ...

Barry Farmer

See Bazza.

Jon Fausty(1+) Connecting in 1991.  Engineer.

JonBangaroo is an eclectic and funky mix of multi-ethnic dance grooves, propelled and narrated by the wild style and lyrics of founder and master songwriter Del.  "Ethno-Funky-Del-O-Jelly-Beat" bridges talent from Europe, North and South America.  It was just one project produced by Jon Fausty, who has recorded and produced albums for artists such as David Byrne, Duran Duran, the Bee Gees, The Authority, Emmanuel and Steely Dan as well as many film soundtracks such as Carlito's Way, Do the Right Thing, Crossover Dreams, Vigilante, Salsa and Our Latin Thing.  

His Latin discography includes a string of great names - Eddie Palmieri, Los Van Van, Rubén Blades, Juan Luis Guerra, Mongo Santamaria, Kip Hanrahan, Tito Puente, Amparo Sandini, Madre Monte, Carlos Kanno, Chucho Valdes and many more including the inimitable Willie Colón, who himself appears on one track on David Byrne's Rei Momo.  Fausty engineered the album and acted as production coordinator, responsible for the vast array of talent which Byrne had assembled - including future Kirsty contributors Robby Ameen, Milton Cardona, José Mangual Jr.., Lewis Khan, Marc Quiñones, Steve Sacks, Joe Shepley, Angel Fernandez, Ite Jerez, Felix Farrar, Lloyd Carter and Joe de Jesús.  In 1991, Fausty was engineer & mixer on Electric Landlady.  He is a Grammy Award Winner for his soundtrack work.

James Fearnley (5) Connecting in 1991.  Accordion.

James Fearnley plays accordion, piano, guitar, mandolin, clarinet, and more!   He became the guitarist in the last edition of Shane MacGowan's band The Nips (originally the Nipple Erectors). The group then consisted of Shane MacGowan (vocals), Shanne Bradley (bass) and Jon Moss (drums).  Moss is a "silent connection", directly linking MacGowan with the Edge (Lu Edmonds, Gavin Povey and Glyn Havard) despite having no direct connection himself with Kirsty. 

The Nips broke up at the end of 1980 and James moved on to soul band The Giants. Jon Moss asked him if he wanted to become a permanant member of a group he sometimes played in, called Culture Club, but because of a misunderstanding James never joined them, and shortly after this the group went on to fame.  Meantime, the story of The Pogues starts out with two best friends, MacGowan and Peter (Spider) Stacy. These two young lads had been friends since high school, sharing a mutual interest in many things, particularly punk, Irish rebel songs, hell-raising, and alcohol. Their dream was to form a band based on those ideals, and they ended up not looking much farther than their friends after starting a recruitment drive. They joined forces with music mastermind, Jem Finer, and began searching for other members to complete the lineup. 

The first person they recruited was James Fearnley. Shane, Jem, and Spider were the first people to introduce him to the accordion, an instrument he would play for the rest of his career. Jem turned up at James' flat with an accordion in a laundry bag and persuaded him to give it a try. James was nick-named "maestro" because he was the one who could tune the instruments. James married actress Danielle von Zernek in 1989 and bought a house in Los Angeles. He had to travel a lot and was unable to be with his family, so he left The Pogues in 1994 though by then they were already falling apart, with Terry Woods and Phil Chevron leaving at the same time.  Post Pogues, Fearnley became a member of The Low And Sweet Orchestra, which released their debut album of spaghetti-western-ballads Goodbye To All That in 1996. The group also consisted of former Phelonius Monster vocalist Mike Martt, The Circle Jerks' Zander Schloss (guitar), the brothers Kieran and Dermot Mulroney (violins, cello, dobro), Tom Barta (bass) and Will Hughes (drums).  James has also appeared as a guest musician on albums with David Byrne's Talking Heads (Naked), David Byrne (Rei Momo again, LILT and Melissa Etheridge (Yes I Am, Talking to an Angel).  His golden accordion graced The one and only on Electric Landlady.

Angel Fernandez (4) Connecting from 1989 to 1991.  Trumpet & Brass Arrangements.

AngelAt the start of the "new millenium", he is the musical director for Latin singers Marc Anthony and Michael Stuart and is producing hit tracks for the likes of teenage phenomenon Frankie Negron (Desde Que Te Fuiste).  Back in the late 80's he worked on David Byrne's Rei Momo prior to playing trumpet on My Affair and doing the brass arrangements on "Halloween", My Affair, My way home and London Bridge is falling down.

Felix Farrar (1) Connecting from 1989 to 1991.  Violin.

A session musician, he played violin on the ubiquitous Rei Momo and also on My Affair.   The only other references we can find are an appearance on a Senegalese/Cuban collaboration called Africando, Volume 2: Tierra Tradicional.  A reviewer wrote "Like its predecessor volume, Trovador, Tierra Tradicional hitches three Senegalese vocalists with New York-based Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican musicians who clearly know their way across two continents.  Treatments are crisp and spacious, retaining a rootsy, big-bottom ambience but with uncrowded charts that allow ample room for neck-hair prickling solos. Felix Farrar's rural swing vioin on Sama Rew seemed untoppable, until Eddy Zervigon's flute seesawing quickly upped the ante. But the real stars are the vocalists, who not only bring a soaring clarity to these classic songs, but also turn Wolof into the natural born language for Latin grooves.".  Coming bang up to date, he may well be the same Felix Farrar who is violinist of the AUC String Orchestra Project, which gave a recent recital at the Spelman College of Music.

Jem Finer (6) Connecting in 1991.  Banjo.

Jem Jem (Jeremy) Finer plays banjo, hurdy-gurdy, mandola, saxophone, guitar, and more!  He became the bass player in a group called The Petals and lived in a house which he sometimes shared with Spider Stacey and Shane MacGowan.  Shane and Jem began rehersing together in 1981. They were backing a schoolteacher who wrote and performed her own songs. Jem played guitar, Shane bass and the drummer was Ollie Watts of The Millwall Chainsaws.   Shane and Jem tried busking and, among other places, auditioned for a busking license at Covent Garden. They weren't liked and a man who watched the audition told them that "Very few people have come here and failed what we like to call The Covent Garden Seal Of Quality. I'm sorry, you have failed.".  

Jem was influenced by country music, so he learned the banjo while trying to play Irish music in a country style.  In the video Live at the Town & Country, Joe Strummer described Jem as the "Bill Wyman" of The Pogues, and that without him everybody would just float away into the air. In July 1996, Joe was proved to be correct when Jem left the group and prompted The Pogues to break-up.  Jem played hurdy-gurdy on The Levellers' album The Levellers (1994) and banjo on Shane MacGowan's solo album The Snake (1994) before forming a new band in 1996 called The Heironymous Monk Octet, which Darryl Hunt later joined.   

Recently he has been involved with a project called LONGPLAYER 2000 - 3000.  Framed within the context of the millennium, Longplayer is a 1000 year long piece of music that began on 1 January 2000. It is not a piece of music in the traditional sense, but one that is generated in real time, continuously evolving according to sets of rules, their application and interaction - ever changing, growing and unrepeatable. Having explored a variety of options ranging from the simple use of loops to the implementation of ideas borrowed from Artificial Life, Jem Finer has arrived at a new way to realise the music. This process works upon an existing piece of music and results in a complex rephrasing of the original. Using this technique the constant shifting of different layers creates ever changing textures and harmonies and both rhythmic and harmonic movement. A short piece of music can last for hundreds of years in a completely new and unique form.  Advisors to the project are artist and musician Brian Eno, architect and writer Paul Shepheard, composer David Toop, digital sound artist Joel Ryan and landscape architect Georgina Livingstone. This group has discussed and advised on the music itself and its siting and transmission, as well as questioning what such long term music might be and how it might be listened to.  The music at source will be located at the Earth Centre in Doncaster, a project that focuses on the environment and the sustainability of technology. Longplayer will also be broadcast on a dedicated radio frequency and accessible via the Internet.  

Back in the real world, Finer co-wrote He never mentioned love and played banjo on The one and only.  He played at the live tribute concert on Fairytale of New York.

Gabriel Fonseca (3) Connecting in 2000.  Violin.

Violin on Here comes that man again, and backing vocals on Mambo de la Luna and In these shoes?

Derek Forbes (1) Connecting in 1984.  Bass guitar.

DerekDerek was the bass guitarist with Simple Minds from 1980 until 1984, when he left the band to play on Kirsty's version of "A New England".   His reasons for leaving Simple Minds were actually never fully revealed. It was rumoured that an argument with Jim Kerr (over the video of Don't You Forget About Me) may have sealed his fate. Most of their songs were credited jointly to the whole group, but his bass line for Waterfront was as great a bass driven track as you could hope for.  He was to return to Simple Minds in 1992 to help produce the album, Glittering Prize.  In between though, he joined Propaganda, staying with the group until they dissolved in 1992.  Four years later he rejoined Simple Minds, and fellow Kirsty contributor Mel Gaynor.   Derek claims to be a "cartoonist, life-saver, animal lover, painter and decorator. Possesses large repertoire of unprintable one liners. Football fanatic."  His goal in life "would be to get something like a lion or tiger or a black panther or something like that. Just take it into the street and frighten the shit out of people, it would be amazing."

Roddy Frame  Connecting in 2002.  Singer.

Performed Innocence and Wrong again in the live tribute concert.  A tangential connection is that Roddy's Aztec Camera version of Cole Porter's Do I love you was the B side to the single release of Miss Otis regrets, which now seems oddly appropriate.  

Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders (6) Connecting from 1989 till 1992.  Comedians.

Dawn & JenniferBritish comedy duo popular in the 90s, their shows featured a total of six Kirsty numbers, usually adorned with so-called amusing distractions and accompanied by Rowland Rivron and Simon Brint (under the name of Raw Sex).  They were given special thanks in the credits for Electric Landlady.  Oh, and they appeared in an Alison Moyet video.   Dawn French studied to be a teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. It was here that she met and started writing and performing comedy with Jennifer Saunders.  It was after Dawn graduated and started working as a teacher that Jennifer Saunders heard that The Comedy Strip were seeking two comediennes. 

There was no looking back -- the French and Saunders comedy partnership was truly forged.  The duo's work has entertained audiences for more than a decade, but Dawn has tackled a variety of solo projects including Murder Most Horrid and even a Screen One drama in which she played a hospital nurse who practised euthanasia.  Her most recent project for BBC Television is the title role in The Vicar of Dibley which has become a regular fixture in the British TV calendar.   As well as her commitment to Dawn French, Jennifer has freely pursued her own comedy ideas. Her name will forever be associated with Absolutely Fabulous which won worldwide acclaim and cult status.  The six songs featured in their shows were Trains and boats and planes, Still life, Fifteen minutes, Don't come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!, Ride/Am I Right? and Something stupid


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