The CD comes with a bonus track at the end, track 11, a studio recording called “Rubber Band”. This is a pleasant jaunty little song with an unaccompanied harmonised introduction, after which Dave Swarbrick takes the verses solo, with more harmonies on the refrains. It is cleverly autobiographical in its lyrics, which describe a group bouncing back despite repeated setbacks; and it heavily features a Jews Harp!
The only place where I have found any info on this song is from Neil Wayne’s notes in the splendid book which was part of the “Fairport Uncoventional” Box Set (2002):
“Fairport have never been a singles band. Singles extracted from albums have made no mark on the charts ( aside from the odd success of Si Tu Dois Partir). Prior to this release only a couple of other tracks had been issued exclusively on 7″. It is typically perverse, therefore, that the swansong (for such it was deemed to be at the time) should be a cover version of a song not previously associated with them. The synthesiser solo is played by Simon Nicol.
“It came out in March 1980 on the Cropredy-based Simon’s records, as did the second run of Farewell, Farewell, the initial product of Woodworm (Bear 22). Maybe the single – like so much of Fairports’s output – was actually ahead of its time; the early 1980s were to see a run of novelty folk hits to which the undeniably catchy Rubber Band was a perfect precursor – Day Trip To Bangor (1980) by Fiddler’s Dram whose singer Cathy le Surf has served as Fairport’s vocalist at several Cropredys; Fred Wedlock’s Oldest Swinger in Town (1981); Tony Capstick comes home.
The song was the opening track of Bright Phoebus, Lal and Mike Waterson’s 1972 album on Trailer. That was equally a-typical. The Watersons (Lal, Mike, and Norma) were usually associated with a-capella harmony singing of traditional songs. Bright Phoebus was a folk rock album of original compositions.
“Although this was the studio recording with which Fairport Convention intended to say Farewell, the rubber band was to bounce back remarkably quickly.”