Paul's blog

BBC Radio Shropshire and Music at St Leonard’s, Yarpole, Friday 5th May 2017

Following Na-Mara’s successful participation in the Bromyard Folk Festival last year, we were approached by a friend of a friend, the organiser of a series of concerts in the village of Yarpole (Music at St Leonard’s), to perform one of the concerts in the current series. This is something we were naturally delighted to do.

A great return to Redbourn Folk Club, 27th April 2017

What a great evening it was last night at Redbourn Folk Club; an intimate space, packed to the rafters. As Na-Mara starts a busy sequence of gigs over the coming weeks and months, we really couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Redbourn Folk Club, run by Malcolm Hobbs, Jenny McNaught and others has been a big supporter of our music ever since we started and it is always a pleasure to return there. Its proximity to where we live also means that a lot of our friends and local followers can get along quite easily.

Supporting Brooks Williams, Cambridge Folk Club, 10th March 2017

It was a real pleasure to return to Cambridge Folk Club last Friday evening and to see so many old friends.

We were there to support Brooks Williams. Brooks has a widespread reputation for excellent guitar playing, finely wrought songs and for being a very friendly guy and we certainly experienced all of that. He was generous with his time and comments and was clearly and rightly loved by his many followers there to see him.

Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Jarama, February 18th 2017, Day 2

Nearly all of the musicians involved in the 80th Anniversary concert commemorating the Battle of Jarama were up early on Saturday morning (18th February). There was a full and stimulating day ahead.

A small fleet of taxis was waiting to whisk us away to the area in Rivas-Vaciamadrid where the Charlie Donnelly memorial stands. Arriving well ahead of members of the Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland and other fellow attendees for the monument’s rededication ceremony, we were able to grab a coffee and something to eat in a swish new sports centre nearby.

Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Jarama, February 17th 2017, Day 1

Below is an account of the first of two dayd in Madrid when we were honoured by the Friends of the International Brigades In Ireland (FIBI) with an invitation to perform two concerts in Rivas-Vaciamadrid to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Jarama, where, alongside Republican forces, the British, Irish, Garibaldi, Dmitrov, 6th February and Thalmann Battalions, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and many others fought heroically to halt the advance of fascist forces on Madrid.

A fine night at the Marx Memorial Library, 20th October 2016

Those who know our music will be aware that we do a lot of work with the International Brigades Memorial Trust. As such, it was a great honour to be invited to participate in one of a series of events to commemorate and remember the courage and sacrifice of the brave men and women who went to fight and to care for fighters in the battle against Franco's fascists in the second half of the 1930s.

A night with friends at The Maltings in St, Albans, 7th October 2016

You can’t beat spending an evening with friends and that is what we had last night in our home town of St Albans, courtesy of Folk at the Maltings and event organiser, Alison MacFarlane.

As can be seen from the accompanying photos (with many thanks to our pal Ray Smith for taking them and sending them over), the Maltings is an intimate auditorium that invites a listening atmosphere. This is ideal for us and the stories we tell.

A commemorative event for the eight International Brigaders from Hull, 25th September 2016

For the final day of our four day trip to Yorkshire we had been invited to perform at an event to raise funds for a more fitting memorial than currently exists to eight International Brigaders who left the city to fight in the Spanish Civil War. It was an honour to be invited to perform and we very much looked forward to performing alongside punk folk hero Joe Solo.

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