Paul's blog

Oh what a night! Cambridge Folk Festival Club tent, Friday 28th July 2017

What a great time we had last night as guests of the Cambridge Folk Club, performing as one of a number of representative bands at the Club Tent on the Cambridge Folk Festival site at Cherry Hinton Lane.

Despite the best efforts of the predictable Friday-night-in-the-school-holidays road chaos, we managed to make it to the artists' car park and then onto the festival site in plenty of time for our performance.

Once on site we immediately ran into friends, seeing, first, Patti and then Roger Pitt, organisers of the great St Neot’s Folk Club.

A Rapid and Rewarding return to South Wales, Llantrisant Folk Club, 12th July 2017

After an excellent evening performing at the Caerleon Arts Festival on Monday, we were excited to be returning to south Wales again for a Wednesday evening performance at the Llantrisant Folk Cub in Pont-Y-Clun. The Llantrisant Folk Club is a vibrant club with a great schedule of headliners and we were very pleased to be invited by club organiser Pat ‘Spoons’ Smith to perform there.

A fine day in Caerleon remembering the Basque children and the kindness shown to them in a small Welsh town, 10th July 2017

This year is the 80th anniversary of the evacuation of 4,000 Basque children from Bilbao to Southampton. It is also the 80th anniversary of many of the battles that the British Battalion of the International Brigades fought in during the Spanish Civil War. Quite rightly, therefore, there are many commemorative events occurring this year and Na-Mara has been honoured to be invited to participate and perform in a number of them.

A warm reception on a warm night at Watford Folk Club, 7th July 2017

Rob and I have been visiting Watford Folk Club for almost ten years and the welcome and support we have received from club organisers and members has been very warm and full, and we number many in the club amongst our closest folk friends. So, it was lovely that so many of them came out to see us perform on a blisteringly hot Friday night in July when the barbecue and cold lagers in the back garden must have been very tempting. It was also very nice to be accompanied by family who were passing through St Albans on the way to a function in London the next day.

A pleasant afternoon in the town, St Albans Folk Festival, 24th June 2017

With the exception of the Festival concert (this year with the Furrow Collective and winners and finalists of local song and New Roots competitions at the town’s Malting Arts Theatre), the St Albans Folk Festival is a largely local affair showcasing a wealth of talent from around Hertfordshire. This is supplemented with talented performers from further afield, like the great Polly Morris up from Dorset, a Day of Dance featuring fifteen different dance teams, plus a variety of music sessions and workshops.

A delightful return to the stage in Germany, Worms 16th to 17th June 2017

In summer 2016, a representative of the Worms-based Jazz and Joy Festival attended the St Albans Folk Day and identified a number of bands and musicians to invite to Worms the following summer. The invitation to perform on the opening night of the festival was part of celebrations to commemorate 60 years of Städtepartnerschaft or town-twinning between the cities of St Albans and Worms.

A very pleasant return to Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots Club, 14th June 2017

After the need for a couple of postponements, Rob and I were finally able to make our return to the Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots Club. As one of the club organisers, Alan Hewson, noted in his kind introduction before we took to the stage, it was ten years ago that we first went along to the club to do a floorspot; to quote the beautiful song by Sandy Denny, Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

A proud moment for the IBMT in Oxford, 10th June 2017

For many years, volunteers in Oxford and the neighbouring county have been raising funds to set up a memorial to the fighters who went from the city and neighbouring areas to fight fascism in Spain in 1936/7.

After a series of speeches from Paul Preston, Richard Baxell , Carmen Negrin and others the previous evening, the memorial was unveiled late Saturday morning in a prominent position near the Headington Hill/South Park area.

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