Rob and I have played many interesting venues in our time but this is the first time we have played in a courtroom. As part of a weekend of music in the town, courtesy of the St. Albans Festival, local folk organisers, Alison Raymond, Alison MacFarlane and others had arranged a solid eight hours(!) showcasing the best in local folk music in the former courtroom of the old town hall in the centre of town. While a truly grand session of musicians was being taking place in a large airy room upstairs, an impressive string of local folk musicians were performing in the courtroom downstairs.
Wanting to be sure of reaching the Great kNight Folk Club in good time, I picked Rob up from the station and we set out for our first visit to this excellent Northampton-based folk club. The capricious nature of motorways was such that, of course, we arrived with oodles of time to spare with ample chance to relax in the car park at the Old White Hart before the club organisers arrived.
It was with great pleasure that we had accepted Patti and Roger Pitt’s invitation to conclude the afternoon club concert at the St Neots Folk Festival, held in The Priory Centre in St. Neots. The St Neots Folk Club has been very kind to na-mara over the years and always provide the warmest of welcomes – so we were very keen to see everyone again.
We are grateful to the club organiser of Uxbridge Folk Club, Archie McAulay, for his continuing support for na-mara. Half way through our recent performance at the club he informed the audience that we are the only performers to have visited three times since the club was revived by Archie a few years ago. We were unaware of that honour and were humbled to hear of it.
It was with huge pleasure that we received an invitation to play once more at Redbourn Folk Club. This was partly because it is a lovely and welcoming club to play at but also it meant that the club was evidently in good health under the new management of Jenny McNaught and Malcolm Hobbs. Jenny and Malcolm have recently taken the reins following years of great service to the club from Jan Strapp and friends. If our experience of the club is anything to go by, they look to be making a really great fist of it.
Albeit tired from the journey back from Spain, the brilliant sunshine perked us both up no end as we set off for the south coast for our first ever visit to the Hove Folk Club, organised by none other than the irrepressible Robb Johnson himself.
It was an early start on Monday 29th April for na-mara’s long awaited trip to play a concert in Logroño in the Rioja region of Spain in memory of the men and women of the International Brigades who so bravely set off to fight fascism in Spain in the late 1930s.