On a high from an excellent day at the Gate to Southwell Festival, Rob and I set off mid-afternoon to play live and be interviewed on Doug Welch’s Sunday evening Kent Folk programme on BBC Radio Kent. We had jointly selected this date with Doug ahead of our gig at nearby Tonbridge Folk Club (Nellie’s) on 20th June.
It was Crowded House who sang that you should 'always take the weather with you'. So, we did our best yesterday to take some sunshine with us from sunny St. Albans. We certainly had 'four seasons in one day' on the drive up the Gate to Southwell Festival on Saturday but, as we arrived, having driven through torrential rain and thickening mist, the rain eased and the sky brightened beyond its Tupperware grey. So, we didn't do too badly.
This particular Friday 13th turned out to be a beautiful day for na-mara to visit the seaside and Seaford Folk Club. Seaford is a pretty little coastal town sitting between Brighton and Eastbourne and, held in an upstairs room above a large and well appointed British Legion Club, the Folk Club must have one of the best views of any folk club in the land. It takes some concentration not to be distracted into watching what is happening out on the water, especially when it lies shimmering in glorious Spring sunshine.
On another beautiful May evening, we travelled to Reading for our third evening performance in four days. Many years ago, Readifolk were the first folk club to engage us for a headliner spot and, through longstanding club organisers Colin and Una Waters and fellow club stalwarts, has been a consistent source of encouragement and support for us ever since.
The second leg of our three-gig weekend saw Rob and I on the road to revisit Hadleigh, a few miles to the west of Ipswich. After supporting the excellent Vicky Swann and Jonny Dyer at the club back in September 2014, the organisers of the Hadleigh Folk and Acoustic Nights, Simon Haines and Val Woollard, very kindly invited us back to do a headline spot.
It was both a great pleasure and an honour to be the guests of Bowes Park Folk Club on the occasion of its third birthday and it is abundantly clear that this particular toddler is in very rude health.
What a pleasure it was last night to get involved with a burgeoning new folk club, The White Horse Folk Club in Hertford. With the help of a very sympathetic and supportive publican, club organiser and well known local folk musician Pat Crilly has done a wonderful job in getting this lovely club up and running.
On our two previous visits to Twickfolk we had supported Vin Garbutt and then Jez Lowe. So, it was with delight that we accepted an invitation to step up and perform as headliners at this prestigious folk venue.
It was great to be back out ‘gigging’ again and it was a real treat to start our 2016 commitments at the lovely Loughton Folk Club. We have visited the club on a number of occasions before and have always had the finest of welcomes. This evening was no exception.
Now run by Gary James, Steve O’Donoghue and a team of committed volunteers, the club takes place in a very pleasant, nicely-sized, room with good acoustics above the Loughton Club. The club has an intimate and involved air about it.
For the second half of our musical weekend we had a double treat in store. Not only were we going to meet up again with our old friends at the Cambridge Folk Club but we were also going to get the chance to renew our acquaintance and play with Sussex-based five piece, Kiss the Mistress.