My oh my, what a great night it was at the Redbourn Folk Club! The Old School Room at the back of the Hollybush pub was full to bursting and all were in fine voice. It was tremendous to see so many of our friends and supporters amongst the club regulars and was it was doubly nice to see so many talented musicians there to provide the floor spots.
It was very nice to be making a return to St Neots Folk Club. From the very beginning of na-mara the club, led by Roger and Patti, has always been very supportive of what we do.
It was wonderful to receive such great support from family, friends and local folk enthusiasts at the launch of our new CD at a Folk May Day concert at The Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans last night.
In a packed evening of music, the evening was kicked off by the irrepressible Sue Farthing, very ably accompanied by Clive Carey. Sue certainly got the evening off to a swing with a collection of May-time songs, accompanied with flower garlands.
The Watford Folk Club is a welcoming folk club with excellent floor singers, a history of nurturing emerging acts and a growing reputation for putting on top quality music evenings. They have always been hugely supportive of na-mara and we love playing there. It is a listening and singing audience which suits our style perfectly.
This evening was the 16th birthday party for the Baldock and Letchworth Folk Club and for Alan Hewson’s well known ‘house band’ Tam Lin. A wide variety of friends of the club came together to provide a great evening of music supplemented by a selection of wonderful cakes – real cakes and ale, I’m sure Somerset Maugham would have approved!
Less than a week after performing at Les Ray and Deirdre Murphy’s Red Velvet music marathon, we were back in Cambridge. Albeit at the same venue, this time we were visiting the Cambridge Folk Club to support the mighty Phil Beer.
We had last been on the same as stage as Phil when na-mara appeared just ahead of Show of Hands at the Friday main marquee event at the Bromyard Folk Festival in 2013 and it was a delight to hear that Phil remembered us from that event.
For the third year running we were pleased to accept an invitation to play at Les Ray and Deirdre Murphy’s sponsored Red Velvet Music Marathon. Les and Deirdre are committed fund raisers for cancer charities and, being musicians and well connected through the local folk communities in Cambridgeshire and beyond, have for the past three years organised a 24-hour music session at The Golden Hind pub on Milton Road in Cambridge.
We first come across the NAF Club when it was featured in the excellent Herts., Beds., Bucks. and Cambs. local area folk magazine, Unicorn Magazine. Located in Silsoe in central Bedfordshire and run by Ned Lawton of the very friendly and very talented music trio, Ragged Staff, the club’s name lays out its intentions clearly, namely, to provide a local venue for acoustic music beyond just the folk genre. The full name for the club is the NAF (Not a Folk) Club.
A Sunday night trip to Twickfolk to support Jez Lowe - what a nice way to start the year’s ‘gigging’! Having spent many hours in quiet rooms finishing the mixing and mastering of our new CD ‘Navajos & Pirates’, it was good to get back to rehearsals and performing. A straightforward trip round the North Circular to a club we have long admired, was an ideal way to begin our 2015 schedule of gigs.
At the end of 2013, Rob and I were asked by local folk activist Alison Macfarlane to play at an evening at The Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans to raise funds for the casting of a bronze statue in honour of local resident, Thomas Watters. As mentioned in our blog from that event, Thomas left his job as a Glasgow city bus driver in 1936 to serve as an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War and, when the war finished, spent the remainder of his life in St Albans.