We have always enjoyed our trips to Barnet Folk Club. Organiser JJ Dunne and his partner Jenny have always been most welcoming and their enthusiasm for the widest range of folk music has been evident throughout the time we have known them.
So, it was very nice to be invited to perform in what is the club’s spiritual home, namely, The Bull Theatre on Barnet High Street. After ten years away, operating out of various parts of the Arts Depot in North Finchley, Barnet Folk Club recently returned to its roots. Now a theatre school and a concert hall, The Bull Theatre affords the club an intimate space for performances (and a well stocked bar).
Having arrived nice and early, we were able to talk with JJ and Jenny and catch up on all the club news. With audience numbers up, the need for a p.a. removed and the performance space reduced, the venue for the club has a very nice, intimate, feel to it.
JJ kicked the evening off with three songs. Interestingly, as Malcolm Hobbs had done the evening before at Redbourn Folk Club, JJ started with Victor Jara’s Hands. This was followed by a trademark lively rendition of Christie Moore’s Viva La Quinta Brigada and he finished off with a rousing composition of his own. On the last two of these songs, JJ was joined by young Steve Turnbull.
Steve then took over from JJ and provided three songs himself. For those who haven’t seen Steve, he is a fine guitarist and mandolinist with an excellent voice. Vocally, he has a superbly controlled delivery that reminded me a little of Chris Wood. This is a name for the future; when you do see him, you are in for a treat.
Rob and I then took to the stage and were pleased to give another run out to all our new material. The more intimate nature of the new space makes it much easier for the Barnet audience to join in on choruses and engage in banter than was possible in the foyer of the Arts Depot, and everyone had a lot of fun. It was also great to see that a number of local friends who hadn’t been able to make it to Redbourn the night before had come along to join the evening in Barnet. In short, we had a great time and, from the calls we had for an encore, it sounded like the audience did too.
As always, many thanks to JJ and Jenny for the invitation. We wish the Barnet Folk Club all the very best for the future in their new home! Many thanks also to all those who came along and were so generous in their post-gig support.