When we checked our diaries as we left the door, it turned out to have been over five years since we’d last performed at the Great kNight Folk Club in Northampton. So, we were really pleased to be returning there with lots of new material.
The journey from St Albans to Northampton is relatively short. However, when it is raining hard enough for Noah to be getting a shift on, combined with local road closures, it took us over 35 minutes to get out of our hometown. Amazingly, through the drenching curtains of rain that swept over the car, the M1 kept flowing and our early fears of arriving after the support had started, steadily dissipated and, in the end, we arrived at the club with half an hour to spare before opening.
The Great kNight Folk Club usually meets in a large room on the first floor of the pub. However, when that room is otherwise booked, the club has access to a pleasant room on the ground floor, with lots of armchairs and sofas. The room is very cosy and heavy curtains over the entrance manage to contain most of any sound overspill from the bar.
We were delighted to meet up with MC for the night, Kevin Ward, again. Kevin has been a good friend of Na-Mara for many years and given us much helpful feedback over that time. He was on excellent form, as was the support for the evening, the very talented Craig Sunderland.
A Newcastle United fan called Sunderland, Craig has family in the north-east but is well established in Coventry where he is, rightly, well known around the regional folk clubs. After many years playing heavy metal rock music, Craig has returned to his folk roots. He is an excellent guitarist and vocalist and will, I’m sure, blaze quite a trail through the folk scene in the coming years. We really enjoyed listening to his 30-minute set.
Sadly for Craig and for us, the torrential rain meant that numbers were a little lower than the Great kNight typically averages. However, the atmosphere was intimate and very pleasant, and we performed well. The audience joined in heartily with choruses and seemed to enjoy the evening very much indeed. Many were keen to tell those that hadn’t made it along, what a good night they’d missed.
Surprisingly, the M1 also behaved itself on the way home. So, we were home for midnight.
Many thanks to Andrew Wintersgill for the original invitation to perform again at the Great kNight Folk Club, to Kevin Ward for his masterful MC-ing, to Craig Sunderland for getting the evening off to such an excellent start, and to all those club members that braved the elements on a shocking evening of weather to come along and support and encourage us. We very much hope it won’t be another five years before we make our return back to the Great kNight.