Readifolk has always been a great supporter of Na-Mara’s music and it was lovely to be returning to perform at the club once more. After two long days of driving at the end of the previous week, we'd both been able to rest up for a while and were raring to go again. At only an hour's drive away, it felt as though we were visiting near neighbours. We were certainly visiting good friends.
We set off late afternoon to have a light meal with our very close friends in Reading, Joe and Mandy, before navigating the ever-busy roads of central Reading to get to Readifolk’s lovely home at Watlington House. When we arrived, we were met by club organisers Una and Colin and it was great to catch up on all their news and to hear how well the club was faring. Colin kindly helped us unload our expanding range of instruments and we set up as the room began to fill.
Remembering promises from the last time Na-Mara had performed at the club, two club members brought in their exceptionally high-quality classical guitars for Rob to see and play. Rob spent a rare old 20 minutes playing some of his classical repertoire upon them to the evident delight of the instrument owners.
As is always the case at Readifolk, the quality of the floor singers was once again very high. We had excellent variety throughout the evening, including everything from Jim Croce through to French and Irish traditional songs to English and German tunes sets to some excellent self-penned material about the experience of migration to Australia from the perspectives of both emigrants and aborigines.
Our own two sets seemed to go down very well and, as ever, the Readifolk audience was keen to sing along with our choruses. We certainly had a lot of laughs before the evening was over.
I'm pleased to note that the drama experienced trying to get through the M4/M25 junction two nights previous had all but evaporated by the time we were back on the road home from Reading. Indeed, we were back in St. Albans by midnight.
Many thanks to Una and Colin for both their kind invitation and their warm welcome to the club. Many thanks also to our MC and fellow floor singers for the evening, and to Ian and Jane for remembering to bring along their wonderful instruments.