What a great event the Big Music Night (BMN) was at Henley Community Centre in March.
For those who have not heard of them, they are twice-yearly fundraising concerts organised by Mike and Linda Green.
Moneyraised goes to the Folk Music Education Programme, which takes aspects of folk music and its traditions into local schools. The concert raised £378, not a bad profit for a few hours’ “work” and thoroughly enjoyable for the contributors.
The standard of the acts was high and provided variety enough to suit everyone. Among performers were The Columbines, a female trio that included a cello which gave an almost haunting quality to their fine singing; Acafella, a male quartet that gave polished a capella renditions of, among other tunes, an Elvis song. In addition, we had sea shanties, comic songs and monologues, traditional folk songs and tunes, some bluegrass and musicians on fiddle, banjo, guitar, keyboard, concertina and autoharp. Next BMN is scheduled for October 14; details from firstname.lastname@example.org.
After 40-plus years, the folk club at the Carriers Arms in East Bergholt had to change venue, and has re-invented itself as “Folk at the Duchy”, a bi-monthly event at the Duchy Barn in Dedham. These are informal gatherings where you can take your own drink (and snacks if you like) and enjoy a variety of folk styles. A nominal contribution is collected to help pay for the hire of the Barn. More information from Dick Spanner on 01206 241936.
A new club for me has been the Unaccompanied night at Oakes Barn in Bury (first Monday of the month, 8pm). It didn’t take long to realise my unaccompanied solo repertoire is not large, and so I have been re-discovering the wide scope of folk songs and doing what I imagine many another “folkie” may do from time to time: adapt and make it your own!
Friday, May 6
HADLEIGH FOLK CLUB: Ansell Centre, 7.45pm. £5/£2 cons. Na Mara supported by Swallow and the wolf.
Friday, May 6–Sunday, May 8
Orwell Bluegrass Festival: Hollow Tree Scout Camp, Ipswich, IP10 0JP. Call 07889 607612. email@example.com. Down Trodden String Band, Cedar Hill, Monogram, Hot Rock Pilgrims, Percy Three, The Kentucky Cowtippers, Blossom Hill, The Next Generation, New Essex Bluegrass Band, The Reckless Abandoners, The Ragged Out String Band, Riverboat, Ramblers, The Hogranch, The Thunderbridge, Bluegrass Band, One Tree Hillbillies, Malvern Hillbillies Old Time String Band, Kieran Towers & Charlotte Carrivick, Crooked Moon Appalachian, The Down, County Boys, The Flat Mountain Family Band.
Saturday, May 7
COLCHESTER: Colchester Morris Men: 11.30am Culver Sq. 12.30pm Lion Walk. 3pm Holly Trees.
Sunday, May 8
COLCHESTER: Headgate Theatre: Music on a Spring Evening. Fundraising for the National Trust. 01206 366000.
Cambridge: Black fen Folk Club: Jeff Warner, guitar, banjo, concertina, spoons and bones. One of the foremost interpreters of American traditional folk music. Recommended.
Monday, May 9
COLCHESTER: Arts Centre: Colchester Folk Club, 7.45pm. £11/10 cons. Sam Carter supported by Daoiri Farrell.
Tuesday, May 10
WHITTLESFORD FOLK CLUB: Bees-in-the-wall. Cambridge. 8pm-11pm. All welcome. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ELY ROYAL FOLK CLUB: Kings Arms. 7.30pm-11pm. All welcome. email@example.com
Wednesday, May 11
KEVIN’S GUITAR CLUB: Constitutional Club. 7.30pm. Free. For beginners to masters. Recommended.
WOOLPIT FOLK CLUB: The Bull P.H. 8.30pm- 11pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY, MAY 12
HORNINGSEA FOLK CLUB: Plough and Fleece 8pm-11pm
WITHAM SINGAROUND: Little Elms, 7.30pm – 10pm. £3 on door. All levels welcome. Contact email@example.com.
WOLF FOLK CLUB: Wolfeton. 8pm. Free. Singaround.
THE BULL, COLCHESTER: Free. 9pm – 11pm. Acoustic Bull. The LBC Collective, Mr Jones and his Guitar and Matt Calderbank.
FRIDAY, MAY 12
ANSELL CENTRE, HADLEIGH: 8pm. £5 on door. £2 under 16s and floor spot performers. Bring your own drinks.
LONG MELFORD FOLK CLUB: Cock and Bell. 8.30pm. Free. Open to all. Good stuff happens here. Attendence has increased three fold over the past couple of months. Brilliant. Well done Pauline. Recommended.