Autumn 2017

Autumn Round-Up 2017

September started as per usual with our local Rushbearing Festival in Sowerby Bridge. Two days of walking, dancing and drinking until our eventual collapse on home turf, in Ripponden, on Sunday evening!

A few private ceilidh bookings and rehearsals days later and it was off to the Nettlebed Folk Club as part of Phil Beer and Friends- featuring the brilliant Sam Kelly, Geoff Lakeman, Miranda Sykes and me. We each performed a short set each and a couple of ensemble songs and tunes together at the end of each half. It was an extremely well attended night and I, for one, had a great time. It was a properly fun evening- sort of like a mini-festival.

At the very end of the month I had a particularly enjoyable solo gig in Kempley Village Hall which was mostly attended by very dear friends and included some impromptu audience participation during one of the songs; which took me by surprise a little, but it has happened since at other gigs so I’m getting more used to it now!

October began with a truly wonderful opportunity to record with Jeff Warner at Wild Goose Studios in Hampshire. I have long been a fan of Jeff and his family’s collection of folk songs (the Frank and Anne Warner Collection) and it was an absolute honour to be asked to take part in his new project alongside Ben Paley. It was also a great opportunity to work with Doug Bailey again who I haven’t recorded with since I worked on the Keith Kendrick album “Songs from the Derbyshire Coastline” back in 2006!

After an intense week of recording I then headed back up north to Frodsham Folk Club for the first time and then to Southport’s Bothy Folk Club (not for the first time). Both nights were well attended and I had my own personal heckler at Southport in the form of Keith Price. Again, I had a whale of a time and I was most privileged to have the disco ball in action on the final song of the night!

I also had another a great night, this time at Bollington Folk Club where I was welcomed like an old friend despite never having been before. It was a full house and the place was packed with enthusiastic singers and hecklers!

The end of October brought another trip to Sligo and yet another memorable week! As well as the usual sessions and gatherings, I ended up dancing at SligoLive with absolutely sublime dance musicians: The Dartry Céilí Band.

And I even danced to the fiddle playing of one of my all-time musical heroes Kevin Burke! Look – photo evidence!

Dancing in Connolly’s, Sligo
Photo by Stephanie Lucas Caden

Just amazing! Looking forward to heading back over there very soon.