Knowing we had another full and varied day ahead of us, we again rose reasonably late before having a hearty breakfast at the hotel, packing our bags and setting off for north Lincolnshire.
After a late breakfast at our hotel, Rob and I got together for a brief rehearsal ahead of our trip that evening to the Bolton Socialist Club. Once we were finished rehearsing, we then made our way to the extremely attractive town of Knutsford to meet up with some close friends for lunch and a tour of the town. I can tell you the Italian food was very good indeed and we greatly enjoyed our tour of the town’s Heritage Centre ( - in particular, the Knutsford Tapestry, a work of monumental effort and, in my view, eventual historic importance).
After a splendid evening at the Topic Folk Club in Bradford the night before, and eating and drinking late into the night, we had a lazy morning with a leisurely breakfast and a look through some old photographs, before setting off for Cheshire. Since we were playing a Spanish Civil War-related event at the Bolton Socialist Club on the following evening (Saturday), Rob and I had made the previous decision that we would make our way to the Manchester area and look to visit one of the local folk clubs in the area.
It was a fresh, sunny, lunchtime when we set off from St Albans to perform at the first of our ‘2018 northern tour’ venues - the prestigious Topic Folk Club in Bradford. We had had the pleasure of performing a floor spot and joining a singaround session at the club over the previous couple of years but tonight we were going to be headlining at the oldest folk club in the world.
It was a very nice evening at the Gala Fundraiser at Watford Folk Club last night.
We very much enjoyed performing a 40-minute set with lots of material from our forthcoming album and we saw some excellent performances from MC Julian Mount and friends, Steve McClennon and friends, Nigel Wesson and the lovely Moses and the Ref.
I am also pleased to report that the evening was well attended and a fair old sum of money was raised to support the club to continue to do their excellent work.
Rob and I had a great time on our first visit to Overton Folk Club yesterday evening. We were very warmly received and heard some first rate performances by club regulars in a very convivial setting in the Community Centre in the middle of Overton. What more could one want for a nice evening out?
Overton Folk Club organisers Tom and Gill had seen Na-Mara perform at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival last year and were kind enough to extend an invitation to play at the club, something we were delighted to do.
It was a very early wake up call to catch our flight to Frankfurt to play at the Idstein Jazz Festival and, as with every very early flight, there is little comfort in sleep the night before as you work through all the little worries in your head. Worries along the lines of will the car start, will there be someone to actually meet and greet us at airport parking, will the flight go on time, what if there was a cancellation, will the security guys freak out at a suitcase full of leads, instrument stands and CDs, will the instruments survive the journey in the hold, will the Fragile sticke
Albeit holidays and illness meant numbers were a little below their usual average, Rob and I had a lovely evening at the Maidenhead Folk Club yesterday evening. Those who had managed to make it along were very welcoming and fully engaged with what we were playing, joining in robustly with choruses from the very start of the evening
It was very nice indeed to return to the excellent NAF Club last night.
We arrived nice and early at the Star and Garter pub in Silsoe near Bedford which hosts the club. This was partly because the M1 behaved itself but mostly because, for some reason, I had a start time in my head for the club that was 30 minutes earlier than was the case.
Anyway, the bar staff let us into the club room and we had plenty of time to tune up and to chat with friends who had kindly travelled over from the Baldock and Letchworth Folk and Blues Club to come and support us.
What a tremendous night it was at the Waveney Folk Club in Lowestoft yesterday. The welcome we received from club organisers and audience members alike and the support for what we do were as pleasing as they were outstanding.