What a pleasure it was to perform at the famous Folk at the Grove last Friday evening. After a morning walking at Almscliffe Crag - a millstone grit outcrop between Leeds and Harrogate - and an excellent pub lunch in the sunshine in Ilkley, it was a fine end to the day to get involved in an evening of good music at The Grove Inn in central Leeds.
On a sunny Thursday afternoon, we set off for our first port of call on what was to be a four day musical trip to Yorkshire.
Blessed by having family in the county, we headed for Rawden near Pudsey where a very welcome meal awaited us on arrival. Sadly, an accident on the A1 had delayed our arrival there by an hour - so we ate quickly, made our apologies and headed for the famous Topic Folk Club in central Bradford to perform a brief set in an evening headed by US folk singers Dana and Susan Robinson.
There is a great deal of humour and a lot of good music to be heard at the Orpington Folk Club and it was a great pleasure to be invited back to the club after our visit in late 2015.
Bromyard is a lovely town and it hosts a lovely folk festival. This was our second invitation to perform at the festival and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves again, performing four concerts and hosting a workshop over three days. The trip to bromyard also afforded us the chance to stay with close friends in a village close to Bromyard and to catch up with all of their news.
It was another lovely evening in the company of the Hoy-at-Anchor Folk Club yesterday.
A glorious day, a great folk festival, the seaside, meeting old friends and making new ones – that is what we had yesterday on our trip to the south coast to play our part in the magnificent Broadstairs Folk Week.
We set off early to be at the Music Zone in The Charles Dickens School campus in good time to prepare for our afternoon workshop on tunes from the Celtic regions of Spain and France at 2.30pm and arrived with enough time to have a sarnie and set the room up.
Up early the next day for a transfer to Forsthaus Willrode. As he was throughout our stay, Jan was there to transport us two hours to a beautiful and newly restored hunting lodge on the outskirts of the town of Erfurt. The house is walled and circled by a moat meaning that the inside area forms a very natural open air auditorium.
After weeks of planning, we set off on a sunny Tuesday morning to travel to Stansted for our flight to Nuremburg to begin our involvement in the Wipfel Rauschen (Rustling Treetops) East meets West festival in Thuringia in Germany.
There is great comfort in visiting old friends and, after our enjoyable adventures to new locations, there was a different kind of delight in seeing many familiar faces amongst the audience at another excellent night with the Chesham Folk Club.
We have now played Chesham Folk Club a number of times and the club’s wonderful community feel is evident to all. They have club members who have been coming together to sing and perform for many years. The club is very welcoming to its guests and the exchanges between members are often hilarious.
Fortified by an excellent sleep and a monumental breakfast with family, we hit the road from Pudsey around lunchtime to get across to Much Wenlock to take part in the Festival at the Edge. The journey was agreeably uneventful and we turned off the M54 for Much Wenlock and the festival site around three in the afternoon.