Rob and I have long been observers on the excellent work done by Folk 21 (http://www.folk21.net/). For those unfamiliar with Folk 21, in its own words it is a volunteer run organisation that brings together folk club organisers, artists, agents and fans to sustain, support and develop a thriving “guest booking” folk club scene in the UK.
After an excellent summer break, it was great to be back out playing again. We were particularly excited by our invitation to perform at the Hadleigh Folk Club. Not only was this a new club for us but it also meant that we could meet up again with friends both on the concert bill for the evening and in the local area.
It was a pleasant morning when we set off for the Warwick Folk Festival. We’d had a great time there two years earlier and were very keen to return. The drive was uneventful and from the moment we entered the festival site we were looked after extremely well by the festival volunteers.
It was another glorious summer day when we set off to play the Henley Festival. Given the prestige and scale of this event, it was an honour to receive the invitation several months earlier and we were both excited that the day had finally arrived. Percussionist Dan Garcia has been working with us on our new album and it was great news that he was available to join us for this performance.
It was an honour for us to be invited back by the International Brigade Memorial Trust to perform as part of its annual commemoration of those brave men and women who left these shores in the 1930s and travelled to Spain to fight fascism.
It was another hot night when we travelled to perform at the famous Goose is Out folk club at The Ivy House pub in Nunhead.
It was a very hot summer night when we travelled the short distance from home to perform for the Hertfordshire Spanish Circle. Some members of the Circle had seen us perform at a fund raiser earlier in the year to raise money for a statue to International Brigader, Tom Watters and had then encouraged the organisers of the Circle to invite us to play at one of their regular educational evenings; something we were more than happy to do.
Ever since na-mara formed, we have been travelling up the A1 to play at the Baldock and Letchworth Folk Club and, as a result, have become close friends with club organisers Alan and Sue Hewson. We have also made a lot of good mates amongst club regulars there. So, there was a party atmosphere when we visited this time around and it was lovely to see so many of our friends coming out to hear us.
Back in June 2013, we had the pleasure of supporting Bob Fox at the Great kNight Folk Club in Northampton and were delighted shortly afterwards to receive an invitation from club organiser Andrew Wintersgill to return to the club as the featured artist.
Loughton Folk Club is a well run, highly active, and welcoming place to play. It has a fine room upstairs at the Loughton Club which manages to accommodate a good number of people without losing any of the intimacy needed for folk music. Run by John Hart and others, it has always been supportive of our music and has an excellent track record of embracing artists from nearby areas as well as more established, national, artists. It also has a proud record of fund raising through its ‘nights of protest’ and other events.