Gigging again - Loughton Folk Club, 31st March 2016

It was great to be back out ‘gigging’ again and it was a real treat to start our 2016 commitments at the lovely Loughton Folk Club. We have visited the club on a number of occasions before and have always had the finest of welcomes. This evening was no exception.

Now run by Gary James, Steve O’Donoghue and a team of committed volunteers, the club takes place in a very pleasant, nicely-sized, room with good acoustics above the Loughton Club. The club has an intimate and involved air about it.

To ensure we were there in good time, we set off from St Albans nice and early. In the event, the M25 behaved itself for once and we were in Loughton and parked up all in good time to go and find a cuppa in a local cafe.

We returned to the car and began to take our gear up to the club and, despite still being early, we found club organisers already hard at work preparing the room for the evening. This meant we had a good chance to catch up with MC for the evening Jenny, and Gary and Steve.

The floor support was excellent through the evening with songs traditional and new from Gary and a reminder from John’s excellent rendition of ‘Sammy’s Bar’, that I should listen again to my Cyril Tawney albums. We also had some poetry both poignant and funny and we had Steve doing a characteristically rumbustious performance of his song about the state pension age receding ever further into the future – hilarious and true. We should make a special mention for Jenny who did a great job MC-ing and kept the evening moving along very nicely. We were very touched by the introduction she gave when we took to the floor.

For ourselves, our hard work at rehearsals paid off. Established parts of the repertoire went down very well and, most pleasingly, our new songs ‘We Met Upon the Barricades’ and ‘The Recompense’ both seemed to have been appreciated. Loughton always was a great chorus singing club and we were very pleased to hear the audience joining in with us throughout.

It was also very pleasing to see some of our friends from the International Brigade Memorial Trust make a special trip across north London to come and see us perform. Support like that is very special and means a lot to us.

We wish everyone at the Loughton Folk Club all the best for the future and we hope to make a return to the club in future years.