We have always enjoyed our trips to perform at The Maltings Theatre in St. Albans. It is a well equipped and intimate venue where one can create a real atmosphere and, being our home town, it also guarantees that we will see lots of our local supporters in the audience. As such, it was with delight that we accepted a recent invitation from Folk at The Maltings organisers, Alison MacFarlane and Bill Redway to perform the April folk concert at the theatre. Our support for the evening was to be provided by 2017 New Roots finalist, Megan Wisdom, who had travelled over from Suffolk, and local singer Sue Farthing, wonderfully supported by Clive Carey on guitar and Mike on banjo.
With the venue being so close to home we were able to travel there easily, arriving good and early and in plenty of time to chat with the organisers and catch up with the other musicians while setting ourselves up for the concert.
Megan started the evening off with a set of beautiful songs accompanied by table accordion which had the audience entranced. Megan has an excellent folk future ahead of her. If you get the chance, go and see her perform.
Rob and I then went on to perform our first half hour set to take the evening up to the break. Given our familiarity with the venue and in the presence of an audience peppered with friendly faces, we immediately fell into a groove and played a good first set.
After the break, Sue, Clive and Mike provided a varied and accomplished set, delivered with skill and considerable wit and they soon got the audience joining in heartily. We returned to the stage for a final 45 minute set, and the choruses were supported heartily once more.
We have been working up some new material over the winter period and this was a good opportunity to give it a first run out. We included a couple of new tune sets in the second half. The first was a French-Canadian tune followed by one of Rob’s compositions, The Locksmith Reel. The second was a set comprising an An Dro, a Bouree and finishing with a Muineira (de Boal).
Songwise, we introduced our new song, The Sirens’ Call, about the tragic consequences of gambling addiction into the set for a first time. We have also now finalised a preferred arrangement for our rarely performed song about the plight of refugees across time and space called, simply, The Poor Refugee. I’m pleased to report that all of this new material was delivered well and it was very pleasing to receive positive feedback from audience members about it after the concert had finished – indeed, one or two were a little disappointed they couldn’t yet buy an album with the new tracks on.
Many thanks to Alison and Bill for the invitation to again perform at Folk at the Maltings and for looking after us so well throughout the evening. Similarly, thanks to all those who came along to see us. We would like to give our best wishes to Megan Wisdom and the Sue Farthing Trio and very much hope we will bump into them on the club and festival circuit over the coming season.