The Anchor Folk Club, hosted in The Blue Anchor public house on the High Street in Byfleet in Surrey, is a cracking good folk club and we were delighted to have been invited by club organisers Mike and Maureen to perform there.
Having to pick up some materials for a special gig we are playing in Cambridge on June 18th, I first need to travel to Ewell, a little further on round the M25 from Byfleet. Just a mere 51 miles from St Albans but Google directions was warning it would take two hours to get there. In fact, it took noticeably longer to stagger the way there. Anyway, I arrived and was rewarded with a lovely cup of tea. TO make pick up arrangements easier Rob later travelled out from London to join me there.
Just before 7.00pm we set off for Byfleet. Despite the traffic still being heavy, we made it to The Blue Anchor in good time where we met club organisers Mike and Maureen who had already set the venue up. As with Banbury the evening before, the club room for The Anchor Folk Club is in a good sized, airy, room above the pub. It even has a useful little ante-room to store instrument cases and the like.
It was very good to speak with Mike and Maureen as we were setting up and it was encouraging to hear that the club had been going strongly since its inauguration in 1995 and was continuing to do so.
Any initial concerns we had that the night might be a quiet one were steadily dispelled as wave upon wave of club members arrived in the run up to the start time of 8.30pm. Eventually, the room was very full indeed. We couldn’t have been more pleased.
The Anchor Folk Club has a great many excellent singers and musicians amongst its membership. Mike himself kicked the evening off and, such was the number of performers in attendance, that most only had scope to perform one number. All were very good at what they did.
Being now fully warmed up after two gigs earlier in the same week, I’m pleased to report that we performed a couple of the best sets we’ve ever done and the audience responded to this. Furthermore, audience members at The Anchor are among some of the very best chorus singers we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing for; remarkably enthusiastic, with unison and harmony singing occurring throughout. Great stuff.
So, it was with real smiles on our faces that we packed the gear away at the end of the night. It had been an excellent evening. Even the M25 had improved by the time we made it back there and the journey home was mercifully swift.
Very many thanks to Mike and Maureen for their invitation to perform at the club, for their warm welcome and for putting us in touch with other potential venues. We wish The Anchor Folk Club all the very best and sincerely hope to make a return to the club at some time in the future.