We’ve always enjoyed our trips to Loughton Folk Club and were very much looking forward to making our return there on a sunny but cool summer evening.
Rob was travelling to the gig from central London whereas I was travelling for St Albans. Given driving at peak time on the M25 is never a pleasure, I decided to set off before rush hour to the gig and park up at the beautiful Connaught Water in Epping Forest for a pre-gig, one-man, picnic. This worked spectacularly well, and I had a relaxing 90 or so minutes in the sunshine before driving the remaining couple of miles to the Loughton Club, home to the Loughton Folk Club, where I met up with Rob.
We unloaded the gear and made our way to the folk club room, which is an airy, squarish room, above the Loughton Club itself, which is ideal for performing. Soon after, organisers Jennifer, Gary and Steve arrived and the room furniture was re-arranged into club mode for the evening ahead.
The room filled up steadily and was almost at capacity by the time MC for the evening, Steve O’Donoghue kicked things off. It was very pleasing to find out that there were also people who had come along from the Waltham Abbey and Walthamstow Folk Clubs to see us play.
There is a lot of talent at the Loughton Folk Club and we were treated initially to some beautiful music played on the South American charango. We also had some Irish traditional songs. We had two great songs from a very talented young singer who was visiting the club for the first time in a number of years. We had songs by the Beatles and Neil Young. We had poetry that was saucy and poetry that was political and, I’m pleased to say, we also had a couple of gems from Steve O’Donoghue. Now, I think there is a good bit more than a hint of genius in Steve’s compositions and I have admired them and him since the first day I heard him perform. His poems and songs are clever and keep you laughing while they pack a real punch. That he should invent his own musical hall performer, Ivor Gripe, to be the vehicle for them made me rock with laughter.
As for ourselves, our sets seemed to go down very well and we may have at least one further booking as a result. I’m pleased to say that audience members were in fine chorus singing voice and we were delighted to perform Time Wears Awa’ as our encore at the end of the night.
Many thanks to Steve, Gary and Jennifer for looking after us so well, and we look forward to the next time we can visit the Loughton Folk Club.