Future of folk music is in safe hands

An extravaganza of folk music is on show at this weekend's Straw Bear Festival at Whittlesey, near Peterborough
An extravaganza of folk music is on show at this weekend's Straw Bear Festival at Whittlesey, near Peterborough

With a high percentage of folk club audience members falling into the sixties age group it isn’t surprising to find that a lot of performers are from the same “baby-boomer” era.

That is not, in itself, a bad thing because these performers are seasoned and experienced and know how to relate to their audience.

It has, however, long been a problem that the clubs are struggling to attract a younger clientele and, indeed, younger and energetic club organisers in order to ensure a natural progression into the future.

In an attempt to redress the age balance Spalding Folk Club has always tried to include some younger, untried artists into its programme and so it was on Wednesday 4th when the young and energetic Georgia Shackleton trio gave us a superb evening of accomplished musicianship and appealing vocals.

Poor Georgia was still suffering the after-effects of a winter cold but did amazingly well to sing beautifully, if comparatively quietly, material mainly of her own composition.

For the sake of her vocal chords it was a good job that she is also a fine fiddle player and, empathetically supported by Nic Zuppardi on mandolin and Aaren Bennett on guitar, the trio had plenty of tunes to fill out their repertoire. With skilled youngsters of this calibre the future of folk music is in safe hands.

On Thursday (Jan 12) Spalding Folk Club holds its music session at the Lincoln Arms, Bridge Street. Admission is free and all are welcome (8pm).

The weekend ahead has an extravaganza of folk music, poetry, storytelling and dance in the form of the annual Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival.

This is just one of the events on the folk scene this year.

Spalding Folk Club singaround is on Thursday 19th at the Welland Yacht Club, Cradge Bank (8pm).

Free admission and all are welcome.