Spalding Folk Club’s nomination for folk artist of year goes to...

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In his latest column for these newspapers, Martin Browne describes how folk artist Pete Morton saves the day.

It has happened again! Only a month ago I reported how Bob Fox kindly stood in as guest at Spalding Folk Club for Canadian David Francey when he had to cancel his UK tour due to vocal health problems.

On Wednesday, July 4, with less than five hours to go, the club’s advertised guests, Union Jill, also had to cry off with both of the duo having lost their voices.

Folk club secretary and organiser Liz Padgett then started phoning and emailing possible alternatives and a short and concise text message reading, “Can do, will contact you soon” came just after four in the afternoon.

The sender, Pete Morton, was giving a concert at a hospital in London; he then had to finish the concert, catch a train to get to his car and drive up to Spalding. Add to that the fact that he was to catch a plane the next morning from Luton Airport for a short tour in Germany and you can understand how he qualifies for our nomination of ‘most dedicated and professional folk artist of the year’ award.

And what a concert he gave us. No sooner had arrived at South Holland Centre’s lounge bar than he was practically into his first set. There were several new songs from a soon-to-be-released album including He Said Yes, My Bloomsbury Boy and Boston Town.

His skill as a songwriter, through keen observation of the human condition and concise narrative, was evident in old favourites such as The Land of Time, The Post Office Queue and The Shores of Italy. His love of history also showed itself in Rambling Through Old England, The Shepherd’s Song and Ghost of a Sailor.

That we enjoyed the evening was without doubt; despite the hassle of chasing up the A1 at short notice, on the hottest day of the year so far, it was patently obvious that he did too and, as a bonus, he left us all in full voice joining in with his double encore of Another Train and When We Sing Together.

Looking ahead, Thursday at the Welland Yacht Club, Spalding, there is Spalding Folk Club’s singaround (8pm). Friday is the No Frills Ceilidh at St Mary’s Church Hall, Pinchbeck (7.45pm). Music by the Beltonas with Sue Gray calling plus Appalachian dancing by Slapdash. On Sunday, Spalding Folk Club and Slapdash Appalachian dancers will be in concert in Ayscoughfee Hall gardens, Spalding (2-4pm).