Folk in Spalding and the surrounding area

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A regular column by Spalding Folk Club’s Martin Browne.

One small problem exists with writing a fortnightly piece about the local folk scene is that an event worth reporting on can often be over two weeks old. One such event was the visit by Damien Barber and Mike Wilson to Spalding Folk Club on November 2 and that night’s performance certainly deserves mention.

The two are quite different in style and background but they blend together particularly well as a duo. Mike’s grounding was, and indeed still is, as part of the family acapella group, the Wilsons, whereas Damien earned his spurs in the early years working the folk clubs as a solo act.

Their humour and rapport with the audience, professionally and skilfully delivered, provided a framework to the songs that interspersed. Mike’s superb voice was particularly suited to the Ewan McColl songs most notable of which was The First time Ever I Saw Your Face. Damien’s harmonies and musical skills on both concertina and guitar underpinned Mike’s singing and he also gave a good account of himself when performing on his own. His ability to switch, on other occasions, to his alter ego as the front man in the Demon Barbers etc. also shows an amazing versatility. It was a refreshing return to a time more reminiscent of the heady days of the folk revival.

Looking forward, Thursday is the Spalding Folk Club singaround at the Welland Yacht Club, Cradge Bank (8pm).

On Saturday, Jon Boden, erstwhile of Bellowhead and Spiers and Boden, takes his solo tour to the South Holland Centre, Spalding (8pm). Box office 01775 764777.

The Haconby Hare music session takes place on Monday at the Hare and Hounds, West Road, Haconby (8pm) hosted by Pete Shaw and friends.

At the South Holland Centre on Tuesday there is the Acoustic Café for performers in the 14-25 years age group (6-7.30pm). Contact Emily on 07713 200782 if you would like to perform.

The Baston Barn Concert next Thursday, November 24 features Lady Maisery (8pm). As always it is best to check availability of tickets 01778 560497. On the same night at Arts Coritani Last Thursday Club, Granary Lane, Swineshead (8pm) the guests are last year’s winners and this year’s runners-up in the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Song for Lincolnshire competition, Ian and Michelle Wright – also known as Homity.

On Sunday, November 27 there is a song and music session at the Castle Inn, High Street, Castle Bytham (7.30-10.30pm) and on Monday (28th) there is also a song and music session at the Pig and Whistle, Market Place, Swineshead (8pm).

Last, but by no means least, on Wednesday, November 30 local musician Miranda Sykes returns to the area with Show of Hands at the Cresset Theatre, Peterborough (7.30pm). Box office 01733 265705.