Nowt so queer, with Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club

Paul Brightman.
Paul Brightman.

Our local folk music and dance community was saddened to hear of the all-too-early passing of one of its staunchest supporters at the end of last week.

Paul Brightman had been a prominent member of Spalding Folk Club and all its associated functions for many years.

Despite a long-term battle with illness that had left him with very limited mobility, he was regularly to be found in the area at concerts, singarounds, outdoor events and ceilidhs in his specially adapted wheelchair.

Paul set up and maintained Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for the club and regularly entertained us at singarounds with his fine voice, wry sense of humour and never-fading smile. His positive, uncomplaining and cheerful take on life remains as an example to us all and we will miss him greatly but with such fond memories. Our thoughts are with his wife Sandra and family.

He would have wanted the music to go on and so it shall.

On Wednesday, May 3, Miranda Sykes returned as Spalding Folk Club’s guest marking the start of her solo tour. She gave us a mixture of songs old and new and there was a strong Lincolnshire feel to her repertoire which included numbers from her latest solo album Borrowed Places.

Adding to the local flavour she featured songs by her father John (Lincolnshire Song), mother Penny (How Can I Get There/The Brooch), Lucy Houlden (Seven Years), Dany Dally (Forgotten Harvest) and Ian and Michelle Wright (Swords and Ploughshares). Despite having a cold her voice was beautifully clear and she accompanied herself equally adeptly on guitar, double bass and ukulele. It was a most enjoyable evening.

Looking ahead tonight, Thursday (May 11), there is the Lincoln Arms Music Session, Bridge Street, Spalding (8pm). Admission free – all welcome.

Friday, May 12, at the South Holland Centre, Market Place, Spalding Fairport Convention celebrate 50 years of music with an anniversary concert (8pm). Tickets £23, Box office 01775 764777.

Saturday, May 13, Pennyless are performing at Dyke Village Hall, Main Road, Dyke (7.30pm). Tickets £8 in advance from 07867 547816.

Sunday, May 14, at the White Hart, Main Road, Sibsey there is an afternoon singaround and music session (2–5pm) and at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby there is an evening singaround, Haconby Unplugged (8pm).

Also at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby on Monday night (May 15) is the Haconby Hare tune session hosted by Pete Shaw and friends (8pm).

Spalding Folk Club’s singaround is on Thursday, May 18, at the Welland Yacht Club, Cradge bank, Spalding (8pm) – free entry and all welcome.

Finally, on Monday, May 22, there is a tune and song session at the Green Dragon, Market Place, Swineshead (8pm).