NOWT SO QUEER: A fortnightly look at the local folk scene
Two very important aspects of the British folk scene are the singaround and the music session. They both cater for the amateur and the aspiring performer to showcase their musical talents but in a good-natured and forgiving environment.
The admission is almost invariably free but sometimes with a raffle to offset venue hire. Some singarounds and most music sessions take place in pubs where usually the only requirement is to support the landlord with your custom at the bar.
For those teetering on the brink of making their debut public performance the singaround is the ideal format. The general principle is that, at whatever level, everyone has something to contribute to the event and you will be sympathetically and warmly encouraged. Singing, playing an instrument, reciting poetry, telling stories and dancing (though not necessarily all at the same time) are all well received. Usually there will be a regular organiser who nominates participants in turn.
The music session tends to favour the more experienced performer with recognised folk tunes played by varying numbers of musicians on a join-in-when-you-wish basis. Although informal the session will usually have a leader or leaders.
In both cases non-participating spectators are warmly welcomed and actively encouraged, so give it a try.
The coming fortnight has many such events in the area. Tonight at the Stable Bar at the George Hotel, Leadenham is 600Whiskies Unplugged acoustic music and song session (8.15 pm)
Friday is the First Fridays Folk singaround at the Wishing Well, Dyke near Bourne (8 pm).
Thursday (9th), at the Lincoln Arms, Bridge Street, Spalding is Spalding Folk Club’s music session (8 pm).
Friday (10th) there is a music and song session led by Pete Shaw at the Bluebell, Woodgate, Helpston, as part of the weekend’s John Clare Society Festival (7 pm).
At the White Hart, Sibsey on Sunday afternoon July 12 there will be a music and song session from 2 pm till about 5 pm. Also on the 12th at 8 pm there is a singaround at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby.
Finally on Monday Boston Folk Club at the Eagle, West Street, doesn’t have a guest. The evening will be run as a singaround. (8.15).