Folk in Spalding and district

Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival.
Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival.
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A regular column from Spalding Folk Club’s Martin Browne.

It is quite uplifting to witness the development of a young musician especially when that person first came to your attention as a capable but diffident performer in a floor spot at your local folk club.

Dave Malkin and his grammar

school co-performer Charlie Pell apprehensively gave us an insight into their musical talents some seven or eight years ago at Spalding Folk Club.

Last Wednesday at the South Holland Centre Dave returned as part of a duo with fiddle virtuoso John Dipper. What an assured performance they gave us too. John had moved up a few strings to a 14-string Viola D’Amore and produced some lovely, lilting tunes while Dave accompanied or took the lead on acoustic guitar.

Dave gave us a few songs too with a fine voice slightly reminiscent of Chris Wood and John also expertly played a concertina made by his father. Maybe their act should include a few more songs, especially in a folk club format, but the audience were nevertheless carried away by the rhythms and quality of the tunes.

The duo are currently musicians in residence at Cecil Sharp House, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, working on a project exploring the relationship between music and dance.

Future folk events in the area include Spalding Folk Club’s music session tonight at the Lincoln Arms (8pm).

The Whittlesea Straw Bear festival starts tomorrow with a concert at the Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesea (8pm) with Sunjay, Kara and Gilmore & Roberts. There are many other sessions of dance, poetry and music – often free – over the weekend, culminating in the procession and burning of the straw bear on Sunday (noon-2.30pm). The procession starts in the Market Place and ends up at the Sir Harry Smith Community College. Details on the Straw Bear website.

Monday is the Haconby Hare tune session at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby (8pm). Spalding Singaround next Thursday (21st) is at Welland Yacht Club (8pm). The ‘No Frills’ ceilidh on Friday, January 22 is at St Mary’s Church Hall, Pinchbeck (7.15pm) with dancing to the Beltonas, caller Sue Gray and performances by Slapdash Appalachian dancers. Bring your own drinks; hot drinks and cakes available. Finally, on Monday, January 25 there is a song and music session at the Pig and Whistle, Swineshead.