Folk music in Spalding and district

The concert in celebration of the music and life of late local musician Graham Neish.
The concert in celebration of the music and life of late local musician Graham Neish.
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A regular column by Spalding Folk Club’s Martin Browne.

Rising young folk stars Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis were Spalding Folk Club’s guests at South Holland Centre last Wednesday.

Sam has already made a name for himself as a solo performer and, along with Jamie, also performs as part of the five-piece Cornish band The Changing Room. On this night, however, the focus was on the talents of the duo.

Sam’s lead vocals and adept guitar style was ably augmented by Jamie’s amazing five-string banjo playing and support vocals. The pair were equally at home performing melodic, lyrical ballads or thrashing out up-tempo Celtic reels and their stage presence and audience communication were relaxed and self-assured. The songs were a balanced blend of established traditional standards such as The Keeper, The Unquiet Grave, The Golden Vanity, or contemporary self-penned numbers. Jamie’s composition Six Miners, which opened the evening, was a dark tale of a failed expedition for gold and suspected cannibalism whereas their closing song, Sam’s I’ll Give You My Voice, beautifully painted a picture of his inspirational, musical relationship with his aging Irish grandfather.

As with previous guests such as Lucy Ward, Luke Jackson and Kirsty Bromley, it is reassuring to know that folk music is in safe, young hands.

The concert in celebration of the music and life of late local musician Graham Neish at Sutterton Village Hall at the end of January was a resounding success. Twenty-seven performers in the shape of 15 acts provided four hours of continuous musical entertainment. The raffle and donations collected £270 for Graham’s family’s nominated charity, St John Ambulance.

Looking ahead, tonight there is Spalding Folk Club’s tune session at The Lincoln Arms (8pm). On Sunday at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby, there is a singaround (8pm). Also on that date at The White Hart, Sibsey, there is an afternoon song and tune session (2-5pm).

The Haconby Hare tune session, also at the Hare and Hounds, takes place on Monday (8pm). On Wednesday Stamford Arts Centre has The Tannahill Weavers in concert (7.30pm). Spalding Folk Club’s singaround is at Welland Yacht Club next Thursday (8pm). There is a tune and song session at the Pig and Whistle, Swineshead on Monday, February 22 (8pm).