Nowt so Queer with Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club

The Hut People quickly won over the audience with a fun and meticulous performance.
The Hut People quickly won over the audience with a fun and meticulous performance.
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Spalding Folk Club’s last guests, on Wednesday April 5, were The Hut People.

The duo started their musical careers from quite opposite backgrounds. Sam Pirt has played piano accordion from a very early age within a traditional folk music environment, whereas virtuoso percussionist Gary Hammond earned his musical spurs in the jazz and pop music arenas.

This is the second time we have had them as guests at the club and I still cannot understand how the format could possibly work - but work it certainly does. They are dedicated and passionate performers with a high level of musical skill. Their self-deprecating humour and carefully orchestrated naïve boyishness are very engaging and the audience is quickly won over. Considering how much hard work, rehearsing and preparation must have gone into making such a meticulously delivered performance they still give the impression that they don’t really take themselves too seriously and this adds to the enjoyment factor.

Their repertoire was a broad tapestry of music from Europe and beyond. Sam’s ‘piece de resistance’ is his clog dancing which he performs with an energy that belies his large frame – either standing accompanied by Gary’s rhythms or seated, Canadian style, whilst still playing his accordion.

Gary is constantly on the lookout for new and unusual percussion instruments and he had us all in stitches playing a pair of hand-held pot pigs that gave a realistic grunt in perfect time with Sam’s playing. It wasn’t until the evening was over that I realised the duo had held us spellbound for an hour and a half without a single word being sung.

Looking ahead, on Thursday April 13, Spalding Folk Club holds its music session at the Lincoln Arms, Bridge Street, Spalding (8pm).

Haconby Hare tune session takes place on Monday 17 at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby hosted by Pete Shaw and Friends (8pm).

Spalding Folk Club has its singaround at the Welland Yacht Club, Cradge Bank, Spalding on Thursday 20 (8pm).

Spalding’s Beltonas Ceilidh band host the No Frills Ceilidh at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Rose Lane, Pinchbeck on Friday 21 (7.45-10.30pm) and this includes a performance by the Slapdash Appalachian dancers. Tea, coffee and home-made cakes are provided but bring your own other drinks. Admission £4.

On Sunday 23 there is a song and music session at the Castle Inn, Castle Bytham (7.30-10.30pm) and on Monday 24, at the Green Dragon, Market Place, Swineshead, there is a tune and song session (8 pm).