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Nowt so queer with Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club

Martin has recently performed at the Corby Glen Sheep Fair.
Martin has recently performed at the Corby Glen Sheep Fair.

Spalding Folk Club’s guests just over a week ago were a refreshing duo in the form of Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith.

Two columns ago I was praising our guest Bram Taylor as a representative of those seasoned folk performers who have built their reputations and honed their skills over many years of playing the folk club circuit.

Last time I focussed on the opposite end of the spectrum, namely The Teacups, who entertained us with their youthful enthusiasm and obvious musical skills as products of the folk degree course at Newcastle University.

Jimmy and Sid fall somewhere in between the two and have started carving their careers as a result of just turning up at folk clubs, falling in love with the music and developing their own styles - first individually and then as a duo.

They absolutely beguiled the audience with their simple but musically adept arrangements and interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk songs. Some of the latter were their own originals including the notable Moved On: a modern-day lament of the injustices of social housing landlords.

Their renditions of Chris Wood and Frank Mansell’s Cottager’s Reply and Ron Angell’s Chemical Workers’ Song were well worthy of mention as was the traditional Willie O’ Winsbury. But the stand-out song of the night for me was the traditional Reed Cutter’s Daughter that had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are already well on their way to becoming a class act.

As I write this I have just returned from having performed with a group of Spalding Folk Club musicians and Slapdash Appalachian dancers at the Corby Glen Sheep Fair. This is a regular – and for us very popular – rural outreach event. The stage is set on a steeply-sloping marketplace surrounded by mellow limestone cottages and houses. It is one of those lovely village events enthusiastically supported by what seems to be the entire population. Long may these important traditions flourish.

○ Folk events in the area start Thursday (October 12) with Spalding Folk Club’s music session at the Lincoln Arms, Bridge Street, Spalding (8pm). Contact 01775 723026 for details.

○ The Stamford Arts Centre hosts a concert with traditional Quebec trio De Temps Antan on Friday 13 (8pm). Box Office 01780 763203.

○ Sunday 15 there is an open mic singaround at the Old Ship Inn, High Street, Pointon, Sleaford (2-5pm). Contact Rick and Annette on 07827 953252 for information.

○ Haconby Hare tune session is on Monday 16 at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby hosted by Pete Shaw and friends (8pm). Call 01778 571563 for more details.

○ Spalding Folk Club’s singaround at the Welland Yacht Club, Cradge Bank, Spalding is on Thursday 19 (8pm). 01775 723026 for information.

○ Finally, there is a tune and song session at the Green Dragon, Market Place, Swineshead on Monday 23 (8pm). Ring Tom and Anne for details on 01775 822569.


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