Nowt so queer with Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club

The annual Straw Bear Festival at Whittlesey is back for its 39th year.

A fortnightly look at the area’s folk scene.

A new year is upon us and January heralds the return of the annual Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival – indeed the 39th.

The all-weekend event kicks off with a concert on Friday 12, at the Ivy Leaf Club, Gracious Street, Whittlesey (8–11.30pm).

The line-up features Luke Jackson, Vicki Swan and Johnny Dyer; and Kim Lowings and the Greenwood.

During Saturday there will be various colourful events around the town including folk dance displays and a procession, poetry and storytelling, acoustic music and song sessions and in the evening a Ceilidh with This Way Up at the Sir Harry Smith Community College, Eastrea Road.

On Sunday from noon, there will be displays of Morris and other forms of dancing plus music sessions followed by the ritual burning of the Straw Bear at 2.30pm at the Sir Harry Smith Community College.

More detailed information is available on the Straw Bear website at www.strawbear.org.uk

○ Looking towards what else is on locally for the next fortnight we start Thursday (January 4) with 600 Whiskies Unplugged.

It is a free singaround and music session upstairs in the Stable Bar, the George Hotel, Leadenham (8.15 pm). Contact 07835 711709 for details.

○ On Friday (January 5), the First Fridays Folk singaround takes place at the Wishing Well, Dyke, near Bourne (8pm). Phone 01778 570115 for information.

○ Boston Folk Club’s guests on Monday 8, are Sally Ironmonger and Brian Carter. The regular venue is upstairs at the Eagle, West Street, Boston (8pm).

○ Spalding Folk Club’s music session is on Thursday 11, at the Lincoln Arms, Bridge Street, Spalding (8pm).

○ On Sunday 14, the Sibsey Second Sunday Session (music and song) takes place at the White Hart, Sibsey.

This will be its second session after a long break and change of pub management (2-5pm).

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