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Nowt so queer with Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club

Martin and Eliza Carthy are in concert at Peterborough's Key Theatre on Sunday (February 18).
Martin and Eliza Carthy are in concert at Peterborough's Key Theatre on Sunday (February 18).

A fortnightly look at the area’s folk scene:

What a busy week it has been! Great folk events sometimes remind me of London buses – you hang around for ages waiting for one and then suddenly three turn up in close succession.

The three particular events started with a village hall concert at Morton near Bourne.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman gave a superb performance with a mix of traditional and self-penned material showcasing Kathryn’s beautiful voice and Sean’s unique guitar accompaniment.

This duo has been around some time now but their material is always refreshing and their engagement with the audience is both easy and informative.

The last Spalding Folk Club’s guests were Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow. They entertained us with high octane and virtuosic playing – Kit on guitar and Aaron on fiddle.

The set list was a well-balanced mix of tunes – some of their own composition – and pleasingly-harmonised songs. Their relaxed manner and amiable discourse with the audience belied the sheer energy of their music.

Just when we thought we had seen them at their most exciting they topped the evening off with their encore. This lasted seven or eight minutes with a powerful Russian/Israeli piece that left us breathless.

The following evening we attended one of the South Holland Centre’s superb American Bluegrass band concerts. The Railsplitters were welcomed back after a previous well-acclaimed visit. They were slick and of a high musical standard and treated the audience to some fine vocal harmonies – sometimes involving all five members.

I can’t wait to get back to the bus stop.

○ Forthcoming events in the area start Thursday (February 15), with Spalding Folk Club’s singaround at the Welland Yacht Club, along the riverside off Cradge Bank, Spalding (8pm). Contact 01775 723026 for details.

○ On Sunday, February 18, Rick and Annette Huddleston host an open mic singaround at the Old Ship Inn, Pointon, Sleaford (2–5 pm). Call 07827 723026 for information.

○ Martin and Eliza Carthy are in concert also on the same day at the Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough (7.30pm). Box office 01733 207239.

○ The Haconby Hare Tune Sessions, hosted by Pete Shaw and friends, take place on Monday 19 at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby (8pm). Ring 01778 571563 for further details.

○ Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis are the guests at the Concerts at the Barn at Baston on Thursday 22. As usual these concerts often sell out in advance but it is always worth telephoning Alan or Maggie on 01778 560497 to check for returned tickets (8pm).

○ Also on this night there is Lawrence’s Singaround at the Red Lion, King Street, West Deeping (7.30pm); Acoustic Café open mic at the John Clare Cottage café, Woodgate, Helpston with Rev Dave Maylor (7pm); and the Last Thursday Acoustic Music Club at Arts Coritani, Granary Lane off High Street, Swineshead with main guest Barry “the Harp” Forbes and friends (8pm).

○ At Stamford Arts Centre on Friday 23, folk band Blowzabella is in concert as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations. Box office 01780 763203.

○ Finally on Sunday 25, there is a song and music session at the Castle Inn, Castle Bytham. Call 01780 410563 for information.


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