21st July 2020
This was our fist Folk Club evening since March in the strangest year since the Six Bells Folk & Blues Club came into being. Thanks to Paul, Jacquie and Richard for making this possible. It was really nice to back and playing music with our friends once more. The fine evening helped although it did get a little chilly later.
Instead of the music, safety was our main concern. Looking at all the COVID-19 legislation it is impossible to decide if running a folk club outdoors is legal, so we proceeded with caution and did what due diligence we could.
Because the performances were open air and the pub had reserved some tables for us, we were able to socially distance. The sound system we used was a Fishman Loudbox acoustic amplifier with some extra inputs that Clive brought along. We were all very happy with the results and there was very little in the way of germ spreading knob twiddling to do.
Performers can be a little intimate with microphones so to reduce any risks from this everyone was given their own pop shield to put on when they started and remove again when the performance was over. This worked pretty well and meant that people could still get up close and personal with the mic. We also had hand sanitizer for use by people, when needed.
The night did not have a single host; instead, each player introduced the next at the end of each performance. This worked quite well and we will keep this going while the emergency continues.
I started the evening and played to the many diners in the pub garden, my performance was followed by the inimitable Chris Martin who played three songs from his COVID songbook. LOVE IS – “Sharing the same pop shield”. So Heather followed Chris and entertained the audience with songs that everybody knew while saving us a whole £ in equipment costs.
Heather duly introduced Derek who kept things light and again played some standards hoping for some audience participation. We only made a feeble attempt at this – sorry Derek. I think it is hard to get that intimate joiny-in feel in the great outdoors (while social distancing). Derek also brought a Cajon Box Drum which he played skilfully to accompany others.
Clive brought us some extra gear which meant that we were able to mic-up a couple of guitars that suffered unexpected battery failure over the four months of the lockdown. This was one of the less predictable hazards of the virus.
It was nice to see Helga who had been totally isolated in Ringmer having lost her internet connection and it was also great for her to get out. Once again she added flute to the mix, which is always welcome.
Keith followed with a selection of fine songs from the Etchingham songbook. Keith has been organising our Skype sessions every Tuesday evening for those of us who just want to chat – a virtual trip to the pub, when a real one was not possible.
Lisa & Jason teamed up and in my view gave us some of the best sounds the evening had to offer; some beautiful close harmony and great guitar playing. A really special set.
Manus closed the evening for us with his skilful Jazz vibe; another nice set to finish the evening on.
As usual I have selected three of the Youtube videos that have caught my eye recently. If you don’t watch anything else make sure you take a look at the extraordinary version of After You’ve Gone starring Sierra Hull on Mandolin.
Stay safe everyone
The person that runs the evening writes the blog
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