Online Festival Today and Lots More

As the weather’s rubbish, it’s lucky that TODAY’S (Thursday 13 August) Folk on the Hill Festival from Harrow is online – so you can enjoy the music without getting drenched! Starting at 3pm, via the Facebook page you can see performances from a variety of very talented musicians. The festival is free but all donations will go directly to the artists and to the ‘Help for Musicians’ fund.

On Saturday 15 August at 7.00pm Ninebarrow are doing their most innovative online performance yet – an outdoor concert. E-tickets must be purchased in advance and you can find full details here.

Another way to pass the time while we wait for some sort of normality to return is perusing Foraged Music – The John Spiers Traditional Tunebook 2020. This is a new collection of 94 traditional melodies (with chords) including all the ones that John has recorded over the years together with a number of excellent session tunes and all in the  ‘friendly’ keys of G, D, Am & Em.  The tunes are collected into categories – stepdances & hornipes, jigs, reels, rants and polkas, 3/2 hornpipes and ‘other tunes’ including some waltzes and slow airs.  The informative notes will point you to recordings of the tunes and John makes some  interesting comments on their origins. 

John really needs no introduction. He is an instinctive natural folk musician, working now with Peter Knight and with Jackie Oates and well known for his previous outings as Spiers and Boden, Bellowhead and with Eliza Carthy and he’s also a great session player. His online “Isolation Pub Sessions” from his ‘shed’ have been a lifeline for many socially deprived musicians during ‘Lockdown’. 

This book is highly recommended and it’s well worth a place on your music stand – or pub table!

Another date for your diary for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Every year, Watford Folk Club regulars play at “Farm Fest” on August Bank Holiday to support their work of The Catholic Worker Farm and Mary House who provide accommodation, food, English lessons, counselling and other services for 22 destitute female asylum seekers and their children (who don’t have access to public funds), at no charge. All of the women are street homeless, and are referred to the CW Farm by refugee services/agencies. The CW Farm /Mary House meets their physical needs in relation to shelter, food and clothing, but just as importantly enables the guests to live in a supportive and loving environment.

The Farm is in a wonderfully peaceful setting and the Festival is usually held in the grounds, but this year it will be “virtual”  like many others. Playing this year are Watford regulars: Pete Nutkins, Linda Birmingham, Tom Lavin, Liz Lawley, Julian Mount, Jill Waterson & Ady Shaw with Mandy Hardingham and joining them this year will be Paul MacNamara of local duo Namara.

The Festival raises much needed funds for the work of the Farm, so if you are able to donate, it will be much appreciated. See the Facebook page for details.

And finally a reminder about the wonderful online gigs regularly coming to us regularly from Tim Edey, Reg Meuross and Daoiri Farrell. Too many to list individually – just head to the artists’ Facebook pages for all the details.

Please let me know about other events and folk related news so that I can help spread the word.

More information on other August Bank Holiday events coming in this blog soon.

In the meantime stay safe and thanks for supporting live music and dance.

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