One of the great places to play are folk clubs. There is something real and honest about them plus they have a tradition of having great audiences who know their stuff. Those who know me and my music may be asking themselves Nick Tann? FOLK? The thing is that “FOLK” can be a very broad church also many “Folk” clubs are re defining themselves as “Folk and Roots” and Alton Folk and Roots Club is one of those and I was delighted to play there last Wednesday.
I first heard of the club when Lewis Jones (the clubs organiser, bar manager and all round good guy) emailed me asking if I would come and play at his club. We fixed a date and all the usual details and last Wednesday 15th April I drove up to play.
The club is situated in the wonderful countryside town of Alton, within the clubhouse of the Alton Rugby Club. I arrived dead on time and was welcomed by the compere, whose name escapes me very sorry . I also met the guy in charge of the sound Iain, he also runs the “Coops Acoustic Sessions” as well and plays some fine guitar as he demonstrated later that night.
One of the other great things about folk clubs is that you never quite know what you are going to get! Before my set I was treated to the aforementioned soundman and friend ( I am really terrible with names..) playing some interesting and more interesting originals (always the way), a 9 year old girl with a lot of talent singing accapela and then playing the electric guitar using bar chords! An amazing young trio made up of vocals, guitar and bass who greatly impressed me, a passionate Australian folk singer and a stunning squeezbox player whose seemingly effortless playing held the audience spellbound.
I must mention that the proceedings were organised by a very enthusiastic and personable compère, guess what…I forget his name too! Having a compère make a world of difference to a club and makes such a difference to performers. With a compère one can start with applause instead of shuffling on and introducing one self and I can’t praise clubs and venues enough for that.
So now my set….One of the things that artists dream of is performing to a respectful and attentive audience that “get it” actually get what you are about and understand your craft and the audience at Alton Folk And Roots club was one of those. Not great in number but they made up for that with their enthusiasm. I ended up playing two encores and also sold a few CDs which is also a bonus. it was great meeting everyone afterwards including Lewis’s wife Jennifer who was great fun and who seemed to know all the performers!
One of the tunes I played
Another bonus was receiving an email from Lewis afterwards, thanking me for playing and a few other nice things…you know…
So all hail folk clubs especially the Alton Folk and Roots Club thank you so much and I hope to see you again in the very near future!