Folk Folk Folk

If this is your first time reading one of my gig reports, hi, how are you? Why has it taken you so long, I’ve been here ages. Yes, I understand that you have never heard of me and why should you?

After playing too many empty venues and noisy pubs, I decided this year (Yes, it took me that long!) I would only play places where people specifically went to for the strict purpose of listening to music. You might think there would be loads, there aren’t, and anyway there’s music down your local every Friday night and you love chatting with your mates listening to another version of Wonderwall, perhaps even with a twist! And why shouldn’t you, nothing wrong with that, it’s just not for me. I understand that might make me come across as a bit “snotty” about music. But there you are. I am. I’m rambling  bit but I’m having a rambling kind of day. In my search for these music specific venue I came across the Ram Club in Thames Ditton, a lovely folk club in leafy Surrey run by some very enthusiastic and passionate folk music fans. the club has been running for decades. they put on weekly shows with a headline artist and a couple of “Floor Spots”. It’s a tradition, in folk clubs, for people to come up from the floor to sing a few songs. Generally traditional or well known songs that the audience joins in on. Anyhoo, I say that my friends the Black Feathers were soon to be appearing as the main artist and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out the club. I’ve known Ray and Sian (The Black Feathers) for years, we first performed together at the Upton Blues Festival in 2013 and we have bumped into each other at a few other festivals and gigs over the years. There are amazing, razor sharp harmonies and stunning stage presence. They are both outstanding songwriters, Ray is a total guitar nerd and Sian has a wicked sense of humour. I digress… So I booked a floor spot and turned up to the club early doors on the Friday night. I chatted to the volunteers setting up the place for the night. Really friendly and welcoming bunch of people. I was to go on first, then the host and then the Black Feathers. Sort sound check and I was good to go, they opened the main doors and around 100 or so avid music fans entered and too to their seats. A short introduction, bit of chat from me and then a couple of songs. I had been wrestling which songs to play, it’s a folk club after all, and decided on “Don’t” followed by “Love Lies”. Both went down ok and I had some lovely compliments after I’d finished. Next was the host for the evening, who played a song about the first black footballer, I wish I could remember what he was called but I am dreadful with names as those who know me can attest to, this was followed by 30 minutes of The Black Feathers. They impressed everyone as they always do. There was a short break and then another song from “the floor”. Coming to think of it, the second floor spot may have been in the first half…. I forget. Ray and Sian returned anyway and stole the show. Afterwards Ray and I swapped and played a few guitars and together. We realised that we have absolutely nothing in common with our guitar preferences! Ray favours a heavy string on a high action neck with me the total opposite. I have no idea how he can play those guitars, too much like hard work for me.

In the wash up at the end…. I was reminded after I had played that “It wasn’t folk” and I think that is what they wanted. All I can play is what I write. It was great to see Sian and Ray but I’m not sure the Ram Club will want to hear me again…


You can read and hear more about the Black Feathers by clicking here



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