A splendid piece of news indeed for 50 % of Cambridge and Walker. After much hard work Jenna added to her BA (Music) with an MA in Traditional Music from The University of Sheffield. It was, in the words of Wallace (of Wallace and Grommit fame), “a grand day out” at the Graduation Ceremony.
Our first visit to Hadleigh Folk Club for a gig that was rescheduled from the beginning of the year due to snow, but this time no snow, just a very cold night. Simon and Val Haines were our kindly hosts at the Ansell Centre. The evening commenced with a bunch of very seasonal songs from the Hadleigh Community Choir, followed by some great bluesy/ragtime guitar playing and songs from Terry Hiscox (of Hunter Musket fame). Tim Win (not known to us before this gig) followed with a fine set of largely self-penned songs, complete with join-in choruses. After the traditional folk club raffle, and despite an abundance of prizes, Cambridge and Walker were not blessed with a winning ticket so with “heavy hearts” we commenced our set. Very pleased with both our output (hardly a glitch in sight) and the very enthusiastic and warm-hearted responses from the audience and we hope it isn’t too long before we can return to Hadleigh.
What an excellent evening at Blackfen FC! We went a little mad with wintery foliage and little lights on the NCI stage (Jennas’ idea!) but it did look very good. A short round of floor singers and then Tim Mellor (plus guitar, melodeon and Northumbrian pipes) took the first half with a real mix of traditional songs and tunes. Jenna and I joined him on stage for our three part harmony versions of “The Wren” and “Lloyd George”- great fun. The second half of the evening began with a couple more floor singers then it was our turn to launch into our long set which included a couple of new songs and tunes. Our set finished with Tim joining us on stage for a pipes + guzouki + Jenna vocals version of “On yonder hill” and finally finishing with a big sing-a-long on John Ball.
We had the great pleasure of appearing live on The Folk Show, hosted by Sue Marchant and Nicky Stockman, at the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire studios. Our time on the show was split between chatting about us and our music, live performances of a couple of our songs (“Briar and the Rose”, “It was a’ for our rightful king”) and a further playing of one of our recorded songs (“Two magicians”). Its an interesting experience playing to a radio-land audience as you can’t see or hear them, so there is no real-time feedback, but we had a very good time and Sue and Nicky were excellent hosts. I should note that, in the earlier part of the show, Boxwood Chessmen were in the hot seats, and it was good to catch up with them briefly before we went into the studio.
Cambridge and Walker were invited by the organiser (Carl Filby) to play at this annual music festival, and of course we were delighted to showcase our songs. We played three sessions during the day at different venues throughout Royston. Session 1, around lunchtime, was a 45 minute set in the unusual setting of the Royston Conservative Club. There was quite a good sized audience who seemed to enjoy our songs, but it was an interesting experience to be singing across folk who were also enjoying their lunches! Session 2, an hour later, happened in the Jolly Postie (the old Royston Post Office which is now an eatery) and we played a slightly different set with our good friend Les Ray doing the sound. A more diffuse audience but several people took the trouble to make complimentary comments and thank us for our set. Session 3 in the evening was as part of a gala concert involving many of the artistes who had played during the day- a shorter 20 minute set for us, but we thought it was the best- and really enjoyable to hear playing of the friends and other folk who had also played during the day.
A new venture for this years Cambridge Folk Festival- the English Traditional Folk Song sessions (organised by Tim Mellor)- saw us combining each day with other members of Blackfen Folk Club (and on the Sunday, with Sound Tradition from the Bury Folk Collective) to sing English folk songs and encouraging the lost art (at least in the southern half of the country) of group singing. We had to learn some new songs with good choruses, and the open-air sessions in the Flower Gardens attracted decent audiences who enjoyed joining in. It would be brilliant if this became an integral feature of the festival in coming years.
Fresh from playing Royston Folk Club the night before, Cambridge and Walker headed down to Bury Folk Festival in Nowton Park, Bury St. Edmunds. This is a little gem of a folk festival (now in its 3rd year) and focuses on local(ish) artistes. Once again the weather was beautiful. We were on stage for our set early in the afternoon and good fun it was too. Plenty of other good acts during the day made for an excellent festival and hopefully we will be able to play it again in the future.
A return to the The Bull Inn, home of Royston Folk Club, where we shared the billing with the very excellent Vicky Swann and Jonny Dyer. A combination of warm summer weather, the football world cup and holidays resulted in a smaller than usual, but very appreciative, audience. The first half was ours and, apart from the guzouki battery deciding to give up the ghost, went very well. Although I very nearly threw my drink onto one of Vicky Swann beautiful Nickelharpers- luckily I missed! The second half was Vicky and Jonny’s and they gave a splendid performance- they really are a class act and it was quite an honour for us to share the bill with them.
Much enjoyed playing the long set at this concert and Jenna managed to get through the whole set without losing her voice- a bit of a concern for us as she was suffering a sore throat build-up! And the added pleasure of a request for me to sing my "Sea Change" song to finish the evening. Excellent floor singer spots from Jeremy H and Martin B before Sam Inglis played his splendid set of previously unrecorded traditional songs. Then two more fine floor singer spots from Tim M and David S before we played our set.
I've reproduced below the kind words from Blackfen Folk Club after the gig.
Yesterday we enjoyed a very special guest evening with Sam Inglis and Cambridge-Walker. Sam treated us to several very imaginatively arranged Child Ballads from his new CD of previously unrecorded ballads (available from Sam for £10) whilst David & Jenna gave us a lovely set of beautifully harmonised songs, both traditional and contemporary. A super evening. More than £100 was raised to be shared between 'Talking in Tune' and the NSPCC. Thank you to everyone who came to the evening concert and/or the very pleasant afternoon song session in Alexandra gardens and our thanks to Tim for organising the Folk Day.
A lovely club run by Ray Taylor and Anna Bass and a real delight to play our long set there to a very warm-hearted audience.
I've reproduced below the very kind words from Ray in his Facebook message following the gig.
What a fantastic night we had at the Great Bardfield folk club. Some great floor spots and A stunning set by Cambridge & Walker (really really enjoyed them) we are so lucky to know all these talented people. Hopefully See some of you next month :-) x