We had a lovely afternoon yesterday at the Online Poppy Folk Day - thank you to everyone who joined us, and a huge thank you to all the performers! From our point of view, it was well worth the pre-match nerves and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces and Poppy friends - as well as some new visitors (some from far afield - one of the GOOD things about Zooming!).
Stonesthrow - Derby's newest folk trio, featuring Tony Fowkes with Steve & Julie Wigley.
Jim Hellewell - Poppy friend and neighbour and a lively harmonica player!
Phil Langran Band - and one solo from Phil. A treat!
Ian Price - Poppy's very own. A thoughtful unaccompanied singer.
Jennifer Bell & Wilson Walker - Pairing Wil's excellent fiddle playing with Jenny's singing and songwriting talents.
Special Guest: a feature spot from JOHN KIRKPATRICK, live from home. Originally pencilled in to give us a full concert this year, the perpetually cheerful and incredibly talented musician gave us a flavour of what we missed.
Terry Maxwell and the Cellotapes - Something bluesy to start the second half. One from Terry and one from the band.
Helen & Chris Morris - lovely Nottingham duo and great supporters of the club.
Steve & Julie Wigley - Julie's prodigious songwriting, and the duo's lovely harmonies, have given Steve & Julie a very busy year, 'Zooming' around the country.
Looma Deconstructed - the hugely popular East Midlands quartet, prevented from playing together at the moment, gave us two solos and a duet.
Julie Palmer and Phil Preen - finishing the event our club founders, now living in Somerset, sang live from their home.
Another successful Zoom event to Celebrate the poppy Folk Club's 10th Birthday.
Claire Halliday - Poppy's very own melodeon marvel
Greg Russell - the last guest to sing live at the Poppy!
Ian Price - pricking our social consciences
Dan Walsh - banjo genius!
Dave Walters - Poppy stalwart, whatever that means!
Marc Block - long-time friend of the club - a terrific singer and songwriter
Brian Lund and Richard Williams - Nottingham duo singing about Nottingham's delights
Jim Hellewell - another great friend of the club and a fine harmonica player
Julie Palmer - club founder and guiding light of the club since the beginning, singing from Somerset
Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer - twice guests of the club with their unique blend of instruments
At about 8.25 we'll broke for cake and birthday drinkies before moving swiftly on with:
Sarah Matthews and Doug Eunson - probably the Poppy's most frequent guests and greatest supporters.
Jennifer Bell & Wilson Walker - fiddle, guitar and Jenny's excellent songs
Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne - powerful voice and melodeon/concertina from Granny's Attic.
Wilma and Dave - Wilma is Poppy's newest committee recruit.
Hugh Miller - with his ... Trio?
AJAR - Ally, Juliet & Rick - almost our resident band.
Claire Halliday - we've not seen her for a while, so here's some more!
The Poppy Crew - old and new - sing us out with John Ball! (Recorded in Somerset and Nottingham)
The sun shone (after two and a half dreary rainy days) and, on the eve of the summer solstice, we had alovely time at our very first real-life sing-around for 16 months!
Limited to 30 people, and held under the giant umbrellas in the beer garden at the Poppy & Pint, we nevertheless had something that felt like a friendly, varied and very welcomed opportunity to sing and play music with our friends.
It was lovely to be joined by some of our regular audience members who always come to just listen and be there, as well as by a few folks we'd only met for the first time on our occasional Zoom meetings! We had exactly the right number to get around all the singers twice (we had to finish a bit earlier than normal to keep the neighbours happy) and to have a couple of breaks for 'everybody in' tunes. And, of course, the raffle!
Big thanks go to all those who sang or played: Hugh Miller, Dave Martin, Yvonne Dreyer, Wil Walker, John and Anne Taylor, Trevor Marriott, Samir Goswami, Norman Randall, David Nicholson-Cole, and James Minns; as well as Poppy Crew members Dave Walters, Ian Price and resident band AJAR (Ally Turner, Juliet Woodin & Rick Dizon). You all made a great success of our first foray into 'some sort of normal'.
It was just lovely to be back singing amongst real live people! Thank you!
It was SO lovely to see all of the friendly, smiling faces gathered in one place to see a real live Poppy Folk Club concert again, after an 18 month enforced gap. Of course, it wasn’t exactly back to ‘Business As Usual’ - we were under an open sided marquee on the boundary of the cricket field at West Bridgford RFC, with well-spaced seating, sanitiser, and a small capacity limit - but the weather smiled favourably on us and we had a gorgeous evening in fresh air and sunshine!
But, enough of the weather. Also smiling down on us was our guest for this come-back concert: the ever cheerful and very talented Alice Jones! Alice is a multi-instrumentalist (tonight we had piano, harmonium and tenor guitar), a dancer and body percussionist, and a lovely singer with a voice reminiscent of the best of the Unthanks delivered in a West Yorkshire accent (she’s born and bred in Ripponden).
Opening with the beautiful ‘Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still’ from the Warner collection (she admits to being a Jeff Warner stalker), Alice’s material was almost all from the folk tradition (with all sources named) but often with a lovely twist - an unusual or rare tune, or a sympathetically arranged rhythm. Highlights for me were the Kidson version of ‘Young Banker’ (with a refrain rather than a chorus); ‘When I Am Far Away’ (another from the Kidson collection); and the always moving ‘Crossing The Bar’ Alice has such a natural stage presence and tells interesting and delightful stories to introduce each song. In summary - a lovely concert! Because of the outdoor venue and nearby housing we were restricted for time, so couldn’t hear any club singers or have a post-concert sing-around (as we would at the Poppy & Pint), but we did have some very nice 'welcoming in' music from AJAR before the concert. After all the uncertainty and worry about the change of venue and the current restrictions, the evening was a really pleasant (and delightful) success. Let’s hope things go well and we can be back with more before too long.
We had a super evening at our first indoor concert since January 2020. It was also the first folk club performance in that time for both our guests - the talented and very lovely musicians Ben Robertson and Phoebe Rees.
For Covid safety reasons, we deliberately kept the audience small, and that meant we enjoyed a very pleasant and intimate evening of delightful music. Ben and Phoebe performed mostly solo (Phoebe played most of the first half, and Ben most of the second) but they came together for the last ten minutes of each half to play some of the music they have developed - mostly over internet links from their respective homes - during the ‘mandatory gift of time’ (as Peter Knight called it) that we’ve just been through. They are very talented musicians in their own right but these duo tunes and songs were particularly exciting. Let’s hope they can further develop this collaboration - it worked very well!
There was a good variety in Ben and Phoebe’s choices of songs and tunes. Phoebe included Si Kahn’s ‘Mississippi Summer’ and Chumbawamba’s ‘El Fusilado’ in a set displaying her international musical influences. Ben hit the spot with Chris Wood’s moving ‘Come Down Jehovah’, and Sandy Denny’s ‘Fotheringay’. Their finale, Dougie MacLean’s ‘High Flying Seagull’ really showed off their potential as a duo.
A big thank you goes out to Ally and Juliet, and to Marc Block, who performed a ‘song from the floor’
It was good to be back - we had a lovely time, and I think, from the smiles on their faces, Phoebe and Ben did too!
What a wonderful way to end the Poppy Folk Club's minimised 2021 programme! Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews treated a welcoming audience to a festive concert which felt warm and intimate. Doug (melodeons) and Sarah (fiddle and viola) shared the singing, with some of their own compositions and some lovely arrangements of traditional songs and carols. There were plenty of opportunities to sing along with the better known carols ('The King', 'Jacob's Well', 'Sweet Bells', and a few Wassails for instance), and the audience were keen to join in. Among the more contemporary songs were Sarah's 'Song of Christmas' and Doug's up to date version of 'Sing a Song of Sixpence', along with some lovely tune sets.
Thanks also to the Poppy's own Christmas 'choir' - Loud Harold - for starting each half with a couple of rousing songs.
It's been a difficult year for everyone, but the club has been building itself back up in the last few months - thank you to everyone who has supported the club. And thank you to Doug and Sarah for a great 2021 finale!at's something exciting your business offers? Say it here.