February Folk Day 2003

1st of March 2003:

An excellent event for doing away with the winter blues wth song, dance and music, all based in the local Community Centre, Chester

It started off at noon with Roy Clinging leading a friendly folk club - quiet at first and then getting busier and more varied, with some solid singing. (If you want to know whether Iím talking about Roy, the club or both youíll have to come to the next one to find out.) Took the opportunity to have a tasty bowl of soup and a jacket potato to keep me going between pints whilst listening to the music.

As the folk club finished the afternoon concert started with the Waite Collective in robust form, with Rebecca keeping her mum and her sister quietly but firmly apart as they debated who was Ďwitteringí more in between some very enjoyable singing.

The Boat Band came on and belted out the Cajun music - clearly proficient and people were enjoying them but I admit its not my most favourite type of music so Iím not really one to judge them.

It was good to see Ray Fisher again after many years and she gave an enjoyable performance with a mixture of song and stories.

The concert finished off with Gordon Tyrrall and Brian Peters in fine form, a duo I could listen to all day.

Time for tea and there are many places to get food in the area if you didnít want to stay in the centre, where a singaround was still going on as well as the music session in the room nearest the bar - designed no doubt to keep the strength of the musicians up.

We went to the fish and chip shop nearby, but be warned, make sure you are hungry before tackling a whole portion of chips with your fish.


We were back in time to meet Ray, Gordon and Brian who were telling us about their influences - no such thing as a silent moment with Ray around.

Then the ceilidh started with the Boat Band playing English tunes as well as Cajun and I tended to wander between the ceilidh to see how my dance-mad daughter was getting on (she did wish there hadnít been quite so many gaps in between dances) and the folk club which was a very good session.  (Hunterís Moonís singing deserves particular mention.)

It finished just before the witching hour with all seeming to have enjoyed a good time. I didnít go into the music session myself but a few weeks later across in Yorkshire I did meet some people who I hadnít seen on the day because they had spent all their time there so they must have enjoyed it.

Definitely an event to go to next year.  Watch out for the date.

By Bob Barker.    Photos Paul Thompson

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