Welcome to the Dragon Folk Club

Welcome to the official blog of the Dragon Folk Club, which meets for a singers night every Friday at The Bridge Inn, Shortwood, Bristol. Everyone is welcome whether you sing, play or just listen.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Maggie L and Gertie - Profile

This article is one of a series on regulars at the club.

Although she doesn't perform at the club, Maggie L is a stalwart supporter of the Dragon Folk Club and has been joining us for sessions since about 2007. Her skills in cooking and laying out a fine spread are certainly welcome on special occasions at the club such as our annual Harvest session.

These days Maggie is accompanied by her canine companion, Gertie the chihuahua, who will always put on a show, often a comic one, and at other times sits in a pouch which hangs around Maggie's neck.

While Maggie doesn't perform, she sings along with others. Maggie has previously sung with choral societies and choirs.

Rose - Profile

This article is one of a series on regulars at the club.

Rose is an occasional visitor to the Dragon Folk Club since she comes quite a long way but she has been coming since 2000. She usually plays guitar and sings, though she is learning bouzouki and banjo.

Rose used to sing in choirs, starting with the school choir, moving on to various choir-type groups thereafter including singing songs from the shows. She first sang unaccompanied folk song in 1999 at the White Horse Folk Club, Highworth: Bushes and Briars, which she learned from Julie Christie playing the part of Bathsheba Everdene in the film Far from the madding crowd.

Simon - Profile

This article is one of a series on regulars at the club.

Simon is the regular scribe for this blog, ably helped by Derek when he's not able to make it along to a
session.

At junior school Simon was a keen singer but the church choir folded at about the time he would have joined. He didn't take up singing at senior school, nor did he formally learn an instrument - though he dabbled with keyboards and guitar. He quietly developed a taste for folk music and many other genres besides. One particular friend introduced him to The Spinners, Mike Harding, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and Johnny Cash.

It wasn't until Simon was at college in Portsmouth that he started to think about attending folky events. The first was supposed to be an evening with Jake Thackray but when Jake had car problems and failed to turn up it transformed into an evening of floor spots. Among other things Simon discovered that Scottish folk music wasn't so bad after all!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Burns' Night one night early

Robert Burns
This weeks' session was the nearest one to Burns' Night, so it was the obvious time to get out Rabbie's works, collections and anything else Scottish. Gerty our resident chihuahua was in fine voice and once Mike had managed to park his car we got going.

Mike kicked the session off with John Barleycorn, which is certainly an English song, but one which Robert Burns collected, presumably on a trip south of the border. Other Robert Burns related songs included:

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Difficulties for the report writer

Rollright Stones
(Photo: Angela Barnett)
Short on numbers again this week  but some fine chorus singing. I am trying to do some marketing for the
Dragon Folk Club and I'm sure Mike and Maggie are doing their bit but we just aren't getting the number of people in we would like.

Interestingly Derek mentioned it was the first anniversary of the blog. He wasn't quite right; I started it unilaterally a year ago last week and, having discussed it with Maggie and Mike, it went official a year ago next week. The first official report was for Burns' night last year. Since next week is Burns' night I will treat that as the anniversary.

However, that's not the whole point. The reason I started the blog was that Maggie was a little disappointed at the response (or lack of it) she had been having from the print and word-of-mouth advertising she had been doing. So maybe it is the time of year, or has it been a problem throughout the year? I don't know, that's one for Maggie to decide.

If you have any ideas of how we can encourage more people to join us at sessions please let us know. If there's anything you can do, then please do it. Now down to this weeks report...

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

May (Ahem), Saturday, Billy Purvis and ferrets

Billy Purvis
"as clown at his Victoria Theatre"
We had a slightly better turnout this week than last with Steve G and Alan K both making appearances. We are still concerned however about the low numbers we are getting at Dragon Folk Club Sessions. Maggie and Mike can run sessions with only a few people (it is after all a point of legend that Colin broke the record for the number of songs sung at a club night when he was the only person to turn up one week) but it is more fun with a decent crowd. More people generally means more variety and just generally a better social atmosphere. If the numbers turning up don't increase there is a risk that the club will close.

The main way you can help is by coming along to our sessions but there are some other more minor ways, and the first is to read a recent item of blog news if you haven't already. If you have any ideas of how you can help get more bums on seats then please let us know, or just do it!

Thank you. Now to the report proper...

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Blog news

Before I get down to writing this week's session report there are a few pieces of news I would like to impart relating to the Dragon Folk Club's web presence. After Mike's warning last week that without an increase in attendance, the club might cease to exist I decided to take a look at what could be done to improve and increase the club's profile.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Year, Twelfth Night, and wassail

Eddie Butcher Senior
Last week's session was better lit than the previous one. The electric lights were working again but the attendance was very poor. Mike made the point that if we don't start to get more bums on seats the club could close so if you are in the Bristol area on a Friday night please do make an effort to drop in on The Bridge and bring as many friends as possible. If you are able and willing to perform that's great but we certainly won't turn away an eager audience either. We call ourselves a folk club and our core is British, Irish, American and Australian folk song but we'll give any acoustic music, poems, recitations or stories a go.

Mike started us off with Bold General Wolfe. This was the first session of 2014 so there was a good attempt at some relevant songs for the New Year.