For the past eight weeks we’ve played and practised and sung and enjoyed the craic. Just us and the odd glass of something hedgerow-based.
Something happened on Sunday. Something fundamentally wonderful. Something unexpected. Something that took us all by surprise.
We got an audience!
A delightful couple came in, extraordinarily respectfully having waited until we were “between tunes”, a little while into the session and asked if they could sit and listen! Well clearly that’s the point of a folk club session, it’s not just about us practising and playing, folk music is for just enjoying too! So we played another hour and a half of our ususal tunes and a few new ones and found out that our guests were in Bampton researching the gentleman’s ancestors and “definitely not” being Downton Abbey tourists! They had travelled all the way from Perth in Western Australia to visit West Oxfordshire and conduct their genalogical research.
We don’t know how they knew we were playing, whether they just heard the session while walking by or were tipped off by a local person or business but we were delighted to have our first guests and someone other than ourselves to play to. Bampton Folk Club will welcome everyone who wants to listen to some tunes, have a sing, or just see what we’re all about – because what we’re all about is Folk Music, playing it, singing it and hopefully bringing the fun of often simple and earthy songs to new ears; maybe giving someone the confidence to pick up that instrument they’ve been thinking about; perhaps rekindling the playing embers of a long-rusty musician.
And so it was that we followed the “proper” folk tradition of manipulating songs to suit and sang our guests a fare-thee-well in the shanty-shape of an a’cappella “WEST Australia”!! We’re pretty sure they won’t be heaving or hauling sheets or indeed walloping round Cape Horn on their way home but we wish them a safe and pleasant journey when the time comes.
P.S. Watch this space for some more formal sessions we’re trying to arrange before the end of the year!