Year One – Baby Steps
A slightly different blog this time, from Steve, reflecting on the Boxwood’s first year as a gigging band.
Given that we formed almost by accident from a primordial soup of necessity, last minute panic and a shared love of wine, it has been a remarkable year of progress and great enjoyment. Every band has a bad gig from time to time, but although we have played better some times than others, we are still waiting for that truly awful embarrassingly bad concert where everything goes wrong. Of course, you may have a different opinion. In truth, we have enjoyed every single time and place we have played. There was one awful moment though, when we had to let down The Acoustic Club in Bishop’s Stortford, because we had, frankly, cocked up. We are truly sorry for that, and won’t be repeating the mistake in a hurry.
So, to bring you up to date, since Hector’s last blog we have played at folk and other music clubs and events in Waltham Abbey, Bury St Edmunds, Hertford, Sheringham and Royston, as well as at Folk on the Lawn in Tintern, Ely Folk Festival, the club Tent at the mighty Cambridge Folk Festival, Folk in the Town in my home town of King’s Lynn where my siblings and their partners came along to throw things at us, and we have finished with a flourish of a fantastic finale to the summer at Shrewsbury Folk Festival.
There have been many highlights over the year, but two stand out, and both had a sorrowful side to them. Sadly, shortly before Cambridge Folk Festival, the death of Joan Woollard was announced, breaking a link to the start of the Festival in 1965. This year, we were honoured to be invited by Cambridge Folk Club to play in the Club Tent and, perhaps helped by a sudden downpour, we played to an enthusiastic packed tent.
The folk world also lost Alan Surtees, co-director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival, who was first known to the Boxwoods through Bridgenorth Festival, whom three of us visited as performers many years ago. At Shrewsbury, Alan’s wife Sandra carried on with her major role as Artistic Director, and, along with all the team, provided us with quite simply the best festival I have ever been to. And by the way Sandra, if you are reading this, the sound man did pass on your message, and we were chuffed to bits with your kind words.
So that’s it for the Boxwood’s festival season and thirty odd performances in our first year feels like pretty good going. We still have a number of gigs in the pipeline leading into 2018, but, counting no chickens, the winter has been largely set aside to write, rehearse and record our second album, ready to release for next year’s festivals!
A big thank you to anyone who booked us in our first year, and to those who came along to support us at those gigs. Thanks also to those who bought the first album (still available on CD through this website and as download at all the usual online outlets).
Back to Hector for the next blog. In the meantime, as he would say , pips !