I would have thought I would have learned my lesson by now. I always push myself to the limit to seek every opportunity to play on an open stage. But last night, despite knowing there was an outside chance of playing at the Oxford Folk Club, I decided to decide that the announcement on its web site that it was a concert night meant there was no open stage. Of course, two years ago I attended on a concert night and was able to play in the first part of the evening. The same would have happened last night – but I missed the chance. I stayed at my hotel, dried my feet, changed shoes – a month’s worth of rain is falling this weekend in Oxford – and THEN went to the Oxford Folk Club, across the street. There, I nevertheless, heard a fabulous folk band called Telephone Bill and the Smooth Operators.
It was well worth hearing and seeing them, but I really regretted not going earlier to play a couple of songs myself in the first part of the evening along with the other people who took part in the open stage beforehand.
The Oxford Folk Club has been around for well over a decade and is located in a rustic pub on the Abingdon Road. It has featured some of the best folk musicians of the country but in a very intimate environment of an upper room of the pub. Last night the band, which has existed on and off since the mid-1970s, played its own folk songs and some American popular music as well. It was extremely together, and excelled in fun patter between numbers.