Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Rockin’ the Oxford Folk Club

July 9, 2011

The Oxford Folk Club was one of my favorite finds on the world tour of open mics and jam sessions in the last three years. It was the only place at which I really felt at home singing my traditional English, Irish and Scottish folk songs, and it was occasionally visited by some of my favorite musicians of my teenage years. Last night, however, although I did end up singing “Peter’s Song” by the Sands Family, because I was with Vanessa, and we only know popular rock-like songs, that’s we did: “Mad World” and the closest we could come to folk, “Just Like a Woman.”

In fact, I need not have worried. They applauded us warmly and sang and clapped along. And more than that, not only did two other people do Bob Dylan songs, but when I spoke for my open mic documentary to Lucy, one of the organizers, she told me that although the main sound is folk, all music is welcome. It is rarely sung into a microphone, or played with electric instruments, but she said that even there sometimes people bring their own mic and other equipment.

In any case, last night was another warm success on the Friday open night, which alternates generally with a Friday night guest night, every two weeks. There were folk singers from Britain, Spain, France, and it was just a very warm environment as usual. Located on the top floor of the Folly Bridge Inn, it is a nice occasion to have a pub meal below and then drink your draft and listen to the music and play upstairs. It ends early, too, around 11 PM, so you have time to do other things afterwards, if you want.

Of the acts I particularly enjoyed, there was a man who did a long but passionate and interesting version of the Roi Renaud, a great guitarist and Pam on her concertina, and a couple of great women singers.

P.S., Unfortunately, my internet connection has not improved since yesterday, so I am still stuck with a horrendously slow connection, and therefore I have problems uploading videos. I’ll do my best and upload later if possible.

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