Poppy Folk Day - Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th January 2015

FOLK DAY 2015 – SATURDAY EVENING

We were a bit nervous about moving the Folk Day back to January – we were badly affected by the weather last time – but in many ways it’s a great time for an event. There’s not much else happening: no festivals, nobody on their summer hols, and most people looking for something to do in that post-Christmas lull. And this time it paid off, with a very well attended set of concerts and some really nice music, song and fun!

And, in a new venture for this year, the fun started on Saturday evening with a very special event! In the early evening frost, the Poppy & Pint car park was full of people, and full of anticipation, waiting for … well, most of the crowd weren't really sure what they were waiting for, but were fascinated by the mysterious posters and the call to ‘look for the fire; listen for the drums’.

The drums started, and the tall figure of Mr Fox, with his piercing eyes and burning torches, appeared from the darkness and stalked his eerie way around the back of the bar with his pack leaders close behind. By the time he emerged again there was an army of foxes to follow him into the arena. Drums sounded, smoke and fire followed them, and children either stood in awe or ran for cover.

Mr Fox – so what is it? They dance, but it’s not a dance show. They play haunting music, but it’s not a concert. They act, but it’s not a play. It’s really all of those things – it’s a magical and haunting performance of music, dance and fire – and there is nothing quite like it – anywhere!

When it was over, and after a rush to the bar for cockle-warming drinks, the rest of the evening began. This was to be a bit of a free-form evening, developing in a direction dictated by whoever was there on the night. A bit of a risk, maybe, but it turned out to be a really excellent night of fun. We were blessed with the presence of about 30 musicians so the first part of the evening, while folks were arriving, was a Big Session with just about everyone leading a couple of tunes. This was followed, for the rest of the night, by a repeating sequence of a short set of ceilidh dances; a few more tunes; a set from some of our singing groups; and so on. What a lovely evening. A big thank you to all the musicians who joined the scratch band; to all the dancers; an especially to the Strawberry Jammers and to Juliet, Alli and Rick for their excellent song sets.

So, a great start to the event – and the Folk Day was yet to come!