Sunday, July 03, 2005

Farnham Library Gardens Tea Party 2/7/05

Doesn't sound wildly exciting does it? Well it was a fete supposedly designed to get people to volunteer for various local charities - as a result not many people turned up! But luckily Bill had forwarded me an email from Darren Beech, the guy who organises the Farnham Maltings folk club, to say that Jo Quinn and Paul Taylor from Mary Jane would be providing the musical entertainment along with some others. And it was free!
I fancied a cycle ride that Saturday, as Bill was away visiting his Dad in Dorset, so I cycled to Farnham via the Blackwater Valley Path. Got a bit lost and ended up as the track ran out in Tongham, so I cycled (with a lot of willpower) past Hogs Back Brewery under the A-road to Runsfold then into Farnham. I was a little late for the 1pm kickoff but as it happened Penelope Keith (who was due to open the fete) got stuck in traffic too, so they hadn't started the music.
Andy Stedman, a local singer-songwriter, was first up, with his guitar. He apparently "offers an indie calm with floating melodies, delicate vocals and strong lyrics" - personally I found it a bit boring, nothing I hadn't already heard. Nice clothes though. I wandered around the fete, tried some free cake, entered the local conservation group's quiz and failed to win any decent booze on the tombolas.
Next were Jo Quinn and Paul Taylor. Jo has a superb voice and is a good actor too, which makes her performances stand out. A few of the worthies sat and listened to their set, and they got lots of applause at the end.
Next were a band led by Naama Hillman, whose style I didn't like that much - too poppy. By this time I was hungry, the fete not including the usual BBQ stall, so I strolled across the road to Cafe Piccolo and had Spinach, Cheese and Rice Soup, very nice too.
Arrived back just in time for Siansa an Irish group, no harpist this time but a flautist, an electric fiddle player, a bouzouki/guitar player and a uillean piper. These were very good and had the largest audience - some people's kids even danced to the fast jigs. I had won a can of Boddingtons and was happily sipping it and tapping my foot to the rhythm. When I ran out of beer Darren Beech kindly shared some of his with me "as you're a regular"!! What a lovely guy.
I really wanted a CD - but had spent all my money on the soup and charities! I went over to Darren and asked how long he was staying till and if he'd save me a CD, he said yes no problem and so I stayed till the end of Siansa's gig. Cycled fast into town, grabbed some money out of the cashpoint, cycled back again! Very happy with my CD, would love to see Siansa again at the Maltings in November - hope it doesn't clash with anything.

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