Sunday, 5 June 2016


So, every now and then our wonderful home of live music, Club-85 in Hitchin gets all decked out with chairs and tables, soft lighting and candles and hands over to Roger King & Co. for The Root's 'n Roll Cafe events, a more acoustic, folky, bluesy, jazzy sort of evening and to be honest, this one was an absolute cracker!

It has been quite a while since I'd seen Joathan Roberts and the band (Beau Jangles), in fact not since they appeared on our Arcadeclectic Stage at Rhythms of the World a few years back, so with their very catchy and politically astute and very English folk they set the evening off to an excellent start. I must mention that Jonathan has a 'concept' album out at the moment, Decades, a reflection on the decades in his (& my) lifetime, all proceeds are for charity and it's well worth getting at a mere fiver!

Beau Jangles

Next along were The Blues Blaggers, fresh from their debut gig during the Sounds of Baldock weekend and this time on a proper stage with excellent sound engineering they were absolutely stunning, blues, jazz, rock fusion, every member a consummate musician and with a simply stunning singer they played a real barnstormer of a set, even the sound engineer remarked that they were the best band he'd had to do sound for this year, in fact for a very long time, he thought they were "Phenomenal" and so did I and many who were there.
OK so I am somewhat biased, lead singer Fran is one of my daughters but they were the band that everyone was talking about and certainly drew a significant number of the audience this night.

The Blues Blaggers
Fran from The Blues Blaggers

Next to grace the stage was Emily Slade, now many of you will know that Emily is quite "A Name" in the world of folk music, given that she is a 'Local Lass' it was quite a surprise to learn that she'd never played Club-85 before, was she good? You bet, excellent intricate guitar work with beautiful clear vocals and poignant songs, a real treat.

Emily Slade
Final band of the evening were Honeywitch, in thier own words, "Honeywitch is a six-strong band writing and performing folk-influenced acoustic and electric songs that resonate with the seasons and the wildlife that surrounds us. Fairytales, folk tales, flora and fauna, we write alternative, original folk with a gothic feel".
A nice surprise for me was that I actually know Advian (Guitars) and Chris (Cajun) and didn't know, or certainly didn't remember that they were part of Honeywitch! Honeywitch are a real festival folk band, it would have been nice to have had a roaring log fire on the go, somewhat impractical for Club-85, just had to make do with the candles!


So, all in all, a fine eclectic evening, long live Roots 'n Roll.

Cheers all
June 2016

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