Welcome to the Dragon Folk Club

Welcome to the official blog of the Dragon Folk Club, which meets for a singers night every Friday at The Bridge Inn, Shortwood, Bristol. Everyone is welcome whether you sing, play or just listen.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Simon - Profile

This article is one of a series on regulars at the club.

Simon is the regular scribe for this blog, ably helped by Derek when he's not able to make it along to a
session.

At junior school Simon was a keen singer but the church choir folded at about the time he would have joined. He didn't take up singing at senior school, nor did he formally learn an instrument - though he dabbled with keyboards and guitar. He quietly developed a taste for folk music and many other genres besides. One particular friend introduced him to The Spinners, Mike Harding, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and Johnny Cash.

It wasn't until Simon was at college in Portsmouth that he started to think about attending folky events. The first was supposed to be an evening with Jake Thackray but when Jake had car problems and failed to turn up it transformed into an evening of floor spots. Among other things Simon discovered that Scottish folk music wasn't so bad after all!

His new-found enthusiasm for folk music, combined with an evening in a folk club being relatively easy on the student grant (we had grants in those days), saw him becoming a regular at Sooty Broughton's Railway Folk Club.

A move to Reading saw Simon as a regular at the Nettlebed Folk Club and Readifolk. It was at this time that he was persuaded by the people at Readifolk to start performing. Later he was a regular at a local pub session run by Mike Terney "The Folk Bloke". Then  there was an almost total break from folk music clubs for about eight years, although he was a regular at the annual WOMAD festival, then held in Reading.

The return to folk music came following redundancy, with the need to get out and meet people. Simon was to be found most weekday nights at one pub or other in the Reading area, supporting Mike Terney's sessions and he returned on an occasional basis to Readifolk. Simon also helped out several years at Mike Terney's Caversham Charity Folk Festival.

Finally a move to Bristol brought the need to find some folk music in a new area. Despite having visited a couple of other clubs in the area, Simon settled on the Dragon Folk Club and has been a regular (on and off, but mainly on) since 2005, and was an occasional visitor before that back to 2003.

Simon sings unaccompanied songs, some traditional, some comedy and some "popular folk". He also plays guitar a little and is taking lessons in an attempt to become at least half-presentable. Though it hasn't made an appearance at the club for some time, Simon also has a bodhrán which he plays occasionally. His tin whistles and harmonicas haven't seen the light of day for a very long time (thank goodness, I hear them say).

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