What does the term O.A.P. mean to you? I suspect it translates as Old Age Pensioner in most people’s minds however, with people retiring as young as fifty years of age and others still “Clocking on” well into their seventies [ and older ] it is about as redundant a phrase as Trump will never get elected, will he? The reason I pose this question is because after four years of hosting live music events here, there and everywhere, I have finally secured a regular home for our music/folk club. Tom, Graham and I couldn’t be happier and the cherry on the cake, so to speak, is that we have been “adopted” by one of the UK’s biggest charities, the Royal Voluntary Service. This doesn’t mean we will receive any financial benefits from being a RVS partner but it does give us access to a commodity even more precious than cash, “older people”. People very similar to ourselves who aren’t quite ready to f f fade away as that other fabulous oldie, Roger Daltrey of The Who, once sang. The funny thing is, I used to think exactly like Roger did once because I too couldn’t imagine ever becoming the proud owner of a bus pass and a Senior Rail Card.
So, who are these older people and what makes them so special? I don’t need to list the obvious things that differentiate the old from the young but with older people generally, enjoying healthier lifestyles, they are remaining younger for longer and enjoying their “senior years”. However, we don’t wish to exclude younger music lovers from coming to our events, in fact we want to see more of them but on past experience, our own audiences and those at other venues we visit around the country tend to be made up of “older” people. There may be a number of reasons for this but I reckon it’s because we oldies grew up listening to live music in back rooms of pubs, cellars, coffee bars and all kinds of impromptu venues. Only two weeks ago I was in Bradford where I visited the newly excavated site of one of the city’s legendary, albeit short-lived music venues, The Pussy Cat, now part of Sunbridgewells. I first came across Rod Stewart at the ‘Cat when he appeared as a member of Steampacket along with the sensational Julie Driscoll and Long John Baldry whilst an old friend, Pauline Matthews [ Kiki Dee ] was looking after the cloakroom. Looking back, it was hard to imagine the excitement we felt as young mods frequenting such places however, it was entirely tangible and not too dissimilar to the buzz I still get from going to see a live performer or band.
There is another group of Amazing People integral to the success of our music/folk club and they are, of course, the performers, without whom our events would be pretty dull. Let’s face it, I’m not the most entertaining host and despite my once being a disc jockey, those halcyon years spent leaping about on stage behind the turntables are long gone so it really is down to our guests to provide the musical distraction and so far, they have done it brilliantly. The following artists have all played for us at least once and hopefully, some will return once we are settled in our new home;
Harpeth Rising [ USA ]
Harp & a Monkey
The Dyr Sister [ Sally Currie ]
David Ward McClean
Simon Kempston [ Scotland ]
Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby
Jeni and Billy [USA]
Mark and Cindy Lemaire [USA]
West My Friend [Canada]
Christa Couture [Canada]
I am sure you will agree that this is a wonderful list of performers who have blessed our humble enterprise so far and there are more to come. However, we need you to come along too so why not take a look at our Forthcoming Events and decide which ones you fancy, hopefully, they will all appeal to you. And if you have any questions, something you are not sure about, then give me a ring on 01482 864979.