How I got into folk music
I used to enjoy folk music and dancing at junior school, but I didn't know that what we used to do was called folk music, nor that you were allowed to enjoy these things as an adult too. So it was many years before I became properly involved in the folk scene. I first began singing with The Sealed Knot Society, and when looking for more songs to sing and tunes to play on my newly acquired tin whistle, discovered first Irish and then English folk music through records.
The first folk club I attended was The Old Pack Horse Folk Club in Loughborough. I have also regularly attended a number of other clubs in and around the Loughborough area over the years. the only one I still attend regularly now is The Grand Union Folk Club in Barrow Upon Soar. I did jointly run a folk club at the Forest Rock in Woodhouse Eaves with Dave Gooder for a while after the original organiser (Bill) emigrated to New Zealand.
The first side I joined was The Hinckley Plough Bullockers. I later joined Anstey Royale Chalfont as a musician, and then Anstey Morris Men. I now also dance with Sergeant Musgraves Dance. I am currently bagman for Anstey Morrismen, and am also deputy squire and deputy foreman for Sergeant Musgraves Dance. I am also webmaster for both sides.
The first dance band I joined was the Acme Dance Company, led by Edward Reeve. I originally played Bodhran and later a set of home made bongo type drums, produced by Edward. When Acme folded, Martin Wildig and I formed The Bang On The Wall Band. I still play mainly percussion, although my kit has evolved significantly over the years. I also play the whistle for some pieces.