James and I had an absolutely terrific time at this years Broadstairs Folk Week playing four venues over two days to lovely, warm and supportive audiences. Starting at the Prince Albert Saturday lunchtime, we then played a two hour set at the Balmoral Bar that afternoon. On Sunday we played another lunchtime slot at The Chapel and then rounded things off with a two and a half hour performance at The Thirty Nine Steps. It really was so much fun to play longer sets in such quick succession, and really connect with audiences all over the town.
We want to give a very special thanks to Nick and Richard, the two festival volunteers who were assigned to set up our kit, monitor sound and provide specialised lunchtime options and advice. Both chaps were so enthusiastic and helpful, it really made us feel welcome, we could totally concentrate on playing and singing our hearts out whilst Nick and Richard handled everything else.
Thank you also to everyone who made a special effort to come and watch us play, including Will, Jo and Jack, Jac’n’Phil, Annie, Rob and Lorraine, we really hope we did you proud. Broadstairs is a beautiful festival with venues scattered liberally throughout the town, along the pier and right by the water’s edge.
A lot of festival crowds can have a rather disparate feel to them, travelling from far and wide to attend, but Broadstairs has also managed to capture the imagination of the town itself and surrounding neighbourhoods. We struck up so many conversations with local people on the bus and in the pubs who then came out to listen to us play, it felt such an engaging and personal atmosphere with the whole community wanting to take part. Those who had camped, and suffered a torrential deluge or two from the night sky didn’t let the weather dampen their enthusiasm either. James and I are quite new to the folk scene and what is truly gorgeous about folk audiences is that people will come up and talk to you after the gig, to offer praise, ask about certain songs and lyrics and even offer constructive criticism. It’s really refreshing to have honest opinions from people taking the time and care to think about what they have just heard and seen and to want to discuss it. James and I heard so many fascinating and valuable insights into what it’s like to come to a Pepper and Shepherd concert.
Next year Broadstairs Folk Week celebrates it’s 50th anniversary and we wholeheartedly advise you to get in early to book for what promises to be a gorgeous week with stunning performances and the chance to really see a whole community letting it’s hair down and coming to party!