When a local venue can attract musicians of the stature of Chis Leslie, long established member of Fairport Convention, to play a solo performance and then, having played, agree to become Patron of the club, it’s time to sit up and take notice. About once a month on a Friday night, the club takes over the function room of the Blandford Forum Royal British Legion presenting concerts from some of the best-known artists on the UK folk scene. By opening with a support set, each concert also provides a local artist with what, for many, can be their first chance to play to a truly attentive audience. After a short summer break, the 2017/18 programme kicked off with Charlie Dore. As both singer and song writer, Charlie has been responsible for so many mainstream hits and yet a folk club performance alongside Steeleye Span’s multi-instrumentalist, Julian Littman was clearly a labour of love and one the audience relished. Later in September, a return visit from Chris Leslie produced another memorable evening, one that sold out long before the night.
Club organisers John Butcher and Kathy Dunn are two stalwarts of the Dorset folk scene and their dedication and extensive network of contacts have ensured that since 2002, a steady stream of quality musicians has headed to the Club. Equally important to this success is regular sound man Andy Stone, ensuring that all these visitors sound their best.
Originally based in Wimborne, the club began its association with Blandford British Legion in 2010, an arrangement that suits both sides. The room, with its cafe table style seating, is perfect for encouraging the up close and personal atmosphere that folk performance thrives on. Meanwhile, the Legion’s bar benefits from an influx of thirsty folk, keen to join in with the regular Friday meat raffle.
The Club’s programme right through to Christmas 2018 has been finalised, and is available on their web site HERE Many more outstanding performers will be heading to Blandford over the coming year, the next, on October 27th, is REG MEUROSS, one of this country’s most fêted song writers. If you’ve never been to a folk club, forget any preconceptions you have, there are no singarounds, though no one will mind if you sing along with a chorus you recognise. Just head along and you’re guaranteed a friendly welcome If you’re there for Reg, you’re guaranteed a night of exquisite songs presented by a man who’ll make you think he wrote them especially for you.