50 years of acoustic music.
There has been a folk club in and around the village of Brewood for over fifty years, admittedly there have been a few breaks in that time but the interest in acoustic music has prevailed. The original club was started in the late sixties and met at the Three Stirrups. The running of the club was taken on by Paul and Diane Maher in about 1976, joined by Will Morgan in 1982 when Margie and Barrie Warner-Smith were the licensees. Those years at the Stirrups were great times and we were sad to leave, having built up to a major guest almost every week. How about this for a programme; in the final months at the Stirrups we played host to Cosmotheka, Geoff Bodenham, Harvey Andrews, Maxi and Mitch, Allan Taylor, Vin Garbutt, Tom The Frop, Johnny Silvo, Fiona Simpson, Bill Caddick, finally closing with Dandy at our Christmas party.
The club moved to the Lion for a short spell in 1990, then out to the Bradford Arms and, following a break, on to Sunny Bank, finally closing in December 2003. By this time the new Brewood folk venue had opened at the Swan Hotel under the leadership of Kevin Arnold and using a base of three resident MCs, namely Kevin with Dave Rolf, known collectively as “Take Two”, Tony Barrett and Will Morgan. The club met every other Thursday evening with singers’ nights, the occasional guest night and charity nights, the charities were always suggested by members of the regular audience, or by the musicians and all proceeds from the door and raffle that evening were donated to the nominated charity.
After Kevin moved to Wales the club continued in the same vein under the leadership of Tony. However, time marches on, Anno Domini catches up with us all in the end. Those speakers get heavier to lug up and down stairs and we have a number of members with increasing mobility problems. The stairs are OK coming in and going home but what about the call of nature! So, sadly, yet again we needed to move on. We also felt that the time had come to share the donkey work involved in the running of a folk club, it’s not fair to leave it all to one person and so at the end of 2007 a small committee was formed from the regular members. An early decision was taken to change the name to Brewood Acoustic Music Club, as we all felt it might attract audience members and performers alike who were perhaps a bit wary of the word “Folk”. The other big change is that the club now meets every week. Will now shares the residencies with Chris Edwards, Karen and John Hawthorne, Rob Hill and Phil Humphreys and the administration is ably dealt with by Margie Warner-Smith, Karen Hawthorne, David Morris and Will Morgan; all are longtime supporters of the club.
Our present home at Brewood Cricket Club is ideally suited to our needs, all on one level and with proper wheelchair access. The place is very comfortable with a warm friendly atmosphere and a well-stocked bar, in fact all the right ingredients for a good night out. The basic format is much the same as before with singers’ nights and guest nights every month. The charity nights were reintroduced in 2009.
Anyone with a song to sing can come along to the singers’ nights, we will try to find them a spot. It’s a good place to start if you are an absolute beginner and a good way to build your confidence, so why not come along and give it a try. Singers’ nights also attract regular artists from the circuit looking for work and showcasing their repertoire and residents from other clubs will come to sing for us to promote their own venues. If you haven’t yet visited us, come along to the Cricket Club on any Thursday evening, you will find a very warm welcome – mine’s a pint of real ale!
December 2008, updated April 2019.