| If Chesterfield Folk Club's first concert was anything to go by, then the area's music lovers had better brace themselves for the shock of the new. |
Anyone dropping into the Club Chesterfield would have heard a wealth of mellow folk songs, alongside interpretations of hits by Bobby Darin, Nick Lowe and Jim Croce which revved up the crowd.
This break with tradition might not appeal to the folk purists, but it may help to introduce a younger generation to what's on offer at the town's latest live music venture.
Kicking off the musical pot-pourri were newcomers A Pint, A Half and A Jill, who gave their services for free. Composed of John Prentice, Jill Drury and Pete Julian the trio took it in turns to sing, accompanied by guitars, whistles, bodhran and percussion.
Personal favourites were Missisipi Lady, Liverpool Sally and Down By The Dockyard Wall, the latter prompting the Mayor of Chesterfield, Cllr Chris Ludlow, into singing along with the audience.
The trio's songs were linked with anecdotes and banter among the players as well as amusing asides to members of the audience from the inimitable John Prentice.
But even John couldn't better headliner Dave Burland when it came to hilarious anecdotes. Dave delighted with tales about his musical ventures with Sid Kipper, adventures in Australia during the 80s where bush fires and floods erupted after his departure, and seeing Bob Dylan at Sheffield City Hall on his first UK tour, in 1963.
Even more absorbing was his rich singing voice and exquisite guitar playing, which reeled you in like a fish on a champion angler's line. Gentle songs such as Come On Home,
The Shores Of Heaven and Dimming Of The Day were just beautiful and the engrossed spectators lapped up Dave's finale of I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock 'n' Roll.
It's clear that Chesterfield Folk Club means business and its volunteer helpers are pulling out the stops to gauge what people want. For starters, being able to buy tickets on the door is a popular move and the introduction of a website listing artistes for the coming months will help enthusiasts plan their diaries in advance.
But folk fans aren't just here for the beer - good value though it is - it's the music that will bring them through the doors of Club Chesterfield. With the likes of Isla St Clair, Steve Tilston, Joe and Ben Broughton lined up for the next three monthly concerts, the future looks promising for this new arrival into the folk club world.
=Top: Dave Burland
=Right: Pete Julian, Jill Drury and John Prentice, left to right.
Photos by Steve Swallow