This is the time of year for jolly evenings filled with seasonal songs served with good cheer and so I went to see the Pielarks at the Canbury Arms. I knew about the event from two friends, Peter and John, who were part of the around twenty singers collected to entertain us and their presence was another encouragement to go.
It seemed easiest to eat there beforehand and while the veggie options were somewhat limited, as is the rule in gastro pubs these days, the curry was excellent. All three of us who were eating at that time chose it. The beer was fine too and by the time the band started I was comfortably fed and watered.
The music was, as expected, reassuringly folky like the songs we all learned to sing at primary school thanks to Singing Together on BBC Radio. I knew none of them which mattered not one whit as the style of the songs was familiar and there was plenty of repetition to breed new familiarity with the words.
Each song was introduced with a short story saying something about the origin of the song and how it had been rediscovered and/or kept alive in recent times. There was a variety of soloists, choruses and musical instruments that kept the evening lively and interesting as well as simply enjoyable.
We were in the covered overspill from the main bar and that was packed with people who had come to see the Pielarks and that produced quite a buzz in the room and lots of applause after each song.
The combination of the songs, the people, the food and the drink made it a rather jolly evening and I had a great time.