Mark Newman

Cahors Folk Club 


One of the things that I had always wanted to do while we were living in the UK was to start and run a folk club. For a variety of reasons, mainly because there were so many good ones about, this never happened but late in 2007 I met a player here in the Lot called Mike Griffin. Mike is a singer/songwriter with a delicate picking style and one Saturday afternoon, he was playing at the Leclerc Cultural Centre in Cahors. Mo and I went to support him and after the gig he mentioned that he was playing the following week at La Toulzanie in the Lot Valley. He suggested that we might like to go to this evening of guitar and so we did. Mike and I decided to do a bit together and he said that he knew Deep River Blues and so we started with that and you can see this very first effort on YouTube if you wish. Log in and search for me and it'll come up along with a couple of other things. We did the evening again this year and this is also on YouTube.

Early in the Spring 2008, we were talking together and Mo mentioned that we'd been thinking about starting an acoustic club here in Montcuq and from that came the idea of starting a Folk Club in Cahors. Mike mentioned that he knew an art gallery in Cahors that would make a good venue and so we went down there and talked to David Gabella, the proprietor. He was very enthusiastic and so we decided that we'd run a club from April through to September just to see what would happen. David said that he would provide a glass of wine and pizza slices! Mo designed posters which were sent out across the area and we waited for April. I thought that we might get 35/40 people in the audience but in the event, 75 came. It got better in May when we had a local band called STAYLOOSE guesting and we had to turn 20 away, having let 90 in. And so it has gone on. Our audiences have averaged around 70 with about 70% French and the rest being made up of English, Dutch, Danish and so on The vast majority live locally and are coming back month after month. Floor singers have been very varied from very authentic blues to acapella and we never know who'll turn up. The great thing about the club is that its a listening audience. So many playing venues out here are in bars and the music is really a variety of wallpaper so it makes a real difference. The 2009 season started well with over 100 people listening to Frédérick Daubié, a well-known Lotois singer and player and we are looking forward to the rest of the year. I get to play each month, both with Mike and by myself and I am able to reprise a lot of material that I might otherwise not play. So, where did I start?

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This page created 18/02/09

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