Campfire Club – St George’s garden, Bristol

Wednesday 19th August, 2020

For Kitty Macfarane and Dizraeli this deserved to have been written much earlier. One of the effects of the world changing has been that I’ve not been able to write. Writing helps me and yet I forget, or I get distracted, or I am afraid to start typing. Live music and writing about it became such a part of my identity, that without both I have felt very lost. The fear took hold and words didn’t seem to want to come. I’ve spent time in the past few days re-reading a lot of this blog. Much of it made me cry. Not in sadness, or loss, but in celebration of the extraordinary life I’ve been able to live in the last three years. I have been grieving the loss of it all for months, we have all lost whatever our ‘normal’ was – live music and writing about it was mine. But it hasn’t been entirely lost. Slowly, delicately, live music is returning, Campfire Collective among them.

A short series of outdoor folk clubs, round a campfire were organised by the Nest Collective and St George’s beautiful garden was one of the venues. Two, socially distanced and limited audience concerts were to take place, outdoors. The 6pm show sold out very quickly, and I was lucky to get tickets to the 8pm, when audiences are limited to around 50 it makes each ticket like a golden ticket.

I have seen Kitty Macfarlane before, supporting False Lights as part of 40 gigs a whole three years ago. I was struck then by her beautiful voice and interesting tales, in song and word, of eels and female craft art. She is beguiling and lovely and it was so wonderful to hear her sing again. That Kitty’s voice was the first I was to hear singing live in six months was wonderful. I don’t think I could have picked better by design. Thank you, Kitty, for sharing your lovely songs with us.

Dizraeli was an entirely different artist, charming, disarming, funny, sharing tales of young lives that I found all too relatable. The rain pelting down on us all, somehow, added to the experience and I don’t know why.

I really enjoyed this gentle reintroduction to live folk music, and sharing it with my gig buddy Janine was also really lovely. When your friendship is based in live music, not having any to share puts a dent in things! I’m so glad we were able to reconnect, with the rest of the audience, each other and the music.

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