ELY FOLK FESTIVAL was good fun. Our set met an enthusiastic response and some healthy chorus singing. Andrew and David also played an impromptu piping session on Sunday afternoon with our mate Edric Ellis, which attracted some nice comments. Thanks very much to Sue Marchant for inviting us!
NEW ALBUM: the recording is going very nicely. Seven tracks almost complete – five more to go. Still working on the name!
CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB: we had a blast at this historic club on the 10th of June – it was lovely to play our full set to an appreciative Cambridge audience on a gorgeous summer evening. We really enjoyed Michael McGovern’s support act too: soulful, beautiful songs.
LANDBEACH CHURCH: great fundraiser for the two new bells they’re aiming for. A good workout for our full set, and loads of CDs sold! Lovely acoustic; and we enjoyed the handbell ringers support act!
COVID: laid Brian and Andrew low at the end of April, so we had to postpone our gig at the Weston Colville Reading Room till the autumn. Brian also had to pull out of his gig with Daoiri Farrell at the Cambridge Folk Club. Still – we’re up and about now, ready for our gig at Landbeach church – supported by a peal of handbells!
NEW ALBUM: recording coming along nicely, with the first four tracks well on the way. As ever, Greg’s doing a proper job as sound engineer. Watch this space …
BRIAN AT CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB: Brian is booked to play at the Cambridge Folk Club on April 29th, supporting the fine Irish singer and player Daoiri Farrell. Should be a great evening!
ALL SAINTS LANDBEACH: we’re looking forward to playing this charity gig in May. A good workout for our set, for a worthy cause – and a very unusual support act – the bellringers.
HALSWAY MANOR: David and Andrew enjoyed an intensive pipe-fest at the annual Northumbrian piping weekend at Halsway Manor, learning from the cream of the tradition: Andy May, Pauline Cato, Alice Robinson and Rob Say. Here they are playing in the concert.
ELY FOLK FESTIVAL: we’re delighted to be booked for the Friday night of the Ely Folk Festival. We played at the folk club last year, and David and Andrew played with the Six Pipers for the Ely club in the Club tent at the Cambridge Folk Festival a few years ago. Greg has also played the Ely Folk Festival in the past with The New Essex Bluegrass band, and Brian too with former bands. We look forward to renewing our acquaintance with this great local festival.
OUR SUBVERSIVE VOICE: this is a great research project on protest song at the University of East Anglia – they have a fabulous online collection of songs old and new. Thanks to researcher Oskar Cox Jensen for including two of our songs – Education and Back on the Night Shift – in his recent update on the project website.
FOYER FOLK AT SAFFRON HALL: we had a brilliant day on Friday (21st January) in Saffron Walden. We did a workshop in the afternoon with GCSE and A-level young musicians, who were quite outstanding, and learned a couple of our tunes effortlessly. The evening gig was the popular Foyer Folk series. Standout features: our own dressing room! Big audience (over 100); great sound support from Jon Hart; nice support act from Kelly Bayfield. And: fish’n’chips! Hope we get invited back.
WESTON COLVILLE READING ROOM: Delighted to be booked for this lovely village hall gig on April 23rd (need to find something appropriate for St George’s Day). We played here in December 2019, to a packed hall and very welcoming audience. We’ve just used it, too, for a PA practice – it’s a very nice space. Here we are in full flight …
BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB: We’re really happy to be booked at the Black Fen club in Cambridge on the 20th February. We’ve never played there as Camus, but members of the band have played there, in particular Andrew and David playing piping sets. We’ve also played pipes at the Black Fen sessions at the Cambridge Folk Festival, and as guests at their Club Tent slot. Looking forward to it! Get tickets here!
FOLK LONDON MAGAZINE: The December-January edition contains a glowing review of our recent EP, Time & Again. It’s a good read for a folkish Christmas – good value for £2!
FOYER FOLK AT SAFFRON HALL: we’re delighted to be booked for the popular Foyer Folk series at Saffron Hall on the 21st January. Our first 2022 booking. Get your tickets here!
SOHAM RADIO FOLK CLUB: Thanks to Stuart Green for featuring us on his show on 3rd November. He chatted with Andrew in an interview recorded at our recent gig at Ely Folk Club; and played our Galician set of tunes. You can hear the segment below.
FACEBOOK CAMUS: we have a brand-new shiny FB page! Click the icon at the top of this page – we hope you’ll like and follow.
ELY FOLK CLUB: our second in-person gig since the pandemic, at the Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham. More info on our Gigs page – but we had a lovely time. Andrew was excited to catch up with Steve Roud, who was unexpectedly in the audience. Steve (as well as being the creator of the extraordinary Roud Index) edited the New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs with Julia Bishop – our source for The Keeper which we played at this gig. Here’s the video.
BBC RADIO CAMBRIDGESHIRE FOLK SHOW: Thanks to Mark Walsh for an extended interview with Andrew about the band, our history, our experience of the pandemic, and our upcoming gigs. Also for playing three tracks from our EP: The Deserter from Kent, Felton Lonnin, and the Galician set. Here’s a recording of the piece.
THE FOLK SHOW ON SOHAM RADIO: Thanks to Stuart Green for playing our song ‘Education’ on the show on 29th September. Catch the show on Mixcloud. Stuart will be interviewing us when we play at Ely Folk Club next month.
ST NEOTS FOLK FESTIVAL: Finally, a live gig after 19 months of pandemic! Great to be back at the Priory Centre, and thanks to Patti and Roger for booking us to support the evergreen Richard Digance on the 25th September. Also our first gig with Brian, who got off a plane at Gatwick at 3.45 and made it to St Neots by 8.15 in time for our second number.
We opened the set with our Northumbrian tunes on pipes and fiddle: Air Moving, by Kathryn Tickell, followed by traditional tunes Because He Was a Bonny Lad and Holmes’ Fancy. Standard fare for a Northumbrian session – but feels quite exotic down here in East Anglia! And – our harmonies make it a bit special …
BBC RADIO CAMBS FOLK SHOW: Mark Walsh played our track The Deserter from Kent on the 12th September, and did a nice plug for our set at the St Neots Folk Festival. Thanks Mark!
READIFOLK: Ian Freedman kindly included one of our tracks, Felton Lonnin, in his folk show on the 31st August, 2021. You can hear the show on Mixcloud – we’re third track in (but of course listen to the whole show, which has some fabulous work, including Tom Paxton!). Felton Lonnin features Andrew on vocals, Brian on guitar, David on whistle, and a rare outing for Greg on Northumbrian pipes!
NEW GIGS: We are over the moon to announce that we’re booked for the Saturday night of the 2021 St Neots Folk Festival, supporting Richard Digance. See you there – 25th September!
Ely Folk Club: We’re also booked to play the Ely Folk Club on October 13th, supporting the brilliant Gilmore and Roberts. Looking forward to hearing them, and to playing our second gig in a physical venue since before the pandemic.
Cambridge Folk Club: we were offered a full evening for the club’s first concert after lockdown, in September 2021, but unfortunately couldn’t do it due to quarantine rules in Italy (long story), so we’re awaiting a new date. We last played there supporting Kathryn Tickell and her dad a few years back.
Brian Cleary rejoins!: We played with Brian in a former line-up of Camus, back in the day, and are really pleased to have him back. Brian is a fine guitarist and bouzouki (now gazouki) player across a range of genres, with a particular love for Irish music, since that’s where he hails from.
BAND PRACTICES GO LIVE!
Since meeting indoors was allowed we’ve managed four practices, working on our set for the St Neots Festival. Great to be back together!
The North Cambridge Song Project: Andrew has written a new song as part of the North Cambridge Song project, run by Emily Peasgood, celebrating the life and history of the communities of that part of the city. Andrew’s song is The Ghost of the Snowcat, about the pub on Arbury road which used to be his local, and is now a Sikh gurdwara, or temple. Details of the project and demos of the songs are on the project site. A performance, part of an online Zoom concert, can be seen below. Andrew is joined by former member of Camus Brian Cleary, on guitar, who, we’re delighted to announce, has just rejoined us.
NPS duet class first prize, 2020: David and Andrew also entered the duet class of the Northumbrian Pipers Society Annual Competitions, and won the trophy. Here’s the trophy!
And here’s the video!
New tune book: Our tune-writing group, Fine-Tuning, started by our friend Jon Shurlock, and mentored by the amazing piper Chris Evans, has produced a book of 98 new tunes for the Northumbrian pipes – you can get a copy by donating to the NHS via our Just Giving page.
Here’s a video of a selection of the tunes, played by their composers.
New EP, Time and Again: We launched our new EP on Cambridge 105 Radio’s Strummers & Dreamers show on Easter Monday, April 13th, 2020 – the live studio session was replaced by recorded talk and tracks. And we’re participating in online sessions and events: Northumbrian piping sessions and tune-writing sessions via Zoom and Facebook, and practising hard for a new set of recordings.