Swanton Morley is destined to become the hub of a vibrant live music scene if enough performers come forward to make it work.

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Stalwart guitarist, piano teacher and villager Colin Clegg, one of the people behind the idea, has told of his dream of players of all ages gathering together to perform everything in the village from rock and café styles to Irish, traditional dulcimer, jazz and blues music.

And to get things going, Swanton Morley Village Hall and Darby’s pub have agreed to host live sessions over the next few months in the hope that they will attract not just interested audiences but a core of musicians keen to establish a scene.

They start on Friday, November 2, when ceilidh band Fezziwig will be in concert at the village hall.

Colin has lived at Swanton for 35 years but has been performing for many more, including in skiffle, rock and soul groups.

In recent times he has been a bass player and caller with ceilidh bands, including Fezziwig.

He said his interest in gauging the musical interest around Swanton had stemmed from a recent concert at the village hall starring the American acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter, Brooks Williams.

“It was a really good night. And I thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get together some decent local musicians to perform and give local people more entertaining nights out?’” he added.

With the help of the parish council and a musical pal, Julian Blackmore, the ties between the village hall and Darby’s came about. And a trial programme of events has been drawn up lasting from the November 2 concert to just before Christmas.

The village hall events will be open to the public and free of charge. Colin says: “These promise to be good nights out for folk who enjoy listening to, or playing, live music.”

Also lined up so far are Samphire café duo, on November 16, a rock and roll night featuring local band Fellarocker on November 30, and Don’t Spook the Horses singer/guitarist Brian Eade, on December 14.

The Darby’s evenings, on November 7 and 21 and on December 5 and 19, will be more informal events held in the pub’s upstairs room and will provide a chance for musicians and music-lovers to meet, chat and rehearse. Among those already involved in these are Sharpen the Sickle, fiddle player Chris Holderness and dulcimer player Richard Blake.

The organising team can provide a mixing desk, sound system and Korg keyboard for anyone interested in going along and playing and wants to attract anyone who plays any instrument, whether it be flute or guitar, harmonica or drums.

“It could fall flat on its face – I accept that – but I hope it doesn’t. What I have arranged with Darby’s and the village hall is to give it a two-month trial,” said Colin.

“We don’t know how many talented people are out there, but I have just got this feeling in my bones that people might like to come along, play music, have a chat and get to know who those other people are.”

He added. “I’m hoping it will provide a meeting place for active and aspirant musicians. It is worth a try.”

To find out more or register an interest in performing on the Swanton Morley scene, email Colin at colin@unicornmusic.me or call 01362 637353.

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