The increasing popularity of folk song in this country has encouraged an equivalent interest in the Hootenanny or ceilidh, a late night social gathering devoted to song and instrumental music. Often extending into the small hours they owe a great deal of their success to the casual atmosphere and the close bond which is established between the artists and their audience.
This Hootenanny was staged in the rather unusual venue of the Decca recording studio at West Hampstead as opposed to the cosier atmosphere of the London folk cellars. This however, in no way inhibited either the performers or the listeners as you can hear. The session began at midnight and it was not until five hours later that the two hundred people present stepped out into the chill spring dawn to race the milk man home.
Naturally enough this mammoth session produced a wealth of first class performances and this record carries the cream of these with the rich dialect laden voices of Bob Davenport and Lou Killen from Newcastle to the southern English tones of Martin Carthy and Redd Sullivan from London. There is also the Scots lilt of Nigel Denver who crossed the border about a year ago to make his mark in the English folk song clubs with his spirited renderings of the old Scots balladry.
Finally, there are the irrepressible good spirits of Alex Campbell which coupled with a strong voice and a rich sense of humour lead the way to a fine evening's entertainment at the Hootenanny in London.