Brandon – Pop up Traditional Music Cafe 10th March 2022

“GREAT EVENT! Love hearing traditional music. Keep up the good work”.

Brandon pop up traditional music cafe – audience member

Brandon is an area of Suffolk that the Trust hasn’t previously had a significant connection with although we have had some very positive interaction in the last few years with the Brandon Creative Arts Forum which is doing great things in the community.

It is a town right on the edge of West Suffolk and yet in the Brecklands, close to the Norfolk and also Cambridgeshire borders and is often overlooked as a destination.  The Community Hub in the town is home to the Library, Pre School, Children Services, Safer Neighbourhood Scheme, District Council meeting point and community meeting space.

Credit EATMT

The library was our first port of call and we were not disappointed.  Library manager Mat Sheldrick was keen to welcome EATMT and its proposed pop up Traditional Music Café.  We invited local resident James Delarre to get involved and nearby resident Erin Brown to join Project manager Nicky Stockman and EATMT for a musical afternoon.  Tickets went on sale via Eventbrite and following a quick social media campaign we found the event fully booked within 24 hours.

We couldn’t have received a warmer welcome from initially Mat and his library team and then from the audience.  We started the event with a Broom Dance demonstration – with Erin dancing and Nicky accompanying on the melodeon (button accordion).  Erin and Nicky explained a brief history of the broom dance and we didn’t have to ask more than once for a member of the audience to have a go at a Broom challenge.  Adelaide was a great sport and rose to the challenge wonderfully.

Sensing a keen audience Nicky was quick to get them all involved and virtually all took part in a music lesson on the mini melodeon – first learning a scale and then a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle.

Audience participation on the C row mini melodeon
Credit EATMT

James then took over for a concert spot.  We were treated to an intimate and beautiful programme of fiddle and viola tunes, songs and chat.   

James Delarre
Credit N Stockman

Refreshments were taken and the event was brought to an end with some more music from Erin on fiddle and Nicky on melodeon, with the dancing wooden Jig Dolls which were handed around the audience, creating the percussion.

We received some wonderful feedback, someone rushed home to donate a beautiful old piano accordion for our forthcoming sale and there was an eagerness from us all to come back again soon.

“I really liked going to an event that I knew nothing about but enjoyed very much. More of the same”.

EATMT is very grateful to Suffolk County Council for funding this project.

March 2022