The Old Oak Inn is our local – we can actually walk here when we haven’t got a load of PA gear to cart about! Owners Paul and Kate (really friendly people) love having music at the pub and encourage all sorts of live music, especially in the summer months in the large beer garden. The Polegate Folk Club meet monthly on Wednesdays and there’s regular Sunday jazz . We’ve played there a few times before and they’ve been asking us to come back for ages but as we had other local ticketed gigs we needed to wait until they were out of the way.

We’d originally booked for Saturday 4th Nov but then a village event was scheduled for that night so we discussed it with Kate and Paul and changed to the Friday night. Which was just as well as it turned out because the storm hit on Saturday flooding local roads so even the village event was cancelled. On the Friday we had a good audience, mostly locals, friends and family, but other pub regulars and some enjoying a get together over a meal.  In the first half most people were eating so not really paying a lot of attention to us apart from clapping at the end of songs and a little interaction in the intros. At the start of the second half, we sang a new quiet song and looked up half way through to see the entire pub watching us in silence. That’s great in a pub venue! For the rest of the night they joined in, interacted and applauded loudly and we had a simply lovely time. 

In the past Paul has passed ‘the hat’ and supplemented the collection, but this time it was a set fee which was a decent amount. We only do a very few pub gigs, just sticking to those that are known for music – this one, the Jenny Lind and The Stag in Hastings, The Royal Oak in Tunbridge wells and The Carpenters in Miserden. 

We were set up beside the open fire which meant we had to squeeze together a bit to make sure nothing was too close to the heat, but it was fine. Usually we would use our little PA (a Lucas Nano 300) but it went ‘pop’ (terminally)  the previous weekend at Bluebell Roots. Fortunately our lovely mates, Dandelion Charm, have a big daddy version which we were able to borrow, involving a quick trip over to Newhaven in the week. It works really well but we want to get another smaller one so we can take it on the trolley on the train.

We completely forgot to take the merch box or the audience book so didn’t make any sales, get any book entries or mailing sign ups, but we did have our leaflets for the Notes Home event later in the month which were handed around the pub.

Audience of about 25 – 30 throughout the evening, with about 20 staying until the end. We left some of the gear there to pick up in the morning as we were giving lifts home, so it was nice not to have to unload the car when we got home!

Looking forward to our next time at The Old Oak Inn. We’ll probably be back to play Toad in the Hole before too long anyway 😀

Photo by Paul Maynard