We decided to make a couple of days of it as we were playing in Cranbrook the following evening, so we hitched up Michelle (Eriba caravan), stuck the canoe on the car roof, and headed for The Hop Farm. It’s only half an hour from T Wells so we arrived in time to cook dinner, chill for a bit and get changed before heading to the gig.

Parking isn’t too bad, we’ve always managed to park in the road not too far away- 2 trips to transfer all the instruments to the pub.

It was Delby’s birthday celebration, an old family friend, and the fourth time we’ve played in this great pub for the occasion which coincides with their First Friday music night. Up first were the duo, Alchemy Acoustic, who we saw the first time we played here. Back then they were playing mostly covers, now it’s more traditional English Folk and they have a new album out which we need to get a copy of.

Next up were our inimitable friends John and Di Cullen (centre of pic). Humour, pathos, music hall and singalongs – very clever and beautiful. Di played the bowed psaltery on one number. We never tire of hearing them.

Lovely Pete (far right in pic) runs the evening, as well as many other local events, (we don’t know how he has the energy) and supplies all of the PA, so when it was our turn we just stepped up and plugged in. Pete adjusted levels as we played.

It was an extremely hot day and even hotter in the performance area, so we were both melting – I think that’s the hottest gig we’ve ever played. As we played Temperature’s Rising I could feel sweat running down my back. Good job our campsite has a shower.

Pub gigs are what they are – you play to a room full of people, most of whom are having a chat, some watching telly (a big rugby crowd in watching the match), some watching you in between conversations. The layout of this bar means you’re playing quite a distance from those in front of you, which is quite different to a folk club, but we engaged and had everyone singing along at the end. In fact, the amount we were sweating it’s best we were a distance away!

Pete took the bucket around during the set and we had a decent amount in cash and by card – enough to easily cover our fuel and weekend camping.

This is one of the few pub gigs we do and we love it- always welcomed back as old friends. It’s not somewhere we tend to sell any CDs or merch, and we don’t bother passing round the audience book, but you get to chat a lot more than at other gigs and are able to take your time packing up and chilling with a drink before heading homewards. Or back to the campsite.