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Boo Hewerdine to headline Cambridge Folk Club gig for East Anglia's Children's Hospices

Boo Hewerdine. Picture: Boo Hewerdine
Boo Hewerdine. Picture: Boo Hewerdine

Boo Hewerdine will be headlining the Cambridge Folk Club's 10th annual charity gig in support of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (Each) later this month.

Joining him for what should be a wonderful evening’s entertainment on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29, are acclaimed Texan musician and occasional collaborator Darden Smith and Cambridge-based newcomer Emily Mae Winters.

The venue is The Golden Hind pub on Milton Road and the event has once again been organised by Robin Mansfield, chair of Cambridge Folk Club.

Long-term aficionados of the Cambridge music scene will certainly know the name Boo Hewerdine, a London-born singer-songwriter who moved to Cambridge while still a child.

Recognised as one of the country’s finest songwriting talents, the 56-year-old Ivor Novello Award-nominee will be joined on stage by the band that featured on his latest album (his favourite out of all the albums he’s made), Swimming in Mercury, which was released to critical acclaim late last month. Mark Ellis is on bass, Chris Pepper plays the drums and Chris Bradbury is on guitar and keyboards.

The well-travelled Hewerdine, who also plays in a duo called State of the Union with American guitarist and Cambridge resident Brooks Williams, spoke to the Cambridge Independent while on his way to Liverpool to perform at the Philharmonic Hall.

“Robin first just asked me to play,” he said. “We have done it every year for six or seven years, although I couldn’t do it one year. I think this might be the ninth time I will have done it.

“We’ve raised quite a lot of money over the years and each time we try to bring along a special guest, so we’ve got Darden Smith who’s my friend from Texas. He’s a fantastic singer-songwriter and we do workshops together. We’ve also had Chris Difford from Squeeze, Kim Richey and Eddi Reader we had one year. That was really memorable – we did it in a church on Victoria Road.”

Hewerdine is less familiar with Emily Mae Winters. “It’s really interesting because I had never come across her before,” he said, “but where I was playing last night, in Birmingham, she had just played, and the guy running the gig said she was fantastic so I’m looking forward to hearing her.”

Robin explained how he first got the idea to stage the event: “I saw an item on the BBC’s Look East in 2006. They were making redundancies at the hospice and we had a bit of a health scare with my youngest son.

“It was serious but it wasn’t terminal, and it made me think that if my son Daniel had needed help, they were cutting back as a hospice and it must be awful for the parents and children there.

“On my 60th birthday, as I know lots of local bands, I got Lightning Jack to play at my party and, instead of having presents, I made a collection for Each because this affected me so much.

“Lightning Jack said we should make it an annual event, so the very first concert started in 2007. We had Boo Hewerdine, Lightning Jack and a local singer called Dave Jenkins – and we made £954.50. That set the ball rolling, and it’s brought in more than £12,000 in 10 years.”

A Concert for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices takes place on Monday, May 29, at 7.45pm at The Golden Hind on Milton Road.

Tickets are £12. For more information, call 07910 710179 or visit cambridgefolkclub.co.uk.

To find out more about Each go to each.org.uk.

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