To the First Thursday Music Club this week as I continue my quest to unearth all that is good about our small market town.
Unusually we have a weekend with no fair, festival, carnival, show or major event.
The High Street is pleasingly open, the Town Hall is almost free from its wraps and it is a warm autumn evening as I approach the Jimmy Figgs.
All you really need to know about First Thursday Music Club is in its title.
It is a club (held in the back annexe thing behind the James Figg) where music is played on the first Thursday of every month.
It is free, it is very informal and this is my second visit.
On the first I found a packed courtyard on a balmy summer night, and being inquisitive I wondered how you squeezed all these people in when the weather was not so good?
Tonight I am none the wiser as it is unseasonably muggy.
The true music lovers are in early and have taken the seats towards the front so they can concentrate on the singers and bands.
I find a halfway house near the bar where I can keep an eye on the stage while also watching the more casual customers who flit in and out; enjoying the music but mostly having a chat with friends outside.
All is well with the world, inside and out.
It is effectively an open-mic night where anyone can get up and play a song.
As a result you get a nice mixture of the hesitant, the adventurous and the ‘deserving a bigger stage’.
Musically we get blasts of the artists’ own material and covers of everything from the Smiths to KT Tunstall and Passenger.
That’s my cue to wander and I bump into an old friend who tells me that the next group are all parents from John Hampden and really, really good.
So we go in and they get a rapturous reception as they play their own songs to a packed room.
It is tuneful and they are decent musicians.
It is all very warm and lovely.
From 10pm onwards, there are four artists invited to perform a short set each through to midnight.
It works excellently and by the end of the night a packed crowd disperses happily.
Regular readers will recall that I love to see people giving it a go by getting up and trying new things, so this evening deserves to run and run.
Big thumbs up to those who performed and to those who put so much effort in behind the scenes to an event I urge you all to take a look at soon.