Song Loft raises a toast with Vin...

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When it comes to the art of longevity, The Song Loft promotion has got it well and truly licked – this week the folky-fantastic club celebrates its 38th anniversary.

That is seriously superb, and a testament to late founder Matt Armour, whose passion for the club was unbridled.

Since Matt passed away, it has been business as usual for the Loft, thanks to a small body of people including Matt’s wife Jane, and Colin Turner, and Bill and Barbara Reed.

And they have used their friendly persuasion to call in the big guns for the birthday month – this evening Vin Garbutt will be in the house.

Vin never went out to be a star. He just wanted to play his music, preferring to be ‘a big fish in a little pond.’

But that pond turned into a rather considerable lake, and Vin has long been considered at the top of his game.

So much so, that a camera has been following him on his travels over the past coupe of years – film maker Craig Hornby spent three years with Vin for his Teesside Troubadour documentary about the musician and his life.

“Vin Garbutt is a legend of English folk music,” Craig said.

“His trademark blend of traditional reels, passionate protest songs and zany patter has won him legions of fans across the world.

“And he has achieved this not with any major backing or media profile, but with non-stop touring and word of mouth.”

Tickets are £10 in advance, £12.50 on the doors, and with demand at a premium, this gig is still being housed at The Cock Hotel, but in the Marquee Suite.

Raise a glass to Vin, another to all those performers that have played under The Song Loft banner these past 38 years, and raise a third to the tireless passion of those behind the scenes.

Cheers, cheers and cheers again!

Sammy Jones

VIN GARBUTT: A big fish in a rather considerable lake, and ready to make a splash at The Song Loft celebration