The Nest Collective’s Campfire Club
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Folk and flames is one of those magical combinations that just makes sense, like ham and cheese, and it's why Campfire Club is such a winning formula. The night I cosied up by the fire, we were introduced to a secret location that is well worth the ticket price itself: a magical collection of sheds and woodburners nestled around the back of Bow tube station. Yes, there was the typical folk crowd, a sea of bobblehats and top knots gathered under strings of fairy lights and homespun bunting. But don't get put off thinking it's only for chin-stroking folk aficianados – the vibe is really friendly and welcoming.
This latest series of outdoor gigs comes courtesy of the Nest Collective, folk lovers who have built up a strong reputation over the last decade, running nights at venues all over London and festivals further afield, which means you can expect artists at the top of their game. I was treated to The Rheingans Sisters, recent winners of best original song at the BBC Folk Awards, and also the rare chance of seeing a stripped back, more melancholy side to klezmer band Tantz before they bounce UK festivals this summer.
The Rheingans girls are the epitome of winsome, smoked folk. Daughters of a fiddle maker, they pull on fingerless gloves to keep warm in the chill of London springtime. All evening planes thunder across the sky just to remind us we are slap bang in the city (and directly under a flight path). Toes are a’tapping and bobble hats are, erm, bobbing. It would take the most stony-hearted cynic to deny the fairytale magic of the evening. Scouts and hippies, get ready to share your fireside tree stumps: us Londoners want in.