January 8th brought two of Kent's finest folk acts to the Seven Stars and the styles could have scarcely been more different. First came the smooth measured tones of one of the county's most experienced performers, John Barden. With a voice that could calm a herd of buffalo John charmed his way through his set with a distinctly Kentish theme.
At the other end of the spectrum Gravesend duo Fiddlefit had the house rocking and dancing with some truly wonderful fiddle and guitar playing but it was perhaps the unexpected that made the evening a particular joy.
The unexpected came in the form of first time visitor and singer songwriter Stew Simpson who was as comfortable playing soft haunting melodies as he was when his hand became simply a blur over the strings of his guitar. Stew was immediately taken to the hearts of the Crayside locals and proved such a hit that regular Micky Woods volunteered his own open mike slot so that everyone could be treated to a second set after the interval.
A further surprise came when open mike guest Graham Cousins turned up with Lee Wellbrook and Nick Bidgood the other members of his band Missouri Gutts. The rich sounds of the trio and their cheerful, lively spot had informed insiders speculating about an early return, next time at greater length.
With further excellent open mike guests this was an evening well in keeping with the high standards that we are already beginning to expect from the fledgling Crayside Live and one to tempt back all who were privileged to be there