PRIMROSE Wood Acoustics will return to the Pocklington woodland for a third double bill – yet to be confirmed – on August 5.
This step three announcement follows the long-awaited return of live music for organisers Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) after staging sold-out outdoor concerts in Primrose Wood on July 1 and 8.
Scunthorpe-born virtuoso guitarist, singer and songwriter Martin Simpson and East Yorkshire singer-songwriter Katie Spencer played the first night; Leeds indie-folk/Americana band The Dunwells and York singer-songwriter Rachel Croft, the second.
Each was performed to a socially distanced audience of 85 at twilight. “Accompanied by bird song and set under a natural canopy of trees, there was a collective sense of being a part of something special, almost 18 months after PAC last staged a live music event,” said PAC director Janet Farmer.
Artists and audience alike concurred. Joe and Dave Dunwell said: “After 15 months of playing to a computer screen and doing live streams, to be actually playing live in a woodland was just incredible and the audience were just amazing. We loved it!”
Rachel Croft enthused: “For the first time, I felt totally in my element again. Having had all that time off, you get used to not having an amp or an audience or any interaction, so it’s been really special to be in this amazing spot and I’m just really grateful to have been a part of it.”
Commenting after Thursday’s concert, audience member Sue Bowden said: “Amazing evening! Fantastic live music in a beautiful setting on a fabulous summer’s evening; brilliantly organised too. Well done to all involved.”
Jane Smith agreed: “What a wonderful gig – our first since March 2020. Great performances in a beautiful setting. Very well organised. Thank you all at Pocklington Arts Centre.”
Julie Eeles said: “A fantastic night: amazing performances by Rachel Croft and The Dunwells. Thank you, Pocklington Arts Centre, for organising the event.”
Vital to Thursday’s open-air concert was the contribution of sound engineer Daren Bishop. “It was a fantastic event,” he said afterwards. “What a pleasure to be a part of it. I loved mixing the sound in that setting.”
The Primrose Wood Acoustics series comes on the heels of assorted online events and outdoor exhibitions held by PAC since the start of the pandemic.
“Being able to bring live music back to our audiences has just been incredible,” said the director. “We’d like to thank our customers for their support, as well as Pocklington Cricket Club, Burnby Hall Gardens and Pocklington Town Council for helping to make these events possible.”
Watch this space for the announcement of the August 5 double bill. Meanwhile, to keep up to date with PAC’s future events, head to pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
Pocklington Arts Centre will reopen formally on July 20, preceded by two sold-out socially distanced warm-ups: work-in-progress gigs by South Shields humorist Sarah Millican on July 14 and 15 at 7.30pm.
“I’ll be trying out loads of new stuff,” says the Geordie joker. “It’ll be rough and ready and very, very fun.”
Next week’s shows are in preparation for her sixth international tour, Bobby Dazzler, whose 2021/2022 itinerary will bring Millican, 46, to York Barbican from November 12 to 14.
“You’ll learn about what happens when your mouth seals shut; how to throw poo over a wall; trying to lose weight but only losing the tip of your finger; a surprisingly funny smear test, and how truly awful a floatation tank can actually be,” says Sarah, who has “spent the past year writing jokes and growing her backside”.
“I can’t wait to get back on the road and make you laugh,” she adds. For ticket details on the 8pm shows, head to yorkbarbican.co.uk