Bella Hardy live at Junction 2 Cambridge 27th November

The last time I saw Bella Hardy was about three years ago in a pub in Towcester, this was the opening night for a proposed new folk venue, which was advertised locally. It was a bit embarrassing at the time as the audience on that night consisted of me a mate from work and an older couple who visited from Northampton, despite the small audience it was still a great night.

Having not seen Bella for a while I though I should catch up on her music and spent most of Saturday listening to her CD’s and keeping an eye on the weather, the snow was falling so I thought I might abandon the journey. Confirming the availability of tickets and seeing the snow disappear I made my way to The Junction Cambridge, with Bella’s song and tunes firmly implanted in my mind, though just like me leaving it late enough to be close to the wire to get there for 8pm (note to self, bloody well leave earlier next time) Still I arrived on time and made my way to the auditorium.

Bella strolled on stage with Chris Sherburn on concertina and Scottish musician of the year nominee Anna Massie. It was clear from the opening song that my afternoon’s Bella catch up session was a little bit wasted, having not read the spec for the event it soon became obvious that this was an evening Christmas songs and carols. Don’t get me wrong I like the theme of Christmas “live” events, that appearing to popping up all around now, I should be seeing St Agnes Fountain and the absolutely fabulous Thea Gilmore’s Wintertide tour which you shouldn’t miss in December, but I wasn’t quiet ready for this in November.

Still after a few songs and stories and the wonderfully charming personality that is Bella Hardy I soon forgave her and decided not to be a Scrooge and enjoy this early Christmas experience. She sang and played some lovely renditions of classic Christmas carols and pop songs and she delved into a collection of carols from the village of Castleton in Derbyshire which is just a few miles away from her home town of Edale, we even got the chance to join in a few including “o come all ye faithful” which I think I mimed perfectly.

So in the end this was a lovely experience with some very funny chat back from Anna Massie, who won the back stage raffle of a cup on tea and a bag on mini cheddars, maybe next time I’ll leave it until into December, though with the snow beginning to fall again on the way back Christmas might have really come early.

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