We were sent to a community garden in south London and had no real idea of what was about to happen. We understood there would be a camp fire, some music and a relaxed feel-good atmosphere. We didn’t quite anticipate how special it would be.
What at first seemed like a run-of-the-mill local allotment, proved to be more like the magical garden of Narnia. As we strolled down a candle lit pathway between the well pruned bushes and sprouting spring greens, the dulcet tones of an acoustic 6 string began floating towards us, beckoning us in. Before we knew it a clearing opened out in front of us, readily equipped with a gently flickering central fire and lot’s of wooden carved seating, that kind of felt like Gandalf’s handy work. The peaceful aurora lightly wafting over us from both the setting and the sound was truly second to none, and everyone could feel it. The Campfire Club have had a total winner with the venue as it induces this relaxed vibe, as if you’re in someone’s back garden, kicking back for a night of chill.
We quickly found the pop up bar serving beer, wine and a delicious selection of hot tea’s. Beers for us, after all, it was a Friday night. After a cold tinny and a pleasant chat with a few other excited souls, we thought it was a good time to lay out the blanket and claim our spot right in front of the embers. Soon enough everybody found their nesting place, cosily clustered on a quite spectacular May evening, and for the next two hours, we were all ready to sink into whatever was to be performed to us.
Kicking off the evening’s affairs was the marvellous Jim Ghedi and his twelve-string guitar. Accompanied by Neal Heppleston on the double bass, the duo embarked with us on an enchanting folk journey that seemed to have all of us in a trance. It’s a special moment when you feel the audience snap back into reality at the break of each song, almost disheartened to be taken out of such a treasured state. If only it could last forever we we curiously pondered. The vocals were summoned and we were sold. A perfect start to a beautiful evening.
Time for another beer and feeling groovy!
Next up, Piers Faccini who took us all to the next level. Stood confidently in front of the embers, Piers had a an inquisitive yes expecting look about him. He was excited to express himself to us and share his family history through song. His guitar, customised, allowing him to recreate unique sounds with influences from the far east right through to medieval Spain. His songs told stories and his rhythms came through in a chant-like manner. Equipped with a foot drum and unique, powerful voice, he had us wrapped around his little finger from start to finish. My favourite moment, was Piers’ decision, thirty seconds into a song, to drop the guitar and go acapella, unbroken for a good three minutes. His romantic and well-travelled style, spanning from his demeanour and presentation through to his music felt perfectly inline with the evening, the beautiful surroundings and all of our moods.
The Campfire Club at Glengall Wharf Garden was One of the best evenings I’ve had all summer. Perfect for a Friday night chill after a long week at work, a great starter to a longer evening out on the town, or a way to escape London for a minute and let music jet you off to… wherever you want to be really.
A 10/10 thing to do and I’d recommend it to anyone. You could even bring your nan.
Check out upcoming shows here.
Words by Will Jarvis