[H]ow far would you travel for a night out? What if the journey had to be made on foot? Last weekend Walney Island folk duo Paper Cranes trekked over an hour through the Cumbrian fells, laden with instruments and battling blisters, to treat their fans to a special gig at Skiddaw House.
Normally used by walkers and mountain bikers, this remote hostel occasionally opens its doors exclusively to music lovers for the night.
These gigs are intimate but relaxed and with room for 25 only, intimate enough for chat between the band and guests during sets. ‘What’s it about?’ became a funny sort of heckle at the latest Paper Cranes session, after one of the guests kept asking this just as Jon began to strum a new song.
This informal atmosphere, along with the fact that everyone has walked to get there, and that no-one can be disturbed for miles (3.5 miles to be precise) adds something different to the experience of seeing a great band on a Friday night.
The next session will be Keswick’s ‘funked up’ modern folk band Stooshie on July 14th. Stooshie fiddle player Peter Leeson explained the appeal of playing at Skiddaw House: “our music is rooted in the hills, streams and rivers of the north of England and many of our tunes have names of remote places, so playing a gig in a mountain hut was a must for us!”
At 1550ft, this will be their highest gig played, with their highest so far being on the top of nearby fell Latrigg.
Mylittlebrother will also be returning (having played a fantastic gig last autumn) to play on September 1st.