It is that time of year when stirrings, after summer slumbers, are felt in deepest Wrexham or, to be more precise, down at the Nag' Head at the bottom of Mount Street where the tall chimney is all that remains of a once proud, and much-loved, local brewery. Instruments will be taken out of their cases and dusted off ready for another season at Wrexham Folk and Acoustic Music Club that, once again, will be held in the small, but perfectly proportioned, room at the top of the stairs of this popular pub on the first and third Thursdays of every month through to the end of May, 2020.

Next Thursday (October 3), at 8.15pm, the opening night of the 2019/20 season features, Bandersnatch, who will follow the usual resident's opening spot performing two 45-minute sets in the time-honoured fashion of most folk clubs since the revival days of the 1960s.

Bandersnatch are a Lancashire band who have become firm favourites with local folk fans over the last few years returning next Thursday to Wrexham Folk & Acoustic Music Club, The Nag's Head, Mount Street, Wrexham at 8.15pm for their seventh appearance at the venue. They are a very talented group of experienced musicians from the Bolton area whom I first came across on a showcase night at the club in 2006. They subsequently released a great CD, Round & Round, that quickly put them on the map and was, in my opinion, one of the best albums of that year. Although this will be their seventh visit to Wrexham it is perhaps tinged with sadness as founder member and songwriter Clive Leyland, sadly passed away in 2008 after fighting illness for several years. However, I am sure Ed McGurk (guitar, cittern, whistles, percussion and vocals), Alan Roscoe (guitar, percussion and vocals), Steve Rothwell (bodrhan, percussion and vocals), Norman Raw (bass and vocals) and Dennis Dodds (guitar, mandolin, violin, bodrhan and vocals) will do Clive proud with their inventive arrangements, close harmonies and varied material, including of course some of those memorable Clive Leyland songs.

Clive's skill as a songwriter was showcased on their CD Round & Round. It was a very listenable collection of songs; some covers and some very good self-penned material. The opening track, Dougie MacLean's Turning Away set the standard with its great arrangement utilising both instruments and vocals. John Gaska's, Love is our Cross, is followed by the first of Clive Leyland's excellent songs, the title track, Round & Round. Next up is the best cover version I have heard of the great song of the troubles in Ireland, The Broken Years. Anthony John Clarke's gem is superbly handled and performed by the band. Two Stuart Marson songs follow, Close to the Wind and Over The Lancashire Hills, the latter being reputedly a song dedicated to the Lancashire contralto Kathleen Ferrier. Arguably the best song on the album, When you Fall, by Clive Leyland follows. I really liked this one with its great lyrics and catchy, singable chorus. They also released a second album in November, 20018, Changing Days, that has some memorable and well-known tracks, including, The Lancashire Lads, Geordie, Queen of Argyll and Hard Times.

Bandersnatch are also the first guests of this current club season and it promises to be a good one. Go along and enjoy the night hosted, as usual, by the popular three-piece resident band, Offa, and be sure to take some money with you to buy one of the above albums.

To further whet your appetite, you should make a diary note that, before Christmas, the club has booked the brilliant singer, Virginia Kettle, lead vocalist with folk-rock stars Merry Hell, for their November 7 slot, and a double-header with Phoebe Rees and Ben Robertson, both very talented local singers and musicians, for December 5's guest spot. They will share the night and what a pleasure it will be to see that the future of folk and acoustic music is in such capable and talented hands as these two young people from Oswestry and North Wales respectively. The club nights in-between these dates will host the popular Singers Nights and, in keeping with tradition stretching back to 2002, the club's annual Charity Night with Yardarm & Friends will be held on December 19.

Returning to this weekend and, as advised in my last column, this Friday (September 27) the trio Alden, Patterson and Dashwood are in concert at Gwaenysgor Village Hall, near Trelawnyd, Rhyl at 7pm. This Norwich-based trio weave rich, vocal harmonies, with fiddle, guitar and mandolin providing the base for their original songs and melodies. Their two albums, Call Me Home (2016) and By The Night (2018) have both been critically acclaimed for their originality and musicianship and I am sure they will have some with them on the night. Tickets are available from the usual web sites or Google "the record journal live".

Also, this weekend, over on the beautiful Llyn Peninsular, the Llyn Acoustic Guitar Festival (September 27-29) in Llanbedrog, will strike a chord with many. In the beautiful venue of the imposing grade 2 listed Victorian Gothic Mansion of Plas Glyn-Y-Weddw. It promises to be a feast of guitar music performed by some of the best artistes in the world on their chosen instrument. Among those performing will be John Jorgensen, top US guitarist and Grammy award winner, Michael Chapman who some will remember for his appearances at Wrexham Folk Club some years ago, Greg Robley, Andy Mackenzie, Steve Pablo, Dave Stephen, Keith Newby and Paul Brett. Jonathan Pickard will also star, and concerts and masterclasses will be liberally scattered throughout the weekend. Tickets and other information can be obtained by phoning 01758 740763. These will go quickly so I advise you to check before making the journey.

Finally, this Saturday there will be family entertainment for all as the streets of Wrexham come alive with the sound of music. The fourth Wrexham Singing Streets Festival this Saturday (September 28) will feature over 30 choirs with members of all ages taking part, from schools to the most established Choral ensembles from across the region. They will be appearing at locations across the town centre and thousands are expected to turn out for the event that is organised by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas in partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University, Wrexham Council and John Jones, Quality Acoustics. Go along but be sure not to miss the Big Sing that will take place at 1pm in Queen's Square where all the choirs will gather and don't forget to take your best singing voice with you.

More next week but, in the meantime, whatever you do and wherever you go, enjoy your music.

By D.C.M.