A damp disaster denied for John’s precious pipes - now hear him play in Kimpton on Saturday night

Wild Willy Barrett and John Devine

Wild Willy Barrett and John Devine - Credit: Archant

One of the musicians playing at a Kimpton Folk Festival curtain-raiser in the village on Saturday night will probably be keeping a very protective eye on his precious instrument.

Irish music ace John Devine, who recently played for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, almost lost his precious pipes when the boat on which he was living with his family sank.

Although that was a few years ago, John can still recall the anguish he felt.

He said: “I ran to the boat to find the case completely submerged.

“The pipes were left to dry gradually for almost two months in the hope that once re-assembled everything would be fine, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.


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“Extensive repairs had to be undertaken and they have only been fully restored to their former glory in the last two years.”

But they are back to their best, which is good news for those looking to catch godfather of grunge folk Wild Willy Barrett and French Connection, with Gallic songstress Aurora Colson on vocals.

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The band’s new album is a melange of French, Irish and English acoustic arrangements, using everything from a guitar and cello to Irish pipes and banjo.

The memorial hall concert is being staged to support July’s inaugural Kimpton Folk Festival, which has grown out of a thriving music scene in the village.

Festival committee chairman Doug Jenner said: “This concert will be a wonderful taster of what we have in store.”

The concert starts at 8pm, tickets are £10 and those aged 16 and under get in free.

Visit www.kimptonfolk.uk for more about July’s event.

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