Multiple award-winning folk singer-songwriter Chris Wood is making a return to Harborough next month.
Wood has won gongs at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards four times – for Best Album, Best Original Track and twice as its Folk Singer of the Year.
And if you want to know how a market town such as Harborough gets to hear one of Britain’s top folk artists again – it’s all down to duo Adam Bugla and Mark Ginns.
Adam and Mark are two IT workers from Clipston, and the men behind AM Gigs, who put on these top folk concerts in Harborough.
“Basically, we’re two folkies who book people we really want to see ourselves,” explained Mark.
“And Chris Wood is the real deal; a fantastic guitar player, singer and songwriter, and lyrically one of the most thought-provoking people around. He’s one of those rare artists who really speaks to adults,” said Mark.
The national press agrees with the Clipston pair.
The Independent said: “Wood is one of our finest songwriters, a brilliant exponent of the topical troubadour form.”
And The Guardian called him “one of Britain’s most uncompromising and original singer-songwriters”.
Mark added: “Chris Wood was one of the first gigs we put on, in 2009.
“Anyone who came to his concert in Harborough back then will remember what a captivating and thought-provoking artist he is.”
This time Chris will be presenting, among other things, work from his 2013 album None the Wiser, the title track of which was nominated for Best Original Song in this year’s Radio 2 folk awards.
Adam and Mark filmed a video with Chris in Harborough earlier this year to accompany his song, which was later shown on television.
Chris says about his latest album: “Bass and Hammond organ drive a bunch of much shorter songs off the page and into the world. It’s almost like a pub band singing hymns and anthems.”
Mark said: “A few years ago, Adam and I were travelling all over the place to see folk gigs – Rugby, Leicester, Cambridge.
“Then we had what I suppose you could say was the Mickey Rooney moment: ‘let’s put the shows on right here!’
“Because there are two of us, we were both sort of daring the other person to say they can’t do it.”
Five years on, the duo have brought a string of top acts to Harborough.
“We’re quite proud that within the folk genre, the artists we’ve brought to Harborough are at the top of the tree,” said Mark.
“When we put on [top fiddle player] Sam Sweeney, he came from the Albert Hall in London one day, to the Jubilee Hall in Market Harborough the next.”
So is there actually any money in this music promotion lark?
“No,” answers Mark.
“If we’re lucky we make a profit that’s in the tens of pounds, and we’ve taken a dive a couple of times.
“If you were to work out what we get per hour for all the work we put in, I guess it would be a percentage of a penny.
“Usually it’s just about enough money to make you do the next one.
“But, fortunately, we’re in it for the love, not the money.
“We both put the effort in, because the reward is we both get to see a top folk artist.”
Chris Wood is playing at the Jubilee Hall at Market Harborough’s Congregational Church, in Bowden Lane, on Friday, September 26.
Tickets cost £12 are on sale from MH Music in St Mary’s Road, from www.amgigs.co.uk or by calling 01858 525 179.