With its unique approach and local music at its core, a Buxton open mic night has stood the test of time for two decades.
Club Acoustic is preparing to mark its 20th anniversary on September 30.
The club will be holding a special open session and party on Wednesday, October 2 when the original founders, Keith Smith and Ric Bateman, will be making a welcome return to the stage.
Tony Boden has been the resident host of Club Acoustic since 2002 and says there is nothing quite like it.
The 78-year-old said: “We have stood the test of time because we are unique. We put the focus on the music and for musicians that’s the most important thing.
“The group was set up in 1999 to provide a space for people to perform without just being background music which normally happens when you play in pubs; people sometimes tune out and it can be very disheartening.”
Club Acoustic is based at the Old Clubhouse, which has remained its primary home over the years apart from a period in Higher Buxton.
Tony said: “It is such a welcoming group and everyone who is there appreciates music, so it is a lovely community to be part of.
“We are not just old men with beards playing folk music, any musician is welcome and we are gaining a great reputation with younger performers too, which is great as it will carry the club forward for the next generation.
“Over the years we have seen performers take to the stage and go on to other adventures such as university or starting a family, but people come back as being part of Club Acoustic is like being part of a family.”
Singer Lucy Spraggan performed a full-house concert at the club before leaving for X Factor and has gone on to enjoy much-deserved worldwide recognition, but Tony says her roots will always be in Buxton.
A very active committee leads the group. The nights last between two and two-and-a-half hours and give people a chance to relax and listen to good music with good company.
Tony said the thinking behind Club Acoustic was to create a “very low maintenance event” which was a pleasure to attend.
“So it was held fortnightly to make it a treat rather than an obligation,” he explained.
“Noticeable too has been the growing contribution made by female performers and by younger artists, giving the club a very healthy balance and a strong platform for the future. As the popularity of the club has grown, it has also attracted many musicians passing through on vacation.”
2019 sees the club continuing to prosper with a very active and forward-looking committee, and very healthy attendances.
To mark the 20th anniversary there will be a party at The Clubhouse on Wednesday October 2, from 7pm.
Tony said: “The original founders of the club will be performing along with many that have played their part throughout the years and, of course, current performers too.”
Club Acoustic meets every first and third Wednesday of the month from 9pm.