Folk in the sunshine!

Did we have a good day? We most certainly did!

Now read on …

The sun shone, the geraniums opened their petals in glorious pink profusion, Covid restrictions were a thing of the past, and Folk at the Boat gloriously resumed its rightful place in the calendar, on the second Saturday in June.

We had waited three years to enjoy this day as it should be enjoyed. Last year’s Covid 19-safe event had some first-rate acts, but still felt restricted and somewhat stressful, despite our being thankful, in the circumstances, to have an event at all.

This day was a treat. It opened at 12.30 with over an hour of joyous dancing from four energetic morris sides. In complete contrast, the Hara Belly Dance troupe brought a very different energy, all sinuous grace and elegance in their billowing long skirts. Even when they were brandishing scimitars, these dancers moved with queenly femininity.

The afternoon and early evening brimmed with musical talent. Sea shanties were well represented in the completely contrasting styles of Salt Water and Beer, a more traditional shanty crew, and Essex-based duo Freddie’s Barnet, who gave the traditional songs a humorous modern twist and added topical compositions of their own. After the cut-glass harmonies of The VIPs – even more popular than last year on their return – Carys performed a blinding set, solo (except when she wasn’t).

To put the audience into full-on listening mode, professional storyteller Justine de Mierre compelled with her crackling, atmospheric, performing style. Every table was hanging onto her every word. Nobody wanted so much as to scratch an itch while she was speaking, and all eyes were on her throughout.

The apex of the day was Gerry Colvin, a great Steamboat favourite, with two members of his current band. It was as well that we had had practice listening, because Gerry’s songs have words set into them like jewels in a necklace. Not one should be missed. He, too, is a teller of tales. From the deeply personal references in “When the Light Switch can’t be Found” to the (completely invented) legend of the ghosts of the Black Lion Hotel in “The Tragical Conceit of Captains Millbank and Cat” – better known to fans as “Cutlass Cat” – the audience was with him. Accompanied by the guitar work of Lyndon Webb and the accordion of Trish Power, these songs really live.

The day was over far too soon. A rosy June sunset and a busy merch desk both attested to the contentment of the crowd who had stayed all day to be thoroughly entertained.

so now you know. Thanks to Mim for the write-up.

Folk at the Boat 2022 – Update!

We now have confirmation from all our acts that they will be with us on Saturday 11th June.

Come and join us on Saturday 11th June for a great day of music, story-telling, dancing and an excellent selection of real ales (and we’ll do our best with the weather as well).

The line-up will be:

  • The Hara Belly Dancers
  • Salt Water & Beer
  • The VIPs
  • Freddie’s Barnet
  • Carys
  • Justine de Mierre

And our headliner will be – by special request (his) …

There will be morris sides, including Maldon Greenjackets, Haughley Hoofers and Danegeld.

Entrance will be free, although we will be rattling buckets under your noses at frequent intervals. Please also think about making a donation to the pub’s crowdfunding page (details can be found here.)

More details about the bands will appear shortly on the Folk at the Boat 2022 page.

A Day to Remember!

I think it is fair to say that Folk at the Boat 2021 turned out to be a day which everyone who went will remember with pleasure for a very long time to come! The weather may have been a bit on the iffy side, but nothing could dampen our spirits!

There will be photographs, and perhaps even videos, to come in the very near future, so keep watching this space.

Folk at the Boat 2021 – full details!

Everything you need to know about Folk at the Boat 2021 is now on the appropriately named page but here are a few quick pointers:

Please ensure that you take a Lateral Flow Test in the morning before you come – please stay away if the result is positive. Hand sanitiser is available at the pub, and mask-wearing whenever possible would be appreciated.

The Steamboat opens its doors at 12.00 noon.

Food will be available until 5.00 pm. Bar closes at 9.00 pm.

The full programme is on the Folk at the Boat 2021 page, but hard-copy programmes will be available on the day.

There is no entry fee, but please donate generously!

And we’re back!

Finally! Folk at the Boat 2020 becomes Folk at the Boat 2021 and will happen on 8th August!

The line-up remains much the same as 2020 with the magnificent FAKE THACKRAY as the headline act!!

Details will follow next week – see you then!

Folk at the Boat Postponed

In consultation with Andy the Landlord, we have reluctantly decided to postpone this year’s Folk at the Boat until next year. It looks as though the line-up will be exactly the same, only the date will have been changed. We can’t tell you what that date is yet, for the very good reason that the pub is currently totally involved with the supply of “Meals for Medics”.

You can get involved, too: go to the Meals for Medics Facebook page to find out what stock they need and how to get it to them. If you can’t make it into Ipswich, then you can contribute to their fundraising appeal at

Folk at the Boat 2020: an update

Well, we’ve really been pretty rubbish at keeping the website up to date, haven’t we? But we are still here, we had an excellent time at FATB 2019 (photos will happen at some point), and YES – we are planning for FATB 2020.

As I write, the Steamboat is, along with all other pubs, shut. However, we do have a date set for FATB – Sunday 7 June – and we will go ahead if the pub has been allowed to reopen by then.

We have a fantastic act lined up to headline: John Watterson, aka Fake Thackray. There are also some great local bands in support.

So do watch this space, and I promise that we’ll keep you informed as to whether or not FATB 2020 will be going ahead.

In the meantime – stay safe out there.