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Tom Kitching & Marit Fält - 15hp of Biofuelled Folk Genius

Updated: Jun 20

"Where There's Brass" concert at The Boathouse Guildford 6 June 2024

Tom Kitching playing violin and Marit Fält on mandola performing in front of a packed audience
Tom Kitching and Marit Fält at The Boathouse

The glossy surface of the River Wey reflected the late afternoon sun as Tom Kitching and Marit Fält delivered Tom’s “love letter to the waterways of England” to The Boathouse in Guildford. Kayakers scudded up river and a solo swan bobbed his head to peer in through the railings of the Boathouse deck. It felt as if the river spirits were roused and responding very favourably to Tom’s words and music.

Looking out to the River Wey from The Boathouse deck across to trees on the opposite bank. There are railings and a life-preserver ring on the railings.
Weyside view from The Boathouse

Our audience certainly took Tom’s storytelling and music project “Where There’s Brass” to their hearts. Through powerful musicianship and captivating storytelling, Tom and Marit conjured up life on the Spey. We got to know the traditional narrowboat that Tom took down the waterways of Manchester all the way to London. There were also amusing and illuminating insights into life on the water - the working of countless locks, the encounters, conversations, politics, the camaraderie and the conflict. We were particularly taken by the character of the two stroke 15 hp Bolinder engine that powered the Spey. It came across as a steadfast but somewhat ‘sensitive’ soul.

Hail the Bolinder!

We first became aware of the Bolinder’s eclectic fan base a few years ago at a festival side event. The sound of this legendary engine was the record castaway Andy Cutting would save from the waves on his Desert Island. (You can revel in its groovy music in a little video of the Spey we found with Andy on board Tom devoted four and a half pages in his book to the process of starting the Bolinder on Spey and it features on what we think will become one of the most desirable pieces of merch on the folk circuit.

In Tom’s version of Sod’s Law, he wrote: “Whenever you do anything impressive with boat control you can guarantee that nobody is watching to appreciate it, and when you totally screw it up there are sure to be hordes of people filming it on their phones.” On this cool June evening, we could safely say that Tom and Marit completed their manoeuvres to perfection - with everyone watching!

Thank you!

Huge thanks to Tom and Marit for a magical night. Thanks to everyone who came to support this very special gig. We would also like to thank the lovely team at our gorgeous riverside venue, The Boathouse Guildford. Thank you Jess, Justyna and the team behind the bar.

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