The Horn at The Half Moon
North Street, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ACOUSTIC CLUB
The Godfathers of the Acoustic Club
Keef Jackman & Drew Bonnington
Keef Jackman and Drew Bonnington started the Acoustic Club in April 2002 as they both had a desire to play blues music acoustically and had no stage to do so! Initially, it was held once a month, with an open mic for all styles of music, any acoustic instrument, and any level with Keef’s partner Annie carrying out the door function.
With Drew taking a back seat, Keef & Annie ran the club successfully for 10 years creating a weekly night that was very much an important part of the local music scene. It was expanded and the format was set with a Showcase Act being supported by 9 acts. During those early days a number of performers came to call the Acoustic Club their first home. Players who gained Internationally renown:- George Ezra, Surie, John Gomm, Sam Smith, Matt Cardle to name a few but there have been so many!!
In June 2012 Keef and Annie made the decision that they would like a break from organising the Club and handed the reins over to Jess & Neil – 2/3’s of the fabulous band The Huxleys who were in the business of Music Clubs. They gladly inherited the club to run alongside their regular Hertford open mic nights. They installed Hertford guitarist and songwriter Luke Silver as Host and M/C with Rob Daniels as resident sound engineer.
The Club continued with a vast range of players and headliners as Jess introduced us to many of her musical friends from around the world whilst continuing with local performers.
In 2014, with a thriving music shop and school and teaching business in Hertford and a growing very young family, Jess and Neil could no longer dedicate the time necessary to the Club. At this point Geoff and Bill became the next inheritors of the Bishops Stortford Acoustic Club
Since then, Geoff and Bill have been able to steer the club from almost closure to being stalled for 15 months during the pandemic via a relocation to the other end of Town during the closure of the Half Moon for refurbishment. Because of the refocussing of the Horn at the Half Moon into the wonderful music venue it is, we have changed days from Thursday to Wednesday. Also, to suit other requirements we now run every other week.
Geoff and Bill have expanded the scope of music to include differing formats featuring the traditional evening of a Showcase Act supported by 8 support acts, 6 x 4 and 4 x 6 acts with either 6 acts with 4 songs or 4 acts with 6 songs and finally Concert nights with a major headliner and one or two supporting artists.
In 2020 BP (before the pandemic), we planned to have outdoor concerts in the Courtyard and more special nights with headline acts, with album launches and supporting tours of the very top players. Once things get back on an even keel we will get back on those as well as our involvement in BISH BASH!. In 2020 the Bandstand Acoustic stage was to be rebranded the BOSH Stage.
There is nothing to stop us restarting where we left off!!! Bigger better and just as much fun as ever. Which is exactly what we are planning to do.