Sailing club formed on Dartmoor to qualify for Steve Knightley gig

Daf gets to book her Devon hero – sailing club formed on landlocked Dartmoor to qualify for nautical gig date!

It seems some music fans will go to extraordinary lengths to see their favourite artist perform on their home patch.

Steve Knightley, frontman of acclaimed Devon folk roots band Show of Hands proved a big draw for Dartmoor-based Daf Edwards. Says Daf: “Last year I discovered that great teenage pastime, groupying. I guess it’s my age!”

For three years Daf, who runs a farmhouse bed and breakfast, had tried to get him to perform one of his solo gigs at Widecombe-in-the-Moor on Dartmoor but when their dates finally matched, Daf was dismayed to find his 2016 spring tour was to be at maritime venues only from seaside halls to an Elizabethan Fort, sub aqua clubs and aboard the house yacht HY Tyne III at Royal Northumberland Yacht Club.

Widecombe-in-the-Moor may be the setting for Knightley’s classic chilling song “Widecombe Fair”

but it’s nowhere near the sea!  The only glimpse of the sea you might get is by climbing Hay Tor but undeterred Daf went about devising a way to make Knightley’s All At Sea tour work at Widecombe’s Café on the Green. She formed the Widecombe Sailing Club!

The first person to join was Steve saying “If you form a proper club with membership I’ll do the gig!”

So Daf got the gig (March 17, 2016) and the café will be renamed for one night only “The Café on the Brine” appropriately decked out with fishing nets and lobster pots.

Things have marched on with the club now having a flourishing membership, a website, a Rear Admiral (Mr Knightley – who else?!) and an official song – the Widecombe Regatta!

Says Daf: “The ploy worked better than we could have guessed and we now find ourselves with a beautiful bouncing new-born club dedicated to bringing live music, good food and nautical puns to our part of Dartmoor!”

” I thought it showed great imagination to go to such lengths, says Steve. “How could I possibly refuse? The Café on the Brine will undoubtedly be a unique ‘waterside’ venue!”

The unique All At Sea tour (January 15-April 1) will start in Devon, at the fishing town of Brixham, and take in venues such as the Norwegian Church at Cardiff Bay, Pevensey Bay Sub Aqua Club, Cley Marshes Visitors Centre in Norfolk, and Portsmouth’s 15th century Square Tower, one of the oldest parts of the naval town’s fortifications.

More about Steve Knightley’s ‘All at Sea’ tour