Acoustic cafe hits the road – but it’s just a short step for Hemel Hempstead sessions

Folk artist Daria Kulesh of Kings Langley
Folk artist Daria Kulesh of Kings Langley

The popular acoustic cafe sessions introduced at Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town Hall last year have hit the road for the duration of the High Street venue’s renovation works – but fans won’t have to go far to catch the monthly music events.

They’ve just gone a hop, skip and jump away to Old Town pub the Rose & Crown, which has delighted organiser and folk artiste Daria Kulesh.

King Langley-based Daria has been overseeing the sessions since September, and is also putting together next week’s special acoustic showcase at the OTH.

She says it was vital to find a new home to build on the cafe concept’s success and make sure that audience is retained for when they are able to return to their new home in the revamped Cellar Bar at the OTH later this year.

She said: “The Acoustic Cafes in their current format would not have continued without a new temporary venue.

“To have a venue right across the road is great from the point of view of retaining the audience.

“It is also crucial that the venue is a separate function room rather than general bar or pub space as it offers a much better atmosphere and an attentive, engaged audience for the performers.”

Daria is an accomplished performer herself but rarely gets a chance to shine at the cafe nights, such is the demand for slots.

She said: “I hardly perform myself as my priority is giving other people a chance – I have plenty of other performance opportunities, both solo and with my band Kara.”

The first session at the Rose & Crown is tomorrow, Thursday, from 7.30pm until late and there are also cafe nights planned on February 20, March 20 and April 24.

After that, if the work goes to schedule, it will be time to return to the Old Town Hall and the new Cellar Bar showcase.