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Topic Newsletter Archive

Tuesday April 30th 2002

THE TOPIC FOLK CLUB INFORMAL NEWSLETTER No 6

Greetings one and all.

FIRST, NEWS OF WHAT'S COMING UP

With apologies for the fact that it is late Tuesday, and Thursday May 2 is almost upon us, here is a quick reminder:

May 2 - Kenny Spiers and Joe Wright. Soft, lilting songs from the Borders, that lovely bit of country between Northumberland and the Edinburgh/Glasgow conurbation. That is, if Kenny intends to do a similar set to the last time he came. One-time self-effacing member of the John Wright Band, Kenny comes into his own when appearing solo - or in this case, when accompanied by the fiddle of Joe Wright (no relation?).

May 9 - The Big One. Banoffi. If you've seen them before, they need no further introduction. If you haven't, be prepared for an evening of off-beat, rhythmic, superbly crafted and yet highly original music in a variety of styles. There is the east European influence, some Irish, and much that can only be Whitby. Already enough expressions of intent to fill the hall, so get down early if you want a good seat. Which is worth it for Dave's improbable lyrics, Ian's exquisite pipework, and Tim's loyal and enthusiastic guitar support, with optional but probably inevitable Masterclass in string-changing.

May 16 - Bernard Carney from Australia. Brilliant. Whatever the joke, he is one step ahead of you. Much loved on the Australian circuit as an after-dinner performer to professional gatherings, where he can always come up with a song relevant to the profession concerned; and yet which still has universal appeal (ie, he'll do a song about obstetrics if his last booking was the Annual Conference of Obstetricians - and you'll find it funny!)

May 23 - Kate Howden and Paul; Jones. Serious guitar and voice duo, their guitar lines neatly interweaving. They will repay careful listening after the rather more exuberant offerings in the two previous weeks.

May 30 - Lester Simpson, one third of Coope, Boyes and Simpson. A co-presenter of BBC Radio Derby's Folk Show, which is regrettably just out of my radio's range. A songwriter of passion and conviction, and very good at that.

This evening is also to witness the second in our series of Featured Support slots: Emily and Ben. They write:

Emily Weygang and Ben Harker are based in York and perform traditional, self-written and contemporary songs with voice, guitar, fiddle and whistles. Over the past eighteen months they have consolidated a strong reputation in the region with bookings including Ripon, Harrogate and Hemingbrough folk clubs and the Cleckheaton festival. Winners of the Winston Chipchase Trophy at Durham 2001, they have recently been invited to appear in the "Promising New Voices" concert at the prestigious "Both Sides of the Tweed" festival, Innerleithen. In August they will be recording their debut CD at Alistair Russell's Glade Studios

June 6 - Singers ands Musicians - I'll think of a theme in time for the next newsletter.

June 13 - Damian Barber

June 20 - Visit from Friday 13 Folk Club.

Coming in the foreseeable future: Roger Sutcliffe, Slide (Tom Bliss's band), Pete Castle, Keiran Halpin, Duncan McFarlane . . . these are just from the top of my head. Wash this space.

AND WHAT YOU'VE MISSED

Actually, what with being in China buying cheap green guitars, I missed Solan and Ken Nicol myself. But we had what turned into a very enjoyable Singers' and Musicians' night on 25 April, where the official "theme" of Traditional Hey Nonny Nonny songs was given a special twist by David Robey's insistence on celebrating St George's Day (which it nearly was) with a string of songs about Dragons. This particular night attracted a larger than usual contingent of people just down to listen Probably people who didn't know the Topic existed on till they arrived, but stayed anyway.

Cue to remind everyone that you don't have to perform to come on Singer's Nights. The democratic nature of these evenings means the quality is less predictable, but can be surprising. It was at such evenings that we have been introduced to Hamish Currie, Duncan McFarlane, Emily and Ben, Tom Bliss . . . all of whom have already or soon will grace our stage in a more professional capacity.

You may also have missed the opportunity to buy Chris Ellis' CD, on the grounds that when he came to perform last month, he forgot to bring any off-sales. I am sure he won't mind anyone who enjoyed his performance and who wants to make good any holes in their CD collection contacting him by email on chris.plainsong@virgin.net . His "Tread Softly" CD is well worth a listen, and another is being planned.

See you all soon!

John Waller

Topic Informal Newsletter

j.waller@bradford.ac.uk

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