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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD

NEWSLETTER No 36 December 2004

Greetings and a brief introduction to the forthcoming month's goodies:

Greetings: here's what you can expect over the forthcoming Festive Season:  


Dec 2   Ruth Price and Sadie Greenwood.         Two sisters specialising in close harmony work, mostly traditional and unaccompanied, from a repertoire that stems from their personal family tradition, from West Yorkshire, and from the continent of north America (Ruth was born in Canada).  Plus the odd bit of contemporary song; and some concertina accompaniment when it suits them.  Family tradition?  Father Bill (Price) from Dewsbury was active on the Folk scene in the 70s, writing many songs to which their mother Wendy provided the tunes. A nice evening in prospect.

Dec 9   Vin Garbutt.    Who? Oh, him.  Don't expect me to write anything sensible about Vin unlikely we'll get anything sensible from him on the night either. He doesn't do Mr Sensible  though that isn't to say that many of his songs don't have considerable point.  One of the Topic's longest-standing and most popular regulars.  Still some tickets available as I write this, but they are being allocated fast.  8 (7 members).  Reply to this sharpish if you want any reserving.          

No featured support on Vin Nights, but we will be having some top quality floor support from bluesman Dave Speight and singer/songwriter Susie Fox.  These two have been booked to appear together as a Double Header on 20 January; so check them out early.  

Dec 16  Scold's Bridle.        More female harmony, and more instruments.  [But Help!  Their website is down as I try to compose this  the modern publicist's lifeline cut away!  And since they share their name with a book by Minette Walters, even Google won't help!]  Their repertoire includes a mix of traditional and contemporary songs, with a particular interest in and connection with the Fleetwood fishing industry: their CD We are the women left on the shore explores the experiences of the families of British fishermen.    

A Scold's Bridle is (as any fule noe) a  "brydle for a curste queane" (or Scold, or Gossip). It was a shocking instrument, a sort of iron cage, often of great weight; when worn, covering the entire head; with a spiked or flat tongue of iron to be placed in the mouth over the tongue. Hence if the offender spoke she was cruelly hurt..  You learn things from this Newsletter.

Dec 23  The Durbervilles.       Your actual original feel-good band: brassy, noisy, cheerful and brimming with musical talent.  They came this time last year, and gave a great performance precisely suited to the season.  Usually a five-piece, it is not absolutely clear as we go to press how many will actually make it ‚ but it won't matter, that's the sort of band they are.    

The occasion will as always be violently interrupted by the organised chaos of the Holbeck Mummers with a timeless tirade of traditional theatrical buffoonery and collection bucket.    Plus the usual sandwiches and nibbles. Come and celebrate the end of the working year in style  and then go off and enjoy a cool Yule.         

AND ONWARDS: (More in the next Newsletter).   Or via the website

December 30     Singers and Musicians: Theme:  Out with the Old.
January 6       Singers and Musicians: Theme: In with the New
January 13      
Joe Stead's Paul Robeson Lecture   A bit of a new departure, but it's excellent!
January 20      
Susie Fox and Dave Speight    Two quality artists taking it in turns.
January 27      
Tom Napper Tom Bliss   Two quality artists playing together. Featured Support:  Birkenschawe

More on all these acts nearer the time  or right now, if you want to access the Topic Website!
AGM

POINTS FROM THE AGM

Finance - always good to know the Topic remains solvent, and even managed to turn a small surplus.  At just over 4,000 turnover, ours is not a large operation.  We are largely a money-in money-out operation, with doortake (3,200) going to the Main Guest, Raffletake going largely to the Featured Support and Membership paying for our advertisement in Tykes' News.                 

Bookings  - the bookings committee of John Waller and Rahel Guzelian has so far booked through to September 2005 with the usual varied and exciting programme, including some Big Names such as Artisan, Bob Fox, Jez Lowe, the John Wright Band, as well as some surprises; various international artists on tour; and plenty of our own local favourites.  In addition, there are five evenings of Double Headers (two acts for the price of one); and a sprinkling of singarounds.         

Marketing  - there was the usual debate about marketing, of which this Newsletter is one of the major tools.  Another is, of course, the Tykes News-style handbills.  Getting these out to where folk-minded people will see them is essential, and if you can help distribute these, let us know by return with a postal address, and we'll add you to the list to receive 10-20 handbills each quarter for you to put in Libraries, your place of work, shop windows anywhere appropriate.         

2006  - Our 50th Anniversary is coming up apace (November 2006) and we need to decide how to celebrate, in an appropriate manner, but without losing buckets of money (as unfortunately happened with the 40th). An anniversary Committee of Finola Hingston and Ian Gobbi has agreed to take on the organisation of whatever  current favourite is a mass singers and musicians event where we would hope some of the artists we have booked over the years would attend for a minimal fee (or less) to show their gratitude to the generations of Club Organisers who have provided them with their platforms.

Well, we can only ask.  Any or all suggestions for how we should mark the 50th should be sent to Ian Gobbi, on ian.gobbi1@btopenworld.com - (that's Ian.Gobbi ‚ ONE, not ell) who promises to acknowledge them all, though probably not immediately.         

Swarbaid   - there was a collection to aid the ailing Dave Swarbrick, which the club made up to a suitable figure and it has been sent off to him.  All support for the Swarbaid gigs (see last Newsletter and subsequent correction issue) will be much appreciated.

See you all some Thursday at the Melborn (a real ale pub) at one of the above events.  8.30 start.  Be there by then if you want to perform a floor spot, which are still available every night even where there is a Featured Support artist booked.  No smoking in the club room.
                                                                                       
John Waller     
Topic Newsletter Editor

john@john-waller.co.uk          
www.topic-folk-club.org.uk
Topic Newsletter No 36  
December  2004

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