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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD

NEWSLETTER No 25 February 2004

Greetings

A good, packed eclectic Topic programme for February. Some great Headline Guests, and also some interesting Featured Support acts. Fuller details of all acts via the website.

Feb 5

Phil Hare
. Phil is one of the finest and most distinctive acoustic guitarists working on the current British folk music circuit. He provides a combination of his own finely-crafted and often socially aware chorus-based songs, with a rich, husky voice, a humorous line in stage banter, and some of the best guitar playing you are likely to hear anywhere. Over the years, Phil has worked on stage and in the studio with a veritable who's who of traditional and contemporary folk and acoustic music: including Jake Thackeray, John Kirkpatrick, The Spinners, Tom McConville, Chris Newman, Jon Harvison, Vin Garbutt, and Joe Broughton. Obviously a Hunting theme night, as ...

Featured support for Phil is York-based Susie Fox. Susie plays 6/12 string guitars, clarinet, recorders and bodhran; and sings a variety of traditional songs plus her own traditional-style compositions and arrangements. She has a love of medieval music, and has taught classical music for over 30 years. (Hunting ... Hare and Fox ... Geddit????)

Feb 12

Grace Notes.
Maggie Boyle (flute and bodhran), Lynda Hardcastle (recorder), and Helen Hockenhull (keyboards, lap organ) all well-established individual musicians in their own right. Together they combine their instruments and (especially) voices in acapella and accompanied arrangements of traditional and contemporary songs in three-part harmony. They started performing in 1993 and have produced three albums to date. This will be a good night.

Featured support tonight is Dave Speight. Dave started playing blues back in the mid 60s after sitting at the feet of Rev Gary Davis whilst he (RGD) smoked all his (DS's) cigarettes. His biggest influence has been Big Bill Broonzy. He has shared the stage with notables such as Juke Boy Bonner, Steve Phillips, Brendan Croker and (many years ago) Mark Knopfler. Dave has been playing gigs in Yorkshire since 1965-6, and last played the Topic sometime in the Eighties, in the Star years.

Feb 19

Geoff Higginbottom.
A Topic regular: he of the big booming voice, the guitar and the bodhran; and the wealth of chorus songs from his native north-west. These include social history songs of the weaving trade and industrialisation, and the infamous Peterloo massacre. But there is also a nautical side to his repertoire: he is one of the three members of Three Sheets to the Wind, who specialise in shanties and marine song, and whose other members (Derek Gifford and John Conolly) are also booked this quarter.

Featured support for Geoff is Bruce Baillie. Bruce has been performing in clubs, pubs and festivals for 30 years, and was a resident singer at the Topic in the 70's, playing in a duo with Martin Allcock (who went on to Fairport Convention et al). Since then he‚s played with various bands, but is now mostly solo. He performs an eclectic mix of songs, and monologues; contemporary and traditional, accompanied and not, including his own material. He plays Guitar, Harmonica, Mandola and Mandolin. If his demo CD is anything to go by, he is bound to entertain and amuse ...

Feb 26 Singers and Musicians: Theme: The countryside, agriculture, cows . .

AND ONWARDS

March 4 Barry Smith and Tom Stupple. Barry writes his own material, and plays guitar, flute and whistle. Tom provides very interesting accompaniment. Support slot available.

March 11 John Conolly. The real writer of Fiddler's Green. Plays guitar, whistles and squeezebox, and sings songs of Lincolnshire. Plus Dave Kidman, local singer of (mostly) traditional songs.

March 18 Steve and Kristi Nebel. A powerhouse duo / peace activists from the USA on tour, performing their own material on guitar and bass. Don't Miss. Support slot available.

March 25 Singers and Musicians. Theme: Colours: reds, yellows, greens, browns, pinks, blacks

April 1 Mundy-Turner. Anglo-Australian duo: our biggest booking of the year. Guitar, violin, harmony and powerful lyrics. Plus Shaun T Hunter, a spirited young singer/songwriter.

April 8 Keith Kendrick. Good traditional material with voice and squeezebox. Completing the three-sheets-to-the wind trilogy of Gifford and Higginbottom. Support slot available

April 15 Singers and Musicians. Theme: happy, uplifting, or cheerful songs. There must be some.

April 22 Duncan McFarlane. A welcome return for this energetic, enthusiastic and distinctive guitarist and singer/songwriter in the traditional idiom. Support slot available

April 29 Roy Bailey. Performer and activist for over 30 years. The Master. Support slot available

FEATURED SUPPORT You'll notice we do still have some Featured Support (FS) slots available in March and April. The FS idea has been very successful; and for a year now very few guest nights have passed without someone taking the opportunity to play two floor spot sets in exchange for 10 expenses. Especially pleasing is the fact that seven of the FS acts booked in 2004 are new to the Topic (or long-term returnees!) Preference will be given to those performers we don't often see; but if you'd like a little of the limelight, and you have the ability to sustain a performance for two 15-minute slots, let me know.

AND WHAT YOU MISSED: Despite the weather, we had a good turnout for the Scottish evening. Particular thanks to Gloria Dallas for providing us all with a serving of steaming hot Haggis, and Joy Leach for Tartan Shortbread. And to Ian Hill for actually knowing some real Scottish songs.

See you all some Thursday at the Melborn 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.

John Waller
Topic Newsletter Editor
j
ohn@john-waller.co.uk
Topic Newsletter No 25 - February 2004

Website: www.topic-folk-club.org.uk
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