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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD

NEWSLETTER No 29 - May 2004

Greetings And welcome to a May programme full of interest and variety. Fuller details of all acts are, as always, available via the website. Do log on and get the full info.

May 13 Tom McConville. Legendary Northumbrian fiddler and singer, often (though not tonight) seen in the company of Northumbrian Pipes player Pauline Cato. Tom is one of the nicest and most genuine performers on the current circuit. His playing is absolutely top-drawer, his voice mellow and expressive, and his wit dry and self-effacing. Small wonder that as well as a much-in-demand solo performer, he is one of the most sought-after musicians to provide variety and counterpoint to others' recording work. And he provides one of the most haunting interpretations of Beeswing you'll ever hear.

Featured support tonight will be the inestimable Tony Taffinder, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandola, bouzouki, whistles, acoustic bass to name but some) who is no stranger to our boards. In recent years he's been seen with Bernie Parry, with Howden and Jones; with Bruce Baillie, and even sat in our audience. Now is a good chance to see him solo.

May 20 Pete Smith and John Buckley. Come all ye finger style guitarists, and have a masterclass. Pete and John have long individual careers as musicians in a variety of roles, but have only been playing together since 1999. They have played most of the big venues (Olympia, Donnington Park) but claim to prefer the small, intimate venues (such as, we hope, our own). Reviews are peppered with words like "outstanding guitarists", "tapestries of sound", "pure joy to hear, they really are good". They offer a mixture of folk, jazz, ragtime; and apparently, a humorous line in patter.

No featured support booked as we go to press, so let's have plenty of floor singers!

May 27 Kevin Dempsey and Joe Broughton. Another relatively recent pairing (2000) who have found a common thread in their music. Kevin is a guitarist and singer who has been involved in numerous bands, and also acts as a producer. Joe is a classically-trained violin player, but with a style that owes more to jazz, folk and blues, and which is delivered with "mind-blowing energy". Also a one-time member of the Albion Band, and a circus performer. This is going to be fun.

Featured support comes from Hannah and Clair. This Otley duo play combinations of guitar, violin and flute; and both sing too. They have already performed support for Duncan McFarlane and the Hall Brothers; at venues such as Robin Hood's Bay, Otley Folk Festival, Harrogate - and now the Topic. Among their influences they cite Fairport, Albion, Kate Rusby and, er, Joe Broughton. Oh, and they are both still just 18.

June 3 Singers and Musicians. With the theme of Moons, Junes, Loons and Apollo 11 (it's the 35th anniversary of the first moon landing). Make of that what you will.

AND ONWARDS

June 10 Jon Harvison. He of the big voice, enthusiastic guitar and a good collection of largely self-penned songs. Always a Topic favourite. Plus Karl Dallas, performer and activist.

June 17 Wench All. Female vocal harmony, with an eclectic mix of songs both traditional and modern, serious and humorous. Plus Loose Covers, a five-piece band with vocals.

June 24 Banoffi. Great to have them back with their highly original compositions and songs, with instrumental and pipe work to die for. Plus Tony Morris, performance poet.

July 1 Roger Sutcliffe making his 40th consecutive early-July appearance at the Topic. The Blues, like you‚ve heard them 39 times before. Plus Ray Padgett, songs and squeezebox.

July 8 Touchwood. All the way from Australia just for you. Eclectic a capella, with a nice line in Medieval music, and perhaps some lute. Plus Codarajo, the Topic's resident band.

July 15 Hamish Currie. Another appearance from this likeable singer and guitarist from the home counties. Plus Janet Wood, singer/songwriter/guitarist returning to the club scene. Come and celebrate ten years of the Topic at the Melborn!

July 22 Stony. Songwriting duo with guitar, keyboards and harmonies. One of the hottest acts on the circuit (it says). Plus Karen and Colin Thompson, traditional songs, classical guitar.

July 29 Chris Manners (accomplished singer/songwriter) and Fountainhead (exciting young and original duo). The first of what we hope will be several Double Header evenings.

NEWS Featured Support

Featured Support slots continue to be a popular part of our programme. Between now and the end of July, we will have the opportunity to see/hear at least six acts who otherwise might not come to or perform at the Topic at all. Do make an effort to come to see Hannah and Clair on 27 May, for example: two Otley teenagers with the potential to go far.

NEWS - History

This Newsletter bangs on about the Topic Website whenever it can: and quite right too: it is an excellent and growing resource. The History page, for example, is growing apace wit an article originally written for the 25th anniversary. Now thanks to former Club Secretary Trevor Charnock, working with web-designer Nicholas Waller, we now have a virtually complete list of all Topic Headline guests since 1970. If you used to comeback then, have a look, and relive those old memories. Some guests then are still going now, of course!

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
john@john-waller.co.uk
Topic Newsletter No 29 May 2004

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