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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC NEWSLETTER 49 - February 2006

Greetings! An interesting February ahead: and more news of the new venue!

How's the Move to the C ock and Bottle going then?

It's nice to know how many people out there care. And the answer is: pretty well. Audience figures are notoriously difficult to predict, but my impression is that they are at least 50% up on what we might have expected the equivalent concerts to have attracted to the Melborn. Of course, having Scarlet Heights make a guest appearance on our first guest night, and with Achord coming en masse to perform an extended floor spot at the second, and then half Skipton Folk Club coming to support Kath Reade at the third, perhaps it is just a sequence of co-incidences and special events. And I read in my newspapers that Folk Music is experiencing something of a revival, so perhaps it is a National Trend.

On a practical level we have (so far) managed to seat everyone, no-one has complained of poor acoustics, visibility or parking, and there have been positive comments about beer prices. As well as an absence of any security or noise-leakage issues. For those maudlin about the Melborn, you'll be pleased to hear that the old piano has made the journey across town, and now doubles as the artists' CD display and shop. And the old door into the Melborn music room is coming too. The music has been good too. And varied: who'd have expected demonstrations of Breton dance steps?

Which leads neatly to the upcoming programme

Feb 02 Tom Napper Tom Bliss
A remarkable, talented, multi-instrumental, friendly, self-effacing and entertaining duo. Two excellent musicians in their own right: Bliss with his superbly crafted and thoughtful songs, and Napper with his ability to play anything with strings (and probably without strings) in the Irish tradition. Together they are something else. Joining them as Featured Support will be Ian Hill, a regular on the local circuit ,with a mix of Scottish, Irish and international material, and several instruments.

Feb 09 Singers and Musicians.
There is a theme: Scottish and Irish songs, to celebrate the (just past) Burns Night; and the forthcoming St Patrick's Day. But the theme is just a suggestion, entirely optional. Come and sing (or play) whatever you want.

Feb 16 William Pint and Felicia Dale.
This pair comes highly recommended by Artisan-member Jacey Bedford. Though originating from the USA, and currently on tour in the UK, they specialise in interpretations of British and French (mostly) maritime music. "Music and Myth from the sea, unconventional and spine-tingling". That‚s what it says on their website, anyway. Come and judge for yourself. Joining them as Featured Support will be Pedigree Chums, four friends from the Burnley/Skipton area: who provide varied fare, but predominantly traditional unaccompanied vocal harmony, with lots of choruses.

Feb 23 Roy Bailey.
If the above acts haven't challenged our capacity, Roy might. He needs no introduction really, as one of the stalwarts of the folk scene for probably 40 years. He is the interpreter incarnate of (mostly contemporary) folk songs with a real message: of working class solidarity, of protest, of meaning. A droll line in delivery too. Joining him as Featured Support will be one of our own: Simon Alexander, recently returned to performance after a long break. Expect fine guitar work and mainly traditional songs, but with quite a few of his own compositions slipped in.

In March:
2nd Anne Lister, singer songwriter and storyteller with Celtic and Saxon myth. FS will be from FYRISH, a Scots duo recently moved south: songs, guitar and cello.

9th Stanley Accrington, one-man madcap entertainer with up-to-the-minute satire, anagrams, props and weasels.

23rd Judy Cook, unaccompanied singer on tour from the USA, offering a programme of traditional ballads and songs. FS from Alan Hill, an original songwriter from Cowling.

30th Julie Ellison, superb guitarist, original songwriter, breathtaking stuff. FS, all the way from Canada, will come from folk-fusion duo Danyluk and Card.

In April:
6th Cordner and Rudolf,
20th D/H Emily and Ben, with Tim Moon:
27th Steve Ashley

In May:
4th John Conolly,
18th Bernard Carney,
25th Pete Abbott

In June:
1st Pete Smith / John Buckley,
15th CrossCurrent
22nd Robin Laing
29th Roger Sutcliffe

In July:
6th Alistair Russell

There'll be more on these acts in due course. Or research them yourself via our excellent Website, which is not only updated weekly, but is ever-expanding in terms of links to guests past and future, photo-galleries of the pub and performers, and helpful guides and factsheets. Some of these features are up and running already, others are due any minute.

See you all some Thursday at the C ock and Bottle at one of the above events. 8.30 start. Be there by 8.30 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. The C ock and Bottle is a seriously serious Real Ale pub.

John Waller
Topic Newsletter Editor
john@john-waller.co.uk

Topic Newsletter No 49 February 2006

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