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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD

Topic Newsletter No 81 Oct 2008

Greetings:  and with the nights drawing in, how appropriate to look forward to the warm comfort of a folk evening; especially with the Guest Artists we have lined up.

09 Oct       The Amazing Mr Smith (Oct 09).    This will be an evening of surprise and hilarity.  The Amazing performs a routine of musical humour: with a bewildering array of musical props and implausible instruments made from all sorts.  But this is not just stand up slapstick musical hall (though there is some of that); there is real musical ability underpinning the zaniness of (for example) “duelling banjos” played on two conjoined instruments in opposition.    Be prepared to conjoin in and/or help out ....  Only 4 / 5 entry.

16 Oct       Kirsty McGee and Mat Martin (16 Oct).   Some may remember this duo’s previous Topic appearance just over three years ago, back in the Melborn years.    Kirsty is an understated songwriter of real depth and quality, having picked up a variety of awards, and appearing alongside the likes of Suzanne Vega.  Though brought up very much in the British tradition, she has always been influenced by American music; and her latest album has been recorded in the States.  She is accompanied by classically-trained violinist Mat, who mostly now plays fretted instruments; and who is a noted composer in his own right.  This will be a great opportunity to see at close quarters an act that can command far bigger auditoria than ours.   5 / 6 to come in.

23 Oct       Singers and Musicians (Oct 23).   Brought forward from the first Thursday in November as Celtish have had to be rescheduled from their original December date.   But making music for ourselves as partly what clubs like us are about.  So do come; to play, to sing, to listen, or just to sample the beer and craic.    Free: plus enigmatic raffle.

30 Oct       Bryony (Oct 30).   A female trio, mostly of harmony singing, but with harps, dulcimers, recorders and percussion too.   Bryony were regular visitors to the Topic way back (last coming in 1986) until families and geography made regular performance impossible.   It is still difficult, and restricted to half-term windows: but our three protagonists have found it well worth re-forming.  Voices have mellowed and matured (like the best cheese and wine), but the old magic is still there; and has resulted in a new album of traditional and contemporary songs.  It’ll be great to see them again.  5 / 6.

06 Nov       Celtish (Nov 06).   A big night, with a big band from mid-Wales.  Celtish are a five-piece outfit, featuring mandola, mandolin, harp, fiddle and flute; all fronted by the powerful voice and presence of songwriter Gwyneth Keen.   Though a powerful line-up, the sound is rich and controlled, with Gwyneth’s voice at once atmospheric, feisty, soft-edged, and emotive: equally at home with quiet, intimate songs and full-volume numbers.  The songs cover traditional themes: the closure of (Welsh) mines, to the pains of love, loss and parting; and several are sung predominantly in Welsh (sometimes with a whispered, haunting English simultaneous translation).    Another great night, making full use of our larger auditorium.   5 / 6 again.

13 Nov       Mark Newman (Nov 13).   Anyone who has seen Mark before will know of his mesmeric ability on the fretboard: effortless light fingers to delightful effect.  And he sings too.  FS from Lazy Dazy: Dave Speight and Sue Strange: bluesy-based harmony vocals.

And Onwards

17 Nov             AGM (members only).  Monday, 8.00pm.  See below.

20 Nov             Triban: Welsh instrumental and vocal trio (including harp)

27 Nov             Tich Frier: Scotland-based singer and entertainer

03 December  Singers and Musicians – all nationalities welcome

11 Dec            Tom Bliss: English songwriter and story-teller extraordinaire

17 Dec            Scarlet Heights: the original duo:  the best Irish-style three-member duo in all Bradford.  Note, that this is a WEDNESDAY NIGHT gig.

25 Dec            Closed, on account of immovable nationwide festivities.  1 Jan also.

08 Jan             David Ferrard:  singer/songwriter in the protest tradition

AGM    - being a formally-constituted club with membership, elected Committee and so on, we have an annual AGM at which the Accounts are presented and approved, a new Committee appointed to guide the Club’s affairs over the next year, and general debates are held about marketing, publicity and other matters affecting the sort of club we are.  This is only for those who have paid their membership fee in the past 12 months.  Any member wishing to give advance notice of any issue they wish to raise, or who wish to stand for the Committee, is invited to send details to the Secretary Rahel Guzelian, at rahel@blueyonder.co.uk

See you all some Thursday at the BRADFORD IRI.SH CLUB.   8.30 start.  Floor singers always welcome, especially in the first half: get down low, prompt and early if you’d like a slot.  Longer Featured Support slots may be available, primarily for acts or drapers we don’t yet know who’d like to showcase their material.  But please contact rahel@blueyonder.co.uk, not me.

John Waller   
Topic Newsletter Editor  
Topic Newsletter No 81 Oct 2008

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