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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC Newsletter 77, May 2008

Greetings:  and a warm welcome to summer, and a brilliant line-up this month at the Topic: 

8 May        Fil Campbell
(Northern) Irish singer of jazz, folk, and traditional songs, accompanied by guitar and flute and (probably) her percussionist spouse.    Fil has been a regular performer on the UK, Irish and European circuits for over a decade, bringing her own interpretation of the songs she grew up with.   She has been as much involved with the media side of folk song, presenting BBC Radio Ulster’s weekly “Folk Club” programme, and producing/performing in a 6-part TV Documentary about the lives and times of the Irish female singers who originally sang these well-known songs.  This promises to be a wonderful Irish night to celebrate our new location.  5 / 6 to come in: MC Simon Alexander.

15 May      Cockersdale
A very special group singing a capella harmony.   Originally formed by the songwriter Keith Marsden primarily to sing the songs he wrote, they soon became a major force on the UK circuit.  Following Keith’s untimely death, the group re-formed as a trio, and while continuing to sing many of the songs that Keith wrote and made famous, their repertoire is now considerably wider.  This will be a thoroughly professional evening of songs that embody the tradition of folk song as a historical record of the ordinary people.  [With financial support from the now-discontinued Arts Council Musicians in Residence Scheme.]  Featured Support comes from Desi Friel, an engaging performer from an Irish traditional musical background, whose self-penned material takes a wry look at the world through sympathetic eyes.   5 / 6 to come in: MC Tony Levy.

22 May      Ember
Two energetic, exciting and humorous performers who have made an enormous impression on the folk scene.   Now based in Wales, in fact this is a Welsh/US pairing, with (Welsh) Emily’s voice and violin harmonising effortlessly with Rebecca’s voice and harmonica: with both also playing (very different) guitars.  Their material is mostly their own; but sits fair and square inside the tradition of song exploring human emotions, the city/countryside dichotomy, and contemporary issues.  Expect a performance that engages fully with the audience: hecklers, apparently, welcome.  We are not generally a noisy lot at the Topic: but let’s give it a go.    Featured Support comes from a local duo; known as the Tuppenny Ceilidh Band; or otherwise Helen and Richard, who used to run the Packhorse Club in Leeds and are regulars at the Chemic.   Not only are some of their songs original (others traditional), but Richard even makes his own instruments, so there.   5 / 6 entry: MC Ian Gobbi.

29 May      A Double Header evening
Kate Bramley graced our stage a few weeks back with a Featured Support slot.  She is an experienced performer, singer, songwriter and violinist in her own right: but is perhaps equally well-known as a long-standing member of Jez Lowe’s Bad Pennies.    It will be great to see her performing a longer set.  Pamela Ward and Paul Cherrington are an equally experienced duo, performing (again) largely self-written songs in the traditional idiom; many taking the form of reminiscences and stories from Pamela’s home town of Sheffield.  As well as performing on the folk circuit, Pamela and Paul are involved with the self-explanatory charity “Music in Hospitals”.  4 / 5 to come in: MC Neil Etherington

 

AND ONWARDS (as it stands at present)

June 5             Singers and Musicians

June 12           Soundsphere                        Four-piece eclectic female harmony from York

June 19           John Conolly             The sea, the sands, boats, fish and Fiddler’s Green

June 26           Singers and Musicians

July 3               Roger Sutcliffe         Blues guitar and songs from the old stager  

July 10             Ruth Notman             Amazing youthful voice and new talent

July 17             The Hall Brothers + John Carey    Quality and humour   

July 24             Triple Whammy:  Ed McGurk / Mixing up the Medicine / Friendly Visit

July 31             Eddy O’Dwyer with special guest Tony Levy

August             Singers and Musicians throughout

Sept 4              Roger Davies

Sept 11            Bandersnatch

Sept 18            Heather Dale

Sept 25            Double Header:  Notts Alliance / Ylem

Oct 2               Singers and Musicians

Oct 9               The Amazing Mr Smith

Oct 16             Kirsty McGhee and Mat Martin

Oct 23             tbc

Oct 30             Bryony

There’ll be another newsletter along before the end of May, let alone all this superb September and October stuff

[If you don’t want to receive this Newsletter any more, do just let me know by return].

See you all some Thursday at the BRADFORD I.RISH CLUB.   8.30 start.  Floor singers always welcome, especially in the first half: get down prompt and early if you’d like a slot.  Some Featured Support slots available in June and July, primarily for acts we don’t yet know who’d like to showcase their material

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

Topic Newsletter No 77 May 2008

 

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