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Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
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Topic Newsletter Archive

TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD

At Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ

Newsletter No. 158 - July 2015

Hello all,

A packed month in prospect with some top-class acts for your delectation and delight. Take a look at this:

2nd July:  Roger Sutcliffe
This is Roger’s 52nd year of playing at the Topic: there is very little we can say about him that his army of admirers don’t already know. But for any newcomers to the world of acoustic music Roger stands on his own as ragtime picker extraordinaire, blues supremo, and singer of songs of those genres. There are invariably a number of guitarists in his audience who have learned their craft first hand from Roger, so whether you pick, play or just listen, get down early for another packed night. 6/5

9th July: Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar
Another welcome return for these two-time BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar. Soon after the meeting and joining together musically in 2011, the duo were signed to Fellside Records and in July 2012 released their debut album, The Queen’s Lover. Numerous tours followed as the duo developed and honed their stage craft, becoming one of the most sought after young acts on the English Folk Scene. In January 2013, the pair picked up the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award. Following the award win, Russell and Algar toured the country in April and, after completing school and University Exams in May, began touring again at the beginning of June - a schedule which saw them play venues and festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention as well as appearing live on Mark Radcliffe’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Show.

After recording their second album in the November of 2013, again with Fellside, Russell and Algar received the Horizon Award for Best breakthrough act at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The second album, The Call, was then released in July ,receiving 5 Stars in fRoots, 4 Stars in both R2 Magazine and The Telegraph and a host of other brilliant reviews, Bright Young Folk describing it as an “outstanding show of maturity” with “enormous promise”.

The duo come from musical households and both began to develop their musical skills long before joining forces. Algar, originally a member of TRI became All Ireland Champion, and All Britain Champion on numerous occasions before the age of 16 and Russell had begun a career as a solo musician supporting acts such as Karine Polwart and Lau, amongst others. 6/5

The press coverage and folk club reports have been glowing and rightly so  -  R2 Magazine.

16th July: Fake Thackray (aka John Watterson)
John Watterson, an adopted Yorkshireman, was born and grew up on the Isle of Man, which is where he first saw and met Jake Thackray in 1975. He recalls a performance which had the audience in stitches and a chat with a very modest and self deprecating Jake at the interval – ‘a huge talent who earned a standing ovation and yet was happy to have a pint at the bar and didn’t really see what the fuss was about’. On learning of Jake’s passing in 2002, John decided that the songs were too good not to be kept alive, so he set about learning more of them. With his wife’s blessing John gave up his day job to make a career out of singing Jake’s songs

A short while ago John had the huge honour of performing at a memorial evening in Monmouth (which is where Jake and his family had moved to) attended by Jake’s widow, Sheila, and two of their sons (who signed the back of his guitar – now a much treasured possession). ‘The scariest gig of my life – but such a privilege!’

John's appreciation and love of Jake Thackray's music is obvious to his audience. His performance is a celebration of the man that was Jake Thackray – his life, his work and his genius – a genius which the new age of music lovers are in danger of missing out on. John is a talented guitarist and vocalist and has that engaging quality that makes you want to listen to his performance. When you wrap these ingredients up in the songs of Jake Thackray the result is a highly entertaining, heartfelt tribute to one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century.

Earlier this year John toured the show with Fairport Convention on their 6 week nation-wide tour, and in August, he performed 20 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, earning several 4 star reviews.

Fake Thackray is in increasing demand for clubs, festivals, village halls, arts centres and theatres, as well as house concerts and after dinner engagements. ‘It is wonderful that Jake still has so many fans across the country, and the younger generation are catching on to a man who should be regarded as one of our greatest national treasures’ says John. 6/5

23rd July: Harp & A Monkey
The harp ‘n’ banjo driven electro-folk-storytelling of Martin Purdy (vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica and keyboards), Simon Jones (harp, guitar, viola) and Andy Smith (banjo, melodica, guitar and programming) is imbued with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spooky vignettes of northern life, love and remembrance.

Formed in 2008, Harp and a Monkey have been building up a loyal following via the old fashioned practice of relentless gigging and modern practice of social network sites.

Regulars on the northern festival circuit, in the past 18 months they have expanded their live outreach across the country.  The band are particularly proud of the fact that they have gained a strong reputation for building an excellent rapport with their live audiences and the fact that they have never played anywhere and not been invited back. Such is the strength of their reputation as a quality live act, they have twice been asked to perform at the Homegrown festival; the annual international showcase of the best of English folk music.

The band’s self-titled debut album received critical acclaim on its release in late 2011 and they collected excellent reviews for their contribution to the 2012 Weirdlore compilation which highlighted Britain’s most promising practitioners of alternative folk. Their second album, All Life Is Here, was released in April 2014 and again received outstanding reviews. 6/5

“undoubtedly one of the most vital and charismatic things happening in English folk music right now”- fRoots magazine.

30th July: Jacquelyn Hynes Trio
Jacquelyn Hynes is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has supported Ireland’s leading musicians including Martin Hayes, Michael McGoldrick, Mary Coughlan and Lunasa, performed with Donal Lunny and for President Mary Macaleese. She was awarded the Katherine McGillivray “Get A Life Fund” for musicians which facilitated an MA in performance at The Irish World Academy completed in 2010.

Jacquelyn will be accompanied on this tour by Steph West (harpist) and J.Eoin (singer).

Her album Silver and Wood which the tour is promoting has been receiving rave reviews.

Jacquelyn’s performances include QEH, Barbican, London Irish Centre, Irish Cultural Cntre, Haringey Irish Centre, House of Lords, Handel House, City Hall, St John Smith’s Square, Under One Sky Festival, Levellers Festival, Gollowan Festival, Ealing Jazz Festival, Ardoyne Fleadh BelfastSidmouth Folk Festival and many many more. 6/5

Full of innovation and imagination – bewitching   -  Irish Post

Lovely soulful music – Frank Hennesy, Celtic Heartbeat, BBC Radio Wales

TOPIC NEWS

The Topic was well-represented at this year's Bradford Festival, with stirring performances from Bella Gaffney, Roger Davies and Plumhall. The weather relented and a good crowd came along to appreciate the talents on display. Thanks to all concerned.

A song for the Topic

As you will know from previous newsletters, THE TOPIC SONG is a chance for fun and creativity, a cost free way of celebrating our 60th anniversary and would be a valuable shared experience for Topic members and others who patronise the club. We could include poems as well, short stories perhaps. So all you creative people out there, keep them coming.

It is our intention to have some "big names" as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations. If there is anyone you would like us to try to book please let us know. Autumn 2016 is as long way off, but bear in mind that artists get booked up a long time in advance and we will have to start making enquiries fairly soon.

Other news:

Topic stalwart John Waller has recently released his fourth CD of original songs. Entitled Memorial, it contains all the songs he has written over the past five years. Some will be familiar to regular attendees at guest nights, others maybe less so. The CD is available at 5, and can be obtained from the box office as you come in

Usual stuff

For performers who may be thinking of approaching the club for a booking, please note that the bookings organiser is Sue Gaffney, email address : sue.gaffney@btinternet.com

If you would like to become a member of the Topic Folk Club, it costs just 5.00 per year, running from 1st January. Being a member entitles you to the lower ticket prices shown in this newsletter, as well as the chance to become more involved in the workings of the club if you would like to.

If you’re visiting the club for the first time, be sure to come and say hello, and if anyone has any suggestions for the club, for example if you would like us to try to book a particular artist, we’d like to hear them.

The Topic runs on Thursdays at Glyde House, Glydegate, Little Horton Lane, BD5 0BQ  8.30pm start. (Singers & Musicians nights start at 8.15pm). Like all the clubs in the area, our aim is to provide good quality live entertainment to suit all tastes of those interested in folk music, and we thank you for your continued support.

Floor singers are always welcome, especially in the first half. Please try to get there by 8.15 pm if you’d like a slot – it helps the MC to plan the evening.

To find the Topic on Facebook search for "Topic Fc"

Tony Charnock, Topic Newsletter Editor  
Topic Folk Club

tocharn@gmail.co.uk 

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