YM 25th Anniversary

This just in from Young Miscellany:
YM 25th Anniversary
On Saturday 20th May, Young Miscellany are celebrating their 25th anniversary and we are marking the occasion with a day of dance in Harpenden when we will be joined by Gig Magog Molly, Hemlock Morris and Chiltern Hundreds who will all be performing in the town centre throughout the day. The event will include a maypole dancing display and the chance for younger members of the public to participate.

Young Miscellany is a children’s folk dancing group based in Harpenden who have been enabling children and young people to perform traditional English folk dancing for 25 years. They are regular performers at the annual “Folk by the Oak Festival” and have performed at Cecil Sharpe House, the spiritual home of English Folk Dance and Song. YM have performed all over England and abroad, and have received many plaudits from people keen to see English dancing traditions continued.

Our aim has always been to provide a safe but fun environment in which young people ( 6 to 18) can learn about England’s many different styles of traditional dance, including Cotswold, Northwest, Molly, Rapper, Border, Broom, Country/Playford, Step Clog and Maypole, all to the accompaniment of live music performed by a band consisting mainly of parents, but also  some children. The benefits to our young members are huge and include: learning to work as a team; increased fitness and physical co-ordination, and helping develop confidence by performing in front of live audiences. Many of our ex members have gone on to enjoy traditional folk dancing into their adulthood.

We are always looking for new members. If any Unicorn readers know of anyone between the ages of 6 and 18 who would like to find out more, they would be welcome to one of our sessions  free of charge to have a look and/or  participate with no obligation. For more details, please contact us via Facebook, e-mail joefrench99@hotmail.com or phone/text 07961 853717. Our sessions usually happen on the morning of the first and third Sundays of the month in Harpenden.

We would be willing to be interviewed about this event, our activities as a group, and Morris dancing in general, which is often wrongly viewed as an activity that only older people perform!

You can contact me (Joe French, YM’s Musical director) on this email address: joefrench99@hotmail.com, or on my mobile: 07961 853717. I also would be able to arrange an interview with one of our young members, parents and/or our leader, Lynda Swaine.

Here is our website:

You can also find Young Miscellany on Facebook

I look forward to hearing whether I can provide any further help or information to help you cover this positive and inspiring story on your doorstep!

Yours faithfully

Joe French
Musical Director
Young Miscellany

Haddenham Ceilidhs, June 3rd at Haddenham Village Hall

This just in from Haddenham Ceilidhs:

The next event organised by Haddenham Ceilidhs  is  Saturday evening, June 3rd at Haddenham Village Hall. This is the last one of the current season and as you are already  aware, there will only be  one further event after this in December. So only 2 more chances to enjoy  yourself at Haddenham Ceilidhs!

For our Ceilidh in the Main Hall, dancing starts at 8 pm –  Music provided by  The Oxford Nags, Nick Walden will call the dances and Hammersmith Morrismen will give a dance display.

The Oxford Nags is a new “all star” four piece ceilidh band based around Oxfordshire and a bit of Hampshire. They play stonking English tunes for stonking English dance. With a line up of Nina Hansell on fiddle, Sandy Shallis on Melodeon, Andy Turner on anglo concertina and Gareth Kiddier on piano.There will be a short dance display from Hammersmith Morrismen. Kitted out in blue and gold and cutting a dash on the streets and off, Hammersmith Morris Men, known for their lively and engaging style, continue to thrill and entertain audiences around the country.

In the Walter Rose room, our compere Kitty Vernon will start the proceedings just after 8.30pm and will introduce Dave Burland and one of last year’s New Roots finalists, Anna Mullens and Beth Gifford.
Dave Burland is one of the most well-respected and long-established performers on the folk scene. His apparently effortless singing and guitar playing gained widespread acclaim 40 years ago when his first album, A Dalesman’s Litany, was voted Melody Maker Folk Album of the Year. Nic Jones summed up Dave Burland perfectly when he said: “He’s a uniquely calm, gentle and clever singer who makes you feel it’s all so amazingly simple.” He’s also been described as the Frank Sinatra of traditional folk music. And he’s also got a deliciously wicked sense of humour.
Anna Mullens  and Beth Gifford perform traditional and original material creating a fresh and original sound with violins,voice and viola.
Doors open 7.15pm, dancing starts at 8pm. An admission charge of £12, lets you dance or enjoy the concert or perhaps a bit of both! We rarely put up “House Full” signs – it is a large venue but if you are concerned about gaining admission on the evening, just e-mail or telephone and we will reserve tickets for you on the door.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone or any other groups you feel may be interested.

For more information, contact John on Tel. 07717 047039
e-mail: john@actionfolk.co.uk Website: www.haddenhamceilidhs.co.uk

Details of our programme up to June 2017 are available on our website.

John Heydon

St Albans Folk Festival concert on Saturday 24 June

This just in from St Albans Folk Festival:

Award winning performers lined up for St Albans Folk Festival concert on Saturday 24 June on the Albantide weekend

The Furrow Collective, winners of the Best Group award in the BBC Radio Two Folk Awards, will be the headline guests at the St Albans Folk Festival concert on Saturday June 24 at 8pm at the Maltings Arts Theatre, the Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans AL1 3HL. They will be supported by other award winners, Alison and Jack, winners of the Watford Folk Club song writing competition and singer Bláthnaid McCullagh, New Roots 2017 finalist. The concert will be the high point of the day, on the Albantide festival weekend, when there will be dancing in the City Centre and live music in City Centre pubs. Details of the full programme will be released nearer the time,

 The Furrow Collective is made up of Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton, who was also awarded Musician of the Year in this year’s Folk Awards. They are four fine soloists sharing a mutual love of traditional songs, from both sides of the English and Scottish borders, with playful, boundary-defying musicianship.

 Since their critically acclaimed debut album ‘At Our Next Meeting’, The Furrow Collective has been in demand as a touring band, gigging throughout Europe and performing BBC live sessions. Their new album ‘Wild Hog’ was released in November 2016.

 Alison and Jack are Alison Frosdick and Jack Burnaby. Alison started singing at Yeovil Folk Club as a teenager. Her voice is both powerful and gentle with an emotive edge that shows her fine understanding for lyric interpretation. Jack did a Jazz degree and toured and recorded with various people from the folk-rock world before teaming up with Alison. They won the Watford Folk Club 2016 song writing competition with their song on the theme of crime and punishment, which they will include in their set in the concert.

 New Roots 2017 finalist Bláthnaid McCullagh comes from an Irish family in Honiton in Devon. She reinterprets traditional Irish folk songs and enjoys exploring a wide array of roots/folk music from different cultures.

 Tickets cost £14, students £10 can be bought on the door or in advance, by booking online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo by phone on 0333 666 3366 or in person at St Albans Central Library, The Maltings, Chequer Street, St Albans, AL1 3JQ

 Further information: Alison Macfarlane Tel 01727 852111 (home) 0207 040 5832 (work) 0770 801 2991 (mobile)


Sad news from Herga Folk…

This just in from Herga Folk:

As you may already be aware, after more than 54 glorious years of a well-earned international reputation, a collective membership in the thousands, more than 500 guest performers and more than a million cumulative decibels, Herga will suspend operations at the end of June.  Our last “normal” day will be Monday 19th June, when we have Kitty Vernon & Derek Burgess as our guests.

But we don’t want Herga go with a whimper;  it has played too important a part in so many lives and in the UK folk scene, for us to allow its disappearance to go unmarked!  So we are inviting you to a very special day, to help us “sing Herga out” (we are not calling it a “wake”).  The event will be structured as a massive singaround interspersed with 20-30 minute sets by visiting artists, and will be held at our usual venue but on a Sunday from 2pm to 8pm, to enable people to attend without any logistics problems or concerns. There will be free food, there will be beer etc at club prices, but above all there will be music and song – your music and your singing are what will make this day truly special. So,

Sunday 25th June 2017
from 2pm till 8pm
Greenwood Hall,
Rickmansworth Road,
Pinner  HA5 3TJ

to ensure appropriate arrangements, please R.S.V.P to hergafolker@folk4all.net

See you there!