Virtually Tenterden starts on Thursday 1 October

The first virtual Tenterden Festival offering four days of folk song, music, dance, crafts and tradition starts on Thursday 1 October. Just the thing to brighten up your Autumn days, you can find full details on their website. Or on their Facebook page, YouTube, Zoom, Twitter and Tumblr.

There is so much to enjoy – please support this festival and everyone who has worked so hard to make it happen.

More news of online folk happenings soon.

Two virtual folk festivals and an online catalogue of guitar music

Hi everyone – hope you are all keeping well! Here are details of two online festivals that are coming up shortly – Tenterden and St Albans and information about a fascinating online catalogue of guitar music published by Michael Raven Publications.

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  • St Albans Folk Festival (postponed from June) will take place from September 25 -27. It will mainly be online and will include a live-streamed concert featuring leading singer Fay Hield. Support will be by Alison Raymond, winner of last year’s Watford Folk Club song writing competition with her song, ‘King of the Meadow’. Tickets for the festival concert can be booked through the Abbey Theatre website https://www.abbeytheatre.org.uk/whats-on/fay-hield/.There will also be a new and well-reviewed documentary film ‘All my life’s buried here’ about the composer, folk song collector and Morris dancer, George Butterworth which can be viewed online any time from 9am on Friday September 25 to midnight on Sunday September 27, as well as an online discussion with the producer, Stewart Morgan Hajdukiewicz at 5pm on Sunday September 27. Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/stalbansfolkmusic/ and admit to both the film and the discussion. The day of music, with showcase performances by local singers and musicians, which usually takes place in local pubs, will be on YouTube. There will also be a chance to take part in music sessions and singarounds on Zoom.The events will be free but there will be invitations to donate via gofundme. The link is https://www.gofundme.com/f/st-albans-folk-festival-2020. Further information from Alison Macfarlane, Tel 01727 852111, 0770 801 2991 (mobile) or info@stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk or www.stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk
  • Plans are now well advanced for the first virtual Tenterden Folk Festival on 1st – 4th October on Zoom, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr. Online sing-a-rounds and music and song sessions will feature pre-booked guests and well known local performers. The popular Cinque Ports Sea Songs and Shanties Session will also take place via Zoom. You can even try a Zoom dance! Events will be live streamed on Zoom and Facebook and posted to YouTube so that you can watch them again later.  The festival organisers will also be posting new video concerts from some of the festival guests past present and future on YouTube.  You can also visit a virtual photograph exhibition  and see selected photos from Tenterden Folk Festival 2019 and previous events related to the festival. Guests will include: Barrie and Ingrid Temple, Barry Goodman, Bob Kenward, Brian Peters, Broomdasher, G&G Morris, Gavin and Julie Atkin, Graeme Knights and Family, Highworth Folk Band, Jeff Warner, Jez Lowe, JIB, Jim Mageean, John and Di Cullen, Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Morrigan, Nick Dow, Nunhead Folk Circle, Pete Castle, Peter Collins, Pete Luscombe, Peter and Barbara Snape, Roses are Red Morris, Scold Bridle, Tom Patterson, Travelling Folk, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer and The Wilson Family. Lots more information on their website.
  • And for the guitar players among you – Michael Raven Publications invite you to visit their online catalogue where you will find many guitar music books in a variety of styles. All the books contain excellent arrangements and original compositions by Mike Raven of English Country Dance Tunes, Reconnaissance and Classical Music and Flamenco Dances. They also publish a guitar tutor and a recorder book. Full details on the website or from Eve Raven on 07840 138300.

That’s all for now. Please let me know about events and concerts that you come across so I can help to promote them. Thank you.

Stay safe and keep supporting music and musicians in any way you can.

Let the Music Play On …..

Time for another update on some events on the folk music scene. If you enjoy these updates or want to give me any feedback – please email unicornmagazine@hotmail.co.uk. It would be great to hear from you.

And so in no particular order………………………………………….

  • Miranda Sykes is recovering well from her recent surgery and is launching her new album ‘The Farmhouse Sessions’ at Ipplepen Village Hall on Saturday 26 September. Tickets for the live gig are now sold out but she is live streaming the evening and you can buy a ticket here. The digital version of the CD is available here and you can pre-order the album on Miranda’s Facebook page
  • Phil Beer is doing another online concert on Saturday 5 September – this time with Paul Downs. Details on his Facebook page
  • If you are pining for real live music (rather than on screen), Benslow Music in Hitchin, Herts has a Moonrakers Garden Prom on Saturday 12 September at 6.30pm – Eleanor Dunsdon on Celtic harp, Sarah Fell on vocals and Jon Bennett on guitar and vocals. Tickets are £15 and full details of how to get them and all their Covid -19 precautions are available on the website or by phoning 01462 459446
  • There will be more real live music at the Four Rivers Folk Club at the Hertford Club, Bull Plain, Hertford, SG14 1DT organised by Pat Crilly on Wednesday 16 September. If not rainy it will be outside in the garden, if rainy it will be inside. There will only be waitress service and the club and a risk assessment is being done to ascertain the logistics. See details on Pat’s Facebook page
  • Oxford meets Cambridge! Cambridgeshire ceilidh band Frog on a Bike are playing for a Zoom ceilidh hosted by Oxfolk Ceilidhs and in support of Wallingford Bunkfest – Oxfolk will donate the profits from this ceilidh to BunkFest, to help make sure that this wonderful festival happens again next year. Gather your household together in your kitchen, living room, garden, wherever there is room, log into Zoom and enjoy the fantastic music of Frog on a Bike. The fabulous Fee Lock is the caller, and will be adapting dances for couples, small groups and solo dancers. Fee always explains the dance moves clearly, whilst simultaneously channelling rock goddess class in a cut-glass accent! Optional dress code of anything green, with bonus points for frog-related outfits! Tickets are available here and you can find more details on Facebook  
  • Louise Jordan has been very active during the pandemic and has just published a newsletter with details of her future plans. You can find details here and on her Facebook page
  • The mighty Skerryvore (if you were at their 2019 closing gig at Shrewsbury Folk Festival​ or recent Costa del Folk Festivals, you will know what I am talking about!) are playing together for the first time in six months on Saturday 5 September and you can watch it live in your living room. See website for details
  • Ninebarrow have scheduled another amazing online concert – this time from an ancient church – on Saturday 17 October at 7.00pm BST. Details on Facebook. You need to buy a ticket in advance but this will allow the whole household to view (special arrangements for people watching on their own) and you can watch it on the night or for a whole week afterwards.
  • News is just coming in of three exciting concerts streamed LIVE from London by the redoubtable Richard Thompson. They are on 13 September, 27 September and 11 October and each one will have a different theme and an entirely different set list. For tickets and more information click here
  • And last but definitely not least, plans are being finalised for the live streaming of the St Albans Folk Festival concert with Fay Hield on Sunday 27 September. Tickets are available on the Abbey Theatre website. There will also be an online showing of the film ‘All my life’s buried here. The story of George Butterworth’ about singer, composer and morris dancer, George Butterworth, who died in 1916 on the Somme. Tickets will be available on the St Albans Folk Music website shortly.

Sorry I didn’t have time to put pictures on the blog today – so much to do, so little time!!

Stay safe and keep supporting folk music!