More News Hot Off the Press!

Hot news of two local artists has just hit the Unicorn desk.

  • On Friday 30 October, Red Velvet will be playing a concert upstairs at The Golden Hind, 355 Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 1SP to launch their new EP “If Hawks Were Doves”. Doors open 7pm, music starts 7.30 and will finish before 9.30. Red Velvet is Deirdre Murphy (lead vocals) and Les Ray (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), with Gene Thunderbolt (electric guitar, keyboard), Mike Udin (bass, backing vocals) and Colin R. Smith (drums and percussion).They perform the songs of the outsiders, the outlaws and the dispossessed from the folk tradition that these times demand (the “red” part), along with a selection of songs of the heart with a jazzy, edgy, bluesy feel (the “velvet” part). The support act will be Naomi Randall, who designed the cover and produced two videos of songs on the EP. Social distancing and sanitising measures will be in place, with tables appropriately spaced and sanitising gel available at various points in the pub. Masks will need to be worn when moving around the venue; they can be provided if you’ve forgotten to bring yours. The volume of the music will be kept relatively low to avoid the need for raised voices and they have devised special mic shields for our singers, which will prevent aerosol transmission while singing. Entry is free, but places must be pre-booked. Please book asap as places are limited due to safety guidelines. Email Les Ray on or phone 07903 521412.
  • On Friday 6 November at 7.30pm, Lizzy Hardingham is putting on what she calls a ‘cheeky Corona Concert’ – online, on the night when she should have been playing a headline show at her hometown folk club in Watford. Tune in on Facebook for an hour of Lizzy Hardingham classics and maybe even a few completely new numbers too! The concert will be free but if you feel you can contribute, please click this link:…/corona-concert…

Apologies for sending out two blogs on the same day, but I hope you agree it is important to spread news about our local artists.

All the best.

Let The Music Play…..

There’s some great music coming your way – starting this evening!

At 7.30pm today (Wednesday 28 October) Steve Knightley is doing an online concert of 15 Bob Dylan songs. See his Facebook page for details. It’s free to watch but please donate if you can.

Also today at 8.00pm, Eliza Carthy is doing an online gig Live to Your Living Room. You need to buy tickets in advance and you can get those and full details here.

And again today at 9.00pm UK time, Robbie K. Jones of Track Dogs will do an online show. He promises new songs, Track Dogs tracks, trad songs, an Arlo Guthrie tune and a train talk. Details here.

On Friday 6 November at 8.00pm, Le Vent du Nord are doing a virtual show. Details here. I first came across this amazing band at the Gate to Southwell Festival. This online event gives you the chance to experience one of the most-exciting Quebecois bands in the world! Le Vent du Nord is a leading force in Québec’s progressive francophone folk movement. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while enhancing its hard-driving soulful music with a broad range of global influences.

On Saturday 7 November at 7.30pm, Miranda Sykes will do a solo online gig featuring her latest album ‘Borrowed Places’. She has now finished her treatment for breast cancer and is looking forward to performing again with Steve, Phil and Cormac in the next few weeks. (I understand that their live gig will be recorded – so news of that later).

On Sunday 8 November at 4.00pm, Cormac Byrne is offering Part 2 of his free Facebook Live Bodhran workshop. Find out more here.

On Wednesday 11 November at 8.00pm, Will Pound is doing an online show Live to Your Living Room. Tickets must be bought in advance and you can find details here.

On Sunday 29 November at 7.30pm, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan will perform an online Zoom duo gig hosted by Sam Hindley. Details here – which is also the place you need to register your interest and reserve your place.

And here’s something else to brighten the dark days of Autumn – Les Barker now has a YouTube channel. Search for ‘Guide Cats for the Blind’ on YouTube and give yourselves a treat. At the moment there are only 37 subscribers – let’s see if we can boost that number for this well-loved poet and performer.

And finally – another date for your December diary – on Saturday 12 December Ninebarrow have scheduled their next online concert. The previous ones have been amazing, so save the date and watch their website and Facebook page for more details soon.

Other artists are doing wonderful work online and even in person (socially distanced of course). I know that Tim Edey, Daoiri Farrell, Reg Meuross, Phil Beer, Emily Slade, Edwina Hayes and probably many, many others are doing this and I hope they will forgive me for not giving them individual mentions in this blog. Please check out your favourite artists’ websites and social media and support everyone in the music sector in whatever way you can during this challenging time. Thank you.

Stay safe and do all you can to keep music alive.

Lots of activity in the folk world

I’m sure you’re all missing live music so I’m delighted to tell you that St Neots Folk Club has reopened its doors. On Tuesday 17 November starting at 7.30pm GMT, you can see the excellent trio Alden Patterson and Dashwood and there is an Open Stage event on Tuesday 3 November.You need to book a seat in advance and the audience will be smaller than usual to allow for social distancing. Contact or ring Roger & Patti Pitt – 01234 376278

But if St Neots is too far for you to travel, there are lots of things happening in the virtual folk world to keep you going until we can return to something like normal. Musicians and everyone associated with the arts are suffering very badly because of Covid-19. Please do what you can to support them by donating for viewing the online gigs and buying CDs and merchandise direct from the artists.

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  • Tonight (Friday 16 October) at 7.30pm BST Megson are streaming their live show. See it on their Facebook page or buy VIP tickets in advance which include FREE downloads of their new single and the whole live show from their website.
  • Also tonight at 7.30pm BST Jackie Oates is doing a full length solo set from Downend Folk Club. Details on her Facebook page here.
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The Spooky Men’s Chorale
  • On Saturday 17 October at 10am BST, we have a rare treat SPZOOMKY – an online show from The Spooky Men’s Chorale, performed live from Sydney, Australia. Tickets are limited so get in quick and reserve yours. They are free but please donate if you can – details of how to do this will be sent with the email confirmation of your ticket.
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  • Also on Saturday 17 September at 7.00pm BST, Ninebarrow will stream their latest online concert – this time from the beautiful St Nicholas Church in Dorset with amazing acoustics and candlelit atmosphere. Jay and Jon have really raised the bar in their presentation of these online concerts and the quality of their performance is superb. Get your tickets in advance from here.
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  • On Sunday 18 October at 7.30pm BST, Faustus (Saul, Benji and Paul) are doing the first of three online Sunday concerts plus an online discussion – each one focusing on one of their albums. Details and tickets here.

Looking a bit further ahead – here are some more dates for your diary:-

  • On Wednesday 18 November at 7.00pm, you can share An hour or so with the Melrose Quartet #LiveToYourLivingRoom. Melrose Quartet are Nancy Kerr & James Fagan with Jess & Richard Arrowsmith. Get your tickets at the Facebook page
  • On Saturday 5 December at 8.00pm, there is BELLOWHEAD – A special one-off worldwide online concert.For early access to tickets to this special reunion concert, & limited edition merchandise you can sign up here:

Hope you are all safe and well and that the news I publish in these blogs helps to relieve the gloom and brighten your days. Thank you for your support – please do all you can to support live music, the musicians and everyone involved with music in the arts.And please let me know about events in the folk world so I can help to promote them.