On Friday 27 November at 8.00pm Folk at the Maltings, St Albans, Herts presents an online concert with two award winning singers, James Findlay and Maddie Morris. Tickets are £14 for individuals, £25 for two people using the same device, £35 for three or more people using the same device. Book tickets here.James won the 2010 BBC Young Folk award. Coming from a family of folk singers, his enthusiasm lies firmly within the English tradition and he is particularly passionate about songs from his home counties of Dorset and Somerset. James has made three highly acclaimed solo albums and an album of songs with Lucy Ward, Bella Hardy, Brian Peters and Jackie Oates. Since 2015, his distinguished career in touring theatre has limited his time on the folk scene, so this concert is a rare chance to hear him sing. Maddie Morris is a contemporary folk musician, who is heavily influenced by traditional protest song and won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award in 2019. Originally from Bedfordshire and currently based in Leeds, Maddie is a strong believer that ‘the personal is political’ and uses her own experiences to raise discussions around contemporary issues within society. In 2020 she graduated from Leeds Conservatoire’s Folk course and won the Peter Roberts CBE memorial prize for the highest undergraduate mark in the Leeds City Region as well as the Conservatoire prize for the highest mark on the folk course 3 years running.
Also on Friday 27 November at 7.30pm, John Kirkpatrick presents a one-off online gig ‘Tunes From The Trenches – Songs from the First and Second World Wars’ Tickets are £10 and are available here.
And finally a correction to the information I posted last week about Robert Mott. I’m grateful to Roger Comley for telling me that Roger was a member of Icknield Way Morris Men, not Ickenham Morris as stated in the blog. Apologies for any confusion or upset this misunderstanding may have caused.
There is a great deal of wonderful music coming up over the festive season so keep your eye on the blog for details and dates for your diary.
Meanwhile, stay safe, keep well and enjoy the music.
Live to Your Living Room have a series of great concerts coming up – starting with Martin Simpson on Sunday 22 November. You have to book tickets in advance. Full details on their website here.
Reg Meuross has been very active throughout the pandemic and has now recorded a series of concerts in Dartington Hall. See his Facebook page for details.
The Young’Uns air Episode 4 of their incomparable YTV series on Friday 20 November at 8pm. Details on their Facebook page here.
On Saturday 28 November, you have a choice of viewing. Show of Hands stream the recording of their last live concert before Lockdown 2 ‘Now We are Four’ (Phil Beer, Steve Knightley, Miranda Sykes and Cormac Byrne). Buy tickets in advance and get the new double album too. And also on 28 November there is a live online show by the tribute duo ‘Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years’. Full details here. And Martyn Joseph has an online concert on the same day hosted by The Studio at TPS. Details and tickets here.
On Sunday 29 November, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan perform a virtual house concert ‘Live at Sam’s’. Details here. And the Melrose Quartet online gig (postponed from 18 November due to Covid issues at their children’s schools) will now air on Sunday 13 December. Details here.
Simon Care has restarted his Sunday evening concerts – raising money to help people in need. Details here. Simon has been a star and a stalwart throughout the pandemic quietly helping so many people and bringing great music to our screens.
Megson will be doing a Yuletide Live Stream on Friday 4 December. Details here.
Saturday 12 December again offers a choice of concerts. Kate Rusby’s full-length Christmas gig HAPPY HOLLY DAY will be streamed worldwide at 7.30pm UK time. Tickets available here. And on the same day,the duo Ninebarrow become a five piece band for their concert recorded live at @Lighthouse Poole. E-tickets now on sale and details here.
Tim Edey has been producing some wonderful concerts throughout the pandemic (despite battling with poor internet connection in his neck of the woods) and his weekly concerts continue. See his Facebook page for more information. And on Christmas Eve, Tim is doing a two hour show ‘Celtic Christmas Eve with Tim Edey’. Tickets and information here.
And finally, if you are looking around for Christmas presents, look no further than #FolkForChristmas This brilliant initiative is encouraging people to buy products or services directly from folk artists. You can find all sorts of recommendations, music and merchandise with the proceeds going to artists most of whom have had their income drastically reduced in 2020.
Hope you find something in this long list to brighten the dark evenings.
Here’s some news likely to be of special interest to Morris dancers:
As soon as lockdown is over, you can see a new exhibition ‘Innovation & Tradition:Forty years of Morris’ at the Higgins Museum, Castle Lane, Bedford MK40 3XD. The focus of the display is not the history of Morris Dance, nor of Morris dancing in Bedfordshire – nor even a history of Bedfordshire Lace and Redbornstoke Morris. Rather it seeks to use their stories to raise questions about what we understand as Tradition, who determines what it is, how it can change over time and the role innovation has in driving that change. You can view more details here. Entrance is free but because of Covid-19 restrictions you will need to pre-book your visit which you can do on the website www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/Visit_us/ The exhibition runs until the end of October 2021.
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas present for the Morris dancer in your life, here’s an idea that might just fit the bill. Barry Care has published a book ‘The Morris – according to Barry Care’. A bargain at £10 including postage, it is described as a fascinating account of his memories, experiences and observation on our Morris heritage with plenty to take seriously and reflect about. Barry, who was awarded an MBE for his community work and Morris dancing activities in 2004, is the father of Simon Care (of Banter, Edward II and the Albion Band to name but a few of his activities). You can order your copy at firstname.lastname@example.org and pay by Paypal or cheque. Barry’s address is 9 Alibone Close, Moulton, Northampton, NN3 7WR.
On a much more sombre note, our sincere condolences go to the family and friends of Robert Mott, who died recently. Robert was a dancer with Letchworth Morris and in his youth, with Hammersmith & Ickenham Morris. He will be sadly missed by his Morris side and all who knew him.