Folk music for the Festive Season

With just three weeks to go to the big day, here’s some more news of folk music and happenings to brighten your festive season.

  • Live to Your Living Room is putting on an amazing range of great Zoom concerts throughout December (Vicky Swann & Jonny Dyer, Maclaine Colston & Saul Rose, Lau, Melrose Quartet and A Winter Union to name but a few). Tickets need to be booked in advance and you can do that here.
  • St Neots Folk Club has reopened and the meeting on Tuesday 8 December features the duo Drywood (Phil Underwood and Denise Dryburgh). There is a Christmas party on 15 December and a full programme of meetings for January and February 2021. Details and information on how to book your seat are on the club’s website.
  • The fledgling Baldock Folk Club has been putting on virtual live shows on a Wednesday every two weeks throughout the pandemic.On Wednesday 16 December they are hoping to have a live Mummers play. See the club website for details.
  • Emily Slade performs some wonderful songs, accompanying herself on guitar on her YouTube channel.
  • On Thursday 10 December at 7.30pm Flossie Malavialle and Jez Lowe are both doing a set during a live Zoom concert hosted by Darlington Folk & Acoustic Club. For more details and to reserve a place please email Bob Tuddenham at darlofolkacousticclub@gmail.comClub website: www.darlingtonfolkclub.com. Tickets are on a first come first served basis so don’t delay.
  • Chris While and Julie Matthews are consoling us for the cancellation of the St Agnes Fountain tour by doing a series of virtual Christmas concerts. Christmas hats and jumpers optional but ‘Follow that Star’ lights OBLIGATORY! Tickets must be purchased in advance and you can do that on their website here.
  • We were all saddened to learn that Towersey Festival had (inexplicably) not been given a grant like so many other festivals. But undaunted, the team are carrying on and on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 December, they are bringing you Towersey Festiv-All – 2 nights and 1 day of fully festive festival fun.Two top class concerts featuring some big names including Michael McGoldrick Music, John McCusker & John Doyle, Peter Knight’s The Gigspanner Big Band, Jim Moray, Manière des Bohémiens and Edwina Hayes. And one day of that unique Towersey fun with a festive twist.So book your tickets for the evening gigs, buy your Christmas lantern kits and donate for the daytime stuff if you can (it is all FREE but if you can donate it will all go to support the festival and the artists involved). Find out more and book tickets at www.towerseyfestival.com/festiv-all
  • On Monday 21 December you can watch the (virtual) Midwinter Solstice Sessions Singaround filmed at the beautiful Higher Eggbeer Farm on Dartmoor. Full details have not yet been announced but I understand the all star line up will include Show of Hands (with Miranda Sykes), Chris Hoban, Jim Causley, Geoff Lakeman and James Studholme from the fabulous West Country 7-piece Police Dog Hogan. Audio and video will be expertly provided by Jolyon Holroyd. Full details to follow on the Show of Hands Facebook page soon. Stay tuned!
  • You will also find information about virtual solo gigs by Steve Knightley and Phil Beer on the Show of Hands Facebook page. These include Steve’s virtual solo gig at Hitchin Folk Club on Sunday 13 December.
  • Also on Monday 21 December at 7.30pm, the incorrigible (and wonderful) Belshazzars Feast (Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson) perform a virtual gig Silent Night: The Belshazzar’s Feast Christmas Concert. Tickets must be bought in advance and you can do this and get full details on their Facebook page here.
  • Nancy Kerr has a new lockdown project for December! “Kite Tails: A Month of Northumbrian” billed as a chance for her to reconnect with a family tradition, and her fiddle. Find details on her Facebook page and follow the links to see her perform the songs on her YouTube channel.

One of the hardest things about writing these blogs is to know how much information to put in. I would hate to offend a band, an artist or a club by omitting their event but I also know that people don’t like to read very long blogs. So I’m between a rock and a hard place!

These are dark days but spring and the vaccine are coming so there is light at the end of the tunnel. Stay safe, keep supporting the music and enjoy the festive season as much as you can.

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