Looking for something to do over the Bank Holiday Weekend?

If you are looking for entertainment over the Bank Holiday weekend, there is plenty of online music for you to enjoy.

  • Starting on the evening of Friday 22 May and running right through until late evening on Monday 25 May, you have Chester Folk Festival online. There’s a jam-packed weekend waiting for you filled with online concerts, workshops, dancing, chance to meets and more. Download the programme here to see what is on. All the events are free of charge, all the organisers ask is that you make a donation if you can via the donate page
  • On Friday 22 May at 7.30pm, Downend Folk Club has a live guest interview and a performance, as they are doing every Friday. This week the online gig is called ‘An hour or so with ‘Jackie Oates‘. You can watch this session on the club’s Facebook page. Why not make it a regular Friday date?
  • Then at 10.00am on Saturday 23 May (yes that is 10 o’clock in the morning), Chris While and Julie Matthews are doing another live concert. This one is called ‘Live in the Headshed’ and the timing has been planned for their huge fan base in the Antipodes – who had to get up at or stay up till ‘silly o’clock’ to watch their previous concerts. Catch this one on their Facebook page
  • In the evening on Saturday 23 May at 7.30pm, Miranda Sykes is doing another concert from her living room. You can see this on her Facebook page and send her your requests too
  • Every Saturday at 8.00pm (and this week is no exception) Edwina Hayes is doing a Live Saturday Night Request Hour on her Facebook page
  • On Sunday 24 May at 6.00pm, Lyric Lounge Review presents Folk Special #5 featuring Jon Boden, Ciaran Algar, Edwina Hayes, Mohsen Amini and Skinner& Twitch. All funds raised go to the Trussell Trust who support a nationwide network of food banks and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK. This concert is also on Facebook on the Lyric Lounge Review page
  • And last – but most definitely not least – in response to popular demand, Folk on Foot are running Front Room Festival 2 on Monday 25 May starting at 2.00pm – with seven hours of amazing online music from: Cara Dillon and Sam LakemanChris WoodDuncan ChisholmEliza CarthyFrank Turner and Jess GuiseGwilym Bowen RhysJohn SmithJohnny FlynnKate Rusby and Damien O’KaneKathryn TickellKitty MacfarlaneO’Hooley and TidowRichard Thompson and Zara PhillipsRioghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies – all playing sets of 30 minutes each in their front rooms. Plus: the online premiere of a behind the scenes film of The Unthanks shot during their recent “Unaccompanied” tour and featuring beautiful performances at London’s Union Chapel.Relax in your front room and enjoy this on the Folk on Foot YouTube Channel and Facebook page. If you can, please donate to support musicians who’ve lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus lockdown. Half the money the Festival raises will go to the charity Help Musicians – which supports musicians undergoing financial hardship – and the other half will be divided equally between the artists who take part in the Festival.

I’m sure there are other things happening that Unicorn doesn’t know about yet so please keep sending in details of events that you find out about and enjoy. And keep checking the Facebook pages and YouTube channels of your favourite artists.

Whatever you choose to do over the long weekend, stay safe, have a good time and keep supporting live music.

More Great Online Music

The pandemic is taking its toll on everyone but there is plenty of online music to help us get through it – and making a donation is a great way to support the musicians in these challenging times too!

Here are details of some of the gigs that are going on:

  • This evening (Friday 15 May) at 7.30pm, Show of Hands are presenting ‘Stairway to Devon’, a film about a day in the 1998 touring life of Steve and Phil with anecdotes and interviews plus rare footage from Glastonbury and India. See it on their Facebook page.
  • Also this evening but at 8.00pm, Faustus are doing ‘An Evening with Faustus’ on their Facebook page
  • On Sunday 17 May at 6.00pm, you can watch Folk Special #4, a Trussell Trust Fundraiser hosted by Lyric Lounge Review and 2 others featuring Nancy Kerr, David Eagle of the Young’Uns, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne of Granny’s Attic and Gilmore & Roberts on Facebook
  • Nancy Kerr is doing a Leon Rosselson song every day in May on her Facebook page
  • On Tuesday 19 May at 7.30pm BST, Flossie Malavialle will present her second ‘The Show must Go Home’ gig on her Facebook page
  • On Saturday 23 May at 7.30pm Miranda Sykes is planning another concert from her loving room. Find it on her Facebook page.  The donations from her last concert enabled her to donate £1300 to NHS Charities – a very generous gesture by a very inspirational woman
  • On Monday 25 May from 2.00pm, hot on the heels of their first very successful Front Room Festival, Folk on Foot are doing another one! The lineup: Cara Dillon and Sam LakemanChris WoodDuncan ChisholmEliza CarthyFrank Turner and Jess GuiseGwilym Bowen RhysJohn SmithJohnny FlynnKate Rusby and Damien O’KaneKathryn TickellKitty MacfarlaneO’Hooley and TidowRichard Thompson and Zara PhillipsRioghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies – all playing sets of 30 minutes each in their front rooms. Plus: the online premiere of a behind the scenes film of The Unthanks shot during their recent “Unaccompanied” tour and featuring beautiful performances at London’s Union Chapel. Over seven hours of unique music. If you can, please donate to support musicians who’ve lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus lockdown. Find the festival on the Folk on Foot YouTube channel and the Folk on Foot Facebook page
  • On Saturday 6 June at 7.30pm Ninebarrow will be doing their third concert live from their dining room. Catch this on their Facebook page
  • Very aware that Coronavirus is not only taking a toll on our physical health, it is also causing a massive strain on many people’s mental health, Ninebarrow have launched a charity single with Hart Voices & Chantry Singers – Guildford (mixed & mastered by Mark Tucker – Producer).  You can help them to support Mind in their fight against the uncertainty, loneliness & fear being experiencd by so many because of Covid-19 by downloading the full track for free & making donations to this incredible cause at: www.ninebarrow.co.uk/mind
  • Husband and wife duo Megson did an online concert on Wednesday 13 May which you can see on their Facebook page and they are planning more in the future
  • Simon Care  of Banter, Edward II, The Albion Band etc – is posting all sorts of interesting updates on his Facebook page including his Daily Jukebox at 6.00pm. He is taking requests for your favourite tracks
  • Ciaran Algar ran his amazing CCC Festival last weekend based on his ‘Ciaran’s Coronavirus Collaborations’ that he has been running since the start of the lockdown. I understand an album will come out of this initiative. You can find some background information about the festival including a fascinating piece by Redwood Photography about the video editing process for the collaborations on his Facebook page.

Phew! That’s probably enough for this blog. There is far more going on than I can detail here so keep watching your favourite artists’ Facebook pages and YouTube channels and donate as much as you can, as often as you can. Times are really tough for musicians through no fault of their own and they are doing a wonderful creative job in adapting to these strange circumstances and bringing us entertainment and solace.

Hope you are all well and staying safe.  Please do all you can to support live music.

Great folk music online during the lockdown

Hi everyone! Hope you are safe and coping.

We all love our music and it’s really hard not to be able to go to gigs and festivals while the virus rages.  So here are some links to online music to help during the crisis – and if you can afford to send the artists a donation, you will be helping them at a very difficult time too!

  • At 7.30pm this evening Friday 3 April, Chris While and Julie Matthews are performing a ‘Live in the Lounge’ gig.

 

Maddy Prior MBE and Ashley Hutchings MBE are the patrons of Folks At Home, the world’s first online folk festival featuring exclusive video footage of 25 of Britain’s top folk acts plus workshops, tutorials, interviews, merchandise and market stalls. The headliners are Steeleye Span, Fotheringay, Ashley Hutchings Morris On and Feast of Fiddles. For more information please visit www.folksathome.co.uk

  • On Easter Bank Holiday Monday 13 April at 2pm, you can attend the amazing Folk On Foot Front Room Festival (over six hours of unique music) on the Folk on Foot YouTube Channel and Facebook page – direct to your front room.  And support musicians who’ve lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus lockdown.

    The Lineup: Bella Hardy, Beth Porter plus the Bookshop Band, Jon Boden, Julie Fowlis and Éamon Doorley, Karine Polwart, Kris Drever, Lisa Knapp, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Peggy Seeger, Rachel Newton, Sam Lee, Seth Lakeman and Steve Knightley – all playing sets of up to 30 minutes each in their front rooms.

    See the website for details and costs. You can see a video by Matthew Bannister the host of the Folk on Foot programme on the Folk on Foot Facebook page.

  • Emily Slade is playing some wonderful music on her Facebook page

  • Podcasts of Mike Harding’s folk show are available online via his website The archive contains shows going right back to 2012.
  • Keiron Jones of HITCHIN FOLK CLUB is offering audio concert downloads for £5 per concert to help our beleaguered musician friends. Visit the club’s webpage for details.

I don’t claim that this is a comprehensive list of what’s going on out there – but it’s a start and if you know of other events/happenings, please email me at unicornmagazine@hotmail.co.uk and I will do what I can to get the word out.

In the meantime, stay safe and help to keep music alive by supporting these events. Enjoy!

Herga Charity Evening for Australian Bushfire Recovery Fund

On Monday 2 March, at Herga at the Castle in Harrow, there will be a special ‘Australia’ themed charity evening to raise funds for

Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund

Cobargo is a small Australian village on the New South Wales coast which holds an annual folk festival. The village was overwhelmed by a massive firestorm on New Year’s Eve – three people died, at least 108 homes were lost (including two of the festival directors’ homes), 400 other properties damaged and thousands of animals killed. The heart of the village was razed to the ground.

So Cobargo has been identified by the team who run the folk club Herga at the Castle as the recipient of money collected at a benefit evening in recognition of the contributions that Australian folk song collectors and singers have made to the folk world.

The evening will be run as an Australian-themed singaround, with an earlier than usual start time of 19.30 so everyone gets the chance to sing. There will be special guests, including Doug Jenner’s Bush band and video messages from others unable to be there on the night. So polish up your Aussie songs and tunes now. 

Funds will be raised through a mega-raffle so come with loads of money to buy lots of  tickets! And please, please, please see what you can do to find prizes for the raffle and bring them along on the night.

More news later as plans for this special evening are firmed up.

Make a note of the date Monday 2 March – and head to:

Herga at the Castle, The Castle PH, 30 West Street, Harrow, HA1 3EF to make this special event a great success and help people who have lost everything.

For further information email Tim and Lesley Brooks on alconcerts@gmail.com or see http://www.herga.club