More music news and events

Since yesterday’s blog post about ways to get your fix of music during the lockdown, quite a few more things have floated into the Unicorn office and I’d like to share them with you. Some are free and some of the artists are asking for a contribution (paid online) to help them through these very challenging times.

Once again in no particular order:

  • On Saturday 28 March and Sunday 29 March  you can see a livestream of the Global Village Concert. Daria Kulesh is performing and you can see details on her Facebook page.
  • On Sunday 29 March (tomorrow) Richard Thompson is doing a Facebook Live concert at 9pm. See his Facebook page for details.
  • Having had to postpone the April performance of ‘Ordinary Giants’, a fabulous stage show that I was lucky enough to see last year, Robb Johnson has arranged for a solo version of the show to be filmed and released on YouTube on Sunday 29 March. Search for Robb’s page on YouTube.
  • On Sunday 29 March at 3.30pm Three Daft Monkeys are streaming a concert from their cottage. See their Facebook page for details.
  • On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March you can view The Isolation Festival – with amazing artists (not all strictly folk but great nevertheless).
  • On Saturday 28 March at 9.00pm Conrad and Ruth of Holy Moly and the Crackers are streaming a performance of their first album’First Avenue’. See their Facebook page for details.
  • At 8.00pm on Saturday 28 March, (as he says ‘because things aren’t strange enough’) John Otway is streaming a show from his living room. Details on his Facebook page
  • Having had to cancel their tour, Jackie Oates and John Spiers are performing on YouTube from their living room.
  • Emily Slade is making beautiful music from her home that you can see on her Facebook page.
  • Simon Care (of Banter, Edward II, Albion Band etc) has launched his Musical Jukebox on his Facebook page. He’d like people to request Morris and English ceilidh tunes which he’ll endeavour to record himself playing one and post to Facebook with the name of the person who requested it.  He’s not going to charge anything but suggests we might make a donation to any artist that has a crowdfunding page running.
  • I’ve also heard a rumour that Phil Beer is doing music online – but can’t find the details at the moment. Let me know if you discover what this wonderful musician is sharing.

Phew! That’s probably more than enough for now. Best wishes from Unicorn Magazine – supporting folk and acoustic music even in difficult times like these.

Tell me about folk and acoustic music happening where you are and I’ll do what I can to publicise it. Enjoy your music and stay safe.

Sandra Lawes (Editor)

Getting your folk music fix while social distancing

Now that theatres and music/dance clubs have had to close, we’re all missing our folk music as we try to stay safe and maintain social distancing. So in no particular order, here are some ways that Unicorn Magazine has found out about to get your ‘fix’ online.

Some of the musicians are doing it for free, some are putting a ‘tip jar’ out to receive donations and others are seeking a fee which can be paid online.  Check out the Facebook pages and websites of your favourite artists and look on YouTube to see what else you can find. And please support these artists with a donation or by buying a CD/merchandise if you possibly can – life is extremely tough for them in the current situation.

  • Kirsty Merryn is running an amazing two day online festival on 11 and 12 April. It’s £20 to join for both days and £10 for either the Saturday or the Sunday. You can also find information about this on her Facebook page. The current lineup is as follows with more to follow:
    • Saturday 4pm Lukas Drinkwater, 5pm Robert Lane, 6pm Gitta de Ridder, 7pm Iona Fyfe, 8pm Luke Jackson
    • Sunday 4pm Polly Paulusma, 5pm Kirsty Merryn, 6pm Katie Spencer, 7pm Ciaran and Greg (2xsolo slots), 8pm Alden, Patterson and Dashwood
  • Chris While and Julie Matthews will be ‘Live in the Lounge’ at 7.30pm on Friday 3 April. See their Facebook page for more details.
  • Ninebarrow are doing a live concert on Facebook at 7.00pm on Saturday 4 April.
  • Steve Knightley has been doing ‘Lick the Lockdown’ instrument lessons on his Facebook page – the one I saw was on ‘fingerpicking’ and he has promised others.
  • Ciaran Algar is performing some amazing tunes on Facebook.
  • Miranda Sykes (who is having chemotherapy to fight her recently diagnosed breast cancer), gave a  wonderful online concert last Saturday which you can see from her Facebook page. She has also said that she will be performing requests on Facebook over the next few weeks. She did the first one – Boo Hewerdine’s ‘Me and My Sister the Moon’ – yesterday.
  • Andy Webster of the League of Ukulele Gentlemen (well known to those of us who go to the ukulele workshops at Costa del Folk) has a brilliant website where you will find details of courses. I think he is offering one for children for £20 in early April. He is also performing songs on his Facebook page.
  • Keiron Jones of Hitchin Folk Club is working very hard to make available many of the audio recordings of gigs at the club over the many years he and his wife Maureen have run it. Sign up to the club’s mailing list and/or keep an eye on the Facebook page for more information.
  • Gareth Malone is running an international online choir on YouTube at 5.30pm each weekday. Click here to register. It’s free! Although it’s not folk music, it is singing which is good for us all at times like these.
  • Finally for this blog post, although it is not folk music, there is a Facebook group called ‘Rock the Lock Down’ which is promoting some amazing live online music.

If you have information about other events that people can ‘attend’ while staying safe, please email unicornmagazine@hotmail.co.uk and I will do my best to publicise it.

This is a fast moving crisis and things are changing all the time. Sadly, I know that The Gate to Southwell Festival has been cancelled as has the Show of Hands tour in may and all the events from Northampton Ceilidhs until September. The best advice is to check online, on Facebook or direct with the organisation if you are planning to attend/view anything in the next few months.

Stay safe, stay home and stay well!

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

 

 

Watford Folk Club welcome Martin Carthy on 13th September 2019

This just in from Watford Folk Club:

Watford Folk Club are pleased to welcome Martin Carthy on 13th September 2019.

TICKETS ARE NOW   AVAILABLE FROM WEGOTTICKETS http://www.wegottickets.com/event/478032 

(£15.00 +£1.50 BOOKING FEE) OR ON FRIDAYS 26TH JULY AND 6TH SEPTEMBER IN PERSON AT THE CLUB. (WE ARE CLOSED DURING AUGUST).

For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it. //He’s a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Look forward to seeing you for a great night with Martin!

Email: WatfordFolkClub@outlook.com
Website: WatfordFolkClub.co.uk

The Watford Folk Club meets every Friday, 8-11 pm in the Colne River Room at The Pumphouse, Local Board Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD17 2JP.

Sidmouth FolkWeek 2018 (3-10 August) releasing the first wave of great value Super Early Bird tickets – numbers strictly limited.

This just in from Sidmouth Folk Festival:

Sidmouth FolkWeek 3-10 August 2018, Ear on the past, eye on the future

Tickets now on sale for “the friendliest music-based holiday of the summer” (One Magazine)

Sidmouth FolkWeek 2018 (3-10 August) has announced its first round of headline acts along with releasing the first wave of great value Super Early Bird tickets – numbers strictly limited.

The long-running seaside festival of music and dance brings together a stunning selection of folk and traditional music – from big-name headliners to exciting new performers – all set against the beautiful Devon coastline.

Guests will find there’s something for everyone, with concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, youth and family events, talks, processions and displays, storytelling, and surprises around every corner. The amazing value All-In-One and Season Tickets now available can give you unlimited access to festival events from first thing in the morning until the last thing at night.

See the website for full line-up details and ticket offers: http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk

What’s on?

The popular Pre-Festival concerts this year feature the legendary Fairport Convention, and the hilariously virtuosic Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

The festival’s concert headliners in the Ham Marquee include the phenomenally popular Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes, the pure and distinctive vocal style of Cara Dillon, a truly global perspective on ancient Northumbrian traditions from Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening, gloriously powerful and melodic dance music from Blowzabella, multi-award-winning Scottish singer and songwriter Karine Polwart, a Before The Ruin 10th anniversary concert from Drever, McCusker, Woomble, innovative and exciting explorations of traditional music from the Gigspanner Big Band, striking arrangements and songwriting from African-Canadian roots star Kaia Kater, beloved and hilarious poet and songwriter Les Barker, stars of the next generation of folk musicians Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, and, bringing together histories from Steeleye Span and Bellowhead, incomparable duo Peter Knight & John Spiers.

Still want more?

Spend your days listening to some of the best performers on the scene in concert, with music from Alistair Anderson & Northlands, Stick in the Wheel, Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys, Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe, Faustus, The Rheingans Sisters, Edgelarks, Pete Coe, Narthen, The Emily Askew Band, and a celebration of young musical excellence with the National Youth Folk Ensemble.

The Bulverton plays evening host to high-energy roots shows and dance parties, with performances and a few surprises in store from Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, False Lights, Blowzabella, Police Dog Hogan, Elephant Sessions, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Monster Ceilidh Band, and Vintage Cock And Bull Band. And for the real night owls, Betsy’s Lounge will be open late for music and song.

For those who prefer a more close-up and intimate atmosphere, Sidmouth FolkWeek offers many opportunities to see festival guests on stages throughout the town. Notably, the fRoots-curated Cellar Full of Folkadelia afternoon sessions include Ye Vagabonds, Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns, Rock Of Eye, and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne. Festival-goers can also see performances from John Kirkpatrick, Roisin White, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente, Jez Lowe, The Rowsome Family, Steve Tilston, Pete Coe, Georgia Lewis, Ryan Young with Jenn Butterworth, Nick Dow, Jack Rutter and more.

Dancers will be spoilt for choice with ceilidhs and dances across multiple venues, with something for everyone, whether you’ve only ever tried ceilidh dancing at a wedding, or are a seasoned dancer looking for something to really get your teeth into. Look out for exhilarating dances with bands including the Old Swan Band, Playford Liberation Front, Banter, Polkaworks, Threepenny Bit, Whapweasel, and Diatonics.

This year’s busy Folk Dance programme means you can keep dancing from breakfast til bedtime, with the tried and tested formula of big mornings, gentle afternoons and fun evenings of folk dance. Look out for American dance workshops with Rachel Shapiro Wallace with Vertical Expression and Contrasaurus; English dance workshops with Madeleine Smith and Emma Wooders with Limehouse Cut and Stradivarious; Irish Set from Val Knight with Polka Pests; Scandinavian Dance from Megan Hatto with Bowjolie, Jane Austen Dance with Hannah Moore with the English dance musicians, and much more.

The belle of the evening ball is Stowford Rise where specials include a Playford Ball, a Scandi night, a Playford Electronica event with Sea-Green Incorrigible Music and Daisy Black calling, an Irish Set Night, and American with the callers and dancers from the week all contributing.

The festival also offers an enormous range of workshops, so whether you want to try out something completely new or improve your existing skills, you’ll find something to suit from the 200+programme, with tutors and guests who are leaders in their field. And remember, a Season Ticket gets you into any or all of these workshops.

As ever, FolkWeek showcases a range of British traditional dance styles in Processions, Meet The Teams and spectacular displays around the town and along the seafront, including the unmissable Torchlight Procession. Dance sides already confirmed include Hammersmith Morris Men, Sussex Junction Morris, The Outside Capering Crew, Wreckers Border Morris, Chiltern Hundreds Clog Morris, Belle d’Vain Northwest Morris and many more.

For a brilliant family holiday full of music, dance, and crafts, look no further than the Blackmore Gardens, with three workshop venues offering opportunities for all ages, family evening shows and big-name festival guests. And teenagers get their own dedicated programme of workshops and events with the much-loved Shooting Roots, including a collaboration with the superb Stream Of Sound youth chorus, this year exploring the underwater world of mythological selkies.

Keep checking the website for updates and latest line-up additions for the 2018 festival. http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk

–End–

For more information or high-res images, please contact Jo Breeze on press@sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk or 07816 165289

Notes for editors:

Sidmouth FolkWeek is an unmissable week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song taking place in the beautiful East Devon regency coastal resort.

There has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August every year since 1955 attracting tens of thousands of visitors to over 700 diverse events with broad ‘something for everyone’ appeal. With an ear to the past and an eye on the future, the festival features established stars and emerging talent; major concerts, lively roots parties; small intimate sessions; ceilidhs and folk dancing; storytelling; fun family entertainment and youth-centred sessions; hands-on workshops and spectacular dance displays; the best in South West crafts and the tastiest of local food and drink.

The town’s streets and venues burst with festive atmosphere and colour as holidaymakers and festival goers join together in the friendliest music-based holiday of the summer.

New Roots 2018

This just in from New Roots:

New Roots 2018

The call is out to young musicians under the age of 25 who sing or play traditionally based music to enter for New Roots 2016. Whether your style is traditional or contemporary folk, roots or world music, whether you perform traditional material or write your own, the organisers would like to hear from you.   There are two categories, under 18 and 18-24. New Roots has been running since 2000 and the standard rises every year.

The list of judges for 2018 has now been finalised. Between them, Emily Askew, Jamie Roberts. Andy Stafford and Valmai Goodyst represent a wide spectrum of insights into the folk scene. Their task will be firstly to listen to the entries sent in and select the performers who will take part in the final on Sunday April 8 2018 at Trestle Arts Base in St Albans. On the day they will give constructive feedback to performers. There is no overall winner and everyone who makes it to the final will win one or more performance opportunities. The aim is to match the performers to the opportunities at folk festivals, clubs and other events which are offered to New Roots finalists. At folk clubs, opportunities include support slots, featured spots on singers’ nights and full bookings.

Performers who want to enter are invited to complete the entry form on the New Roots web site and email it to info@new-roots.org.uk. In reply, they will get an email telling them how to upload up to 15 minutes of their music. The closing date is 31 January 2018. For further and more up to date information on the web site http://www.new-roots.org.uk This also has a form for event organisers who wish to offer performance opportunities for young musicians.

 

Further details:

http://www.new-roots.org.uk email: info@stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk or ring 01727 852111.

Waltham Abbey Folk Club change venue…

This just in from Waltham Abbey Folk Club…
Important update information.
Please note that 30th Oct will be our last meeting at the Royal British Legion Hall.  From November 6th we will be welcome at The Angel public house , Sun Street , Waltham Abbey , Essex EN9 3DP.
Folk will start to gather at 7pm, singaround starts at 7-30 until 10-30.
We will continue to have one guest evening a month with singaround money going towards the fee.
The £1 per head donation that went to the legion every week will now be donated to the charity jar at the pub.

A charity fundraiser concert, Kimpton, 14 October 2017

This just in…

What: A charity fundraiser concert
Who: The Simon Thompson Band, GBH, Kimpton Unplugged
When: 14 October. Doors at 8pm. And afterwards in The Boot
Where: Kimpton Memorial Hall
Why: This is a fundraising concert for a refugee facility on the Greek island of Samos. There 1600 refugees in the centre, half of whom are children. The majority are living in tents and with winter on the way, their hard living conditions will become unbearable. Life there is really tough.
One aim of this event is to buy a minibus as well as buying stuff that will help the refugees pass the time – games, books and toys for the children.
There’s a lot more information here or on their Facebook page
What next: Buy tickets. £12 for a single, £20 for a pair. On sale in the Corner Store, The Boot and from Ian Mitchell [01438 832747 after 6pm] or from Michael Magenis on 01438 833976 [after7pm].

If you can’t make it but would like to make a donation, please let Ian know