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 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 or see



Julie Felix and Gabriel Moreno at Harpenden Public Halls

Unicorn Magazine has just heard that Gabriel Moreno  – a very exciting singer songwriter, performer and lyricist will be supporting the legendary Julie Felix at Harpenden Public Halls on Wednesday 26 February at 7.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm).

Julie wowed Glastonbury Festival this summer and is entrancing audiences wherever she plays.


Gabriel has strong links to the London alternative Americana, Folk and singer songwriter scene and is curator of the acclaimed Lantern Society. With his band ‘The Quivering Poets’ they were voted best act on the Introducing Stage by the audience on Sunday 1st December at The Great British Folk Festival at Butlins Skegness in December 2019………..and boy did they deserve it! Find out more about Gabriel and the band on his website .

This gig is not to be missed! See you there!!

Phil Beer Band gig supports Northamptonshire music charity

On Saturday 28 March at 7.30pm, the Phil Beer Band will pay a gig in Roade Village Hall, Bailey Brooks Lane, Roade, Northampton, NN7 2LS. The concert is in aid of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) – a charity that that took over the county council’s peripatetic music teaching in schools when the government pulled the plug on music funding.

Find out more and book your tickets via the Show of Hands website

The concert will help raise money to support the musical instrument library for the charity’s programme. Every pupil who shows enthusiasm or ability (regardless of their financial situation) can use the facility to borrow free of charge an instrument for the duration of their involvement.

You can find out more about the charity on the NMPAT website.

So if you fancy an evening of great music and the opportunity to help tomorrow’s musicians, make a date for 28 March and get your tickets asap!


Date Change – Northampton Folk Dance Club

This change of date has just been received from Northampton Folk Dance Club:

Due to circumstances beyond the organisers’ control, the public dance featuring David & Kathryn Wright and Focus Pocus, which was due to take place on February 8th 2020 at 7.45pm at Christchurch Hall, Northampton, has had to be moved to 15th February 2020.

The organisers apologize for any inconvenience.

Glymjack do 12 gigs in 12 hours in Cambridge!

Twelve Gigs! Twelve Venues! Twelve Hours!
On Sunday 22 December, acclaimed folk band Glymjack play twelve gigs in twelve hours in twelve venues for Macmillan charity in the ultimate festive pub crawl around Cambridge city centre!

The band are one of the leading lights of the fantastic Cambridge folk scene so if you are in the area, do come and see the band playing half hour sets in each venue,
featuring festive classics, carols and folk tunes on fiddle and melodeon.

The Twelve Gigs is the brainchild of Glymjack drummer Paul Richards, who wanted to do something to thank MacMillan for the support the charity provided to Paul’s father
– so the Twelve Gigs is tribute, charity fundraiser and the ultimate Christmas knees up!


Unicorn Magazine Issue 149 is now out…

Unicorn Magazine Issue 149 is now out!

I’m delighted to say that Issue 149 of Unicorn Magazine (January, February and March 2020) is now out! It is instantly available online as a downloadable / readable PDF from the usual places (our website, ISSUU etc), and the hard copies should be being distributed now.

Please note that for the best and most reliable user experience, we recommend that when possible you download the PDF to your device and view it that way, rather than trying to view it directly online via a browser etc.

Download Issue 149 here >>


Please sign up to our mailing list and read this blog for updates, gigs and events between issues…

Family friendly barn dance in Wolverton on October the 26th

This just in:

Wolverton residents are holding a council subsidised public event in Wolverton on October the 26th…

The event is a family friendly barn dance with a bring and share buffet. We have made this humorous  poster, which I feel most wolverton residents will be able to relate to! I have attached an image of the poster, it features parts of the agora centre which is a large building in Wolverton, widely disliked and soon to be demolished. I am myself playing in the band (innocent hare) and as a folk music enthusiast I thought your magazine would be a great place to promote the event.

Here is a link to our facebook event page:

Download the Family Friendly Barn Dance poster >>