The Little Folk Festival, Saturday 8th July, Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley.

This just in…  the press release and programme detailing this new Festival this coming Saturday 8th:

Award Winning Folk Musicians Play at New Music Festival in Kings Langley

On Saturday 8th July, BBC Folk Award winner Sam Carter will be playing on the Priory Stage at The Little Folk Festival, a brand new festival organised by the PTFA of the Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley. Other music acts include local trio Said the Maiden, winners of Bristol Folk Festival’s Isambard Folk Award; internationally acclaimed choir leader and songwriter Susie Ro Prater; eclectic contemporary folk band Boat to Row – ‘Simply wonderful’ Janice Long, BBC Radio 2; lively passionate young folk duo The Unsung Roots; and recent graduates from the Rudolf Steiner School Arthur Sawyer and Ryan Isbell with their new band Father Benjamin and the Frosty Mornings. Later in the day renowned folk band Boldwood will lead the evening ceilidh.

The day boasts a packed programme of events alongside a fantastic folk line-up, to include circus workshops, basketry, face painting, yoga, story-telling, Nia dancing, community singing, drumming, festival stalls and a huge variety of food and drink.

We are an alcohol-free festival, creating opportunities for enjoyment of a wide range of drinks suitable for all ages. Our festival ‘dry bar’ is run by some of our older students, with mocktails, juices, milkshakes and a range of other non-alcoholic drinks on offer. Classes from the school will be running food and drinks stalls, alongside external catering companies.

Tickets are discounted if bought in advance online, by midnight on Friday 7th July.

Under 16s are free if accompanied by a paying adult.

All profits from the festival will feed directly into the life of the school, both through funding play equipment for the children, and providing additional funds to help support low income families choose this education for their children.

Download the programme here: The Little Folk Festival Programme >>

Event details:

Who is the event aimed at?
The whole community – family friendly and child appropriate activities; something for every age

What activities can people expect at the event?
Live folk bands, huge variety of delicious food stalls, crafts, henna and face painting, story-telling, circus, yoga, folk dancing, foraging, drumming, community singing and lots more. The event is also environmentally conscious providing re-cycling, electric free stalls as well as some natural and organic foods.

Event details and features:

Date: Saturday 8th July 2017

Time: 10 am to 10pm

Location: Rudolf Steiner School, Langley Hill, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 9HG

Tickets: From £5.00 to £20.00 – Free tickets for children with every full paying adult

– Tickets in advance = discounts

– Wheel chair access and support

– Free ticket for carer – please contact organisers



Social media connect:


Unicorn Magazine Issue 139 is now out…

Our latest issue (Issue 139) of the magazine is now out – download it here: Issue 139
visit our main website for more details >>

You can also download our A4 poster , designed to encourage people to take a copy of the magazine… (or just collect the set for your wall!). Download it here: Issue 139 poster

Mike Silver gigs in the Unicorn area…

This just in from Mike Silver…
Here is a list (of one, he he!) of clubs that you can see me playing live close(ish) to you.
June 20th (this Tuesday coming) 2017
St Neots Folk Club
The Priory Centre
St Neots
PE19 2BH
St Neots is a wonderful club with a long history. Running a club for as long as Patti and Roger Pitt have can only be described as a labour of love. Their effort and hard work is simply outstanding. I look forward very much to seeing them again and to playing for their audience.
Hope to see you there.

Harpenden Folk Festival cancelled…

Some sad news just in from the organisers of the Harpenden Folk Festival, this coming weekend:
Unfortunately the Harpenden Folk Festival (11th June) has been cancelled – apologies to anyone who was planning on attending.
However the Lincoln Folk, Roots and World Music Festival is still taking place this Saturday with Martin & Eliza headlining plus most other acts the same as for Harpenden see
Also check out the Ilfracombe Folk Festival (20-22 October 2017)…


YM 25th Anniversary

This just in from Young Miscellany:
YM 25th Anniversary
On Saturday 20th May, Young Miscellany are celebrating their 25th anniversary and we are marking the occasion with a day of dance in Harpenden when we will be joined by Gig Magog Molly, Hemlock Morris and Chiltern Hundreds who will all be performing in the town centre throughout the day. The event will include a maypole dancing display and the chance for younger members of the public to participate.

Young Miscellany is a children’s folk dancing group based in Harpenden who have been enabling children and young people to perform traditional English folk dancing for 25 years. They are regular performers at the annual “Folk by the Oak Festival” and have performed at Cecil Sharpe House, the spiritual home of English Folk Dance and Song. YM have performed all over England and abroad, and have received many plaudits from people keen to see English dancing traditions continued.

Our aim has always been to provide a safe but fun environment in which young people ( 6 to 18) can learn about England’s many different styles of traditional dance, including Cotswold, Northwest, Molly, Rapper, Border, Broom, Country/Playford, Step Clog and Maypole, all to the accompaniment of live music performed by a band consisting mainly of parents, but also  some children. The benefits to our young members are huge and include: learning to work as a team; increased fitness and physical co-ordination, and helping develop confidence by performing in front of live audiences. Many of our ex members have gone on to enjoy traditional folk dancing into their adulthood.

We are always looking for new members. If any Unicorn readers know of anyone between the ages of 6 and 18 who would like to find out more, they would be welcome to one of our sessions  free of charge to have a look and/or  participate with no obligation. For more details, please contact us via Facebook, e-mail or phone/text 07961 853717. Our sessions usually happen on the morning of the first and third Sundays of the month in Harpenden.

We would be willing to be interviewed about this event, our activities as a group, and Morris dancing in general, which is often wrongly viewed as an activity that only older people perform!

You can contact me (Joe French, YM’s Musical director) on this email address:, or on my mobile: 07961 853717. I also would be able to arrange an interview with one of our young members, parents and/or our leader, Lynda Swaine.

Here is our website:

You can also find Young Miscellany on Facebook

I look forward to hearing whether I can provide any further help or information to help you cover this positive and inspiring story on your doorstep!

Yours faithfully

Joe French
Musical Director
Young Miscellany

Haddenham Ceilidhs, June 3rd at Haddenham Village Hall

This just in from Haddenham Ceilidhs:

The next event organised by Haddenham Ceilidhs  is  Saturday evening, June 3rd at Haddenham Village Hall. This is the last one of the current season and as you are already  aware, there will only be  one further event after this in December. So only 2 more chances to enjoy  yourself at Haddenham Ceilidhs!

For our Ceilidh in the Main Hall, dancing starts at 8 pm –  Music provided by  The Oxford Nags, Nick Walden will call the dances and Hammersmith Morrismen will give a dance display.

The Oxford Nags is a new “all star” four piece ceilidh band based around Oxfordshire and a bit of Hampshire. They play stonking English tunes for stonking English dance. With a line up of Nina Hansell on fiddle, Sandy Shallis on Melodeon, Andy Turner on anglo concertina and Gareth Kiddier on piano.There will be a short dance display from Hammersmith Morrismen. Kitted out in blue and gold and cutting a dash on the streets and off, Hammersmith Morris Men, known for their lively and engaging style, continue to thrill and entertain audiences around the country.

In the Walter Rose room, our compere Kitty Vernon will start the proceedings just after 8.30pm and will introduce Dave Burland and one of last year’s New Roots finalists, Anna Mullens and Beth Gifford.
Dave Burland is one of the most well-respected and long-established performers on the folk scene. His apparently effortless singing and guitar playing gained widespread acclaim 40 years ago when his first album, A Dalesman’s Litany, was voted Melody Maker Folk Album of the Year. Nic Jones summed up Dave Burland perfectly when he said: “He’s a uniquely calm, gentle and clever singer who makes you feel it’s all so amazingly simple.” He’s also been described as the Frank Sinatra of traditional folk music. And he’s also got a deliciously wicked sense of humour.
Anna Mullens  and Beth Gifford perform traditional and original material creating a fresh and original sound with violins,voice and viola.
Doors open 7.15pm, dancing starts at 8pm. An admission charge of £12, lets you dance or enjoy the concert or perhaps a bit of both! We rarely put up “House Full” signs – it is a large venue but if you are concerned about gaining admission on the evening, just e-mail or telephone and we will reserve tickets for you on the door.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone or any other groups you feel may be interested.

For more information, contact John on Tel. 07717 047039
e-mail: Website:

Details of our programme up to June 2017 are available on our website.

John Heydon

St Albans Folk Festival concert on Saturday 24 June

This just in from St Albans Folk Festival:

Award winning performers lined up for St Albans Folk Festival concert on Saturday 24 June on the Albantide weekend

The Furrow Collective, winners of the Best Group award in the BBC Radio Two Folk Awards, will be the headline guests at the St Albans Folk Festival concert on Saturday June 24 at 8pm at the Maltings Arts Theatre, the Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans AL1 3HL. They will be supported by other award winners, Alison and Jack, winners of the Watford Folk Club song writing competition and singer Bláthnaid McCullagh, New Roots 2017 finalist. The concert will be the high point of the day, on the Albantide festival weekend, when there will be dancing in the City Centre and live music in City Centre pubs. Details of the full programme will be released nearer the time,

 The Furrow Collective is made up of Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton, who was also awarded Musician of the Year in this year’s Folk Awards. They are four fine soloists sharing a mutual love of traditional songs, from both sides of the English and Scottish borders, with playful, boundary-defying musicianship.

 Since their critically acclaimed debut album ‘At Our Next Meeting’, The Furrow Collective has been in demand as a touring band, gigging throughout Europe and performing BBC live sessions. Their new album ‘Wild Hog’ was released in November 2016.

 Alison and Jack are Alison Frosdick and Jack Burnaby. Alison started singing at Yeovil Folk Club as a teenager. Her voice is both powerful and gentle with an emotive edge that shows her fine understanding for lyric interpretation. Jack did a Jazz degree and toured and recorded with various people from the folk-rock world before teaming up with Alison. They won the Watford Folk Club 2016 song writing competition with their song on the theme of crime and punishment, which they will include in their set in the concert.

 New Roots 2017 finalist Bláthnaid McCullagh comes from an Irish family in Honiton in Devon. She reinterprets traditional Irish folk songs and enjoys exploring a wide array of roots/folk music from different cultures.

 Tickets cost £14, students £10 can be bought on the door or in advance, by booking online at by phone on 0333 666 3366 or in person at St Albans Central Library, The Maltings, Chequer Street, St Albans, AL1 3JQ

 Further information: Alison Macfarlane Tel 01727 852111 (home) 0207 040 5832 (work) 0770 801 2991 (mobile)

Sad news from Herga Folk…

This just in from Herga Folk:

As you may already be aware, after more than 54 glorious years of a well-earned international reputation, a collective membership in the thousands, more than 500 guest performers and more than a million cumulative decibels, Herga will suspend operations at the end of June.  Our last “normal” day will be Monday 19th June, when we have Kitty Vernon & Derek Burgess as our guests.

But we don’t want Herga go with a whimper;  it has played too important a part in so many lives and in the UK folk scene, for us to allow its disappearance to go unmarked!  So we are inviting you to a very special day, to help us “sing Herga out” (we are not calling it a “wake”).  The event will be structured as a massive singaround interspersed with 20-30 minute sets by visiting artists, and will be held at our usual venue but on a Sunday from 2pm to 8pm, to enable people to attend without any logistics problems or concerns. There will be free food, there will be beer etc at club prices, but above all there will be music and song – your music and your singing are what will make this day truly special. So,

Sunday 25th June 2017
from 2pm till 8pm
Greenwood Hall,
Rickmansworth Road,
Pinner  HA5 3TJ

to ensure appropriate arrangements, please R.S.V.P to

See you there!

Harpenden Folk, Roots & World Music Festival 2 on Sunday 11th June

This just in from the Harpenden Folk, Roots & World Music Festival…

Solid Entertainments is delighted to announce that Harpenden Folk, Roots & World Music Festival will be returning to Harpenden Public Halls on Sunday 11th June 2017.

Showcasing the quality of live music in the UK; with Martin & Eliza Carthy headlining and five other very special acts in the line-up, this will undoubtedly be another great festival and an occasion not to miss!

For more than 40 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.  Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest.  In the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals’ music documentary strand on BBC 2) – there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn’t played.

Martin is 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.

Eliza Carthy is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation.  Twice nominated for the Mercury Prize and winner of innumerable other accolades over a 20 year career, Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including, Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Patrick Wolf and Bob Neuwirth.  More than most, Eliza Carthy has revitalised folk music and captured the most hardened of dissenters with intelligent, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance.

Eliza grew up immersed in the world of traditional music.  She still divides her time between touring and recording with her legendary parents, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson as well as engaging in numerous pioneering solo and band projects, including work with Pere Ubu and Melanie Challenger, an artist in residence in Antarctica.  In what has become something of a parallel career, Eliza has co-presented the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, been a regular guest-presenter on the BBC Radio 2 Mark Radcliffe Show and has made many appearances on BBC TVs ‘Later with Jools’.  In her own right, Eliza has been the subject of an hour long ITV documentary (‘Heaven & Earth’) and ‘My Music’ on Channel 5. Comedian and writer Stewart Lee describes Eliza as “Not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl”.

The full line-up comprises of:

Martin & Eliza Carthy – the good Doctor Martin Carthy and his twice Mercury nominated daughter Eliza Carthy, join forces to perform songs from their first duo album ever!

Michael Chapman– born in Leeds, he first became known on the London and Cornish folk circuits in 1966 and is known as one of the UK’s best finger picking style guitar players!

Chris SherburnDenny BartleyEmily Sanders– Chris and Denny bring their unique sound and Emily’s fiddle playing and singing adds a new depth to what will surely be a memorable set!

Louise Jordan– fuelled by an untamed spirit, her music is authentic and timeless, underpinned by an unassuming natural elegance that places simple honesty alongside bold imagination!

Mia And The Moon– combining early folk festival influences with the urban, contemporary styles of today, the two sisters distinctive, gospel sound, reaches out to people of all ages!

Lucy Zirins– mixing folk, country and blues influences in to original songs, her first album “Chasing Clocks” debuted to great press reviews and airplay from BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6!

No need to worry about searching for food and drinks on the day either, there will be a range of alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, real ales available and a varied menu that should meet everyone’s taste!

There is no doubt that this will be a great days entertainment and memorable day in Hertfordshire, so if you could help raise awareness in the region, it would be really appreciated.

The festival will take place at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Rd, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 1PD . Early Bird Tickets are only £22 (for a limited period) and to book, please call 01472 349 222 or go online at

To find out more about the line up and festival in general, please visit

Don’t be late, doors open at 1.30 p.m and the music starts at 2.00 p.m. and ends at 10.00 p.m.