item1 item1b item1c item1d item1e item1f item1g FBfLogoblue29

Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
01274 271114


Established 1956



Thursday 23rd May, 2019 at 8:00p
Entry - 6 (5 members)

Becky Mills

North Yorkshire solo singer-songwriter Becky Mills brings a uniquely personal and touching slant to the modern folk genre.

Listeners and audiences have characterised her touching, witty and evocative songs as “uplifting”, “heart-rending” and “sung from the heart”, and after 20 years on the circuit (including gigs at Glastonbury, Trowbridge and Cambridge festivals) she is a firm favourite with audiences large and small.

A close collaborator with Fairport Convention founder Ashley Hutchings, Becky has also worked with Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Barbara Dickson and Ken Nicol, as well as being a former member of acclaimed all-girl ensemble Waking The Witch. In 2013 she released her acclaimed solo debut album, “Dandelion”.

In 2019 she releases her new album, Tall Tales and Home Truths. Cut through with the superstitions, folklores and mysteries of the North Yorkshire moors she calls home, the album mines her family’s past to bring astonishing real- life stories to the listener’s attention. Myths, community tales, bonds and travails, all rooted in a magical sense of place, where the wild moors suddenly meet the sea and the promise of a potentially different life beyond...

“A storyteller of immense talent and imagination" – FATEA Magazine

"I don't remember when I was so amazed at a singer-songwriter's work ... she sings from the soul," - Mike Harding.

“I couldn’t take it off of the CD player. Cracking songs, lovely stories – just beautiful things” - Genevieve Tudor, BBC Radio Shropshire

"Becky Mills deserves far wider recognition for the unique talent she clearly is" – Nick Dent-Robinson

Please note: start time of 8pm to finish at 10:30 pm

Topic Historic Photo Gallery
Pictures from the 50s, 60s, 70s and more on the website
in a single gallery here.

The Topic at 60
The view from 2016, by John Waller. This is not a comprehensive history - instead John has put together a snapshot of the Topic as it is now, telling the story of how those currently responsible for the club's running came to be involved.

Topic Club Membership
5 a year from 1st January. That gives you 1 off concert tickets, and you can get more involved with running the club too if you are interested.

Plenty of Topic regulars play and listen at the Castle Hotel in Bradford on Fridays - why not join them? 24 May - Tom McKenzie; 31 May - Six Days 

Clicks since 03-2-2004:

web analytics

May 30

Jack Rutter

Still in his mid 20s, Jack Rutter (Moore Moss Rutter, Seth Lakeman band, Jackie Oates band) is a highly respected singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist making music within the British folk tradition. The recent release of his debut solo album, which is a collection of eleven traditional folk songs, produced by Joe Rusby and recorded completely solo and live in the studio with no overdubs, has been received with across the board acclaim and recognition. Critics are praising his traditional style of singing ‘beautifully sincere, timeless and beguiling’ (Songlines), and playing ‘guitar, bouzouki or concertina accompaniments are beautifully constructed and played – never getting in the way of the song, but supporting and building it’ (The Living Tradition Magazine) that have come together to create Hills, an album which ‘takes him to a whole new level, quite simply outstanding.’ (★★★★ RnR Magazine).

Jack grew up in the Holme Valley area of West Yorkshire, a place steeped in a wealth of traditional song and since graduating from Newcastle University with a BSc degree in Countryside Management in 2014, he’s gone on to forge a hugely successful career playing music professionally in various guises across Britain and Europe. In this new solo outing, the BBC award winning musician delivers folk songs with a rich, unassuming Yorkshire charm and an easy going stage presence that gives a live performance which is ‘wonderful, pure and simple. The audience just falls head over heels for this man, and rightly so.’ (English Folk Expo)

A truly captivating singer of traditional songs, Jack Rutter’s new record feels like one of the classic folk albums of the 70s - Jon Boden

There's a refreshing integrity about its stripped-down values. What comes to the fore is the durable strength and beauty of the songs. - ★★★★★ Colin Irwin, fRoots

An astonishingly mature debut from this young folksinger; there is a heartfelt purity to his stripped-back approach.- ★★★★ Songlines

Jun 06

Singers and Musicians

A chance to sing a song or play a tune or just listen. Entry free.

Jun 13

Jez Lowe

Jez Lowe has long been one of the UK’s busiest folk performers, playing for audiences the world over, either solo, (with guitar, cittern and harmonica accompaniment), or with his band The Bad Pennies. As part of The Pitmen Poets (with Bob Fox, Benny Graham and Billy Mitchell), Jez has helped to rekindle the fire in the tradition of mining songs and culture of his native region in a series of sell out theatre performances around the UK.

Over the last couple of decades, the likes of Fairport Convention, The Dubliners, The Unthanks, Wizz Jones, The McCalmans, Mary Black, The Duhks, Bob Fox, The Young Uns, Enda Kenny, Cherish The Ladies, Tom McConville, The Clancys and scores more, have queued up to adopt his songs for their own repertoires. No wonder Richard Thompson has called him “The best singer songwriter to come out of the UK for a long time”, and personally invited him to play at Thompson’s Meltdown Festival at London’s South Bank Centre in 2010.

Jez Lowe’s contributions to the on-going BBC Radio series The Radio Ballads has cemented this reputation, with a Sony Radio Award among the many accolades coming its way. The project culminated in a live BBC Radio 2 broadcast In November 2018 to commemorate The Great War Centenary that featured Jez alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and narrator Michael Morpurgo.

As BBC Radio DJ Mike Harding said recently, “No-one else writes or sounds like Jez Lowe”, and chances are, even if you’ve never heard the man himself, you’ll have heard his songs, sung at festivals, club-gigs, open-mikes or on CD, by the great and good, the professional and the enthusiast, the young and not-so-young. What higher accolade could a songwriter hope for?

‘Jez Lowe is one of our finest songwriters.’ BBC Radio 2

Jun 20

Kelly Oliver

Kelly Oliver is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player from Hertfordshire She came to performing music a little later in life than many other of the rising stars of the UK music scene. After graduating from Royal Holloway, University of London and then travelling around Europe, Brazil and Argentina, her passion for folk music was ignited with a visit to Ireland. It was there that she was exposed to traditional Irish folk music, and with her Grandmother having been born in Tralee in Ireland, Kelly was heavily drawn to the culture and especially the traditional music, played live with intricacy and passion.

Returning home to England, she began her musical career by playing support slots at folk clubs on the scene, including many at the prestigious Hitchin Folk Club, which happened to be her local. After supporting various high-profile acts such as Phil Beer (Show of Hands), Cara Dillon and Barbara Dickson, Kelly began playing her own headline shows and slots at festivals around the country. Since then, she has released two albums of her own original songs and has enjoyed many accolades for her work. Her debut album This Land' gained a 4* review from The Telegraph and her second album Bedlam was included in The Sunday Times Essential New Releases and was one of Paul Sexton's Top 20 Albums of the Year in Prog Magazine. Her last five singles have all gained BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music airplay and she performed her 2016 summer single 'Rio' on BBC One's Sunday Morning Live for her first national TV appearance.

Quite an amazing young songwriter – Mike Harding

A fantastic new talent – Chris Hawkins, BBC 6 Music

Jun 27

Singers and Musicians

A chance to sing a song or play a tune or just listen. Entry free.

Jul 04

Roger Sutcliffe

This is Roger’s 56th year of playing at the Topic: there is very little we can say about him that his army of admirers don’t already know. But for any newcomers to the world of acoustic music Roger stands on his own as ragtime picker extraordinaire, blues supremo, and singer of songs of those genres. There are invariably a number of guitarists in his audience who have learned their craft first hand from Roger, so whether you pick, play or just listen, get down early for another packed night.

Jul 11

Cath & Phil Tyler

Often described as one the most raw and compelling acts on the scene, Cath and Phil play Anglo-American folk music, sharing a love of traditional folk narratives, mountain banjo and full voiced Sacred Harp singing. Using a combination of guitar, banjo,f iddle & voice they bring a highly concentrated and intimate musical experience that penetrates deep into the essence of the folk tradition.

Taking a more minimal approach to their material than some, they have been described as ‘one of the most compelling musical partnerships on the scene’.

They have performed on stages as diverse as the Royal Opera House in London and a dank tower in the old city walls of Newcastle.

Folk balladry has rarely been performed with such commitment and intensity – Record Collector

Beautiful songs, sung with care and love by two people who collect and cherish the history and impoortance of folk song – Folk Radio UK

Jul 18


Stables - The alt-folk duo formed by Matthew Lowe (Keston Cobblers Club) and Daniel Trenholme.

Stables was formed in January 2016 during late night drinks between Matthew and Daniel in London. Matthew was working on a new project idea at the time and, after playing through what was to become their first single, 'Steam', at 5 am, the duo was born, and quickly went public four months later.

'Beyond Brushes' (their debut album) was released to critical acclaim just nine months after, in August 2016, and was championed by the likes of BBC's Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson and BBC6 Recommends amongst others, soon establishing them firmly on the circuit, with a growing fan base.

Just a month after the release Matthew and Daniel embarked on their first UK headline tour, followed by a small French headline. Stables put emphasis on 'energy' when playing live; switching instruments and producing the sound of a full band, with big harmonies and varied styles. Matthew says; 'I always wanted to create a simple sound that could then be taken further when needed, from a small folk club, to a large festival stage'. Stables have gone on to tour the UK further, performing at major festivals including Glastonbury Festival and five European headline tours in just over a year.

Stables' second album, 'Reverie', was released at the end of February 2018.

Cracking Stuff!' Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 2 & 6 Music

Personal favourite- Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music

Jul 25

Double Header: Tom & Manny McKenzie and Chris Elliott & Caitlin Jones

Tom & Manny McKenzie

Tom McKenzie is a singer-songwriter from Bradford who performs both original songs and covers around Yorkshire. He records, mixes and masters all of his own music and has been doing so since the age of 15. His songs range from acoustic folk to indie. His newest album Tom McKenzie, is folkier than earlier material with a focus on acoustic instrumentation and live arrangements – the double bass, mandolin and fiddle taking larger roles.

Tom has performed in many venues including York Racecourse, Leeds University Union and Bradford Centenary Square, with radio play on a wide range of local radio stations.

Well accomplished musician and all round nice chap – Jericho Keys, BBC Introducing North Yorkshire

Go and check out Tom McKenzie, it is rare to find such talent – Success Circuit

Making waves across Yorkshire with his delightful style of acoustic folk – York Calling

A breakout artist with real potential for a swift upwards climb – Mad Alice Records


Chris Elliott and Caitlin Jones

Chris Elliot and Caitlin Jones are a Staffordshire-based duo playing traditional and original music inspired by the English folk tradition. Well-known locally as part of the successful Bric-a-Brac, who gave the Topic a great night and also wowed audiences in other local venues such as The Castle and Black Dyke Mills Heritage Venue, we are looking forward to what is sure to be a great evening’s entertainment.

August 01, 08, 15, 22 and 29

Singers' and Musicians' Nights throughout August, as traditional.

A chance to sing a song or play a tune or just listen. Entry free.

Or you can go and catch acts at a festival somewhere. That's where they mostly are!

item6a item7a item7