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Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
01274 271114


Established 1956



Thursday December 13th, 2018 at 8:00p
Entry - 6 (5 members)

Paula Ryan

Paula is a compelling singer/songwriter, born and bred in Tipperary, Ireland, whose powerful, insightful songs are inspired by the lyricism and musical passion of her Irish Gaelic roots & driven by the funky rhythmic influences and “wacky” instruments of music from other cultures.

To accompany her songs, Paula plays Marimba/Tongue Drum, Guitar and a variety of percussion instruments including bodhran, djembe and darabuka.

Paula has been active on the folk scene in and around York for many years, both as a solo artist and in varying collaborations. She has regularly toured the USA, France and Germany both performing and organising/ running workshops in singing, song writing, percussion and rhythm in those countries as well as in the UK, Ireland and as far away as Tanzania. Her performances are laced with the warmth, wit and passion of her Irish roots.

Paula has had considerable success in some of America’s biggest song contests:her song “The Red Rose’ received an Honor Award from the Great American Song Contest, as did another of her songs ‘The Faintest Touch’ . She was a finalist with the same song in one of Ireland’s leading song contests – the Clonmel National Song Contest.

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

Topic Historic Photo Gallery
In 2016 The Topic had its 60th anniversary. Each week during that autumn we posted a different historic photo taken in or relevant to the club during the 60s, 70s, 60s and even 90s, with some historical context. Many photos were by Eddie Saxton and Brian Lawton, and others centred on the 21st and 25th anniversaries. Finally they are 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 60th Song Lyrics

Club members and attenders were invited to write a song to mark our 60th birthday. Those who did were able to sing them at a special Singers' and Musicians' Night on the 3rd of November 2016. The lyrics of the various songs performed are now available on the website here.

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.

This is an ongoing project over 12 months concerning thousands of photographs taken by Brian Lawton which cover much of the history of folk music and folk festivals in West Yorkshire.
See more at Send in your stories and memories. You can help by identifying as many people, places and events from the past as you can.

Plenty of Topic regulars play and listen at the Castle Hotel in Bradford on Fridays - why not join them? Dec 7 - Phil Cockerham Trio; 
Dec 14 - May Contain Notes

Clicks since 03-2-2004:

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Dec 20

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary sounds. Their performances showcase new interpretations of old songs alongside original self penned tunes and new contemporary songs that are entirely at home in the tradition.

Out of this combination they have developed a sound that is both familiar and fresh. Strong believers in letting the music tradition live and breathe through sensitive interpretation, Vicki and Jonny allow the melody to sing without any constraints.

Be entranced by the haunting nyckelharpa, amazed at the cow horn (one of the worlds earliest communication devices) and meet some of the bagpipes that didn’t come from Scotland.

Suitable for all ages, their evenings are packed with toe tapping tunes and songs of love, death, trains and dressing up (not always at the same time) all presented with sparkling gentle humour, lots of smiles and skilful musicianship.

Tonight Vicki and Jonny will be presenting their special Christmas show. Well, it is nearly Christmas…

Dec 27

club closed


Jan 03

Singers & musicians

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

Jan 10

Stuart Douglas

A third visit to the Topic for this unpretentious local favourite who displays a remarkable talent for his heartfelt delivery of thoughtful songs. A Bradford lad, Stuart is making more solo appearances around the local clubs these days, stepping out of his harmonising mode to deliver some lesser known songs from his vast repertoire: contemporary, classic and occasionally comical. Stuart sings his guitar-driven music with passion and enthusiasm that is always thought-provoking. Well received wherever he goes, this is sure to be a delightful evening.

Jan 17

Yan Tan Tether

Yan Tan Tether consists of Rosie Knighton, Tess Leslie and Lynne O’Malley, all musicians in their own right but coming together as a trio to create beautiful a capella arrangements of traditional and more modern folk songs. Their voices blend beautifully, creating spine-tingling harmonies interspersed with some rollicking good chorus songs.

Their music has been played on the Mike Harding Folk Show a number of times, and Mike describes them as “one of the best a capella groups going”. They won the hiring fair at Cleckheaton Folk festival in July 2015, and are regularly rebooked for folk clubs and festivals around Yorkshire.

Yan Tan Tether have released three CDs, the latest of which is called “All On the Salt Seas” which is a selection of salty sea songs and stories of saucy sailors and sinking ships.

A perfect combination of sublime harmonies and varied, interesting repertoire. Highly recommended! - Joe Grint

Great band by the way, three girls singing with terrific harmonies, If you have a chance to see them, do go because they're wonderful. - Mike Harding

Yan Tan Tether. Amazing. Fantastic choice of songs, harmonies so tight they are out of this world and a wonderful stage presence and rapport with the audience! Thank you Tess, Rosie and Lynne - Gerry McNeice.

Jan 24

Alden Patterson & Dashwood

Norwich based folk trio Alden Patterson and Dashwood weave rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, dobro, guitar and mandolin around beautifully written original songs and melodies. The independently-released debut album ‘Call Me Home’ was written and produced at home in Norwich and is lovingly presented in attractive handmade covers, designed and hand-printed by the band. Their music takes influence from folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic with uplifting instrumentals and self-penned songs depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home.

Christina Alden: guitar / vocals Alex Patterson: fiddle / vocals Noel Dashwood: dobro / vocals

Jan 31

Edwina Hayes

Edwina’s beautifully written songs, charming stage presence and voice of an angel have won her a reputation as a true natural talent of gentle folk-Americana. She has opened numerous shows for Jools Holland and Van Morrison as well as her own gigs playing stages everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to The Royal Albert Hall. Edwina numbers Michael Parkinson and Mike Harding among her fans and the title track of her album Pour Me A Drink was covered by Nanci Griffith who calls her 'the sweetest voice in England'.

Her cover of the Randy Newman song Feels Like Home was featured in the Cameron Diaz film My Sister's Keeper and has since had over eight million plays on You Tube.

Edwina is often invited to guest on studio albums and support major artists on tour and as well as touring with Jools Holland, Van Morrison and Nanci Griffith, Edwina has also toured with artists ranging from Loudon Wainwright and Roger McGuinn to KT Tunstall and Gretchen Peters.

Edwina was born in Dublin and grew up in Preston, Lancashire before moving to the East coast of Yorkshire as a teenager, where she has been based ever since. Dividing her time between the UK and America, Edwina's second home is Nashville where she is much loved as a songwriter and artist.

In 2015 Edwina began songwriting and performing with Kate Bramley and Simon Haworth and together they formed the trio The Mile Roses who have been guesta at the Topic.

As well as her regular visits to the US, Edwina has toured the UK as support to Fairport Convention, also China and Australia.

Edwina is a haunting honeyed solo songwriter - The Guardian

The sweetest voice in England. A wonderful young woman, so gifted and full of song - Nanci Griffith

Sweet-voiced songwriter who has a fine line in gentle, country-tinged material - Time Out

Feb 07 Fiddlericon1a2

Singers and Musicians

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

Feb 14

Alice Jones

Alice Jones is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer from Ripponden in West Yorkshire. Her background is deeply rooted in the English folk tradition and the music that she makes instantly reflects this strong influence. Alice sings mostly traditional songs accompanying herself on the piano or harmonium and sometimes only with foot percussion. The sensitive and intuitive arrangements of each song allow the stories to take centre stage and, inspired by her beginnings as a percussive dancer, they are loaded with a rhythm and energy that portrays her dancer’s heartbeat. Her distinctive voice and innovative style lends a fresh, modern perspective to traditional material and brings new life to old songs.

Although Alice is immersed in the English folk tradition she also draws heavily from her roots as an Appalachian dancer with a keen interest in American folk song and music that frequently leads to her raiding the collections of Frank and Anne Warner, Cecil Sharpe and the Smithsonian Institution etc. for new material. Her love of European dancing, dance music and song also inspires her music and sees her performing regularly at French Bals and Breton Fez-Noz as well as participating and sometimes leading the dancing.

All of these influences combine and intertwine to inform her interpretation of songs and tunes, creating a uniquely characteristic yet seamless style. Her deliberate yet expressive tone and heartfelt precision portrays a true and genuine connection with her material. She performs with a captivating sincerity that conveys the innate sentiment of the lyrics interwoven with an implicit energy and wit that enchants, beguiles and enthrals those listening. Every performance highlights her eagerness to include and engage with an audience and her concert sets are brimming with refrains and choruses specifically intended to invite as much audience participation as possible!

Alice Jones is a seriously impressive singer of traditional songs. - fRoots

Superb, sincere vocals – meltingly fine music. - Verity Sharpe, BBC Radio 3

Feb 21

Daria Kulesh

With her striking voice and strong Russian and Ingush heritage, "bold, exotic, impressive" Daria Kulesh is a rising star and a unique character on the UK folk scene. Her debut album Eternal Child was described as "phenomenal" and named runner-up in "Best Album of 2015 from a Female Artist" by FolkWords, among numerous other accolades.

Her 2017 album Long Lost Home has won awards in the UK and in Russia, including Laurel Canyon Music's Album of the Year. It has enjoyed national radio play and incredible reviews calling it a "triumph", a "masterpiece" and "a definite contender for the best album of 2017". Mike Harding praised the The Moon and the Pilot as "one of the most beautiful new songs of the last ten years".

A hardworking and in-demand live performer, Daria offers her audiences a thoroughly engaging, entertaining and enchanting experience – with 80+ concert appearances in the UK and abroad last year alone, 6 UK tours under her belt so far and a growing number of venue and festival bookings.

A great voice and a great songwriter - Doug Welch, BBC Radio Kent.

Exceptional, crystal-clear vocals -
Andy McMillan, Bright Young Folk.

Feb 28

Nick Dow

Nick Dow has been singing traditional folk songs for over forty years. He has had a big influence on the folk scene and most recently award winning English folk musician Jim Moray has quoted Nick as an influence, singing two songs from his repertoire and including one (Seven Long Years) on his latest album Skulk.

Nick is an acknowledged expert on west country folk songs and together with his wife Mally has collected over 300 songs in Dorset, and also found singers in Lancashire and Essex. He has also made recordings of gypsy singers some of which have been included on Topic Records series The Voice of the People.

Nick has returned to the folk scene after a long absence, having spent several years building up his business of signwriting and building and restoring gypsy wagons.

He has lived an amazing life: from a rough childhood in South London, he has lived on his wits since he left home at eighteen, travelling halfway round the world, living on the road with the travelling folk and learning their songs, working as a TV and film extra, broadcaster, narrowboat painter, writer, folklorist, guitar teacher and general dealer.

Every song Nick sings has a story attached to it, and his gigs are as informative as they are entertaining.

Nick and Mally now live happily in East Lancashire surrounded by moorland and fells.

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