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Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
01274 271114


Established 1956



Thursday October 18th, 2018 at 8:00p
Entry - 6 (5 for members)

Bella Gaffney &
Polly Bolton
with Sarah Smout and Holly Brandon

Bradford’s own Bella has teamed up with superb mandolin player Polly from East Yorkshire to form a stunning duo that is taking the acoustic music scene by storm, and deservedly so. Tonight they are joined by Sarah Smout (cello) & Holly Brandon (violin).

Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award winner Bella Gaffney writes folk-inspired songs which she performs along with her own original arrangements of traditional pieces. Bella released her second album Heaven Knows in the summer, and has supported folk luminaries including Jon Boden, Cara Dillon and Altan. She has appeared at festivals including Celtic Connections, Southwell Folk Festival, Bromyard folk festival, Moseley Folk Festival, Beverley Folk Festival, HebCelt and many more. She is known for her solo performances and until recently has been part of the energetic and talented young folk band, Midlands-based Bric-a-Brac.


York-based Polly Bolton first picked up the mandolin as a child and has been touring internationally in various line ups since her early teens. She is one third of progressive bluegrass / acoustic trio Stillhouse and she has performed at festivals including Wilderness, Boomtown Fair, Deer Shed, Festa do Avante! (Portugal), Beverley Folk Festival, Musicport, Towersey and Broadstairs Folk Week, as well as support slots with Tcha Limberger & Mozes Rosenberg, LAU and Hot Club of Cowtown.  

This is without doubt a partnership made in heaven: as well as their outstanding musical talents they exhibit a joy of playing together which transmits itself to their audience. This will be a superb night.

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? Oct 12 Tom & Manny McKenzie; Oct 19 Halstead Clan; Oct 26 Masters of Nonne

Clicks since 03-2-2004:

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Oct 25

The Foxglove Trio

The Foxglove Trio seek out lesser-known traditional and contemporary folk songs and, with care and creativity, transform them into moments of breathtaking beauty. Since forming in 2010 these talented musicians have built a powerful signature sound based on Patrick Dean’s bold melodeon playing, Cathy Mason’s intricate cello lines and Ffion Mair’s clear, soaring vocals. They add variety through vocal harmonies (in English and Welsh), guitar, bodhran and an extra cello. The trio have been captivating audiences around the country with their imaginative arrangements, passionate performances and an intriguing repertoire which ranges from subtly political contemporary songs to jaunty Yorkshire tales and soulful Welsh laments.

A fresh, modern folk sound... this is a group that uses tradition in the best way possible - to create something new and beautiful -  Songlines - Tim Woodall

The Foxglove Trio are one of the most distinctive of today's young ensembles - David Kidman, fRoots

Nov 01

Singers and musicians

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

Nov 08

The Heathen Kings

This Leeds-based trio comprising Rachael Sutcliffe on lead vocals, harp and percussion, Mark Daniel Rogers on guitar, mandolin and vocals and Steve Foster on bass and vocals performs traditional, self-penned and borrowed folk music from the British Isles and further afield.

Since forming in late 2009, The Heathen Kings have performed across the UK at some of the most auspicious festivals, including opening for Show of Hands at Moonbeams Wold Top Festival, headlining slots at Otley Black Sheep Folk Festival, EFDSS Folk Rising, Hardraw Gathering, Potbelly Folk Festival, Oundle International Festival and Ingleton Folk Weekend.

Nov 15

Jack Blackman

Jack Blackman is fast developing into one the most accomplished and exciting young performers on the roots scene today.

Jack’s guitar playing has been described as 'exceptional' by Whispering Bob Harris. He has performed his songs all across the country and as far as the Mississippi Delta. Having cut his teeth in his teens trading licks with such luminaries as Paul Jones and The Blues Band, more recently with Tony Joe White and receiving accolades from Martin Simpson who described him as “a brilliant young guitarist”, Jack is no stranger to blues and folk. On his forthcoming album, he fuses this with country, rock and pop with a voice that has been described as sounding 'older and more careworn than his tender years should allow' (Acoustic Magazine).

Nov 22

Roger Davies

Roger Davies has established himself as an engaging songwriter through four solo albums collaborations with brass bands and countless club and festival performances. Well-known for his take on local (Yorkshire, that is) places and people, Roger is one of the most popular of performers on the local music scene and beyond having toured with Fairport Convention in 2016.

Roger returns to the Topic for what will most certainly be another great night.

A celebration of life: expertly crafted songs - Rock N' Reel Magazine

Nov 29

Clay Liftin'

Clay Liftin' are a recently formed talented Irish roots band based in Huddersfield. They are Aiden Kilroy (bodhran and vocals) Martin Lennon (whistles) Ian Pearson (fiddle) and Martin Mcgroarty (guitar). 

Expect an eclectic mix of driving rhythms, haunting airs and sprightly songs all guaranteed to engage an audience.

Dec 06

Singers and Musicians

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

Dec 13

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.

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


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