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Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
01274 271114


Established 1956



Thursday 24th May 2018 at 8:30p
Entry - 6 (5 members)


Topic favourites Plumhall (for those who don’t know) are Michelle Plum and Nick B. Hall, a feisty Yorkshire based duo whose award winning self-penned songs are already winning them plaudits from the likes of R2 Magazine (4 stars), Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff), Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) and many more.

The pair deliver guitar and harmony driven textures of folk, Americana and pop, and have have been wowing audiences on the live acoustic circuit in the UK. Winners of the Yorkshire Gig Guide Outstanding Songwriters award 2014, Plumhall were recently joined on stage by Bob Dylan's legendary guitarist Larry Campbell for a performance of Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) at the BBC Radio 2 award winning folk club The Black Swan in York.

Michelle Plum is a former member of Chumbawamba, Waking the Witch and The Accidental Tourists, and in her own right has supported Aimee Mann, Capercaillie, Ralph McTell, Nerina Pallot, Texas and Shane MacGowan to name but a few. She also provided guest vocals for Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts' UK spring 2013 tour. More recently, Michelle's other session work has taken her on tour all over Europe.

Nick B Hall has been a member of the Hall Brothers band nearly all his life, and has supported Fairport Convention, Hugh Cornwell, Show of Hands, Kate Rusby, Glenn Tilbrook plus many more.

Together as Plumhall Michelle & Nick have supported more top names than can be mentioned here, among them Peter Tork of The Monkees who invited them onstage to perform Daydream Believer with him. A very special moment!

Recently, Michelle and Nick appeared as special guests on a pair of shows on the Al Stewart UK tour - at Manchester Bridgewater Hall and the London Palladium (where they sang a verse on one of Al's songs). Another very special moment!

Plumhall have consistently wowed critics and audiences with their live performances on the UK acoustic circuit, delivering outstanding guitar playing, smart lyric writing and wonderful harmonies which set them above most of their contemporaries - Miles Hunt - The Wonder Stuff

Having considered the response to the proposal for earlier start/finish times, the committee has decided to implement a starting time for Guest Nights of 8 pm to finish at 10.30 pm.

This will start in SEPTEMBER 2018 and will be closely monitored. Comments about the new arrangement will always be welcomed. Tony Charnock will be reminding Topic-goers relentlessly in future newsletters, and it will also be mentioned on club nights

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 during the next 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? May 18 - Weybourn Chester Bingley; May 25 - Jon Palmer and Friends

Clicks since 03-2-2004:

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May 31

Louise Jordan - No Petticoats Here

Louise Jordan is no stranger to the Topic, having already made a name for herself as an exceptional songwriter performer and musician. No Petticoats Here is her own project which tells the inspirational stories of remarkable women of the First World War through songs and narrative. But this is no dry history lesson, and no dogmatic feminist pronouncement: it is merely a seeking out of the truth, bringing hitherto unknown facts into the public domain: Louise brings the women and their stories to life through anecdotes from the time and her original songs in an emotional and passionate presentation. Each of the stories illustrates the bravery of these women in the face of physical danger and their determination in the face of prejudice.

The research, songwriting, composition and delivery took eighteen months and has taken Louise from Portsmouth to Pervijze and from Ulverston to Ypres by way of many museums, battlefields, private collections, libraries and research centres and she has had the support of the women’s families and leading historians.

Since first touring with No Petticoats Here she has won funding from Arts Council England to develop the project and take it to wider audiences. Her meticulous research and obvious passion for the subject shine through this unique performance: it is without doubt an absolute must see. Reviews, including from the national press, have been full of superlatives.

Jordan has approached her subject with the diligence of a scholar and the heart of an artist…. it is in responses like this set of songs that our collective cultural memories are kept alive… - R2 Magazine

Visit for further information about the project and how it came into being.

June 07

Singers & Musicians

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

Jun 14

Red Hippo Support: Pete Ivatts

Red Hippo - Peadar Long, Daz Jones and Simon Chantler, a stunning mix of sousaphone, Irish whistles, saxophones and strings - are a truly unique trio. They combine music from different genres to create compositions which take the listener on instrumental journeys with a respectful nod towards The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Bellowhead, Filafolket and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and yet don’t sound like any of them.The differing styles are truly inter-woven into a fascinating musical form: Red Hippo’s music is deceptively intelligent, yet utterly accessible.

Red Hippo have appeared at many music and folk festivals, including Sidmouth. They have also supported The Oysterband, LAU, Andy Irvine, O’Hooley and Tidow, and Kan.

Support tonight from Pete Ivatts with his sensitive, often poignant, original compositions, sometimes laced with gentle humour.

Jun 21

Bob Wood

Bob Wood hails originally from the west coast of Scotland but has long been based in London. An engaging solo singer and performer with an easy going sense of humour, he’s known also as an accomplished finger-style guitarist. Exploring a range of open tunings, his playing and song interpretations have been described as displaying rare sensitivity, lightness of touch and great technique.

Bob's repertoire nowadays retains firm links with the tradition, but includes an array of contemporary songs as well as a smattering of pipe, harp and other tunes on guitar.

An artiste with an eclectic and entertaining repertoire of song which he accompanies with an innovative and always sympathetic guitar style – Archie Fisher

Bob Wood is one of the deftest pickers and tastiest arrangers of songs it has been my pleasure to hear...a real delight - Steve Tilston

Jun 28

Miriam Erasmus (formerly Miriam Backhouse)

Born in Lewes, U.K., traditional folksinger Miriam Backhouse made her professional start on the British folk club circuit in the mid-'70s, and released a solo LP, A Gypsy Without a Road, in 1977, which has become an underground British folk classic over the decades since. Miriam moved to South Africa in 1979 with her husband, keyboard player John Erasmus, and made her home in the Valley of a Thousand Hills region there. She released a series of recordings in South Africa which earned her the title of "the African Rose". A clear, expressive singer, Miriam also plays several instruments, including guitar, viola, autoharp, and recorder, and has written hundreds of children's songs, but her forte remains the traditional British, American, and African material that forms the center of her live shows. She tours Britain annually while continuing to make her home in South Africa.

Miriam is celebrating her 70th birthday by making this a special tour of places that have meant a great deal to her over her lifetime.. She was involved in the folk revival of the 60’s, eventually being dubbed “First Lady of Folk”, and gained a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of British folk songs. Miriam started her folk career at Bradford University.

Jul 05

Roger Sutcliffe

This is Roger’s 55th 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 12

Singers and Musicians

A chance to come and sing a song or play a tune or just listen. (Change from usual 1st Thursday to accommodate Roger who by tradition plays the Topic on the first Thursday in July).

Jul 19

The Quiggs

The Quiggs are the new husband and wife duo that has emerged on to the Scottish folk scene. Stephen Quigg is a long established folksinger and former member of the legendary band The McCalmans and Pernille Quigg, originally from Denmark, is a folksinger and songwriter. Stephen and Pernille share a common feeling for the folk tradition and both know a good song when they hear one.

A concert with The Quiggs is a chance to hear folksongs in their simple yet highly expressive form, with beautiful harmonies and songs that seek the audience’s participation. A Topic debut.

Jul 26

Steve Dan Mills

American singer songwriter Steve Dan Mills was the co-founder of Speed Limit 35, one of the first folk rock bands in the American South.

He has been enjoying a solo career since the mid 70's and has performed at the Sark Folk Festival, Cornwall Folk Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, London Folk Festival, Belfast Nashville Songwriter's Festival and the UK's Top Folk and Acoustic Clubs. His music has been described as "the real thing, sensitive, moving, cathartic and healing." He couples his very powerful vocals with acoustic guitar and harmonica. His masterful story telling, based on his rich and challenging life experiences, lays the groundwork for each song in a most engaging manner.

Steve has recently moved to London and has begun performing in folk clubs throughout the UK.


2rd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th August - Summer singers and musicians nights

Several chances to come along and sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

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