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Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
01274 271114


Established 1956



Thursday February 21st, 2019 at 8:00p
Entry - £6 (£5 members)

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.

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. So now is a good time of the year to buy membership. 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? Feb 15 - Chris Scarlett; Feb 22 - Paula Ryan

Clicks since 03-2-2004:

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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.

Mar 07

Singers and Musicians

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

Mar 14

John Palmer Acoustic Band

The John Palmer Acoustic Band is a high energy 6-piece folk, roots and rock-n-roll combo (based in-and-around the musically vibrant West Yorkshire market town of Otley.) and has been described as “a cross between The Pogues and The Oyster Band, with a bit of The Waterboys, The Saw Doctors and the Bruce Springsteen Seeger Sessions Band thrown in”.

Amongst a host of accolades, the band, who regularly perform at festivals and venues across the North of England. has been hailed “a blur of hedonistic delight” by Fatea Showcases and “the best upbeat folk band around” by the Yorkshire Gig Guide.

The line-up is guitars, mandolin, double bass, violin and percussion, with Jon Palmer their songwriter and lead singer, joined by Nick Settle, Wendy Ross, Ricky Silvers and Matt Nelson.

Jon is a former winner of the Grolsch UK Songwriter of the Year, and a published songwriter with Sony.

Mar 21

Gareth Davies-Jones

Held in high regard by many commentators as a gifted and perceptive songwriter (BBC Radio's Bob Harris, Iain Anderson & Frank Hennessy are all fans), Gareth’s music is laced with a vivid and powerful sense of the aesthetic, forged amongst the landscapes and atmosphere of his native Ulster and now adopted home in Northumberland. A natural story teller through song, many reviewers have placed Gareth's performances alongside the best in the Troubadour tradition. Combining elements of Guthrie, Dylan, Taylor and Browne, the attention to musical detail is evident throughout his now extensive back catalogue playing a variety of instruments and featuring a keen sense of melody woven around a rich, distinctive voice.

The broad variety of the subject matter addressed in his songs continues to captivate and engage audiences at live shows up and down the country.

Rich, soulful vocals, a fine ear for melody & masterful acoustic guitar playing - R2 Magazine

one of the UK’s best-kept musical secrets, powerful songs and affecting performances – Properganda

Mar 28

Tom Kitching & Jon Loomes

Tom Kitching and Jon Loomes are 50% of Pilgrims' Way, at least in terms of culpability, and perhaps as much as 70% in pure biomass. Fiddle and guitar, songs and tunes, bitter and mild. Engaging, entertaining, sometimes surreal, always compelling.

A consummate performer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and ethno-musicologist, Jon is renowned for his work with traditional English folk music.

He released his much acclaimed solo album 'Fearful Symmetry' in 2005, has made two albums with 'Heretique', and is a member of folk award nominees 'Pilgrims' Way'. He was once described as 'a genius' by Zoe Ball.

Jon has worked in bands with artists such as Pete Coe, Chris Coe, Nic Jones, Paul Sartin, Keith Kendrick, John Spiers, Jon Boden and Benji Kirkpatrick.

In a successful thirteen year career, Tom has worked with numerous singers and bands, including Pilgrims' Way, Gavin Davenport, Jon Loomes, Gren Bartley, Zoe Mulford, and Albireo. He has tutored at several Summer Schools, and has lead numerous workshops around the country. Heavily involved in the dance scene, and veteran of over 1500 gigs, he stands at the leading edge of the English folk scene. His style is English at heart, whilst encompassing elements of many other traditions. It is a unique, vibrant style full of exuberance, energy and wit, yet capable of expressing extraordinary emotional depth.

In March 2015, he released his solo album, 'Interloper', a deeply personal project to capture the state of the English instrumental tradition and define the role of the fiddle within it.

Tom Kitching is one of the best English fiddlers ever - Mike Harding.

There are dozens of folk violinists, but few with the attack, passion, and ingenuity of Tom Kitching. The most beautiful instrumental playing of the year. - Sunday Express

Apr 04

Singers and Musicians

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

Apr 11

Craig & Willoughby

Craig and Willoughy are Cathryn Craig, who hails from Richmond, Virginia, is well established as a singer/songwriter in Nashville where she has worked with, among others, Chet Atkins and the Righteous Brothers, and. Brian Willoughby was a member of the progressive folk-rock band Strawbs and has worked with the likes of Mary Hopkin, Dave Cousins and Joe Brown. Both have accompanied Nanci Griffith in more recent times.

“Sublime guitar work and one of the finest voices around” –

“They catch a mood that could produce goosebumps on sheet metal” - Glasgow Herald

"Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby are an astonishingly good duo. Beautiful songs, wonderful singing and playing". - Rothbury Roots

Apr 18

The Trials of Cato

The Trials Of Cato, a band that arrived fully formed and functioning from Beirut in the winter of 2016, have since torn a shape very much their own into the canvas of the UK folk scene. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire, whilst living in Lebanon they spent a year boiling down the roots of their sound into a hybrid of traditional influences that intrigued Lebanese audiences in the country’s biggest venues.

They moved back to the UK and have since been performing tirelessly up and down the country, leading to BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe hailing them as “one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.” Their musical development in the run up to their debut album proper has been swift and sure, winning much praise for Hide and Hair and receiving repeated national airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.

Praised for the diversity of their material and influences, The Trials of Cato live show “invariably stuns audience wherever they play.” Whether plying their trade busking, performing in front of thousands at festivals across Europe, or frequently selling out their own club shows, The Trials of Cato have the wind behind them.

"One of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent time"s – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

"Fascinating stuff" – Cerys Matthews, BBC 6 Music

“Swaggering… glossy results” – The Guardian

“One of the most impressive debut folk albums of the year ★★★★” – Songlines

“Full of verve… they delight festival audiences ★★★★” – RnR

“A band name on everyone’s lips… few debut albums have as much vitality and impact ” – fRoots

“The Trials of Cato are about to hit the earth’s atmosphere with a bang, so sit back and enjoy the fireworks” – FRUK

“The Sex Pistols of folk” – John Davis, Metropolis Studios (Led Zeppelin, Royal Blood)

Apr 25

Róisín Bán

A predominantly Irish night with Róisín Bán, a band formed in the early months of 2013, now working as a 3 piece with the line up of Chris Dyson on fiddle, octave mandola & vocals, Paddy Heffron on melodeon, vocals & sean nos dancing , Gordon Tyrrall on flute, guitar, vocals. Bound to be good craic!

May 02

Singers and Musicians

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

May 09

Greg Russell

Possessed of an extraordinary voice that’s ‘full of character’ (The Telegraph), over the last 5 years Greg Russell has established himself as one of the most significant players on the U.K. folk scene. Playing guitar, bouzouki and singing, in 2013 he won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and in 2014 won the Horizon Award from the same source alongside Ciaran Algar.

Since 2016, Greg has also been involved in two critically acclaimed projects; The Transports (5 stars The Guardian) and Shake the Chains (4 stars The Guardian), the latter a project put together by Greg which included Peggy Seeger, Martin Simpson and many more.

Singing a mixture of original and traditional songs in 2017, Greg released his debut solo album Inclined to be Red, declared ‘a powerful statement’ (Acoustic), ‘excellent’ (RnR Magazine), ‘a splendid thing’ (Maverick) and ‘convincingly individual’ (fRoots).

May 16

The Dovetail Trio

Presenting England's traditional songs with a bold and fresh approach, The Dovetail Trio explores familiar narratives and modern themes with infectious energy and a passion for musical heritage.

Barnsley's Jamie Roberts is renowned for his narrative singing and driving guitar rhythms. In 2007 he joined folk quartet Kerfuffle with Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, and in 2013 was a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee with duo Gilmore & Roberts.

Rosie Hood's pure voice and engaging performances are garnering widespread acclaim. With a keen eye on the history of the songs she sings, particularly those of her native Wiltshire, she has performed at a number of the country's leading festivals and folk clubs, and opened for the Cecil Sharp Project.

Multi-instrumentalist Matt Quinn has been playing the melodeon, mandolin and fiddle, and singing his way around the English folk scene for the last few years in various bands including Dogan & the Boombox Karavan, The Mighty Quinns and the Eliza Carthy Ceilidh Band.

May 23

Becky Mills

Highly talented in every department, her singing, guitar playing and delivery, Becky’s overriding strength is in the quality of her songwriting. Some of her songs are about the small, things to which we can all relate: the promise of an early spring day, a family trip to the seaside, a lullaby, others about major life changing events such as Pretty Young Things, a song about an unwanted teenage pregnancy, but it encompasses so much more: a real gem, one of those powerful haunting songs which stays with us. Lovely imagery in some, the hard cruelty of life in others. All superbly crafted. Her excellent CD Dandelion which deservedly received rave reviews from all sides is one of those “must-haves”.

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

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

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