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Topic Newsletter Archive
TOPIC INFORMAL NEWLSETTER No 11, 5 NOVEMBER 2002
Website: http://www.topic-folk-club.org.uk Log On Now!
Greetings one and all.
FIRST, NEWS OF WHAT'S COMING UP
7 November Duncan McFarlane. Duncan is based in Leeds, and now plays mostly modern (his own) songs in the traditional idiom, plus his own arrangements of traditional songs; mixed in with modern classics from writers such as Richard Thompson.. Though Duncan has a pedigree in more mainstream rock band music, he currently plays a very engaging unplugged steel-stringed finger-style. (Yes, I've got steel-stringed fingers as well.)
Duncan will be officially supported by Instruments of Torture, a Skipton-based band, who will bring a welcome return of Uillean Pipes to our line-up. Describing themselves as providing "Irish music with attitude" they have attended a couple of our Singers and Musicians nights, so we know they are well worth listening to.
This should be a great evening. Details of both acts can be accessed through the topic website see above. You can even sample some of Duncan's playing.
14 November Singers and Musicians. The theme for the evening is War and Conflict. As always, the theme is there as a bonus; any contributions on any subject gratefully received. If you can't think of any suitable songs, and are reading this on Tuesday 5 November, then you can cut along to the Love Apple tonight for the Roy Bailey anti-war concert organised by Karl Dallas.
21 November Hoover the Dog. This band hails from the Welsh Borders and, pepper their offerings with musical puns. Their first two albums are "Scratch and Sniff" and "Distempo", so you get the point. Woof. They play a variety of instruments: Accordion, Guitar, Cittern and Violin, and provide dance tunes and banter, traditional songs and modern. According to their website (accessible via the Topic website) they "create an astonishingly big sound, their imagination and musical skill constantly pushing at the boundaries of traditional and contemporary music".
28 November Mark Newman. Another "local" artist with a long performing pedigree who has taken up performing again. Mark's guitar technique is superb, and he occasionally sings as well. I can recommend his latest CD, which includes some beautiful renditions of traditional tunes which were later turned into well-known hymn tunes. I hope he does some of that!
December sees Roy Bailey (5 December), John Kirkpatrick (12 December) and Banoffi (19 December, incorporating the Christmas party and the usual crowd of anarchic mummers from Leeds. 26 December is a Singers and Musicians Night; should anyone feel sufficiently unbloated to come and sing. More of this lot in the next edition.
The next edition should also include the first details of our 2003 programme.
AND WHAT YOU'VE MISSED
There's been such a lot since the last full issue of the Newsletter that any "reviews" would be at best hazy and unbalanced. But we did enjoy Roy Clinging, with his deep voice and Bodhran especially his lament at being made redundant after years of service in a then-nationalised, now privatised industry "what do they think of me now?"
The Pete Castle and Keiran Halpin evenings were quiet and full respectively, but I wasn't there personally so cannot comment on the music. Ray Stubbs gave us his usual barnstorming one-man-band rendition of American blues. More recently, Kimber's Men filled their set with mostly sea shanties and careful harmonies interspersed with some more delicate guitar and voice work. This particular evening was enlivened by a brief guest appearance by Dorset-based The Amazing Mr Smith, which comprised a series of musical pastiches on a variety of outlandish props. He was, indeed, truly Mr Smith. If he's ever in the area, we'll book him.
Most recently of all, last week was Phil Hare. Excellent songs and guitar playing - the best rendition of Anji I have heard in a long while (probably since Rembourne at the Bristol Troubador in the late 60s).
Interspersed with the above guests there were two pleasantly successful singarounds, on the themes of Work and Leisure respectively. The former attracted participants from as far afield as Co Durham and Sheffield. It was good to hear a rendition of "Big River", a song that deserves wider circulation.
This is a long shot, but all these worthy guests have CDs available. If you couldn't get along to the night itself, but wanted to; and feel the need to do your bit to help preserve the tradition of live music, why not get a CD or two? All the above guests are accessible through the Topic website.
It varies from night to night of course, but of late there has occasionally been a shortage of floor singers on guest nights. And yet, there are often many worthy performers who only seem to come on singaround nights. Be Bold! Come on a guest night too, and you'll probably get a floor spot.
See you all soon!
THE TOPIC FOLK CLUB - The oldest Folk Club in the World - Founded 1956, still going strong. Meets every Thursday at the Melborn Hotel, White Abbey Road, Bradford, 8.30pm. The Melborn is a Real Ale pub, and the Club is proud to be a no-smoking venue. Floor singers welcome, but please arrive and sign up by 8.30pm if you want to perform on Guest Nights.