At: The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street,
Topic Newsletter Archive
TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD
NEWSLETTER No 24 January 2004
Greetings Merry New Year and all that. So, what have we got at the Topic?
8 January - The Barbara Baker Jazz Quintet. Not exactly our usual fare, but why not? A new, refreshing band playing Cool Jazz, recently formed from some of the finest players of Classical Jazz on the thriving Bradford scene. They comprise Barbara Baker on vocals, who originally hails from Knotty Ash. Martin Bond, originally from London and well known on the eastern European music scene, plays alto sax and tarragot (a Romanian single reed instrument which looks like an ebony soprano sax with shades of clarinet). Peter Pearson plays piano, having previously had a career as a drummer; and is originally from Sunderland. Carol Moss and Nick Mullen, on bass and drums respectively, make up the quintet. Though this may not be evident on the night, all have thriving careers in various art forms, from painting through writing and sculpture, to video-recording obscure Bradford Bands. They promise a selection of well-known and well-loved numbers; so that’s good.
15 January - Singers and Musiciains. The entirely optional theme is distance, space, time, away. Any or all of these. Lovers far, far away for a long, long time. That sort of thing. Or anything.
22 January - Derek Gifford. One third of Three Sheets to the Wind, one half of Gifford and Higginbottom, Derek is on his own tonight. He offers traditional and traditional-style songs accompanied by guitar and/or bowed psaltery, performed with sensitivity and enthusiasm. Oh, not the old bowed psaltery again. Well, we are ever anxious to provide a full service, so you can log on to http://unicornstrings.com/whatisit.htm to find out more about this wonderful and charming instrument. It claims to be the easiest instrument in the world to play; but then, this website is trying to sell them, so they would say that wouldn’t they. Derek had better bring his with him, after all this build up.
Featured support this evening comes from Robin Petty and Ben Needham (or vice versa). This young duo hail from villages in the Colne area, and do some of their performing at the Skipton Folk Club. Friends since primary school, they have only fairly recently embarked on musical collaboration, but they have promise and a dry wit in approximately equal measure. Welcome to the Topic!
29 January Another Singers and Musicians: This time there is a serious theme: Scotland, Scottish songs and tunes, anything north of the border. It isn’t quite Burns Night, but that’s the excuse.
And onwards: more on these artists in the next edition.
Feb 5 Phil Hare plus Featured support Susie Fox
Feb 12 Grace Notes plus Featured support Dave Speight
Feb 19 Geoff Higginbottom plus Featured support Bruce Baillie
Feb 26 Singers and Musicians: Theme: The countryside, agriculture, cows . .
Mar 4 Barry Smith and Tom Stupple
Mar 11 John Conolly plus Featured Support David Kidman
Mar 18 Steve and Kristi Nebel
Mar 25 Singers and Musicians: Theme: Colours reds, greens, yellows . .
NEWS FROM THE AGM Philomena retires as Bookings Organiser
Well, not entirely. After 10 years hard slog, Philomena has decided to retire gracefully from the onerous task of making the bookings. She took over in late 1994 at a time when the club was on the verge of closure; and was in post when the decision was taken shortly afterwards to move from the then location at the Peel Hotel; to the current Melborn. With bookings came the task of accommodating itinerant musicians overnight; let alone her continuing ever-presence on the door. The club is seriously in her debt. She’ll be keeping on doing the door for the time being, so nothing will appear to have changed.
In fact, nothing will change much on the bookings front for some considerable time. Perhaps fearful of what might follow her withdrawal, Philomena has booked us up solid to the end of 2004. So the impromptu new Bookings Committee of John Waller and Rahel Guzelian won’t be making their presence felt till 2005.
NEWS FROM THE AGM - money
Of course, the Topic is a not-for-profit organisation: and most money that comes in goes straight out again to the professional performers. But it was still good to record a surplus of £366 for the year which represents just under 1% of turnover. And though it is difficult to make money, it is easy to lose it if we fail to attract sufficient audience to one of the big names that comes for a fixed minimum fee.
One of the few sources of our own money is membership. And the AGM did, as expected, approve an increase to £5 per annum (November to October. BUT this increase is deferred till February. So get your membership in this month, at the old rate of £3; and you’ll be in profit after only two more visits).
Yes … Workshops. There was a general discussion at the AGM about whether we should try to mount a series of workshops on music-related matters (song-writing, blues guitar, that sort of thing). Anyone with any experience of mounting such things, or with ideas of what sort of workshop they might attend; or what workshop they might be able to teach, is welcome to send them in. Karl Dallas agreed to co-ordinate/investigate the idea, so anything that comes in to me will be passed on.
See you all some Thursday at the Melborn at one of the above events. 8.30 start. Be there by then if you want to perform a floor spot, which are still available every night even where there is a Featured Support artist booked. No smoking.
Topic Newsletter No 24 January 2004
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