TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD
NEWSLETTER No 32 Late July 2004
Greetings and welcome to the last exhortationary missive of the current season
July 29 Double Header: Chris Manners and Fountainhead.
Yes, please do come to our first Double Header. I know the timing isn't ideal: you may be on holiday, the weather may be warm, there may be a Festival, but this is the last Guest Night of the season, and it would be good to finish on a high note. It should be a really excellent evening, with two class acts for the price of one.
Chris Manners is a long-established and original singer/songwriter, mostly in the modern idiom, but with excellent guitar technique. Fountainhead are an exciting young duo: Tom Stupple on guitar, and Bethany Dowsett with a tremendous voice, doing their own highly original material. Come and round off our season in style!
August We don't close in August, as some clubs do; instead we have a full month of Singers and Musician's evenings. These can often be as well-attended as Guest Nights, and great fun as well, so do come and join in. You will not be burdened with idiosyncratic themes just come and perform and listen.
Sept 2 Back to Headline Guests, we shall be opening the new season with Gina Le Faux - singer, guitarist, madolin player, fiddler and all-round entertainer. Featured support from Three Score and Ten
September guests include Jed Grimes, Ron Trueman Border and The Lost Boys; plus suitable Featured Support. But there'll be another Newsletter before then.
REVIEW OF THE YEAR
Actually, I made a decision almost as soon as I started editing this Newsletter, not to include any Reviews. Too many pitfalls. So apologies to everyone whose performances I and everyone else has enjoyed: even to pick out Highlights might cast an implied slur on those artists not selected for special mention.
Instead, a big thank you to all the artists who have appeared over the year, many of whom I know are on this mailing list. We have had 35 Guest Nights since this time last year: 35 headline acts comprising 71 musicians. They have been supplemented by 34 Featured Support acts comprising 64 musicians. That‚Äös a total of 69 acts, and 135 musicians, who have appeared at the Topic in some formal booked capacity or other. We pay what we can (and as a money-in money-out organisation we don‚Äöt retain anything ourselves) and no doubt all income is appreciated; but very few of the above can really have performed for the income alone. Thank you all for keeping the faith, and for continuing to support and play at clubs like ours for, basically, the sheer pleasure of performing; and sharing your creativity and your live music with like-minded people.
Thank you too to those of you who regularly turn out on a Thursday evening, whether you have heard (of) the guest act before or not, to support the artists and to keep the club alive. As I never tire of saying as I close another enjoyable evening, it isn‚Äöt just the Headline Guests who make a great evening; or even the Support and Floor singers: it is the audience too, and the interaction between audience and performer. And generally speaking, the more people who come, the better the evening.
LOOKING FURTHER FORWARD
Since I took over co-ordinating the bookings from Philomena, I have come to realise just how many quality artists there are out there, wanting to perform at the Topic. (I have also come to realise just how much work Philomena did over the ten years she was in charge!). We could probably fill our schedules two or three times over just with people who contact us - and the demand for Featured Support slots shows no sign of abating either. I shall continue to try to achieve a balance of styles and origins (traditional / contemporary / bands / individuals / old favourites / the unknown / overseas tourists / young talent) with the occasional mad foray towards Jazz, Musical Theatre or Academia.
Already in the first half of 2005 we have booked established, high profile and popular artists such as Artisan, The John Wright Band, Jez Lowe, and Bob Fox; slightly lesser known but equally valuable artists such as Maggie Holland, Howden/Jones, Tom Napper Tom Bliss, Phil Hare, Tom and Barbara Brown, and Gordon Tyrrell; international visitors Dana Robinson (US), Donal O'Connor (Ireland), Tony Cox and Steve Newman (South Africa) and cloudstreet (Australia). Plus a Special Lecture with music on Paul Robeson from Joe Stead (that's the academia bit).
All in all, the Topic has had a pretty good year; and there is every reason for the next one to be better still. Especially if you, personally, come as often as you can. But at the very least, thank you for remaining on this mailing list; enjoy the summer and ‚ oh yes - do come for Chris Manners and Fountainhead this Thursday!
Finally, don't forget our website. It is constantly updated, and already has details of the 2005 acts we have booked, plus links to their own websites. Don't forget to press refresh every now and then if, like mine, your computer has got used to logging on, and has cached old pages. I have found I sometimes have to right-click on some of the sub-pages, and then press from the pop-up menu that appears - try that if our coming-up-next pages never seems to change.
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 Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic Newsletter No 32 Late July 2004