At: The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street,
Topic Newsletter Archive
TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD
NEWSLETTER No 37 January 2005
Welcome back to the New Year.
There's plenty for you to enjoy coming up at the Topic
January 13 Joe Stead's PAUL ROBESON Lecture. Paul Robeson was by all accounts a remarkable man: not just a superb singer and performer, but a civil rights activist and an athlete. Only two generations away from slavery, he grew up in the hysteria and segregation of post-war America, doing much to combat both. Joe's Lecture includes taped and live music, and has received considerable critical acclaim.
The format for the evening is that there will be the usual opportunity for floor singers up to about 9.15. After a short interval, Joe will take over from 9.30, to finish at 11.00. There will be a special reduced price of £4 (members £3). Do be there!
January 20 SUSIE FOX and DAVE SPEIGHT. A Double Header evening. Regular attenders through 2004 will already have had an opportunity to sample what Susie and Dave can offer, as each appeared as Featured Support in February, and both gave support to Vin Garbutt last month. Susie started life as a professional musician specialising in medieval music (recorder, clarinet) but now writes her own songs for and accompanies herself on a variety of guitars. Admirers of Joni Mitchell will definitely feel at home. Dave has had a long and interesting musical career mostly involving (but by no means limited to) Blues and Blues-based music; and is currently the eponymous member of Dave Speight and the Snake Kings. A seasoned, relaxed and accomplished performer wit great style. Two quality performers in one night! This will be a great evening.
January 27 TOM NAPPER TOM BLISS. This has to be one of the top acts currently on the West Yorkshire circuit. Napper specialises (mostly) in music of Irish descent, and is a multi-instrumentalist of enormous ability. Bliss, as well as also playing a variety of instruments, writes hauntingly beautiful songs, some so personal and poignant that Napper has to sing them. To quote from their website: "Two rich and powerful voices, a shop-full of instruments, and shared standards in stagecraft and musicianship". They complement each other perfectly. Not seen at the Topic since July 2003 (except for the odd floor spot, for which many thanks); so do get along to catch them this time.
Featured Support this evening is Birkenschawe, a band (at least partly) hailing from the South Bradford village of that name (if not that spelling). They perform an eclectic mix of mostly traditional-idiom material, and some highly original material of their own.
February 3 GORDON TYRRALL. One of the unsung and understated performers on the circuit, Gordon is a brilliant and original guitarist and flute player, and a fine singer. He also composes fascinating tunes (including one on the Napper/Bliss CD) and can be relied upon to produce several surprises in performance. Though largely traditional at base, he is wont to unveil the odd Beatles song. He often appears with Brian Peters (who is booked for October 13), with whom he is able to "rock like buggery while drawing the sweetest nuances from more reflective material" (according to Stirrings). No featured support booked as we go to Press.
February 10 Singers and Musicians. This will be our annual Scottish night, even though Burns Night will have been some days previous. Last year we had haggis and shortbread to accompany the Scottish flavour of the music.
February 17 Dana (and Susan) Robinson. Dana is a regular touring visitor to Britain, now accompanied by his wife Susan. They specialise in music based on the Appalachian tradition; but expressed through their own self-composed songs about the USA and its landscape. Dana also writes a comprehensive diary of his tours, commenting on the clubs he has played and the people he has met; you can access them via his website (via ours).
February 24 Donal O'Connor. Another artist on tour, this time from closer to home (Ireland) with his own songs of personal yet also universal appeal .
March 3 The John Wright Band. This will be a big one! John is a superb interpreter of standard and his own songs, and always attracts a quality band in support. Note this date!
March 10 Maggie Holland. Exceptionally talented singer/songwriter far too infrequently seen in the area between her roots (Bournemouth and Bristol) and her current home (Edinburgh).
LOOKING EVEN FURTHER AHEAD: We have some big names booked between now and the summer. Bob Fox, Jez Lowe, Howden Jones and perhaps best of all Artisan. Do keep an eye on what‚s coming up.
AND WHAT YOU'VE MISSED
While it is fresh in my mind, what an excellent and original evening we had for the singaround on 6 January. The official theme was "bring out the new"; and in response we had three brand new (world premiere, no less) songs: two from Ryan McGovern and one from Dave Robinson: plus a fiddle improvisation from Joy Leach. Stretching the"new" theme also to mean "original", we also had contributions from Dave Robey, Rahel Guzelian and John Waller, all performing their own songs. A whole evening virtually devoted to quality songs written and performed by the Topic members present.
Different clubs have different styles and strengths: some are more traditional, some more contemporary, some like joiny-inny chorusses. The Topic certainly seems to be going through a phase of producing more than its fair share of quality songwriters. Long may it continue; and let's hope as many other people as possible can be thus inspired to branch out into composition!
FINALLY, AN APOLOGY to some recipients of this Newsletter who may, earlier this week, have received a somewhat late and potentially disruptive version of the Newsletter actually written in December, that certainly crashed my machine in trying to send it.
Apologies if it caused you grief on receipt. But in which context, remember: to remove yourself from this mailing list, just hit reply and ask.
See you all some Thursday at the Melborn (a real ale pub) 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 in the club room.
No 37a January 2005
This Thursday: January 27
TOM NAPPER TOM BLISS.