At: The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street,
Topic Newsletter Archive
Topic Newsletter 48: January 2006
Greetings: and a happy new venue to us!
Welcome to the C ock and Bottle.
Well, we are in. The first Singers' and Musicians' session has taken place in the Concert Room at the Cock and Bottle, and it was an almost unqualified success. The room was comfortable and cosy (not my description!), of a more friendly shape (rectangular rather than L-shaped), warm, of acceptable acoustic (no-one said they couldn't hear) and the drinks were cheaper. 22 people came: well better than our usual S&M attendance, of whom 15 performed, so there was only time for three songs each.
Obviously there were some minor glitches, but most can or will be sorted. Bar staff and regulars were friendly and interested, no-one reported any difficulties parking, and a good time was had by all. In the unsolicited words of one long-standing member "I don't think y'all could have found a better room".
The C ock and Bottle is the oldest pub in Bradford. The name can be traced back to 1720, and the present building dates from 1820. It is a real ale pub par excellence, with the number of locally-brewed real ales available on any one night running into double figures. And while there is no absolute connection between real ale and folk singing; the two fit together well. It is the right location for the oldest Folk Club in the world.
Of course, the next test will be a proper Performance. Which leads neatly to the upcoming programme:
Jan 12 Westport.
Jan 19 Solan
Jan 26 Double Header:
Feb 02 Tom Napper Tom Bliss
For the rest of February: 16th William Pint and Felicia Dale, on tour from the States with their range of (broadly) songs of the sea, and on the 23rd, a welcome return for Roy Bailey.
In March: 2nd Anne Lister, 9th Stanley Accrington, 23rd Judy Cook, 30th Julie Ellison
In April: 6th Cordner and Rudolf, 20th D/H Emily and Ben, with Tim Moon: 27th Steve Ashley
In May: 4th John Conolly, 18th Bernard Carney,, 27th Steve Ashley , 25th Pete Abbott
In June: 1st Pete Smith / John Buckley, 15th CrossCurrent, 22nd Robin Laing, 29th Roger Sutcliffe
In July: 6th Alistair Russell
There'll be more on these acts in due course. Or research them yourself via our excellent Website!
The venue change finally provided the catalyst for the long-serving Philomena Hingston to decide to retire from doing the door after over twenty years. Many people attending the Topic may well have seen Philomena mainly as the first welcoming face who took their money as they came in: but over the years she has performed many other unsung tasks. For over a decade she was the act-booker, and very regular provider of free bed and breakfast to visiting artists. Until quite recently she also patiently trudged round the various locations where Topic fliers can be found. And for many a long year she sponsored the raffle, paying for the weekly prize in order to maximise the income that went to the Club. Not to mention providing the catering for any special events we had (such as the Christmas Party).
Philomena didn't want any fuss as she gradually divested herself of these many functions. But we sincerely hope we will see her from time to time at our new venue. And fuss or no fuss, nothing can detract from the gratitude that each and every member of the Topic, and each and every artist that has appeared on our stage, must have for the contribution she has made to the Topic's survival. She would demur, of course; but I am convinced that had it not been for her work, the Topic would have ceased to operate a decade ago. We are greatly in her debt. She has written wishing us well in our new location.
Our hope is that the new venue will attract a larger audience, which in turn will enable us to make a more prompt start. The hope is, also, to prevent the evening drifting; making sure we get full 2x40 minute value from our artists without straying beyond 11.15. It isn't only busses; it is people having to work next day as well. Which means that there may be fewer opportunities for second-half floor spots, especially for those who don't turn up until well into the evening. You‚ve been warned! The C ock and Bottle carries on serving until 12.00, so anyone who wants to stay later (and sing, if they want!) may do.
In passing, you may notice that I have put a space in the pub name. This is because my sending email system (and I suspect some receiving ones, if they are US based) dislikes repetition of what has clearly been programmed in as a "rude word".
See you all some Thursday at the C ock and Bottle at one of the above events. 8.30 start Be there by 8.30 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.
Topic Newsletter No 48 January 2006