TOPIC FOLK CLUB Newsletter No 53, May-June 2006
Greetings: and welcome to the May/June issue.
May 18 Bernard Carney.
Do turn out for Bernard, he’s come all the way from Australia just for us, with his repertoire of self-written songs about the Australian outback, and the curiosities of contemporary life. A real crafter of songs, Bernard is also an accomplished guitarist, and a born entertainer (much on demand for after-dinner entertainment on the conference circuit). This should be a very enjoyable evening. Featured Support comes from a Leeds-based three-piece multi-instrumental band Mulberry Blue, including a stunning vocalist. They’ve impressed us at recent S&M nights. Wayne Stote will MC.
May 25 Pete Abbott.
A prominent member of John Wright’s touring band, and a fine singer-songwriter in his own right (John Wright speaks very highly of him, and includes some of Pete’s songs in his repertoire). Expect some haunting ballads and a quiet, precise guitar accompaniment. Featured Support comes from Bandersnatch, a six-piece band from over the Pennines, with rich clear harmonies and a variety of instruments; one member of whom plays piano on Pete Abbott’s latest CD. MC duties from Simon Alexander.
June 1 Pete Smith and John Buckley. Two acoustic guitarists who combine a variety of styles: classical, jazz, blues, folk, ragtime, nylon/steel strings to provide a richness of sound that, according to critics, can outdo a complete orchestra. Well, something like that. Though their musical performance includes no songs or lyrics, they make up for this with hilarious between-tunes banter. Featured Support slot has been snapped up by young touring LA-based singer-songwriter Sebastian Clark, of whom much is expected. MC for the evening will be Gerry Cooper.
June 8 Singers and Musicians. Come and provide your own entertainment, on the general (and voluntary) theme of “freedom”. We have no control over how many will turn up, but on an average night there’ll be a chance for anyone who wants to do between two and four songs. Or tunes. Or poems, even.
June 15 CrossCurrent.
This is a new, five-piece outfit who met while studying on Newcastle University’s innovative degree in Folk Music (from which they have now graduated). Bringing together English, Irish and Scottish musical influences, they provide a range of instruments (including viola, fiddle, cello, banjo, bouzouki and flute; and vocals. “Five play with fire, finesse, flair and fun” says one of their reviewers, and Vin Garbutt’s kids think they are brilliant. Featured Support tonight is from Clive Leyland, one of the members of Bandersnatch (see above) whose thoughtful first CD “A Northern Man” is full of a sense of history. MC duties will again be provided by Wayne Stote.
June 17 BEER AND MUSIC EVENT.
We hope. As I write, the final pieces of the jigsaw are being put into place for a Coc k and Bottle Beer Festival on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June. The Saturday will, if all goes to plan, include a programme of Folk Music, from a stage in the car park if fine, or inside if not. Some seriously good performers have already agreed to come along, and there may be room for more. WATCH THIS SPACE.
JUNE also features Scottish singer-songwriter and whisky aficionado Robin Laing who hasn’t visited the Topic before, supported by Rough Pearl, whose membership includes some of our regulars in Rahel, Tony and Joy. Finally in June is the rare (for June) sight of Roger Sutcliffe, wizard of the blues, and coming a week early as he is so busy in July. Featured Support slot available as we go to press.
JULY’s programme includes: Battlefield Band stalwart Alistair Russell, supported by piper/guitar combination Dark Horse; The zany humour of The Amazing Mr Smith, supported by a Bandersnatch member Ed McGurk; A double header of up-and-coming young acts Entropy and Ben and Robin, And that elixir of contemporary songwriters, Robb Johnson, supported by Bury band Molly Bloom.
You can read all about the upcoming programme in Tykes News, on the internet www.topic-folk-club.org.uk or in future issues of this newsletter.
Former members have recently been in touch, wishing us well. Going furthest back (and you can’t get much further back than this) it was good to see Alex Eaton, the original founder of the Topic 49.5 years ago, at Karl and Gloria Dallas’ 150th birthday party. Also pleased to hear the club is still going strong is Diane Taylor, who remembers singing traditional floor spots back in the early 70s. From a more recent vintage comes poignant news of Tim Johnson, a singer and guitarist who was active in the early 90s, in the first Melborn years. Apparently he has had a stroke, and now wants to get in touch with people he knew from back then. In particular, if anyone knows the whereabouts of Sandra and May Morrison; or Paul Tattersall, please reply to this and I’ll do my best to broker contacts.
Everything I wrote last time about the 50th Anniversary Season, tickets for same, and T-shirts, remains true.
My apologies for sending this Newsletter out a tad earlier than it was due; but I have to work round my international duties. What price a Tunisian guitar, one wonders.
See you all some Thursday at the C ock and Bottle at one of the above events. 8.30 start (and we are getting better at starting almost on time). 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.
Topic Newsletter Editor
Topic Newsletter No 53: May/June 2006