TOPIC NEWSLETTER 50 - March 2006
Greetings: and welcome to the March Newsletter. I know it isn't quite March yet, but your editor is off to China tomorrow, so this is a Long March Newsletter. Ho Ho.
Feb 23 Roy Bailey.
No real introduction needed for this doyen of English working class political message or protest song. Of course, Roy is much more than that: a fine interpreter of some of the best songs folk songs ever written. All delivered with a passionate commitment and considerable wit. Featured support will tonight be from Simon Alexander, recently returned to performance, with his careful interpretations of (mostly) traditional song and ballad, with one or two of his own thrown in and you can‚t always tell which is which. MC for the night: Gerry Cooper, the blues enthusiast
Mar 2 Anne Lister.
Now based in South Wales, Anne has a long pedigree in the folk world, with a special interest in performing (her own) songs and stories from the Celtic, Norman and Medieval tradition. She combines a simple and direct approach to performance: entertaining and informative with a careful blend of traditional and contemporary references. Featured support from FYRISH, a Scottish duo recently moved to West Yorkshire, featuring Marjorie Paterson on cello and Dave Cowan on guitar and vocals. Contemporary and traditional, with an individual edge. MC for the night is Joy Leach, well known for her fiddle playing.
Mar 9 Stanley Accrington.
And now for something completely different. Prepare to be entertained by a performer who specialises in satirical songs of direct contemporary relevance. Maybe some of what he will perform has yet to be written, about events that have yet to take place. He has a passion for anagrams, and is apparently a world leader in circles where these things are measured. Expect props, hats, and comedy. Tonight's MC will be Simon Alexander, featured support two weeks previously.
Mar 16 Singers and Musicians.
The Topic is blessed with a fair number of songwriters, performers and musicians who also deserve an airing. You may well be one of them: in which case please come down and sing/play for everyone else. There‚s no entry charge: just an optional theme (this month it is earth).
Mar 23 Judy Cook.
Judy is based in Maryland, but originated from a musical family in Virginia. She is now respected on both sides of the Atlantic for her clear unaccompanied interpretation of British and American ballads. She delights her audiences with her joy of singing, her respect for the tradition, and her fine sense of humour. Featured support comes from Andy Hill, a singer and songwriter of (sometimes humorous) songs, who regularly performs at a variety of clubs in the Yorkshire Dales. MC for the night will be John Waller, now back from China maybe with yet another cheap Chinese guitar.
Mar 30 Julie Ellison.
To complete a month dominated by female performers (not planned, it just turned out that way) we have one of the best technical guitarists on the circuit. Not only that, Julie is a fine songwriter with a sharp, even acerbic edge. Always enormous value. Featured Support will come from a Canadian pair that I wish I could have given a more prominent part in our programme: Danyluk and Card, a folk-fusion duo on tour who write their own material with a refreshing, organic sound.
Well, you can read about the upcoming programme in Tykes, on the internet www.topic-folk-club.org.uk or in future issues of this newsletter. We have some great acts coming up: Cordner and Rudolph, John Conelly, Steve Ashley.
But a couple of points you may not know:
The slow process of preparing the in-house microbrewery is continuing. Landlord Peter Fell (who often comes and sits in on Topic concerts) is confident that the first ale to be brewed on the premises will be available in mid-March; and will be called Cock a Doodle. You will know by now that the C ock and Bottle is a real Real Ale pub, with anything up to 13 different beers available on any evening. In recognition of the number of Topic regulars who need to drive home after the evening‚s entertainment, Peter is doing his best to make sure there are at least three beers at the weaker (below 4% ABV) end of the scale available on a Thursday evening.
The 50th Anniversary Season:
After various discussions about who to invite for a special Anniversary Concert; and their availability, your committee has decided to go instead for a 50th Anniversary Season, lasting from the beginning of September to the end of December. Some artists on some dates were already booked, of course; but since then we have had some success in booking quite a few really big names, many with their origins in the 50s and 60s when the club was first established. Some of these names are up on the Website already. Others I just have to confirm.
The hope is that we can generate a fair bit of publicity for the Club, and help establish a solid base for the next 50 years.
See you all some Thursday at the C ock and Bottle 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.
Topic Newsletter Editor
Topic Newsletter No 50, March 2006