Newsletter no. 58, late October 2006
Greetings: and welcome to the meat of the 50th Anniversary Season.
November could see perhaps the most exciting high-profile programme the Topic has ever mounted. Allan Taylor, Dana and Susan Robinson, Julie Felix and Wizz Jones: what a line up. Do come and see at least one of these excellent concerts. Tickets for all of them are still available as I write; though Julie F is selling steadily. Don’t leave it too late! Just “reply” to this Newsletter to see where to send your cheque and sae.
October 26 Eddie Walker
Seasoned and much-travelled songwriter, guitarist and entertainer from the north-east, making a return to the Topic after 20+ years, and promising something a little different. He has an eclectic background, with influences including Irish rebel songs, Scottish ballads, blues and bluegrass, and a career that has seen him tour Hong Kong Thailand and many other far-flung locations. Featured Support will come from young guitar virtuoso and singer Paul Harrison from Cumbria. Tickets £4 / £5.
Nov 2 Allan Taylor
A one-time Topic regular before he became Really Big, now back with financial support from the Arts Council England Musicians in Residence scheme. Faultlessly constructed songs drawn from a lifetime of travelling, faultlessly performed, with a dark and mellow voice and intricate yet full guitar work. This will be a real treat. Featured Support will be from local Otley duo The Hall Brothers. Tickets £6 / £8.
Nov 9 Dana and Susan Robinson
Two voices, two guitars, a fiddle and a banjo, providing rootsy, foot-stomping music from rural America, some of which Dana has written himself. They are regular and consummate UK tourists (last playing the Topic two years ago when they were described as “magical”); with skill, commitment, ability and a real joy in performance. FS from fellow American Debra Cowan. Tickets £4 / £5.
Nov 16 Julie Felix
No need to disturb too many electrons in describing who she is and what she does; just that she has embarked on a tour of real folk clubs like ours, when she could be filling major concert halls. Julie is a real breath of the 60s folk revival, still performing at her best. Tickets £8 / £10. Still some available .... and no featured support has been booked, so there’s time for floor spots for ticket-holders.
Nov 20 AGM – members only. Monday. See below.
Nov 23 Singers and Musicians
The only one of the Anniversary Season, and an opportunity for everyone to say they performed as part of it. Entry free.
Nov 30 Wizz Jones
Legendary blues guitarist who first played the Topic in 1958. Eclectic style, a right hand to die for, a guitarist directly inspired by BBBroonzy, Davy Graham, RJElliott, LJBaldry and Ewan McColl. Busking through Europe in the 50s and 60s, and himself an inspiration to the likes of Renbourn and Clapton. This is probably the closest link with the Topic's formative years in the whole Season: come and marvel. Featured Support may be Ryan McGovern, or Dave Speight, or both. Tickets £5 / £6.
Dec 7 Tom Kitching and Paul Sullivan
Innovative fiddle playing (Tom), guitar (Paul) and song (both). A young act: Tom was a finalist for the 2003 BBC Young Folk Award. Featured Support from local band Pigjig. Tickets £4 / £5.
Dec 14 Kieran Halpin
Superb songs of deceptive simplicity and emotion from this Topic regular. Featured Support from Aidan Jolly and friends. Tickets £5 / £6.
Dec 21 Scarlet Heights: the original duo
Pat Sherry, Nigel Broadbent and any friends they can persuade to join them. An appropriately barn-storming end to the season. Featured Support (we expect) from the Holbeck Mummers. Tickets £4 / £5.
Dec 28 Singers and Musicians
Performers, audience, all welcome. Entry free.
The AGM – Monday 20 November 2006. Not all recipients of this Newsletter are members, but for those who are, take note that the AGM will take place at 8.00 pm on the above date in the Co.ck and Bottle. As well as constitutional requirements such as the receipt/approval of the accounts and the election of the Committee, there are opportunities to discuss matters such as the balance of our programme (between paid guests and Singers/Musicians evening, for example) and the perennial subjects of how to increase audiences and publicity. All members welcome; and there will be a singaround afterwards if we all stop talking in time.
Talking of publicity, there have been two articles about the Topic in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus recently (both of which can be accessed from the Topic Website) and we are promised a Feature in a forthcoming Saturday Colour Supplement edition of the Yorkshire Post – either next week or the one after. Look out for it.
Needless to say, despite its glorious history, the future of the Topic depends entirely on the numbers of people who continue to come to its concerts. Without a strong audience, we won’t be able to carry on booking the high-profile guests we have had for the present season. Do get yourself down to one of the above gigs: it’ll be well worth your while.
See you all some Thursday at the C.ock and Bottle at one or more of the above events. 8.30 start. Be there by then if you want a floor spot, which are available every night even where a Featured Support artist is booked. No smoking in the club room.
Topic Newsletter Editor
Topic Newsletter No 58: late-October 2006