At: The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street,
Topic Newsletter Archive
TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD
At Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
Newsletter No 165 - March 2016
It's Spring again.....and lots going on at the Topic, as usual whatever the season. Read on:
3rd March: Singers and musicians . 8.15 pm start. Free entry
10th March: Simon Kempston.
Simon Kempston is an Edinburgh based award-winning singer/songwriter and leading acoustic fingerstyle guitarist composing and performing original and contemporary acoustic music, steeped in the traditions of folk, celtic and blues music, complemented by a powerful and compelling vocal style.
Simon has performed at many of the major venues, folk/blues clubs and festivals in Scotland, the UK and regularly tours the length & breadth of Europe. He has also performed live on BBC Radio Stations across the UK, as well as other local and specialist music radio stations.
An inspiring, poetic lyricist, Simon’s thought-provoking songs often sidestep the usual themes of love and attraction in favour of offering social commentary and an insight into the everyday lives of ordinary people.
A stunning talent - STV(Scottish Television)
Brilliant and quite unique guitar skills, Dundee has undoubtedly produced one of Scotland’s most poetic and expressive musicians - Three Weeks (Edinburgh Festival Magazine).
Tonight we have a top quality support act: Lowri Evans from Newport Pembrokeshire, a rising star on the acoustic music scene with her mix of English and Welsh songs.
17th March: John Conolly.
If there were ever a Campaign for Real Folk Singers, John Conolly would be the sort of act it would promote. Hailing from nearby Grimsby in Lincolnshire (he was instrumental in forming and running Grimsby Folk Club for many years) John has been writing and singing folk songs for over forty years. Many of his works have made their way into other artists’ repertoires, with his song Fiddler’s Green a popular favourite (as well as often mistakenly being known as a “traditional” song!) Other classics include The Grimsby Lads, Punch and Judy Man and Send Us A Postcard. His well-crafted songs sit well with his easygoing charm and sense of humour, making him a firm favourite with both audiences and fellow musicians.
This is by no means John’s first visit to the Topic and we welcome him back for a return visit.
24th March: Jack Harris.
Jack Harris was a South by South-West showcasing artist at 17. He was also the youngest, as well as the only non-American person ever to win the New Folk song writing award at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Texas. Previous winners included Gillian Welch, Steve Earle and Devon Sproule.
Those days are gone, along with most of Jack’s youth and vigour, but he’s still pleased to find himself in such company. And he still writes literate, compassionate songs, about subjects as disparate as Caribbean drinking festivals, the colour of a potato flower and the lives of great poets like Elizabeth Bishop.
These have won him considerable acclaim. The Telegraph voted his album ‘The Flame and the Pelican’ #5 in their top 10 Roots/Folk albums of 2012. Q magazine praised his ‘unique lyrical mind’, and Maverick UK awarded the record its full 10/10 rating. His writing and performance has also led to a great relationship with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), through whom he has been the recipient of a creative bursary award to write new songs in the old Folk idiom.
A lyricist of great descriptive precision and a flair for revealing observation”– Folk Radio UK
A unique lyrical mind”– Q Magazine
A natural and captivating song writing talent, – The Telegraph
PLEASE NOTE Jack Harris replaces the previously advertised Steve Dan Mills who had to cancel after the publicity for this quarter had been printed.
31st March: Ninebarrow
Ninebarrow are a multi-award-winning folk duo, who are impressing audiences across the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition. Described by Mike Harding as sounding ‘damn fine’ and by Seth Lakeman as ‘a fantastic duo’, Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere combine breathtaking vocal harmonies and melodies, delivering original songs that are inspired and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles.
As well as crafting unique and engaging original material, Ninebarrow also take a wide-range of traditional folk songs and rework them in their own, distinctive way.
Ninebarrow were announced winners of Fatea Magazine’s ‘Debut Album of the Year’ 2014 and the duo were also finalists in the prestigious UK Songwriting Competition of the same year.
Following the critical acclaim that the duo have received, they’ve been in high demand and have been receiving bookings at a plethora of folk clubs, music venues and festivals across the country including the likes of Towersey Festival and The Stables in Milton Keynes. As well as headlining in their own right, Ninebarrow have also provided support for some of the folk greats: most recently, they have been invited to support Kate Rusby, Seth Lakeman and Fisherman’s Friends and have also supported the likes of Dave Swarbrick, Blair Dunlop, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin and Bob Fox.
Absolutely amazing - Kate Rusby
Beautiful harmonies, engaging performances, and songwriting perfectly capturing the modern traditional idiom - Phil Henry & Hannah Martin
In their close harmonies and rural imagery, Ninebarrow occupy the middle ground between Simon & Garfunkel and Seth Lakeman: a place of lyricism, longing and masterly songwriting - Rick Pearson, Evening Standard Music Critic
Two very positive items of news: firstly, congratulations to Topic friend Bella Gaffney who won an award at the Danny Kyle Open Stage at this year's prestigious Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, winning through to the finale of 6 performers from hundreds of applicants. Bella receives a Danny Kyle Award and is guaranteed a slot at next year's festival on one of the big stages supporting one of the main festival acts. A just reward for a very talented artist.
Secondly, Elaine Wood, known to many as a stalwart of the local folk scene, has organised a day of folk activities for all the family to raise money for worthy causes in honour of fellow folk music fans who saved her life when she suffered a heart attack at a Bacca Pipes event last year. The event is entitled "Alive & Kicking" and will take place on Saturday 19th March from 12 noon at Victoria Hall Keighley. It will include a showcase of local artists, informal music sessions, children's activities and an evening concert with Dave Burland, Chris & Kellie While, Chris Sherburn and Denny Bartley. Should be a great day to celebrate Elaine's surviving what must have been a truly traumatic experience: email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets/details, or you can phone Elaine on 01535 648570
Don't forget the Topic song project for this year's anniversary - see recent newsletters for details.
For performers who may be thinking of approaching the club for a booking, please note that the bookings organiser is, as mentioned above, now Rahel Guzelian, email address : email@example.com
If you would like to become a member of the Topic Folk Club, it costs just £5.00 per year, running from 1st January. Being a member entitles you to the lower ticket prices shown in this newsletter, as well as the chance to become more involved in the workings of the club if you would like to.
If you’re visiting the club for the first time, be sure to come and say hello, and if anyone has any suggestions for the club, for example if you would like us to try to book a particular artist, we’d like to hear them.
The Topic runs on Thursdays at Glyde House, Glydegate, Little Horton Lane, BD5 0BQ 8.30pm start. (Singers & Musicians nights start at 8.15pm). Like all the clubs in the area, our aim is to provide good quality live entertainment to suit all tastes of those interested in folk music, and we thank you for your continued support.
Floor singers are always welcome, especially in the first half. Please try to get there by 8.15 pm if you’d like a slot – it helps the MC to plan the evening.
To find the Topic on Facebook search for "Topic Fc"
Tony Charnock, Topic Newsletter Editor