At: The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street,
Topic Newsletter Archive
TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD
At The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street, Little Germany, BD1 5BD
Newsletter No 208 - October 2019
Well, summer's gone, nights drawing in: here's what's on at the Topic to compensate as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness carries us forward towards the end of the year. An enticing mixture:-
3rd October Singers and musicians. Free entry
10th October: Dave Vermond.
Described by Nick Hall as 'West Yorkshire's best kept songwriting secret...a uniquely charismatic performer whose songs evoke tears of laughter and tears of poignancy in equal measure - superb'. Dave has too rarely entertained us before at the Topic: it has been said that he should “get out more” – for our benefit, that is. A hugely entertaining evening from this talented, slightly reticent performer is guaranteed.
Mind-boggling – Ilkley Gazette
17th October: DOUBLE HEADER:
Kath Reade and Alison Dhuanna present “The Mermaid of Zennor”
Ruth is influenced by jazz and blues having completed her degree in Jazz Studies at Leeds College of Music 10 years ago, though she tends to rely on her own style rather than trying to fit into any particular idiom, improvisng and playing by ear to feel her way through the songs to express what they mean to her. Since settling in West Yorkshire in 2010 Ruth has also acquired influences from folk music. She has acquired a reputation for making each cover song her own.
Ruth performs as solo act on piano and vocals as well as collaborating with various musicians from time to time, namely Emi Hall, Joe Drury; and Reuben Wilkinson & Ian Kinsella (trio also known as Reubik).
The Mermaid of Zennor is a “mystery folktale” based on a Cornish legend, told in narration and song by well-known local singer/songwriter Kath Reade (also a published poet and sound healer) and Alison Dhuanna McCabe, astrologer, storyteller and poet. This unique presentation features songs written by Kath and Alison, some specifically for the presentation, as well as some by other noteworthy songwriters. A feature of the presentation is the use of unusual props, such as sacred sound instruments, ocean drum, Tibetan Singing Bowl, blue whale gong, wind chimes, guitar and shruti box (a kind of Indian harmonium).
Visit www.kathreade.com for more details about Kath and the production.
24th October: Chris Cleverley
At times we see artists who have crafted a unique place for themselves within the genre. Chris Cleverley has emerged as a songwriter, performer and character who defies comparison. His innovative brand of 21st Century Alt-folk is characterised as much by his challenging songwriting as his blistering fingerstyle guitar technique. Described as ‘Impressive’ by The Telegraph, Chris is fast gaining the accolade of being among the most masterful, inventive and unique players on the scene. Continuing the legacy of heroes Nic Jones and John Martyn the essence of the folk revival abounds in his memorable songwriting and energetic traditional arrangements.
Haunting – The Sunday Times
Any tune could warrant a mention – R2
31st October: Dan Webster:
Dan Webster is described as ‘one of the U.K’s best kept musical secrets and one not to miss!’ and an ‘An insightful lyricist with a great voice’ (Acoustic Magazine). According to Americana UK - ‘He is the missing link, the joining point, where folk fuses with country – as good as you’ll hear on any record out of Austin or Nashville - beautiful – he is Anglicana’. Dan is a road seasoned English singer-songwriter, his music is influenced by the sounds and storytelling traditions of American and British Folk music, which he uniquely blends into his own distinct fusion of Folk and Americana.
A formidable live performer, having played too many shows to count over the years, Dan has shared the bill with acts such as The Levellers, Seth Lakeman, Glen Tilbrook, Martin Carthy and Midge Ure to name a few. Live, Dan inspires attention; pulling you into his work with finely crafted melodies and lyrics - delivered with a powerful and honest vocal...fantastic solo, or with his band.
Crowd-funding for Bella: - well, for The Magpies, of which Bradford's own and Topic friend and favourite Bella Gaffney is an integral part. The band are running a fundraising campaign to help them launch their first CD. If you would like to support the project visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themagpies/the-magpies-debut-album and see what rewards are on offer and for a few words from the band...(The campaign closes on 14th October)
I'm sorry to have to inform you that John Pashley passed away on 20th September after a long battle with cancer. Many of you may not have known John: he was a very early member of the club and had been on the committee a few times, mainly around the club's 40th anniversary and was one of those who helped the club keep going when it was facing a financial crisis. He was a life member of the club.
As well as being an exceptional guitarist he was also a very good jazz musician: The John Pashley New Orleans Pavement Band played at Alex Eaton's funeral and that of Mike Waterson.
It appears that John has requested no funeral which unfortunately means we cannot tell you how those who knew and liked him as a person and a musician would be able to pay their respects, but if we receive any more information we will let you know.
It's been a month now since our move to The Merchant's Bar: we (and the venue) are still getting used to the adjustments we are having to make. We are mindful of some issues which need addressing and we thank you for bearing with us. Any feedback is of course welcome, so if anyone has any comments/views, positive or negative we would like to hear them. You can either email me and I will see that they are passed on to the committee, or feel free to chat to any committee person on a club evening.
If you would like to become a member of the Topic Folk club it still only costs only £5.00 for the year. Membership runs from 1st January and entitles you 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. You can join or renew your membership on any club night.
For performers who may be thinking of approaching the club for a booking, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street, Little Germany BD1 5BD, 8.00 pm start. 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 (though may be limited when we have a booked support act - please check). Please arrive by 7.45 pm if you’d like a slot – it helps the MC to plan the evening. Would-be floor singers please note that for the time being we may change the format of the evening slightly and have all the floor singers at the beginning of the first half to start the night.
It's not set in stone, we'll see how things develop as we go along, but it may help the evening run smoothly and ensure that the finish time is strictly adhered to, so that the necessary furniture moving etc can be attended to.
To find the Topic on Facebook search for "Topic Fc".
Topic Newsletter Editor