At: Groove Pad, 48 Saltaire Road, Shipley BD18 3HN
Topic Newsletter Archive
Newsletter No 240 - June 2022
Hello everyone, hope you are all keeping well in the new normal which seems to be establishing itself. Well, a bit more than normal now, since last night's announcement that Bradford has been named UK City of Culture 2025. Congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to bring this about. Exciting times ahead: you can be sure the Topic will be ready to make its contribution along with many other cultural organisations leading up to and during 2025 to make it a memorable time for our city.
For now, though, here are the details of our programme for the coming month:
2nd June: Singers and musicians. (£1 entry)
9th June: Jez Lowe
A double nomination in the 2015 BBC Folk Awards – for best singer and best new song – was a timely reminder of Jez Lowe’s standing in the UK folk and acoustic music scene. Not only he is one of the busiest live performers in the country, but his songs are among the most widely sung by other performers, whether by long-established acts like Fairport Convention, The Dubliners and Bob Fox, or by the new breed of stars like The Unthanks, The Young Uns and The Duhks.
His most recent solo album, Crazy Pagan, recorded during the lockdown of 2020, is his first for six years and is a tantalising and hopeful glimpse to the future.
£7 (£6 members)
16th June: Singers and musicians. (£1 entry)
23rd June: Alice Jones.
Alice Jones is a folk singer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer from Ripponden in West Yorkshire. She sings mainly traditional English and American folk songs accompanying herself on piano, harmonium, tenor guitar and sometimes only body or foot percussion. Alice also plays the clarinet, whistle and is a dancer specialising in Appalachian clogging as well as other forms of percussive and traditional folk dance. A great night in prospect. £7 (£6 members)
"This voice, once heard, falls squarely into the realm of 'unforgettable'." Folk Words
"...an exceptional talent who really can hold the audience in the palm of her hand." R2 Magazine
"She has the rare knack of the great folk artist - getting so directly to the heart of the matter that it's as if she lived inside every song..." Morning Star.
30th June: Duncan Mcfarlane & Anne Brivonese
Duncan and Anne sing & play classy, eminently listenable songs, both traditional and well-known contemporary. Expect a strong rhythmic impetus that’s infectious in the extreme. A punchy guitarist in the ‘English folk’ style paired alongside a highly talented fiddler, Duncan & Anne offer up sets split between their own and well-known contemporary songs, plus songs from the Tradition. The two of them gave us an excellent Topic Facebook concert during the lockdown: now come and see them in person. It's sure to be at least as good!! £7 (£6 members)
CLECKHEATON FOLK FESTIVAL is back after a two year absence: it runs from 1st - 3rd July. It will be on us at the time of the next newsletter, so here's some advance info about it. There's a great line up, even better than usual: check out http://www.cleckheatonfolkfestival.org/ for details.
Of particular note is an event during the festival that is sure to appeal to many: renowned folk artist Bella Hardy will be running three Folk Music Masterclasses as part of the Emerging Artists Project over the weekend. See the attachment for details of these sessions: you are advised to book early for what is sure to be a particularly popular part of the festival.
Muppett is hoping to organise regular Sunday sessions at the Buck Inn in Buckden, in collaboration with the landlord. There will be a taster session on Sunday 12 June, starting at 2 pm.
A monthly Sunday afternoon session has been pencilled in for the autumn and winter months on the second Sunday of each month. The sessions will be a mixture of tunes and songs and they will be trying to promote Dales songs and tunes, but not to the exclusion of non-Dales material.
They have chosen Sunday afternoon because the bus service up Wharfedale for non-drivers is better than on other days of the week and because it provides an opportunity for those who wish to combine the session with a short walk in Wharfedale/Langstrothdale.
Muppett further adds:
"A few months ago I organised and ran a fundraising (for Dalesbus) afternoon of music and song in the Buck Inn in Buckden. It proved to be a great success and the Landlord was interested in us doing something on a regular basis, so this led to mysen, Colin Speakman ( A Dales Bus member, Author & Founder of the Dales Way long distance footpath) & Bob Ellis a Musician from Gayle nr. Hawes meeting up with the Buck’s landlord to look at the idea of resurrecting sessions in the Buck similar to the ones Jackie Beresford and other Dales musicians used to run back in the 60’s and 70’s".
For those of you interested in folk dancing, the Yorkshire Folk Dance Weekend is back this year. It will take place on 1st - 3rd July in Drax, North Yorkshire.
For details, visit http://yfdw.org.uk/
The new issue of TykesStirrings is just out: the magazine is back to publication every three months. Look out for a copy in your folky wanderings, better still subscribe for a regular copy: it helps the production team. See https://tykesstirrings.org.uk/ for details.
CD Review – Auf Wiedersehen, Me Duck – Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer
Paul and Karen are well-known to Topic regulars. They visited us in April 2018 and again in February 2020, just before lockdown. They kept active through the pandemic with Friday ‘Afternoon Tea’ concerts; and made a guest appearance on one of our Zoom sessions.
Now here’s their latest CD, which is a delight. Mostly their own songs, sung with great clarity and quiet harmony, covering aspects of local (Stoke) history, and light-hearted or cautionary looks at aspects of contemporary life. Their three covers are well-chosen: my own stand-out track is Karen’s evocative rendition of Joan Baez’s wistful reflection on her time with Bob Dylan. The whole is very easy to listen to: professionally produced with nicely understated contributions from other musicians. It comes with written introductions to each song, and a full set of lyrics.
The CD is available from Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer (https://www.paulwalkermusic.co.uk) You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to John Waller for submitting this review.
A reminder that current membership will run until 31st August 2022, so there will be no need to renew until September.
Membership 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 Groove Pad, 48 Saltaire Road, Shipley BD18 3HN, 7.30 pm start with a target time of 10pm to finish. 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 are hoping we can count on 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 7.15 pm if you’d like a slot – it helps the MC to plan the evening.
Although covid restrictions have now been lifted, the virus is still out there and people are still getting infected, so we respectfully ask you to continue to take sensible precautions when visiting the club.
Topic Folk Club