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At: Groove Pad, 48 Saltaire Road, Shipley BD18 3HN
Venue (not Club) Tel: 01274 586542

Est: 1956




Thursday 14th December 2023 at 7:30

kimbersmen2023Kimber's Men

Kimber’s Men have appeared at festivals in Ostende, Appingedam, Portmagee, Portsoy, Fano in Denmark, and all over the UK. Featured twice on Sunday brunch for Channel 4, they also starred in the BBC2 and BBC4 production of Sea Songs, with Gareth Malone, which was the most viewed programme of the year on BBC 4.

Kimber’s Men possess probably the finest bass singer on the British folk scene today in John Bromley. John has been singing folk songs since he was 16 and has sung in several folk bands and is a solo artist. John plays guitar, whistle and bodhran.

Neil Kimber has been performing and singing since the late sixties and has a massive repertoire of songs at his disposal. He plays guitar and is the only real sailor in the group. Neil and Ros Kimber composed the wonderful song ‘Don’t Take The Heroes’, which is now being sung by many shanty bands all over the world, and describes the aftermath of the Penlee lifeboat disaster.

Kimber’s men are lucky to have long standing member Gareth Scott. He has a powerful and bluesy voice and is an accomplished guitarist, bringing another dimension to the sound they produce. Steve Smith, sound engineer and multi-instrumentalist, completes the group with his high harmonies.

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00


The Topic is at Groove Pad48 Saltaire Road, Shipley BD18 3HN. It’s a bar/coffee lounge on two floors. The Topic has exclusive use of the downstairs coffee lounge area on Thursday nights. The larger bar and room-space upstairs may be used for Guest Nights with a particulary high turnout. The bar serves a fine selection of drinks and does table service to the cafe area if required. Groove Pad is situated next to the Aagrah Restaurant on Saltaire Road. Easy street parking is available nearby and it’s only a few minutes walk from Shipley train station and the bus terminus.

Coming Soon

21 Dec


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry


28 Dec


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry




04 Jan


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry

11 Jan



John Hegley

To quote from a well-known TV series of yesteryear: “...and now for something completely different”….. London-based John Hegley is a mandolin-toting funny man, performance poet, musician, with an impressive CV even if it’s not one often seen on the folk music circuit. He has appeared on BBC TV and Radios 1 and 4 (including sessions with John Peel), hosted a TV poetry series, was a Perrier Comedy award nominee; was BBC Online poet in residence and Keats House poet in residence, is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival, and produced 12 books. And one mug. He also found time in an earlier life to study at the University of Bradford.

Scandalously talented - Sunday Times

Marvellous joyful fun - Telegraph

An incurable entertainer - The Guardian

Support: Chris Manners

Chris Manners is a song-maker, singer and guitarist who has been on the Yorkshire folk scene for many years and has performed on previous occasions at the Topic. He is a resident with Ryburn 3 Step and Ryburn folk club in Ripponden.

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00

18 Jan


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry

25 Jan


Bryony Griffith and Alice Jones

Hailing from West Yorkshire, Bryony and Alice are long-time purveyors of English folk music, united by a fascination with local folk song and tune collections.

As a powerful new duo, they have taken the folk scene by storm with their signature sound of fiddle, harmonium, tenor guitar, body percussion, beautifully matched vocals, and intricate harmonies in their trademark regional accents. Combining their respect and understanding of tradition with their own contemporary style of performance, they present a unique repertoire of harmony, heritage, and Northern banter.

Following the success of their 2022 debut album A Year Too Late and a Month Too Soon, which earned the pair 5-star reviews and global airplay, Bryony and Alice are back with Wesselbobs, a sensational new album of winter songs and tunes produced by Joe Rusby.

Featuring uniquely local versions of more classic seasonal songs, they have unearthed a treasure trove of traditional gems, intuitively arranged to cast a spotlight on the rich traditions, tales, and winter rituals of Yorkshire. The album’s title, Wesselbobs, refers to a local pastime whereby decorated evergreen boughs, built around a spherical frame, were carried door to door by Wassailers or carol singers in the 18 and 1900s. Also known as Wessel-bobs, Wassail-bobs, or Wesley-bobs, it most notably occurred in the communities of West Yorkshire.

Straight up, beautiful and bold folk singing - Mark Radcliffe - BBC Radio 2

Two of Yorkshire’s finest – Folk Radio UK

Honest, wholesome, and thoroughly enjoyable – Mojo

A sparkling tribute to Yorkshire’s folk heritage - Songlines

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00

01 Feb


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry

08 Feb


Union Jill

Helen Turner and Sharon Jagger have been performing together since 2006. After discovering a shared love of folk and acoustic music they soon realised their voices were meant to be together. Both bring distinctive songwriting styles to Union Jill and achieve some spellbinding effects with their voices and instruments (mandola, guitar and anglo concertina.)

They've gained a reputation for quality performances and well-crafted songs. Their onstage presence is natural, funny and personable and, whilst their material touches on the darker side of life at times, they enjoy a natural rapport with each other and with the audience leading to banter delivered with a light touch.

Union Jill are now deservedly establishing themselves as a long-standing and growing presence in the acoustic/folk world.

Stunning duo, great musicianship, harmonies and presentation, songs both thought-provoking and entertaining. They will deservedly be going a long way. See them now! - Topic Folk Club

Accomplished guitarists and articulate songwriters although the first attribute to win over audiences is the intuitive harmony of their distinct yet complementary voices – Rock ‘n Reel

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00

15 Feb


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry

22 Feb


Tom Bliss

Tom Bliss, multi-instrumentalist and fine singer/songwriter (guitar, mandocello, dulcimer, whistle, concertina, harp and many highly-regarded story songs and tunes), who retired from the music scene some years ago, is back (briefly) to raise cash for MS research, because his daughter Ellie has this dreadful disease for which cures seem close at last. Tom has raised £7k so far (he hopes to make it £10k by spring).

We are delighted that Tom has chosen the Topic for one of his current series of gigs:his set features his most popular and powerful work, and he is joined on this leg by fellow former Lost Lark, Den Miller (guitar, harmonica, autoharp etc), who is of course well-known to Topic audiences. They’ll be singing some of Den’s most powerful and popular songs too.

This will in effect be a charity night, pay as you feel on the door (subject to the usual entry prices as a minimum). For more information about Tom’s campaign see

For anyone who wishes to support Tom but is unable to attend the gig, you can visit

which also gives a moving account of Tom’s previous fundraising campaign and some more background detail.

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00

29 Feb










Double Header: Maddie Morris and Abbey Thomas

Maddie Morris is an artist who strives to make a difference in the world. Bold, insightful and refreshingly unique, she takes traditional song in new directions to shine a light on contemporary issues, offering new perspectives about the world we live in today. After graduating with a first-class honours degree from Leeds Conservatoire, Maddie soon made waves by winning the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, as well as landing a grant from the Alan Surtees Trust. From these firm foundations, her career has gone from strength to strength, with recent performances including Cropredy and Cambridge Folk Festival.

 Folk songs have always told stories, but how Maddie makes her mark is by turning this storytelling into action. Described by Jim Moray as “leading the next generation of socially conscious songwriters”, she uses her work to highlight inequality, challenge viewpoints and provide an inclusive space for shared experiences.

Whether she’s turning a centuries-old ballad on its head or writing something completely new, Maddie places her focus on drawing out true meaning rather than being true to tradition. From tweaking tunings to adding ornamentation, she’s never afraid to put her own stamp on things and create something distinctively her own.

Maddie Morris is an extremely accomplished young singer – not just the possessor of a haunting and delicately ornamented vocal style, but also a performer with serious insight into how to tell a story in song. Traditional ballads or inclusive social commentary – she always connects with the deepest meaning in her material. Not to be missed by any audience wanting to hear something new and passionate – Nancy Kerr

Abbey Thomas is an award-winning bluegrass/old time mandolin player. Growing up in the far corner of Cornwall, she had to travel far and wide to find the music she loved. She soon bought a mandolin and began to focus on American folk genres including bluegrass and old-time music, and now her mandolin playing is confident with a rich tone, and a style heavily inspired by the likes of John Reischman and Joe K Walsh. Mandolin in hand, she performs regularly with multiple bluegrass bands including Flats and Sharps, Old Baby Mackerel, and Blue Lass.

Abbey also loves exploring British instrumental folk music, enjoying learning new tunes on the mandolin and melodeon, and learning to sing unaccompanied traditional ballads. Abbey’s performances are dynamic and varied, including a mixture of traditional and contemporary music alongside original pieces inspired by the nature where she grew up.

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00


Quite Interesting Note: It is only 97 times every 400 years that there is a 29th February (Leap Day), and tonight is only the second time that the Topic is known for sure to have its Club Night fall on the 29th February.

The last time was in 1980, which was when Club Night was on Friday. As this runs in a 28-year cycle (every four years a different day of the week gets a turn, 4x7=28), 1952 was the previous Friday 29th Feb, well before the club was founded, and the next was Friday 29th Feb 2008, by which time Club Night had moved (in 1994) to Thursday.

The 29th February 1996 should have been a Club Night but oddly our record in the Gigs List is blank, even though by then our club night records were complete (well, almost). So it is possible something happened that night. (?Did any member keep a diary back then and if so could they fill us in?).

2024 is the first since the ghost night of 1996, and if you miss this opportunity the next Club Night on the 29th February will be in 2052.


07 Mar


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry

14 Mar



As most of you familiar with the acoustic music scene, especially Topic-goers, will know, Plumhall (Michelle Plum and Nick B Hall) are critically-acclaimed songwriters, who use a mesmerising combination of acoustic and electric instruments to create breathtaking soundscapes to their powerful original songs. They are renowned for their exquisite vocal harmonies and excellent musicianship.

​Their two studio albums, Thundercloud and The Ghost of Noise, earned the duo many plaudits including a “Hidden Gem” award from The Guardian/Observer.

​Plumhall's live prowess has seen the duo invited to sing onstage with Al Stewart on several occasions, including unforgettable appearances at London’s Palladium and Cadogan Hall. They have also performed alongside other such luminaries as Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan guitarist/Levon Helm producer/instrumentalist), Phil Beer (Show of Hands) and many more. Both Michelle and Nick have separately toured internationally as members of Chumbawamba/Chris Norman Band and Magna Carta respectively.

In late 2023 it was announced that Plumhall were to be the official opening act on the Fairport Convention Wintour '24, meaning 30 gigs with them between 6th February and 10th March.

​In 2018 Nick and Michelle caught the attention of film-maker Richard Heap, who asked them to write an original song for, arrange live acoustic music for, and appear in the 2020 international feature film The Runaways.

​The duo have achieved incredible success during lockdowns by holding livestream shows, which brought together a worldwide online community that supported one another throughout the crisis. This same community helped to create a stunning accompanying video for Plumhall's song "A Darkness That Won't Leave The House", which was featured on the late Janice Long's BBC show.

A fine duo...go and see them if you get the chance - Steve Knightley - Show of Hands

​Their chemistry as a duo makes them special with sumptuous vocal harmonies and telepathic guitar interactions. Michelle is one of the UK’s leading chanteuses. Nick is a consummate storyteller, powerful vocalist and exceptional guitarist. - Dave Scott - Blues In Britain Magazine

​A superduo...a wealth of talent...a real sense of passion and attack - Fatea Magazine

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00

21 Mar


Singers and Musicians

Sing a song or play a tune or just listen.

£1 entry

28 Mar


Crowes Pasture

Monique Byrne and Andy Rogovin perform moving and inspirational songs that are sometimes joyful, sometimes wistful, and often poignant, and that reflect a mutual passion for life, family and humanity. Their intimately blended vocal harmonies are mixed with an expressive and unique instrumental style that is best described as "a banjo-guitar romance". Crowes Pasture’s style of intimate and soulful folk transports and connects listeners through universal experiences in their “skillfully crafted, emotional songwriting” (Chris Eastburn, award-winning composer).

Crowes Pasture has made waves with two EPs and three full-length albums in just six-years time. Their CD, "Slow It Down", was released in June 2019 at the legendary Club Passim. Since its release, the title track earned Crowes Pasture a #1 song, and the album debuted at #5 on the Folk Alliance International Charts. Since the release of their first album, Edge of America, the duo has had eight Top 10 Songs on the Folk Charts, including "Take Back the Red White and Blue" (January 2022), their cover of Mary Gauthier's "Mercy Now" (June 2019), and the timely and topical song, "Quarantine" (January 2021).

The duo has been twice honoured with nominations as “Roots Act of the Year” by the New England Music Awards (2019 and 2022) and as “Americana Artist of the Year” by the Boston Music Awards (2019). They were named finalists for Best Group/Duo in the 2020 International Acoustic Music Awards, and for Best Group/Duo in the 2021 IAMAs.

The duo takes its name from the salt marsh and tidal flats known as Crowes Pasture, hidden away on the north side of Cape Cod, where the ocean tides recede twice a day to reveal intricate patterns on the shifting sands. This recurring cycle of creation and discovery evokes their own musical journey.

. . . a duo that’s rurally expressive & has a genuine instinctive unifying feel . . . a wholly vintage vocal parfait. - Americana Highways

Their roots-infused contemporary folk sound connects audiences through universal experiences. - Music Mecca

Skilfully crafted, emotional songwriting, compelling vocals and tasty accompaniment abound. The fact that they are husband and wife and successfully weave this all together with an approachable, laid back stage presence makes it all the more inviting and real. —Chris Eastburn, award winning composer & arranger.

£7 (£6 members) - Doors open 7:00

07 Apr - Singers and Musicians

11 Apr - Louise and Chris Rogan

18 Apr - Singers and Musicians

25 Apr - Serious Sam Barrett

02 May - Singers and Musicians

09 May - Double Headliner Cobalt Tales and Hajak

16 May - Singers and Musicians

23 May - Enda McCabe + support tbc

30 May - Tom Kitching and Marit Fält

06 Jun - Singers and Musicians

13 Jun - Robb Johnson

20 Jun - Singers and Musicians

27 Jun - Louise Jordan

04 Jul - Singers and Musicians

11 Jul - Roger Sutcliffe and friends

18 Jul - Singers and Musicians

25 Jul - Daria Kulesh

01 Aug - Singers and Musicians

08 Aug - Singers and Musicians

15 Aug Singers and Musicians

22 Aug - Singers and Musicians


05 Sep - 5 Singers and Musicians

12 Sep - Sally Barker (reschedule from 2023)

19 Sep - Singers and Musicians

26 Sep - Saul Rose and MacLaine Colston (Reschedule)

03 Oct - Singers and Musicians

10 Oct - Brothers Gillespie

17 Oct - Singers and Musicians

24 Oct - Stuart Douglas

31 Oct - Double Headliner Hebble and John Bromley

07 Nov - Singers and Musicians

14 Nov - Bella Gaffney

21 Nov - Singers and Musicians

28 Nov - Steve Turner

05 Dec - Singers and Musicians

12 Dec - Jim Causley

19 Dec - Singers and Musicians

28 Dec - Singers and Musicians

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