At: The Merchant Bar, 25 Peckover Street,
Topic Newsletter Archive
TOPIC FOLK CLUB, BRADFORD
NEWSLETTER No 26 March 2004
Greetings Another nice mixture of sounds and styles in the Topic programme for March. Fuller details of all acts are, as always, available via the website.
March 4 Barry Smith and the Westport Tinkers. They promise an evening of Irish music; a lively set of jigs, reels, airs and songs, some written by Barry himself. Barry also plays guitar, flute and whistle; and his style is both gentle and melodic. Tonight he will be accompanied by Nigel Swan on guitar /vocals, and Roddy Johnstone on fiddle. Barry and WPT are limbering up for a series of gigs leading up to St Patrick's Day, and this will be a warm-up for them. It should be a good, relaxing evening.
Featured support will be provided by The Waggoners: three accomplished singers and musicians who have performed in parallel for many, many years. Currently among the regulars at the Gaping Goose they are Trevor Sharp on guitar and accordion, Nick Leach on mandolin, guitar and banjo, and Nigel Broadbent on guitar and perhaps recorder. They promise a set of Yorkshire songs, to complement (or contrast with) Barry's Irish set.
March 11 John Conolly. The real writer of Fiddler's Green and The Punch and Judy Man for that matter, though fewer people dispute that. John plays guitar, whistles and squeezebox, and sings songs of Lincolnshire, some of which he has written himself. He is a crafter of finely-structured songs, and is not afraid to be sentimental. His latest CD offering is a loving celebration of Music Hall and Variety, borrowing from the Seaside Postcard school of humour. He was last seen on our boards playing as half of Donkey's Breakfast, which, I am reliably told, is nautical slang for a sailor's hay bedroll.
Featured Support tonight sees the return of Dave Kidman: a "distinctive singer who seeks out and performs top-quality songs from the pens of often unjustly neglected writers alongside personal or unusual treatments of better-known and traditional songs." He interweaves choruses, shanties and industrial songs with quieter, more reflective material.
March 18 Steve and Kristi Nebel. The first of a couple of big Topic concerts coming up. Steve and Kristi are a powerhouse duo of singer/songwriters and peace activists from Tacoma USA, touring the UK for the third time this century, already. Steve writes most of the material and plays guitar, while Kristi provides vocals and bass. Their songs mainly concern the people they have met, and have a folk/folk-rock feel. They have been writing and performing together for going on 20 years. Don't Miss.
Featured Support will be Bar Bowen with most of his band Bar the Shouting, playing their own original songs from a folky-rootsy-rocky direction. They support a variety of good causes (refugee support groups, mental health charities, environmental causes, general loony leftism) and these ideals are reflected in their songs and music.
March 25 Singers and Musicians. Theme: Colours: reds, yellows, greens, browns, pinks, blacks
April 1 Mundy-Turner. Anglo-Australian duo: our biggest booking of the year so far. They offer guitar, violin, harmony and powerful lyrics. The internationally-renowned singer/songwriter/guitarist from the UK, Jay Turner, and Australia's young singer/songwriter/musician Catherine Mundy. Plus Shaun T Hunter, a spirited young singer/songwriter. "In a parallel universe [he] is already an international superstar."
April 8 Keith Kendrick. Good traditional material with voice and squeezebox. Completing the Three-Sheets-to-the-Wind trilogy of Gifford and Higginbottom. Plus Debra Cowan, who is coming all the way from the USA just to be with us tonight. Well, sort of.
April 15 Singers and Musicians. Theme: happy, uplifting, or cheerful songs. There must be some.
April 29 Roy Bailey. Performer and activist for over 30 years. The Master. Plus Darren Poyzer
May 6 Singers and Musicians. Theme: English songs.
May 13 Tom McConville. Ever-popular Northumbrian fiddle. Plus Janine Wells,
May 20 Pete Smith and John Buckley. Two contemporary fingerstyle guitarists.
May 29 Kevin Dempsey and Joe Broughton. Guitar, violin, humour and song.
SO MUCH FOR THE FUTURE, BUT WHAT OF HISTORY?
We keep banging on about being the oldest/longest-established Folk Club in the world; and justly so. And it will not have escaped many regulars' attention that we will be coming up to our 50th anniversary in Autumn 2006. Since we are already booking well into 2005, it is not too early to start planning how we would intend to celebrate it. If at all. All ideas gratefully received by the Committee. Nothing too extravagant; we apparently lost a lot of money on the 40th celebrations, with extra concerts at hired venues, and we haven't actually got much money to spend.
TALKING OF HISTORY
Those of you who look regularly at the Topic website - http://www.topic-folk-club.org.uk/- may have noticed that the History page is expanding. It will soon include the article published by Trevor Charnock to mark the 25th anniversary in 1981, and Nicholas Waller, the Topic Webmeister, is gradually putting together a comprehensive list of artists, venues, organisers and various interesting slices of trivia. All the information exists, we think; it is just a question of getting it all in one place at one time and someone having the time to edit and type it up electronically. But if anyone out there has an interesting Topic anecdote, or correspondence, do let us know.
See you all some Thursday at the Melborn at one of the above events. 8.30 start. Be there by then if you want to perform a floor spot, which are still available every night even where there is a Featured Support artist booked. No smoking.
Topic Newsletter No 26 March 2004