Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 129

Early May 2011

<p>It  has been another longer than usual interval between bulletins so once again  there is a lot to tell you about.  There  have been quite a few new subscribers in the meantime – I hope you find this mailing  both interesting and useful.</p>
<p><strong><em>CLUB EVENTS &amp; NEWS</em></strong><br />
  After one of our lively and friendly Singers Nights this Thursday  (5th), May is something of a singer - songwriter month.  Boo Hewerdine&rsquo;s show (19th) is already Sold  Out, I&rsquo;m afraid, but there are plenty of tickets left for the other two.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>HOBOBOP WITH KIRSTY &amp;  MAT, 12th MAY.</strong>  Making her third visit to us on  12th May (after shows in 2005 and 2008) is one of the most hard-to-pigeonhole  singer-songwriters in the business, <strong>Kirsty  McGee</strong>, accompanied as ever by <strong>Mat  Martin</strong> on guitar and banjo.  Kirsty  has labelled her music &ldquo;hobopop&rdquo;.  The  following comes from her official website: </li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><em>Twice nominated for BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Kirsty McGee has been  recording and touring to critical acclaim since her debut in 2002.  Her style continues to defy categorization  and charm audiences around Europe, earning her the tag of 'cult'  singer-songwriter in the UK.  Combining  styles as diverse as folk, jazz, chanson and Americana, her work is held  together by her distinctive lyrical style and astonishing voice, equally  comfortable in dark, intimate ballads and up-tempo carny-shuffle numbers.  Her shows explore a cross-section of these  energies through an extensive range of subject matters and instruments.  Reviews for her most recent album 'No.5'  (recorded live in one take with her full band The Hobopop Collective) have been  unanimous in their praise for her skilled handling of words and impeccable  taste in arrangements.</em></p>
<p><strong>Phil Cerny</strong> MCs this one and tickets are £7 (£6 Concs.) from WeGotTickets or on  the door.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>GREAT SONGS, GREAT GUITAR  WITH BROOKS, 26th MAY.</strong>  Every so often we catch up with  a really top class performer who has somehow eluded us for years.  One such is the mighty <strong>Brooks Williams</strong>, who makes his York debut on 26th May.  If you are a fan of blues-tinged American  songwriting and guitar playing, you may know of Brooks already.  He&rsquo;s certainly worth getting to know.  For example, if you love Hans Theessink&rsquo;s  music, Brooks should thrill you too.  I  quote the following, slightly edited, from his agency website.</li>
</ol>
<p><em>&nbsp;</em></p>
<p><em>Brooks  Williams is one of the premier guitarists, singers and songwriters on the Roots  / Blues / Americana scene.  Lauded as one  of the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists of all time, Williams has been wowing  audiences worldwide for nearly 24-years with his silky voice, hook-laden songs,  and rollicking acoustic and resonator slide guitars, every night delivering the  deepest and most intense interpretations of everything from early blues songs  to his recent original compositions. </em></p>
<p><em>Brooks  was born in Statesboro, Georgia, the town put on the map by Blind Willie McTell  in his song, Statesboro Blues.  There&rsquo;s  something in the thick humid air and the deep red clay that informed Williams&rsquo;  earliest guitar and song explorations.   But it wasn&rsquo;t until he reached the thriving club scene in Boston,  Massachusetts in his late teens, where he played 5-6 nights a week, that  Williams&rsquo; southern bluesy roots came to the foreground.  The mid-week gigs were typically in raucous  university clubs or in wild biker bars with Williams playing for four hours  without stopping.  The weekend gigs were  in quiet reverent coffeehouses where audiences hung on every note and  lyric.  In the land between these two  extremes is where Williams developed his voice and learned his trade.</em></p>
<p><em>Thousands  of miles, 17 CDs, and 24-years later, Brooks is now based in Cambridge, England  and continues to play everywhere from Dallas to London, Istanbul to Boston,  Belfast to Toronto.  He has gigged with  Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Paul Jones, Billy Bragg, Little Feat and Leo Kottke,  amongst others, and has performed at Kerrville Festival, Crawley Blues  Festival, Folk On The Pier, Guitar Stars Festival, Marlborough Jazz Festival,  Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Newport Folk Festival and many more.</em></p>
<p><em>His  stunning 2010 recording Baby O! was produced and recorded in the UK by Williams  and <strong>Andy Bell</strong> (Seasick Steve, The  Demon Barbers, Kerfuffle, and an occasional member of the Black Swan Folk Club  audience) and features standard blues alongside original songs.  It has been played on BBC Radio Two, CBC  (Canada), National Public Radio (US), RTE (IRE), and has featured in Maverick,  Rock N&rsquo; Reel, Acoustic and many other magazines and papers.  <strong>fRoots</strong> called it &ldquo;Americana at its finest!&rdquo;</em></p>
<p>In short, &ldquo;a musician of  staggering depth and breath, with an easy-going vocal delivery, groove-laden  songs, and monstrous guitar chops&rdquo; who is really worth checking out.</p>
<p>Brooks Williams spent  several weeks in East Africa last summer doing musical voluntary work alongside  some of our club residents and two of them<strong>,  Sarah Dean</strong> and <strong>Paula Ryan</strong> will  be renewing the acquaintance and sharing floor spot and MC duties on the  26th.  Tickets are on sale at <a href="http://www.wegottickets.com">www.wegottickets.com</a>, priced at £9 (£7  concessions) – a real bargain!</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>FUTURE GUEST LISTINGS NOW  ONLINE.</strong>  Further details of our programme for the rest  of this year have been posted on the website at <a href="http://www.blackswanfolkclub.org.uk">www.blackswanfolkclub.org.uk</a>.  There is one change to the summary list in  the last newsletter – <strong>Pete Coe</strong> now  appears on 8th September and the Double Bill first scheduled for that night is  postponed until January 2012.  Also, we  now know the New Roots winners who will be showcased at our Young Performers  Night on 3rd November, namely a band called <strong>Chase</strong> and soloist <strong>Chris  Ricketts</strong>.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Booking has opened at <a href="http://www.wegottickets.com">www.wegottickets.com</a> for guest artists  from June through to September.  Early  booking is particularly advised for Steve Tilston (16th June), Steve Phillips  (7th July) and the sublime pairing of Flossie Malavialle &amp; Keith Donnelly  (29th September).</p>
<p>The new club brochure covers the same period  to the end of September and is about to go to the printers.  It should be available in a couple of weeks&rsquo;  time.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>SEATS, LIGHTS, ACTION.</strong>  If you&rsquo;ve been to the club in the last few  weeks, you&rsquo;ll have noticed two improvements.   Firstly, the pub landlord has invested in a set of new chairs.  These are padded and seem very comfortable,  they can be stacked up when not in use, and being metal framed they should not  fall apart as some of the previous wooden ones have been known to do – so you  can sit down with confidence!</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Secondly, we now have  stage lighting.  Courtesy of a  well-wisher, who has given them on indefinite loan (thanks, Sue), we have a  couple of coloured lights which give a pleasant wash of colour above and behind  the performer.  Together with the  landlord, we are now looking to enhance the effect with some white spotlights  from the back of the room.</p>
<p>Our landlord Andy is  certainly a wonderfully energetic and constructive guy.  He was telling me last Thursday night of  future plans, including re-carpeting the staircase and possibly the club room,  and extending the rather cramped kitchen.   Also, while retaining the Black Swan, he is about to take on another  under-achieving city centre pub in York and turn it around.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>AWARDS FOR THE BLACK SWAN  INN (1).</strong>  As though all that were not enough, Andy has  been busy garnering wards.  The Black  Swan was voted <strong>Pub of the Year </strong>for  2011 in the annual Tourism -Awards run by the <strong>Visit York</strong> organisation.   You&rsquo;ll see the plaque as you come in the pub&rsquo;s front door, and on the website  homepage at <a href="http://www.blackswanyork.com">www.blackswanyork.com</a> is  a picture of Andy and Steph collecting it at the awards ceremony.  Well done both!!</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>AWARDS FOR THE BLACK SWAN  INN (2).</strong>  The Black Swan Inn has also been nominated for the <strong>Best Overall Pub</strong> in the Pub Awards 2011 run by our local paper, <strong>The Press</strong>, having won the Best  Entertainment Pub category last year.   You can vote for the pub now by calling 0901 221 0232, or text PUBS 0232  to 80360.  Calls cost no more than 26p  per call from a BT Landline.  Calls from  mobiles and some other networks may cost more.   Texts cost 25p plus your normal operator text charge.  <strong>Voting  lines close this Friday, 6th May at 23:59:59pm.</strong>  Find the full shortlist on The Press website, <a href="http://www.yorkpress.co.uk">www.yorkpress.co.uk</a>. </li>
</ol>
<ol>
  <li><strong>CLUB FINANCES UPDATE.  </strong>In the last Newsletter I reported on our club  accounts for the full year to 31st January, which showed a deficit of  £653.  I am delighted to tell you that in  the quarter just ended, February to April, we have more than made good that  loss.  Thanks to some very well supported  club nights and two full house NCEM concerts we have a provisional surplus of  £713 on those three months.  What&rsquo;s more,  that is after making several payments in advance for hotel accommodation for  autumn concert guests.  Ignoring those  exceptional payments against future income, our first quarter trading surplus  was over £1,000, which is very reassuring to us harassed organisers!</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>CLUB PHOTO GALLERIES  VANISH. </strong> Unfortunately we have lost our archive of  pictures on the folk club website.  The  &ldquo;Photo Galleries&rdquo; tab was a link to photo sharing site <strong>Fotopic.net</strong>, which announced that it had ceased trading last  month.  The firm has assured users that &ldquo;all images uploaded onto Fotopic servers were safe and  that their aim was to migrate photos to a new service&rdquo;, so we&rsquo;ll wait and see  what happens.  More information can be  found on Wikipedia. </li>
</ol>
<ol>
  <li><strong>A WORD ABOUT FLOOR SINGERS.</strong>  Our club guest artists are almost invariably  contracted to do two sets of 45 to 50 minutes each.  To support those guests, to provide a full  evening&rsquo;s entertainment and to encourage and reward local performers, we also have  around 45 to 50 minutes of &ldquo;floor acts&rdquo; each week, around 30/35 minutes at the  start of the night and 15/20 after the interval (while the guest gets his  breath back after selling CDs and chatting to audience members!)  We now have a pool of around a dozen  &ldquo;resident&rdquo; singers who fill most of the floor spots, though given sufficient  notice other performers are made welcome.   One of the resident performers also acts as MC for the evening.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Since I fell ill last  year, Eddie Affleck has taken on responsibility for allocating floor spots and  organising the MC rota, and I must say I think he does a scrupulously fair job  of it, with (Don Walls aside) no one resident performer getting any more than  two spots in a month, which means plenty of variety for those of you who attend  regularly.  Eddie tends to work out the  floor spots two or three months at a time, so if anyone out there would like a  turn on a specific future guest night, drop Eddie a line as far ahead as possible  and make your request.  He can be  contacted at <a href="mailto:eddieaffleck@aol.com">eddieaffleck@aol.com</a>. </p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong><em>NCEM CONCERT EVENTS</em></strong></p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>SUMMER TEAPARTY FOR BLACKBEARD&rsquo;S.  </strong>In  January local heroes <strong>Blackbeard&rsquo;s Tea  Party</strong> filled the Black Swan Inn club room twice over in their acoustic four-piece  line-up.  Soon after that their larger  electric version drew 250 people to local rock venue The Duchess.  Keen to help the band maintain this momentum,  we are sponsoring a show by them at the <strong>National  Centre for Early Music</strong> on <strong>Tuesday  19th July</strong>.  This will be the full six  piece line-up, complete with electric guitar, brass and extra percussion, as  well as the fiddles, guitars, melodeons and double bass we saw so vividly in  action at the Black Swan. </li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Tickets are now on sale for this summer special,  modestly priced at £10 (£8 concessions) from the NCEM Box Office on 01904  658338 or online at <a href="http://www.ncem.co.uk">www.ncem.co.uk</a>, or from  ourselves on a Thursday evening at the Black Swan.  It&rsquo;s a 7.30pm start, and the band have asked  along the talented young East Yorkshire autoharpist and songwriter <strong>Jessica Lawson</strong> as their support act.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>EARLY AUTUMN  CONCERTS BOOKING SOON.  </strong>As reported in the last Newsletter, we are very excited  to have secured an early autumn tour date in York for one of the most famous  and respected bands in Irish music, <strong>Patrick  Street</strong>, which comprises Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine, Arty McGlynn and John  Carty.  It will be on <strong>Friday 23rd September </strong>and we anticipate  that tickets (priced at £18 or £16) will go on sale in a week or two&rsquo;s time  through the NCEM Box Office.  At the same  time, we&rsquo;ll open booking for our second early autumn event, <strong>The Churchfitters</strong>, on <strong>Monday 3rd October</strong>, priced at £12 or  £10.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Much later in the autumn, dates have now been agreed  for <strong>The Urban Folk Quarter</strong> on Monday  28th November and for <strong>Emily Smith</strong> with her band on Monday 12th December.   We&rsquo;ll probably open box office for these after the summer holidays.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>A FRENCH CANADIAN WIND BLOWS IN. </strong> One  other NCEM event is worthy of note, although not being promoted by  ourselves.  In a short notice addition to  the advertised programme, top Quebecois folk band <strong>Le Vent Du Nord</strong> appears there on <strong>Sunday 22nd May</strong>.  This  thrilling four-piece has a great reputation for exciting stage shows.  All tickets are priced at £13.50 and are now  booking through the Box Office as above.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong><em>YORK FOLK WEEKEND NEWS – 3rd/5th JUNE</em></strong></p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>PROGRAMME NOW READY.</strong>  It&rsquo;s taken  a lot longer than I had anticipated, but the programme is almost ready and I  have taken the liberty of attaching it as it currently stands to this  mailing.  Outdoors we have 34 acts over two  days and three evenings, including three Morris sides, and only four of those  acts are not based here in York or the immediate vicinity – testimony to the  vigorous health of the local folk and acoustic music scene.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Over a dozen other artists  feature in events taking place indoors, including two concerts in the Wolfe  Room and a range of other activities.  And of course there will be plenty of chances  to participate yourselves: open sessions, singarounds and &ldquo;rolling folk club&rdquo;  events.</p>
<p>Pub-lead improvements this  year will include extra Portaloo facilities for the ladies, more gazebos to  give extra outdoor shelter if the weather is poor and a very large chill  cabinet to house more salads and other cold food to complement the range of hot  grub on offer.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>HELP US PUBLICISE FOLK WEEKEND.</strong>  This is  the biggest and most ambitious Folk Weekend yet, but it remains a FREE festival  and so we do not have lots of cash to pay for glossy publicity.  You can help us spread the word in three main  ways.  <strong>Word of Mouth</strong> remains highly effective: tell any friends,  workmates, etc. you think would enjoy the music and the general goodtime  ambience of the weekend.  <strong>Online Media</strong> are certainly the in-thing  – use Facebook, Twitter and the rest to push the weekend.  There is a Folk Weekend entry at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/BlackSwanFolkClub">www.facebook.com/BlackSwanFolkClub</a>.  Old-fashioned <strong>Posters and Flyers</strong> still have their place too.  Our graphic designer friend Richard Nagy has  come up with a very attractive design which I can supply in JPEG format either  colour A4 or black &amp; white A5.   Please let me know if you would like either or both files sending.  Alternatively, I can supply hard copy prints  if you know of a poster site or can take a few flyers along to an event or  friendly shop – just give me a postal address and a rough idea of quantity.</li>
</ol>
<p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>
<p><strong><em>MISCELLANY</em></strong></p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>MORRIS MUSICIANS WANTED.  </strong>Medusa Gothic Morris are on  the hunt for new musicians, specifically melodeon and fiddle players.  They are an entertaining side, based in  Knaresborough, who danced at our 2008 Folk Weekend as I recall.  Contact Sally Smith on 01423 868753 if you  are interested.  Find them at <a href="http://www.medusagothic.co.uk">www.medusagothic.co.uk</a>.  The dancers are women but men are welcome in the  band.</li>
</ol>
<p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>
<p><strong><em>OTHER YORK EVENTS</em></strong></p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>B.O.B&rsquo;s MILLION DOLLAR BIRTHDAY BASH</strong>.  Celebrate  Bob Dylan&rsquo;s 70th birthday with <strong>Blonde on  Bob</strong> and <strong>Rory Motion</strong> at City  Screen Basement Bar on the very day itself, Tuesday 24th May.  This event will also see the local launch of  the double CD of Dylan covers, <strong>Younger  Than That Now</strong>, which I trailed in the last newsletter.  I&rsquo;ve heard a preview copy and it is  excellent.  Doors open 8pm on 24th for an  8.30pm start and tickets are £8 in advance from the City Screen Box Office or  £10 on the door if there are any left.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Incidentally, I see that  the <strong>Fulford Arms</strong> (next item below)  are holding a Dylan tribute night in Open Mic format the next evening, 25th  May, and of course the Friday night of Folk Weekend (3rd June) sees a Dylan  songs Open Mic upstairs at the Black Swan hosted by Blonde on Bob frontman and  CD compiler <strong>Chris Euesden</strong> – so dust  off the harmonica, get out the guitar and start practising!</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>A NEW VENUE AT THE FULFORD ARMS.</strong>  The  Fulford Arms on Fulford Road, next to the police station, has had a makeover  under new landlord Steve Bradley and live music is one of his interests,  specifically of the folk &amp; acoustic variety.  They&rsquo;ve already held some gigs, with <strong>David Ward Maclean</strong> to come on Friday  20th May and the Dylan open mic night mentioned above on 25th May.  Ambitiously, they have already announced a  booking for <strong>Dave Swarbrick</strong> in  February 2012!  We are pretty relaxed  about this.  The more outlets for live  music the better, we say, just so long as they don&rsquo;t tread too heavily on our  toes by running a direct clash or duplicating one of our booked guests.  Find them on Facebook.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>PUB SEEKS MUSICIANS.</strong>  Meanwhile  another York pub has approached me looking for people interested in  performing.  It is the <strong>Waggon &amp; Horses</strong> on Lawrence Street  which for a while hosted the fairly successful Fillmore East acoustic venue on  a Saturday night.  The man behind that  has moved on, says the licensee Paul Marshall, and he is looking to fill the  gap.  &ldquo;I was wondering if you knew of any folk acts that would be looking to  play a set or two on a Saturday evening.   Obviously we have a limited budget as this is free at the point of entry  but it is a great way for people to showcase their talents, have a few beers  and get their music heard&rdquo; says Paul.   You can contact him on <a href="mailto:info@waggonandhorsesyork.co.uk">info@waggonandhorsesyork.co.uk</a>. </li>
</ol>
<p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>
<p><strong><em>OTHER GIGS &amp; EVENTS AROUND THE REGION</em></strong><br />
  I&rsquo;m running out of time and energy, so  apologies to other promoters if I don&rsquo;t mention your event below.  Here are details of three imminent events and  one important one in a fortnight.</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>CLIVE AT HENSHAWS.  </strong>After a bit of a hiatus,  folk music returns to Henshaws Arts &amp; Crafts Centre in Knaresborough with  the very wonderful Mr <strong>Clive Gregson</strong> this Friday (6th). Tickets are £12.50.   See <a href="http://www.henshawsacc.org.uk">www.henshawsacc.org.uk</a>.  <strong>Vin  Garbutt</strong> follows next month (3rd June).</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>ANOTHER CHANCE TO SEE KAT &amp; JAMIE.</strong>  We had a great night last month with <strong>Katriona Gilmore &amp; Jamie Roberts</strong>,  who delighted a packed full house.  If  you missed out on that one, or were so impressed you immediately want to see  them again, then they are in concert this Friday (6th) at Sledmere Village Hall  on the Wolds near Driffield.  What is  more, support comes from <strong>P J Wright</strong> of Little Johnny England fame.  Promoted  in association with Moonbeams Acoustic, it is doors open 7.15 for an 8.00  start, and there will be a Wold Top Brewery real ale bar.  Tickets are £8 and will be available at the  door.  They can be reserved by calling Leila  on 07810  831317. </li>
</ol>
<ol>
  <li><strong>ISAMBARDE AT HELMSLEY.  </strong>That great folk trio <strong>Isambarde</strong>, which includes former club  resident Emily Sanders, is at the Helmsley Arts Centre on Saturday night  (7th).  This may be a last local chance  to enjoy them.  As I reported in E-News  126, they are splitting up in September.   Helmsley tickets are £10 (Concessions £9) on 01439 771700.  See <a href="http://www.helmsleyarts.co.uk">www.helmsleyarts.co.uk</a>.</li>
</ol>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<ol>
  <li><strong>A NIGHT FOR NORMA.</strong>  Around the country several  benefit concerts are taking place this month for Norma Waterson.  As many of you will know she was taken  seriously ill while on tour last autumn, spent several months in intensive care  and is only now getting close to recovered.   One such all star concert is at the <strong>Square  Chapel</strong> in <strong>Halifax</strong> on <strong>Wednesday</strong> <strong>18th May</strong>.  Artists giving  their services include Steve Tilston, Grace Notes, Artisan, Martin Simpson, Tom  Napper &amp; Tom Bliss and the Demon Barbers.   There are still some tickets left at £15 (Concessions £12) on 01422  349422.</li>
</ol>
<p>At which point I really must call it a day  (or should that be night?).  I&rsquo;ll hope to  get another Newsletter out before Folk Weekend.   Meanwhile, keep on making and supporting live music.</p>
 

blackswanfolkclub@yahoo.co.uk

50 St Olaves Rd, York YO30 7AL - 01904 632 922

www.blackswanfolkclub.org.uk