Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 262

March 2024

 Hello everyone


Here’s our latest newsletter with plans so far for most of the rest of 2024. Our next folk club is a sellout and promises to be a fantastic night with THE LANGAN BAND. That’s on Thurs March 28 and just to reiterate, this event has now definitely ‘SOLD OUT’


But plenty of tickets available for other events coming along, they include:-


Thurs April 4-LIZ STRINGER

Liz Stringer is one of Australia’s most admired and versatile songwriters and instrumentalists. An exciting debut for this artist and a chance to see her in the intimate setting of The Black Swan Folk Club


Mon April 8-UFQ (The Urban Folk Quartet) at The Crescent Club.

Last seen at the NCEM a few days before lockdown UFQ are back with us in York once again. The Urban Folk Quartet’s distinguishing features have much less to do with the traditional idea of genre. Fiddle music that draws heavily from celtic dance forms and traditional song. UFQ make it unlike any folk band you’ve ever heard.


Tues April 9-BLONDE on BOB ‘NOTHIN’ BUT DYLAN’ at The Crescent Club

Blonde on Bob are back at the Crescent with their new six-piece line up. Incorporating keyboards, guitar, accordion, fiddle, sax, flute, guitars, bass and drums. As usual it's 'Nothin' but the songs of Bob Dylan'.


Thurs April 11-OPEN MIC-Our regular singers and musicians night. Everyone is very welcome to this one whether a performer or a listener. We are keen to have new performers attending and you don’t have to use the microphone, but it’s there if you want it.



One of our favourite duos at The Black Swan Folk Club, Craig and Willoughby make a welcome return. Cathryn Craig has sung with Chet Atkins, Shel Silverstein, The Righteous Brothers and Jorma Kaukonen. Her great-grandfather Jacob Sowder was recorded by Cecil Sharp and featured in his book English Folk Songs from The Southern Appalachians. Brian Willoughby is best known for his virtuoso performances on electric and acoustic guitar, with progressive folk/rock band Strawbs and with Mary Hopkin, Joe Brown, Roger Whittaker, Bridget St. John, Jim Diamond and Monty Python.


Thurs April 25-OPEN MIC-Another regular singers and musicians night.


Sun April 28 FARA at The Crescent

Fired up and raring to go after a lockdown spent creating a hugely popular film project, ‘The Orkney Series’, Scottish powerhouse quartet FARA unveiled their highly anticipated third studio album in 2022. Bursting with brand new self-penned instrumental tracks, and with songs adapted from the words of Orcadian poets. ‘A unique mix of spell-binding vocals, intricately woven fiddle harmonies and energetic closers.



Fiona is from Glasgow. She is recognised as a well-established tradition-bearer of Scots song. Her honest, earthy & evocative singing style and extensive repertoire showcases the richness & diversity of the tradition.

Christine an award-winning singer of Scottish songs and ballads has been inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

The pairing of these two voices promises to be an excellent evening of Scottish folk song.


Sat May 4 SOUND of the SIRENS are at The National Centre for Early Music 

Sound of the Sirens are a singer-songwriting duo based in Exeter, Devon comprising of Abbe Martin & Hannah Wood. Honing their craft over the past decade, Martin & Wood have cemented themselves as “one of the UK’s finest folk acts”. Not only on the West Country scene, but nationally and internationally.

There is a certain majesty about their live performances that simply cannot be put into words.

If you aren’t aware of this exciting duo a visit to You Tube to check out their high-profile TV appearances will tell you what you want to know.

Thurs May 9-OPEN MIC

Another regular singers and musicians night.



Fri May 10 ALLAN TAYLOR ‘The Road Well Travelled’. The acclaimed singer-songwriter presents his new one man show about his life and times at The National Centre for Early Music.

Songs, stories, and anecdotes of more than fifty years on the road Accompanied by his own songs and music, Allan will talk about his life and times from the 60’s in London, through to the 70’s in America (New York, Los Angeles, Nashville) and then on to the 80’s in Europe and up until the present day. Always a sell-out night at The Black Swan, we’re moving this special show into the NCEM’s larger concert venue.


Wed MAY 15 KATHERINE PRIDDY at The Crescent Club

Since emerging with her debut EP ‘Wolf’, UK singer-songwriter Katherine Priddy has quickly become one of the most exciting names on the British music scene. Priddy’s haunting vocals and distinctive finger-picking guitar style have already seen her sell out a headline tour, perform at prestigious festivals around the UK and abroad, including Glastonbury where she featured on their BBC 2 coverage. She has supported Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Vashti Bunyan and Guy Garvey. Priddy’s eagerly-awaited second album, The Pendulum Swing was released in February to critical acclaim.



Her date at the Black Swan last year had to be rescheduled due to the dreaded Covid but now we’re happy to announce a new date for singer, harpist, and composer Rachel Newton. Poems, ballads, and stories that are hundreds of years old are worked into a contemporary compositional style to create a rich sound that is ambitious and original.

Founder member of The Furrow Collective and Heal & Harrow she was named Musician of the Year at both the Scots Trad Music Awards and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.



A lengthy musical career has seen Miranda appear in York in a duo with mandolinist Rex Preston and as a member of both Show of Hands and Daphne’s Flight.

Now we have her first solo appearance at The Black Swan. She’ll debut her new solo album ‘Out of the Woods’


Thurs May 30-OPEN MIC

Another regular singers and musicians night.




On the eve of the Folk Weekend we have a very special guest night.

Tony and Julia's previous and most recent UK-wide tour in May-June 2022 included 29 performances and one of them was at The Black Swan Folk Club. It was a classic evening of skilled musicianship with these two virtuosos playing to a packed house. And we thought we’d do it again.

Hailed by the late John Renbourn - as ‘the best Celtic guitarist in the world’ Tony McManus has been listed as one of the 50 transcendental guitarists of all time by Guitar Player Magazine.

Julia Toaspern is a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music. On top of this her skills as a guitarist are prodigious and make an exciting fit with Tony’s work.

Fri June 7 until Sun June 9 CITY of YORK ‘Roland Wall’s’ FOLK WEEKEND

As this edition of the Newsletter goes to press we’re putting the final touches of the Folk Weekend together. As usual they’ll be non-stop folk and acoustic related music all weekend, some traditional dance, some familiar faces and one or two surprises.


We’re here every Thurs throughout June and July and they’ll be a mixture of Open Mic evenings and special guest nights.

One of these features ENDA KENNY on Thurs June 27..

Another visit to the club for this Irish-born songwriter who has made his home in Australia since the late 1980's. His thoughtful, descriptive stories of his adopted homeland have struck a chord with audiences in Australia, Ireland, the UK and beyond. Rock and Reel describes him as a cracking live entertainer.

Last year started well, Enda was awarded Artist of The Year at Newstead Live Music Festival in January 2023.

"On small stages to intimate audiences or large stages to festival audiences he always holds the crowd in the palm of his hand. Witty and intelligent songwriting and a brilliant night's entertainment" 
Eleanor McEvoy 


This year we’re having a summer break in August and are reopening the club on Thursday nights with a firm club favourite who needs no introduction.

It’s JEZ LOWE on Thursday September 5.


And here’s what’s in the diary (so far) for the rest of the year:-





OPEN MIC (Oct 10)


OPEN MIC (Oct 24)




We have Welsh folk supremos CALAN scheduled to appear at the NCEM on Wed Nov 13 bringing with them ‘a Mythical Musical Odyssey’.


tba (Nov 14)




Tickets are on sale for our Christmas show with ST. AGNES FOUNTAIN.

The date is Monday December 2 and the venue is The National Centre for Early Music in York.


Ticket links and availability for all the above concerts and club nights can be found by going to the Black Swan Folk Club website:- Keep a watch on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.


Other folk and roots related gigs happening locally in the near future include:- Olivia Chaney 10/4/24 at Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York and the same night folk, Americana roots band Track Dogs are at Bishopthorpe Sports and Social Club York.

The Jack Tars play St Denys Church Walmgate York on 3/5/24.

The National Centre for Early Music in York presents Eliza Carthy on 28/6/24 and Steve Knightley on 22/10/24.


Regular events include a tune session at The Maltings, Tanner’s Moat every Tuesday evening and old-time tunes and songs at The Golden Ball, Bishophill every Sunday evening. Friday evenings there’s a session of tunes and songs at The Three-Legged Mare in High Petergate.


As always, we’re looking forward to seeing you soon at The Black Swan Folk Club or at one of our in-concert events.


Chris and The Black Swan Folk Club