Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 106

Late September 2009


September has gone very well so far: another packed and enjoyable Singers Night, splendid club performances by Megson and Sam Carter (the former to a Full House) and of course a memorable final English concert by Eric Bogle and John Munro at NCEM, complete with standing ovation at the end of the show. By rights, our last two events this month should be just as special:

  1. JAMES KEELAGHAN, 24 SEPTEMBER. I can only repeat what I wrote last time. Three times a winner in Canada’s Juno music awards, James is “a definite contender for Canada’s leading acoustic performer” (Time Out). “He is one hell of a good songwriter and as a guitarist his playing is practically faultless. But listen to his voice: a smooth, coffee-rich baritone (which) is the perfect vehicle for songs that are as intelligent and meaningful as anything here on this side (of the Atlantic)”. On this latest tour James is joined by Zav RT (formerly Jamie RT) on fiddle and David Woodhead on bass. We look forward to some brand new songs from the latest CD, House Of Cards (“poetic, layered tales which are richly rewarding and utterly compelling” writes one reviewer), alongside classics from the Keelaghan back catalogue. See for loads more about James’s music.
    As I write, quite a few tickets have sold at, but there are plenty left. Go online soon to book yours, or come down early on the night to see what space is left.

  2. FAUSTUS IN CONCERT, 28 SEPTEMBER. Paul Sartin, Benji Kirkpatrick & Saul Rose - three virtuoso musicians and singers who are at the centre of the new generation in English folk music. Playing combinations of melodeon, fiddle, oboe, guitar and bouzouki, and with all three sharing vocal duties, Faustus breathe new life and vibrancy into a carefully researched selection of traditional English folk songs and dance tunes.
    Faustus’ eponymous debut CD (2008) went down a treat with both reviewers and punters, and together with some storming live shows earned them a nomination in the Best Group category at the 2009 Folk Awards - alongside such powerhouse acts as Bellowhead (with whom Benji and Paul also perform) and the eventual winners Lau. Sample some CD tracks at
    As well as playing in Faustus and Bellowhead, Benji Kirkpatrick (son of folk legend John) has toured with artists as diverse as Seth Lakeman and Maddy Prior, while Paul Sartin's projects include Bellowhead and the duo Belshazzar's Feast. Saul Rose, meanwhile, is a regular member of Waterson:Carthy and works with new folk starlet Ruth Notman, amongst others.
    Following an excellent early gig by Faustus at the Black Swan Inn in 2007, we are delighted to be bringing them back to York for a full scale concert at the National Centre for Early Music next Monday, 28th September. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. West Yorkshire acoustic duo Blackwater will do a half hour support slot, then there will be two full sets by Faustus. Tickets cost £ 13 (£ 11 concessions) and can be booked from the NCEM Box Office on 01904 658338, or online at Some tickets will also be available on the door

  3. AND ONWARDS INTO OCTOBER. We have another Singers & Musicians Night on 1st October. With 22 different acts fitted in during the August Singers Night, and 20 acts at this month’s event, almost all of them of a high musical standard, these sessions really are a very rewarding way to spend an evening. Mind you, we still have a little way to go to match what I read in a recent newsletter from Folk At The Royal Oak in Lewes, Sussex: they managed to fit in 26 performers at their July Open Night, and had to turn others away!
    October continues with a rich menu of world music sounds from Mambo Jambo (8th) with Sherburn & Bartley to follow (15th), then Jackie Oates in concert at NCEM (19th). After that there is another Singers Night (22nd) and finally Harvey Andrews ends the month (29th – with more than half the tickets sold already at

  4. FOLK WEEKEND & FOLK CLUB OPEN MEETING, 6 OCTOBER. I’ve booked the Oak Room at the Black Swan Inn for an Open Meeting on Tuesday 6th October. This is YOUR annual chance have your say about the club and its various activities, so do come along if you have opinions to voice, assistance to offer or suggestions to make.
    These are my main agenda items, but please feel free to raise any other matters of concern:
    • Folk Weekend 2010: dates, improvements, alterations (see Item 5 below)
    • Replacement of club PA kit: this will be a substantial investment - how do we proceed?
    • Accommodation for club guests: I am changing day job soon and will be less able to put up those musicians who need overnight hospitality after the show
    • Club and concert booking priorities: 2010 and beyond
    The meeting should begin at 8pm and we’ll discuss Folk Weekend first, so those who are less concerned with internal club business can skip the latter part of the gathering. We’ll invite the Black Swan landlord Andy Cross to join us for that part of the meeting as well, as he and his team are central to the success or otherwise of Folk Weekend.

  5. FOLK WEEKEND 2010. Subject to approval by the above Open Meeting, I’ve pencilled in next year’s event for 5th and 6th June. This takes us fully into June for the first time, but does keep us to the weekend after the Late Spring Bank Holiday, and so outside the half term school holidays when quite a few people go away. So far as I can establish, these dates do not clash with any other folk event in the Yorkshire region. In particular, the Robin Hoods Bay Folk Weekend is moving to 11th/13th June next year.
    Talking of Folk Weekend, I’ve just received a disc with several hundred photos taken at this year’s event by Trevor Rooney, who as a professional photographer gets a good snap or two! Hopefully Phil Myers will be able to load some of these on the club website before long.
    Still with Folk Weekend, there’s a charming piece by Oz Hardwick in the latest edition of eclectic music magazine R2, formerly Rock ‘n’ Reel. In their regular Venues We Love column, Oz waxes eloquent about the Black Swan Inn – both the club and the folk weekend. I’ll see if we can get permission to put his piece onto the club website. Meanwhile, R2 Issue 17 is in the shops now (distributed by Comag) but is most easily obtainable on subscription. See for details. Each issue comes with a cover mount CD, with (e.g.) tracks by Chris Wood and David Ferrard on the current one.

  6. CHANGES & ADDITIONS TO 2010 DIARY. Since we published our new club flyer there have been one or two changes to the forward dates trailed for 2010. In particular and very sadly, Filska have pulled out of their NCEM concert on 15th February and I am currently negotiating for a replacement band. Additional club bookings include Edwina Hayes (8 April), Bruce Molsky (22 April), Clive Gregson (6 May), Eddie Walker (20 May), Will Kaufman’s Woody Guthrie show “Hard Times and Hard Travellin” (27 May) and Dan McKinnon (3 June), while on 25 February Fay Hield will now be joined by Rob Harbron as well as Sam Sweeney.


  1. SHOW OF HANDS SOLD OUT – AN APOLOGY. I must make a small apology for having said that the NCEM were opening their Box Office on 4th September for the Autumn season. This was the information I had gleaned while working on drafts of the centre’s new brochure, but it seems a decision was subsequently taken to start selling tickets before that date. So heavy was demand for Show of Hands that they had in fact Sold Out by 4th September! If it is any consolation, I was one of the unlucky ones myself, too late to get a ticket.

  2. MORRIS FILM SECOND SCREENING. Also very popular has been the Regional Premiere of new cult film Morris: A Life With Bells On ( ), which as mentioned in E-News 105 takes place at City Screen in York on Sunday 27th September at 2.45pm. That first screening is now virtually Sold Out and a second showing has been arranged for 5.30pm on the same day. The bookings line is 0871 704 2054 or go to

  3. HOUSE CONCERTS IN YORK – AND BEYOND. I first mentioned House Concerts York back in E-News 73. They are still very much in business, with a guest list of mostly British and North American singer/songwriter artists in a folk/roots vein which nicely complements what we do at the Folk Club. Several club regulars have been to House Concert events and report very favourably on them. See for further details.
    The house concerts movement continues to grow in Britain and now I hear of another one at Wombwell, near Barnsley. They have already had our old friends Dana & Susan Robinson this autumn, and future guests include Stephen Fearing, Rory McLeod and Flossie Malavialle. See


This is a rather truncated noticeboard section, as I am rushing to get this newsletter finished before I fall asleep at the keyboard. Expect a fuller diary in the next E-News.

  1. HELMSLEY FOLK WEEKEND – a reminder that this local festival takes place this coming weekend, mostly at the Arts Centre, plus a ceilidh in the Town Hall and some pub sessions. Headliners are Bella Hardy (Saturday) and Carthy & Swarbrick (Sunday). See for further details.

  2. CHRIS, JULIE AND THE DUCHESS – another reminder: Chris While & Julie Matthews are at The Duchess on Stonebow in York on Sunday week, 4th October, with support from Tom Euesden. Tickets are £ 14.50 on the door but just £ 13 in advance – from the venue, via or from Chris Euesden or myself at club gatherings.

  3. JOHN DOYLE SPECIAL AT OTLEY. American based Irish guitarist JOHN DOYLE, a former member of Solas, is in the UK in October touring with Joan Baez as leader of her band. A sensational player and singer, he does a rare solo show at Otley Courthouse on Saturday 3rd October. He is heavily influenced by English guitarists such as Nic Jones and Martin Carthy, so his playing includes elements of both English and Irish styles, and he has worked with artists such as Mike McGoldrick, Kate Rusby and Linda Thompson. See for details.

  4. DAVID’S CD LAUNCH. Headlands is the 4th CD by Black Swan FC resident songwriter David Swann. It gets its formal launch at Kirkburn Village Hall (A614 west of Driffield) on Saturday 10th October, in a very special evening which includes guest musicians such as Mike & Val from Cottingham Folk Club, harpist Dave Hill and vocal duo Hissyfit. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start, entry is just £ 2.50 and as the venue is unlicensed you are invited to take your own refreshments along. Find out more at

  5. CLIVE IN THORGANBY. You don’t have to wait until May 2010 to catch up with Clive Gregson (item 6 above) as he will be appearing at Thorganby Village Hall, south of York, on Saturday 31st October, during this autumn’s tour from his US base in Nashville. Tickets (£ 10, or £ 8 concessions) and further information from Rob Worthington on York 448220.

That’s all for now! I hope to be back around mid October with much more news.