Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 114

February 2010


You may already have noticed that this mailing comes to you from a new e-mail address. From now on, we are trying to use for all club business, rather than my personal addresses with Yahoo or Hotmail. We have accumulated over 800 names on this mailing list and also conduct the greater part of our business with artists, agents and suppliers via e-mail. While it was easy and convenient at first to use personal mailing accounts, it now makes much more sense to have a separate and dedicated club address.


The reason for moving to a club e-address right now is that, unfortunately, I now have to drop out of day to day involvement in the club, at least for a month or two. I have been diagnosed with a serious illness and am about to go into hospital for major surgery. The prognosis is reasonably favourable but whatever the outcome I will be out of circulation for some considerable time.
Chris Euesden and Eddie Affleck are taking over lead responsibility for club business, aided by a number of other willing volunteers. Eddie and Chris will be monitoring the new email address and that should be your primary method for contacting them. If you really need to speak to someone in person, call Chris on 01904 628442.
Email sent to my personal Yahoo or Hotmail addresses will eventually get forwarded on, but there may be considerable delay. Please add to your address book and use it for all future e-correspondence


Please note that BOTH our club nights with Martin Carthy, 11th & 12th February, are now SOLD OUT. No surprises there, I’m sure you’ll agree.


There are still around 20 tickets left for Dave Burland’s keenly-awaited return to the club this coming Thursday. Some may be available on the door but to be sure of a seat you are urged to book in advance at


Don’t forget that our first Early Music Centre concert this year comes around on Monday 15th February. Beoga are one of the leading acts in the younger generation of Irish folk bands. They feature the twin duelling accordions of Seán Óg Graham and Damian McKee, alongside pianist Liam Bradley and four times bodhran champion Eamon Murray, and they are fronted by Niamh Dunne, one of Ireland’s brightest new singers and fiddle players. The name “beoga” apparently means lively in Irish and this lot sound like they’ll certainly be that.
As an added attraction, we have support from a multi-talented, multi-instrumental 16 year old singer, Niamh Boadle. She first impressed us at a Young Performers event last year and subsequently reached the finals of the BBC Young Folk Award in December 2009.
Beoga concert tickets can be booked via the NCEM’s snazzily revamped website (complete with audio samples) or over the phone on York 658338. They cost £ 13 or £ 11 for concessions). A small number are also available to buy from us at Black Swan Inn functions.


Another top class Irish band are our second NCEM concert guests, Gráda, on Monday 8th March. Don’t worry if you come to both, you will not be asked to submit a “compare and contrast” essay! Gráda have a subtly different sound from a different instrumental line-up: All-Ireland winners David Dooley on fiddle, concertina and whistle and Stephen Doherty on flute, melodeon and bodhran, together with Andy Laking on double bass and Gerry Paul on guitar and banjo. Lead vocals come from another exquisite singer, Nicola Joyce. Gráda’s roots are firmly in the Irish folk tradition but their sound is layered with jazzy tones and rhythmic grooves to give it a fresh, modern vibe.
This second concert will open with more modern vibes applied to traditional roots, this time of the English folk variety, courtesy of five members of new local band Blackbeard’s Tea Party, (replacing Paula Ryan, trailed in our last leaflet but now unable to appear). Tickets for this concert are available as for Beoga, this time priced at £ 14 or £ 12 concessions.


Our NCEM concert programme continues with the Welsh/Irish/English power trio that is Uiscedwr on 22nd March and concludes with the bracing Scottish sounds of Breabach on 16th April. Both of these are now booking through the NCEM website or box office or via us at club functions.

Weekly music continues at the Black Swan with a Singers & Musicians Night on 18th February and one of the first appearances by Fay Hield’s new trio, in which she is joined by Sam Sweeney (of Bellowhead and Kerfuffle) and Rob Harbron (of countless other folk bands) to preview material from the debut CD which will be released later this year by the very prestigious Topic label. Fay is on 25th February.

March brings us the contemporary songs and sweet harmonies of Suntrap (4th), rural American favourites Dana & Susan Robinson (18th) and the return to live performance of Emily Slade (25th), with Pete Morton (1st), Edwina Hayes (8th) and Bruce Molsky (22nd) to follow in April.. Full details of all of these on the club website, with booking now open at WeGotTickets.


Chris and Eddie hope to continue sending out occasional email bulletins during my absence, but like this one they will focus pretty exclusively on club activities. Apologies to all those other promoters and artists who we normally oblige with a mention, but for the foreseeable future we can no longer do that. I’m sure you will understand.

I hope it is not too many weeks before I am able to see some of you again at a musical event. Meanwhile, please keep on supporting live music in general and the folk club in particular.