Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 151

1st September 2012



WHAT A GREAT SUMMER WE’VE HAD. OK, the weather has been grim at times, but
we’ve certainly had a good summer music-wise. Often the months of July and August are
our quietest, but not this year. We recently had our busiest Thursday night for many moons
with Edwina Hayes, that coming after a very good turnout for Allan Taylor in July. Singers
Nights have also been well supported by both listeners and performers, with last week’s
being particularly enjoyable. The experiment with a Women Singers Night was a success
and while the Young Singers Night was more of a mixed bag it was far from being a failure.
We could have done with bigger audiences for Debby McClatchy and James Findlay – both of
them certainly deserved much more support - but we know we can’t win them all.


MORE GOOD STUFF WITH DAVID FRANCEY. We are guaranteed a night of top class
music this coming Thursday (6th) with the return of Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-
songwriter David Francey. This will be his third visit to the Black Swan and we are happy
to note how his UK popularity is gradually increasing as more and more people pick up
on his exceptionally well-crafted and expressive songs. David always brings a high-class
guitar accompanist with him and here is a reminder that this time the honours fall to Mark
Westberg, not Craig Werth as it says in our printed brochure. There’s a developing buzz
about this show and tickets (£9 full or £7 concessions) are nearly half sold at WeGotTickets.

WE GOT TICKETS – A REMINDER. This is an opportune moment to remind you about
using the online box office,, for club guest nights. Once you have
created an account with them, booking should be straightforward and all you pay in fee is
10% on top of face value, which seldom means more than a pound in our case.


For Edwina Hayes, we had pre-sold over 30 seats (out of 45 offered online) but then had a
huge turnout of other fans on the night. We did the most we could but some of you went
away disappointed. Yet online booking is available until 6pm on the day of performance, so
those people could have made sure of entry by pre-buying. The lesson is, even if you don’t
decide until fairly last minute that you are going to attend, it is worth booking online. At the
very least, we would advise checking the WeGotTickets site to see the number of tickets still
available. If this is down to the low teens or below, it is probably going to be a pretty full
house and you’d be wise to buy there and then.

By the way, we are reluctant to take telephone reservations and such like and will only do
so for people whom we know we can trust to show up and who are not yet plugged into the
online world (and so won’t be reading this anyway!).


ENCOURAGING FOLK STARS OF THE FUTURE. For many years we have seen it as
an important and very pleasurable duty to spotlight up-and-coming folk musicians through
our Young Performer Double Bills. We have another of these on Thursday week,
13th September, which brings together singer Louise Jordan with acapella band The
Teacups. Do come along and enjoy supporting these promising new talents. Tickets are
just £7 (£6 concessions) and (MC aside) we devote the whole evening to the guests, with
each of them doing a set in each half of the night, or about 60 minutes each in total.

The Teacups are a vibrant new vocal quartet based in Newcastle, comprising Alex
Cumming, Kate Locksley, Rosie Calvert and Will Finn. They perform traditional and
contemporary songs in a variety of styles from all over the UK and beyond, in new and
exciting arrangements. Since getting together as undergraduates they have appeared at lots
of venues in the North East and further afield and this summer they have sung at Warwick,
Beverley and Whitby festivals. They have pages on both Facebook and MySpace where you
can find out more.

Louise Jordan is a talented singer, pianist and guitarist endorsed by such as Richard
Digance: “one of the best debut albums I have ever heard, definitely five stars; this girl
is one to look out for” and our old friend Phil Beer: “a very distinctive style and voice
and considerable songwriting skills; she definitely stands out from the crowd.” A slightly
older “young performer”, she turned to a musical career after a variety of other life
experiences. Just this week she launches her second album in London. Find out more at


on 20th September, Dana & Susan Robinson, have had to cancel their entire UK tour.
Dana recently took a tumble and broke his wrist, meaning he is unable to play an instrument
for several weeks. They send heartfelt apologies to all their UK fans. We will schedule a
replacement date on their next UK visit which will be sometime in 2013.

However, every cloud has a silver lining, and into their place we have been able to bring
Dave Burland, who I’m sure needs little introduction here. He is a veteran folk performer,
very highly regarded and a favourite of ours. Other fans include June Tabor, Martin Simpson,
Richard Thompson and Nic Jones, who says: “Dave is a uniquely gentle and clever singer
(with) apparently effortless guitar playing (and) a deliciously wicked sense of humour”.
Dave last sang for us in early 2010, to a large and appreciative audience, so a return innings
was well due. Tickets are now on sale at WeGotTickets, priced at £9 full / £7 concessions.


NEW BROCHURE IMMINENT, MORE DATES ONLINE. Our new club brochure is with
our printer and should be ready to go out by the end of the week. It begins with the Dave
Burland evening and runs right through until mid-February 2013. The events it lists have
all been entered on the club website as well, along with outline listings for guests in March
in April 2013. All the club guest nights covered in the brochure are open for booking at
WeGotTickets and all the NCEM concert shows (up to and including Steve Knightley on 15th
February) are now on sale at – see item 8 below.

Our brochures are distributed around several outlets in York and posted out to other clubs,
music venues and music-related businesses over quite a wide area, but we are always on the
lookout for new sites. Please let me know if you have any new outlets you can suggest.


LOOKING FORWARD TO TOM PALEY. Next a reminder about our exciting Special Event
on Sunday 21st October at the Black Swan Inn. Working in association with Tim Hornsby
of Mr H Presents, we are proud to bring back to York the legendary American musician
Tom Paley, veteran of the New Lost City Ramblers and a seminal name in the US folk and
old time music revival. Tom is now 84 years old but still in rude good health and recently
released a widely-praised new album "Roll On, Roll On”. He is singing and playing his banjo,
fiddle and guitar as well as ever and will be joined by two other members of his current
band The Old Time Moonshine Review. Being on a Sunday, doors will open at 7pm for
a 7.30pm start. Rather than floors spots there will be a support set by Black Swan resident
Phil Cerny, who will also act as MC. All tickets are £10 in advance (or £12 on the door in
the unlikely event of any being left) and they are now on sale at WeGotTickets. Book early!


CARTHY & SWARBRICK, MADDY PRIOR AND MORE. Our first autumn concert at the
Early Music Centre is Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick on Tuesday 25th September,
with Pip Jopling & Stuart Giddens doing the support set. Tickets cost £16 full or £14
concessions and nearly half of them have been sold already. Two weeks later, 9th October
(and promoted by NCEM rather than by us) it is the turn of Maddy Prior with Giles
Lewin & Hannah James, then on 27th November we present Kathryn Roberts & Sean
Lakeman. We have a seasonal special with A Victorian Christmas on 18th December,
then take a two month concert break before the above-mentioned Steve Knightley
performance on 15th February. All good stuff, I hope you’ll agree.



STOLEN GUITAR RECOVERED. Last month I reported how East Riding musician Norman
Cross had had his rather fine guitar stolen. Happily, he tells me it has now been retrieved,
tracked down in a “quick cash” pawn shop in Hull. I’m delighted to report a happy ending!

10. ANGELA’S LONG WALK. That great vocal group Soundsphere were unable to appear at
this year’s Folk Weekend. One very good reason for this was that band member Angela
Michel and her partner Nick Warlow were half way to Rome at the time, on a mammoth
charity walk. They left York on 1st March and following old pilgrim routes arrived in the
eternal city exactly five months later, to be welcomed by the British Ambassador. They
walked over 3,000km and raised over £6,000 for Medicins Sans Frontieres. It’s a remarkable
achievement, particularly when you hear that Angela has had both hips replaced within the
last two years. Well done both! You can read more at

11. EXITING NEWS FROM UNION JILL. Helen Turner and Sharon Winfield go into the
studio next week to record their third album, with no less a talent that Clive Gregson in
the producer’s chair. Release is scheduled for spring 2013. Following an introduction from
Clive, Union Jill have been taken on by top folk music agent Jacey Bedford, who says
“(this) fabulous female songwriting duo (harmony vocals, guitar, mandola, concertina) from
York are teetering on the brink of national recognition and I'm delighted to work with them”.
Given that Jacey mostly prefers to handle overseas artists this is a particularly auspicious
signing. Helen and Sharon say “having Jacey as part of the team is amazing for us and we
are looking forward to working with her, particularly with the album launch and tour next
year.” Meanwhile, Union Jill will naturally be acting as MCs for the night when Clive Gregson
visits the Black Swan on 1st November, and they’ll also be the support act for Kathryn
Roberts & Sean Lakeman at the NCEM on 27th November.

12. KATE TUTORS YORK YOUNG FIDDLERS. Do you know of any young people (ages 8
to 18) who play folk style fiddle or would love to do so? York Young Fiddlers are very
much in business and say “if you would like to learn from the experts and can play at least
a scale of A, D and G, come and join us”. Their next session is on Saturday 15th September
at York Steiner School, 12-3pm, with guest tutor Kate Bramley of Jez Lowe’s band The Bad
Pennies. Find out more at

13. KEEP INFORMED WITH EAST RIDING ACOUSTIC. There are a lot of more-or-less
regular folk and acoustic music events these days and keeping track of them can be difficult,
particularly the more informal singers’ clubs, song sessions and open mics. Hence enthusiast
Trevor Appleton is doing us a great service with his website
This offers a remarkably comprehensive listing of clubs, sessions and the like not just in the
East Riding but across the eastern half of North Yorkshire and even into Lincolnshire, with
hyperlinks wherever there is suitable site to go to for more information. There are also links

to a variety of other useful resources, such as a traditional song database and a festivals
listing site. Check it out! And before anyone says it, I confess that the Folk Links pages
of our own Folk Club website are badly out of date. I never seem to get around to tidying
them up! Thanks to Trevor, perhaps I needn’t bother,

14. MIKE ENDORSES FAKE. Fake Thackray, aka John Watterson, goes from strength to
strength. He has played at a string of festivals this summer and was recently endorsed by
Radio 2’s Mike Harding, saying “we can't have Jake back but this is the next best thing - a
real tribute”. See for a full list of autumn appearances and beyond.


15. FROM NEW ZEALAND TO THE BLACK SWAN. A “sparkling evening of original, live
acoustic music” is promised at the Black Swan on Saturday 8th September with Auckland,
New Zealand duo Jon Sanders & Dave Alley. The evening has been organised by former
York resident and “folk punk singer” James Bar Bowen, who now lives in Huddersfield and
runs house concerts there. He writes that “Sanders Alley play a fine mix of original songs
on guitar, bouzouki, ukulele, percussion and beyond. They performed at one of my house
concerts last year and were fantastic: great musicians, lovely blokes.” Also appearing are
James himself and York band Pale And Interesting “with a fine selection of covers and
originals with a strong bluegrass tinge”. Doors open at 8pm, entry is £7 (£5 concessions).

16. ADRIAN’S STORYTELLING EXPERIENCE. A reminder that Adrian Spendlow hosts an
evening at the Dean Court Hotel just by York Minster on the second Tuesday of each month,
so next on 11th September from 7.30. “Join in with the Open House as a poet or storyteller
or relax and listen” he says, “admission is free and all are welcome whether poets, tellers,
listeners, applauders, accompanists, enthusiasts or balladeers.”

17. HOLLY TURNS PROMOTER. Holly Taymar writes: “Chris Bilton and I are putting on
our own gig at the end of September. It is called The Underground Acoustic Club and
is a chance to watch Andy Stones, Paul Liddell and ourselves perform in one of York's
most atmospheric performance spaces, namely the basement of Bar Lane Studios at the top
of Micklegate”. That’s three of the North’s best folk/pop songwriters in one evening, so it
should be a good one. The date is Saturday 29th September, with doors opening at 7.30pm.
Tickets at £8 each are limited to 50 and for licencing reasons must be purchased in advance.
E-mail or go to for more details.


Here are brief mentions for three more late summer/autumn festivals:

18. ROTHERHAM FOLK & JAZZ WEEKEND takes place next weekend, with the main folk
event on Saturday afternoon, 8th September, from 1pm. Elbow Jane headline this Free
concert, along with Flossie Malavialle and others. The weekend forms part of Rotherham
Show and the Music Marquee is situated in Clifton Park behind the Museum. There is also a
Sunday lunchtime singaround in the Clifton Garden Room.

19. ROOTS NORTH takes place 21st to 23rd September at Cropton in the North York Moors. It
offers “all kinds of Roots, Americana, Country, Blues and Folk”. There are lots of singers and
bands taking part, many names being unfamiliar to me (but I did spot local world music act
Caramba in there). They have a website at

20. MUSICPORT BOUNCES BACK in Whitby over the weekend of 5th-7th October. The
North’s premier World Music event had a difficult year last year in Bridlington but has
decided to run again this year, reverting to its original home at Whitby Pavilion. Alongside
bands from many corners of the globe there is a healthy British folk and roots presence with
artists like Edward II, O'Hooley & Tidow, Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight, Julie Murphy, The
Hut People and Maggie Boyle. For more information visit


21. REETH MEMORIAL HALL in Swaledale makes its next folk presentation on Saturday 22nd
September with John Tams & Barry Coope. See for details.

22. OTLEY COURTHOUSE has autumn folk/acoustic events including Dervish, Sisters
Unlimited, The Tom McConville Band, Appalachian Roots and Belshazzar’s Feast. First
up are American bluegrass/country outfit The Toy Hearts on Friday 5th October. See

23. MOONBEAMS ACOUSTIC return to the fray with Roddy Woomble on Friday 12th October
at the Bell Hotel in Driffield. See

That’s all for now, folks. I hope you found at least a few things of interest.