Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 152

23rd September 2012


1.        HOUSE FULL FOR CARTHY & SWARBRICK.  I’m delighted to say that the concert on Tuesday (25th) by Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick is now fully booked.  This will be our first “sold out” event at the National Centre for Early Music since Patrick Street a year ago and is very gratifying in these economically difficult times.
2.        MADDY PRIOR – “SONGS FROM FAR AND NEAR, CLOGS TO KLEZMER”.  The next folk concert at the Early Music Centre is being promoted by the NCEM itself, but with our full and active support.  Maddy Prior appears there on Tuesday 9th October, when she is joined by Hannah James and Giles Lewin. Best known as the voice of Steeleye Span, Maddy is one of the most enduring, influential and respected singers in British folk music, and has a history of innovative collaborations with other musicians.  Giles Lewin is a multi-talented player (fiddle, cittern, bagpipes), with a classical background diluted by work with the Irish band After Hours and in the Carnival Band, with whom Maddy has also worked in the past.  Hannah James, another fine singer, brings youth, accordion playing and vigorous clog dancing to the trio.  She also performs in a duo with Sam Sweeney (coming to the Black Swan in December) and in the young female band Lay Maisery (visiting the Black Swan next May), while her past musical involvements include Kerfuffle and the Demon Barbers.
Maddy, Giles and Hannah first performed together earlier this year, to considerable acclaim.  They have now recorded an album, 3 For Joy, and appear in York on the third night of a month-long national autumn tour.  Tickets are now booking at or on 01904 658338, priced at £18 full or £16 concessions.
3.        MORE GREAT MUSIC TO COME.  The Folk Club is promoting three further concerts at the Early Music Centre over the winter months.  Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman appear on 27th November, there is a Victorian Christmas family show with Blast From The Past on 18th December, and Steve Knightleyreturns on 15th February during his annual solo tour.  All these shows are now open for booking at the NCEM Box Office.
4.        THREE GUEST NIGHTS, THREE SINGERS NIGHTS.  Singers & Musicians Nights are proving particularly popular and enjoyable these days and we have three of them coming up in the next five weeks, starting this coming Thursday (27th) when Tony Morris will be driving over from Whitby to be our MC.  Further “open house” evenings are scheduled for 11th October, with Eddie Affleck at the helm, and 25th October, hosted by David Kidman.  In-between those Singers Nights, we have three top class guest evenings, beginning with:
5.        NANCY & JAMES RETURN.  On Thursday week, 4th October, we are delighted to bring back to the club one of the classiest acts in modern folk music,Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, who were last with us back in 2006 (and then at the NCEM in 2008).  As well as being great exponents of the fiddle and bouzouki, this Anglo-Australian couple are both fine singers and writers and after fifteen years together their love of live performance is as tangible as ever.  They have twice won the BBC Folk Award for Best Duo, and deservedly so.  Tickets are now available through, priced at £12 full / £10 concessions.
6.        WELCOME THE CARRIVICK SISTERS.  Jaws dropped when twins Charlotte and Laura Carrivick made their stunning club debut in 2010.  These youngsters play in a delightful hybrid of bluegrass and folk styles, mixing original songs, often inspired by their Devon roots, with some choice covers and instrumentals.  It is all superbly done, with tight sibling vocal harmonies, massive instrumental virtuosity (between them they play guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro and banjo) and a lovely stage manner.  We are proud to welcome them back to the Black Swan on Thursday 18th October.  Entry will be £8 full / £6.50 concessions, through WeGotTickets and on the door.
7.        SUNDAY SPECIAL WITH TOM PALEY.  Don’t forget about our Extra Special Sunday event on 21st October at the Black Swan Inn.  Working in association with Tim Hornsby of Mr H Presents, we host 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.  Heavens, this man even accompanied Woody Guthrie on stage way back in January 1950!
Tom is now 84 years old and has lived in London for many years.  He still enjoys rude good health and recently released a widely-praised new album Roll On, Roll On which has won him a lot of media attention, even a feature on the Radio 2 Today programme!  He is singing and playing his banjo, fiddle and guitar as well as ever and will be joined in York 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 (from a slightly later Greenwich Village generation) 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!
8.        FAREWELL PHIL & JESSICA.  Over the last couple of years there have been a couple of very enthusiastic and talented young people on the York music scene.  Jessica Lawson won many friends with her fine singing and autoharp playing, while her partner Phil Simpson was both a working musician and a busy organiser and promoter, running (amongst many other things) the Friday night Marquee concerts during our Folk Weekend.  Jessica has now taken a job in the Lake District and she and Phil are about to move to Kendal.  Phil is leaving his day job with the Adastra Music and is setting up his own agency business, Regent Music, where he will be representing The Hut People and ahab amongst others.  A website is under development at  I’m sure we all wish them the very best – York’s loss is most certainly Cumbria’s gain.
9.        GUITARIST LOOKING FOR A BAND.  Amongst the performers at our last Singers Night was a very talented young fingerstyle guitarist called Jack Histon. He has since been in touch to see if we could help him find a local folk band which might be looking for an acoustic guitarist to join the ranks.  Jack cites influences such as Martin Simpson, Nic Jones and John Fahey.  He also writes his own tunes, can offer background vocals, and is looking for a band based in or within reasonable distance of York.  He can be contacted on, or catch up with him at this week’s Singers Night.
10.     STAN GETS OUT AND ABOUT.  York’s premier folk songwriter and fellow Black Swan club organiser Stan Graham is keeping busy this autumn.  As well as appearing at Helmsley Folk Weekend (see item 17 below) he has autumn bookings at the long-running Cutty Wren Folk Club at The Duke William, Skelton in Cleveland (11th October) and at the White Hart Folk Club at Mickleby near Whitby (17th November), plus an extended feature spot at the G-String Acoustic club at The Angel Inn, Topcliffe (21st October).
11.     WANT TO LEARN FOLK FIDDLE OR BODHRAN?  It’s the time of year when people often think about learning a new subject or skill.  If fiddle playing appeals, take note that Laura Barber (of Blackbeard’s Tea Party) runs a weekly fiddle group, meeting at the Black Swan at 6pm on Thursdays, i.e. immediately before our club meetings. She can be contacted on 07960 019658,  And if percussion is more your thing, Susie Fox offers bodhran lessons for beginners, both one-to-one and in small groups.  Contact her on 07719 295029 or
12.     CHANGE OF VENUE FOR HOLLY.  In the last E-News I trailed the event being organised by Holly Taymar for this coming Saturday, 29th September.  She has since been forced to change venues and she and Chris Bilton, along with Andy Stones and Paul Liddell can now be enjoyed at Clements Hall, off Bishopthorpe Road.  “A wonderfully under-utilised building for gigs in my opinion” says Holly, “and much better than the original venue.  There is now going to be a bar, and more space for you all to come along and have a jolly good time!  We will also be holding a cake buffet, for donations to Macmillan Cancer Support.  If all that wasn't enough, local talented photographer John Illingworth will also be displaying and selling his own photographic images of York and it's music scene, (donating) a percentage of sales to Macmillan.”  Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets (£8) are available on the door or (advisably) can be pre-booked
13.     BLYTH POWER AT THE BLACK SWAN.  There’s a punk/folk event with a political edge in York on Sunday 30th, organised by Joseph Porter.  Blyth Power(in their duo form) are joined by Pog, “a klezmer-esque three piece comprising guitar, accordion and violin” and The Bandana Collective “for a night of fun and frolics at the very wonderful Black Swan Inn”.  Entry is £5, with doors open 8pm.  See
14.     CEILIDH FOR PALESTINE.  Ceilidhs open to the general public are fairly infrequent in York, so take note of one happening on Friday 5th October.  It’s at the English Martyrs Church Hall on Dalton Terrace from 7.30pm and is a fund-raiser for Medical Aid for Palestinians.  The band is Hot Not Bothered and tickets cost £8, which includes a buffet, available at the Fairer World shop on Gillygate or by phoning 07799 034484.
15.     ELIZA GILKYSON AT THE DUCHESS.  The next concert of folk interest at The Duchess on Stonebow in York brings the great Texan singer/songwriterEliza Gilkyson to town on Monday 8th October.  Fresh from recording their new CD, Union Jill are the support act.  It will be a seated show, the website says (, and tickets are £12 in advance or £14 on the door.
16.     KATHRYN’S NORTHUMBRIAN VOICES.  Kathryn Tickell and her band (Mike Tickell, Amy Thatcher, Patsy Reid, Kit Haigh and Hannah Rickard) are on tour this autumn with an exciting new project called Northumbrian Voices, “three generations of music, song and stories from rural Northumberland”.  The show comes to York on Friday 26th October for a performance in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York.  See for more information.  Incidentally, immediately after this tour, fiddle player Patsy Reid joins Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman on their autumn dates and will be appearing with them at the NCEM on 27th November.
17.     TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR HELMSLEY FESTIVAL.  The Helmsley Folk Weekend takes place in a few days’ time, 28th-30th September and still has tickets available.  It’s a fine, friendly little festival, mostly taking place in the Arts Centre at the Old Meeting House.  Highlights include (York favourites) The Churchfitters on Friday night, The Outside Track on Saturday evening and Steve TilstonJez Lowe and The New Rope String Band on Sunday.  There are plenty of smaller and less formal events, and other participants include our very own Eddie Affleck, Stan Graham and Steve & Dee Marshall.  Tickets can be bought for the whole weekend, for a single day, or for an individual concert.  Find full details at
18.     FAKE & JILL AT ELLOUGTON.   In a busy weekend for live folk & roots music, there is a York double bill at The Half Moon in Elloughton, near Brough in East Yorkshire, also on Saturday 29th September.  Fake Thackray headlines, with support from Union Jill.  See
19.     HANS AT RIPLEY.  That same night, Saturday 29th, the great Euro bluesman Hans Theessink appears at Ripley Town Hall, just north of Harrogate, for Ripley Live.  See for more information.
20.     A LOCK IN AT LEEDS.  Last summer (E-News 147) I reported how the Demon Barber Roadshow had won major Arts Council funding to develop their innovative show Time Gentlemen Please.  Re-worked and re-named as The Lock In (“the UK’s no.1 folk and hip-hop dance extravaganza”, it says here), we can sample the results this autumn with a major tour which begins at The Carriage Works in Leeds on Friday 12th October.  Read all about it
That’s all for now, folks.  Keep supporting live music!