Late May 2004
- FOLK DAY SUCCESS! I am writing this a few days after the City Of York Folk Day, which proved a great success. The sun shone and we all had a wonderful time, with live music in four different parts of the Black Swan Inn for most of the day. Thanks to everyone who took part, but particularly to Chris Euesden, who handled PA and MC duties all day in the Marquee, and to Eddie, Adrian and Phil who shared a similar role in the Club Room. Thanks also to Minster Strays for dancing, to Ken, Joe et al for "running" the session and to those of you who kept the singaround/jam session going in the Dining Room. Finally, our heartfelt thanks to landlord Mike Dobson for making it all possible and to his hard-working staff for keeping us supplied with foods and drinks.
- MALINKY − FRIDAY 28th MAY. There are still tickets left for this excellent young folk band in concert this Friday at the National Centre for Early Music. It would be a great shame if such fine musicians and singers played to a house that was well below full. Karine Polwart alone should be worth the ticket price (£10 /£8), and combined with her four multi-talented partners it should be a first-rate event. Book at the NCEM Box Office (01904 658338, firstname.lastname@example.org) or pick up tickets at Cassadys Records or even buy them on the (7.30pm) door.
- FOLK CLUB SUMMER PROGRAMME. The new club flyer is out, covering our programme through to mid August. Due to PC problems, I’m not able to attach it to a mailing just now but I will send it out as soon as possible. Meanwhile, a reminder that this Thursday is a Singers & Musicians Night (not as listed in some media sources) and that Threlfall Ellison Edwards appear the week after, 3rd June.
- ETHNO ENGLAND. Can I also remind people about our final NCEM concert of this season, Ethno England on Tuesday 15th June. With an international cast of 50 young musicians, plus course leaders Tim Van Eyken, James Fagan and Kristine Heebol, plus course director Sam Pirt and some invited "Special Guests", this is another one that deserves to be well supported. We’ve ! kept the ticket price down to £8/£6 and there is a special bargain price of £3.50 for all students and children.
- EVENING PARKING IN YORK. Many of you will be aware of the furore in York caused by the City Council’s decision to extend car parking charges until 9pm and to put meters in places where parking was formerly unrestricted after 6pm. Many social clubs and cultural activities are reporting adverse effects. We are fortunate at the Black Swan, as it is just about the only city centre pub with a large private car park. The landlord will do his level best to keep it restricted to pub patrons, but inevitably some people will try to use the pub grounds to dodge charges elsewhere. If you should come along on a Thursday evening and find the pub car park full, the best alternative is the Haymarket car park right next door − you can actually see the cars from the staircase window outside the club room. If you are heading into the city centre it is the first left turn after the pub, then immediately left again in front of the Ambulance station. Parking is £1.30 per hour until 9pm, so if you arrive on or after 8pm that’s all you’ll have to pay.
- LOS YOBOS AT THE BLACK SWAN - AGAIN. York’s favourite Country and Western Swing combo Los Yobos (who did a grand semi-acoustic set at the Folk Day) are playing another Saturday night gig at the Black Swan on 5th June. Great fun, and all for £4 on the door!
- OTLEY FOLK CLUB ON THE MOVE. The good folks over at Otley are moving their Wednesday night club to a new home. From now on they’ll be meeting at Korks Wine Bar on Bondgate, using the same concert room as Otley Folk Festival has been hiring in recent years. "Our new room has good acoustics, a bar serving real ale, a small stage and room for 80-100 customers" says club supremo! Steve Fairholme. For details of their forthcoming programme, pick up one of their leaflets from the Black Swan’s leaflet rack, or ring Steve on 01943 467189.
- STEWARDS NEEDED AT BEVERLEY FOLK FESTIVAL. I have an e-mail dated 16th May from Beverley & East Riding Folk Festival, saying they are still short of stewards for this year’s event, 17th-20th June. In return for working at festival venues for part of the weekend, stewards get a free weekend ticket and a T-shirt. For more details visit the festival website www.beverleyfestival.co.uk or ring the stewarding co-ordinator Amanda Smith on 01482 867450.
- FOLK CDs NEEDED! Wild Cat Records on 76 Micklegate in York tell me that "over the next few months we are hoping to put together the best selection of (second-hand) folk CDs in York. Respectable prices paid for the right items − CDs by artists like The Watersons, Woody Guthrie, The Kipper Family (?!), The Chieftains, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, etc. Big collections particularly welcomed." So there’s where to go if you want to relieve the overcrowding on your CD shelves!
- FOLKY ON DAUNTING CHARITY CYCLE TREK! Former Driffield FC organiser David Allan will be known to some of you. At the ripe old age of 60, David is setting out to cycle up three of the most feared mountains on the Tour De France, all in aid of Cancer Research UK. He leaves on June 8 to tackle Mont Ventoux ("13 miles of hell"), L’Alpe d’Huez (average gradient 8.2%) and Col du Galibier ("roughly Ben Nevis times two"). The Yorkshire Wolds this ain’t! If you’d like to support the old fool, donate online at www.justgiving.com/overhill, or send a cheque payable to Cancer Research UK to David at 6 West Garth, Kilham, Driffield, YO25 4RD.
- NEW FLOOR ACTS POLICY. We’ve made a slight change to the floor spots policy on Thursday nights. We will now only be having two floor performers before the guest’s second set. We’ve been finding this gets the guest back on stage around 10.15/10.20, meaning we finish around 11.00/11.05, plus encores. We know quite a few of you don’t like late finishes, and this should enable you to get on the road home 10/15 minutes earlier than before. It also gives more time for social chat, CD sales, etc. after the gig, and gives us more time to pack up PA and other kit. We continue to make a prompt start at 8.30 and have the Guest on stage first time around by 8.55/9.00. On those occasions where a Guest contracts to do more than two 40/45 minute sets, we’ll reduce floor spots accordingly. Let us know what you think!
That just about fills up two pages! Keep on supporting live music.