Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 213

22nd April 2017


I had not intended to issue another newsletter so very soon after the last one, but there have been several developments I need to inform you about.
1.        LIVE MUSIC AT THE BLACK SWAN, SUNDAY AFTERNOON 30th APRIL.  In the last E-News I mentioned some of the charity events taking place over the weekend of 29th and 30th April at the Black Swan Inn, to mark the 600th anniversary of the first documentary reference to the building in 1417.  It is a collaboration between the Black Swan's landlord and the Lord Mayor of York, and all funds raised will go to the Lord Mayor's chosen charities: York Civic Trust, York LGBT Forum, York Racial Equality Network and St. Nick's.  See the page at for things like a pie-eating challenge, a talent contest, an auction and a quiz.
As part of the weekend our own Stan Graham has been asked to organise an afternoon of live music in the club room from 2pm on Sunday 30th.  Although it has all been done a bit "last-minute", he's had a fantastic response from local performers.  Amongst those offering their services are three local singers/bands who have all run their own gigs at the Black Swan in the past, namely Leather'oKing Courgette and Joshua Burnell.  Also singing will be a selection of soloists associated with our own club – David SwannToni BunnellPhil CernyEddie Affleck, Simon Alexander and John Storey, with Eddie, David and Phil also taking turns as MC.
Stan cannot be there himself (nor can I or several other club stalwarts – holidays, family commitments and such like) but I'm sure Eddie, David, Phil & co will run a great event.  The whole afternoon is free, but donations for those charities will of course be very welcome.  Do drop in if you are in York that day.
Here is the full running order: 2.00 Toni Bunnell, 2.30 Eddie Affleck, 3.00 Simon Alexander, 3.30 David Swann, 4.05 Leather'o, 4.55 Phil Cerny, 5.30 King Courgette, 6.20 Joshua Burnell, 6.50 John Storey.  There is also the option to continue on in an informal singers night format through the evening, if sufficient people are interested.
2.        PEGGY SEEGER POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER.  Sadly, Peggy Seeger and her sons Neill and Calum MacColl are having to postpone their tour in June, including the scheduled show in York on 7th June which we were co-promoting with Please Please You and which I told you about in the last E-News.  Peggy has been working hard on an autobiography and apparently she has been "signed off" for three months to avoid undue stress.
The tour is being rescheduled for the autumn, and may well tie in with the publication of Peggy's book.  The likely new date for York is Monday 27th November, still at the Crescent.  I'll have more details nearer the time, but meanwhile if you had already bought tickets for June the website concerned, SeeTickets.Com, should be informing you of your options.
3.        NEW CLUB LEAFLET WITH THE PRINTERS – TICKETS NOW ON SALE.  The next club publicity leaflet is has just been sent off to our printers.  It covers our events from 11th May right through until 14th September – that means club nights ever Thursday throughout the summer, plus the City of York Folk Weekend.  Full details have been added to the programme page on the club website and all the guest performer events which were not already on sale have now been opened for booking at  Hopefully, printed leaflets will be available in time for the Calan concert on Wednesday 3rd May.
To summarise, the Thursday events covered by the new leaflet are:
·         May 11 Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith, May 18 St Leonard's Hospice Charity Night, May 25 Miranda Sykes.
·         June 1 Singers Night, June 8 Reg Meuross, June 15 Dave Kelly, June 22 Cloudstreet, June 29 The Long Hill Ramblers
·         July 6 Singers Night, July 13 The Georgia Shackleton Trio, July 20 Maggie Holland, July 27 Wizz Jones
·         August 3 Singers Night, August 10th Joshua Burnell, August 17th Alice Jones, August 24th The Trials of Cato, August 31st Singers Night
·         September 7 Eileen McGann, September 14 Enda Kenny
4.        FOLK WEEKEND PROGRAMME MORE OR LESS COMPLETE.  The programme of events for The City of York Folk Weekend on 2nd, 3rd & 4th June is now pretty much complete and will be posted shortly on the club website.  It will also be printed on the back cover of that new club leaflet.
The Marquee Stage / Outdoors running orders were given in the last newsletter, so I won't repeat them here.  So far as indoor concerts in the upstairs Wolfe Room are concerned, the running orders are now these:
·         Saturday evening (7.30-11.45): David Swann, Eddie Affleck, That Mitchell & Wife Sound, Simon Alexander, Judith Haswell & Trish Maclean and Stan Graham
·         Sunday afternoon (2.45-6.15): Concordia, Phil Pipe, Alex Golisti, Tom McKenzie, The Fine Companions and The Bluebirds
·         Sunday evening (7.00-10.30): John Storey, Mary & Andy (TBC), Fake Thackray, The Lennanshees, Sarah Dean and Steve & Dee Marshall
Just to recap, other events over the weekend include a "ceilidh under canvas" with FiddlersWreck in the Marquee on Friday night, running in parallel with an Irish Night in the upstairs room, hosted by members of the York Irish Association.  Saturday has a lunchtime "poems & pints" spoken word session hosted by John Gilham and a special concert by members of the York Songwriters Circle in the afternoon.  Soundsphere's ever-popular Singing Workshop is repeated on Sunday morning and the BASH! children's musical event happens again on Sunday lunchtime.
The Bowes Room (the main dining room) will be available all day Saturday and Sunday for musicians' sessions, while the Wolfe Room (Saturday early afternoon) or the downstairs Oak Room (rest of Saturday and all day Sunday) will offer space for a range of more or less informal singaround type events.
5.        A REMINDER – CLUB EVENTS OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.  In the run-up to the Folk Weekend, we continue with a full Thursday night club programme.  Next week, 27th April, that means "acoustic world music" with Anglo-American duo Tania Opland & Mike Freeman, followed by a Singers Night on 4th May and the York debut of a great new duo on 11th May, Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith.
On May 18th (in place of the postponed Vin Garbutt show) do please try to support our Charity Night in support of St Leonard's Hospice, which has been organised in memory of the late Julie Affleck.  New club "house band" Ramshackle will open the night and special guests Jez Lowe & Kate Bramley will do an extended spot to round things off, while sandwiched between will be short spots by many of our talented residents.  Miranda Sykes returns for an entirely solo show on 25th May, and we warm up for the Folk Weekend with another Singers Night on 1st June.
6.        ANOTHER REMINDER – CALAN AT THE NCEM, 3rd MAY.  Don't forget also that we still have one more concert to go this season at the National Centre for Early Music.  It is on Wednesday 3rd May and should be a cracker.  The energetic young Welsh band Calan will be entertaining us with sparkling melodies, foot-tapping tunes and beautiful, haunting songs.  "Accordion, fiddles, guitar, bagpipes and step-dancing explode into life" when this five-piece group takes to the stage.  Tickets are now on sale through the NCEM website or Box Office.
7.        CLUB GUESTS CAPTURED FOR POSTERITY.  Debra Cowan was filmed at her recent Black Swan appearance singing the Ray Davies' song Alcohol and it can be seen at  Cameras were also out the following week for the Bric-a-Brac / Yan Tan Tether Double Bill.  No video footage has surfaced yet, but Bric-a-Brac have posted several photos on their Facebook page at
8.        SUNDAY NIGHT SINGAROUND CHANGES.  First the good news.  The monthly singaround session at The Jefferson's Arms in Thorganby (YO19 6DA) is about to resume after a prolonged break.  It will normally be held on the third Sunday evening of each month (so 21st May etc.) but begins this month a week later in order to avoid Easter, i.e. this coming Sunday, 23rd April.  I also hear that a new First Sunday Folk Club may be springing up soon, replacing the closed Hemingbrough club but in a different village.  On the bad news side, Tony Haynes has decided to close his twice monthly FAB singers club in Haxby, which had been filling the other Sundays in the monthly calendar.  "It's been a blast, but my days of club organisation are now probably over" says Tony, "I've sweated buckets for that responsibility over the years."  Tell me about it, Tony...!
9.        JAKE THACKRAY DOCUMENTARY ON RADIO 2.  A few days ago Radio 2 broadcast an hour-long documentary about that enigmatic character Jake Thackray.  It was presented by Cerys Matthews and included contributions from family, friends and musical contemporaries of the Yorkshire chansonier.  Poppleton's John Watterson, who is writing a full biography of Jake, was involved in creating the programme and can be heard both speaking and singing at one point.  The show is available until around 18th May on the BBC website –  In his Fake Thackray persona, John will be joining us on the Sunday of the Folk Weekend – see item 4 above.
10.     TIM EDEY FOR POPPLETON LIVE.  Staying with John Watterson but wearing his Poppleton Live hat, he has just announced that their next event will be Tim Edey on Saturday 13th May.  A former BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year, Tim is a multi-instrumentalist (mainly melodeon and guitar) and singer who has toured the world and recorded with many of the major names in Celtic music, including The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Capercaillie, Dougie Maclean and Mary Black.  His highly entertaining solo shows are said to be a stunning mix of world music-inspired instrumental virtuosity and passion with a strong Celtic theme.  Tim appears at All Saints Hall in Upper Poppleton on 13th May, where doors open at 6:45 and the show starts at 7:30.  For tickets or information, please visit, call 01904 785366, or
11.     THE EAST POINTERS AT POCKLINGTON.  Some of you will have been at the club a year or so ago when Canadian trio The East Pointers gave us a truly phenomenal night.  Well, the lads are back in Britain soon and appearing at Pocklington Arts Centre on Tuesday 23rd May.  The Pointers' slew of Celtic-inspired tunes and original songs reveals a diverse and entertaining mix of influences and they are earning a thoroughly justified reputation for live-wire shows with their mind-blowing musicianship and great good-humour.  Tickets are £13 from the Pocklington Arts Centre website.   There are more Canadians at Pocklington in June, when Le Vent Du Nord drop in (Wednesday 14th), while Kate Rusby appears at the larger Old Station venue in Pocklington on Wednesday 12th July.
My next mailing will probably be in late May and will bring you all the final details about our June Folk Weekend.