Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 25

Late October 2004

  1. FOLK CLUB WINTER PROGRAMME. The Black Swan's winter programme flyer is now published and the text (minus logo) is attached to this mailing as a Word document. This one covers nearly four months, to late February 2005, and is packed with good things. First up are Grace Notes on 4th November, three of our favourite women singers who work some real vocal magic together. Early indications are that this will be a very well attended evening, so the word is Come Early if you possibly can! Sadly, a few recent Black Swan Inn guests have not been anything like as well supported as they merited − none of our October club guest nights managed to break even − but Maggie, Lynda and Helen should reverse that trend. In normal times, so too should the great Wizz Jones on 18th November, but this year we find ourselves in competition with John Martyn at a bigger York venue that night! Please come along if you possibly can − Wizz is well worth it.

  2. MARTIN CARTHY / DICK GAUGHAN. No such worries with Martin Carthy. Both his club nights, Thursday 11th November and the Monday "extra", are now completely Sold Out and I am beginning a waiting list in case of any returns. Our next Ticket Only club guest is Dick Gaughan on 16th December. Tickets become available this week − at club meetings, at Cassady's Records or from me − and a swift Sell Out seems highly likely. I'll take e-mail reservations straight away from newsletter subscribers and we can sort out payment & collection later.
    This is an appropriate point for a reminder that except for special nights like these, club meetings are normally Pay-On-The-Door events with no advance booking. After Dick, the next Ticketed events are Vin Garbutt (17th February, on sale from 6th January) and Harvey Andrews (17th March, on sale from 3rd February).

  3. EARLY MUSIC CENTRE CONCERTS. Can I also remind you that the NCEM has a concert by the intriguing Warsaw Village Band on Tuesday next, November 2nd? Voted Best Newcomers in this year's Radio 3 Awards for World Music, these six young musicians (not seven as I mistakenly said last time) perform "hardcore folk from Poland ". Adventurous music lovers should check them out. Also at the NCEM, the Show Of Hands concert on 19th November is now Sold Out.

  4. THE TANNAHILL WEAVERS. Our next club promotion at the Early Music Centre is on Monday 6th December, and promises to be an evening of Scottish traditional music at its best. The Tannahills have a long and distinguished musical pedigree, with many famous musicians having passed through their ranks over the last 30 years and their sound is anything but stale or old-fashioned. Equally strong vocally and instrumentally, they remain an awesomely tight, versatile and innovative band. Tickets (£12, concessions £10) are already selling well − get yours from the NCEM Box Office on 01904 658338, , or buy through the web site at . Alternatively, tickets can be purchased from the good folks at Cassady's Records, or at club meetings or by post from me.

  5. WEBSITE UPDATE. Apologies from Stan our web master: technical problems have meant that the club site has been down some of the time lately. He hopes to have this rectified soon. We are looking at the possibility of completely redesigning the site, possibly with a new and more memorable domain name.

  6. IT ADVICE REQUESTED. Staying with IT matters, some of you know that even though I rely heavily on E-mail for running the folk club and so on, I am still not Internet-connected at home. Hence I have to do all my mailing and other on-line business "after hours" at work. At last I am getting around to thinking of going on the Net at home, probably direct to Broadband, and I would appreciate any advice on the best way to proceed, tips re. the best provider/service to go for, etc. I know that a lot (most?) of you are much more IT-savvy than I am, so over to you…

  7. FOLK DAY 2005. The Open Meeting earlier this week decided to stick with much the same format for City of York Folk Day 2005 as for this year's successful event. That is to say: Saturday only, at the Black Swan Inn, as a free bash with no booked guests. Put the date 21st May in your diaries now! The City Council's MUSIC LIVE festival will be focussed on that same weekend next year, with far more of a community focus than hitherto, and we look forward to collaborating with them.

  8. SWARBAID. The legendary fiddle player Dave Swarbrick has suffered chronic ill health in recent years and has been largely unable to earn a living for quite some time. His many friends and admirers get together this winter to run a nationwide series of benefit gigs under the collective banner of Swarbaid. Locally, events are scheduled for Otley (26th November) and Leeds (16th & 17th December, 20th January) with the cream of West Yorkshire folk talent (Artisan, Steve Tilston, Allan Taylor, Tom McConville, Pete Coe, et al) plus illustrious guests such as Vin Garbutt, Roy Bailey, Watertson:Carthy and the man who set the ball rolling, Alistair Hulett. Go to for more details and support as much as you can.

  9. W H AUDEN & FOLK SONG. The famous poet W H Auden was born in York and the city has an active Auden Society which is planning a series of events leading up to his centenary in 2007. For the 2005 Auden birthday event (around 20th/21st February), the theme is "Auden and Folk Music". As well as drawing on traditional song forms in some of his own writing, Auden compiled two influential anthologies which made extensive use of folk material, The Poet's Tongue and The Oxford Book of Light Verse . The Auden Society would therefore love to hear from any folk enthusiasts interested in this side of the poet's work, and especially from any singers who would be interested in performing folk songs from Auden's books for the society's 2005 event. For further information, contact Hugh Bernays on 01904 644318, e-mail .

  10. JOHN PEEL. As I compose this newsletter, news has just broken of the sudden and very sad death of Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Like others of you, I am sure, I first heard broadcast folk music on John's wonderfully eclectic Top Gear shows. In my case that was in the late 60s / early 70s, when alongside the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and given equally enthusiastic endorsement, we heard not only folk-rock pioneers like Fairport but also traditional singers and musicians, such as Billy Pigg, John Doonan and the Copper Family. John opened successive generations' ears to the wonderful diversity of music, folk included, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude. He will be sorely missed.