Late November 2004
- THE TANNAHILL WEAVERS. First up, a reminder of our last concert promotion of the year at the National Centre for Early Music: Scottish traditional music at its very best, courtesy of The Tannahill Weavers next Monday, 6th December. Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:
"these guys are a bunch of heroes" Garrison Keillor
"an especially eloquent mixture of the old and the new" New York Times
"the finest purveyors of Scottish music in the kingdom" Toronto Globe and Mail
"world class musicians with passion and a healthy sense of fun, keeping alive and making accessible the very heart of the tradition itself" Mojo Magazine
Support act is one of our excellent club residents, Susie Fox, a fine singer of traditional ballads, a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bodhran, whistles and recorders) and a writer of strong original songs. MC for the night is Eddie Affleck.
There are still some tickets available, priced at £12 (concessions £10) − from the NCEM Box Office on 01904 658338, firstname.lastname@example.org, or to personal callers at Cassadys Records on Gillygate in York, and possibly on the door on the night.
- DICK GAUGHAN SELLS OUT! Be advised that Dick’s club gig on 16th December is now Sold Out. Isn’t that a surprise!
- CHRISTMAS PARTY SWARBAID SPECIAL. This year’s Folk Club Christmas Party, 23rd December, will be a Swarbaid Special. Though there will be no formal admission charge, donations will be encouraged, and all raffle proceeds will be passed to Swarbaid as well (for more about Swarbaid, see E-News 25 or go to www.swarbaid.org.uk. The Black Swan, unlike most folk clubs, usually runs as a "raffle free zone", so when we hold our Christmas Raffle we try to make it special. I already have a £20 gift voucher from Hobgoblin Music in Leeds and a collection of CDs as prizes and I will be soliciting more in the next few weeks. If you can offer any sort of a prize (CD, booze, food, novelty item, etc.) please let me know beforehand (if possible) or bring it along on the night. And everyone please try to get down to the Black Swan that night − it will be great fun, I’m sure.
- THUMBS UP PHIL CERNY. December’s fROOTS magazine gives Phil Cerny’s au revoir CD a good Thumbs Up review in its And The Rest section: "Phil returns to his native US leaving behind this sympathetically recorded CD… treatments range from strongly individual to a cut above workmanlike, but never less than accomplished." Atlantic Passages is on sale at club functions, priced at £10, with all takings going to club funds. I gather there may also be a review of Phil’s farewell bash at the Black Swan in the imminent Winter issue of Tykes’ News. The man himself revisits York later this month and will be floor-spotting on the Dick Gaughan night. He also plans to be in Britain early in the new year and has booked a spot on 20th January!
- DON WALLS ON THE MEND. Talking of our old friends, it was great to see Don Walls back on his feet and reading his verse at the club again, after his recent spell in hospital. Somehow club nights were not the same without one or two of Don’s poetic words of humour and wisdom. Welcome back Don, we’ve missed you! And by the by, to those who keep asking, Don and I are not related, so far as we know!
- YORK STUDENT IN YOUNG FOLK FINALS. We were delighted to see that York St John student Bella Hardy is one of the six finalists in this year’s BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. Originally from Derbyshire, Bella cut her folk musical teeth playing fiddle in The Pack but has been developing her singing since taking over the lead vocal role in York-based trio Ola. It is as a solo singer that she has reached the BBC finals, which take place this Friday, 3rd December, in London, to be broadcast the following Wednesday, 8th, on Radio 2 at 8pm. Good luck Bella!
- FORTHCOMING CLUB EVENTS. Early recipients of this E-Newsletter are in time to catch two charming young Northumbrian singers this week (2nd December), Rachel & Becky Unthank. The week after (9th) it is good English traditional folk fare courtesy of Keith Kendrick, who promises to include a few seasonal songs from his new CD. After the Dick Gaughan night and the Christmas Party we take a week off before launching into 2005 with the incomparable Allan Taylor (6th January). Please note that because of the holiday break we are not selling tickets in advance for Allan − it will be a first come, first served Pay At The Door night.
- LATEST BOOKINGS. Recently agreed bookings for 2005 include Isambarde (Emily Sanders’ band) on 31st March and legendary singer/songwriter Steve Ashley on 9th June, with divine singer Christine Collister lined up for October. The next concert series at the NCEM kicks off with a Jorvik Viking Festival special on Friday 18th February, starring bardic harper and storyteller Robin Williamson plus Norwegian trio Glima. Future concerts include Last Night’s Fun, Dr Faustus, Danú and Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman − more info. in the next E-News.
- AROUND & ABOUT. A quick summary of some other tasty gigs taking place soon:
- Saturday 4th December - Last Night’s Fun at the Shire Hall in Howden, plus the aforementioned Rachel & Becky Unthank. The latest Howden Live folk event (www.howden-live.com), tickets £8 on 01430 431488 or 01430 431535.
- Friday 10th December − Singer-comedian Keith Donnelly presents his seasonal show at Weaverthorpe Village Hall in the Yorkshire Wolds. Jim Clarke’s latest "Light’s On" promotion − details on 01944 738422. £6 adults.
- Saturday 11th December − Country and Western Swing favourites Los Yobos launch their debut CD at the Black Swan Inn. £4 on the door.
- Friday 17th December − Swarbaid concert at The Queens Arms, Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, with Pete & Chris Coe, Tom McConville, Brendan Croker and others. There’s also a concert there on Thursday 16th (if you are missing Dick Gaughan), with Allan Taylor, Steve Tilston, Gina Le Faux, Maggie Boyle and others. Info & tickets (£10/£8) for both nights on 0113 252 8898.
- FAREWELL HEIDI. Finally, we send our best wishes to Heidi Johnson at the National Centre for Early Music, who is moving on to pastures new at the end of the current season. It is thanks to the helpful and positive attitude of Heidi and all the other NCEM staff (Delma, Gill, Caroline, Alan, Melanie) that our concerts there have been so successful over the last four years. In Heidi’s case, York’s loss is a very definite gain for the Huddersfield area.