Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 27

New Year 2005

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas break, and I wish you peace and happiness in the year ahead. I can certainly promise you plenty of great music!

  1. ALLAN TAYLOR. For early recipients of this e−mail, a reminder that the wonderful Allan Taylor kicks off our new year this Thursday, 6th January. If any of you are unfamiliar with Allan, let me quote from a recent review (last March at the Red Lion Folk Club in Birmingham): "His performance was utterly enthralling. I forgot where I was and became completely immersed in the music. The (new) album is full of perfect little picture stories, so many gems − it can’ t be an easy task selecting which songs to perform. He had us in the palm of his hand … writing as good as Allan’s is timeless:quot;. You get the picture! Doors open 8pm and it’s pay at the door, £7 full, £6 concessions.

  2. FORTHCOMING CLUB EVENTS. We have our first Singers & Musicians Night of 2005 on 13th January, followed on the 20th by the debut visit of Kirsty McGee and her accompanist Mat Martin. A young singer/songwriter about whom lots of enthusiastic things are being said, she should be well worth checking out.
    On the 27th January we have a very special night as we welcome back a favourite American troubadour Dana Robinson, with his musical partner and wife Susan (married since they last visited us!). It will be the first date of their 2005 UK tour and has been chosen as the northern British launch night for their new CD of American roots music, Native Soil. The record company/agent are inviting various folk media people and there’ll be an early evening reception downstairs at the Black Swan, after which some of the VIPs will come upstairs to watch Dana & Susan in action. So (BIG HINT) it would be really nice if we had a large and enthusiastic audience that night, which is nothing less than the guests deserve anyway!

  3. SWARBAID CHRISTMAS PARTY. Through raffle, donations and CD sales, our Christmas Party somehow raised exactly £100 for the Dave Swarbrick appeal. There were a few expenses (paper plates and so forth) but I have covered those from general club funds so that I could send off a nice round-figured cheque!
    Talking of Swarbaid, the final big fund-raiser in Leeds falls on a Thursday night, unfortunately, but if you want to pass up on Kirsty McGee, make your way to Leeds Irish Centre on 20th January for an all−star line up which includes Vin Garbutt, Roy Bailey, Waterson:Carthy, Tom Napper Tom Bliss and The Demon Barbers. Tickets are £13 / £11 concessions, bookable on 0113 252 8898.

  4. YORK UNIVERSITY FOLK CLUB. Word reaches us of plans to launch a campus folk club this coming term. Excellent news! It will be held on Sundays, venue to be announced. I know there are quite a few students on this mailing list − if you (or anyone else) want to know more, contact Lucy Wright on
    The early history of the Black Swan FC is a bit hazy, but we do know that it began sometime in the mid/late 1970s as a student club in one of the college bars, before migrating to the Black Swan Inn, where incidentally there had been an even earlier folk club in the 1960s. It’s great to see another generation taking up the baton and organizing their own thing. Our best wishes, advice and practical support are offered to Lucy, Paul and their friends.

  5. FEBRUARY FUN AT THE EARLY MUSIC CENTRE. Our first concert promotion of 2005 is a special for the 20th Jorvik Viking Festival with Robin Williamson, Britain’s foremost bardic harpist and storyteller. Best known as a key member of Incredible String Band, he has also collaborated with lots of our other favourite musicians (e.g. Martin Carthy, John Renbourn). For this solo show on Friday 18th February he’ll be singing songs and telling tales from Norse and Celtic mythology. Also appearing is Glima, a trio from the Telemark region of Norway, featuring the haunting sound of Hardanger fiddles plus viola, cello and voice. Two members of Glima did a brief, atmospheric support set at last autumn’s Renbourn/McShee gig.
    The following week, Tuesday 22nd February, we switch emphasis to Ireland with a return visit by Chris Sherburn, Denny Bartley & Nick Scott, aka Last Night’s Fun. Rated the best British-based band playing traditional Irish music, they are well known to many of you already. Their instrumental virtuosity is breath−taking and their arrangements are inspired, while the intensity of the music is balanced by the lads’ side−splitting stage banter. Not to be missed!

  6. MORE CONCERTS THROUGH THE SPRING. Agreed just before Christmas, a welcome late addition to the next season at the Early Music Centre is a concert by Scots supergroup Blazin:rsquo; Fiddles on Tuesday 15th March. The NCEM themselves promote English folk band Dr. Faustus (Tim Van Eyken, Rob Harbron, Paul Sartin, Benji Kirkpatrick) on Wednesday 13th April, then the Black Swan is delighted to present young Irish stars Danú on Tuesday 17th May, with old friends Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman rounding off the season on Friday 3rd June.
    Booking for all Early Music Centre concerts should be possible when the Box Office there (01904 658338,, online at reopens shortly after the holiday break. As soon as possible I’ll also have tickets available for Robin Williamson, Last Night’s Fun and Blazin’ Fiddles at club meetings, by post from myself and (to personal callers) at Cassadys Records on Gillygate in York.

  7. AROUND & ABOUT. Another summary of other good events taking place soon:
    • Saturday 8th January − Doghouse Skiffle Group at the Shire Hall in Howden. Another Howden Live event (, tickets £8 on 01430 431488 or 01430 431535. They also have UK blues legends Paul Jones & Dave Kelly coming up at the same venue on Wednesday 26th January.
    • Wednesday 19th January − Bernard Wrigley presents his unique blend of songs, stories, monologues and guitar playing at Weaverthorpe Village Hall in the Yorkshire Wolds. Tickets to enjoy "The Bolton Bullfrog" are £6 from Jim Clarke on 01944 738422.
    • Saturday 22nd January − Country and Western Swing favourites Los Yobos go underground in the Basement Bar at City Screen in York. Tickets £4.
    • Tuesday 8th February − the utterly mind-blowing Warsaw Village Band are at Pocklington Arts Centre (01759 301547). The same friendly and enterprising venue has bluesy singer/songwriter Chris Smither on Saturday 29th January, with Barbara Dixon, Martins 4 and others to follow.