Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 28

Late January 2005

  1. VIN GARBUTT CANCELS. Sadly, Vin Garbutt has been taken ill and has had to pull out of forthcoming gigs, including ours. Apparently he has fluid on the lungs caused by a faulty heart valve. He will have to have heart surgery in a few weeks time, but meanwhile he is resting and building up his strength at home. Regular updates are posted on
    Our very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery go out to him. We have arranged a new date with Vin’s agent, but so full is this man’s diary that the first available Thursday is 26th January 2006! Tickets for Vin’s York show had already sold out - in a record four days! I will be in touch with those people I know bought tickets. If you don’t hear from me, please give me a call.
    There are four options: (1) a full refund, (2) exchange for March 17th Harvey Andrews tickets with a partial refund, (3) exchange for NCEM concert tickets and pay the difference, and (4) come along on February 17th to enjoy Cockersdale (see below) with your Vin ticket and receive a refund.

  2. COCKERSDALE STEP INTO THE BREACH. By one of life’s strange coincidences, I heard of Vin Garbutt’s illness just two days after speaking to John O’Hagan of ace harmony trio Cockersdale. You may remember that they had to cancel a show in September when John himself had heart problems. After two major operations last autumn he is much recovered and sounds full of beans and keen to get back on stage. Therefore Cockersdale have agreed to step into the 17th February slot. It will be a pay-at-the-door night, priced at £6 / £5. Anyone coming along with a Vin ticket will receive a £2 refund (£1.50 concessions). Here’s what I wrote in last year’s flyer: "A welcome visit by Graham Pirt, Val Marsden and John O’Hagan with that special Cockersdale brand of unaccompanied vocal harmony. Traditional songs of course, some of the memorable compositions of the late and sorely-missed Keith Marsden, some of Peter Bellamy’s Kipling settings and lots more great stuff from three of the best singers around."

  3. NEW CLUB LEAFLET PUBLISHED. The next Black Swan publicity flyer is ready and is attached to this E-News as a Word Document. I’ve amended this version with the change of programme on 17th February. Unfortunately the printed edition had already come off the press before news broke and so still lists Vin for that date. Please spread news of the change to anyone you think might be interested.

  4. FEBRUARY EVENTS AT THE EARLY MUSIC CENTRE. A reminder that our first concert night of 2005 is a special for the 20th Jorvik Viking Festival with Robin Williamson, Britain’s foremost bardic harpist and storyteller, perhaps best known as a member of Incredible String Band. For this solo show on Friday 18th February he’*rs 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 have 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 bby some hilarious stage banter. Eddie Affleck will be doing the support for this one. The NCEM Box Office (01904 658338,, is now taking bookings for all upcoming concerts. Tickets for Robin Williamson, Last Night’s Fun and Blazin’ Fiddles (15 March) are also on sale at club meetings, by post from myself and to personal callers at Cassadys Records on Gillygate in York.

  5. YORK UNIVERSITY FOLK CLUB. This is now up-and-running, with its own website at As well as news of the club’s own activities, this includes a useful directory of clubs and sessions around the region, interestingly arranged by distance from York.

  6. STAN’S NEWS. Club resident Stan Graham is dividing his time between York and Melrose at present, where he is recording his second CD at Tom Roseburgh’s studio, with Kenny Speirs again producing. It’s four years since Stan’s first album: he tells me that more than half the songs on it have now been covered by other artists − an achievement that many a professional singer/songwriter would envy. There’ll be a Launch Night for Stan’s new release at the club on Thursday 23rd June. Later in the summer, Stan again tutors a Songwriting workshop at Martyn & Danni Wyndham-Read’s home in northern France, La Jeusseliniere. For details, see As a result of all this activity Stan has not yet had time to fix outstanding problems with the club website, for which we both apologise.

  7. BAD NEWS FROM BEVERLEY. The White Horse Folk Club in Beverley has been around 29 years − that’s longer than us − and takes its name (like us) from the pub where it lives, The White Horse Inn, colloquially known as "Nellie’s". Well not any more! Brewers Sam Smith’s have taken the perverse decision to ban all live music from their tied houses and so the folkies have been evicted. There is nothing more traumatic for a folk club than to loose its venue, particularly one as special and long-lasting as Nellie’s, and our sympathies are with Richard Wastling and the other organisers. They’ve found a temporary home at The Forester’s Arms on Beckside North in Beverley, still on Mondays. For the latest news, see

  8. AROUND & ABOUT. Not space for much else this issue:
    • Friday 4th February − Michael McGoldrick & his band (including Ed Boyd and John Joe Kelly from Flook) appear at The Sheepscar Club on Scott Hall Road in Leeds. Organised by the Irish Music Project Leeds − info. on 0113 2170841.
    • Saturday 5th February − Swarbaid Ceilidh at the Star Club in Ripley near Harrogate. Organised by the good folks of Harrogate’s Friday 13th Folk Club, with band Konfusalem, Betty Lupton’s morris dancers and song spots by Lynne Geddes and Kevin Loughran. Info. from Ray Black on 01423 502875.
    • Saturday 12th February − Valentine’s Barn Dance at Hovingham Village Hall in aid of the local kids’ playground, with band Allsorts. 7.30 − 11.30, tickets £10 (£9 concessions) to include supper, from Hovingham Stores or contact Martin Potter on 01653 628065,