Mid February 2005
It’s only two weeks or so since the last E-News but there’s lots of new stuff to report!
- APOLOGIES. Firstly, apologies to the first 100 or so recipients of E-News 28, to whom I inadvertently sent a slightly garbled version of the new club flyer. You should only have received the first two pages, which were correct. What followed were odd bits of formatting and drafting for the leaflet beyond that. For those people only, the corrected version is attached to this newsletter.
- REMINDERS. There’s an extremely busy folk week ahead in York, with four club functions over 8 days! This Thursday at the Black Swan, Cockersdale step in for Vin Garbutt, who is ill. Quite a few Vin ticket holders have not been in touch to claim a refund, so I hope this means you’re all coming to see Cockersdale instead! And Thursday week (24th) is our Young Performers night − see below. On Friday at the Early Music Centre it’s our Viking Festival special with harper and storyteller Robin Williamson and Norwegian band Glima. Latest news is that Glima will have four young folk dancers with them. Tickets have been selling well. Then next Tuesday, 22nd, at the NCEM it is Last Night’s Fun, who are always hugely entertaining, with our own Eddie Affleck doing the warm-up spot. Still plenty of tickets left for that one at present. To book for either of the NCEM shows, contact their Box Office on 01904 658338, email@example.com.
- YOUNG PERFORMERS SHOWCASE. Fostering the next generation of singers and musicians is a priority in our club programming. To this end, our occasional Young Performers nights have been a great success for artists and audiences alike. The next one, on 24th February, has a typically varied and talented line-up. Singer and songwriter KTB (short for Katy Bennett) is probably best known, having made the finals of the BBC Young Folk Award in 2002, released one album with a second on the way, and appeared at several festivals "down south". Solo singer Laura Hockenhull is comparatively local, being the daughter of Helen (Grace Notes) Hockenhull of Keighley and a childhood regular at the famous Bacca Pipes Folk Club. She won a lot of friends (e.g. Andy Kershaw) with her singing on the 2004 re-recording of Peter Bellamy’s ballad opera The Transports. She’ll have a keyboard accompanist with her, possibly her mother. Coming down from the Newcastle University Folk Music degree course, Roll A Penny is a group with a wide repertoire of both traditional and original material. Katie Doherty ("a phenomenal singer") is on keyboard and Andrew Cadie on vocals, fiddle and guitar; they are joined by mature student (and hence honorary Young Performer!) Roger Purves on mandolin and bouzouki. As is customary at these Showcase nights Adrian Spendlow will be acting as poetic MC and, to give plenty of time to each act, there will not be any floor spots.
- STEWARDS NEEDED. We need a few volunteers to help with the Blazin’ Fiddles concert at NCEM on 15th March. We have a tight schedule for setting up the hall after a daytime function and then we have to de-rig everything after the concert ready for an early event the next day. If you can spare a couple of hours from around 3/3.30pm that day to move furniture, and/or stay on an hour after the gig, please get in touch with me. Complimentary tickets for the first five volunteers.
- FAREWELL CASSADY’S. Sadly, Cassady’s Records in York closed at the end of last week. Having failed to find a local buyer, the owner is moving the business to Leeds. Ian, Peter, Kevin & Jonathan will be much missed. Not only were they a good source of interesting second-hand CDs and vinyl, but they were generous supporters of live music, selling tickets for small-scale promoters like ourselves without commission, and helping local music magazines with regular advertising. They all have our very best wishes for the future. Tickets for forthcoming Black Swan Inn "specials" will now only be available at preceding club functions or by post from myself. At present that means for Harvey Andrews (March 17th, already selling well), with tickets for Artisan (April 14th) available soon.
- ANNUAL REPORT. The club’s unconventional financial year ended on January 31st, so I have been doing the books. Having reported a small loss at the half-year stage (E-News 22), I’m happy to say we ended the year with a surplus of around £500. That’s under 3% of a total income figure of £18.5k. Unlike 2003/04, when we bought the club PC, there have been no big one-off expenses this year. Total club funds at year end were just under £2.5k, which sounds plenty but is actually a lot less than the value of contracts I have signed with future guests! I have a financial summary available if anyone would like a copy. Alongside the accounts, I look at attendance figures. For Black Swan Inn events, these show a slight decline compared with the previous year − down from an average of 30.4 paying customers to 29.4 per club event (excluding floor acts, complimentaries, latecomers, etc.). This is the lowest for several years and rather disappointing, though not seriously worrying. It would be nicer to report an increase − hint, hint! The average NCEM concert audience was 124.
- MORE SAM SMITH’S CASUALTIES. It’s not just Beverley Folk Club that has been hit by Sam Smith’s Brewery’s perverse decision to drive down pub turnovers by outlawing live music (see E-News 28). The friendly Wednesday night singers club at The Blacksmiths Arms in Farlington has also been evicted, much to the distress of the pub manager. The folkies have found refuge in The Highwayman at Sheriff Hutton, still on Wednesdays, and earned a page three picture story in the Evening Press. Whitby Folk Club has also been forced to move (I know not where at this stage) and the Plough Inn will no longer be available as a Whitby Folk Week session venue either, losing the landlord many thousands of pounds in takings!
- AROUND & ABOUT. Once again, not enough space for all I could tell you about!
- Saturday 26th February − Recent Singers Night star Miles Cain & his band appear in their own gig at the Black Swan Inn. 8pm / £3 / www.milescain.com
- Friday 4th March − The Sharon Shannon Band in concert at Victoria Hall, Saltaire, with support from the wonderful Emily Smith Band. £12.50. Info from Simon on 01274 588614.
- Tuesday 8th March − Martins 4 at Pocklington Arts Centre − that’s Simpson, Carthy, Taylor and Juan. £17 on 01759 301547.