Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 42

Mid December 2005

  1. NEW CLUB FLYER ATTACHED. I’ve finally found time to write the next club publicity flyer. This covers the first three months of 2006, at both the Black Swan Inn and the National Centre for Early Music. I hope there are at least two or three things which appeal to you! Note that all the Black Swan guest nights listed (other than Vin Garbutt − which is by fast selling advance booking) are PAY ON THE DOOR events, at a standard admission charge of £ 6 full / £ 5 concessions.
    Some of you may have seen reference on our website or elsewhere to a visit by Andy M Stewart on March 9th. Sadly, this has had to be cancelled. Andy is due to have an operation on his back just before Christmas and has been told to rest for three months thereafter. Hopefully, we can reschedule him for the autumn, and meanwhile Maggie Holland has come forward to fill the March 9th slot.
    Looking further ahead, the club is now fully booked until the end of June. Here is a brief summary of the further treats in store:
    • The Brian Bedford Band (April 6)
    • Nick Hennessey (April 13)
    • Andy Irvine (Tuesday Special, 18 April)
    • The Durbervilles (20 April)
    • Singers (April 27)
    • Pauline Cato & Tom McConville (May 4)
    • John McCormick (May 11)
    • James Keelaghan (May 18)
    • Singers (May 25)
    • Tom Napper Tom Bliss (June 1)
    • Duck Baker (June 8)
    • Christina Smith & Jean Hewson (June 15)
    • Singers (June 22)
    • Dan McKinnon (June 29)
    After Easter our NCEM concerts are Old Blind Dogs (Wednesday 26 April) and Damhsa (Irish Music & Dance Show − Tuesday 9th May).

  2. JOHN WRIGHT TICKETS. After brisk early sales, things have slowed down on the John Wright front, and I still have tickets available for this Thursday (15th). If you would like to reserve some to collect on the door, the best thing is to give me a call on York. I promise to leave the Answering Machine on when I’m out!

  3. CHRISTMAS IS COMING. A quick reminder that it is the annual Christmas Party on 22nd December. We’ve had a couple of donations for Grand Raffle prizes, but many more would be appreciated. The following week, 29th December, the club is closed − the one time each year when I see my own home on a Thursday evening!

  4. BLACK SWAN INN CLOSING TIMES. Several people have asked me about closing times at the Black Swan under the new licensing system. Our landlord Mike Dobson will be keeping the bar open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays but he has decided to stick with 11pm closing on other days, including Thursdays. As somebody with a day job to go to next morning, I’m perfectly happy with that, and I assume most artists and audience members will feel the same!

  5. GRAND OPERA HOUSE FOLK GIGS. York’s Grand Opera House has upcoming concerts by Richard Thompson (Sunday 5th February), Christy Moore (Monday 10th April) and The Fureys & Davey Arthur (Sunday 28th May), amongst others. For once they have managed to avoid clashing with any of our functions! To book, call in at the Box Office or phone 0870 606 3595.

  6. TOPIC FOLK CLUB RELOCATES. Over in Bradford, and meeting on a Thursday night like we do (so I have never been there!) the Topic is the longest surviving folk club in Britain. They enter their 50th Anniversary Year in 2006 with a move to new premises at The Cock & Bottle on Barkerend Road in the city centre, starting on 5th January. For directions visit or contact my opposite number John Waller, Like us, they have had a bit of a struggle at times lately, so I was pleased to read in their latest newsletter that they have actually had an increase in turnover during the last year.

  7. FOLK MUSIC DOWNLOAD WEBSITE. It seems downloading is here to stay, and word reaches me of a recently launched legal folk music downloads website, Listeners can browse the site, sample previews of downloadable tracks and listen in full to free demos. Selling prices are set by the artists themselves, and payment is very simple, using the Paypal system.
    Artists can offer their recordings for sale (so long as they own the rights) and they set their own sale price. They will receive 50 % of all sales (apparently i-tunes only pays 20%). Artists can also submit 2 or 3 demo tracks for free down-load. I heard about this from Susie Fox, whose CD is already up there. To find out more, visit the site or contact the man behind it, Ian Southworth,

  8. CITY OF YORK FOLK DAY 2006. Here’s advance notice that the City of York Folk Day will happen again in 2006, on Saturday 20th May. At this stage, we envisage sticking broadly to the established and successful pattern, though with perhaps a bit more prior planning on the club room/singaround side of things.
    The city council’s York Music Live event will take place over the following Bank Holiday weekend (27th-29th May) and it is possible that we will also run some kind of a smaller scale folk event that weekend. To discuss Folk Day, Music Live and general club business, there will be an Open Meeting early in January, probably on a Monday or Tuesday at the Black Swan Inn. I’ll have a firm date and more details in the next E-Newsletter.

  9. ROUND & ABOUT. Here’s word of two local musical residencies:
    • Early readers may be able to make it to William’s Bistro Bar on Goodramgate in York this Tuesday (13th), where acapella stars Ripple continue their monthly residency. It’s a 9 o’clock start, with free entry and a support act.
    • Our irrepressible old friend Adrian Spendlow is running a "third Monday in the month" gig at the Royal Oak, also on Goodramgate, with the next one due on 19 December. Adrian performs with his band The Answers, and there is time for a couple of guest spots as well. More info from the man himself on 01904 647086. Incidentally, we hear that Adrian did a storming job MC-ing the two-day long Fringe charity event at the recent Whitby Musicport festival.