Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 59

Early December 2006

Here is another update on folk club happenings, plus other news of potential interest.

  1. SOLD OUT EVENTS. Please note that Dick Gaughan’s appearance at the Black Swan this coming Thursday, 7 December, is now Sold Out and I am taking names for a waiting list in case we have any returns. Also Fully Booked is the seasonal special with Waterson:Carthy & Friends at the University of York on Thursday 14 December – which is hardly surprising after their success at the NCEM last year!

  2. CLUB EXTRA ON THURSDAY 14 DECEMBER. Since the Waterson:Carthy concert on 14 December is sold out, I have arranged an informal Free Entry club session for the same evening at the Black Swan Inn, for those of you not going to the University. It will be in Singers Night format, so all floor artists take note! David Swann has kindly agreed to act as host and I anticipate the usual doors open at 8.00 for an 8.30 start. Singers Nights have been hugely popular this year, with a record 21 performers at the early November event and 20 acts in both February and June. The musical standard has been very high almost throughout and for many of us these have been some of the best nights in the club programme.

  3. CHRISTMAS PARTY TIME AHEAD. Also following a Singers Night format, but with seasonal “extras”, the club’s Christmas Party always rounds off the year nicely. The date is Thursday 21 December and Stan Graham will once again be acting as Master of Ceremonies, so stand by for some awful jokes! We’ll fit in as many performers as we possibly can in the time available, with some of the regulars choosing to do things outside their normal style and repertoire. There will be the usual “bring-and-share” Buffet Supper in the extended interval, so do come armed with some nibbles – sweet or savoury, home-made or shop-bought! Entry is entirely free but we will be holding the customary Grand Prize Draw, the only time in the year we have that staple of most folk clubs, the raffle! Prizes will include CDs, drinks, food and novelty items, and all contributions for prizes are gratefully received. If you can donate something beforehand, please let me know and I’ll include it in the publicity. Otherwise, just bring it along on the night.

  4. CHARITY NIGHT SUCCESS. Last month’s Save The Children charity special was a most enjoyable evening and raised £280 for the good cause. Our thanks go to Gordon Tyrrall, Jim Eldon and the other participants, all of whom gave their services entirely free of charge, not even asking for expenses. I was left with a box of the fund-raising compilation CD Folk Save The Children and it will be on sale (priced at £10) at the Christmas Party and future Singers Nights, until stocks are exhausted. I have also left a number with the Save The Children shop on Goodramgate in York, so if you need a last minute folky Christmas gift...

  5. WEBSITE APOLOGIES. Unfortunately the club web site has been unavailable for the last week or so. It seems that our hosting service has some major technical problems and hundreds of sites are affected. Stan Graham (whose own site is also down) has been in regular telephone contact with the host, but so far to no avail. Once we get our site back we’ll have to think seriously about moving it elsewhere.

  6. LOOKING AHEAD TO 2007. Our club programme is now virtually complete for the first six months of next year and I will include a full listing in E-Newsletter 60. For now, bear in mind that (after a week off between Christmas and New Year) we begin 2007 with the wonderful Steve Tilston on 4 January. On account of the disruptions caused by the holiday period I’ve decided not to put advance tickets on sale for this one, but as usual I will be more than happy to take seat reservations by phone or e-mail. 11 January brings us Grace Notes, with a Singers Night on 18 January and Damien Barber & Mike Wilson on 25 January. Also complete is the Early Music Centre folk concert diary for the first half of next year. There are five events lined up, four promoted by us and one by the NCEM themselves, with booking available from early in January. Details as follows:
    • Wednesday 14 February: 422 plus Fribo. Double Bill for Jorvik Viking Festival.
    • Sunday 4 March: Blazin’ Fiddles, promoted by NCEM
    • Tuesday 13 March: John Spiers & Jon Boden
    • Monday 23 April: Last Night’s Fun, with new member Ciaran Boyle
    • Wednesday 2 May: Van Eyken, Tim’s wonderful new band.

  7. OPINION PIECE RESPONSES. Surprisingly, I had only two responses to Tony Morris’ Opinion Piece in E-News 58. One was from a fellow folk promoter (semi-retired) who shares our occasional frustration at the reluctance of audiences to sample unfamiliar artists, while a fairly regular club attendee told us how he often finds Singers Nights far more entertaining that the “big name” guest shows.

  8. YOUNG ACOUSTIC ROOTS. I’ve been asked to remind you about the Young Acoustic Roots contest, first mentioned in E-News 54. Run by the Wickersley Music Festival in South Yorkshire and open to all musicians aged 12 - 21, it has an entry deadline for 2007 on 31 January. Finals are held at Wickersley Festival on 3 March, with cash prizes for all finalists and for the winner a booking at Cleethorpes Folk Festival and the chance to record a professional demo CD. Entry forms and further details from Pete Thornton-Smith on 01709 739093,

  9. DON WALLS TO LAUNCH HIS SECOND BOOK. Much loved local poet and Black Swan resident Don Walls (no relation!) is about to publish a second book of verse. Inside Out will be launched on Wednesday 20 December at the Victoria Vaults on Nunnery Lane in York, with Don reading some of his poems, interspersed with contributions from a few of his many musical friends, including David Ward Maclean, Ben Harker & Emily Weygang, Pugwash Convention and Stan Graham. If it is anything like the launch of his first book the pub will be packed out!

  10. DATES FOR YOUR DIARY. A run-down on other upcoming folk & roots gigs:
    • Martin Simpson & Andy Cutting. Friday 8 December at Pocklington Arts Centre, 01759 301547. An intriguing collaboration by two virtuoso musicians.
    • The Crocker Brothers. Wednesday 13 December at City Screen Basement Bar in York, 08707 583219. One of the UK’s finest bluegrass bands.
    • Dance with The Tablets Of Stone Ceilidh Band. Saturday 16 December at Weaverthorpe Village Hall in the Wolds. Tickets & info. on 01944 738422.
    • The Fake Thackrays. An evening of Jake Thackray songs with David Shaw-Parker and John Watterson. Friday 12 & Saturday 13 January at All Saints Hall, Upper Poppleton, York. Tickets and further details on 01904 794184.

I should be back once more before Christmas, but if not do have a very merry holiday!