Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 60

Mid December 2006

This final newsletter of the year comes with season’s greetings to all of you out there.

  1. CHRISTMAS PARTY. A reminder that this coming Thursday (21st) we have our annual Christmas Party at the Black Swan Inn, as explained in E-News 59. Prizes have been coming in for the Grand Prize Draw but we could do with a few more, even if it is something you just bring along on the night. So far we have mostly had donations of CDs (by artists as varied as Vikki Clayton, Kerfuffle, Tiny Tin Lady, Johnny Coppin, Touchwood and some of our local singers and bands) so we could do with more of things like wine, chocolates and other goodies and novelty items.

  2. JANUARY IS KEIGHLEY MONTH. Next month at the club could well be called the “Keighley & District” theme month. We begin on 4th January with one of that area’s very best resident folk musicians, Steve Tilston, then follow up with three more of the same on 11th January, in the delightful guise of Grace Notes, alias Maggie Boyle, Lynda Hardcastle and Helen Hockenhull. I’ve already had quite a few enquiries about both of these events. Due to the disruptions of the Christmas holidays we are not offering advance tickets sales for either night, but I am happy to take seat reservations by phone or e-mail. Our monthly Singers & Musicians Night is on 18th January, then Keighley (with a Norfolk accent!) meets Teesside on 25th January, in the formidable shape of Damien Barber & Mike Wilson.

  3. CLUB GUESTS 2007. Last time I promised a full listing of our Thursday night club diary for the first half of 2007, so here it is from February onwards:
    • February: Pete Coe (1st), BBC Radio York Songwriters Night (8th), Singers & Musicians (15th), The Devil’s Interval (22nd)
    • March: Faustus (1st), Singers & Musicians (8th), Jim Malcolm (15th), Young Performers Night, with Gillmore Roberts and others tba (22nd), Judy Cook (29th)
    • April: Singers & Musicians (5th), Kieran Halpin (12th), Kimbers Men (19th), Singers & Musicians (26th)
    • May: Allan Taylor (3rd), John McCormick (10th), Singers & Musicians (17th), Katy Moffatt (24th), Isambarde (31st)
    • June: Harvey Andrews (7th), Singers & Musicians (14th), Bob Fox (21st), OK Brandy (28th)
    In addition there are our concerts at the National Centre for Early Music (detailed in E-News 59) and of course the City Of York Folk Day on Saturday 19 May. There should be something there for all folk tastes!

  4. WEBSITE BACK ON-LINE. The club’s web site came back on line early last week, after long hours spent by Stan Graham telephoning the host company’s help lines. There are still a few problems uploading new information (such as these newsletters), but hopefully those will be resolved soon. Our thanks go to Stan.

  5. SPOT THE NEW CHAIRS. Next time you visit the Black Swan, you may notice that the pub management have obtained half a dozen or so new (padded!) chairs for the club room. This has enabled them to take away some of the most sagging or rickety old chairs for repair or scrapping. Hopefully, more small improvements are on the way for the furniture and décor of this much-loved room.

  6. END OF YEAR THANKS. The final newsletter of the year is an opportune time for me to send out some personal “thank you” messages:
    • To Shelly Jenkin (landlady), Mike Dobson (owner) and all their staff at the Black Swan Inn, for making us welcome throughout the year
    • To Delma Tomlin, Gill Baldwin, Caroline Sartin, Melanie Paris and everyone else at the National Centre for Early Music, for all their assistance and encouragement with our concert programme
    • To Ben Pugh for house managing most NCEM concerts with quiet efficiency
    • To Michael Jary for providing excellent PA for most of our concerts and for doing such a splendid job on the website
    • To Phil Myers for his photography and for his general willingness to help out
    • To Julie Walker at Raysul Print for her speeding printing work on club flyers
    • To Michael Brothwell for doing such good work for folk music on Radio York
    • To all that (diminishing) band of local businesses in and around York who kindly display our posters and leaflets free of charge
    • To the largely unsung ranks of agents who act as a vital intermediary between many professional performers and promoters like ourselves
    • To all those who have performed at the club, from seasoned pros to first-time-in-public floor acts, and especially to our panel of MCs/residents: Eddie, Phil, John, Chris, Susie, Stan, David, Tony and Geoff
    • And most of all to yourselves for supporting live folk music.

  7. REBOUND RECORDS. Walking through town the other day I noticed a relatively new second-hand record shop on Gillygate, Rebound. Venturing inside, I found one of the best selections of folk CDs I have seen in such a shop for a long while. The Country / Americana section also had an impressive range of material and there were the usual rock & pop, jazz and blues CD sections, plus a considerable amount of vinyl for the serious collector. It seems the shop is run by the same people who own Lamb Records on Micklegate and it is well worth visiting if you are a serious record buyer. The address is 5 Gillygate and the phone is York 653313. You could combine it with a call at York’s other second-hand CD shop, Ark Records, which is further down Gillygate on the other side of the street.

  8. THE FAKE THACKRAYS. Here is more about an event which I trailed in E-News 59. John Watterson has entertained a couple of recent Singers Night audiences with his accomplished covers of Jake Thackray material. Now he joins forces with actor David Shaw-Parker to present “An Evening of Jake Thackray Songs” at All Saints Hall in Upper Poppleton near York on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 January, with doors open at 7.00 for a 7.30 start. Tickets are £10 each and include a pie & peas supper, with proceeds going to the Candlelighters children’s cancer charity. Tickets can be booked on 01904 794184 or by e-mail

  9. UNION CENTRAL FOR CHRISTMAS. If you fancy a last dose of good live music this year check out Alison Krauss-style bluegrass tribute band Union Central at the Black Swan Inn on Saturday 23 December. This new line-up features Maggie Allred on fiddle, taking over from Dave Crocker. Josie Mills continues to do some beautiful lead vocals, Phil Quin is on guitar, Graham Metcalf on banjo, dobro and guitar and Geoff Earp on bass. It’s an 8.30 start and entry is just £3 on the door.

I’ll be back sometime in January. Meanwhile, have a very merry Xmas and New Year.