Sunday, 22 April 2012

FOLK 21

Live Review

Newhampton Arts Centre, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton (April 21, 2012)

Had great night watching a wonderful line up of folk musicians from all over the UK who came together to give their time, for free, to promote Folk 21 which is pushing to raise the profile and keep alive small and independent folk clubs.

The line up was pretty impressive and the music varied and highly enjoyable, giving an insight in to the myriad and eclectic strands of folk music which can be enjoyed up and down the country.
Each artist drew on their particular surroundings, background and experience adding that unique and personal touch even when the same song may be performed by different singers and musicians.
On the bill was Pete Coe, the national chairman of Folk 21, who gave the audience a show of his many talents on the banjo, bouzouki and accordion. He has a wonderfully traditional voice which has a raw and honest quality to it.
Anne Lister
There was Anne Lister from South Wales, who has a light quality and clarity to her voice which is a real breath of fresh air. She carries on the tradition of folklore in song with her simple stories of the human condition which carry that dark edge of danger and disaster around the corner.
Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham were essentially an a-capella duo who use the squeeze box occasionally. It was a nice surprise from the Derbyshire singers as Keith's looks belie his clear and distinct voice which, although powerful, did not overpower Sylvia who added that soft touch and warm edge to their singing.
Scotland's Wendy Arrowsmith has an incredibly rich and powerful voice and a range which she executes so naturally and with such ease. The passion with which she tells the tales of the human condition and the injustices of life is obvious.
Originally from Greece George Papavgeris brought his cheeky persona and irreverent humour to the proceedings. His strong voice is reminiscent of Roger Whittaker, but somehow with a continental twang. It easily filled the arts centre studio and it was complemented by his obvious talent with the guitar.
George Papavgeris

Without doubt the driving force behind the night was John Richards who performed with his band to close the show. John has a fine folk pedigree and is passionate about the genre and about local venues and clubs both thriving and recruiting the next generation of folk singers.
His line up was missing his daughter Emma who was in the late stages of labour with his first grandson and her second child, hopefully by now mother and son are doing well and being spoiled by the rest of the family.
The band's former fiddle player, Julia Disney has moved on to study a masters and has consequently gone on to help set up her own folk club which is really what Folk 21 is all about.
She has been replaced by Robin Tudor who is a more than up to the challenge adding the voice-like sound of the fiddle to John's guitar playing, Chris Drinan's flute, whistle and banjo playing and Jim Sutton's keyboard and double bass skills .
John Richards
The band finished off the night on a high inviting all the previous singers, apart from Peter Coe who had to be somewhere else, thanking everyone who turned up and the night raised more than £400 for the cause.
Folk 21 is about promoting and growing the small folk club if you like folk music and would enjoy a night out of live performances or if you have never tried a folk club before, then get on board and let me know about where you have been, who you have seen or any news of upcoming concerts.

For more information please follow these useful links
For Folk21 folktwentyone.wordpress.com/
For Peter Coe www.backshift.demon.co.uk/
For Anne Lister www.annelister.com,
For Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham www.keithkendrick.com/kn/
For George Papavgeris http://www.folk4all.net/
For John Richards http://www.thejrbs.co.uk/
For the venue www.newhamptonarts.co.uk/