Saturday, 30 August 2014


Coming Your Way

Folk21 in Wolverhampton

On September 20 Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton plays host to the West Midlands Regional Day of Folk21.

The usual format is that the day will be in two parts with invited guests and interested parties for the first half of the conference which will feature a host of speakers who will be looking at the problems, possible solutions, ideas and network possibilities of running and maintaining folk clubs and small music venues around the country.
If you want to get some insight as to how they go you can see a full review of last year's regional day on this blog just follow the link here
The second part in the evening will showcase a bill of up and coming folk artists from around the country and will include headliner Roger Wilson with Winter Wilson, Kelly Oliver who is due to release her debut album, This Land, very soon, The Bailey Sisters, The Jigantics and Gary Edward Jones.
Tickets for the night are £10.

The rescheduled Live and Picking night at the centre will now be on Friday September 5, this has moved from the previously planned date of August 29.
Performers on the bill are Pen Fifteen, Memories of Shadows, Singing Towards Disaster and Tinned Astronaut. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £5.

A regular promoter who uses the excellent studio facilities at the arts centre is Baddies' Boogie who stage acoustic nights. There next one is on Friday September 12. This is an incredible night out for just a fiver and you get to hear a full bill of exciting and talented young local acts. Doors open 7.30pm.

Ian Pittaway
Billy Spakemon
Just down the road the Newhampton Folk Club, in the upper room of the Newhampton Inn, Riches Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton will kick off its autumn season on September 13 with two acts for the price of one.
They are Ian Pittaway, a renowned singer and guitarist and Billy Spakemon who will be bringing his own brand of Black Country songs and stories.
Tickets are £9 on the door and £8 in advance. The Show starts at 8.30pm. Please note the venue is upstairs and does not have disabled access.

The impressive Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ, welcomes Sam Lee, Rachel and Becky Unthank, Adrian McNally among others for A Time and Place which is an evening of music inspired by the folk song, stories and poetry of the First World War.
Mercury Prize nominated folk artists Sam Lee, Rachel and Becky Unthank collaborate for the first time to mark the centenary of the First World War.
As part of an 11-strong line-up they will perform original repertoire from the time alongside new material inspired by personal stories and arrangements to First World War poetry, all against the backdrop of Matthew J Watkins striking video design. Tickets are £18.50 plus transaction fee. The show starts 7.30pm.

Those of you who were looking forward to the man who made wooly hats cool on September 28 at the hall should note former Monkee, Mike Nesmith will not be performing there. Promoters say that due to a scheduling conflict, the tour has unfortunately had to be cancelled.
Ticket holders will be contacted in due course.

Sharon Corr
Staying in the Second City on September 23 the Glee Club welcomes Irish songstress and musician Sharon Corr who is touring with her second solo album – The Same Sun, produced by Mitchel Froom.
Tickets in advance are £17.50 otherwise with a £1.00 booking fee (per ticket)
Doors open 7:30pm and the show starts 8.15pm. The concert is standing only. For more information visit

The Kitchen Garden Cafe, King's Heath, Birmingham is hosting Grey Wolf an Americana band from Shropshire on Sunday September 7, tickets are £8 and doors open 7.30 for an 8pm start.
Then on Tuesday September 16 Lau's Kris Drever and Eamonn Coyne will be playing the venue and tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door.
The following Sunday, September 21, Chris Cleverly will be performing with special guest. Tickets for the show are £7 in advance and £9 on the door.
Two more well known names on the folk circuit who are playing there are Lisbee Stainton, who has been touring as part of Seth Lakeman's group, she will be performing at the cafe on Monday September 22, tickets are £12.50 and veteran Vin Garbutt will be there the following Sunday, September 28. Tickets are £12.

Stourbridge's coolest adopted son Sunjay Brayne is on his new album tour after officially launching it at Shrewsbury Folk Festival last month.
Sunjay Brayne
The eponymously named Sunjay is the 20-year-old Black Country blues/acoustic musician's third album and is officially released on September 29.
Apart from Brayne's remarkable talent as a blues guitar player, the album features renowned musicians such as banjo player Dan Walsh, singer and fiddle player Katriona Gilmore and cellist and vocalist Sarah Smout.
Brayne also runs the Stourbridge Folk Club which is based at the traditional Katie Fitzgerald's pub in Enville Street, Stourbridge.
The album is a mixture of traditional blues tunes and well known ballads given the Brayne treatment.
Award-winning Brayne, a one-time Radio 2 young folk singer of the year award nominee, has been playing guitar since the age of four and has recently finished an extensive tour supporting the legendary Steeleye Span.
Brayne will be on a nationwide tour but will also be playing around the Midlands throughout 2014. On September 19 he is at the Woodman Folk Club in Stourbridge and then on 25th at his own club Stourbridge Folk Club with Phil Beer.
The following night, 26th, he is playing at Tamworth Folk Club. On October 2 he will be at The Robin2 in Bilston, Wolverhampton supporting John Illsley and then on then on October 5 he will heading back to his birthplace to play at Derby Folk Festival
He is back in Wolverhampton at the Newhampton Folk Club on October 11 with Eddy Morton then on the 23rd he plays the Common Folk Club in Walsall with The Crystals. On November 27 he is back on his home turf at Stourbridge Folk Club in the cellar of Katie Fitzgerald's with Dan Owen. For more information visit

On Sunday September 14 the Simon & Garfunkel story comes to Robin2, Mount Pleasant, Bilston, Wolverhampton. Starring Dean Elliott, a leading actor from the West End, as Paul Simon.
The show is all seated and starts 8.30pm. Advance tickets are £15 or £16 on the door.
Then the  venue is staging The Lindisfarne Story with Billy Mitchell & Ray Laidlaw on Tuesday September 16.
This is another all seated show with doors opening at 7.30pm, show starts 8.30pm. Lindisfarne was Tyneside's best-loved folk/rock band for more than 30 years and the show is a celebration of the group's music and achievements. Advance tickets are £18.50 or £19.50 on the night.

Phil Beer
One of the most respected names in folk music, Phil Beer, will be playing Stourbridge folk club in a show rearranged from April 24. Beer will be playing at Katie Fitzgerald's, Enville Street, Stourbridge DY8 3TB on Thursday September 25. Doors open at 8pm for a scheduled 8.30pm start. Tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the night. The venue is fairly small and tickets are likely to sell fast.

Also in Stourbridge the man behind the aforementioned club Sunjay Brayne, will be playing down the road at the Woodman Folk Club on Friday September 19. Entry is £6 for members and £7 for non members. 
The following Friday, September 26, the club welcomes Joe Topping and again entry is £6 for members and £7 for non-members.
It has been three years since the singer/songwriter was last at the club and Topping has been described as a cross between Ry Cooder, Woody Guthrie and Paul Brady. He has developed his own unique bottleneck guitar style.

On Wednesday September 17 duo Elmore Row will be performing at Willenhall Folk Club, New Invention. The show starts at 8.15pm and tickets are £5.

Wolverhampton's own Dan Whitehouse has announced the release date of his new album Raw State. Whitehouse, who now lives and works in Birmingham, will release he album of mostly reworked previous songs on Dec 1 with and official launch at the Glee Club, Birmingham on Sunday December 7.
The album has been produced by Danny George Wilson and Chris Clarke of the band ‘Danny and the Champions of The World’. and recorded at Chris’ studio in North London.

Finally one of Wolverhampton's newest pubs the Dog & Doublet in North Street, holds plug and play sessions every Thursday night from 9pm to 2am which is open to all local musicians and singers.

The Mike Harding Folk Show

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