Thursday, 30 April 2015




There is some serious talent congregating in the Black Country this month for the Stourbridge Folk Festival.

Luke Jackson
Among the names playing over the five-night event are Luke Jackson and Lucy Ward. The festival which runs from May 20 to 24 is the brainchild of Sunjay Brayne and Eddy Morton who will both be playing at the event at Katie Fitzgerald's, 187 Enville Street, Wollaston, Stourbridge, DY8 3TB.
The festival kicks off on Wednesday May 20 with Ranagri and Eddy Morton.
Ranagri is a new venture from four musicians Donal Rogers (vocals and guitar), Eliza Marshall (flutes/ethnic whistles), Jean Kelly (electric-harp) and Tad Sargent (bodhran and bouzouki) who are looking to create some exciting, original sounds. The band fuse world folk music with contemporary song writing and haunting melodies, interlaced with storytelling.
As a solo performer, Eddy Morton has worked all over the UK, Ireland and the USA supporting many top acts including, The Saw Doctors, Manfred Mann, Ralph Mctell and Lindisfarne. He is also a founder member of the Bushbury Mountain Daredevils. Tickets for the show are £8 in advance or £10 on the night and the doors open 7.30pm
On Thursday May 21 Lucy Ward takes to the stage supported by local band Kim Lowings & The Greenwood.
Ward is an award-winning, 24-year-old artist from Derby who plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument.
After winning the Horizon Award at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Lucy’s career has gone from strength to strength.
If you can't wait to see her in Stourbridge then you can catch her at The Met Studio of the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are £12.50 or £10 with concessions. Ward will be supported by The Galleons.
Kim Lowings & The Greenwood have established themselves on the British Folk Scene. Stourbridge song writer and Appalachian Mountain dulcimer player Kim Lowings sings with a wonderfully pure voice. Tickets are £10 in advance and £12 on the night, doors open at 8pm. Booking is recommended.
On Friday May 22 Eddy Morton & The Bushburys are on stage supported by Sunjay.
Sunjay who runs the Stourbridge Folk Club has established himself as a respected singer and bluesman and recently finished a national tour with Steeleye Span. He is a well known figure around the Midlands and is a true showman live.
Tickets are £10 in advance and £12 on the night. Doors open 8pm and booking is recommended.
The next day on May 23 highly acclaimed singer/song writer Luke Jackson takes to the stage. Jackson, aged 20, is from Canterbury, Kent.
Lucy Ward
In 2013 he was nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for both the Horizon Award for Best Emerging Talent and The Young Folk Category.  He has recently released a new extended EP This Family Tree.
Tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the day. Doors open 1pm and booking is essential.
Then on the night Flat Stanley, with support from Danni G, will be playing in the cellar bar. This is a concert in support of the Stourbridge Foundation For Music, so entry is free and doors open 8pm
On the final day Sunday May 24 Chris Smither is in concert with support from Sunjay
Smither is an American original and draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and philosophers.
Tickets £13 in advance or £15 on the day. Doors open 1pm and again booking is recommended.
Organisers urge anyone planning to go to the festival should check the details for each concert as door times and ticket prices may vary, and it’s important to note there is no Wheelchair access.
Stourbridge Folk Club is a small venue with 45 seats plus Standing in the cellar and there will be 100 Seats available in a marquee
Under-18s get free entry to all folk club events but the club welcomes donations.

Stourbridge Folk Club is also playing host to legend Martin Carthy on Thursday May 28. Tickets are £12 in advance or £14 on the night. Seating at the venue is limited so booking is recommended.

Kate Bramley
Staying in the Black Country The Woodman Folk Club at Ashwood Marina will be welcoming two real legends of the folk realm from the north in Bob Fox and Jez Lowe.
On Friday May 8, fresh from his tour with the massively successful War Horse, Fox returns to the club after more than two years. Entry for members is £8 and non-members £9. Doors open at 8pm and the show starts around 8.30pm.
On Friday May 15 the club also welcomes back fellow northerner and singer/song writer Lowe who is touring with fiddler and singer Kate Bramley. Entry for members is £10 and for non-members £11. Doors open 8pm and the show starts around 8.30pm.
The following Friday on May 22 Keith Hancock will be playing the venue after a gap of 12 years and has travelled many miles, from the Far East no less, to play the club as part of a tour. Entry for members is £7 and for non-Members £8. Times are the same as previously stated.
The Woodman also runs singers nights with one on May 1 and May 29 entry is £2 for members and £3 for non members. The singers' nights are popular and slots are limited so it's recommended to book a spot by contacting Debby or Derry.
Please note, if you pre-booked a spot you are asked to be at the club before 8.30pm to confirm, or the slot may be re-allocated

Moving to the Second City, the Kitchen Garden Cafe, King's Heath, Birmingham is playing host to an impressive array of artists.
Celtic duo Tir Na Nog will be playing the small venue on Tuesday May 19. Doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start and tickets are £13.20 including booking fee.
Excellent guitarist  Matt Woosey will be playing there on Wednesday May 6. Times are the same and tickets are £11 including booking fee.
Tir Na Nog
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin are there on Sunday May 10. Times are the same and tickets are £12 plus booking fee.
Following on from this Police Dog Hogan will be playing the Hare & Hounds on Thursday May 14. Times are the same and tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door.
The Kennedys are coming to the venue on Sunday May 3 with times the same and tickets £12. The following night on Monday May 4 rising stars Lady Maisery play the venue. Times are as above and tickets are £10.

Just down the road The Red Lion Folk Club, Vicarage Road Kings Heath is hosting Chris Knowles & Catrin O’Neill with Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer on May 6. Then on May 13 winners of the best group award at the 2015 Radio2 Folk Awards The Young'uns bring their particular skills for singing and banter to the venue. Tickets are £11 and the trio is supported by Chris Quinn.
The following week on May 20 Chris & Kellie While will provide the entertainment with support from Louise Jordan. Tickets are £11. For all concerts, doors open 7.15pm and the show starts 7.45pm.

Staying in and around Birmingham the reinvigorated Nizlopi play the Glee Club on May 12. Tickets are £15 plus £1.25 booking fee. Doors open at 7pm and last entry is 7.40pm. The gig is standing room only and a minimum age of 16.

The MAC in Birmingham welcomes Irish group Altan to play on Thursday May 7. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £20 or £18 with concessions. The band is touring on the back of their latest album, The Widening Gyre.
Breabach are at the MAC on Saturday May 16 with the show also starting 8pm. Tickets are £12 or £10 with concessions.       

Symphony Hall, Birmingham welcomes music legend Don McLean who is on his The American Troubadour tour on Saturday May 16. Tickets are £33.50 - £37.50 plus transaction fee.
There is a £3 transaction fee, plus £1 (optional) postage, will be charged on all bookings except tickets bought in person at the Town Hall or Symphony Hall Box office.
Another American legend Tom Paxton with his 50 Years On tour comes to the Town Hall on Friday May 15. Paxton is touring with special guest Robin Bullock. Tickets are £26.50 plus transaction fee (see above).
As part of their farewell tour The Full English including Fay Hield, Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson, Sam Sweeney and Seth Lakeman will be at the Town Hall on Thursday May 7. Tickets are £21.50 plus transaction fee (see above). All shows start at 7.30pm.
Simpson will also be playing an acoustic set at The Tower of Song, Kings Norton on Friday May 15 at 8pm.

Celebrated folk trio Lau have announced a Coventry gig. The band - who will be supported on the night by Siobhan Wilson - are playing Warwick Arts Centre at the University of Warwick on Sunday, May 24.
The band will be playing tracks from their new album, The Bell That Never Rang. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £18.

The Jigantics are playing Common People Folk Club, Walsall on May 21 at 8.30 pm. Tickets are £5.
Marie Little

Brewood Acoustic Music Club which meets at Brewood Cricket Club welcomes Marie Little to play  on May 7 then Bill Caddick takes to the stage on May 14.

Another festival which gets under way this month is at Upton-upon-Severn.
The festival runs from May 1 to 4 and will include a wide range of traditional activities among the guests who will be playing there are Steamchicken, The Snapes, Sunjay, Kelly Oliver, Ninebarrow, Alun Parry and Set 'em Up Joe.


A dramatic tribute is planned for Ewan MacColl who would have been 100 this year in the form of a production starring  Mike Joyce, Gerard Kearns and John Connolly as MacColl through various stages of his life.

Ewan MacColl
Ewan MacColl: His Life, His Words, His Music will be performed on Sunday May 10 at 2pm at the, Peel Hall, Salford University. Tickets are £12 or £8 for students.
The show will feature MacColl's songs and readings from his autogbiography. For those who don't know MacColl's work too well he is famous for writing worldwide anthems such as Dirty Ol Town and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Tickets are available from the University online shop (NB tickets are not available from the Library).

Californian folk rock band Dawes are another headliner who are coming to play at Shrewsbury Folk Festival.
The Los Angeles band will make its debut at the four-day event over August Bank Holiday weekend. Dawes has a huge following Stateside and in the UK has appeared on BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland; performed at Latitude, T In The Park and Hard Rock Calling festivals. Others headliners at the West Mids Showground from August 28 to 31 include the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, La Bottine Souriante, Sharon Shannon, Oysterband, Kate Rusby and The Spooky Men’s Chorale.
Tickets can be booked through or direct at
Children under four go free and onsite camping is available to weekend ticket holders at £25 per adult.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards have released a double CD, featuring 27 of the artists nominated for this year’s award. Artists on the album include Cara Dillon, The Will Pound Band, and Maz O’Connor.
The awards ceremony itself took place last month at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. if you missed it, you should still be able to stream it on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after the event.
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
The winners of 2015 Folk Awards were:
Folk Singer of the Year – Nancy Kerr
Best Duo - Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Best Group – The Young ‘Uns
Best Album – Tincian – 9Bach
Horizon Award – The Rails
Musician of the Year – Sam Sweeney
Best Original Song – Swim to the Star – Peggy Seeger & Calum MacColl
Best Traditional Track – Samhradh Samhradh – The Gloaming
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award – Talisk
Lifetime achievement award - Cat Stevens and Lowdon Wainwright III
Ewan MacColl was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Albums being released this month include The Bell That Never Rang from Lau which is due to be released on May 4 through Reveal Records. Blackhouse from Peatbog Faeries which is due out on May 25 through Peatbog Records. Sleeping Storm from April Maze is due out May 4. Manannan's Cloak from Barrule is due for release on May 11 and Layers of Ages by Gigspanner is due out on the same day.

No comments:

Post a Comment