Sunday 30 November 2014


Coming Your Way

Tickets for Shrewsbury Folk Festival go on sale on Monday December 1 after organisers have announced much of their line up for next year.

La Bottine Souriante
Remarkably Canadians La Bottine Souriante and Irish accordion virtuoso Sharon Shannon will be playing for the first time at the four-day event held at the Greenhous West Midlands Showground, Berwick Road from August 28 to 31.
The other big names which have been confirmed include Oysterband, Kate Rusby, John Jones & the Reluctant Ramblers, Peatbog Faeries, Nancy Kerr and the Sweet Visitor Band, Mawkin and False Lights, the new line up of Jim Moray and Sam Carter, along with patron Steve Knightley of Show of Hands.
Artists coming from abroad include Australia's The Spooky Men’s Chorale from Australia. From Canada comes Ten Strings and a Goatskin, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and The Barra MacNeils
There will be more announcements as further artists are confirmed.
The festival will be running five music venues, a dance tent, more than 100 workshops, a children’s festival, youth programme for 12 to 17-year-olds, a craft fair and food village. 
The earlybird offer ticket lasts until March 31. 
Adult weekend tickets are £125 until then. Day tickets start at £34 for adults. Children under four go free and family tickets are available. 
Onsite camping is available to all weekend ticket holders at £25 per adult. Tickets can be booked online from December 1 through

Dan's new album Raw State
Wolverhampton singer/songwriter Dan Whitehouse releases his new album Raw State on December 1 and will officially launch the album on Sunday December 7 at the Glee Club, Birmingham. Dan will be joined by Chris Tye, Harriet Harkcom and Duke Special for what he is calling his Christmas extravaganza. Tickets for the show are £8 plus booking fee and doors open at 7.15 with the show starting at 8pm.

Now almost a festive tradition the Barnsley Nightingale Kate Rusby will be bringing her Christmas show to Symphony Hall, Birmingham on December 11. The show starts at 7.30 and tickets are £25 plus a transaction fee which is charged on all bookings except on tickets bought from the venue in person.
To keep you in the Christmas Spirit Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band are bringing their Carols and Capers show to the Town Hall on Sunday December 14. The show also starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £19.50 plus the usual booking fee.
It's worth noting that at the same time Birmingham is holding its annual Frankfurt Christmas market so it would be advisable to allow extra time for travelling to the shows.

The Albion Band
The Albion Christmas Band are releasing their first live album One For The Road on Monday December 1 and as part of their tour will be coming to the Second City. 
Its release coincides with the band's annual festive season tour, which will visit 19 venues. One of which is the MAC Birmingham. They will be playing there on December 14 at 8pm. Tickets are £18 or £15 with concessions.
The album, One From The Road, captures the band's show at London's Kings Place last December. 
The concert was part of the band's 15th anniversary tour.
The Albion Christmas Band evolved from special seasonal shows by the last incarnation of the Albion Band.  Their concerts feature a mixture of seasonal carols, spoken word, humorous readings and dance, but they add a modern twist with some newly written songs.
The Albion Christmas Band features the talents of Simon Nicol, founder member of Fairport Convention, on guitar and vocals, Kellie While on guitar, vocals and percussion, Simon Care on melodeons, and the Guv'nor himself, Ashley Hutchings, co-founder of Fairport Convention, Albion Band, and Steeleye Span, on bass guitar and vocals.

Belshazzar's Feast will be playing the Biddulph Arms on Wednesday December 10. Tickets are £13.

Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts are at The Woodman Folk Club, Kingswinford on December 5 tickets are £9 for non-members and £8 for members and the show starts 8.30pm.

Eddy Morton & Paul Hodson will be playing the Unicorn Folk Club held at the Bradford Arms, Wheaton Aston on Friday Dec 5.

The Red Lion Folk Club in Birmingham is playing host to a Victorian Christmas on December 3 and then on December 10 folk legend Martin Simpson will be playing the venue. Doors open 7.15pm and the show starts 7.45pm.

Another folk great, Martin Carthy will be playing at Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton on Saturday December 6. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £12.50.

Chris Parkinson, Pete Morton and Emily Sanders are bringing their Magical Christmas Tree Show to the Newhampton Folk Club in Wolverhampton for the second year running on Saturday December 13. The concerts are in the upper room of the Newhampton Inn, Riches Street, Whitmore Reans. Tickets are £10 and the show starts at 8.30pm.

If you fancy your Christmas music with a different and historic note then The Night Watch are playing a few winter and Christmas gigs. Ian Pittaway and Andy Casserley specialise in renaissance and baroque music using instruments such as the lute.
|They will be performing as part of a Tudor Candlelight Evening on Thursday 4 December from 6.30pm at Haden Hill House, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath, B64 7JU.


Tickets also go on sale on Monday December 1 for the Cambridge Folk Festival which runs from July 30 to August 2. The line ups have yet to be announced.

The Proclaimers

The Proclaimers will be the headliners for Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 6 which is 10 years after they first took top billing there.
Craig and Charlie Reid have also been busy recording vocals along with a host of stars for The Peace Collective recording of The Farms 'All Together Now', a charity single on behalf of The British Red Cross and The Shorncliffe Trust.
This Christmas is the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Day Truce, during World War One, which inspired The Farm's 1990 hit All Together Now.  The Peace Collective single will be released on December 15.
http:/ The single can be pre-ordered by mobile:Text GET PEACE to 84222

Ralph McTell's new EP
Ralph McTell will be doing a benefit concert on the December 3 at the Half Moon, Putney on his birthday. Tickets are on sale and Mctell will be raising money for Crisis at Christmas. For more information and to purchase tickets please click here.
On the same day there will be an hour long special on BBC Radio 2 to celebrate his 70th Birthday, which will be broadcast.
McTell also has a new EP out called the unknown soldier to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One. The album is released through Leola Music and can be bought online and through McTell's own website.

Emily Barker
Most  of the acts who will perform at the Behind the Castle music festival next year have been signed
up. Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes will be one the top name acts taking to the main stage.
BAFTA award-winning songwriter Emily Barker, best known for writing and performing the theme to BBC television show Wallander has also been confirmed.
The 15 acts so far confirmed are Show of HandsEmily BarkerAimee MackenzieNizlopiMoulettesPhillip Henry and Hannah MartinThe WillowsEmily MaguireLizzyspitMiranda Sykes and Rex PrestonMegsonJaywalkersTom JamesODiEmily Baker
Tickets will go on sale on Monday, December 1 at

Folkstock Records have an alternative Christmas album out at the moment which includes many rising stars of folk such as Kelly Oliver, Minnie Birch, Daria Kulesh and Katy Rae. The Christmas Present is available from the Folkstock website.

Two thousand voices from across the UK are bidding for the Top 40 in a desperate attempt to find a
blood stem cell donor for a little girl for whom time is running out.
Six-year old Emma Whittaker, from Buckinghamshire, suffers from the rare genetic condition Fanconi Anaemia and needs to find a donor by March to save her life.
Three new artists have joined forces with 2000 voices recorded across the UK during 2014, to release a charity single to promote Emma’s donor search. The song, The Rest Of Time, written and produced by alternative folk duo The Portraits who performed at Glastonbury Festival this year, will raise funds for the charity Delete Blood Cancer, whilst appealing to the public to sign up to the bone marrow donors register and will be released on December 28.
The Portraits’ singer Lorraine Reilly Millington said “We wanted to create a huge national choir by
layering the voices of different crowds we played to and every person that has sung will be credited on the single. There are enough people with an interest in its success that reaching the charts is really
achievable, and this would make a huge noise for Emma and everyone else searching for a donor!”

Completely new to the folk scene is 16 year old Iona Lane from Clapham, North Yorkshire. She has produced her first EP. The disc has five tracks Chain By Design, These Days, We Intertwine, It Is What It Is and Blue Lagoon. Lane who is studying for her GCSEs while also playing and busking is hoping to use the proceeds from her album sales to buy a mandolin.

The Acoustic Festival of Great Britain has confirmed Paul Carrack, Big Country, Show of Hands, Demon Barbers XL, Nell Brydon, Moulettes, The Beautiful Sound, Swan Vesta Social Club and Blues Boy Dan Owen as part of its line-up.
The festival, at Uttoxeter Racecourse will be held on the Summer Solstice weekend of June 19 to June 21.

The Mike Harding Folk show

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