Thursday 28 April 2016


Coming Your Way


Duo Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin, better known as Belshazzar’s Feast are celebrating 21 years as a band and as you would expect are touring extensively to let everyone know.

Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson who are Belshazzar's Feast
From Tuesday May 3 to Friday May 6 they will be running a House Party (workshop course and concert) at Halsway Manor, Nr Crowcombe, Somerset. The duo warns visitors to expect some silliness and besides the workshops, where possible, will be giving one-to-one tuition for singers, dancers and musicians. There is a range of prices for accommodation and tickets so it's best to check the venue's website to see which suits.
On Sunday May 8 they move on to  Lydbrook Village Hall, Gloucester. The show starts 8pm. This is followed on Wednesday 11 at Willows Folk Club, Kirkham, Lancs. Show starts at 8pm and tickets are £10. From there, on May 12, they head to St.Thomas' Church Hall, Stanhope, co. Durham where the show starts 7.30pm and tickets range from £6 for children to £23 for families.
The following night, Friday May 13, you can see the duo at People’s Hall, Sedburgh, Cumbria. The show starts 7.30pm and tickets range from £4 to £20. Then over the weekend on May 14 they play St. Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook, Co.Durham. Show time as above and tickets range from £4 to £18. Then on Sunday they are at Shap Memorial Hall, Cumbria. Show time as above and tickets range from £5 to £23. The duo then move south to the Midlands on Wednesday May 18 to play Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham. Doors open 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start. Tickets are £12 and Claire Boswell is in support. They migrate even  further south on May 19 to play The Place Theatre, Bedford. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £14 in advance or £16 on the night. From there they play Milkmaid Folk Club, Bury St. Edmunds on May 20. They will be supported by Reset Prose. Doors open 7.30pm and show starts 8pm, tickets are £12 for friends of the club otherwise £14.
They then spend the weekend, Saturday 21 to Sunday 22, at Shepley Spring Festival. There is a range of ticket prices and concessions, so check the festival website to find which one suits your needs. On the Saturday they will play the main stage along with The Barber SistersTaliskAnxo LorenzoNancy Kerr and the Sweet Visitor Band with the music starting from 7.30pm. Then on the Sunday you can meet the duo in the village hall from 11am to midday which will cost you £5. From there they move on to play St Mary’s Church, Wycliffe, Co. Durham on Thursday may 26. Show starts 7pm and tickets range from £8 for children to £34 for families. Their next gig is on May 27 at Heads Nook Village Hall, Brampton, Cumbria. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £3.50 for children and £8 adults. Then on May 28 it's on to Lesbury Village Hall, Northumberland. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £8. Their penultimate gig of the month is on Sunday 29 at Bardon Mill & Henshaw Village Hall, Northumberland. Show starts 7.45pm and tickets range from £6 to £24. To end the month, on Monday May 30, they play Exmouth Festival, Crowcombe, Somerset where they will be on stage from 6.30pm. The festival runs from Friday May 27 to Sunday June 5 so check the website for ticket information.

Midlands band The Fair Rain (formerly The Old Dance School), have released their first album  - Behind The Glass - under their new name, you can find out on their website why they changed their moniker. The band will be touring and promoting the album this month starting on May 4 at The Forge, 7 Delancey Street, Camden London. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £14. Then on May 9 they move north to The Greystones, Sheffield. Show starts at 7pm and tickets are £14.85 including booking fee. The band then come back nearer their home turf on May 13 when they play the Artrix, Bromsgrove. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £14.

The Willows have three gigs for this month starting on Sunday May 1 when they play Wath Festival, Yorkshire. They are on stage in the afternoon along with Jaywalkers and Hannah Sanders and tickets are £15. On Friday May 6 you can see them in Coventry at the Big Comfy Bookshop from 7.30pm, tickets are £10 in advance and support is from Sharon Lewis and Jack Hopkinson. Then on May 29
the band play Festival on the Moor's Great North Folk Festival. This runs from May 27 to 30 and there are a range of shows and ticket prices so check the festival website to find which best suits.

Spanish-born Sarah McQuaid who now lives in England is touring for the first part of the month starting on May 1 at Uig Hall, Benmore, Dunoon. Tickets are £9 and doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start. The following day McQuaid makes her third visit to the Isle of Luing to play Atlantic Islands Centre, Cullipool, Isle of Luing, Oban. Tickets are £8 in advance or £10 on the door and £3 for under-16s. Doors open 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start.
On Tuesday May 3 she plays the Resipole Studios, Acharacle, Argyll. Doors open 7pm and show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 in advance, £12 on the door and half price for under-16s. In addition to the Tuesday night concert, she will also be giving a 90-minute DADGAD guitar workshop at 7pm on Wednesday May 4. Advance booking is essential for both workshop and concert as seats are limited.
Sarah McQuaid
Then on Friday May 6 you can see her at The Tree House Bookshop, 4 The Square, Kenilworth. Doors open 7.30pm and show starts 8pm. Tickets are £11 in advance or £12 on the door and include a £2 voucher for the bookshop. You can also bring your own bottle (glasses and corkscrew available). McQuaid then moves on to Deverills Performing Arts Series, The George Inn, Longbridge Deverill, Warminster, Wiltshire on Saturday May 7. Doors open 7pm and show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 or £7.50 for under-17s.  She moves much further north on Tuesday May 10 to play Live At The Star, The Admiral, 72A Waterloo Street, Glasgow. Doors open 7.3pm for an 8pm start and tickets are £9. The following night, May 11, she stays in Scotland for an Edinburgh House Concert. Suggested donation £10 per person with the show at 8pm. You can bring your own drink and for booking email through for further information and an invitation to what is a private event.
On Thursday May 12 you can see her at Aros,Viewfield Road, Portree, Isle of Skye. Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are £10 or £8 concessions and £6 for students. The next day, Friday 13 she plays Stonehaven Folk Club, Community Centre, Bath Street, Stonehaven. Doors open 8pm for an 8.30pm start and tickets are £9 for non-members and £7 for members.
You can also see her on Saturday May 14 at Tin Hut Sessions, Gartly Community Hall, Gartly. Doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start and tickets are £10. On Sunday May 15 McQuaid plays Ardross Community Hall, Ardross by Alness, Rossshire. Doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start and tickets are £10 or £7 with concessions.

The Carrivick Sisters, who are twins Laura and Charlotte, are taking their bluegrass/folk sound to the Acorn Arts Centre, Penzance on May 12. They will be playing as part of Cardboard Fox who have a new album, Out of Mind, released the following day. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are £10 or £8 with concessions. On May 13 a local launch party for the album is at The Ustinov Studio, of the Theatre Royal, Bath. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £15 plus a £2.50 fee for online booking and will incur and extra £1 fee if posted.
Then on May 17 it's off to  Dartford Folk Club, which meets at the Dartford Working Mens Club, 40 Essex Road, Dartford. Show starts 8.30pm. They then have a London launch party on May 18 at Cecil Sharp House. Show starts 7pm and they will be sharing the stage with Jaywalkers. Tickets are £12. Then on May 20 the sisters alone will play The Milton Rooms, Malton, North Yorkshire. Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start and tickets are £10. They then finish the month on May 27, again as part of Cardboard Fox, at SpArC Theatre, Bishop's Castle. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £10 adults and £7 children.

Another folk duo O'Hooley & Tiddow start their May gigs on the sixth at Village Pump Folk Club, Trowbridge. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £12. Then if you want to see them later on in the month you better get your clogs on because they are off on a tour of the Netherlands starting on May 18 when they play Folk in the Lounge at Karin's Den Haag. Show starts 8.30pm. The following night you can see them at Podium Café 'Peter & Leni', Steendam. Show starts 8pm and tickets are 10 Euro. Then on May 20 you can see them perform at Roots aan de Zaan @ De Kleine Waarheld, 20 Zaandam. Show starts 8.15pm and tickets are 12.50 Euro or 7.50 Euro for members. Support is from Fred Piek. On May 21 they play Muziek Café de Lantaern, Zevenaar. Tickets are 10 Euros. Doors open 8.15pm and show starts 9pm. Finally on the May 22 they play Groeten uit Oisterwijk, Oisterwijk. Check the venue website for ticket prices and information.

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Yet another duo will be on the road this month, Josienne Clark & Ben Walker start their tour on May 1 at Bristol Folk Festival. They are part of the St George's Concerts on the last night of the festival and will be sharing the stage with Great Sea Choir, Lukas Drinkwater and Tobias Ben JacobsCooper and Toller and Gerry Colvin. They move on to another festival on Friday May 6, Holmfirth Festival of Folk. See the festival website for times and the range of ticket prices. On Saturday May 7 they play Acapela Studio, Pentrych, Cardiff. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £12.50 or £15, both incur a booking fee of 10 percent. The following night you can catch them at Hitchin Folk Club. Doors open at 7.30pm with the show scheduled to start at 8.15pm. Tickets are £14 for non-members and £12 for members. They will be supported by NinebarrowStafford Gatehouse Theatre welcomes the duo on Monday May 9. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £12.50 or £10 with concessions.
Then on Friday May 13 they take to the stage at the Ukrainian Centre, 45 Beckett Road, Doncaster. Tickets are £10 and £8 and support is from  Rob Tickell & Paul Handyside. They come back to the West Midlands on Sunday May 15 to play Town Hall, Birmingham as part of Future Folk featuring False Lights and Luke Jackson. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £17.50 plus £2.50 booking fee.
The next day they head to the Capital and The Green Note but unfortunately if you haven't already got your ticket, the gig is sold out.
On Tuesday May 17 they move on to Stapleford Granary, Cambridge. The show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £15 or £8 for under-16s. You can catch them on Wednesday May 18 at Ramsbottom Folk Club in Ramsbottom Cricket Club due to the Met undergoing refurbishment. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £12. Support is ukelele player Joao Frazao.
The Citadel Arts Centre, Waterloo Street, St Helens, welcomes them on Friday May 20. Tickets are £10. They then go on to perform at Kingkerswell Parish Church, Kingkerswell, Newton Abbot on Sunday 22. In the morning from 11.15 Walker will be holding guitar workshops for intermediate to advanced players. Then later on in the day, doors open from 3pm, will perform. The workshops are £10 plus £1 booking fee and are selling out fast while the later performance costs £12 plus £1.20 booking fee and at time of publishing only 16 were left.
The Willows Folk Club, Kirkham plays host to the duo on Wednesday May 25. The show starts 8.30pm and tickets are £10. They move on to the The Black Swan Inn, York the following night. Show starts 7.45pm and tickets are £11 or £10 with concessions and both incur a booking fee. Then to see out the month they are playing Chester Folk Festival on Saturday May 27.  Check the festival website for prices and the range of concerts, workshops and events.

The charismatic Gerry Colvin,  who has just released his latest album Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other, will be making his presence felt on Sunday May 1 at Bristol Folk Festival. He will be playing as part of the St George's concerts and will share the stage with Great Sea ChoirLukas Drinkwater & Tobias Ben JacobsCooper & Toller and Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker.
Then on Saturday May 7 you can see him perform in his unique way in the upper room at Redditch Palace Theatre, Alcester Street, Redditch, Worcs. Show starts 7.45pm and tickets are £13 including booking fee.
Forest Folk & Roots Club, Forest of Dean welcome him on Sunday May 8 where doors open 7.30pm and the show starts 8pm. Entry fee is £6. From there he moves on to Manor Farm Music Frivolities, Parlour Concert, Manor Farm, Somerton Road, Ardley, Bicester, Oxfordshire on Saturday May 14. Show starts 8pm but is by invitation only and you have to be on the venue's mailing list.
On Friday May 20 Colvin performs at Wessex Acoustic Club, at the Royal British Legion, Church Lane, Blanford Forum. The legion opens 7pm and the club opens at 7.45pm with the show due to start at 8.15pm. Tickets are £12 on the night or £10 in advance. Farnsfield Acoustic, Farnsfield Village Centre, New Hill, Farnsfield, welcomes the performer on Saturday May 21. Tickets are £12.

BBC Folk Award-winning singer/songwriter Emily Portman will perform at Town Hall, Birmingham on Friday May 13 with the Coracle Band, the musicians featured on her latest album Coracle. The concert is part of Birmingham’s Imagined Isle Folk Festival. Portman will be sharing the stage with The Furrow Collective, featuring Alasdair Roberts, Rachel Newton and Lucy Farrell. The show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £20.50.

Peter Knight's Gigspanner are coming to Laugharne Millennium Memorial Hall, on Sunday May 1. Show starts 7pm and tickets are £16 or £10 and both will incur a booking fee. They perform at the annual Folk on the Pier, Cromer on Friday May 6. The concerts start at 2pm and tickets are £17.50. On the same bill are Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin and The Jigantics. The following night, May 7, you can catch them at The Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh in conjunction with FolkEast Ltd, where again they will be with Henry & Martin. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £16 in advance and £13.50 with concessions. Then as part of Hastings Folk Festival on Sunday May 8 you can catch them at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £17. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult. On Monday May 9 they move on to Nettlebed Folk Club at Nettlebed Village Club, Nettlebed, Near Henley-on-Thames where again they will be joined by Henry & Martin. Show starts at 8pm and tickets are  £15.
The third Hastings Folk Fest runs from Tuesday May 3 to Sunday May 8. As in previous years, most events are free and take place in the pubs and cafés around the Old Town of Hastings.
The programme includes two major concerts in St Mary In The Castle. On Saturday May 7 Show Of Hands play live.
Also on May 7, St Clement's Church plays host to a concert with The United Folk Orchestra, combining two long established English folk orchestras, Yardarm and Sussex. For more information, please visit the festival website.

Singer/songwriter and activist Alun Parry will be in Barnsley on Sunday May 1 performing at the May Day Festival of Solidarity. The event runs from midday until 10pm. There will be 14 acts across two stages and tickets are £10. On Friday May 6 Parry will perform as part of the Art of Silencing at The Unity Theatre, a cabaret of comedy, music and discussion hosted by Maxine Peak with Artists For Palestine. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £8 or £5 concessions. There is a 50p charge for card transactions and £1 fee if posted.

Also on May 1 Cork-based outfit Two Time Polka will play Fertha Bar, Main Street, Caherciveen, Co. Kerry. The show starts 4pm and admission is free. 

Daria Kulesh
If you want to enjoy the wonderful singing of Daria Kulesh then head off to the The Carpenter's Arms, Miserden, Gloucs on May 4. The following day she will be playing Pebbles Tavern, Watchet. Show starts at 8pm. Then it's on to Tithe Barn, Dunster, on May 6 where she plays a double headliner with Steve PledgerTickets are £10. Kulesh and Pledger move on May 7 to play Hope Hall, Exeter. Doors open 7.30pm and tickets are £10. On May 13 Kulesh becomes part of The Company of Players who are Said The Maiden, Sam KellyKelly OliverLukas DrinkwaterChris Cleverley, Kim Lowings and Minnie Birch at Victoria Hall, Settle. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £10 plus booking fee. Then on May 15 you can hear Kulesh in session on Genevieve Tudor's Sunday Folk, BBC Shropshire, between 6 and 8pm. This is followed on May 21 with the singer/songwriter supporting Sean Taylor at The Globe, Glossop. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £11 including booking fee.

Another highly talented and acclaimed female singer/songwriter Ange Hardy will be kicking off her May tour on the first at Bristol Folk Festival with Lukas Drinkwater. She is part of the St George's Concerts from 11.30am onwards and will be sharing the stage with Barnacle Buoys and Heg & the Wolf Chorus. Visit the festival website for ticket prices, venues and accommodation.
On May 13 Hardy & Drinkwater move on to Northwich Folk Club, Queen Street, Northwich. Show starts 8.30pm and tickets are £10 for non members and £8 for members. The duo, on May 18, then play Ely Folk Club, The Old Dispensary, 13 St Mary's Steet, Ely. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £10 in advance or £11 on the night. They then waddle along to Black Duck Folk, 4 Manor Farm Drive, Sutton Benger, Chippenham, Wiltshire on May 21. Doors open 7.30pm and tickets are £11 including booking fee.
Road Not Taken provide the support. From there it's on to Shepley Spring Festival, Marsh Lane, Huddersfield on May 22.  Hardy & Drinkwater play the last concert on the main stage starting at 6.30pm. They are on the bill with RANT, who have a new album Reverie out on May 13, and Skelmanthorpe Brass Band with Kimber’s Men. Tickets are £15. Finally on May 28 the pair perform at the 10th Bude & Stratton Folk Festival which runs from May 27 to 30. The duo will be play the Falcon Acland Suite where the doors open 11.15am and tickets are £7.50. They share the bill on this occasion with Hamish Currie, Pat & Ned and Jim Causley. On the evening from 6.30 they will be playing Along the Coleridge Way in tribute to Samuel Taylor Coleridge who inspired Hardy's latest album Esteesee. The following morning from 9.45 Hardy will be holding songwriting workshops at the same venue, entry is £4. Then later in the afternoon from 12.45 Hardy is on the bill with Thorn & Roses, Barrie & Ingrid, Jim Mageean and Nick Wyke & Becki Driscoll. Doors open 12.15 and tickets are £7.50.

The Sam Carter Trio kick off May on Friday May 6 ­ at Kingskerswell Parish Church, Devon. Doors open 7pm. Tickets are £13.20 including booking fee. The following night he plays Ashcroft Arts Centre, Osborn Road, Fareham, Hants. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £14 or £13 with concessions. Then on Monday May 9 The Sam Carter Trio plays ­ Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, Essex. Show starts 7.45pm and tickets are £11 or £10 with concessions. They head to the Midlands on Wednesday May 11 to play­ Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £14 with a 10% discount for friends of the theatre. On Friday May 13th Carter moves on to the Gala Theatre, Durham. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £14 or £12 with concessions. He heads back south again on Thursday May 19 to perform at ­West End Centre, Queen's Road, Aldershot. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £12 or £10 with concessions. Finally you can catch his performance on Saturday May 21 at­ The Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Whitchurch. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £12 or £10 concessions and both will incur a booking fee.

Eric Bibb
Eric Bibb's new album The Happiest Man In The World will be released on New Stony Plain Records Records May 6. The Happiest Man in the World is a 14-track gumbo of country blues songs. The album features bassist Danny Thompson. To celebrate the release of the new CD, Eric Bibb and the band created a special video (see below).
Bibb will be touring extensively in May starting on the fourth at the Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter, where the show starts 8pm and tickets are £22 plus transaction fee and the gig is standing. Then on May 7 he is joined by daughter Yana Bibb for two nights at The Stables, Stockwell Lane, Milton Keynes. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £29.50 or £28.50. On May 9 the two are joined by his band at The Apex, 1 Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £25. Then on May 11 he moves on to The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £24.50 or £22 with concessions.
The following night he will perform at The Anvil, Churchill Way, Basingstoke where the show starts 7.45pm and tickets are £26 including booking fee. On May 13 he moves on for two nights at Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London. Shows start 7.30pm and tickets are £30. Next the bluesman heads to Town Hall, Birmingham on May 16. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £26.50. He goes north on May 19 to play Queen’s Hall, 85-89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh. Doors open 6.30 and tickets are £25.30. Staying in Scotland on May 20 he plays Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauciehall Street, Glasgow. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £22.50. On May 21 he comes to the Emerald Isle to play the famous Dublin venue Vicar Street, 58-59 Thomas Street. Show starts 8pm and tickets are 33.50 Euros. Bibb heads back to Scotland on May 23 to perform at Motherwell Concert Hall, Windmill Street, Motherwell. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £28.50. On May 24 Bibb is joined by his band and daughter again for a gig at Sage, St Mary's Square, Gateshead. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £25.26 including handling fee. The ensemble then goes on the Ballroom of Sheffield City Hall, Barker's Pool, Sheffield on May 26. Doors open 7pm and tickets are £25 and may incur booking fees. Then it's on to Pavilion Arts Centre, St John's Road, Buxton on May 27. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £29.50 discounts may be available to members. The following night Bibb plays the Grand Pavilion, Esplanade, Porthcawl. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets range from £25.50 to £27.50 and concessions are available. He ends the month with Yana on May 29 at Cheese & Grain, Market Yard. Frome, Somerset. Doors open 8pm and tickets are £22.50 in advance or £26 on the night.


Moseley Folk Festival has released much of their line up for this year's gathering which includes The Levellers, Billy Bragg, The Coral, The Proclaimers, The Jayhawks, Oysterband, Laura Gibson, Steve Tilston, Galleon Blast, The Fair Rain (formerly The Old Dance School), Luke Concannon, Dan Whitehouse, Rabscallion, The Indoswiss Duo, Chris Cleverley and many other fine musicians and groups. The festival runs from Friday September 2 to September 4 and there is a wide range of ticket prices for individuals and families so check the website for the one which best suits your needs.

Award-winning singer and renowned banjo player Dan Walsh will be back on home turf on Friday May 6 where he plays the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £12.50 or £10 concessions and there is a booking fee to be added. Support will come from Pistol Pete Wearn. Then on Thursday May 12 he will be performing at the Bromsgrove Folk Club, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Worcs. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £8 for non members, £6 for members and £3.50 for under-25s.

As you are probably aware the BBC Radio2 Folk Awards were held on April 27 at the Royal Albert Hall, London and below are the winners of the various categories. Best Duo went to Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, Musician of the Year - Andy Cutting, Sam Kelly took the Horizon Award, lifetime achievement awards went to Joan Armatrading and Norma Waterson, Best Traditional Track went to Sam Lee for Lovely Molly and Sandy Denny was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Young Folk Award went to Brighde Chaimbeul and Best Original Track went to the Rheingans Sisters for Mackerel. John McCusker took the Good Tradition Award while The Unthanks walked off with Best Album for Mount The Air. Best Group went to the Young 'Uns and Rhiannon Giddens was named Folk Singer of the year. Folkall would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees and all those who helped to make the event a success.

Oysterband have put together their best of CD, This House Will Stand, which covers their work from 1998 to 2015 and will be released by Navigator Records as a CD and Download on May 27.
It's a double disc, one consisting of 15 tracks picked by the band from their last half-dozen studio albums and the other of 14 rarities, live cuts and unreleased songs.

Award-winning singer/songwriter Seth Lakeman will be closing the Big Session folk festival in Buxton. Joining Lakeman on Sunday May 1 will be Lucy Ward, another award-winning singer-songwriter from Derby. 

The first of the headline acts for the inaugural Kenilworth Arts Festival, which runs from September 12 to 18, have been announced. Among those confirmed are Rachel Sermanni, Luke Jackson and Kitty McFarlane.

Gerry Colvin has released a new album featuring 10 original songs. Six of One Half a Dozen of the Other which is available from Colvin's website or for £10 plus £2 p&p. You can of course see Colvin live as he headlines the Knitted Character Folk Festival on Saturday June 4 at Temple Grafton, Warwickshire. Among the other musicians playing will be Keith Donnelly and FleetwoodCave.

The fourth Lichfield Festival of Folk (L2F) will be taking place late this year at the city's Guildhall. The acts lined up so far include 2016 Best Group folk award winners The Young 'Uns, Folklaw, Steve Bonham &The Long Road, Blair Dunlop, Richard Digance, Ciaran Algar & Greg Russell, Peter Coe and Moore, Moss & Rutter.

Members of The National Youth Folk Ensemble can enjoy residential courses and receive expert tuition and guidance from Sam Sweeney (Artistic Director 2016-17) and leading professional folk musicians. You can apply to be part of the NYFE by registering to attend a sampler day in May or June 2016. Select your preferred venue from the list on the website and fill in the booking form.
The National Youth Folk Ensemble is an English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)programme, funded by Arts Council England.
The on Saturday May 7 between 2 and 5pm at Cecil Sharp House, London there will be May in a day where Folk Dance Remixed will be providing folk and hip hop, along with workshops that fuse traditional and contemporary art forms. Limited tickets are available on the door, advanced booking is recommended. The event is Promoted by EFDSS and supported by the Friends of Cecil Sharp House. Tickets are £8 adults, £6 under-18s and under-twos are free. You can buy tickets through Musicglue.

Christy Moore is releasing a new album called Lily on May 20. The album features 10 new songs and has been produced by Declan Sinnott.
The album is available to pre-order from Tower Records and from usual download sites. You can also catch Moore live in Dublin for two nights on May 6 and 7 at Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Shows start 8pm and tickets are 39.50 Euros.

Paul Mosley and the Red Meat Orchestra will be releasing The Butcher, a two-disc folk opera, on May 27 through Folkwit Records. Album features 20 songs from six countries. The album will be launched with a full cast gig at The Courtyard Theatre, Shoreditch, London on Thursday June 2.

Edd Donovan & The Wandering Moles have put together their second album Making Mountains Vol1. Donovan is a highly innovative musician with a distinctive style and his first album, Something To Take The Edge Off, was a real breath of fresh air. You can catch him live this month at The Cellar, Oxford on May 5, St James' Tavern, Bath on May 13 and Altitude Festival on May 21.

All information on this site was deemed correct at time of publishing and Folkall cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes to venues, prices or concerts, it is advisable to check the individual artist's and venue's websites for changes before making any commitments.

If you have news, new albums, upcoming events and shows or videos which you would like included in the next coming your way then please contact Folkall by email at, on facebook at or on twitter through @dannyfarragher.

The Mike Harding Folk Show

Wednesday 20 April 2016


CD Review

Matter of Time

One thing you can never say about Dallahan is they don't give value for money. This album is packed with great music, singing and sounds and if you listen carefully there is probably a kitchen sink in there too.

Jani Lang, Jack Badcock, Andrew Waite
and Ciaran Ryan who are Dallahan
This is the band's second album and they are part of what seems to be a resurgence of Scottish bands and musicians who are determined to take the world of folk by storm.
The quartet, who are Andrew Waite, Jani Lang, Jack Badcock and Ciaran Ryan, hit the listener right between the eyes from the off. Helping the band to bring this fascinating collection of music to fruition are Paddy Callaghan, Jarlath Henderson, Ciara McCafferty, Toby Shippey and Jenny Hill.
Logan sets the band's stall out giving you a flavour of the wide range of instruments and sounds they bring to the table. Badcock's strong but smooth voice has the body to hold its own even when surrounded by the collection of music from his fellow participants. Waite drives the rhythm along with some impressive accordion playing which is chased by the fiddle on several occasions.
In complete contrast Blow The Candle Out is a gentle ballad which opens with McCafferty's distinctive and haunting voice that sounds almost childlike and yet possesses a real depth of emotion. It matches perfectly with the equally smooth tones of Badcock. The ballad is a very restful piece which seems to draw all your tensions away. The understated backing music slides perfectly under their singing for what is a pretty complex piece of music which incorporates the gentle blowing of Shippey on trumpet.
This is followed by Harbour Of Polperro which is a collection of tunes with a more traditional feel, where it seems everyone wants to get in on the act. Unlike too many cooks spoiling the broth, this gathering has a feel of a painting where the more they add layers the more the piece comes alive and the depth and perspective all open up to reveal the whole picture.
Jarlath Henderson
The Reaper is another gentle ballad in which the tune is quite light which is at odds with the title and and lyrics which have sinister elements but what it does do is showcase Badcock's range that is highlighted once more by McCafferty.
What follows is Dutch Courage, another collection of tunes, is almost schizophrenic in that it has this traditional Celtic body but somehow has a feel which harkens back to a sixties-style which you can never quite put your finger on. The fiddle playing and Ryan's banjo picking make this tune, which is one of those that gets under your skin and whether you want to or not, some part of your body will begin moving in time to it.
Just to make sure you don't relax the fiddles and banjo keep you on your toes with Zold Erdoben which is a fast paced collection of traditional tunes from Europe which evoke scenes of locals gathering in a community hall or barn to just enjoy dancing. There are so many elements to these tunes it's easy to feel slightly punch drunk at the end, but in the nicest possible way of course.
Coming nearer home with a traditional duet of tunes Ferny Hill and First Day of Spring, the accordion on this one is loud and proud held up by the robust fiddle playing and highlighted underneath with the lovely banjo of Ryan.
Indulging in a spot of musical continent hopping Pierre's is a triplet of tunes, this time opening with an eastern European flavour before going for more of a full-blown jazz/traditional fusion.
Finally, Stretched On Your Grave, gives the listener a chance to catch their breath. Badcock produces a gentle version of the song with was popularised by Sinead O'Connor on her debut album. His singing style gives it a much lighter tone as well giving it the feel of a narrative rather than a song. Just to stop you getting too settled another triplet of tunes 'spolkas come at you in full dance mode. Ending the three pieces with a real gypsy-style traditional Hungarian tune.
The new album
The last track, There Ain't No Easy Way, takes the album out with a full sound where the chorus bears a remarkable similarity to Seth Lakeman's Portrait Of My Wife. However, this is the band going out with a bang, there are strands of jazz and rock in there along with a spattering of funk. Which pretty much sums up what Dallahan does.
They cram as much music, sound and rhythm into their performances as they can, but they do it in a way where it never sounds confused or chaotic and will give the listener ample opportunities to discover something new every time the album is played.
Dallahan seem to have found their feet and voices and are quite willing to trawl the musical seas for new and exciting sounds while always keeping their sound firmly rooted in the traditional. This album gives you your monies-worth and then some.

Matter of Time is available now through the band's website and via downloads.

You can also catch the band live on April 23 at Hatton Castle, Turriff, Aberdeenshire. Show starts at 8pm. On May 26 they play at Colvend Hall as parft of the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival. Again the show starts 8pm. The following night they are performing at Falkirk Town Hall, Falkirk. Show starts 8pm.

The Mike Harding Folk Show

Thursday 14 April 2016


CD Review

Paths That Wind

The Paul McKenna Band is celebrating it's 10th anniversary with this their fourth studio album, and if you are going to mark a milestone in your career you may as well do it with a standout album which this certainly is.

The Paul McKenna Band
It's difficult not to think of Dick Gaughan when you listen to McKenna. Although, his voice doesn't quite have the harder edge of Gaughan but more the softer refined style of Ewan McLennan. This is an album of McKenna's own arrangements and arrangements from the band which give them a new lease of life especially with track such as He Fades Away, where McKenna gives it a real empathy.
The album kicks off with a travelling song, Long Days which talks about the almost schizophrenic state of missing you home and roots but when returning missing the new found experiences, places and people you have discovered while away. It's wonderfully gentle and constructed using strands from Sean Gray and Conor Markey with Ewan Baird's rhythm keeping the travelling beat going along where you can almost see the band performing on a coach while travelling to yet another gig.
This is followed by Banks of the Moy which is a tribute to the unsung hero Michael Davitt who was a political activist. The band's arrangement of this tune certainly keeps the essence of the traditional composition but gives is a new and contemporary coat with Gray's blowing playing a great part in it's construction.
Mistaken Instrument is an instrumental triplet of Clariflute, Snorkel and Rosie. This is where album producer John McCusker, who is celebrating 25 years as a musician, gets a chunk of the limelight for what is a light and traditional set of tunes which leaps along like a spring lamb on a sunny April day.
In complete contrast He Fades Away is a poignant, sad and emotional ballad about former miners in Australia whose lives were cut short by industrial disease. In his arrangement of Alistair Hulett's song McKenna creates the atmosphere of men who should be enjoying their retirement but are too ill or dying because of working in dangerous conditions. There are such descriptive lyrics in this song such as "He fades away, a wheezing bag of bones lungs half clogged and full of clay." and "When the courts decide how much they owe him, how will he spend his money when he lies in and coughs his life away."  that you cannot fail to be moved by them.
Producer John McCusker
Tipping Point is a song McKenna wrote with Shannon Quinn and thumps in with a strong beat with Gray adding really colourful harmonies with the flute. The clipped style McKenna uses on the verses gives it a sense of urgency. Peggy Seeger composed Song of Choice and the arrangement of this song warning of the dangers of fascism opens with the brooding and ominous  sounds of McCusker on the harmonium. It then becomes almost a battle cry with McKenna hammering out the lyrics using his guitar as part strings and part percussion.
One More Time is one of McKenna's own compositions and does have a feel of an unplugged session. It is a very simple but effective ballad which McKenna executes with just his guitar and voice.
Inspired by yet another killing by American police, The Dream is about the murder of Freddie Gray which happened when the band were in the US. For such a heavy subject the music is never allowed to get mawkish but once again it's the lyrics which pack the punch.
The Greylag Geese was written by Jim Reid and the band's arrangement of it is laid back almost languorous. The strands of music paint a naturalistic image of wetlands and birds moving through the sky with ease.
The album goes out on a another triplet, this time from band member Gray. Dodging the Weather is composed of Baby Don't Weep, Dodging Lizards and Change in the Weather.
The fourth studio album
They certainly have that modern feel about them but keep their roots firmly in the traditional camp with the fiddle, whistle and guitar almost jostling for position with Markey throwing in little gems on the banjo.
Quite apart from the standard of the playing and strength of the arrangements, The Paul McKenna Band are among those musicians who believes the listener is mature enough to consume uncomfortable truths about the world and not just be entertained by something which is going to make you feel all warm and cosy.
In a world where so much is going wrong and injustice and inequality is rife we need more albums like this which draw people in with the quality of the music but then makes them sit up and take notice with the strength of their lyrics.

Paths That Wind is available now through download and from the band's website.

You can catch the band live on April 22 at Bishopton Folk Night, Bishopton, Renfrewshire. Doors open 7pm and tickets are £10 and £8. Then on April 29 they take to the stage at Biggar Corn Exchange, High Street, Biggar, South Lanarkshire. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £10.
The following night they pay Girvan Folk Festival, which runs from April 29 to May 1, where they will be on stage at the Girvan Academy from 7.30pm. For ticket prices and information see the festival website. The band then have two nights at the Moniaive Folk Festival, Moniaive on May 7 and 8 where they join Northern Harmony and Martin Simpson.

The Mike Harding Folk Show

Monday 4 April 2016


CD Review


On paper the idea of making an instrumental album simply using harmonica and accordion doesn't sound such a great idea, however add the names of Will Pound and Eddy Jay and you have to take it seriously.

Will Pound and Eddy Jay
Pound and Jay have been involved in numerous and eclectic projects during their career, so whether this first album from the pairing is a one-off or a lasting collaboration remains to be seen.
But for now it's time to enjoy and revel in the boldness of the two maestros as they bring their respective talents together in what is a thoroughly enjoyable and evocative album of music and arrangements which are highly original.
Coming in like a train, opener Floating Candle rushes in to Jay's staccato bellows going 20 to the dozen before Pound's gobiron catches up and, from then on, it's a battle neither of them wants to win as they bounce their notes off each other like a blacksmith's hammer shaping red hot metal on an anvil.
Pound take presidence for the first part of the following track Barbarini's Tambourine, a tune from the 18th century inspired by Italian ballerina Barbara Campanini. Jay keeps a breathy, almost twitchy accompaniment as his notes dance along in sharp and precise fashion.
The Crooked Reel is the duo's playful arrangement of a French/Canadian creation. The pair are clearly enjoying themselves on this track and each player seems to be challenging the other to cram as many notes as they can into this fast-paced and highly entertaining piece of music. You can't help but notice Pound is showing off but you when you have his skill on the bone it's an indulgence to thoroughly enjoy.
Barbara Campanini
By the time you get to Clinch Mountain Backstep you begin to think Pound has the lung capacity of killer whale and Jay has more fingers than he is letting on. The energy of this bluegrass and blues tune is absolutely stunning and it's hard to understand where some of the sounds produced during the rendition come from.
Whether intended or not this an incredibly nostalgic piece, if you are of a certain age or a Spike Milligan fan then the duo's composition of Richard III is reminiscent of the interludes the BBC played during The Goon Show. They have caught the mood of swing music perfectly as well as captured a retro feel which is also spot on.
In comparison to the preceding tracks, Hangman has an almost lazy pace to it and Jay's use of the bellows gives it a feeling of old radio days when the sound used to fade in and out. This perfectly complements Pound's ability to add a slide to his parts on the harmonica which gives the piece a really unique character.
The Reckoning, composed by Pound, is the cleanest of the tracks in as much as it carries it's originality banner high. It neither alludes to the past nor is based on an arrangement and as such shows just how good they are in creating something from scratch. Pound again employs his rapid-fire technique with Jay underwriting it with the staccato breath of the bellows.
Their arrangement of an Andy Cutting tune, Flatworld, have an almost laid-back European feel to it especially with Jay providing a sound which could have been lifted straight off the streets of Montmartre. Pound even adds a tango style judder to his playing to give it even more interest.
The Barrowburn Reel is an arrangement of Addie Harper's tune. Jay and Pound give this a jazz slant with long drawn out notes on the harmonica and the accordion pumping in and out between.
The new album
The two musicians create a real urgency with Eklundapolska No 3. The staccato style used by both musicians gives it both a quick pace and sense of time running out, as if they are cutting the notes short to ensure they get every single one in. However, even within this Pound finds time to add some real highlights going up into the higher ends of the scale as Jay almost adds the rhythm section with his playing.
The album ends with music from the Balkans. With Rachenista, the duo capture the spirit of the region and the pace of the traditional dances associated with it perfectly. More than any other track on this mesmerising album you wonder how just two musicians can make so much sound and uncannily spread their tunes across what seems to be a range of instruments.
Ignite is bold, daring and extremely well executed. Pound and Jay have done what shouldn't have been feasible and not only have they done it well but they have set the bar pretty high for anyone who wants to follow in their footsteps.

Ignite is released on April 8 on the Concertone Label and distributed through Proper Music.

There will be two album launch events first as a live streamed gig from The Convent, Stroud on April 14 and then on April 18 they will do the London launch at The Green Note. You can also catch them at the Costa del Folk from April 24 to 25. The Big Session Festival, Buxton on April 30.

Sunday 3 April 2016


CD Review


Right from the opening notes on this second album from the trio Nordic Fiddlers Bloc you get a sense of their energy and passion for their music. The fiddle playing comes at you like a burst of machine gun fire from a strafing fighter plane.

The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Anders
Hall, Olav Luksengård Mjelva
and Kevin Henderson
Talons Trip to Thompson Island was composed by Scot Kevin Henderson and named by a woman who won a competition following a week at Boston Harbor Fiddle School.
At first is has the power you associate with Seth Lakeman but then opens out into a fantastic display of strings involving the composer and fellow band members Norwegian Olav Luksengard Mjelva and Anders Hall from Sweden.
The way they weave the rapid sound of the fiddles in with the slower pace of the viola is a real treat and sets their stall out as trio who can create and execute complex sets of music while keeping earthed in the folk tradition.
Their arrangement of Flinken, a traditional tune, is a more sombre affair and for the first time you get a feel for the depth of sound they create between them. The music of the strings stabs through the air and moves along to what is almost a fusion with a classical style which is reminiscent of Vivaldi's winter from The Four Seasons and, at nearly six minutes, is the longest piece on the album.
This finally gives way to Hjaltaren which, of course, as everyone knows is the old Norse name for the Shetlands. This composition from Mjelva is inspired by the Vikings and does have a beefy militaristic section followed by a much lighter dance tune where the strings seem to imitate the bagpipes. Again it carries the same energy and they seem to be pushing their strings to the limit, extracting every last sound out of the playing.
The Hen Hunt has a slightly jaunty feel considering it's about the loss of 250,000 chickens in a tremendous storm. It has a mountain style feel to the playing which is languorous, thoughtful but never heavy or stodgy.
A gentle pizzicato style brings in the title track which was written by Mjelva while touring his native country. This again is another thoughtful piece which carries you along at a steady pace using the players' strings to create distinctive strands which weave in and out of each other.
The Devil's Polska (DJavulspolskan) starts as you would imagine with the toetapping beat of a dance, the strong bowing giving the tune a strength where you are almost compelled to move to the beat. Interestingly towards the end it does take on a gentler feel, the considered sawing of the bow across the strings giving it a really light touch.
It's inevitable with folk music that sooner or later the tunes will include, death, betrayal, sex and or drinking. Well, In the Lounge is the band's tribute to one of their favourite pubs in Lerwick. It's another which fuses a traditional style with a more classical bent and considering the tune is about an ale house the band never short changes the listener.
The new album Deliverance
Hall's Little Waltz is another of their arrangements which is light, pleasant and conjures up images of couples observing the niceties of the dance.
This tune leans more towards the classical side of their playing for the first half but then seems to take a more relaxed approach where the downbeats are more definite and, as on all their tracks, the combination of the fiddles, including the octave and Hardanger, and viola are put together superbly and with inspiring precision.
They go for straight-between-the-eyes traditional with Lorna's Reel which has that combination of hoedown, highland and Celtic DNA. It is executed with a lively passion and thorough respect for the traditional music.  If this doesn't get your feet tapping then you should check they are still attached to your legs.
The album closes with Year of Sorrow which doesn't really live up to its title, because although it is a thoughtful and crafted piece of music it still has a lightness about it.  The musicians create a real wash of sound where parts of it have a definite throaty quality which the listener can really get their teeth into.
This album may not ring a bell with all folkies and may be a little classical sounding for some but what can never be questioned are the quality, strength and skill of the playing from Hall, Mjelva and Henderson.

Deliverance is out now on NFB Records and is available from the band's website and through Higland and Proper Distribution.

You can see them live at Kingskerswell Parish Church, Newton Abbot on April 26; Heath Street Baptist Church, London on April 27; Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham on April 28; Denholm Church, Denholm, Scottish Borders on April 29 and Kilbarchan Arts Centre, Scotland on April 30.