The Folk Forecast: 13–26 Sep 2021

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff, Tom Kitching's Seasons of Change, Paul Sartin, Daisy Chute, Sam Carter and a new release from Spiers & Boden!

Hello, and welcome back to The Folk Forecast! Sorry it’s been a little while - I’ve been making the switch to self-employment and have had quite a bit to catch up with after a hectic few weeks. As life picks up, it’s been quite tricky to juggle things at times, but I’m fortunate to now be working for myself as a freelance folk music marketer, agent, writer and more. I don’t think I could have got there without the doors that have opened for me through doing The Folk Forecast, so thanks to all of you for your support.

Without further ado, here’s what’s in store over the next couple of weeks - sit tight, it’s a busy one! Here’s this week’s playlist too, to get you in the mood…

Listen to the playlist


Tuesday Folk People: Joe Holtaway — 8pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

Home Stage are hosting ‘Tuesday Folk People’ every week, with different artists invited along each time to showcase their music and tell us their story. On 14 September the guest was Joe Holtaway, and although it’s already aired, it’s still available to watch on YouTube.

Free to view

Find out more


Daisy Chute — 7pm BST


Daisy Chute is a folk/Americana singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and regular on the London music scene. She’ll be joined by Jack Tustin, as they perform a set of original music with influences from folk and Americana. There will also be a short interview with Daisy and Jack at the end, as they talk about their musical influences and what it’s been like playing online gigs. The set was filmed in a single take and in full high definition at The Rattle, in Tobacco Dock in East London.

Standard tickets £10, with options to pay a bit more or less.

Find out more

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff — Various showings from 15—18 September

Produced by Northern Stage, The Young’uns and Harbourfront Centre Toronto with thanks to the Imperial War Museum

Featuring songs from the original album, alongside new material and stunning animation, Teesside folk trio The Young’uns perform their theatrical version of The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff, this time with Jack Rutter stepping into Michael’s shoes.

This is the true story of one man’s journey from poverty and unemployment in Stockton on Tees, through the Hunger Marches of the 1930s, the mass trespass movement and the Battle of Cable Street, to fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War. In a timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure, follow the footsteps of a working class hero who chose not to look the other way when the world needed his help, and took part in some of the momentous events of the 1930s. The show is also touring to Newcastle upon Tyne, Hull, Oxford and York if you fancy seeing it in person.

Tickets £15 single viewer / £25 household

Find out more


Jo Freya — Online Instrumental Ensemble 20: Tunes from Blowzabella album Vanilla* — 7pm BST

Jo Freya

In this four-week online course, you’ll learn tunes from Blowzabella’s iconic album, Vanilla. As well as learning the tunes themselves, you’ll have the chance to work as a group to create ensemble arrangements of the tunes, which Jo will compile so you can hear how it all comes together! All instruments and abilities are welcome, and it’s a great opportunity to learn something new and meet likeminded people from around the world. There are only 2 places left on the course, so don’t delay if you fancy taking part!

Tickets £40 minimum donation for a 4-week course. Sessions will take place from 7-8pm on 16th September, 30th September, 7th October and 14th October.

Find out more

The Magpies — 7.30pm BST

Rosslyn Court

Based on a deep musical friendship, The Magpies work collaboratively, arranging material led by powerful vocals and glittering instrumental ornamentation. They each draw on their wide-ranging influences to create a unique blend of transatlantic folk, transporting audiences to distant lands and ‘making waves wherever they play’ (Phil Beer, Show of Hands). The first hour of the performance will be livestreamed, with the second half being exclusively for the in-person audience.

Livestream free to view, with donations encouraged.

Find out more


Alistair Anderson & Dan Walsh — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

Alistair Anderson (concertina & Northumbrian pipes) has been blazing a trail for the music of Northumberland and beyond for close on five decades, while Dan Walsh (banjo, guitar and vocals) is fast establishing himself as one of the finest young performers around. Both open-minded, thoughtful musicians with a love of both the traditional and the distinctly ‘off the wall’, they share a chemistry on stage which delights audiences and builds a very special energy on stage.

Tickets £7.50, with the option to pay more to support the artists and venue. Stream is available to view for a week.

Find out more


Virtual Clog Dance Workshop Weekend — 18 & 19 September

In lieu of the Lancashire & Cheshire Clog Dance Competition, a weekend of virtual clogging is being held instead. Dances to be covered are as follows:

  • Beginners: Whitby Toesday Waltz for Beginners with Melanie Barber

  • Improvers: Old Lancs A with Jon Davison

  • Intermediate: Crown Hornpipe with Rachel O’Neil & Carol Nutter

There will also be a Saturday night social with music and dance, displays, fun and games.

Tickets £20

Find out more


Hudson Records Songwriting Masterclass: ‘Fairytales & Ballads’ with Emily Portman — 11am BST

Hudson Records

Hudson Records are running a series of songwriting masterclasses, giving you the chance to learn from some of the finest songwriters around! This time, Emily Portman will be sharing her insights on fairytales and ballads.

Attendance is on a ‘pay what you can’ basis - email to sign up.

Find out more

Ninebarrow: Wandering Minstrels Episode 4 — 7pm BST


Ninebarrow are heading off on a brand-new adventure in search of the elusive Dartford Warbler. They’ll bring you three live performances from out in the landscape, and they’ll be catching up with Christina Alden and Alex Patterson for a chat and an exclusive live track too. Gather together, grab a bottle of the good stuff, and enjoy an evening of music, chat and good company!

Free to view.

Find out more


Lester Simpson & Nigel Corbett* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Lester Simpson & Nigel Corbett present Quay of Sea, live on Zoom! Quay of Sea reflects Lester's love of the sea, drawing on his own songs as well as favourites from other writers and nautical songs from the tradition. With Lester on accordion, ukelele and vocals, and Nigel on guitar, bouzouki and fiddle, the duo explore stories, songs and tunes to make you laugh, cry and sing along!

Tickets £15, with options to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

Find out more

Tuesday Folk People: Jo Freya* — 8pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

The second ‘Tuesday Folk People’ of this issue is with multi-instrumentalist and all-round folk legend Jo Freya. Tune in for music and chat about her career so far.

Free to view

Find out more


Tom Kitching: Seasons of Change Book & Album Launch* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Join Tom Kitching live from the Guide Bridge Theatre as he shares the music and stories from 18 months of busking around England. Tom will be joined by Norwegian mandola player, Marit Fält, for this very special launch gig for the Seasons of Change book and album.

This is a hybrid event with a live audience at the Guide Bridge Theatre in Manchester as well as an online audience watching the livestream from home. For in-person tickets, click here.

Tickets £15, with options to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

Find out more

Christina Alden & Alex Patterson — 7.30pm BST

Rosslyn Court

Christina Alden and Alex Patterson are songwriters and multi-instrumentalists from Norwich. They have been playing and singing together for the last seven years and have toured extensively in the UK and Europe – including a twenty three date tour with Show Of Hands, a show at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for Celtic Connections and main stage performances at some of the UK’s most prestigious folk festivals. Their first duo album, Hunter, was Record of the Week back in May! The first hour of this performance will be livestreamed, with the second half being exclusively for the in-person audience.

Livestream free to view, with donations encouraged.

Find out more


Sam Carter: Home Waters in Concert* — 7.30pm BST

Sam Carter on Bandcamp

Sam Carter presents Home Waters in Concert as part of his Autumn tour. He'll be joined by the Home Waters String Quartet (Marie Schreer, John Garner, Jean Pierre Garde and Mark Carroll), and producer and bassist Ian Stephenson. This was the first gig Sam had played with other musicians since the pandemic, which added an extra level of poignancy to the performance. It’s been captured with a professional five-camera set-up and studio-quality audio so will be really beautiful to watch. Sam will be tuning into the stream on the night to chat and answer your questions.

Tickets £10 minimum

Find out more


Paul Sartin* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

As a singer, oboist, violinist, composer and arranger, Paul Sartin has performed and recorded extensively with Belshazzar’s Feast, Faustus, Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings and multi-award-winning big band Bellowhead. Now, for the first time, Paul will be presenting his solo show, with a special preview for Live to your Living Room. Drawing especially on his musical heritage and Hampshire traditions, Paul’s solo show will embrace the many strands of his involvement in English traditional folk music.

Tickets £15, with options to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

Find out more

Highlights in person

This week’s playlist

Head over to this week’s playlist to hear a selection of tracks from artists featured in this issue. Listen to something new, and see which gigs you might fancy going to!

Find out more

Record of the week

Record of the Week is the much-anticipated Fallow Ground by Spiers & Boden, which will be released on 17th September. A decade after their last release as a duo, this is a welcome return for one of the best loved acts on the UK folk scene. Featuring their signature blend of infectious melodies and captivating ballads, this is Spiers & Boden as you know and love them, with one slight change: they’ve gone all cheerful. Speaking about the release, Boden said:

“I guess we were looking for songs during lockdown with a sense of fun and light relief. I realise that there are zero songs about death on this album, which is probably a first and may get us expelled from the English Folk Dance & Song Society. Yes, traditional songs with a joyous edge”.

Spiers & Boden will be taking the album on tour through September and October, so keep an eye out for dates near you!

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The Folk Forecast is created for artists, for audiences and for the UK folk scene. All information is correct to the best of our knowledge. If you have queries about the events listed, please contact the artists or promoters. If you have any suggestions for inclusion in future newsletters, please email We may not be able to include absolutely everything, but we’re interested in UK folk events with a broad appeal, and would particularly welcome suggestions from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Folk Forecast is compiled by one person, so please bear with me if I can’t get back to you right away.

* Alongside The Folk Forecast, I work with other organisations including Folk on Foot, Fancourt Music, Live to Your Living Room, English Folk Expo and Polyphony Arts, as well as individual artists including Jo Freya. Events where I have some involvement with the promoter, agency or artist are marked with a star for transparency. Although I have other affiliations, I strive to be fair and inclusive and tell you about anything I think you’ll enjoy!