The Folk Forecast: 16–29 Aug 2021

Whitby@Home and Home-made Towersey, plus Jim Moray, Chris Cleverley and more news from the world of folk.

Hello, and welcome back to The Folk Forecast! I hope you’re all having a lovely summer. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, including going to see Leveret and Katie Doherty & The Navigators with English Folk Expo* last week, both of which were really amazing gigs. If you’re feeling a bit jealous, you can still catch the livestreams where I’ve linked them above!

Over the next fortnight, we’ve got online festivals from Whitby and Towersey, a revisit to St George’s Bristol with Jim Moray and an album launch gig from Chris Cleverley. Things are a bit quiet over August, but there’s lots more in store in September to tell you about next time.

In the meantime, I hope you’re keeping well and getting back to doing some of your favourite things! Here’s this week’s playlist, so you’ve got something to listen to whatever you get up to.

Listen to the playlist


Whitby at Home — Various events from 21-27 August

Whitby Folk Week

Enjoy a whole week of online events with Whitby@Home, which kicks off on Saturday! There will be concerts each day, as well as ceilidhs, workshops, sessions, special events and even a virtual parade and paddle in the sea (because you can’t go to Whitby without one).

Here’s a list of concerts and ceilidhs for each day, but for full details of workshops, sessions and lots more, keep an eye on the Whitby Folk Week website!

  • Saturday 21 August

    3pm – Rob van Sante & Janie Meneely; Alistair Russell

    6.30pm – An hour with festival patrons, Melrose Quartet

    8.00pm - Ceilidh with Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer and Bob Morgan

    9.30pm – Sara Grey; George Sansome & Matt Quinn

  • Sunday 22 August

    3pm – Jim Mageean & Graeme Knights; Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

    8pm - Contra dance with Take Three and Charlotte Rich-Griffin

    9.30pm – Pull for the Shore - an evening of songs and stories in support of Whitby Lifeboat. Featuring Taffy Thomas, with John Conolly, Keith Donnelly, Jim & Lynette Eldon, Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones, The Keelers, The Wilsons and special guests

  • Monday 23 August

    3pm – Will & Pippa Noble; Martyn Wyndham-Read

    7pm – Brian Peters; Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones

    8pm - Cyber Playford with Daisy Black & Andrew Swaine and The Whole Hannekin

    10pm – Late night with the Wilsons

  • Tuesday 24 August

    3pm – Jim Woodland; Damien Barber

    8pm – Whitby@Home Music Hall - Keith Donnelly introduces a mix of live and pre-recorded acts along with archive, with Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner, Johnny Handle, Lancashire Wallopers, Maggie Moore & Stan Bloor, John Conolly and Peter & Barbara Snape

  • Wednesday 25 August

    3pm – Tribute to Keith Marsden

    6pm - Cliff Barstow Memorial Jig Competition

    9.30pm – Roisin Ban; Pete Morton

  • Thursday 26 August

    3pm – John Bowden & Vic Shepherd; Notts Alliance

    7pm – Paul Bellamy & Lynn Haynes; Benammi Swift; Crows

    8.30pm - Themed Ceilidh with Jess & Rich Arrowsmith and Martyn Harvey

  • Friday 27 August

    3pm – Ancestral Voices Reimagined - featuring Taffy Thomas and Mossy Christian

    7pm – John Kirkpatrick; Choras; Eliza Carthy

    9pm - Zooming Heather - Whitby Folk Week traditionally ends with everyone joining in the chorus of Wild Mountain Thyme, which will once again be led for us by Will Noble. Watch out for the opportunity to record yourselves and join in!

Concerts will be premiered on the Whitby Folk Week at Home YouTube Channel and ceilidhs will be on Zoom. Workshops and other events may vary - check the website for full details.

Free to attend, with donations to the festival and artists encouraged.

Find out more


National Youth Folk Ensemble — 3pm BST

English Folk Dance and Song Society

See a performance from the National Youth Folk Ensemble, streamed live from Cecil Sharp House. The National Youth Folk Ensemble celebrates excellence in youth folk music. It brings together talented young folk musicians from across England to create and perform inspiring new arrangements of folk music and work with leading folk artists. You can also catch them at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival!

Free to view

Find out more


Jim Moray Live From St George’s, Bristol* — 8pm BST

Jim Moray on YouTube

Live at St Georges is a concert film recorded in the beautiful surroundings of St George’s in Bristol, and originally streamed last summer. Tune in for a repeat streaming on YouTube, free to watch, on Tuesday 24th August at 8pm BST.

Containing songs from across Jim’s career, the show is in two halves with a short interval - just like being at a gig! Recorded and filmed with six cameras in HD, it uses the space of the empty concert hall to enhance the songs. At the time of recording, Jim said, “I often feel like the time I sing best is during soundchecks - when you are in a great acoustic, before the audience arrives, when the sound of your voice feels like it is naturally the size of the room you are in. I wanted to find a way to record that for my first full online gig”.

Free to view, with donations to Jim’s tip jar encouraged.

Get a reminder on YouTube

Tuesday Folk People: Bob Fox — 9.30pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

Home Stage have been hosting ‘Tuesday Folk People’ every fortnight, with artists being invited to showcase their music and tell us their story. This week, tune in for music and chat with songman Bob Fox.

Free to view

Find out more


Chris Cleverley Online Album Launch (with special guest Lucy Farrell) — 8pm BST

Chris Cleverley

Chris Cleverley’s new album, The Glass Isle, was last issue’s Record of the Week. Keen to provide a launch gig for those unable to make the tour dates at physical venues, Chris will be doing a special online album launch. He will be joined by the incredible Lucy Farrell, who will be broadcasting her spellbinding music live from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Tickets ‘pay what you can’ by donating on Paypal.

Find out more


Home-made Towersey: Part 2

Towersey Folk Festival

On Saturday 28th August, Towersey Folk Festival will be marking another missed festival year with a day of music, craft, celebrations and most importantly community (i.e. YOU!). The day will include Postcards from Scotland (featuring artists including Blue Rose Code, Iona Fyfe, Elephant Sessions, Skerryvore and lots more!), messages and music from Towersey artists past and present, a Towersey Quiz, a ceilidh, yoga, mindfulness and wellbeing talks, craft workshops, a Zoom social, plus an exclusive release of 2022 tickets on the day.

Anyone that had a ticket for the festival this year and anyone that has donated to help keep Towersey alive over the last 18 months will be sent a unique invite on Friday 27th ready for the fun on the next day. It’s not too late to donate to the crowdfunder if you want to bag an invite!

Find out more


The Gigspanner Big Band Livestream from the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury — 7.30pm BST

The Gigspanner Big Band

The Gigspanner Big Band are a unique force in British folk music. Their high-energy, virtuosic performances appeal equally to traditionalists and to those looking for something more experimental. Beginning life as a trio - with legendary Steeleye Span fiddle player Peter Knight being joined by percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack - the line-up has been expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Edgelarks (Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin) and Bellowhead co-founder and melodeon player extraordinaire, John Spiers. This special edition concert will also feature additional sets from Knight & Spiers, The Edgelarks and the Gigspanner trio.

Tickets £15 single, £25 couple or £40 for family and friends, plus booking fee. The livestream is available to watch for 2 weeks.

Find out more

Regular events

Thousandth song in the Folk Song Subject Index

In a significant milestone for the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, the thousandth song has recently been added to the Library’s Folk Song Subject Index. The song in question is The loss of the Ramillies (Roud 523), which commemorates the shipwreck of HMS Ramillies on the Devon coast in 1760.

To mark the milestone, Lisa Knapp has recorded her version of the song, which you can listen to here:

Find out more

A Place to Fall to Pieces

Created and performed by Isobel and Anna Hughes, A Place To Fall To Pieces is a search for roots — a love letter to the places we have been but never been from. With original composition, spoken word, storytelling and song, Anna and Isobel take you on a lyrical journey, through memory and magic and earth, to seek the indelible mark our country leaves on us, and where the permanence of Home truly lies.

Previously broadcast by The Space, London, the show is now available online on demand as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tickets are £12, with options to pay a bit less depending on what you can afford.

Find out more

Shrewsbury Folk Festival

This is in person rather than online, but just a reminder that one of the biggest dates in the folk calendar, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, is coming up from 27-30 August! Artists include Kate Rusby, Oysterband, Show of Hands, Afro Celt Sound System, Seth Lakeman, The Young’Uns and lots, lots more. Day tickets (from £37) and weekend tickets are available.

Find out more

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 Wishing Tree by Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, an album with a carefree spirit that feels like a breath of fresh air after the year we’ve all had. From the moment I pressed play, I was filled with nostalgia as I realised, this is how music used to feel. Naturally, much of the music produced by artists over the last year or so has explored feelings about the pandemic and lockdown, and like most aspects of our lives, there’s been a heaviness and a sense of something missing. In that respect, The Wishing Tree feels like coming home, and although it’s sprung out of the troubled times we live in, it’s filled with joy and hope for the future. With any luck, those wishes will soon start coming true.

The album is out on 27th August and will be toured in November, so check out the tour dates to see if they’re coming anywhere near you!

Get your copy

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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’m associated with other organisations on the folk scene, including Folk on Foot, Fancourt Music, Live to Your Living Room and English Folk Expo. Events where I have some involvement with the promoter or agency are marked with a star. Although I have other affiliations, I strive to be fair and inclusive and tell you about anything I think you’ll enjoy!