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.
SATURDAY 21 AUGUST
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!
Free to attend, with donations to the festival and artists encouraged.
MONDAY 23 AUGUST
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
TUESDAY 24 AUGUST
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.
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
THURSDAY 26 AUGUST
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.
SATURDAY 28 AUGUST
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!
SATURDAY 28 AUGUST
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.
‘Almost Acoustic’ with Eliza Carthy on Radio Scarborough - Mondays at 8pm. The show is also repeated through the week, so you can catch up if you miss it.
The Folk Club on Clubhouse - The Folk Room with Eliza Carthy is held on Wednesdays at 7pm and the Traditional Ballad and Songs Session is on Thursdays at 7pm. You’ll need to join the Clubhouse app to come along.
Afternoon Tea with Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer - Concerts are held on Fridays at 4pm on Facebook.
Tim Edey’s Sleeping Tunes - Concerts are often held on Saturdays at 10pm on Facebook.
‘Folk from the Boat’ - a YouTube series exploring traditional songs and tunes with Anna Tam, as she travels through Britain’s waterways on her canal boat.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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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 TheFolkForecast@gmail.com. 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!