The Folk Forecast: 26 July–1 Aug 2021

Sharon Shannon, Anna Massie, Gigspanner, an insight into the life of Eliza Carthy and the Burwell Bash.

Hello, and welcome back to The Folk Forecast! Lots of exciting things to look forward to this week, from Sharon Shannon, Anna Massie and Eliza Carthy to Gigspanner and an online summer school with the Burwell Bash.

I’m off on a little holiday to Scotland for a few days (hurrah!) so I’m sending this a bit early. I hope you’re all having lovely summers too. Here’s this week’s playlist, for something to listen to whatever you’re up to!

Listen to the playlist


Sharon Shannon Live at DeBarra's Folk Club — 8pm BST (the website says GMT but I think this should be BST!)

Sharon Shannon / Mandolin

Sharon Shannon, Jim Murray and Jack Maher recorded this gig live from DeBarra's Folk Club in Clonakilty, West Cork on February 12th 2020, just a few weeks before the COVID 19 pandemic really started to shut down the world. It’s now being released as a livestream for everyone to enjoy.  

Tickets $15 (approx £11)

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Burwell Bash — Workshops from 27th to 29th July

Burwell Bash

Burwell Bash is running online this year, with workshops from Andy Cutting, Brian Finnegan, Jock Tyldesley, Katherine Mann, Ed Boyd and Tola Custy. There will be workshops for tin whistle, flute, fiddle, guitar and melodeon, exploring a variety of tunes, traditions and techniques. There will also be a tutor’s concert, Q&A and opportunities to socialise and share tunes in sessions.

Tickets available by donating to the event - suggested donation of £60-80 for the full 3-day course.

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Tuesday Folk People: Sean Dagher and Kim & Phil Biggs — 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 Canadian performer and composer Sean Dagher and folk duo Kim & Phil Biggs, regulars at my home folk club in Spalding!

Free to view

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Anna Massie* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Anna Massie is one of Scotland’s foremost guitarists, as well as excelling on fiddle, mandolin and tenor banjo. Renowned for her work with Blazin’ Fiddles and Mairearad Green, the past few years have also seen Anna perform with her own band, as well as Bella Hardy, Julie Fowlis, Kate Rusby, Karen Matheson, Capercaillie and Eddi Reader. She’s also been nominated three times as Best Instrumentalist at the Scots Trad Music Awards and won the Trad Music in the Media award this year.

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

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Home Stage: Eliza Carthy — 8pm BST

Home Stage

Home Stage present an evening of conversation and exclusive performances with multi-award winning and critically acclaimed folk singer and musician Eliza Carthy. With her CV boasting an MBE, 8 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, 2 Mercury Prize Nominations, the Songlines World Music Award, the Hamlyn Award for Artists, and the Folkling Award, the impact Eliza’s fantastic music has had on the British folk scene in second to none.

Tickets £5

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The Cusp — 7.30pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

The Cusp are a contemporary instrumental trio consisting of fiddle player Imogen Bose Ward (Balter), harpist Ada Francis (LYRAS, Benjamin Fitzgerald) and percussionist Will Hammond (Ceitidh Mac, Martha Hill). They explore the lines between traditional folk music and more alternative perspectives.

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

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The Gigspanner Big Band Livestream from The Pavilion Teignmouth — 8pm BST

Peter Knight’s Gigspanner

In the wake of his departure from Steeleye Span, legendary fiddle player Peter Knight has turned his full attention to his trio Gigspanner, and in the process established their reputation as one of the most genuinely ground-breaking forces on the British folk scene. Catch them playing live from Teignmouth, wherever you are in the world!

Tickets £15 single, £25 for a couple or £40 for a group watching together.

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The Heathen Kings — 8.30pm BST

Folk at the Grove

Folk at the Grove presents The Heathen Kings, an energetic folk trio from Yorkshire. Performing traditional, self-penned and borrowed folk music from the British Isles and further afield, their sound shifts from calm, tender duets to full, high energy pieces, and delicate unaccompanied singing. This gig has been rescheduled a couple of times so that’s why you may have seen it listed before!

Free to view, with donations encouraged to the tip jar.

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Folk, Shanty & Beer Festival with special guest Martin Carthy - Various events all weekend

Home Stage / The Harbour Room

Home Stage and The Harbour Room are celebrating the return of live music events with their Folk, Shanty and Beer Festival, which is being livestreamed as well as available to attend in person. There are a whopping 20 acts taking part across the two days. Martin Carthy will be performing at 8pm BST on Saturday. Other guests include Peter Sanpher and Steve Evans, Maddy Leedham of The Leedham Sisters, The Browns, Tony Purdy, The Fried Pirates, The Old Wild Rovers and more.

Tickets £5 for Martin Carthy’s gig, with the rest being available to view for free.

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Tall Shaves — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

The North East’s folk-pop treasure Tall Shaves are back with their signature upbeat and feel-good songs. They’ve been busy writing over lockdown and are ready to share their new music.

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

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A J Clarke with Julia Porter — 7.30pm BST

Rosslyn Court

A J Clarke will be showcasing new material in this gig for Rosslyn Court, supported by his partner Julia Porter. The first hour of the performance will be livestreamed, with the second half being exclusively for the in-person audience. If you’re local to Margate, you could also go along in person.

Livestream free to view, with donations encouraged.

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Regular events

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!

Listen to the playlist

Record of the week

Record of the Week is Live At Cooper Hall by Cara Dillon. Many of you will remember Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman’s two beautiful concerts at Cooper Hall, which provided a bit of light during the darkness of lockdown. Songs from those concerts have now been selected and compiled into an album, including two previously unreleased songs, The Water Is Wide and Come Flying With Me, and lots of old favourites. The album is out on 6th August and is available to pre-order now.

Find out more

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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!