The Folk Forecast: 30 Aug–12 Sep 2021

Peter Knight's Gigspanner, the Fay Hield Band, The Spooky Men's Chorale and the Official Folk Albums Chart Show.

Hello, and welcome back to The Folk Forecast! I hope you’ve all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. I’ve gathered up all the folk news I could muster below, from Peter Knight’s Gigspanner to the Fay Hield Band, The Spooky Men’s Chorale and lots more. As the UK continues to open up, I’m also going to start including a few highlights from in-person gigs as well as digital news.

There’s quite a blend of artists featured in this issue, making for an eclectic playlist, as ever! Happy listening, and I’ll see you again next time.

Listen to the playlist


TUESDAY 31 AUGUST


Tuesday Folk People: Green Heron — 8pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

Home Stage are now hosting ‘Tuesday Folk People’ every week, with different artists invited along each time to showcase their music and tell us their story. Tune in on 31st August for music and chat with folk duo Green Heron.

Free to view — you can also catch up afterwards if you miss it.

Find out more


THURSDAY 2 SEPTEMBER


Gerry Colvin Duo — 7.30pm BST

Rosslyn Court

Songwriter and showman Gerry Colvin writes material that ranges from the caustically political to the melancholically romantic. 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


FRIDAY 3 SEPTEMBER


Avanc (National Youth Folk Ensemble of Wales) — 8pm BST

Avanc

Avanc, the National Youth Folk Ensemble of Wales, will be streaming their first ever online concert on Friday 3rd September. As the band have not been able to perform live since the start of the pandemic, the stream will be a chance for people to see all the new music that they have developed after their search through the National Library of Wales’ digital archive. Despite having had no face-to-face contact for over 500 days, the innovative young band set about writing a whole album’s worth of brand new repertoire, and decided to go back to their roots and raid the national archives for inspiration. The result is a totally fresh and innovative take on some of Wales’s oldest surviving music, delivered by the most exciting and talented young musicians this nation has to offer - not to be missed!

Tickets £10

Find out more

SATURDAY 4 SEPTEMBER


Martin Stephenson, Nev Clay & Shippy — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

Acclaimed songster Martin Stephenson heads down from his home in Inverness to do a one-off, relaxing and intimate ‘in the round’ style show with his two local musician pals Nev Clay & Graham ‘Shippy’ Shipcote. Martin recently featured on BBC 2 with the great Billy Connolly and has been one of the UK’s best-loved musicians for nearly 40 years. The three songwriters will pass songs around and tell stories in between, making for an exciting and unique performance at The Globe.

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


MONDAY 6 SEPTEMBER


Peter Knight’s Gigspanner* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

In the wake of his departure from Steeleye Span, legendary fiddle player Peter Knight has turned his attention to his trio Gigspanner, and in the process established their reputation as one of the most ground-breaking forces on the British folk scene. British traditional music forms the bedrock of the trio’s repertoire, but the approach is what sets it apart, leaving enough room with the arrangements to spread and stretch the music in the moment.

This is Gigspanner’s first full livestream concert as a trio. Live to your Living Room gigs allow for interaction between the artist and audience, so you can applaud and even have the chance to ask questions.

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

Find out more


TUESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER


The Official Folk Albums Chart Show* — 7pm BST

Folk on Foot website, YouTube and podcast feed. Commissioned by English Folk Expo and compiled by the Official Charts Company.

See which albums have made the Official Folk Albums Chart this month, with Folk on Foot. Packed with stories, music and exclusive content, this is always a joy to watch. I’ll also be on the show to talk about the latest folk news.

Free to access, but you can support the podcast by becoming a patron.

Find out more


Tuesday Folk People: Pam & Noel Betowski — 8pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

In the second ‘Tuesday Folk People’ session of this issue, it’s time for Pam and Noel Betowski to share their music and stories.

Free to view — you can also catch up afterwards if you miss it.

Find out more


Covid Sings Singaround — 8pm BST

Soundpost

If you’re missing your usual folk club or singaround, join Fay Hield and fellow folkies from near and far to swap songs over Zoom. Covid Sings is held on the first Tuesday of every month.

Free to attend.

Find out more


WEDNESDAY 8 SEPTEMBER


Fay Hield Band* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Born and raised in Yorkshire, folk artist and academic Fay Hield seemed destined to carve a career in traditional folk music. Following the 2018-19 Modern Fairies research project, Fay released her latest album Wrackline in 2020. Exploring ideas of the space between, Wrackline looks to ghosts, fairies, spirits and talking animals to understand what it is about the unknown that entrances us. Together with her band — Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls — Fay is finally taking Wrackline on tour, with this online date meaning everyone is invited!

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

Find out more


Spooktopia — 8pm BST

The Spooky Men’s Chorale

Spooktopia is a full concert from The Spooky Men’s Chorale recorded earlier this year, plus lots of awesome extra bits. According to the Spookies, it might just be the best footage of them ever! There will be two showings, with the first being at 8pm Sydney time and the second at 8pm UK time. There will also be a Zoom afterparty - keep an eye on their Facebook page for details nearer the time.

Free to view, with donations encouraged.

Find out more


Zoom Into Sing Political — 8pm BST

The Traditional Arts Team

The Traditional Arts Team present an online singaround for songs about the political issues, struggles and triumphs of today.

Free to join - contact the Traditional Arts Team for a link.

Find out more


SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER


John Kirkpatrick — 7.30pm BST

Rosslyn Court

Rosslyn Court presents instrumental virtuoso John Kirkpatrick. 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


Hannah White — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

London-born singer-songwriter Hannah White has established herself as one of the UK’s freshest talents. Her latest album, Hannah White and the Nordic Connections, was nominated for UK Album of the Year at the 2021 UK Americana Awards.

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


Other digital bits to look out for


Highlights in person


Other news

  • Shillelagh sessions kickstarter

    Inspired by a love of folk music and video games, Merle Harbron, Holly Clarke and a collective of likeminded musicians are working towards launching a YouTube channel combining live arts with fantasy RPG gaming. They’ll be bringing us some wonderful game music covers with a unique folky twist, and they’re also planning to do a live performance later down the line. They’re offering a number of rewards in return for pledging your support.

  • Tunes from the Women

    Magnetic North East are collating material for a book of tunes by 100 contemporary female composers from the folk/traditional music scenes of the UK and Ireland. The book is set to be published in 2022 by Faber Music. It is part of a larger project, and royalties will be pooled in order to set up a website promoting and celebrating female tune-writers. If you’ve written some tunes yourself, or know someone who has, find out more about getting involved.


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 Life and the Land by Ben Walker and Kirsty Merryn. A year later than originally anticipated, this new EP is being released on 3rd September on Folkroom Records. Celebrating our connection to the natural world, Life and the Land is a journey through the seasons. From John Barleycorn and Jolly Ploughboy to a reworking of Robert Burns’ much-loved Wrestlin’ Winds, expect to hear old favourites rearranged in new ways.

In keeping with the exploration of the changing of the seasons, Kirsty and Ben will be taking the EP on tour from harvest through till Spring - look out for a tour date near you.

Order 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 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!