Jacqui & Bridieâ€™s Folk Club 50th Year and Final Night Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Sunday 23 January 2011 7.30pm
Photo Mill Street. The folk club in full flow at the Domestic Mission on Mill Street, Toxteth.
Jacqui wasn’t even at the first Coach House Folk Club. While Bridie hosted, Jacqui was at a Spinners rehearsal. Neither of them could know the significance of that evening. Spencer Leigh tells the story
Jacqui & Bridie’s Folk Club 50th Year and Final Night Sunday 23 January 7.30pm
In the summer of last year I received an email from Jacqui with the seeds of an idea for this evening’s event. The polite but very long message set out in detail for me who Jacqui is, and what her generation of Liverpool musicians achieved. This was fascinating stuff, but actually I only had to read the first line to understand, and to know that Liverpool Philharmonic would help make this event happen. For one thing, most people working at this venue will have lost count of the number of times that artists appearing here - people like Christy Moore, Tom Paxton, Peggy Seeger, Al Stewart, Joan Baez and Dick Gaughan for example, the “household names” of folk music - have told of their visits to the folk club in Liverpool or about how Jacqui & Bridie inspired them in some way. And if, like me, you are a fan of live folk music and are interested in the musical roots and traditions of the city of Liverpool, then it’s difficult to avoid the stories and songs connected with the duo and their club. I have been privileged over the last year to have worked as part of the core team writing Liverpool’s bid to become a UNESCO City of Music, a fascinating process of research and debate that has led to discussions long into many nights on the key influences and contributions to music in the city of the last 200 years. Jacqui and Bridie are part of that story: for the folk club, for the songs written and collected, for their pioneering work in schools, and as ambassadors for Liverpool and its music when on tour. At first therefore I was disappointed when Jacqui told me that she was bringing the club to an end after 50 years. But how fitting it is that it meets for the last time here at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, where Jacqui and Bridie performed on many occasions in the 60s, 70s, and 80s and where they last recorded as a duo – the LP Jacqui and Bridie Live At Liverpool Philharmonic – back in 1987.
So tonight, let’s celebrate! This isn’t the end of something, but rather a spirited acknowledgement of the importance of a singing tradition at the heart of Liverpool’s music scene, and recognition of the centrality of Jacqui and Bridie’s Folk Club to that. None of us would be here tonight if it wasn’t for Jacqui & Bridie. Thank you for your passion and your music. Simon Glinn Executive Director, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Events
ring hundreds, even On our ‘tour bus’. Cove try velling across the coun thousands of miles tra if en rely let us down, ev to gigs this little bug ra iving did. sometimes Bridie’s dr
Folk and traditional music have been a major part of the programme at this venue again in recent years – indeed, one prominent writer recently described the venue as ‘The undisputed home of folk in Liverpool.’ We present the major artists of the current folk scene in our After 8 series in our smaller venue space, the Rodewald Suite; and we devised and produced the ambitious and acclaimed Irish Sea Sessions project as part of Liverpool Irish Festival in 2010, that had one local critic awarding the concert 15 out of 10! It was also voted the best folk/roots event of the year by Liverpool Daily Post readers. Amongst the songs chosen by the Irish Sea Sessions artists are some that you will also hear tonight, performed either by their composers, or by the artists who first collected, recorded or presented them. This is part of a living song tradition of this city that is real and exceptional.
Who knows? In another world, Jacqueline McDonald, a Geordie raised in Yorkshire, might have been playing on this stage with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1957, when she was 20, she wanted to learn the oboe. She discovered that oboes were around £70 whereas she could buy a cheap guitar for £4. “I started practising the guitar on the bus back from Harrogate to Ilkley,” recalls Jacqui today, “I had a chord book and by the time I got back to Ilkley, I could play a G chord.” Having learnt some chords, what was Jacqui to sing? There hadn’t been mass popularity for folk music until the American group the Weavers made million selling records in the early 1950s. They had success with an African chant Wimoweh as well as On Top Of Old Smokey and Goodnight
Irene. In September 1959, they toured the UK Moss Empire circuit but probably because the group’s popularity had peaked, few people had bought tickets.
In June 1964, Jacqui and Bridie turned professional thus becoming Britain’s first female professional folk duo and they decided to tour North America for six weeks. Club members came to the Pier Head to wave them goodbye when they sailed direct (those were the days) from Liverpool to Quebec. They found work on university campuses and secured spots on radio and TV. They visited the American folk singer Jean Ritchie, whom they had met on a UK tour. She showed them some dancing dolls from her childhood. They were entranced and an idea took shape.
On their own initiative, the Spinners released Songs Spun In Liverpool, a live album recorded in 1962. Their repertoire included Whip Jamboree, John Peel and Johnny Todd (sung by Jacqui and now known as the theme from Z-Cars). Jacqui’s grandmother remembered The Sovereign Of The Seas from South Shields, Hughie refashioned it as Champion Of The Seas about a Liverpool sailing ship that broken the record on the run to Australia in 1860. Adam In The Garden, was developed from something Jacqui remembered from a girl guide camp and indeed, there was a camp fire mentality about the way folk club audiences would join in the choruses. On Monday nights, Jacqui would rehearse with the Spinners and Bridie thought of opening her own folk club in the Coach House itself. Early in 1961, an ad was placed in the Liverpool Echo and the first person to knock on the door was Stan Mason. He had no idea what folk music was but those who were coming might enjoy his collection of stamps. Eventually, some singers turned up and the club did well, growing from 20 to over 100. There was no Health and Safety legislation back then. Jacqui and Bridie would dress similarly but not identically and this summarised their approach to music. Although they could harmonise sweetly, it was the contrast in their voices that made them distinctive. Jacqui had a delicate voice, well suited to poignant ballads, while Bridie’s forceful, up-and-at’em voice demanded to be heard. Similarly, Jacqui played guitar and mandolin delicately while Bridie’s banjo could be heard across Liverpool. Both had comic timing and again it was the combination of their humour and their repartee which made them so memorable. Bridie possessed enormous verve and energy and could respond to any heckle. After singing Kilgarry Mountain one night, she had a very funny rant about what Captain Farrell could do with his rapier. She might have done it every night for all I know, but it sounded spontaneous and was very funny.
Leaving for America. In 1964 members the fol k club turned out en ma sse to wish us bon voya ge for our first trip across the Atlantic.
Jacqui and Bridie’s six weeks in North America became six months and when they returned, they appeared in the concert room at St. George’s Hall and talked about their experiences. They mentioned the dancing dolls and the audience told them, “We’ve got them here.”
Glynn Hughes, a rhythm guitarist, remembered a song that his mother had sung. It concerned Seth Davey, a street entertainer in Liverpool who had dancing dolls. He rewrote the song as Come Day Go Day. Doreen Turton, a clogmaker’s daughter from Wigan, made Jacqui and Bridie some new dolls. The singers could stand them on a plank and once they hit the plank, the dolls would dance.
r first Ritchie. On ou an Je , ro he a ith lay gigs Performing w e thrilled to p er w e w 4 ’6 a in ired. trip to Americ tists we’d adm ar y an m so h wit and festivals
Jacqui’s opportunity came quicker than expected. She was training to be a gym teacher at the I M Marsh College in Liverpool and as the Weavers played the Liverpool Empire on 27 September, she saw them again. Backstage, she met the very tall Tony Davis, who told of the Friday folk nights which had started in the basement of Sampson and Barlow’s Restaurant, opposite the Odeon Cinema on London Road. Jacqui went the next Friday and sang the only suitable songs she knew, the calypso Hold ’Em Joe and a yodeling song.
When Jacqui was in Leeds, she noticed that the Weavers were performing and rather than wait for a bus in the rain, she attended their matinee. “The place was full of schoolchildren,” says Jacqui “because they hadn’t sold many tickets and wanted an audience. It changed my life. There were three men including Pete Seeger and a woman, Ronnie Gilbert. I thought, ‘I wouldn’t mind doing something like that. I liked the fact that they were singing about the Colorado River and the Grand Coulee Dam: it was real music as opposed to the pop songs of the day which I didn’t particularly like.”
Jacqui and Bridie’s Folk Club 50th Year and Final Night
As with the Beatles in Germany, Jacqui and Bridie had gone to America and come back a finely honed duo: indeed, they became the first professional female folk duo in the UK. They knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses and were able to build upon them. Returning to their weekly folk club, it was evident that they needed bigger premises. When the duo entertained a luncheon club at a Unitarian church in Mill Street in the Dingle, the minister offered them his church hall for a weekly meeting. That is how Jacqui and Bridie came to be at their best known venue, the Domestic Mission.
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Unlike the Spinners’ club which had moved to Gregson’s Well at the top of Brunswick Road, the Domestic Mission was unlicensed. Young teenagers could be admitted and so Jacqui, Bridie and their friends performed for an audience from ages 15 to 80. Indeed, theirs was the only folk club in the area to cater deliberately for a family audience. It was less rowdy than some clubs and the patrons were coming for the music. However, they might lose the audience during the interval to the pub.
J&B on stage
Maybe it was always thus with Aunt Nellies playing the pianos in the parlour, but the 1960s was a decade when the people started making music. Almost anyone who could sing or could play an instrument was encouraged to do so in public and there was a vast rise in beat clubs, jazz clubs and folk clubs throughout the country. Following a TV documentary, Liverpool was called The Singing City and Daniel Farson’s “Beat City” cements this point.
Bridie recalled in 1984, “When we came back from America, we found the Seekers were in the charts with Judith Durham’s lovely voice. They sang some folk songs and it was interesting that were getting national acclaim and something was happening to folk music. The Spinners had gone fully professional while we were away and we got on a TV show with other folk musicians called Hootenanny. Folk music was becoming very popular. The main difference between pop and folk was that folk songs made you think a bit.”
Despite their nationwide popularity, both the Spinners and Jacqui and Bridie determined to continue their weekly nights in Liverpool. Being close to the community enabled them to develop their repertoires and they would use club nights to try out new material. Several of the folk artists, including Jacqui, played guitars made by a local musician, Stan Francis.
Folk clubs were springing up all over the country and at one point there were 28 different ones on Merseyside. You could be out every night at a folk club. Geoff Speed, who has presented BBC Radio Merseyside’s Folk Scene with Stan Ambrose since 1967, ran his own club in Widnes: “Liverpool was one of the first areas where folk clubs started mushrooming. No doubt it was the success of the Spinners club plus the fact that there were so many songs from Liverpool itself. People love hearing songs about where they lived”.
Tom Paxton. A very young looking Tom doing a turn at the folk club. Tom Paxton
Jacqui and Bridie’s Folk Club 50th Year and Final Night
The programme. We were delighted to see our names on the same bill as the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Gordon Lightfoot.
By now, folk music was taking off, largely because of Bob Dylan and the Byrds, who recorded amplified folk songs. I remember Bridie chastising the Byrds one night as they had recorded The Bells Of Rhymney but had no idea how to pronounce some of the Welsh names. Whilst checking through some old papers to write this piece, I came across Tony Davis commenting that a folk singer was “not a youth in an army surplus jacket and mop hat droning a protest”, though, of course, to many people Donovan was just that. A lot of folk clubs had come out of Communist Party meetings and they were heavily left-wing. As Alexei Sayle had a Communist childhood in Liverpool, I asked him if he had ever gone to any folk clubs. “Certainly not,” he replied, “I hated folk music.” Although there was a left-wing bias in Jacqui and Bridie’s club, it was never verbalised. Jacqui and Bridie’s repertoire often expressed their humanitarian feelings and at one stage, they toured a refugee camp.
But their songs could come from anywhere. Once Jacqui and Bridie wanted to learn Four Marys from Jeannie Robertson’s repertoire. They went to see her in Aberdeen only to find that Joan Baez had been round the week before with the same purpose. Undeterred, they learnt the song and put in their act.
Posters by Tom Sweeney. Tom, the graphic designer and printer in Fleet St Liverpool, did all the posters for our concerts at Liverpool Philharmonic.
Following this folk music explosion, there was a split in the folk clubs with some favouring more contemporary singer/songwriters and others wanting more traditional fare. Definitely the Spinners and possibly Jacqui and Bridie were in the latter group, but in a way both groups were unique as they had a passion for songs about Merseyside. When I heard Jacqui and Bridie sing about the area in Cathedral In Our Time and Parky Laney Street, I wondered how such esoteric material was received if they were performing in Birmingham or Southend. Probably very well as they were always touring. Neither Jacqui nor Bridie came from Liverpool but singing these songs gave them a joint identity.
Another unique factor was Jacqui and Bridie would draw their followers together once or twice a year for concerts at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. These concerts were sometimes recorded so you can still hear the marvellous rapport between performers and audience and how well loved the performers were. It was something of a novelty to have folk at the Phil: apart from Buddy Holly in 1958, the Phil even didn’t touch pop or rock music until 1970. The Liverpool Philharmonic concerts would be advertised to Jacqui and Bridie’s folk club audiences and they would circulate posters and leaflets around the other clubs in area, perhaps making guest spots in the process. At Liverpool Philharmonic the concerts were much more structured than the folk nights: they could use lighting effects and they had set lists. Stan Francis recalls guesting with the Spinners: “I was on stage with them at the Phil and we all lined up at the end. I remember Hughie saying to us, “Bow”, and I thought, ‘They’ve moved into show business now.’” During 1965, when Jacqui and Bridie were the guest artists for the Leesiders at the Central Hotel in Birkenhead, Paul Simon came out of the audience for a floor spot. “He was very slick, which we certainly weren’t,”says Jacqui, “and he was a marvellous guitarist and I was very impressed.”
Among the guests at Jacqui and Bridie’s club were Phil Ochs (who wrote There But For Fortune), the one man band Don Partridge (honouring a commitment to play for £12 after making a Top 10 single), Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor (Football Crazy was ideal for Liverpool), the Scottish duo the Corries, and the creators of the radio ballads, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Jacqui and Bridie often performed MacColl’s Shoals Of Herring and First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. They introduced both the McCalmans and the Houghton Weavers to Merseyside. When Tom Paxton was appearing at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, he was bundled into a car as soon as he had finished by a friend Marnie Spencer, and he appeared at the Domestic Mission, borrowing Jacqui’s guitar to perform The Last Thing On My Mind. No matter who the guests were, most people went to the club to see Jacqui and Bridie. They were very comic together and they created their own rapport with regular performers, notably the docker Arthur Williams with his hilarious poems of Liverpool life. Jacqui and Bridie performed his Post Christmas Blues (based on a song by Cyril Tawney) and a surreal song about St John’s Beacon with its revolving restaurant. Arthur told Jacqui and Bridie about the vibrancy of Paddy’s Market and they made a radio programme around it, which incorporated their song, Paddy’s Market, that became popular in its own right. There was some exceptional local talent. Pete McGovern, who ran the Washhouse folk club, wrote In My Liverpool Home and Rent Collecting In Speke: Stan Kelly, a salesman with a Porsche, wrote Liverpool Lullaby and What Was The Colour: Willy Russell was starting his performing life as a folk singer and one memorable night at the Domestic Mission, Shane Fenton, who would go on to become Alvin Stardust, did a floor spot.
Jacqui and Bridie’s Folk Club 50th Year and Final Night
The travelling became excessive as there were folk clubs all over the country: pity Martin Carthy who managed it all by public transport. Jacqui and Bridie covered 55,000 miles in one year, and this is largely before the motorway network. They would return to the club each week and tell the audience of their travels. “We went to Germany to entertain the British troops,” said Jacqui one week, “and Bridie entertained them one by one.” For some time, they also had Jacqui and Bridie’s Monday Afternoon from 4pm to 5.40pm on Monday afternoons on BBC Radio Merseyside. It was a sort of Savile’s Travels as they would interview people they had met during the week including, on one memorable occasion, Dusty Springfield. Being popular in Scotland was clearly something of a two-edged sword. “I’m very glad that we went to all these wonderful places and had wonderful times,” says Jacqui, “We did a lot of the Scottish folk clubs and I can remember Barbara Dickson being on the door of the Dunfermline folk club taking the money.” After 10 years Jacqui and Bridie had to give up the Domestic Mission as the area was being redeveloped. The premises have now been demolished and they could only find licensed premises after that. The club met in pubs in London Road and Hanover Street and for a time, at the Holiday Inn in Paradise Street. “Once they put us by the swimming pool,” recalls Jacqui, “We were on one side with microphones and the audience was on the other, and the hotel guests were swimming up and down between us. I don’t blame them: they had paid good money to stay in the hotel and they wanted to swim. We made a lot of
Her Majesty The Queen . We met The Queen, with Frankie Va ughan, at the Royal Command Perfo rmance in 1972.
Jacqui and Bridie were constantly recording. In 1964, they released their first single, Roving Jack, a song which mentioned 22 Liverpool streets. After that they made several albums for different labels. They recorded for Major Minor, which had the same owner as Radio Caroline, so they were assured of pirate airplay from the North Sea. They appeared on national TV and radio shows such as Country Meets Folk, often with Liverpool’s Paul Brady and Hank Walters representing country.
the Coach Me playing at the blurred House. Note, ckground figure in the ba Ambrose is actually Stan olkscene on presenter of F erseyside. BBC Radio M
erseyside. BBC Radio M e Jacquie & Presenting th ow. Bridie radio sh
Entertaining the kids. At The Children’s Hospital on M yrtle Street.
jokes but it was a very difficult evening and in the end, I said to Bridie, ‘Do you want to sing the last song from the middle of the pool?’ She jumped in and I followed her and about 30 others joined us for The Leaving Of Liverpool. The more sensible ones stripped down to their underclothes but we were fully clothed.”
In 1978, Jacqui and Bridie appeared on a gala performance for the Prince’s Trust at the Liverpool Empire. They performed Harvey Andrew’s City Dweller and Back Buchanan Street, which had been written for a TV programme, Grief And Glory, by two brothers from Frodsham, Gordon and Harry Dyson. It reflected the moves from the terraced houses to high rise flats. After the show, the Queen remarked that it was “relevant”.
In 1984, Jacqui and Bridie presented the Festival of Folk at the Garden Festival which gave them regular employment on their doorstep for three months. To promote the event, they recorded David Mallett’s Garden Song (sometimes called ‘Inch By Inch’). The club continued in the Coffee House Hotel in Wavertree and then in Penny Lane. Bridie’s health was failing and they gave their farewell concert at Liverpool Philharmonic in 1987. They did a few bookings, but her voice was going and she died in 1992.
stic b. Hosting at the Dome Entertaining the folk clu ng thi one just said some Mission, looks like some ing at our playing? funny, or are we laugh
the folk On board The Corinthia. Some of e. dby club came aboard to say goo
Jacqui has kept the club going but has had to contend with multiple sclerosis. The club met at Sefton Park Cricket Club once a month. “We’re an ageing group,” says Jacqui, “and I get friends coming along saying ‘I’ve had an awful day today. I got downstairs and realised that I put my bra on back-tofront, and it fits better that way.’”
There is a selection of CDs and Books on sale this evening. All CDs, including re-mastered LPs and Tapes, are available on www.jacquiandbridie.com
During the 2010 Hope Street Feast, Jacqui was pleased and surprised to hear a tribute to the duo from Mike Neary and Eithne Browne. “I loved hearing Eithne singing Liverpool Lullaby,” says Jacqui, “She changed key a few times. I might have done that but she was doing it on purpose.”
So this, after 50 years, is the final night of Jacqui & Bridie’s Folk Club. It is not a night for sadness as we should rejoice that such a talented duo should have maintained their base in the city and done so much for music in the area.
Jacqui and Bridie and their folk club are part of this city’s rich cultural heritage. Let’s hear those songs one more time and don’t forget to sing along. Indeed, the most common criticism that I used to hear of Jacqui and Bridie was that they made the audience do the work, and why not? Jacqui and Bridie’s Folk Club 50th Year and Final Night
Tonight at Jacqui & Bridie’s Folk Club
– The singer/songwriter from Birmingham has been performing his beautifully crafted work in theatres and folk clubs for over 40 years. He often appeared at Jacqui and Bridie’s folk club. His exquisite songs include Gift Of A Brand New Day, First You Lose Your Rhyming and a succession of poignant songs about his heroes – Songs For Phil Ochs, Mr Homburg Hat (Tony Hancock), Songs That Harry Wrote (Harry Chapin) and Please Don’t Get On The Plane (Buddy Holly). His first volume of autobiography, Gold Star To The Ozarks, was published in 2007.
– Jacob is following in the footsteps of his brother Nathan, who is a rising Irish country star. Both played at the Jacqui and Bridie’s folk club from an early age, an indication that the club has always encouraged new and exceptional talent. Jacob lives in Childwall and loves singing, as well as playing fiddle and guitar.
– Liverpool has a strong Irish tradition and Terry Coyne is one of Merseyside’s top musicians, playing traditional Irish flute and whistle as well as being a strong vocalist.
– Because of his size (six foot seven or two metres if we’re going metric) and his outgoing personality, Tony Davis is the Spinner that first comes to mind. He is a living encyclopaedia of folk music, but he started by playing jazz and, in recent years, he has returned to that interest. He has had to cope with health problems but he insists that he is ‘hipless and not hopeless’. We’re not sure what he’ll be doing tonight but if he’s brought the clarinet, it’s jazz and if it’s the tin whistle, it’s folk.
– Gerry Ffrench still teaches on Merseyside, she is also a musician and a regular attendee at Jacqui and Bridie’s folk club. Gerry has organised many musical events including Liverpool’s celebration of female singers, Wimfest, and is involved in the Hope Street Feast.
– With Roger McGough and Mike McCartney, John Gorman was part of Scaffold who had a Christmas Number One with a rewritten rugby club song Lily The Pink (1968) and made the Top 10 in 1974 with Dominic Behan’s Liverpool Lou. John’s hilarious, drunken version of Ten Green Bottles was a highlight of their act. At present, John is developing community theatre in Birkenhead and he remains the funniest man on Merseyside. Meet him and you will come away feeling happier – and that’s guaranteed.
The Houghton Weavers
– Four friends (Tony Berry, Norman Prince and the brothers, David and Denis Littler) formed the Houghton Weavers in 1975 and quickly found a following in folk clubs throughout Lancashire and Merseyside including Jacqui and Bridie’s. Their regional TV show, Sit Thi Deawn, was very popular and it led to numerous national appearances. Today the Houghton Weavers is a trio featuring original members, Tony Berry and David Littler, as well as Steve Millington from the country band, Poacher. Their varied repertoire includes folk song favourites and well as local material such as Our Gracie, The Ballad Of Wigan Pier and, one of the greatest song titles of all-time, Bernard Wrigley’s The Martians Have Landed In Wigan.
– The only Spinner to be born in Liverpool, Hughie Jones is one of the most underrated songwriters on Merseyside and most of the Spinners’ albums contain a couple of his compositions. When the Spinners disbanded, he released a collection of his songs, Hughie’s Ditty-Bag (1991) and his subsequent albums include Luv Stuff (1995), Seascape (1999) and Liverpool Connexions (2005). He is much in demand as a performer and especially for maritime events. One of his recent songs, The Moles Of Edge Hill, is about the Williamson Tunnels.
– Born on Merseyside in 1929, Stan Bootle took his stage name from the song, Kelly The Boy From Killanne. Graduating from Cambridge University, he maintained a dual career in computer science and in folk music. His key compositions are Liverpool Lullaby (recorded by Judy Collins, Cilla Black and Jacqui & Bridie), I Wish I Was Back In Liverpool (the Dubliners, the Spinners) and What Was The Colour? (Jacqui & Bridie). Fanatically keen on Liverpool FC, Stan is likely to give us the first performance of his rewritten folk song for the club’s new owner, John Henry, that is, if he finishes it in time.
– Although he never had a yellow jumper, ‘Count’ John McCormick on double bass was an integral part of the Spinners’ sound. He is recognised as one of the best double-bass players in the UK and is known for his work in folk, jazz and rock. “Sometimes I wish I played a more portable instrument,” he says, “but I love the sound of the bass.”
– Cliff Michelmore used to say, “And the next tonight is tomorrow night…” and the BBC-TV show would end with a song from Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor. In 1960, they became famous for Football Crazy (of course!) but they are prouder of the Glasgow street songs they rescued from oblivion. Their good humour has much in common with Jacqui & Bridie’s
An Evening with
Sunday 19 March 7.30pm Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Tickets £24, £29
In a return to her folk roots, Dickson’s new album Words Unspoken features a collection of mainly traditional songs. Originally from Dunfermline, she emerged from the Scottish folk scene during the 1960s working with the likes of Archie Fisher, Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty and Rab
and they performed in Liverpool, often at their folk club and once, in 1962, supported by the Beatles at the Cavern. Jimmie still maintains an active performing and broadcasting life in Scotland and it is a pleasure to welcome him tonight.
– In 1993, Mike Neary graduated in drama and theatre studies from Liverpool University and since then, he has had a varied career which has included TV appearances in Nice Guy Eddie, Cold Feet and Coronation Street. He was in the Royal Court’s revival of Slappers And Slapheads and the Everyman’s Present Tense. He is a fine musician and last year, he performed a tribute to Jacqui & Bridie during the Hope Street Feast. Jacqui heard him and immediately invited him to perform Arthur Williams’ poem, The One O’clock Gun, in this concert.
Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra
– Nearly 25 years ago, when Mr Liu founded the Chinese Youth Orchestra in Liverpool, it was the first in Europe and it remains the largest ensemble of its kind. The joyous sounds feature many Chinese instruments, which Mr Liu has either made or imported. The Chinese Youth Orchestra has made many television appearances and has been praised by the Chinese Cultural Ministry. They have collaborated with Jah Wobble and Mr Liu himself was featured on the soundtrack of The Last Emperor.
The Sense Of Sound Choir
– The Sense Of Sound Choir was founded in Liverpool in 1992 and under its musical director Jennifer John, the 40-strong choir has toured with Russell Watson, been featured on numerous records and taken part in the Royal Variety Performance. They have worked with many local acts including Connie Lush and Neil Campbell) as well as nationally known stars in all genres of music. Whether performing in arenas or in a small church for a wedding, the Sense of Sound Choir is never less than thrilling and they are at their best when heard, as tonight, singing a cappella.
Jacqueline’s Folk Group
– Jacqui will be performing with many of the folk musicians who have worked with her over the years including Cathy Munroe, Roy Davies, Trish Scanlon, Peter Westwell, Jonathan Graham, and Lynn Jenkinson. Hilary Taylor can’t be here tonight. One way and another, these friends have supported Jacqui at the Folk Club and at various venues for many, many years.
Noakes. Barbara interprets traditional songs with sensitivity and confidence. See her powerful performances of Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Magical West, Smile In Your Sleep written by Jim McLean and My Donald by the late Owen Hand.
‘It is no exaggeration to describe Barbara as a great singer. She stood out a mile among folk singers of her generation and she has consistently shown her class when performing for a wider public. This is Dickson at her most engaging’. Daily Telegraph
On Sunday 23 January 2011 Jacqui & Bridie's Folk Club met for a final, and very special, concert at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Celebratin...