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B R A L E

15 0 I

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G I N

C

T

E

S U E S

IN THIS ISSUE: l FESTIVALS: FOLK BY THE OAK, KIMPTON, ST ALBANS AND MANY MORE l CADDINGTON BLUES’ MUMMERS l CONVERSATION WITH CHARLEY FOSKETT

www.unicornmagazine.org

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APRIL | MAY | JUNE 2020

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l & MUCH MORE...

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00 ev 0 co er pi y q es ua dis rte tr r ibu te

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l CD REVIEWS

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l MORRIS DIARY

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4th-7th

southwell

nottinghamshire

june 2020

GATE TO

14th International roots music festival Show of Hands

Celtic Social Club

Anxo Lorenzo Band (Spain) The Breath Maroon Town

Ímar

Talisk

Ian Siegal

Madison Violet (Canada)

Pierre Schryer & Adam Dobres

(Canada) Chris Wood Track Dogs Blair Dunlop AJ Lee & Blue Summit (USA)

The Nell & Jim Band (USA)

The

Henry Girls (Ireland) The Jellyman's Daughter BeauBowBelles Wizz Jones Wilson Family (Italy)

Simawé (France) Reg Meuross

Rodney Branigan (USA)

The

Veronica Sbergia & Max De Bernardi

The Daniel Smith Blues Band

20+ Artists still to be announced

2020 Festival theme, concert, ceilidh and more: The Beatles

“Pretty much perfect” FESTIVALS FOR ALL 2019

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W W W. G T S F. U K

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EDITORIAL

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Joni Mitchell When Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ was released in 1970, my youthful mind didn’t fully understand those poignant words. But they have resonated with me ever since. Protecting what we value is hard in this fastchanging world, but one of the most precious things we have is our lives. So I was cheered to read research by University College London which studied 6,700 Britons for 15 years that found those aged 50 and over who attended gigs, concerts, theatre and other ‘receptive arts’ every month had a 31% lower risk of dying early compared to those who never went out! We all love live music, but so often venues come under threat from noise abatement notices and complaints from nearby residents who move in and then protest about noise.

CONTENTS

Editorial 3 Contents 3 Feature: Kimpton Folk Festival 4 Celebrating 150 issues 6 Folk Matters 9 Watford FC Song Competition Final 9 Sessions 10-11 St Albans Festival and Song Competition 12 Shall We Dance? 16-17 Feature: Butlins - The Great British Folk Festival 18

EDITOR

SANDRA LAWES

07939 541927 unicornmagazine@hotmail.co.uk

CONTACT ADDRESS: 6 Holly Farm Close, Caddington, Luton, Beds LU1 4ET

This is affecting many venues, including The Stables at Wavendon and numerous pubs like The Red Lion at Nash Mills near Hemel Hempstead. Please do all you can to support live music and campaign with every (legal) means at your disposal to keep these venues open for the entertainment we treasure. I know you also value the contribution Unicorn Magazine makes to your local folk scene. I love producing it, but need some assistance with the blog and social media side. If you can help please get in touch- it’s a voluntary labour of love, but vital to keep this very special magazine going. Meanwhile enjoy the music and the dance. Thank you for your continued support. Sandra

Strumming & Dreaming 19 Feature: Caddington Blues’ Mummers 22-23 Diary 28-30 Club Index 31 Feature: Northampton Ceilidhs 32 Feature: 2020 Transatlantic Sessions 40 Morris Diary 44-46 CD Reviews 30, 47-48, 52 Feature: Phoenix Morris Winter 52 Feature: A Conversation with Charley Foskett 53 I take great care to ensure accuracy in Unicorn Magazine. However, I accept no responsibility for any misprints or mistakes that appear. The views and opinions expressed in submitted articles and advertisements are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Unicorn Magazine editor. I assume that any letters sent to the magazine are intended for publication unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right to edit any material sent to the magazine for style, content or length. Please note that I cannot print material previously published in other publications without express written permission from that publisher. I reserve the right not to publish elements of free listings information if they appear elsewhere in the magazine or where I have space restrictions. ‘If you don’t want to keep your copy of Unicorn Magazine forever, please recycle it responsibly.’

w w w. u n i c o r n m a g a z i n e . o r g © Unicorn Magazine 2020

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INTERVIEW WITH DOUG JENNER,

CHAIRMAN OF THE CHARITY KIMPTON FOLK EVENTS Hi Doug, let’s start with the main question OK. I’m very well thanks. No, not that. I meant what’s Kimpton Folk Festival looking like this year? Oh. It’s looking really good. We’ve got a cracker of an event for 2020. After five years, the festival team has really streamlined its operation. Streamlined. Hmm. Not sure I like the sound of that. Huh? Does ‘streamlined’ mean you’ve cut down – got less on offer? Producing a smaller festival? Au contraire, mon ami. In English, if you would. Sorry. Just showing off my linguistic skills. Although I can give it to you in Australian if you like. Ridgy-didge-ripper mate. Sigh. Sorry. By ‘streamlining’ I’m really talking about how five years’ experience has helped us. We can offer more value than ever and with greater efficiency. This year for example, festival goers can attend every concert and not miss any acts. Whoah there. You said ‘evening concert’ - singular. So you’re not doing two this year? No. After two years running two evening concerts, we’re now focusing on just one, this year featuring festival favourites Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, the acclaimed Scottish band Fara – and brilliant local singer Lizzy Hardingham. You seem to be strong on nurturing young talent? Yes for sure. Over the years we’ve had talented young musicians busking and performing on the pub Open Mic stage. Lizzy for example, and this year Ellie McCann, 4

busking last year and this year on the Green stage. And we’re currently working with staff and students in Kimpton School to present an opening item at the festival. Is this approach reflected in any other acts at this year’s Kimpton? Yes. As you probably know, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan are now our official patrons and – – Wow! Nancy and James as your patrons – that’s great! Yes indeed – we’re really thrilled about it. Anyhow, for the first time, Nancy and James – who both lecture on university folk music degree courses - are running a Patrons’ Concert, presenting two of the most exciting young performers on the UK folk scene – Jon Doran and Maddie Morris. That’s so good to see. Anything else new this year? Well yes – check the line-up in this edition of Unicorn. We’re also talking about an American Square Dance on the Friday evening. And this year has seen the return of ‘All Day’ tickets, which are incredibly popular. Wow. Strength to strength, as they say. You must have a fantastic team out there in the sticks, in Kimpton. No. It’s all my own work. Double sigh. Yes, you’re right. Our committee has grown substantially. A number of our current team don’t live in the village, which I think, reflects the growing profile of our event. We have many brilliant people in the team, and it’s their commitment that makes Kimpton such a successful folk festival. That’s great. Just one more question I forgot to ask. Yes? How are you? Sigh.

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UNICORN – SUPPORTING FOLK FOR 150 ISSUES “Unicorn was my gateway into live folk music and remains my number 1 go-to resource.” Hamish Currie, www.bcfrm.com “One of the most useful resources for the folk fraternity.” Pete Cunningham P J Music “It starts with a line in the Unicorn, music turns it into a community, it ends as lifelong friends. You provide the Unicorn and we will keep providing the Rainbows.” Cee Dub Royston Folk Club

“As half the original editorial team and printer for the first 120 plus issues, I’m delighted that Unicorn has reached this milestone, and is now in the capable hands “I have lived in the Unicorn area since the early 80’s, as folk enthusiast and now of Sandra, who I’m sure will continue professional musician – it’s ‘the Bible’ for to develop and stretch the magazine’s folk music, dance and song in this area.” compass. Bravo!” Dan Evans FISM Dulcimer player Alan Creamer guitarist - composer “To me Unicorn is a precious resource, in so many ways. As a radio presenter, it provides me with information about music and musicians on the scene that is incredibly useful when planning my show. As a musician, it showcases the venues in the region that might want to play our music. But most of all, it provides a precious voice for the many, many people who share my passion for folk music.”  Les Ray Broadcaster and musician

“Local Folk would not be the same without Unicorn Magazine - a constant and reliable source of information about local folk music, dance and song that’s proved invaluable for the past 150 issues.” Barry and Gill Goodman

“My local bible since the 90s. And better-looking than ever!” Mark Gamon – Royston Folk Club 6

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April 1st April 8th April 15th April 22nd April 29th May 6th May 13th May 20th May 27th June 3rd June 10th June 14th June 17th June 24th

OPEN STAGE & SINGAROUND ELIZABETH & JAMESON OPEN STAGE & SINGAROUND LOUISE JORDAN OPEN STAGE & SINGAROUND NICK DOW OPEN STAGE & SINGAROUND STEVE ASHLEY OPEN STAGE & SINGAROUND CLIVE GREGSON NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN FOLK ON THE COMMON 2pm – 6pm OPEN STAGE & SINGAROUND ODETTE MICHELL

Contact Jenny: 01582 793164 email: jen.home@talk21.com

WEDNESDAYS 8pm – 10.45pm

Every Sunday evening at: NCI SOCIAL CLUB, Holland St, Cambridge.CB4 3DL

Music starts at 7.30pm

5,12 April OPEN STAGE

19 April

ALDEN AND PATTERSON

29 Apr,3,10 May OPEN STAGE

17 May CAMBRIDGE and WALKER “ALBUM LAUNCH” 24,31May OPEN STAGE 7 June ‘Songs of the Sea’ OPEN STAGE with BERNIE KEDGE 14 June OPEN STAGE

Copy Deadline for Issue 151 is Friday 15 May 2020 Don’t forget to subscribe to both our blog and our mailing list for revised gig dates, news & updates between issues.

21 June THE OFTEN HERD

Admission: £4 OpenStage,£8 Guest nights A vibrant, friendly and welcoming hub for folk & roots music in Cambridge. Floor spots available every evening.

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since 1976

BRITAIN’S FOLK & ACOUSTIC SPECIALISTS

An Aladdin’s cave of treasures! Come and try the instruments for yourself. visit our shops and festival stalls!

BIRMINGHAM | BRIGHTON | BRISTOL CANTERBURY | EDINBURGH (SCAYLES)| LEEDS |LONDON MANCHESTER | SOUTHAMPTON | RED WING MN, USA

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Order online or call +44(0)333 800 9500 www.hobgoblin.com www.unicornmagazine.org


FOLK MATTERS Waltham Abbey Folk Club Summer Sing at Lambourne End RM4 1NB will now be on 3rd – 5th July 2020 to avoid clashes with other events, which were announced after the original date was set. The weekend will be a relaxed getaway with music, singarounds, socialising and the ‘infamous’ Traditional Step Dance on a Small Board competition. The club is thriving in its new venue at The Sultan PH. Hitchin Folk Club’s new home at the Cricket Club is also delighting members and performers. They particularly like the ample parking, amazing acoustics and welcoming atmosphere – and the great bar prices! The 11th Acoustic Festival of Britain will be on Uttoxeter racecourse 29th – 31st May 2020. The eclectic line-up starts with sea shanties and Irish classics from The Old Time Sailors, Mark Radcliffe with Fine Lines, Sarah McQuaid and the Hut People. Saturday features the folk/rock giants

Lindisfarne, the Climax Blues Band and Sad Café. On Sunday you can see The Quireboys, Merry Hell, Radio Murphy, 5 Hills Out, The Newcranes and much more. See the ad on page 36. English Miscellany, who recently announced their closure, have donated their archive to the Hertfordshire Archives – the county record office accredited by The National Archives. This means the material can be preserved and accessible for researchers. Email hals.enquiries@hertfordshire. gov.uk Folk on Foot, the award-winning podcast now in its fourth season, brings together folk music, walking and telling stories in sound. Many of the UK’s top folk artists have walked, talked and performed with Folk on Foot in spectacular locations. Catch these fabulous podcasts at www. https://www.folkonfoot.com and please support them with a donation.

2019 FOLK SONG COMPETITION FINAL AT WATFORD FOLK CLUB

From Julian Mount standard was so high that the independent judges, Craig Joiner and Mark Blanchard, had difficulty deciding on the winner. With her sensitive and dramatic song “King of the Meadow” Alison Raymond, accompanied by Susan Alexander, was the very deserving winner and the worthy runner up was Bob Hines.

Last November Watford Folk Club hosted the final of the 2019 “Write a New Folk Song” competition on the theme of “All Creatures Great and Small”. Competition organiser, Kim Olyett, says the contest has been directly responsible for the creation of over 200 new Folk Songs since it began in 2012. The house was full and each performer sang one warm-up song and their competition entry. The song writing

The event was hosted by husband and wife Kim and Martin Olyett. The winner received a special trophy and all the finalists a handsome certificate. Thanks to all who made the event a success – especially the entrants and finalists and Kim Olyett for her hard work and dedication. The Watford Folk Club meets every Friday 8-11pm in the Colne River Room at The Pump House in Watford. See the display advert on page 24.

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SESSIONS

We would strongly advise checking with the venue/organiser before attending any of the below since unfortunately we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information.

SUNDAY LUNCHTIMES

l STONY STRATFORD • Vaults Bar, High St

(Weekly, Lunchtimes): Jane, 01908 566407

SUNDAY EVENINGS

l DUNTON • March Hare, Dunton, nr Biggleswade (1st):

John Pritchett, 01767 448093 (pub) l GT WILBRAHAM • Memorial Hall Social Club (3rd):

Dave, 01440 783280 l HEMEL HEMPSTEAD • Leverstock Green Cricket

l MILTON KEYNES • see www.mksessions.blogspot.com

(Weekly) l MILTON KEYNES • New Bradwell Sports Club, New l

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Bradwell (1st): Patsy, 07932 157610 ST ALBANS • Great Northern, 172 London Road, AL1 1PQ 6pm Music but singers welcome. 26 April, 31 May and 21 June. Please see website or ring Alison Macfarlane 01727 852111 for variations. LEIGHTON BUZZARD • The Swan, Northall (1st): Richard Chatterley, 07790 023220 MARSWORTH • Red Lion, 90 Vicarage Rd, Marsworth, Tring HP23 4LU (1st) 7.00 pm. Folk session. Jon Marks, jonmarks77@yahoo.co.uk MARSWORTH • Red Lion, 90 Vicarage Rd, Marsworth, Tring HP23 4LU (2nd): New Moon Morris and Friends slow and steady folk tune session for beginners and improvers. Louise, 07791 651199 MARSWORTH • Red Lion, 90 Vicarage Rd, Marsworth, Tring HP23 4LU (3rd) 8.00 – 11.00pm. New Moon Morris and Friends open session. Squire.newmoon@gmail.com

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WEDNESDAY EVENINGS

l PEGSDON • Live and Let Live, Pegsdon Way, Pegsdon,

MONDAY EVENINGS

l ASHWELL • Rose & Crown (1st): Ian Chandler,

01462 743091

l CHATTERIS • Chatteris Folk Club, Honest John,

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24a South Park St, PE16 6AR (3rd), Acoustic music and song: Keith Cheale, 02354 652868 MOULTON • Artichoke Inn, 23 Church Street, Moulton, Northants NN3 7SP (2nd) 8pm to 10.30pm. Acoustic music and song, all types of music traditional, modern. All abilities welcome: Sue Martin, 07913 615183 SOHAM • Cherry Tree, Fordham Rd (3rd): Claire White, 01353 720550 STEVENAGE • The Marquis of Lorne (upstairs) (2nd): Gary Moyle, 07960 953778 TOTTERNHOE • Old Farm Inn (8.30pm, weekly): Contact 01582 661294 (pub)

TUESDAY EVENINGS

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l ABINGTON PIGOTTS • Village Hall, SG8 0SH

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(8-10.30pm, 3rd, admission £2 per person): George Norris, 01763 853062 l AMPTHILL • The Albion, Dunstable Street (2nd): 8pm Rod Ward, 01763 852 377 l DUNSTABLE • Globe, Winfield St (Weekly): Maureen, 01582 512300 10

Club, 24 Bedmond Road, HP3 8LJ (1st Bluegrass and oldtime songs and tunes): Chris Lawrence 01442 215826 HISTON • Boot, Histon, nr Cambridge (1st): Dave Benford, 01223 880553 MARCH • Georges Folk Club, 61 High Street, PE15 9JJ (1st), Acoustic music and song: Mark Gibson, 01354 652868 RICKMANSWORTH • Conservative Club, Bury Lane (2nd): Michael, 01923 770425 TEWIN • Rose & Crown. (3rd 8.00pm for 8.30pm ish). Vocal and instrumental: Bruce Bullock 07973 916574 TRING • Kings Arms, (8.30, 1st, trad Irish songs & tunes, led by Chan Reid/fiddle, John Devine/pipes, Neil Stanton/guitar): Rob Muirhead (landlord), 01442 823318 WOOTTON (Beds) •The Cock MK43 9JT (8pm, broad acoustic & folk): Mike Carter Jones, 01234 768555 Pub (Karen) 01234 930034

Hexton, Hitchin SG5 3JX (8.30pm, fortnightly from 1st April): Ann, 01582 560815 BENINGTON (Stevenage) • The Bell (1st 8.00pm for 8.30pm ish). Vocal and instrumental: Bruce Bullock 07973 916574 CAMBRIDGE • Six Bells, 11 Covent Garden (8.30pm, 2nd, Bluegrass & Old Time): Jim, 07803 158084 CHINNOR • Chinnor Methodist Church, 62 Station Road, OX39 4PZ (2.00pm to 4.00pm, 2nd, slow and steady but fun): Liz 01844 351565 ELY • Town Folk, The Town House PH, Market St, Ely. (2nd and last): Liam, 01353 659614 or 07468 240798 debrunliam@outlook.com MARCH • March Folk Club, Royal British Legion Club, Rookswood, 27 West End, PE15 8DP (3rd), Acoustic music and song: Keith Cheale, 02354 652868 MOGGERHANGER • Moggerhanger Village Hall (7.00pm for 8.00pm, 1st): Dorothy Bashford, 01767 640242 RADLETT • Cat & Fiddle, Cobden Hill, WD7 7JR (8pm, 2nd): Nick, 020 8207 3057 ST ALBANS • The Robin Hood, Victoria Street, AL1 3TG (8.30pm, weekly): Music but singers welcome. Alison Macfarlane 01727 852111

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l ST ALBANS • White Swan, Dagnall St (from

8.30pm, weekly, traditional Irish instrumental): Rick, 01727 852976 l TEBWORTH • Queens Head, LU7 9QB (4th): Free food. Richard Chatterley, 07790 023220 l TOWERSEY • Village Hall (7.30 for 8, 3rd): Andrew Leleux, 01296 615160 l WELHAM GREEN • North Mymms Social Club, AL9 7PQ (2nd): Alan Francis, 07774 859758

HITCHIN FOLK CLUB THE CRICKET PAVILION LUCAS LANE HITCHIN HERTS SG5 2JA

THURSDAY EVENINGS

SUNDAYS 7.30 – 10.15pm Doors 6.30pm

l HERTFORD • Great Eastern, 29 Railway Place, SG13

7BS (1st 8.30pm): Martin Goble, 07850 183638 l KIMPTON • White Horse (2nd & 4th): Doug,

07973 751039, jennerdouglas@me.com

APRIL 19th

l LUTON • Black Horse, 23 Hastings Street,

LU1 5BE (weekly from 9.00ish) Acoustic music not specifically folk music: Nigel Bailey, 07788 431470 l TOWERSEY • Three Horseshoes (last): Grant, 01844 212322 l WOBURN SANDS • Royal Oak (2nd & 4th): Vic Longhorn, 01908 582660

FRIDAY EVENINGS

l AYLESBURY • Queens Park Arts Centre (1st, 3rd and

5th): Amanda Diamond, 01296 424332 l WELWYN • Brocket Arms (8.00pm, 3rd) Doug,

07973 751039, jennerdouglas@me.com Organisers please note that (space permitting) we will continue to print the details of your sessions unless you tell us otherwise. Thank you.

RICHARD DIGANCE plus KELLY OLIVER

Singer/songwriter, guitarist, poet, author, artist, comedian and raconteur Richard is one of this country's most celebrated entertainers.

MAY 24th

DAPHNE’S FLIGHT

Five of the finest folk, blues and soul singers of their generation. They completely captivate audiences with their complex harmony arrangements, unbridled energy and infectious joy of performing together.

JUNE 14th

MIKE SILVER & JOHNNY COPPIN

Two of our finest songwriters. Between them Mike & Johnny have been playing at the club for 88 years, but are truly every bit as good now as they ever were.

Copy Deadline for Issue 151 is Friday 15 May 2020 Don’t forget to subscribe to both our blog and our mailing list for revised gig dates, news & updates between issues.

NEW VENUE, NEW TIMES If you would like a full copy of the programme, send us an email and we will put you on our emailshot list. For further details phone Maureen Jones on Hitchin (01462) 812391 goodmusic@hitchinfolkclub.co.uk www.hitchinfolkclub.co.uk

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ST ALBANS FOLK FESTIVAL by Alison Macfarlane

The festival will start on June 26, with an open evening at Friday Folk Social Dance Club and an evening of ‘Folk fantastic’, promoted by Empty Events. Discussions are under way with the Odyssey Cinema about a screening of the new documentary ‘All my life’s buried here’ about the composer and folk song collector, George Butterworth.

St Albans Folk Festival will take place from June 26-28. As in recent years, the main events will be on Saturday June 27, with a day of dance in the City Centre and a day of free music in local pubs and other venues. Tickets for the festival concert at the Abbey Theatre have been on sale for some time. It will feature Fay Hield with Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron, on a tour to launch Fay’s new solo album, looking at traditional stories involving the ‘otherworld’ of fairies, ghosts and the animal kingdom.

Further innovations are being planned for Sunday June 28, when we have the use of St Saviour’s Church, complete with licensed real ale bar, in the afternoon and the evening. The afternoon will start with the final of our second song writing competition and then continue with an event to celebrate 21 years of the New Roots competition. Details will be found on our website www.stalbansfolkatthefestival.org.uk

WRITE A NEW SONG ON THE THEME OF ‘ST ALBANS SCOUNDRELS’ by Alison Macfarlane Following the success of our first song competition last year, St Albans Folk Festival has launched a competition to write songs on the theme of ‘St Albans scoundrels’. The songs should be the writers’ own original material and explore themes related to St Albans scoundrels past and present, interpreted in the widest sense. It could range from people who came to a sticky end after breaking the law or were able to avoid punishment to people who either made or defended unfair laws or campaigned against those who made them. A walk around the Abbey or a visit to the City’s museums would be good ways of finding inspiration.

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This competition aims to celebrate the essence of St Albans and its music, so entries from all ages and abilities are encouraged, with entries from young people being particularly welcome.

There are two age categories, under18 and 18 and over. The competition will be judged by people from the music industry, and the local music and historical scene and will be in two stages. The first stage is application and initial judging of the song recordings. Then the writers of the chosen entries will be asked to perform their songs at the final on Sunday afternoon 28th June. Feedback will be given after initial judging and those asked to perform their entries on 28th June will be given feedback on the day as well. The competition will close for judging at midnight on May 31st. Further details and an entry form can be found at www. stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk or contact Lizzy Hardingham Tel 07414 761289, website songcompetition@stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk


St Albans Folk Festival, June 26-28 Saturday June 27

Day of Dance in the City Centre Free performances, sessions and singarounds

Festival concert, Abbey Theatre, Holywell Hill, AL1 2DL, 8pm

Fay Hield

with Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron Tickets: https://www.abbeytheatre.org.uk/whats-on/fay-hield/ Friday June 26 See web site for details Sunday June 28 St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane Song writing competition final and other events For further details see www.stalbansfolkatthefestival.org.uk

Wednesday July 1 St Michael’s Street folk evening, Dancing in the street and music everywhere

info@stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk www.stalbansfolkatthefestival.org.uk Enquiries 01727 852111

Folk at the Maltings

Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans AL1 3HL, 8pm Friday May 1

The Devines

Friday June 5 James Findlay plus Maddie Morris Monday October 12 Alden, Patterson and Dashwood and The Shackleton Trio Tickets: £12, concessions £11 for students, under 16 £7.50. Tickets: www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo, by phone on 0333 666 3366 in person at St Albans Central Library, The Maltings, Chequer Street, St Albans, AL1 3JQ or on the door. www.stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk 13


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Wycombe Folk Arts presents

MAGPIE LANE

We are pleased to announce the very welcome return to St. Lawrence Church of the Oxford based, five piece group MAGPIE LANE, who treated us all to a stunning performance at Wycombe Arts Festival some years ago. There can be few bands blessed with such a fine mixture of vocal and instrumental talent, with which they sing and play superbly: each of their offerings being a musical gem in its own right.

Over the years an eclectic range of instruments has, at times, been incorporated, with bouzouki and hurdy-gurdy sharing the stage with dulcimer and melodeon, but the current line up of concertina, cello, guitar and fiddle, with all five members vocally contributing to some exceptional songs and harmonies, is absolutely perfect. Please do not miss this wonderful opportunity to experience, live, one of the very best folk groups in the UK., brought to you for WYCOMBE ARTS FESTIVAL 2020. MAGPIE LANE will be playing this concert without amplification, as, with the wonderful acoustic of St. Lawrence Church, and their skill, it will not be needed.

Friday 15th May 2020 St. Lawrence Church West Wycombe HP14 3AP Doors Open 7.00pm for 8.00 Start

Tickets ÂŁ15 from

Wycombe Folk Arts Hotline

Tel. 01494 758522

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SHALL WE DANCE? APRIL

MAY

Wednesday

1

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Monday

4

• Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Thursday

2

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

Tuesday

5

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

6

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

• Club night. New members welcome • NFDC

Thursday

7

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

2

2

• Club night country dancing • RB

7

• Club night • NFDC

Monday

6

• Club night with caller Paul Garner 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

7

• Club night country dancing • RB

Friday

8

• Ceilidh: with Bosun Higgs and caller Ian Nichols • UC

Tuesday

7

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

8

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Saturday

9

Thursday

9

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

• Dance with Kelly’s Eye and caller Kevin Prigmore • SFDC

9

9

• Club night • NFDC

• Dance with caller Patricia Donnithorne. 7.30pm • WFDC2

9

• Club closed • RB

Monday

11

• Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Friday

10

• Ceilidh: with Frog on a Bike and caller Andy Rouse • UC

Tuesday

12

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

13

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

• Dance to recorded music with caller Peter Leedham. 7.30pm • WFDC1

Thursday

14

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

Saturday

11

Tuesday

14

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

14

• Club night • NFDC

Wednesday

15

•D  ance with caller Kevin Prigmore • LFDC

14

• Club night country dancing • RB

Saturday

16

• Dance with Ivan Aitken calling to CDs 7.45pm • NFDC

Thursday

16

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

16

• Club night • NFDC

16

• Club night country dancing • RB

Monday

20

• Club night with caller Ann Gibson 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Tuesday

21

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

22

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Thursday

23

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

23

• Club night • NFDC

23

• Club night country dancing • RB

Saturday

25

• St George’s Day Dance with Vicky Baker and the St George’s Day Workshop Folk Band. 5.00 - 8.30pm • CFA

25

• Contra Dance with The Ivel Valley Band and caller John Turner. 7.30 - 10.30pm • NC

Monday

27

• Club night with caller Jeannie Byron Williams 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Tuesday

28

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

29

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Thursday

30

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

30

• Club night • NFDC

30

• Club night country dancing • RB

16

Monday

18

• Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Tuesday

19

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

20

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Thursday

21

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

21

• Club night • NFDC

21

• Club night country dancing • RB

Tuesday

26

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

27

• Dance with caller Ted Morse • LFDC

Thursday

28

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

28

• Club night • NFDC

28

• Club night country dancing • RB

Saturday

30

• Ceilidh - band and callers to be confirmed. 7.30 - 10.30pm • NC

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ORGANISERS AND VENUES

JUNE Monday

1

• Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Tuesday

2

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

3

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Thursday

4

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

4

• Club night • NFDC

4

• Club night country dancing • RB

Saturday

6

• Dance with Contrasaurus and caller Jen Morgan • FF • Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

BFD

Bedford Folk Dance Club

St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2PF • Ron Law 01234 825574 www.bedfordfolkdanceclub.com

CFA

Chiltern Folk Association

St Michael and All Angels Church Hall, 70 Sycamore Road, Amersham on the Hill, HP6 5DL • Joyce Stace 01494 727512 secretary@chilternfolk.org.uk

FF

Friday Folk

Samuel Ryder Academy, Drakes Drive, St Albans, AL1 5AR • Bob Barrett 01727 856508 www.fridayfolk.org.uk

Monday

8

Tuesday

9

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

HH

Wednesday

10

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Thursday

11

•C  lub practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

High Cross Village Hall, North Drive, High Cross, Hertford, SG11 1AR • Tim Short 07503 914189 hertshollydancers@yahoo.co.uk

11

• Club night • NFDC

11

• Club night country dancing • RB

Saturday

13

• Dance with caller John Green. 7.30pm • WFDC1

Monday

15

• Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Tuesday

16

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

17

• Dance with club callers • LFDC

Thursday

18

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH

18

• Club night • NFDC

18

• Club night country dancing • RB

Monday

22

• Club night 8.00 - 10.00pm • SFDC

Tuesday

23

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

Wednesday

24

• Dance with caller Judith Inman • LFDC

Thursday

25

• Club practice Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog 8.00 - 10.00pm • HH • Club night • NFDC

25

25

• Club night country dancing • RB

Monday

29

• Pub night at The Cricketers PH, Weston. 8.00pm • SFDC1

Tuesday

30

• Morning dancing 10.00am • WFDC

LFDC

Hertfordshire Holly North West Clog

Linsleighders Folk Dance Group

The Forster Institute, Waterloo Road, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard, Beds, LU7 2NR • Elizabeth Corser Secretary 01525 378010 elizabeth.corser@btinternet.com

NC

Northampton Ceilidhs

Christchurch Hall, Christchurch Road, Abington, Northampton, NN1 5LL • John and Ruth Green, 01933 397767 or 07760 197921 www.northamptonceilidhs.co.uk

NFDC

Northampton Folk Dance Club

Christchurch Hall, 3 Christchurch Road, Abington, Northampton, NN1 5LL • Linda Pain, Secretary, 01604 787212 www.northamptonfdc.wordpress.com

RB

Roundabouters Country Dance Club.

The Friends’ Meeting House, Cuttys Lane, Stevenage, Herts SG1 1UP. • Lorna Sharpe, 01438 727 239 roundabouters@live.co.uk www.roundabouters.org.uk

SFDC

Staplers Folk Dance Club

St John’s Community Centre, St John’s Road, Hitchin, Herts, SG4 9JP • Gill Goodman, 01462 456811, gillagoodman@hotmail.co.uk www.staplers.org.uk

SFDC1

Staplers Folk Dance Club Pub Night

The Cricketers PH, Damask Green Rd, Weston, Hitchin SG4 7DA • Gill Goodman, 01462 456811, gillagoodman@hotmail.co.uk www.staplers.org.uk

UC

Unicorn Ceilidhs

St Mary’s Hall, Church Street, Baldock, Herts, SG7 5AE • Alan Creamer, 07946 439095 alan@creamer.me.uk www.unicornceilidhs.org.uk

WFDC

Winchmore Folk Dance Club

The Village Hall, St Peter’s Church, Vera Avenue, Grange Park, London N21 1RJ • Loretta Marigold, loretta@themarigolds.co.uk or Gillian West 0208 360 6226

Copy Deadline for Issue 151 is Friday 15 May 2020

WFDC1 Winchmore Folk Dance Club Trinity Church Hall, Church Street/Gentleman’s Row, Enfield, EN2 6AN • Loretta Marigold, loretta@themarigolds.co.uk or Gillian West on 0208 360 6226

Don’t forget to subscribe to both our blog and our mailing list for revised gig dates, news & updates between issues. www.unicornmagazine.org

17


THE GREAT BRITISH FOLK FESTIVAL DECEMBER 2019 Review by Pat Finn For folk music fans, this is a winter festival like no other! Butlins at Skegness provides the venues and accommodation at great value prices. And it’s very easy to get there by train or road. Friendly staff welcome you and once there - just unpack and relax! Depending on your budget, you can choose self-catering or eat in the many excellent restaurants.

Within the complex there are three main venues with afternoon and evening concerts – more than 40 artists and bands in all. The concerts are held indoors – nice and cosy. If you need a break from the music you can enjoy the watersplash pool or perhaps indulge yourself with a treatment in the spa. Or take a walk along the beautiful beach. We have seen some of our favourite artists there. This year on the first day, there was singer/songwriter Reg Meuross, Cara Dillon and Skerryvore in one venue ‘Reds’ and the other ‘The Centre Stage’ hosted Barbara Dickson and Merry Hell. All excellent and it was hard to choose!! Hard choices again on Saturday - one venue hosted Martyn Joseph, Eddi Reader and Red Hot Chilli Peppers while the other had Tom Robinson and the Peatbog Faeries amongst others. Sunday again was outstanding with Steeleye Span celebrating their 50th anniversary tour or Winter Union and Skipinnish. We danced, sang and ate in abundance before retiring to our comfortable chalets. A great festival to brighten up the dark days of autumn. This year the headliners are Lindisfarne, Maddy Prior and Steve Harley – so make a date to join us at Butlins Skegness (27-30 November) and get in the mood for Christmas early! 18

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STRUMMING & DREAMING WHAT IS FOLK (ROCK)? – LES RAY Recording a promo* for my Strummers & Dreamers folk show on Cambridge 105 Radio a while ago, I included this text: “What is folk? It’s music that tells of ordinary people’s lives, today and yesterday. For me it can be anything from the Carthys to the Clash, from Abba to Zappa, from Greensleeves to Green Onions. What is it for you?” I was slightly provocative in my choice of the artists and songs, but my point was that folk is a very broad area of music, and in my show I wasn’t about to start policing its boundaries as some have done, and still do today. After all, music always crosses borders. I suspect that no two lovers of folk music would agree on a precise definition - Google “What is folk?” and you get 120,000 results! My particular passion is singer-songwriters’ music - I dabble as one myself with the band Red Velvet that I formed with my musical partner Deirdre a decade ago. We started as a duo and were joined by various acoustic musicians over the years. In all that time, I never doubted that our music was

folk - even our web address is “redvelvetfolk” (but this is partly to distinguish us from the K-pop band that unfortunately shares our name). Now as a five-piece with drums, bass, keyboards and electric guitar, we’ve started referring to our music as ‘folk rock’ - a very noble sub-genre of folk pioneered by the Byrds in the USA and Fairport Convention in the UK, to name but two. As we apply to play at folk festivals, some welcome our music, while others say it’s “not appropriate for us”. But are they folk festivals? Well that’s another question... les@cambridge105.co.uk https://www. redvelvetfolk.co.uk/ http://cambridge105.co.uk/shows/strummersand-dreamers/ https://www.mixcloud.com/ StrummersandDreamers/ *a form of advertising used to promote a programme on a TV or radio station/network.

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The Old Bull Inn 56 High St (car park Market Hill) Royston SG8 9AW 7:30 for 8pm till 11pm

www.roystonfolk.org Concert Nights

Last Friday of EVERY Month Nights Friday 24th April 2020 £13 (£11 in advance) £2 under 25s Hunter Muskett if you liked them in the Friday night spot at our SHINDIG last August you will love them in this full length intimate concert ... unmissable With support by Cut the Mustard

Friday 29th May 2020

£13 (£11 in advance) £2 under 25s John Ward Trio "…magnificent songs… this man and his excellent band are one of the UK music scene’s best kept secrets" -- Stephen Foster BBC Radio Suffolk With support by Mark Gamon and Nick Blishen

Friday 26th June 2020

£13 (£11 in advance) £2 under 25s Gilmore & Roberts Nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the duo have toured with legends Fairport Convention and won countless accolades for their genre-spanning work. With support by Luke James Williams

Showcase Nights

Second Friday of EVERY Month Nights Friday 10th April 2020

The Stout Brothers (pic) David Wilson Jason Betley I Claudia Mike Chapman

Friday 8th May 2020 John Meed Paul Booth Clive Walker Bernard Hoskin Craig Joiner Crayon Angels (pic)

Friday 12th June 2020

Christopher Law Carol Cullen Smith (pic) 2Steps4Words Steve Warner Pulling Daisies Sascha Osborn

Showcases hosted by Mark Gamon or Brian Harvey entry is £4 (£3 performers) £2 under 25s Just arrive and pay on the door MARK IS NOW BOOKING SHOWCASE SPOTS FOR 2020

CONCERT NIGHT TICKETS FROM THE OLD BULL OR ON THE DOOR (or reserve 01763260556)

“For FOLK Music read … GREAT Music” www.unicornmagazine.org

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CADDINGTON BLUES’ MUMMERS RAISE MONEY FOR THE KEECH HOSPICE By Sandra Lawes

A mummers’ play has been a Boxing Day tradition in Caddington, Bedfordshire for decades – with brave and talented members of the local Morris side (Caddington Blues) and various friends performing to raise funds for the Keech Hospice in Luton. This year was no exception, and six men and one intrepid woman learned their lines, donned their colourful costumes and entertained the bemused but supportive customers in three local pubs. Valiant St George fought the dragon, the Turkish Knight and the giant (played by the smallest member of the cast) and won the hand of the daughter of the King of Egypt. The ‘doctor’ performed miracles worthy of the NHS at its best, a baby dragon was born and with poetry (and poetic licence), humour and drama, a good time was had by all - including the local publicans who hosted the three performances helping the mummers collect £161.71 for the local hospice.

later had connections with the saints including St George with references to the Crusades and the Moors. After the Puritan era, we see the appearance of Old Father Christmas. Then in the seventeenth century, the theme of death and rebirth emerges – with the loser of the mortal combat (symbolising the conflict between good and evil) revived by the eccentric doctor. Thanks to a nineteenth century book called The Golden Bough, which I believe is now largely discredited, many people mistakenly believe that the plays are remnants of pagan fertility rites. In fact, the plays have roots going back to the Puritans’ efforts to encourage everyone to read the

While researching mummers’ plays, I discovered they are folk plays performed by troupes of amateur actors (mummers or ‘guisers’), traditionally all male. Two of the actors engage in combat, the loser being revived by a character supposedly a ‘doctor’. Mumming began in the fourteenth century and comes from a ‘disguising’ tradition. Over time, the plays evolved as fantasy entertainment and 22

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bible, and Morris dancing itself can trace its lineage from royal court entertainment through to the Church! The plays are also linked to the tradition of wassailing – going around to big houses, singing and collecting money. When our society was based around agriculture, the plays were performed on twelfth night – traditionally a party night before the return to work the next day. Nowadays, you see them on Boxing Day, usually the day before offices and factories reopen. The Caddington version of the play was collected in Croxley Green near Watford. It was written around 1920 by a headmaster who used traditional manuscripts to create a play for his male pupils. Having a full role for the dragon (who is often referred to but rarely actually appears in the play) is very unusual, but is especially popular with local children. There’s much more to the fascinating history of mummers’ plays, so I recommend visiting the website www.mastermummers.org. And you can contact Caddington Blues Morris at caddingtonblues@gmail.com.

2020 Apr Fri 3 PERFORMERS’ NIGHT Fri 17JOURNEYMEN LIGHT

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w

https://www.facebook.com/journeymen5/

May Fri 1 PERFORMERS’ NIGHT Fri 15 DAVE ELLIS and

a

BOO HOWARD

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http://www.daveandboo.com/

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June Sat 6

STONY LIVE!

a

CLAIRE HASTINGS h

https://www.clairehastings.com/bio

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at The Pump House, Local Board Road, Watford WD17 2JP

Folk, Roots and Acoustic Music at its very best F ri d a y s 8 p m – 1 1 p m 3rd April 10th April

Singaround GOOD FRIDAY—CLOSED

£5 -

17th April

DARIA KULESH

£8

24

GEORGE SANSOME

th

April

1st May 8th May

(from Granny’s Attic)

Mayday Singaround CLOSED

£10 £5 -

1 5 M ay

ODETTE MICHELL

£10

2 2 n d M ay

Singaround

£5

29th May

GLYMJACK TRIO

£10

5th June

Singaround

£5

12th June

BLACK SCARR

£10

19th June

Spotlight Singaround with

£5

th

JON BICKLEY & JOHN MAW 26 June th

JOHN KIRKPATRICK

£15

Please Note: Entry is by suggested minimum donation shown above For the latest information visit us at: watfordfolkclub.co.uk Email us :WatfordFolkClub@outlook.com Find us on Facebook: Watford Folk Club We look forward to seeing you very soon!!!!

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val Folk Festi y r u b s w e Shr buryfolk @shrews

Ceilidh Bands Concerts Morris Teams Workshops

Judy Collins (USA) Carlos Núñez (Spain) P@ndemonium! Show of Hands Children’s Festival Blackie and The Rodeo Kings (Canada/USA) for 11-20 year olds The Young’uns Craft Fair The Lost Words: Spell Songs Great Campsite Stephen Fearing & Singarounds The Sentimentals (Canada/Denmark) and Sessions Caterers Pendevig Real Ale and Seckou Keita Quartet Cocktail Bars

refolkus

Band of Burns // The Ballads of Child Migration Sheema Mukherjee // The John Martin Project Truckstop Honeymoon // Colin Linden (USA) // Calan FOS Brothers // Kabantu // Tom Wilson (Canada) Will Pound’s A Day Will Come Sheelanagig // The Jellyman’s Daughter The Boxwood Chessmen // Sherburn—Bartley—Sanders Mazula // Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess The Longest Johns

Plus many more! See website for latest…

Dance Bands:

Hekety Threepenny Bit Woodpecker Band 4 Idiots Naragonia Quartet (Belgium) The Gloworms Token Women

ow n sale n tickets o

festival.co.uk lk fo y r u sb w www.shre

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Eliza Cart

hy

Brighde Chaimbeul

Eddi Rea

der

Peatbog Faeries

Pre Festival Thursday 30 July Steeleye Span

Eddi Reader • Show of Hands Eliza Carthy Restitute Live Home Service Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings

Pre Festival Friday 31 July The Fisherman’s Friends

Peatbog Faeries • Edward II • The Demon Barbers XL • Talisk • Yves Lambert Trio Will Pound’s A Day Will Come • The Magpie Arc • Daoiri Farrell • The East Pointers Melrose Quartet • Centralbal • The Trials Of Cato • Jackie Daly & Matt Cranitch Fara • Tim Edey • Jamie Smith’s Mabon • Jez Lowe • Brighde Chaimbeul Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage • Ewan McLennan • The Local Honeys Mairearad Green & Anna Massie • Jack Rutter • Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne Olcay Bayir • Eugenia Georgieva • Rosie Hood Trio • Teilhard Frost • John Kirkpatrick Granny’s Attic • Frankie Armstrong • Belinda Kempster & Fran Foote Ruth Notman • Rachel Hair & Ron Jappy • Dan Keding • Gadarene Mike Wilson • Damien Barber • Moirai • Ben Paley Kirkophany • Cock & Bull Band • Melrose Quintet • Diatonics • Urban Folk Theory Threepenny Bit • Lasair • The Two Pauls (Hutchinson and Sartin) • The Pigeon Swing

and many more Concerts • Ceilidhs • Folk Dances • Roots Parties Dance Spectaculars • Children’s Festival Huge Workshop Programme • Shooting Roots and Stream of Sound

A festival with a view: a seaside town set in majestic red cliffs and a lush green valley.

Early Bird Tickets available now

www.sidmouthfolkfestival.co.uk 26

orwcall w wthe . u nbox i c ooffice r n m a01395 g a z i n577952 e.org


Tenterden folk festival 2020 “Tenterden, the Jewel of the Weald�

Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th October 2020

i CONTACT INFORMATION: Festival director: Alan Castle, 15 Repton Manor Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 3HA E: alan@tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk Crafts & stalls: Margaret White, E: info@tenterdencraftfair.org.uk Chief steward: Sally Argent E: chiefsteward@tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk Dance co-ordinator: Spud Jones E: dance@tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk

First guests now announced for 2020

Bill Jones, Bob & Gill Berry, Brian Peters, Broomdasher, Dick Miles, Graeme and Heather Knights, Jeff Warner, Morrigan, Pete Castle, Peter & Barbara Snape, Scolds Bridle Many more still to be confirmed Plus Free music stage and showcase guests Plus regular and local guests Plus up to 50 Morris sides and dance display teams Ticketed events include: Thursday evening concert, concerts, barn dance, special shows, workshops, meet the guests, folk clubs, etc. Free events include: craft & street stalls, free music stage, dance stage, Morris dancers, dance displays, procession, song and music sessions, street theatre, etc.

Tenterden Folk Festival Registered charity No. 1038663

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27


UNICORN DIARY APRIL 2020

Wednesday 1  LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 1 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage/Singaround Thursday 2 BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance - caller Terry Elvins 2  BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Spring Singaround 2  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 3 BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 3  CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Open Stage with Maisie Blades 3  FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with caller Bob Barrett and Spring Greens 3 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Singaround Sunday 5  BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage Monday 6 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singaround 6 HERGA at the Castle • Guest night Broomdasher 6 STAPLERS • Club night with caller Paul Garner 6  WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Guest night for charity. John and Monica Harris Tuesday 7 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Union Jill Wednesday 8 BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Emily Slade 8 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Ben Sommers 8 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 8  REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Elizabeth & Jameson and floor spots Thursday 9  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller George Hearnden 9 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singers’ Night 9  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club closed (Maundy Thursday) Friday 10  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • School holiday club closed 10 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Club closed (Good Friday) 10 FRIDAY FOLK • Club closed (Good Friday) 10  ROYSTON FOLK CLUB • Showcase featuring iClaudia and The Stout Brothers 10 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Club closed (Good Friday) Sunday 12 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Easter Open Stage Monday 13 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Club closed (Easter Monday) 13 HERGA at the Castle • Club closed (Easter Monday) 13 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround TBC Tuesday 14  S T NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Showcase with Craig Joiner and Finn Collinson Wednesday 15  CHEQUERS FOLK CLUB • The Wick Trimmers and guests (Free entry - donations box) 15 ELY FOLK CLUB • Tom Kitching 15 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Alice Walker 15  LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Guest caller Kevin Prigmore 15  REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage/Singaround Thursday 16 BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Edna Burton 16 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singaround 16  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 17  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • School holiday club closed 17  CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Showcase with Craig Joiner, The Larks and The Boxwood Chessmen 17  FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with callers Rebecca and David Capron and the Friday Folk Band 17 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Daria Kulesh Sunday 19 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Alden & Patterson 19  H ITCHIN FOLK CLUB • Richard Digance plus Kelly Oliver 7.30pm at Hitchin Cricket Club

28

Monday 20  CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Alan Franks and Charlotte Moore 20 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 20 S TAPLERS • Club night with caller Ann Gibson 20 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround Tuesday 21 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Landermason Wednesday 22 BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Chris Fox 22 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Kevin Hunt 22 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 22 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Louise Jordan and floor spots Thursday 23  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Pat George 23 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singers’ Night 23 ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 24  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 24 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Roger Wilson 24 FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with caller Bob Lilley 24  ROYSTON FOLK CLUB • Concert with Hunter Muskett. Support: Cut the Mustard 24  WATFORD FOLK CLUB • George Sansome (from Granny’s Attic) Saturday 25  N ORTHAMPTON CEILIDHS • Contra Dance with The Ivel Valley Band and caller John Turner Sunday 26 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage Monday 27 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singaround 27 HERGA at the Castle • Guest night Tom Perry and Clive Brooks 27  S TAPLERS • Club night with caller Jeannie Byron Williams 27 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Guest night Richard Grainger Tuesday 28 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Round the Room Wednesday 29 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 29 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage/Singaround Thursday 30  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller John Green 30 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Local Singers and Musicians 30  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing

MAY 2020 Friday

1  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 1  CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Open Stage with Sascha Osborn 1 FOLK AT THE MALTINGS • May Day concert with The Devines 1 FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with caller Suzanne Farmer 1 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • May Day Singaround Sunday 3 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage Monday 4  CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singers featuring Clive Pearce and Family 4 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 4 STAPLERS • Club night 4 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround Tuesday 5 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • The Hut People Wednesday 6  BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Baldock Stories and Ballads with Jane Ravenscroft and Brian Burke 6 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 6 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Nick Dow and floor spots Thursday 7 BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Club closed - no dance 7 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singers’ Night 7  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 8 BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • School holiday club closed 8  CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Flashback Photograph, Beware This Boy and Honey & The Bear

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UNICORN DIARY

MAY 2020 (CONTINUED) Friday

8  FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with caller Wendy Harrup and the Friday Folk Band (Club is open although it is Bank Holiday) 8 ROYSTON FOLK CLUB • Showcase featuring Crayon Angels and John Meed 8 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Club closed (Bank Holiday) Monday 11 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singaround 11 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 11 STAPLERS • Club night 11 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround Tuesday 12 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Open Stage Wednesday 13 ELY FOLK CLUB • Other Roads 13 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Ryan Davies 13 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 13 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage/Singaround Thursday 14  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Denise Devonald 14  BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Local Singers and Musicians 14  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 15  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 15  BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Cambridge & Walker Album Launch 15 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Alden, Patterson and Dashwood 15 FRIDAY FOLK • Maypole dancing with Mike Ruff Sunday 17 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Odette Michell Monday 18 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Mike Silver and Johnny Coppin 18 HERGA at the Castle • Guest night TBD 18 STAPLERS • Club night 18  WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Guest night Odette Michell Tuesday 19 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Clive Gregson Wednesday 20 BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Gorjus Wrex 20  CHEQUERS FOLK CLUB • Honey and the Bear (£10 on the door) 20 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Craig Joiner 20 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 20 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Steve Ashley and floor spots Thursday 21  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Kevin Prigmore 21 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Spotlight Singaround with Jon Bickley & John Maw 21 ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 22  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 22 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe 22 FRIDAY FOLK • Club closed 22 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Singaround Sunday 24 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage 24  H ITCHIN FOLK CLUB • Daphne’s Flight 7.30pm at Hitchin Cricket Club Monday 25 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Club closed (Bank Holiday) 25  HERGA at the Castle • Club closed (Bank Holiday and Chippenham Festival) 25 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround TBC Tuesday 26 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Round the Room Wednesday 27 BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Sedbuskers and Steve Warner 27 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Pat Crilly & Greg Camburn 27  LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Guest caller Ted Morse 27 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage/Singaround Thursday 28  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance - callers Dave and Vic 28 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singers’ Night 28  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing

Friday 29 BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • School holiday club closed 29 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Brooks Williams 29 FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with caller Mike Bennett 29  ROYSTON FOLK CLUB • Concert with the John Ward Band. Support Gamon and Blishen 29 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Glymjack Trio Saturday 30 NORTHAMPTON CEILIDHS • Ceildih. Band and caller TBC Sunday 31 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage

JUNE 2020

Monday 1 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singaround 1 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 1 STAPLERS • Club night 1 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround Tuesday 2 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Dan Walsh Wednesday 3 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 3 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Clive Gregson and floor spots Thursday 4  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Alison Ross 4 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singaround 4  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 5  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 5 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Open Stage with Pat Crilly 5 FOLK AT THE MALTINGS • James Findlay 5 FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with the Friday Folk Band 5 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Singaround Sunday 7 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Songs of the Sea Open Stage with Bernie Kedge Monday 8 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singers featuring Tim Brooks 8 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 8 STAPLERS • Club night 8  WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Guest night Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham Tuesday 9 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Marian Bradfield Wednesday 10 BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Lizzy Hardingham 10 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Elizabeth & Jameson 10 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 10 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Nancy Kerr & James Fagan and floor spots Thursday 11  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Pat George 11 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Local Singers and Musicians 11 ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 12 BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 12 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Charlie Dore 12 FRIDAY FOLK • Dance with caller David Ashworth 12 ROYSTON FOLK CLUB • Showcase featuring Steve Warner and Pulling Daisies 12  S T NEOTS FOLK FESTIVAL • Showcase with Jeremy Harmer, Tom Bryans, Clark & Johnson and a New Roots finalist 12 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Black*Scarr Saturday 13  S T NEOTS FOLK FESTIVAL • Day of Dance and evening concert with Richard Digance & The Salts Sunday 14 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage 14  H ITCHIN FOLK CLUB • Johnny Coppin and Mike Silver 7.30pm at Hitchin Cricket Club 14 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Folk on the Common. 2.00 - 6.00pm 14  S T NEOTS FOLK FESTIVAL • Evening concert with Ninebarrow & Tom McConville Monday 15 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singaround 15 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 15 STAPLERS • Club night 15 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround

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UNICORN DIARY JUNE 2020 (CONTINUED)

Tuesday 16 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Tom Kitching Wednesday 17 CHEQUERS FOLK CLUB • The Wick Trimmers and guests (Free entry - donations box) 17 ELY FOLK CLUB • Gerry Colvin and Friends 17  FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Grinch Mountain Bluegrass Band 17 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Club Callers 17 REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage/Singaround Thursday 18 BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance caller Graham Foster Thursday 18 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Singaround 18  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday Friday 19  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 19 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Dan Wilde and Becky Mills 19  FRIDAY FOLK • Cajun dancing with Madeleine Doherty and Tim Rutherford 19 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • Singaround Sunday 21 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • The Often Herd Monday 22 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Elizabeth & Jameson 22 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 22 STAPLERS • Club night 22 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround Tuesday 23 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Megan Wisdom Wednesday 24 BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Daria Kulesh 24 FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Ruby Muse

Wednesday

24 LINSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Guest caller Judith Inman 24  REDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Odette Michell and floor spots Thursday 25  BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Dance - caller John Green 25 BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB • Local Singers and Musicians 25  ROUNDABOUTERS (Stevenage) • Club night, country dancing Friday 26  BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Club night, visitors welcome 26 CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Pre-Festival Showcase 26 FRIDAY FOLK • Newcomers night with Bob Barrett 26  ROYSTON FOLK CLUB • Concert with Gilmore and Roberts. Support: Luke James Williams 26  S T ALBANS FOLK FESTIVAL • See www.stalbansfolkatthefestival.org.uk for details 26 WATFORD FOLK CLUB • John Kirkpatrick (rescheduled from 2019) Saturday 27  S T ALBANS FOLK FESTIVAL • Day of Dance and Day of Music in City Centre Sunday 28 BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Open Stage 28  S T ALBANS FOLK FESTIVAL • Song writing competition final and other events, St Saviours Church, Sandpit Lane, St Albans Monday 29 CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Singaround 29 HERGA at the Castle • Singaround 29 STAPLERS • Pub night at the Cricketers PH, Weston 8.00pm 29 WALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Singaround Tuesday 30 ST NEOTS FOLK CLUB • Round the Room

CD REVIEW LIZ SIMCOCK ‘WINTER HILL’ You may have seen Liz Simcock recently at the Cambridge or Chequers Folk Clubs or with Emily Slade at Hitchin’s new venue launch evening. ‘Winter Hill’ is her fifth album. Featuring just her calm, delightful voice and gentle guitar accompaniment, this acoustic album clearly demonstrates her consummate talent as a singer songwriter. She has been influenced by great artists including Joni Mitchell, Christine Collister, Nancy Giffiths, Bob Dylan and Billy Bragg. The13 tracks are poetic and skilfully crafted, drawing on Liz’s life experiences. The lyrics paint vivid pictures of the deep emotional events that touch us all – birth, loss, hope, the death of a relationship. The CD packaging and booklet of lyrics are eye catching and beautifully produced with evocative photography. See www.lizsimcock.com for more information and upcoming gigs. Reviewed by Sandra Lawes 30

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CLUB INDEX • BALDOCK FOLK CLUB • Baldock The Orange Tree, Norton Road, Baldock, Herts SG7 5AW Contact: Brian Burke, 07768 274037 www.baldockfolkclub.org

•H  ERGA AT THE CASTLE • Harrow The Castle PH, 30 West Street, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3EF Contact: Tim Brooks, 01923 264536 www.herga.club

• BEDFORD FINE COMPANIONS • Bedford Hazeldene Lower School, Stancliffe Road, Bedford, MK41 9AT Contact: Chris Rutt, 01462 700451 finecompanions.publicity@gmail.com https://finecompanions.wordpress.com

•H  ITCHIN FOLK CLUB • Hitchin The Cricket Pavilion, Lucas Lane, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2JA Contact: Maureen Jones, 01462 812391 www.hitchinfolkclub.co.uk goodmusic@hitchinfolkclub.co.uk

• BEDFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB • Bedford St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Goldington, Bedford, MK41 0HL Contact: Ron D. Law, 01234 825574 www.bedfordfolkdanceclub.com • BEDFORD FOLK MUSIC CLUB• Bedford Kempston Hammers Sports and Social Club 134 High Street, Kempston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK42 7BN Contact: Mike Blair, 01525 404513 – see us on Facebook • BLACK FEN FOLK CLUB • Cambridge NCI Sports and Social Club, 1 Holland Street, Cambridge CB4 3DL Contact: David Savage, 01223 424935, squeezer@ntlworld.com www.blackfenfolkclub.com • CAMBRIDGE FOLK CLUB • Cambridge Golden Hind PH, 355 Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1SP Contact: Marion Treby, 01638 603986 www.cambridgefolkclub.co.uk • CHEQUERS FOLK CLUB • Great Kingshill The Barn @ Cherry Tree Farm, Missenden Road, Great Kingshill, Bucks HP15 6ED Contact: Philippa Wallin, philippa.wallin@btinternet.com www.wicktrimmers.co.uk/chequers-folk • CHESHAM FOLK CLUB • Chesham White Hill Centre, White Hill, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1AG Contact: Ray Butler, cheshamfolk123@gmail.com www.cheshamfolkclub.org.uk • ELY FOLK CLUB • Ely (no bar BYOB) The Old Dispensary, St Mary’s Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4ER Contact: Ruth Bramley/Andy Wall, 01353 740999 / 01353 664706 www.elyfolkclub.co.uk • FOLK AT THE MALTINGS • St Albans The Maltings Arts Theatre, Level 2, The Maltings, St Albans, AL1 3HL Contact: Alison Macfarlane, 01727 852111 www.stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk • FOUR RIVERS FOLK CLUB • Hertford (formerly The White Horse Folk Club) The Hertford Club, Bull Plain, Hertford, SG14 1DT Contact: Pat Crilly, 07971 804418 patcrilly@hotmail.com • FRIDAY FOLK SOCIAL DANCE CLUB • St Albans Methodist Church Hall, Marlborough Road, St Albans, AL1 3XG Contact: Bob Barrett: 01727 856508, 07762 085629 www.fridayfolk.org.uk

• L INSLEIGHDERS FOLK DANCE GROUP • Linslade The Forster Institute, Waterloo Rd, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 2NR Contact: Elizabeth Corser, 01525 378010 Elizabeth.corser@btinternet.com •N  ORTHAMPTON CEILIDHS • Northampton Christchurch Hall, 3 Christchurch Road, Abington, Northampton, NN1 5LL Contact: John and Ruth Green 01933 397767 or 07760 197921 www.northamptonceilidhs.co.uk •R  EDBOURN FOLK CLUB • Redbourn Old School Room, Hollybush PH, Church End, Redbourn, AL3 7DU Contact: Jenny McNaught, 01582 793164 www.redbournfolkclub.org.uk •R  OUNDABOUTERS • Stevenage Friends Meeting House, Cutty’s Lane, Stevenage, SG1 1UP Contact: Lorna Sharpe, 01438 727 239 roundabouters@live.co.uk, www.roundabouters.org.uk •R  OYSTON FOLK CLUB • Royston Old Bull Inn, 56 High St, Royston, SG8 9AW Contact: Mark Gamon (showcases) 07738 183158 Chris Walls (concerts) 01763 260 556 www.roystonfolk.org •S  TAPLERS COUNTRY DANCE CLUB • Hitchin St John’s Community Centre, St John’s Rd, Hitchin, SG4 9JP Contact: Gill Goodman, 01462 456811 gillagoodman@hotmail.co.uk www.staplers.org.uk •S  T NEOTS FOLK CLUB • St Neots Priory Centre, Priory Lane, St Neots, PE19 2BH Contact: Roger Pitt, 01234 376278 www.stneotsfolkclub.co.uk •W  ALTHAM ABBEY FOLK CLUB • Waltham Abbey The Sultan PH (Private room), Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1PD Contact: Jan Ayres, 01992 613987 www.walthamabbeyfolkclub.com •W  ATFORD FOLK CLUB • Watford Colne River Room, Pump House Theatre & Arts Centre, Local Board Rd, Watford, WD17 2JP Contact: http://watfordfolkclub.co.uk

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Northampton Ceilidhs An Update by John Green

Northampton Ceilidhs are halfway through our 12th season and optimistically looking to the future. At the start of the season, we had very good bands and callers and every dance was fun and, in dancing terms, a great success. However, numbers were a little low. But now, things have looked up considerably. Happily, we had plenty of revellers at our New Year’s Eve Ceilidh who all had a really good time. The January Ceilidh was also very good and marked a new departure in terms of the music. The music after the interval was supplied by an excellent band, Finality Jack. The novel feature was the band for the first half, Zinguaresque. Richard Leigh, a member of Finality Jack, is a teacher at NMPAT (the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust) who, at our request, brought many of his students along to play, a task they performed brilliantly. They gave us very danceable music and proved adaptable and unflappable. Hope for the future of folk dance and music! Many of the youngsters in Zinguaresque and their families stayed on for the second half and obviously enjoyed themselves. We liked them so much that we have invited them back next year! We will publish our programme for the next year shortly. Thank you to everyone who has supported Northampton Ceilidhs since our first dance in February 2009. Long may we continue to offer a good night of dancing and draw new people into this folk world we enjoy so much. See our ad below.

St Andrew’s Church, Hertford Friday, 8th May (Bank Holiday) 7.30 p.m. Tickets: £25 www.ticketsource.co.uk/st-andrewschurch See the legendary Fairport Convention on their 2020 Spring Tour. A unique opportunity to hear the band in the beautiful setting of St Andrew’s Church

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FOLK M USIC BY TH E SEA BR EABACH | CATRIN F INCH & S E CK OU K E ITA | BE L SH A Z Z A R ’ S F E A ST S EAN LAKEM AN & KATHRY N ROB E RTS | THE S A M SW E E N E Y BA N D | T I M E D E Y YO R KST ON/THORNE/KHA N | TRIA L S OF CATO | W IL L P O U N D ’ S A D AY W I L L C O M E N A O MI BE DFORD B AND | RE G ME UROS S | COCK A N D BU L L BA N D | BA N T E R | T R U N ICK HART | STEPLI NG | B IL L J ONE S | TRA CK D O G S | R O WA N G O D D E L T R I O A J CLARKE | THE COB HE RS | L ’IL J IM | T O BI A S BE N JA C O B T OM K IT CHI NG & MARI T FA LT | THE L E Y L INE S | F O O T D O W N | BI R D I N T H E BE L LY TH E L O WLY STRUNG | S TE V E TURNE R | MA ZA IK A | T H E H U T P E O P L E | JO H N WA R D TR IO | G LYMJACK | NICK DOW | THE L UNATRA K TOR S | BR I ST O L C E I L I D H Q U A RT E T BROWN B OOTS | PAUL DOW NE S & A NNIE W INTE R | A L E X C U M M I N G & N I C O L A BEAZLEY | SADIE & JAY | COPPE R V IPE R | THE L O ST R E V E L L E R S | T H E F L O W I N G K EIT H KENDRI CK & SYLV IA NE E DHA M | TONY & L ESL E Y P E T T Y | BR O O M D A SH E R S A L LY IRONMONGE R & B RIA N CA RTE R | PE TE C O L L I N S | M I KE N I C H O L SO N BOB KE NWARD | SWI NG THE B RIDGE | J OHN & D I C U L L E N | M E G A N W I SD O M C O NCE RTS . CE ILIDHS . W ORK S HOPS . DA NCES . C H I L D R E N ’ S F E ST I VA L C RAFT & MUSI C FAIR . F E S TIVA L CA MPS ITE . MOR R I S D A N C E R S . P U B SE SSI O N S

F E S T IVA L T I C K E T S AVA IL A B L E NOW! WITH OR W I THOUT CAM P ING FO R A WEEK, WEEKEND O R DAY - NO BOOKING F EES IN 2 0 2 0

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Thur 12 Mar 8pm SWING’S THE THING

AN EVENING WITH ELLA FITZGERALD, FRANK SINATRA, COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Swing’s The Thing take you back to the 1960’s when Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra were at their most popular. Katherine Mclean and Mel Peake join the orchestra in this tribute to three giants of jazz. £12.50

Tue 7 Apr 11am NICK COPE

INTERACTIVE MUSIC SHOWS FOR CHILDREN

Nick Cope is a professional singer and songwriter, and has over 20 years of experience in music, including international success as lead singer and songwriter with The Candyskins in the 90’s. With songs about head lice, hedgehogs, redundant robots, saving the polar bears and honey bees, gender stereotyping and dragons called Keith, Nick performs his very special live music concert for families. £10/£8.50/£32

Thu 16 Apr 8pm BEDFORD PLAYERS TRUST

MY GIRL THE RIVER ALBUM LAUNCH

My Girl The River, a Bedford favourite, who in recent years supported Suzanne Vega, brings family harmonies to their Americana, folk and country roots sound on this special night. They are returning to the Place to celebrate the release of their second album: Cardinal in the Snow. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Neilson Hubbard (Grammy nominated for his work with Mary Gauthier) this collection of songs brings to light personal struggles and loss, love and hope and some mysterious characters. £12 ADV/£14 OTD

See website for further ticket details: www.theplacebedford.org.uk/tickets or call the box office on 01234 354321 34 www.unicornmagazine.org


Whitby 2020 Folk Week Over 600 events for young and old everyone welcome Workshops; Dances; Concerts

22 – 28 August 2020 www.whitbyfolk.co.uk Ticket Sales – 07597 541899 www.unicornmagazine.org

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2020 TRANSATLANTIC SESSIONS AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, LONDON

Reviewed by Brian King

With a music genre more naturally at home in small, intimate venues, it takes musicians of the highest calibre to command the rapt attention of a capacity crowd at London’s Royal Festival Hall, but that’s exactly what Transatlantic Sessions achieved…with consummate ease. Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas with their regular team of top-notch players and assorted guests from both sides of the Atlantic, have been doing this for a long time now, and although it hardly seems possible their shows are getting better and better. It’s also heartening that folk royalty like Aly and Jerry are continuing to provide a showcase for young and upcoming talent. This year’s performance included the precociously gifted Tennessee singer and mandolin player Sierra Hull, who brought out her first album at the tender age of 10. Now a ‘mature lady’ of 28, she played her heart out all evening, taking the spotlight for a trio of songs which demonstrated her talents across folk, bluegrass and jazz styles. Keeping up the side for Scotland, singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni captivated the audience with a mix of traditional and self-penned numbers. Equally impressive was US singer and multi-instrumentalist Cahalen Morrison, bringing old-time country and bluegrass music together to create something altogether new and surprising. All three of the newcomers looked completely at home amid such exalted company. The other guests were the dynamic and hugely entertaining Cathy Jordan, usually fronting 40

Irish band Dervish, and guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel, duetting to great effect with Jerry Douglas who he tours with later this year. As always, there were moments of high comedy with Phil Cunningham fulfilling his usual role as ‘Jester in Chief’. At one point he pulled a latex ‘bald cap’ over his hair to make the follically-challenged John McCusker and Michael McGoldrick, who were playing alongside him, feel more at home. It is difficult to pick highlights from such a spectacular evening, but I particularly enjoyed Cathy Jordan’s spirited rendition of the traditional Irish song ‘Sliabh Gallon Braes’, Rachel Sermanni’s ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, Tommy Emmanuel’s cheeky version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ and the stunning air ‘Darling Clemmie’ from Phil Cunningham, written for his niece. Perhaps the star performance was Cathy Jordan, Sierra Hull and Rachel Sermanni combining for a mesmerising three-part harmony rendition of ‘The Old Churchyard’ performed as an encore after the whole ensemble was called back on stage by an ecstatic audience. A really special touch was the opportunity to buy a memento of the concert - a CD of many of the songs performed during the evening, recorded earlier on the tour in Glasgow. This was the seventeenth time Aly and Jerry have brought the Transatlantic Sessions team out on tour. Long may this grand tradition endure.

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P J Music

PJ

Music Books, Song Books, Dance Books, Instruments & Accessories, Strings, FX, Amps, Mics, Studio & Stage Equipment Everything for the Traditional Musician

New and Used Instruments for sale Melodeon and Accordion tuning

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Advert Unicorn Apr - Jun 20:Layout 2

6/2/20 10:38 Page 1 Wayside Cottage, Chapel Lane, Botesdale, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 1DT

Dance the night away . . . it’s a barn dance – or is it a ceilidh? A ceilidh (say

kayley) is your chance to dance English folk dances with others. The caller explains all the moves and walks them through – the band starts – and a great time is had by all! There’s usually a dance display in the interval and a raffle. Singles and groups are welcomed – just come and enjoy dancing to great music from top bands. Tickets only £11 - singles & groups welcome.

See

www.unicornceilidhs.org.uk FRIDAY 10TH APRIL

frog on ar bike with calle andy rouse

FRIDAY 8TH MAY

bosun higgs with caller

ian nichols

The Bosun Higgs s of together fiddle, melodline up brings Frog on a Bike has over 100 year , banjo, bass r saxophone, and pereon musicianship between them. Thei sion for a and al tra ition trad ditional sound withcus repertoire is rooted in oo ic and lift. www.bosunh mph, swing contemporary English folk musFren iggs.co.uk ch however Scottish, Irish and evenmix! Ian’s a popular caller tunes may be added to the wit h dances both old and a wealth of www.frogonabike.co.uk new. dancer, Don’t miss the last da Andy is an enthusiastic caller & ing nce of the season! and always transforms the even! into a memorable occasion

St Mary’s Hall, Church St, Baldock SG7 5AE

FULL BAR with REAL ALE

Tickets now available on line see website for details

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June, July & August

We don’t organise ceilidhs in the three summer months, as many people are away on holidays and dancing at festivals. We’re back with a great band andcaller on Friday September 11th Geckoes with Alan Simpson. All details at www.unicornceilidhs.org.uk and in the next issue of Unicorn. Have a great summer!

Doors open 7.30 p.m. Dancing 8.00 to 11.00 p.m.

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The Priory Centre, St. Neots, PE19 2BH Every Tuesday 8.00pm

Email – stneotsfolkclub@aol.com Telephone - 01234 376278 www.stneotsfolkclub.co.uk

April 7 Union Jill April 14 Showcase with Craig Joiner & Finn Collinson April 21 Landermason April 28 Round the Room May 5 The Hut People June 2 Dan Walsh May 12 Open Stage June 9 Marian Bradfield May 19 Clive Gregson June 16 Tom Kitching May 26 Round the Room June 23 Megan Wisdom June 30 Round the Room

Friday ev: Showcase night with Jeremy Harmer and cellist, Tom Bryans, Clark & Johnson plus – a finalist of New Roots competition

Saturday: Day of Dance

Sat. evening: Richard Digance & The Salts

Sunday

ev. Ninebarrow & Tom McConville

Tickets on the door or from the Club or ticket application form via web site or leaflet

The Priory Centre, St Neots, PE19 2BH For more information see website: www.stneotsfolkclub.co.uk

or ring 01234 376278

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Summer 2020 If you enjoy a lively barn dance, you'll find Friday Folk is a great way to meet like-minded people and have fun. Newcomers are always welcome. And there's no need to bring a partner. Meeting Fridays from 7:45 to 10:00 pm at The Church Hall, Marlborough Road, St Albans, AL1 3XG. www.fridayfolk.org.uk – 01727 856508 Standard Friday admission £4

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3 Apr Bob Barrett and Spring Greens 10 Apr Closed for Easter 17 Apr Rebecca and David Capron and Friday Folk Band 24 Apr Bob Lilley 1 May Suzanne Farmer 8 May Wendy Harrup & FF Band (BH) 15 May Maypole dancing with Mike Ruff 22 May Closed for Chippenham Festival 29 May Mike Bennett 5 Jun Friday Folk Band 6 Jun Saturday Special with Jen Morgan and Contrasaurus at Samuel Ryder 12 Jun David Ashworth 19 Jun Cajun dancing with Madeleine Doherty and Tim Rutherford 26 Jun Newcomers night, Bob Barrett 3 Jul Colin Hume and FF Band

Ely Folk Club presents

Wednesday 15th April

Tom Kitching £12 (£11 advance)

Wednesday 13th May

Other Roads £12 (£11 advance)

Wednesday 17th June

Gerry Colvin & Friends £12 (£11 advance)

Open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm

Old Dispensary, 13 St Mary’s St., Ely CB7 4ER

Roxton Garden Centre

www.elyfolkclub.co.uk

Closed Monday except Bank Holidays

@ The Black Cat Roundabout Bedford Road, Roxton, MK44 3DY

01353 740999/664706

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MORRIS DIARY APRIL 2020

MAY 2020

Wednesday 1 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Practice, Pump House, Watford, WD17 2JP Wednesday 8 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Practice, Pump House, Watford, WD17 2JP Wednesday 15 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Practice, Pump House, Watford, WD17 2JP Sunday 19 11.00am PHOENIX MORRIS - 4.00pm • Oxford Folk Festival. Use Park & Ride and bus into Oxford Thursday 23 TBC  WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • St George’s Day, London (details TBC) 23 7.00 PHOENIX MORRIS -10.00pm • The Case is Altered PH, High Road, Eastcote, Pinner, HA5 2EW with Merrydowners and Whitehorn Saturday 25 TBC  WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • St George’s Day Fete, Caddington, Beds Wednesday 29 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Practice, Pump House, Watford, WD17 2JP

Thursday 7 TBC 7 8.00pm

MAY 2020 Friday

1 5.00am  WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Dance in the dawn, Cassiobury Park, Watford 1 6.30am  LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Ickwell Green, SG18 9EF (with Bedford Morris Men) 1 6.30am BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • Ickwell Green Maypole (with Letchworth Morris Men) 1 12.15pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Letchworth Town Centre (opposite The Three Magnets PH SG6 3EW) Saturday 2 10.00am PHOENIX MORRIS - 5.00pm • Sweeps Festival, Rochester Tuesday 5 8.00pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Five Elms PH, 4 Stockaway, Weedon, Aylesbury, HP22 4NL Wednesday 6 7.45pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • The Fox and Hounds PH, 54 High St, Riseley, Bedford MK44 1DT 6 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Practice, Pump House, Watford, WD17 2JP

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WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Wedding (private event) LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The March Hare PH, 34 High St, Dunton, Biggleswade SG18 8RN Friday 8 12noon PHOENIX MORRIS • Pirton May Carnival, Bank Holiday 8 1.00 BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS - 4.00pm • VE/May Day, Great Green, Pirton, Hitchin, SG5 3QD (Guests: Phoenix Morris) 8 6.30am WHITCHURCH MORRIS • VE Day Coombe Hill Monument near Wendover SP849066 8 8.45am WHITCHURCH MORRIS • VE Day The Hampden Arms PH, Great Hampden, HP16 9RQ 8 10.00am WHITCHURCH MORRIS • VE Day The World’s End Garden Centre, near Wendover, HP22 6BD 8 11.30am WHITCHURCH MORRIS • VE Day The Horse and Jockey PH, Aylesbury, HP19 9QL 8 1.30pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • VE Day The Half Moon PH, Wilstone, HP23 4PD 8 2.15pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • VE Day Pitstone Green Farm Museum, Pitstone, LU7 9EY Saturday 9 11.45am LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Crown PH, Northill, SG18 9AA (with Bedford Morris Men) 9 11.45am BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • The Crown PH, Northill, SG18 9AA (with Letchworth Morris Men) 9 1.30pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Procession to Ickwell May Fair 9 1.30pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • Procession Northill to Ickwell with Letchworth Morris Men 9 2.00pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • Ickwell Green with Letchworth Morris Men Sunday 10 Afternoon LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Ashwell at Home Tuesday 12 8.00pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Rose and Crown PH, Wingrave, HP22 4PD Wednesday 13 7.45pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • The Sun PH, Grange Rd, Felmersham, Bedford MK43 7EU 13 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Practice, Pump House, Watford, WD17 2JP

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MORRIS DIARY MAY 2020

JUNE 2020

Thursday 14 8.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Lordship Arms PH, Benington, SG2 7BX (with Standon Morris) Saturday 16 11.00am PHOENIX MORRIS - 4.00pm • R  ickmansworth Canal Festival Sunday 17 11.00am PHOENIX MORRIS - 4.00pm • Rickmansworth Canal Festival Tuesday 19 8.00pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The George and Dragon PH, Quainton, HP22 4AR Wednesday 20 7.45pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • The Crown PH, 17 Station Rd, Willington, Bedford MK44 3QH 20 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • John Bunyan PH, Coleman Green, Wheathampstead, St Albans, AL4 8ES Thursday 21 8.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Plume of Feathers, Ickleford, SG5 3YD 21 9.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Old George PH, Ickleford, SG5 3UX Saturday 23 10.00am BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS - 4.00pm • B  aldock Day of Dance, High Street, Baldock (Many sides) 23 10.00am LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN - 4.00pm • Baldock Day of Dance, Baldock Town Centre with various other sides Saturday/ 23 All day WHITCHURCH MORRIS Monday & 25 • In the Yorkshire Dales hosted by Leed Morris Men Tuesday 26 8.00pm BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS • The Robin Hood PH, 14 Ware Road, Tonwell, Ware, SG12 0HN Wednesday 27 7.45pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • T he Three Cranes PH, High St, Turvey, Bedford MK43 8EP 27 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Falcon PH, Village Road, Denham, Uxbridge, UB9 5BE Thursday 28 8.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Bird in Hand PH, Gosmore, SG4 7QG 28 9.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Red Lion PH, Preston, SG4 7UD Saturday 30 12 noon PHOENIX MORRIS -3.00pm • French Market, Croxley Saturday/ 30/31 All day WHITCHURCH MORRIS Sunday • At Thaxted hosted by Thaxted Morris Men Sunday 31 12.30pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The White Horse PH, Village Lane, Hedgerley, Slough, SL2 3UY

Tuesday 2 8.00pm 2 8.00pm Wednesday 3 8.00pm 3 8.00pm Thursday 4 8.00pm 4 9.00pm Saturday 6 TBC Tuesday 9 8.00pm 9 8.00pm Wednesday 10 8.00pm 10 8.00pm 10 9.15pm Thursday 11 8.00pm 11 9.00pm Tuesday 16 8.00pm Wednesday 17 8.00pm 17 8.00pm 17 9.15pm Thursday 18 8.00pm

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BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS • The Stone Jug PG, 10 Back Street, Clophill, Bedford, MK45 4BY (Guests: Golden Hare Morris) WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Cross Keys PH, Totternhoe, LU6 2DA (with guests Wicket Brood Border Morris) WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Woodman PH, 45 Wildhill Road, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 6EA BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • The March Hare PH, 34 High St, Dunton, Biggleswade SG18 8RN LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Crafty’s Beer Shop, 15 Leys Ave, Letchworth, SG6 3EA LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Garden City Brewery, The Wynd, Letchworth, SG6 3EN WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • St Leonards Fete, Tring, HP23 6NW BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS • The Lytton Arms PH, Park Lane, Old Knebworth, Knebworth SG3 6QB WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Red Lion PH, Little Missenden, HP7 0RB WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Red Lion PH, Little Missenden, Amersham, HP7 0RB BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • To be advised WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Crown PH, Little Missenden, Amersham, HP7 0RF (TBC) LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Cock PH, Broom, SG18 9NA LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The White Hart, Campton, SG17 5NX WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Grove Lock PH, near Leighton Buzzard LU7 0QU WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Green Dragon PH, London Colney, St Albans, AL2 1RB BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • Ickwell Cricket Club, Ickwell Green, Ickwell SG18 9EF WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Bull PH, London Colney, St Albans, AL2 1QU LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Fox PH, Willian, SG6 2AE

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MORRIS DIARY JUNE 2020 (CONTINUED)

INDEX.

Thursday 18 9.00pm

• BALDOCK • Baldock Midnight Morris Cotswold, Border, Raglan, Fieldtown, Baldock Contact: Steve Murphy 07950 039132, info@baldockmidnightmorris.org.uk www.baldockmidnightmorris.org.uk

LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Three Horseshoes PH, Willian, SG6 2AE Saturday 20 1.00pm PHOENIX MORRIS -4.00pm • Fulmer Village Fete Tuesday 23 8.00pm BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS • The Fox PH, 37 High Street, Pirton, Hitchin, SG5 3PS 23 8.00pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Bell PH, Chearsley, Aylesbury HP18 0DJ (with guests Towersey Morris Men and Three Horseshoes Morris) Wednesday 24 8.00pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Case is Altered PH, High Road, Eastcote, Pinner, HA5 2EW 24 8.00pm BEDFORD MORRIS MEN • The Cock PH, High St, Pavenham, Bedford MK43 7NJ 24 9.15pm WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • The Old Orchard PH, Park Lane, Harefield, Uxbridge, UB9 6HJ Thursday 25 8.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Brocket Arms PH, Ayot St Lawrence, AL6 9BT 25 9.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • The Lytton Arms PH, Old Knebworth, SG3 6QB Saturday 27 TBC WHITCHURCH MORRIS • Wingrave Parish Church, strewing the rushes 27 All day LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Folk Festival Day of Dance, St Albans Sunday 28 TBC WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN • Leigh on Sea Folk Festival 28 2.00pm LETCHWORTH MORRIS MEN • Dunton Village Fete, Dunton Tuesday 30 8.00pm BALDOCK MIDNIGHT MORRIS • The Orange Tree PH, Norton Road, Baldock, SG7 5AW 30 8.00pm WHITCHURCH MORRIS • The Hampden Arms PH, Great Hampden, HP16 9RQ

• BEDFORD • Bedford Morris Men Cotswold, North West and Border Programme is subject to change so please check the website hhps://www.bedfordmorrismen.com/new-events/ Contact: Phil Cooper coopermanp@gmail.com www.bedfordmorrismen.com • LETCHWORTH • Letchworth Morris Men Men’s Cotswold Contact: Andrew Harper, 01462 440683 or harperandrew937@gmail.com www.letchworthmorris.org.uk • VALE OF AYLESBURY • Whitchurch Morris Cotswold Contact: Alan Hogston, 07778 609678 or info@whitchurchmorris.org.uk www.whitchurchmorris.org.uk or on Facebook • WATFORD • Woodside Morris Men Cotswold Pump House Theatre and Arts Centre, Local Board Road Lower Watford High Street, Watford WD17 2JP Contact: Nick Wilson, 07860 663033 or pete@iw2.co.uk hhp://www.woodsidemorrismen.com • RICKMANSWORTH • Phoenix Morris Cotswold Rickmansworth Scout Hut, Ebury Rd, Rickmansworth, WD3 1BN Contact: Michael Stimpson, 01923 770425 or phoenixmor@aol.com hhp://www.phoenixmorrisdancers.com

Copy Deadline for Issue 151 is Friday 15 May 2020 Don’t forget to subscribe to both our blog and our mailing list for revised gig dates, news & updates between issues. 46

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CD REVIEWS MIKE VASS ‘SAVE HIS CALM’

Mike Vass is a Scottish, award winning musician, composer, arranger and producer. His first instrument was fiddle, although on this CD he favours his tenor guitars, but he had one new instrument to take to the studio for this project, his voice. ‘Save the Calm’ has been two years in the making and consists of nine songs that link his battle with a life-threatening condition, stories from family and friends and his love of sailing. His musical prowess is undeniable, superb compositions, excellent songs beautifully

FINN COLLINSON ‘CALL TO MIND’ I admit it! When I read Finn Collinson was a recorder player and multi-instrumentalist, I recalled my prejudices about past school concerts. This is appropriate as the instrument name ‘recorder’ apparently comes from the Latin word ‘recordari’ meaning to recall. Who knew? But with recommendations from Chris Leslie and Sam Kelly, and guest performers on Finn Collinson’s debut CD ranging from Katriona Gilmore (Gilmore/Roberts), Archie ChurchillMoss (Lost Boys) and Josh Clark (Kate Rusby Band), I was quickly persuaded to change my mind! Finn himself was BBC Young Folk Musician semi-finalist and is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music. This is a highly listenable CD. I particularly enjoyed his full band numbers. There are eight original mostly recorder led tunes,

produced. His vocals are quiet, whispered, even wispy and sometimes appear a little overpowered by the big arrangements. On first hearing I thought the CD was a bit samey, and I think it is a shame that Mike didn’t try a more vocally strident approach to some of the songs. There are video clips of album tracks sung with just the guitar, on his website. One or two like that would have made a nice contrast. However, the more I played it, the more it grew on me, quite an ethereal, restful, almost soporific feel about it, which I’m sure is what Mike will have been aiming for. Find out more at www.mikevass.com Reviewed by Keiron Jones largely composed by Finn. However, there are also accomplished treatments of traditional folk songs – ‘Hanging Johnny’ (a sea shanty) and ‘Banks of the Nile’. There’s also a version of a song by the Canadian group from Nova Scotia, The Rankin Family, – ‘Orangedale Whistle’ - which I ended up humming for days. I love the verse about embracing change: The winds of change forever blow Some things stay and some things go The falling rain must melt the snow The Orangedale Whistle will always blow This is definitely a CD to try. And I will look forward to catching Finn live in future. You can see him at The Priory Centre, St Neots on April 14th and at The White Horse, Sweffling on May 16th. Finn will also be at both Beardy and Priddy Folk Festivals in the summer. For more information go to www.finncollinson.com

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Reviewed by Ian Albert 47


CD REVIEWS BIRD IN THE BELLY‘NEIGHBOURS AND SISTERS’ Brighton collective Bird in the Belly are Laura Ward, Adam Ronchetti of Hickory Signals along with Ben ‘Jinnwoo’ Webb and multiinstrumentalist Tom Pryor. ‘Neighbours and Sisters’ is a follow up to their highly acclaimed debut album ‘The Crowing’. With hauntingly clear vocals, atmospheric and varied instrumental accompaniment they have again produced a treasure trove of rarely recorded songs, reworking them for today’s folk audience. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the flames crackling as you sit round the campfire listening to gothic folk tales or a classic romantic poem. In true folk tradition they lift the lid on the darker side of human experience posing questions about our social history and practices. Eight of the ten tracks, taken straight from the grimy

PETER CROSSLEY‘RAGS TO RICHES’ Peter Crossley is a Hertfordshire based singer/ songwriter and performer and ‘Rags to Riches’ is his promising debut album. Peter’s rich mellow voice provides lead vocals – he seems to speak the lyrics rather than sing them – and several other talented musicians and singers from the Hertford area feature on the 10 self-penned tracks. The album is produced by Rob Clydesdale who played no less than 11 instruments and also produced and mixed the album. The philosophical tracks explore life’s big questions and cover themes of the human condition – life’s meaning, its successes and 48

Georgian and Victorian underworld, move from betrayal to prostitution, condemned men, frozen star-crossed lovers, prisoners, paupers and power – and the detriment of tobacco. The last two songs address very different subjects: Ward’s self-penned ‘Bees’ based on the superstition that surrounds beekeeping and Webb’s mournful ‘45 George Street’ which tells the story of the last men to be hanged for sodomy in England. This distinctive and well-crafted album delivers direct messages and pulls no punches. In ‘Neighbours and Sisters’ Bird in the Belly have skilfully re-interpreted some of the lesser known songs from the English folk archives, creating a sound that straddles contemporary folk with a charming echo of more ancient times. Sometimes poetic, sometimes theatrical and always arresting, it is haunting and hypnotic. ‘Neighbours and Sisters’ is released on the GF*M Records label and distributed by Cargo Music, or better still catch them at a live gig. For more information go to www.birdinthebelly.com Reviewed by Barry Guy failures and the artist’s quest for guidance on life’s journey. I would have appreciated having the lyrics provided in a booklet and perhaps some explanation of the back stories to be able to fully understand and relate to Peter’s messages. A strong religious thread runs through many of the numbers and at times it’s hard to tell if the singer is referring to his belief in God or addressing some force closer to home. Nevertheless, one phrase from the track ‘Dare Believe’ particularly sticks in my mind “It’s not where we’ve been, it’s where we’re going.” The album is available from all the usual download platforms (Spotify, iTunes, CDbaby, Amazon etc) and you can find out more about Peter at www.petercrossley.co.uk. Reviewed by Sandra Lawes

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Berkhamsted Campaign for Real Music

Saturday 2nd May: Cardboard Fox. A unique and powerful combination of dexterous instrumental playing, memorable songwriting and energetic live shows. With Charlotte Carrivick on guitar/vocals, Laura Carrivick on fiddle/vocals, Joe Tozer on mandolin and John Breese on double bass/harmony vocals. 8 o’clock at The Vyne Theatre, Northbridge Road, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 1EH

www.bcfrm.com

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CD REVIEW CHARLEY FOSKETT ‘LATE BLOOMER’ ‘Late Bloomer’ is the debut album of Charley Foskett, the highly successful record producer who has turned folk singer/songwriter in his later years. All the depth of the emotion and knowledge of his richly varied life and his rock/ pop roots can be heard in every note of the 12 self-penned tracks. After successfully fighting cancer, Charley was drawn to folk and roots music and its ability to express stories and messages of hope. Working with people like John Cameron of Les Misérables, guitar legend Wizz Jones, Peter Knight of Steeleye Span and Gigspanner, Julie Felix, Aidan Burke, Scarlet Rivera, Judd Lander, Toby Shaer, Stewart Milner, Clive Bunker and Davide Giovaninni and many others, he has written and performed an album of rare quality. Although he now lives in Bedfordshire, Charley has not lost his north-eastern accent which perfectly suits the gritty, powerful vocals of the

hugely infectious songs. Some are harrowing, telling of human tragedy, some are humorous (don’t ask about the glass eye!) and some are inspiring messages of hope for anyone going through difficult times. The arrangements are clever and the instrumental work is beautiful and memorable. ‘Late Bloomer’ is a cornucopia of real folk music. One moment you will be tapping your feet and singing along to the catchy earworms, the next you may find tears welling up. A powerful, inspirational message of hope and the indomitable human spirit runs through the album. I particularly liked the anthem-like ‘Hole in the Clouds’ and the resounding words “I want to live before I die” in ‘I Want to Run’. Charley will be performing tracks from this album in folk clubs and other venues around the country. Further information on his webpage https://www.foskettsfolkfactory. com/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ charleyafoskett/ and you can access the CD on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/user529420763/tracks Reviewed by Sandra Lawes

PHOENIX MORRIS WINTER Phoenix Morris based in Rickmansworth have had a busy winter. When they dance out, they either ask for a set fee for dancing or collect during their performance. This money is donated to local charities. The Colne Valley Special Sailors take disabled children and adults sailing on Rickmansworth Aquadrome. Phoenix have supported them for many years. In December they danced for them and gave them a cheque bringing the total for 2019 to £600. A first for Phoenix, they performed a dance with some of those taking part in wheelchairs. The event was attended by members of CVSS and the Chairman of the District Council, Paula Hiscox. CVSS is her charity of the year.

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By Michael Stimpson Since Christmas they have held their annual dinner and danced at two January Wassail events, one on Croxley Green, run by Croxley Parish Council and one in Woking, run by OBJ Morris. A Wassail is an ancient “goodbye to winter, hello to spring” tradition normally held on 17 January, with a ceremony of selecting a King and Queen of the event followed by singing Wassail songs round an apple tree. Toast dipped in cider is placed in its boughs and a wren buried in its roots to encourage the tree to produce a good crop in the coming year. They practice in the spring and the ‘dancing season’ starts in April. If you want to play for or dance with Phoenix Morris, contact the Squire, Michael Stimpson, on 01923 770425 any afternoon or early evening

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A Man on a Mission A Conversation with Charley Foskett by Sandra Lawes

Charley Foskett is a multi-talented, highly active and inspirational veteran record producer who has now become a singer/songwriter. Although originally from Northumberland, Foskett has lived and worked right here in the heart of Unicorn territory, in Dunstable, for almost 30 years. His creativity takes many forms – as a painter, one of his works was recently accepted by the Royal Academy. He’s also written an autobiography - ‘Ashtray on a Motorbike’ - and his musical biography reads like a glittering Who’s Who? of the world of rock, pop and folk. It’s sprinkled with the names of stars he has gigged with and written and produced for – Elkie Brooks, Cliff Richard, Kim Wilde, Ringo Starr, Paul Young, Robin Gibb, Loudon Wainwright III, Roger Daltry, John Paul Jones, Mungo Jerry – and many, many more. He has also worked on songs and music for film and TV themes and on commercials for blue chip companies like Vauxhall Motors, Guinness, Coca Cola and Cadburys. Responsible for putting together the massive Anti Heroin Project – a ‘Band Aid for the anti-drug campaign’ - Foskett was then offered a job in the Home Office – which he turned down! But like many people inspired by adversity, Charley Foskett has had to overcome huge setbacks. With the support of his family, he has fought (and conquered) cancer twice, and this traumatic experience has given him insights and a message of love and hope that he now wants to share.

As part of the challenge of fighting his cancer related cognitive impairment, Foskett managed to write an excellent lyric and top line, and so his debut album ‘Late Bloomer’ was born. [See the CD review on page 52 of this issue]. His current repertoire includes duets with Julie Felix, Paul Jones and Judie Tzuke with Ralph McTell, Steve Knightley and Janice Ian also confirmed to share songs with him on what will form the basis of his follow up album. Foskett’s message isn’t just for those battling cancer, but for anyone going through hard times or who cares about their health and well-being. His lyrics are crammed with hope and ideas on how to cope, especially the tracks ‘I Want to Run’ and ‘Hole in the Clouds’. And he also has plans to deliver motivational talks to spread the word. His other burning desire is to see folk music enter the mainstream. He worries that so many people, especially the younger generation, don’t even know what folk music is! With cuts to music education in schools, we need to find other ways to inform and inspire new audiences. I suspect that will strike a chord with many Unicorn readers. You‘ll see Foskett performing at folk clubs in our area and also over the north of England where he has just finished a tour. Talk to him about his projects and his passions – you will be fascinated. Find out more about his background and production career at www.charlesfoskett.com and his folk and ‘rootsness’ at www.foskettsfolkfactory.com or https://www.facebook.com/charleyafoskett/

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Dunton Folk Chris Fox Jack In A Barrel

21st March

Fred’s House

18th April

Granny’s Attic 16th May

Odette Michell

20th June

www.duntonfolk.co.uk

Copy Deadline for Issue 151 is Friday 15 May 2020 Don’t forget to subscribe to both our blog and our mailing list for revised gig dates, news & updates between issues... 54

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PROGRAMME APRIL TO JUNE 2020 EVERY FRIDAY, 8PM, THE GOLDEN HIND, 355 MILTON ROAD, CAMBRIDGE CB4 1SP TICKETS FOR MAIN ACTS ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.CAMBRIDGEFOLKCLUB.CO.UK OR PHONE 01638 603986

Fri 3 Apr:

Open Stage with Maisie Blades

Fri 10 Apr:

Closed (Good Friday)

Fri 17 Apr:

Showcase: Craig Joiner; The Larks; The Boxwood Chessmen

£10(door), £9(advance), £8(members)

Fri 24 Apr:

Roger Wilson Support: Cambridge and Walker

£11(door), £10(advance), £9(members)

Fri 1 May:

Open Stage with Sascha Osborn

£5(door), £3(members), £3(performers)

Fri 8 May:

Showcase: Flashback Photograph; Beware This Boy; Honey and the Bear

£10(door), £9(advance), £8(members)

Fri 15 May:

Alden, Patterson and Dashwood Support: Yve Mary B

£12(door), £11(advance), £10(members)

Fri 22 May:

Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe Support: Phil Hare

£13(door), £12(advance), £11(members)

Fri 29 May:

Brooks Williams 30th Anniversary Tour Support: Tennessee Twin

£12(door), £11(advance), £10(members)

Fri 5 Jun:

Open Stage with with Pat Crilly

£5(door), £3(members), £3(performers)

Fri 12 Jun:

Charlie Dore Support: Luke James Williams

£12(door), £11(advance), £10(members)

Fri 19 Jun:

Dan Wilde; Becky Mills Support: Steve Warner

£10(door), £9(advance), £8(members)

Fri 26 Jun:

Pre-Festival Showcase

£10(door), £9(advance), £8(members)

£5(door), £3(members), £3(performers)


HATFIELD HOUSE, HERTS, SUNDAY 19 JULY 2020 A festival of folk’s finest acts gathered in beautiful leafy parkland for one uplifting summer day of music.

SEASICK STEVE RICHARD THOMPSON KATE RUSBY SAM SWEENEY BAND KITTY MACFARLANE

ACORN STAGE

SKINNY LISTER

YE VAGABONDS THE LOCAL HONEYS

THE BOOKSHOP BAND KATHERINE PRIDDY PLUS MORE ARTISTS! PACK UP A PICNIC, GATHER YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN US FOR A FESTIVAL IN A DAY! Family Friendly • Children’s Activities Workshops • Craft Tent • Vintage Tent Music Stalls • Delicious Food • Real Ale Bar

folkbytheoak.com

Registered charity no. 1106746

Printed by Newman Thomson Ltd

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