Bronwyn Westacott is a singer songwriter who has been the musical director of the Clarion Choir for 27 years. She looks for songs to fight oppression, discrimination, to celebrate the natural world, but above all with a message of hope, and for these to be sung by a mix of singers in four part harmony.
The songs she has written bring out her socialist principles, whether she them sings alone or with ‘Rosa’s Lovely Daughters’ who will join in some songs on Wednesday 19 July at the Gladstone.
Alice Jones is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer from West Yorkshire with deep roots in the folk tradition. She accompanies her mainly traditional songs on piano, harmonium or tenor guitar, but sometimes only with foot percussion. Her sensitive and intuitive arrangements allow the stories to take centre stage, but they are loaded with a rhythm and energy that portrays her dancer’s heartbeat. She also draws heavily from her roots as an Appalachian dancer with songs from the Warner, Smithsonian and Cecil Sharp American collections, but will probably also include songs from her research with Pete Coe into songs collected in Yorkshire by Frank Kidson.
LOOMA is a 4 piece band, started last year, whose blend of lively eclectic folk and roots music is joyously engaging and full of surprises. Tim Garland has been playing both traditional and self-penned music for 30 years as a founder member of Fieldwork. Liz Logan originates from Orkney and plays piano accordion whilst Mark adds Cajun and bluesy elements with harmonica and vocals and Bob plays Guitar and vocals. They’ve played around Leicestershire in the last 6 months and we are pleased to give them a proper Nottingham welcome.
Our guests on Wednesday 19 April are BRIC a BRAC following a great night 2 years ago.
Then we promoted them as Bella Gaffney with Bric-a-Brac, but they performed as a band at last year’s Gate to Southwell Festival, having first tried this out at the Golden Fleece in 2014.
Chris Elliott plays fiddle and bouzouki, Caitlin Jones plays flutes and whistles and Heather Sirrel plays guitar and bass, although it’s Bella who won a Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in January and started her acoustic music career several years ago at the famous Topic Folk Club in Bradford. Bella is not their only songwriter as Chris and Caitlin have each composed songs rooted in the tradition which shows their versatility as a band.
They impressed Tony Charnock writing in January’s ‘Tykes News’ “They exhibit a bonhomie that transmits itself easily to the audience, enhanced by enough banter to bring humour into the mix. If they are playing anywhere you are, cancel everything and get down.”
Admission will be £5 for members and £7 for non members
We have had a fantastic pair of guests to start 2017 so hope to continue this run by welcoming JIM CAUSLEY to our club on Wednesday 15 March.
Jim has now been an acclaimed and energetic interpreter of traditional song for over a decade. He graduated from the Traditional Music Course at Newcastle University and by 2005 was making waves in The Devil’s Interval trio. Since 2007 he’s been nominated 5 times in the BBC Folk Awards, with his rich baritone voice and wide repertoire of songs which he mainly accompanies on his accordion.
He returned to his Devon roots after a spell in Mawkin Causley, to research the poems of his great uncle Charles Causley, who taught for 30 years in Launceston. The result was ‘Cyprus Well’ in 2013, a CD with a dozen songs using Charles Causley’s words accompanied on accordion. He has since produced ‘Pride of the Moor’ and will bring out another CD this year to mark the centenary of Charles Causley’s birth, so there’s a lot to look forward to hearing.
Grace exploded on the protest scene six years ago with her emotive anthem “Farewell to Welfare” which captured the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain, Her unique take on life, love and politics, plus the warmth and wit in her delivery, have made her one of the most respected songwriters in the UK.
Her latest release “Whatever’s Left” takes her beyond protest, through political and personal change to emerge through shades of folk, Americana and country as a mature song-writing voice, yet she’s still under 30.
Happy new year to all
Our guest on Wednesday 18 January is REG MEUROSS, who returns after 5 years having made many new admirers after his performances at Costa del Folk in April. The Guardian said he “sounds like a forgotten American 60s classic with echoes of Dylan, Tom Paxton and Leonard Cohen”. Since he was last here, his songs have moved from historical ‘Jesus Wept’ to political, with ‘England Green & England Grey’ standing out. He plays a 1944 Martin guitar which he’ll tell you about at the club and will promote his latest CD ‘December’.
We’d like to see you at the club at 8.30 particularly if you are a singers or musician, because it’s hard to fit floor singers in between the interval and our guests’ second set. Admission is £6 for members and £9 for non members. Membership costs £6.00 per year.
KEITH DONNELLY Wednesday 14 December
Keith has been called ‘a great singer-songwriter’, ‘a fine guitarist’ and ‘a superbly original Stand-Up’.
Don’t expect a purely musical offering, although his ability is clear to see, because from Geordie roots to his scriptwriting for many comics, he is also ‘a stunning storyteller’. Like Vin Garbutt in his heyday, Keith is a complete entertainer, well able to put the merry into Christmas without offence.
We have EWAN McLENNAN as our guests on Wednesday 16 November. He is a guitarist at the forefront of his generation, a troubadour, balladeer and storyteller in the old style.
Ewan won the Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards 2011 on the strength of his live appearances rather than any pressure by his agent or record label. He was born in Scotland and spent time with Dick Gaughan and Martin Simpson before carving his own path in 2012 with his CD “The Last Bird to Sing”. He went down well 4 years ago when last at the club.
He has recently been on tour with the Guardian writer George Monbiot who asked him to compose songs for their project “Breaking the Spell of Loneliness”, which has also been covered by both Mark Radcliff on Radio 2 and Late Junction on Radio 3. You can check out www.ewanmcclennan.co.uk to hear “A gorgeous lilting voice, so moving” according to Mojo magazine.
Our next guests are James Hickman & Dan Cassidy on Wednesday 19th October.
They epitomise the strong connection between British and American folk music, inspired by our tradition that was rediscovered when Cecil Sharp went collecting songs in the Carolinas in 1916.
James’ lively wit, emotive soaring vocals and driving guitar contrast with Dan’s dry ironic drawl and virtuoso fiddling. It’s over 5 years since they were last guests at our club, mainly because Dan has been living in Iceland.