Saturday, 28 February 2009

Hampshire Festivals

My mate Barbara Stewart emails to tell me about festivals happening in Hampshire. I'm a long way from Hampshire, but Barbara is even further ... she's in New York City! Still, the news is good... Cheers, Barbara! Just a quick reminder that the full line-up for this year's Gosport & Fareham Easter Festival (April 9-12) can now be viewed at their website. The line-up includes Show of Hands; The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain; Eliza Carthy; Martin Carthy; Roy Bailey; Ashley Hutchings' Lark Rise Band; Colvin:Quarmby; Mawkin:Causley; Filska and the amazing Michael McGoldrick Big Band featuring many of the biggest stars on the celtic music circuit including several members of Capercaillie plus Ed Boyd and John Joe Kelly from Flook. Day and weekend season tickets are selling fast. Tickets can be purchased via the Ferneham Hall at Fareham, telephone 01329 231942, or via the website. Tickets are also selling fast for the Stokes Bay Summer Festival (30 July - 2 August) being held just off the picturesque Stokes Bay near Alverstoke, Gosport with stunning views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. A host of top-name artists will be appearing including The Proclaimers; Seth Lakeman; Oysterband; Edward II; Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Pennies; The Spooky Mens Chorale; Eric Bogle; Saltfishforty; David Ferrard and many more t.b.c. There are big discounts on 'earlybird' season tickets to the end of March and day tickets went on sale today via Ticketsouth, telephone 023 8071 1818, or online via the website

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Beverley Festival & Tanglefoot

News release from the Beverley Festival, Yorkshire (June 19-21 2009). The Beverley Festival has once again excelled in its line-up of artists. Bringing to the event some of this country’s best known acts as well as a wealth of rising stars and top international performers, the weekend looks set to be a Summer favourite for many festival goers. As it develops its green field site in the Festival Village, in the shadow of the stunning Beverley Minster, the festival provides a wide ranging programme of events and activities for families and all age groups, with a broad mix of interests. 2009 sees British music at the fore with artists including one of this countries finest song writers, Billy Bragg along with the leading light in the New Folk genre, Seth Lakeman. Highlighting the Saturday night Party Night will be nationwide festival favourites, Celtic Dance music idols, The Peatbog Faeries. Joining the party will be the recently formed Peter Donegan Band, performing the songs and music of Peter’s legendary father Lonnie Donegan, and the UK’s only acoustic Ska Band, Skavolution. Three mighty bands for a truly magnificent party! For the first time at the festival will be an Americana Stage featuring concerts, dance and workshops with Artists from the USA and the UK including Bruce Molsky, Spencer Bohren and Curtis Eller as well as the much loved Coal Porters with Sid Griffin and locals to the festival, Glenn Williams and the Ullbillies. Also joining the bill is Canada's Tanglefoot (pictured right) as part of their last ever tour after touring the globe for more than 25 years. With the developing interest in Comedy and the Spoken Word, the festival will be hosting Comedy and Literature stages, featuring John Hegley, one of this country's most innovative comic poets, and also the top international crime writer Peter Robinson joined by folk diva, Eliza Carthy, to present a thrilling story of murder and intrigue accompanied by spine tingling songs and music. As always, the festival hosts some Award winning performers and this year will be no exception as it brings to Beverley the recent winners of the Best Live Act of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, The Demon Barbers with their Roadshow of music and dance. For lovers of Traditional Irish music a welcome return is made by the legendary Irish acoustic band Lunasa, and adding a Scottish flavour with an international touch is expat Scot Eric Bogle with John Munro from Australia. The festival also welcomes some of the leading young female performers on the scene today including The Anna Massie Band from Scotland and Yorkshire’s Belinda O’Hooley & Heidi Tidow. In addition, many other great artists will be joining them and heading to the historic market town of Beverley this June to make the festival a must for all music lovers. Family and Youth events will see a greater expansion in 2009 and the festival favourite Wold Top Marquee will be back again to host the Late Night Festival Club and concerts and featuring our popular local Wold Top Festival Ale. For anyone wanting a GREAT weekend away – look no further, come and relax in the shadow of Beverley’s historic Minster and sample some first rate music and fine ales straight off the Yorkshire Wolds! For further details or to book online go to – www.beverleyfestival.com – or contact our Festival Hotline on 01377 217569.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Victorian Farm

I'm very late in posting this, because the TV series has been and gone really. Victorian Farm was one of those "back in time" documentaries, with three people spending a year working on a farm using Victorian methods and machinery. It was uniformly excellent - highly informative, very entertaining and at times deeply moving. How so? In the final edition, the wheat was gathered in thanks to a horse-drawn harvester and lots of keen volunteers (all in period costume) and then it was back to the barn for a proper harvest supper with home-made bread, farm-raised ham and home-brewed beer. Oh, and live music from John Kirkpatrick! Hearing him perform John Barleycorn in about as authentic a surrounding as possible was an utter delight, and brought a lump to my throat. There are some repeats, with sign language, late on Tuesdays (past midnight, so Wednesday a.m. really) on BBC1. Or see here. As they say on Points Of View ..... More, BBC. More!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Fairport and Albert

News arrives from Iconic Music. FAIRPORT TO PLAY ROYAL ALBERT HALL FOR TEENAGE CANCER TRUST ON 25 MARCH '09 British folk-rock legends Fairport Convention will headline a fundraising concert for Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on Wednesday 25 March 2009. The gig is part of a one-week concert season organised annually by TCT with the assistance of The Who's Roger Daltrey. TCT is a national charity which supports young cancer victims and their families. This year, TCT is staging its first-ever folk music night and Fairport Convention will top the bill. Seth Lakeman and Kate Rusby are also on the roster and more top names from the folk world are expected to be announced shortly. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mayo show yesterday (Thursday 19 February 2009) Roger Daltrey said: "A big thank you to Fairport: this will be a great night for British folk music in a perfect venue. The sound in the Royal Albert Hall is great for this sort of music and I just know it will be a fantastic concert." Fairport's guitarist/singer and founding member Simon Nicol said: "When we were asked to play for Teenage Cancer Trust, we couldn't say no. These shows have become a major date in the music calendar and it's wonderful that we can help the fundraising effort. The Royal Albert Hall is a great place for listening to music and it's also a wonderful venue to perform in." "We really hope the night will raise as much money as possible for Teenage Cancer Trust," Mr Nicol continues. "Every ticket sold will generate funds to further TCT's aim of ensuring that every young person with cancer gets access to the best possible care and support." The members of Fairport Convention are long-time supporters of TCT and the band has participated in various fundraising activities for the charity during the last few years. For instance, Fairport Convention's annual three-day music festival in Oxfordshire has hosted two cheque handovers with a sum of nearly £30,000 being presented to TCT.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Ken's Blog

Ken is out in the frost and the snow, touring with Phil Cool as the special guests of Fairport Convention ... and he's keeping a blog of their adventures. You can read it here.