Monday, 22 June 2009

What has a hazelnut in every bite?

In 2009, Topic Records celebrates its 70th anniversary. This makes it the oldest, truly independent record company in the world and an extremely sprightly, almost ageless senior citizen compared to youngsters Motown, Island and Rough Trade who also enjoy big anniversaries this year. To celebrate this significant moment in Topic's illustrious history, in September this year Topic will publish 'Three Score and Ten', a 7 CD set complete with a 108 page book, charting 7 decades of recording and social history. The label will also co-host TOPIC 70, a series of 3 concerts at London's South Bank, an event complete with a photographic exhibition and live foyer events. Topic, which started as an off-shoot of the Workers Music Association in 1939, has released a unique and important array of recordings : from Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Vanessa Redgrave and Ewan McColl, to Nic Jones, Shirley Collins, Dick Gaughan, Martin Carthy, The Watersons, June Tabor, John Tams and Martin Simpson, to the current generation, including the multi award-winning Eliza Carthy. Topic has also been responsible for releasing acclaimed field recordings from around the globe, but most significantly perhaps, from the UK, where the ground-breaking 20 cd 'Voice of the People' set was met with critical and popular acclaim on release in 1999, the label's 60th birthday. THE WATERSON FAMILY & THE ELIZA CARTHY BAND - 11 September - Royal Festival Hall The Waterson Family are one of England's premier singing families and their performances, featuring closely woven harmonies, have played a hugely influential role in popularising folk music. MARTIN SIMPSON & BIG BAND - 17 September - Queen Elizabeth Hall Throughout his career virtuoso folk guitarist and singer, Martin Simpson, has continually built on his great love of British, Anglo-American and Afro-American traditional forms. This concert presents a unique opportunity to see Martin perform with other stellar musicians including Danny Thompson, Andy Cutting and BJ Cole. JUNE TABOR in Concert - 18 September - Queen Elizabeth Hall June Tabor is rightly renowned as one of Britain's greatest interpreters of popular song.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Ipswich Riverside Folk Weekend

A fine folkie accordion player and singer of my drunken acquaintance lets slip that the annual Ipswich Riverside Folk Weekend is all tee-ed up and ready to roll on the weekend of Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June. The venue is the Steamboat Tavern, and included in a great line-up of local talent is the redoubtable Sid Kipper! Click here for all the details!