Sunday, 28 February 2010

Gilmore-Roberts dates

One of FolkCast's favourite duos, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts (as featured in December 09's Artists of the Year podcast), are gearing up for their first nationwide headline tour promoting their current album ‘Shadows & Half Light’.


09/03/10 – Brown Cow Folk Club, Mansfield, Notts

01/04/10 – The Swan, Addingham, West Yorks

02/04/10 – Norwich Folk Club, Christchurch Centre, Norfolk (01603 425 546)

04/04/10 – ReadiFolk, RISC Centre, Reading (0118 948 3145)

05/04/10 – Monday Monday, Wilmington Arms, London EC1

06/04/10 – Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Leigh on Sea, Essex (01702 715 111)

08/04/10 – The Stables, Milton Keynes (01908 280 800)

09/04/10 – Bodmin Folk Club, The Barley Sheaf, Bodmin, Cornwall (01726 816 454)

10/04/10 – Gary’s Acoustic Club, Coolham Village Hall, West Sussex (01403 785 674)

11/04/10 – Bournemouth Folk Club, Centre Stage, Bournemouth (01202 707 498)

12/04/10 – Beacon Folk Club, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (01892 524 252)

13/04/10 – Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Devon (01271 324 242)

14/04/10 – The Prom, Bristol (0117 942 7319)

16/04/10 – Unicorn Folk Club, Ivetsey Bank, Staffs (01952 810 355)

17/04/10 – Etal Village Hall, Etal nr Berwick (01890 820 566)

22/04/10 – Shirley Red Lion Folk Club, Solihull (07853 419 241)

23/04/10 – Caistor Sports & Social Club, nr Market Rasen, Lincs (07540 116 967)

24/04/10 – The Wheelhouse, Wombwell, Barnsley (01226 752 901)

29/04/10 – Topic Folk Club, Irish Centre, Bradford, West Yorks

20/05/10 – The Musician, Leicester (0116 251 0080)

27/05/10 – Lymm Folk Club, Cheshire (07919 270 916)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Steamchicken Gig

Steamchicken, the English ceilidh band (if you can have an English ceilidh band...) is giving a show in Stroud on March 6.

If you're in the Gloucestershire area, and fancy a night of high-energy folkie bopping and live music. Head over to for full details.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL in Reading) presents, in association with Hilary James and Friends:

Songs, Stories and Traditions

Following the success of the first series of folk concerts at MERL hosted by internationally renowned folk singer and musician, Hilary James and one of the world's foremost mandolinists, Simon Mayor last Spring, we are delighted to announce a further series of concerts and workshops for Spring 2010.

Hilary and Simon, two of the country’s most highly acclaimed folk musicians met as Reading University students in the 1970s have lived in the town where the museum is situated for more than thirty years.

The concerts are set within the evocative context of the Museum gallery. They focus on the music of the English countryside and its evolving tradition, and feature high profile invited guests from the national folk scene. The series includes talks and workshops on the issues surrounding folk music and the Englishness debate.

The series is kindly supported and hosted by the University of Reading Arts Committee and by Hilary and Simon's record label, Acoustics Records.

Spring 2010 Series

March 16. 2010. Sex, Drink and Death in 17th Century England

Hilary James and Simon Mayor with special guest Tim Healey

March 16, 7.30pm - Tickets £15 and £12 (concs) (Save by buying tickets for all 3 concerts for £36 or £30)

A very welcome return to MERL of popular writer and broadcaster Tim Healey whose last illustrated talk on the Green Man was a huge success. Tonight he explores the colourful and raffish side of English social life during the tumultuous era of the English Civil War and Restoration. Accompanied in song and music by Hilary and Simon.


May 18. 2010. The Victorian Village Band Workshop, with John Kirkpatrick

May 18, 6.15-7.15pm Free - Booking required

Whatever your level of ability bring an instrument, join in the fun and become part of the Victorian village band. John's experience as a workshop leader and teacher of singing, instrumental and dancing skills is legendary. He'll concoct an arrangement to suit everyone from enthusiastic beginner to seasoned professional. Great fun for all!

The Victorian farmer's year in song, with John Kirkpatrick

Hilary James and Simon Mayor with special guest John Kirkpatrick

May 18, 7.30 p.m. Tickets £15 and £12 (concs) Save by buying tickets for all 3 concerts for £36 or £30)

Singer, melodeon and anglo-concertina maestro, John Kirkpatrick (as seen recently on BBC 2's 'Victorian Farm') takes his audience on a remarkable journey through the country calendar in music and song.


June 22. The Sands of Song

Hilary James with guests, Simon Mayor and Belshazzar's Feast (Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson)

June 22. 7.30 p.m. Tickets £15 and £12 (concs) Save by buying tickets for all 3 concerts for £36 or £30)

Hilary traces the history of English Rural Life in song: bell-ringing, country dancing, high days and holidays, love, lust, loss, landscape and labour. Virtuoso accompaniment on guitar, fiddle, oboe, accordion and mandolin plus a hearty dose of wit and repartee from the assembled company.

Special free, pre-concert event for ticket-holders (please book when you buy your tickets): In converstation with Belshazzar's Feast 6.30-7.10pm

A rare opportunity to meet this highly respected and hugely popular musical and witty duo in the intimate setting of MERL. Paul Sartin (who appeared with Bellowhead at the 2008 Proms) sings and plays fiddle and oboe while Paul Hutchinson plays accordion. Recently seen in a 2009 TV Christmas Special for BBC4.


Images above taken from a collection one million of rural photographs housed in the museum - See YouTube presentation.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

February Show Released At Last!

FolkCast 049 is now available for your listening pleasure.
Music this month comes from: Ewan Dobson - Damh The Bard - Letters To The Front - Stew Simpson - David Oakes - The Imagined Village - Bellevue Rendezvous - The Sea Kings - Kathryn Tickell - Bombadeal - Ian A. Anderson. Our folk poet, Dave Alton, tells the inspiring tale of the Free Trade Inn (with music by Nigel Eaton) and Babba tells the story behind The Springhill Mining Disaster.
Apologies for the later-than-usual delivery of the show - real life got in the way. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed in March. Watch this space...
Any feedback on the music or items in this month's show greatly appreciated! Please leave a comment.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Beverley Festival line-up

Beverley Festival (18th - 20th June) is starting to announce its headline acts.
This year’s event has a truly Scottish theme with the dynamic fiddle playing of Blazin’ Fiddles, and hit makers The Proclaimers, who will finish off the festival on the Sunday night in its traditional fiery style.
The festival is well known for bringing top artists to the small, historic, East Yorkshire market town of Beverley. The Proclaimers will be no exception. Strikingly individual, the twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have over the years enjoyed huge success across the globe as the emotional honesty, political fire, wit and sing-along raucousness of their songs and their extensive touring has enlightened and entertained fans new and old. They have carved out a niche for themselves in the netherworld where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide. In the process they have enjoyed Gold and Platinum singles and albums in UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The festival now welcomes them to Yorkshire!
With the General Elections due to precede the festival, who better to return again to lighten our spirits, as one of the event’s most popular acts, Roy Bailey and Tony Benn? Other festival favourites, returning for the third time will be the legendary band, famous for its hit record with The Floral Dance, The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.
Festival organisers and audiences alike will be delighted by the performance this year of the Demon Barber Roadshow, bringing English traditional song and dance to a broad audience of all ages. Martin Simpson will be back with his trio, having won the BBC Radio 2 Award for Best Traditional Song. And making sure we don’t go to bed with a heavy heart will be hospital radio spoof DJ Ivan Brackenbury.
A great line up, with many more artists still to be announced in its regularly innovative and eclectic programming. A festival that offers one of the most friendly and relaxed atmospheres of all the Summer festivals – not to be missed..
Artists confirmed to date include:
The Proclaimers, Roy Bailey & Tony Benn, The Demon Barber Roadshow, The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band, Martin Simpson Trio, Charlie Dore & The Hula Valley Orchestra, Blazin’ Fiddles, Koshka, Do─čan Mehmet, Ivan Brackenbury, Jerry Harmon (USA), Jeni & Billy (USA), Sean Taylor, Karen Tweed, Ellen & The Escapades and lots more …………..
A packed programme of music and dance, as well as Comedy, Literature, Poetry, Youth and Kids events, all promise to make the festival a must for festival goers next June
“Winter Special “ tickets available now on line from
Winter Special Weekend Deal available until 31st March - £87 Adult / £72 Concession / £ 246 Family (2 x Ad & 2 x Conc)
From 1st April - £93 / £75 / £246
Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band - £16 / £12.50
Roy Bailey & Tony Benn - £12 / £10
Proclaimers - £22.50

Monday, 8 February 2010

Slight delay...

Hi all - sorry, but the February show will be slightly delayed due to personal circumstances. However, it will be out within a few days. Keep checking the website!