Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fisherman's Friends release album

The first haul of the alleged £1m record deal for Cornish shanty men The Fisherman's Friends is available now from all good record shops, download stores and (probably) fishmongers.
More info here.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Swedish Folk

Lars Nillson writes:

What about a little Swedish folk music with my new group (I am the one on


Well actually, the first tune is from Finland and the second from Germany

(where the nyckelharpa player was born), but we perform them in a Swedish

way, and we mostly play Swedish music. Hopefully the next piece our fiddler

puts up on YouTube will be something from our own country.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Lots of stories behind lots of songs

We don't normally plug the BBC on FolkCast, because they have enough resources to do it very well themselves, but it would be a shame if folk fans missed this item...
If you enjoy our popular feature The Story Behind The Song, starring the mysterious old curmudgeon Babba, and if you enjoy the music of Show Of Hands, then make sure you tune into Open Country on Radio 4. There's no Babba, sadly, but there will be lots of stories and lots of songs.
It's broadcast at the unearthly hour of 6.07am on a Saturday, but you can catch it again on is the excellent iPlayer service and a repeat at 3pm the following Thursday. Anyway, this weekend (April 24) they'll be chatting to Steve Knightly from SoH about the people and places that have inspired some of his songs. More details here

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The English Riverdance?

I've long wondered whether anything could be done to cast off the old fashioned image of Morris Dancing and allow the brilliant music and moves to come shining through, in the way that Michael Flattely did with Irish Dancing. Personally, I love the traditions of Morris, and enjoy watching a good side in full flight, but the style of dress and the way the music is performed does seem to create something of a problem for a lot of English people, who cringe away in horror at the very mention of their native folk art, as though someone had suggested spending the evening going electricity pylon spotting (not that there's anything wrong with that....).

Sadly, and undeservedly, Morris Dancing is a laughing stock. That needs to change.

Well, if anyone can give Morris the boost it needs, it's got to be The Demon Barbers, who have ably demonstrated in their live show just how exciting, nay thrilling, the dancing and music can be - the equal of anything on the world folk scene.

Now the Barbers are taking it to the next level, with the launch of Time, Gentlemen, Please!, which they say invites three young hip hop dancers for a night out at their local pub 'The Fighting Cocks'.

"Clog, Rapper Sword and Morris meet B-boying, Popping and Krump in this humourous and unmissable visual feast. Think Riverdance with a false moustache, Stomp with bells on and both sitting in the front seat of a Bugatti!"

It sounds brilliant - you can see it first at The Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds on May 15th.

Box office 0113 224 3801

Book securely online www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk

Tickets £10.00, concessions £8.00

Sunday, 18 April 2010

April's Show is Go, Go, Go!

April Blossom
FolkCast 051 for April 2010 is now available for download.
This month we have music from: Zeptepi - Them Pastoral Pilots - Richard Koechli - Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles - Chris Ricketts and Mark Willshire - Peter Lacey - The Barracks Band - Mike Collins - Rick Wakeman - Craig & Willoughby - Jess Morgan - April Maybe May.
Our folk poet Dave Alton tells the story of Arthur Draws The Sword From The Stone, and Babba digs up the Resurrection Men, with the help of a new song by Chuck Owston.
Sorry for the delay in the release of this month's show. Personal circumstances conspired to make it difficult to find the time to put it all together. But I think the wait has been worthwhile!
Download the show from the ShowNotes

Friday, 16 April 2010

FAF Week

It's Folk Against Fascism week from next Thursday, and lots of gigs are taking place with artists demonstrating loudly that folk music is not about to be hijacked by certain right wing political parties...

NB: Folk are Against Fascism every week, not just on the dates below. Fascism: never a good idea.

Here's a list of some of the events happening as part of FAF week. There are probably more:

* Thursday April 22nd - Prince Albert, Brighton - Mary Hampton, Jim Causley, Joe Burke

* Friday April 23rd - The Goose is Out - Dave Swarbrick

* Friday April 23rd - Black Smock's St George's Day Bash, Vauxhall, London

* Friday April 23rd - 1in12, Bradford

* Friday April 23rd - Roy Bailey supports FAF and is playing at the St George's gig in Derby

* Saturday April 24th - Sage, Gateshead, Kingsmen, Young Uns, Dogan Mehmet

* Saturday April 24th - Darwin Suite, Derby, PBS6

* Sunday April 25th - Keiran Halpin, the Bell Inn, Bath (lunchtime event)

* Sunday April 25th - Walthamstow Folk Club, Dave Delarre

* Monday April 26th - Julian Gaskell and his Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, the Bell Inn, Bath

* Tuesday April 27th - Megson at the Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

* Tuesday April 27th - Leicester, Musician, PBS6

* Wednesday April 28th - Green Angels, the Bell Inn, Bath

* Thursday April 29th - Woody Guthrie Folk Club, Liverpool

* Saturday May 1st - Hailsham Pavilion, Chumbawamba, Demon Barber Roadshow

* Saturday May 1st - Launch of Barnsley FAF, 12-4 outside Barnsley Topshop

* Sunday May 2nd - FAF Village FĂȘte. Evening concert sold out, but please come along for daytime fun.

* Sunday May 2nd - Poppy and friends, the Bell Inn, Bath (lunchtime event)

* Monday May 3rd - Nowt So Queer as Folk, afternoon and evening concert at Cecil Sharp House

More info from the FAF website.


Real ale, real music ... what's NOT to like?
Here's info from the organisers:

The real ale tasting notes are shaping up, the Orange Tree stage programme has been finalised including some wonderful musicians and performers who we can promise will entertain and delight whilst you are sipping your ale and eating lots of yummy food in the glorious June sunshine! Now is the time to snap up the few remaining weekend tickets.

New for this year we have joined forces with EFDSS (English Folk, Dance & Song Society) to bring you a showcase in the Big Top on Sunday of some of the finest and up and coming musicians on today's folk scene. We have also teamed up with our friends Tonder who present the premier folk and roots festival in Denmark. We are now officially twinned and we'll soon be announcing a very special competition to win tickets to the festival in Denmark in August this year.

For Oyster fans, their will be a unique live performance by the 'Holy Bandits' - the seminal 90s album where their song writing came of age. In the spirit of their recent very well-received acoustic 'Oxford Girl' tour, Oysterband and friends become Holy Bandits and perform the whole album (plus a few other things) live, featuring James O'Grady, Rowan Godel, Ian Kearey and Al Scott as well as John, Alan, Chopper, Ian & Dil.

So come and join thousands of music fans this June at De Montfort Hall and Gardens, Leicester, to celebrate the best in contemporary folk and roots music. We are very excited about the line-up for 2010, which includes headliners The Proclaimers, Kate Rusby and, of course, festival hosts Oysterband. We also have Stornoway, Dervish, Cara Dillon, Chris Wood and many more. For the full line-up check out the website www.bigsessionfestival.com

As well as the amazing line-up, Big Session can boast the whole package: from its green credentials with fastidious recycling, beautiful setting in De Montfort Hall and Gardens, through to the fabulous Kidzone. To make sure everyone enjoys the festival whatever the weather, with all sets are undercover on indoor and outdoor marquee stages. There will also be a fantastic range of quality food and drink offering as well as a huge range of real ales and ciders from local breweries.

So what are you waiting for? Make the Big Session part of your summer of festival fun and book your tickets today. Weekend adult tickets cost £75, child tickets cost £27.50 and children under five are free. Day tickest and camping are available here or from the box office 0116 233 3111.

"Bigger than a garden party, smaller than Glastonbury, the Big Session is the perfect weekend for anyone who loves festivals but doesn't have the wellies and prefers proper toilets!" fRoots





Thursday, 15 April 2010

Bandstand Busking in London

News of a great idea of which FolkCast thoroughly approves - and here's a forwarded newsletter from the organisers:
Bandstand Busking is back in business!
As spring jumps into action and Sundays get sunnier, we're ready to start welcoming wonderful bands back to bandstands around London for your viewing pleasure.
Last year saw a whole host of incredible bands take to bandstands across the city to perform a few songs to be enjoyed by all; they're totally free and an utterly pleasant way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. 2009's bands included: Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Black Lips, First Aid Kit, Slow Club, Micachu, Emmy the Great, Hockey and many more. All the past busks can be viewed at the BB site
To kick things off this year we'll be at Northampton Square THIS SUNDAY, the 18th of April with the the legendary Ed Harcourt supported by the hypnotic Liz Green.
2pm - Liz Green
Northampton Square is a short walk from Barbican, Farringdon or Angel, a map can be seen here: MAP
Make sure you arrive early so you don't miss out.
You can sign up to the event and let us know you are coming here on Facebook (also feel free to invite your friends)
Hope to see you there, it promises to be a goodie!
Team BB

Monday, 5 April 2010

New video from Ken

Ken's posted a new video of himself playing one of his "Initial Variation" pieces, from the album of that name.
Nice one, matey!