Hitchin Folk Club
Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus
concert on Sunday 1st will be, again for the 10th time,
shared by Liz
Simcock and Dave Ellis & Boo Howard. Liz writes
songs and performs them in folk and acoustic clubs in and around the
Southeast and beyond. In 1999 she featured on the Playpen Album of
New Acoustic Music alongside Eliza Carthy, Billy Bragg, Eddi Reader and Kathryn
Williams. Since then she has trodden an independent path, gaining a
growing reputation as a performer and songwriter. Liz counts Richard
Thompson, Clive Gregson, Boo Hewerdine and Joni Mitchell amongst her main
songwriting role models. For the past few years Liz has worked with the
virtuoso backing of Dave Ellis on guitar and Boo Howard on bass. Tonight she
will be back solo. YouTube Dave Ellis
came down from Liverpool for the London folk club scene in 1970. He released a
solo album on Sonet records in 1973 which is considered by some to be a
classic guitar record of the 70s and which gave him national exposure on the
Old Grey Whistle Test and In Concert.
In 1979 Dave formed his electric band ‘The Reactors’ which incorporated guitar, drums and keyboards with Boo Howard playing bass and handling most of the vocals. The band was eventually trimmed down and developed into an electric duo (comprising Dave and Boo) which was renamed ‘Brave Lucy’. There was a direction change for the duo in 1998, when Dave and Boo transformed themselves - combining Dave’s intricate guitar work with Boo’s mellow vocals to create something very different and entirely new for the folk and acoustic clubs. Their songs are intelligently constructed, elegantly articulated and never less than entertaining. The mix is eclectic (from folk to jazz to blues to bluegrass) but the songs are at the heart of it all, served by imaginative and stylish arrangements and by the singing and playing of two seasoned, wholly in tune musicians. YouTube The longevity of this concert format is a testament to its success, a great way to spend Easter Sunday evening, bring the family!
We have three young artists for you on
Sunday 15th, Greg
Russell & Ciaran Algar, supported by Saskia
Griffiths-Moore. Greg and
Ciaran met in 2011. Quickly signing to Fellside Records, in July 2012 they
released their debut album, The Queen’s Lover. The duo developed and honed
their stage craft, becoming one of the most sought after young acts on the
English Folk Scene. In January 2013, the pair picked up the BBC Radio 2
Young Folk award. Extensive touring followed despite still needing to complete
school and University exams playing club venues and festivals such as
Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport Convention’s Cropredy. After
recording their second album in the November of 2013, they received the
Horizon Award for Best breakthrough act at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
The duo come from musical households and both began to develop their musical
skills long before joining forces; Ciaran becoming All Ireland Fiddle
Champion, and All Britain Champion on numerous occasions before the age of 16
and Greg had already begun a career as a solo musician. Powerful songs and
searing instrumentals! While Ciaran was at University, Greg became involved in
other projects, eg. Nancy Kerr’s Sweet Visitor Band and the Transports.
Ciaran is also a member of Sam Kelly’s Lost Boys, who headline a warm up
concert for the Kimpton Folk Festival
on May 19th. YouTube.
Saskia is a 25 year old independent English singer-songwriter,
known for her pure, clear voice and her nu-folk style repertoire. She
arrived on the folk circuit by a somewhat stranger route than most, having
previously been one of the world’s youngest craniosacral therapists,
practicing on Harley Street. In
2014 she left it all behind to move to the West Country and pursue a
successful career in music. YouTube
the month on Sunday 29th
with an evening of musical brilliance, tinged with more than just a little
musical madness! Wild
Willy Barrett’s French Connection is back!
During a long career in the music business, Willy Barrett has performed
in many collaborations, most notably as the Godfather of Grunge Folk with John
Otway. In the early days at Hitchin Willy would bring an array of musicians
(and furniture) with him but, in 2004 Sleeping Dogz was born and the act took
on a much more structured form, with Mary Holland on cello and John Devine on
Uilleann pipes and whistles. Then Willy played a master stoke with the
addition of French chantress, Aurora Colson, creating the French Connection.
Jane Williams has now replaced Aurora centre stage, but the theme
remains the same. Of the French
Connection, “It is unlike anything you will ever see or hear with the range
of music and musicianship. Willy holds it all together. He's one of the most
overlooked musicians in the country.” From
a cafe in Paris, via a hoolie in Dublin, to a night out in New Orleans with
rip-roaring fiddle and banjo – this band does it all! YouTube. Supporting will Elliott
hundreds of gigs behind him – and a coveted Danny Kyle Award from
Celtic Connections 2013 – Elliott has a formidable reputation as one of the hardest-working
and most sought-after young artists on the acoustic scene.
The singer-songwriter, featured in Acoustic magazine as
‘The Next Big Thing’, taps the strings and beats the guitar’s body to
create an intricate spectacle, together with an original and unique sound
integral to his songs. YouTube.
are now available for Daphne’s
Flight on September 16th,
£16 members, £18 non-members.
Keiron & Maureen Jones
Keiron & Maureen Jones