Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus


Hi Folks

First off in February are Ninebarrow on Sunday 3rd.  They sent us a press release this week, so why not use that to tell you all about them?  After their explosion onto the national folk roots scene over the past two years, duo Ninebarrow will be performing at Hitchin Folk Club as part of their extensive national tour this winter.   In a few short years, the Dorset-based duo have carved themselves a distinctive niche on the folk roots scene for their outstanding harmonies, delicate instrumentation and engaging songs. In 2017, they were unsurprisingly nominated at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the ’Horizon’ category for ‘Best Emerging Artist’. One of the highest accolades in their genre, it was made even more exceptional because it was only a few months prior to this that Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere relinquished their jobs as a teacher and GP in favour of a full-time music career – an act of faith that has clearly paid dividends.  It is the multi-award-winning duo’s modern and inventive take on the folk tradition that seems to be captivating audiences across the country.  Not only exceptional singers and musicians, they are also equally passionate about the stories behind their songs. Ninebarrow have received high praise from the likes of Mike Harding and folk legends, Seth Lakeman and Kate Rusby. A live session on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show, described by presenter Mark Radcliffe as ’immaculate’, has led to a string of sell-out shows across the UK. YouTube.  Supporting will be Ben Cipolla.  Possessing a naturally languid and confident vocal style Ben is a Wiltshire-based singer-songwriter, whose seamless time-signature hopping and intoxicating guitar technique captures a diverse spirit and singular energy in his performance. He cut his musical teeth as a precocious young busker and his songs has since migrated from the streets to the nation’s speakers, airing his material on BBC Introducing Sessions and Clare Teal’s Radio 2 show. YouTube

Phil Beer is our guest on Sunday 10th ‘Phil is one of the most popular ambassadors for acoustic roots music. A dazzling instrumentalist, he is perhaps best known as a top flight fiddler’.  A quote, but not his. In his words, “The Truth.  Whilst that may be the perception, I would actually take issue with that statement. I didn’t write it.  I’m very good at what I do. The trick is to design what you do in order to accommodate your limitations.” Phil has probably played Hitchin in more combinations and guises than anyone else, most notably of course, as Show of Hands (part one). YouTube Supporting will be Glymjack.  Glymjack is an acoustic trio led by acclaimed singer-songwriter Greg McDonald, with fiddle virtuoso Gemma Gayner and bassist Dickon Collinson, delivering a high energy, harmony-rich set of hard-hitting originals, English folk songs and fiddle tunes.  Greg’s award-winning songs have previously been called “genius” (Rolling Stone), “captivating” (Q magazine), and “enough to remind you why you got into music in the first place” (Tom Robinson, BBC 6music), while Gemma’s virtuosic skill has seen her celebrated as a “powerhouse instrumentalist” (fRoots) and “a force to be reckoned with” (Maverick).  YouTube  Tickets £14 members, £16 non-members.

Show of Hands (part two), Steve Knightley will be with us on Sunday 17th.  This concert is SOLD OUT.

We end February on Sunday 24th, with Peter Knight & John Spiers.  It is true that sometimes, when two established musicians form a new partnership, the total is not the sum of the two parts.  This is definitely not the case with Peter and John, their total includes that somewhat indefinable extra; sparkle, charisma, empathy, call it what you will, that certain something that makes an act “special”.  In the summer of 2016, the organisers of FolkEast Festival had the grand idea of pairing Peter (Steeleye Span and Gigspanner) and melodeon player extraordinaire, John (ex-Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden) for a special 'one off' concert at that year's festival.  In the event, it ended up being a genuine festival highlight, with no space to be found in the Marquee and people standing five deep in pouring rain. For a few minutes at the close of their performance, with a standing ovation and roars for more, it didn't seem as though the audience was going to let them go. As the MC commented, it was one of those occasions when people could say "I was there".  It was also clear that leaving matters there was not an option, as there is now an album and more extensive touring.  It is fair to say that Knight & Spiers visit to Hitchin in 2018 was one of the highlights of the year, everything we knew it would be! YouTube  Tickets £14 members, £16 non-members.

Keiron & Maureen Jones


Picture gallery
Who played when?(work in progress, now adding links)
Directions to the club