Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus

APRIL 2019

Hi Folks

We start April on Sunday 7th with the wonderful Belinda O’Hooley & Heidi Tidow. With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on BBC 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, culminating in a MOJO Folk Album of the Year award for groundbreaking album The Hum,  O’Hooley & Tidow are regarded as lionhearted trailblazers of contemporary music and songwriting. Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and at times spine-tingling performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm even the hardest of heart.To make a business successful, they say, one needs a Unique Selling Point, and Belinda and Heidi have USPs in abundance!  Nobody else is doing anything quite like them, plus haunting harmonies, beautiful musicianship and a huge chunk of humour. YouTube. Tonight’s support will be, fresh from supporting Show of Hands, Alden, Patterson & Dashwood.  This Norwich based trio weave rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, dobro, guitar and mandolin around beautifully written original songs and melodies. Their music takes influence from folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic with uplifting instrumentals and self-penned songs depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home. YouTube

Sunday 14th we have Gilmore & Roberts.  This contemporary folk/acoustic duo combine award-winning songwriting with astounding musicianship and their trademark harmonies to create a powerful wall of sound. Nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Katriona (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie (guitar) met while studying at Leeds College of Music and released their debut album in 2008.  Since then, the duo have toured Canada and mainland Europe, played some of the UK’s biggest acoustic festivals, toured with folk rock legends Fairport Convention and won countless accolades for their genre-spanning work.  Katriona grew up in Knebworth, learned violin at school and started playing local folk clubs (Hitchin!) with her guitarist father at the age of 14. She joined folk pop sensations Tiny Tin Lady in 2006, and in 2011 was invited to be part of a new lineup of The Albion Band. Jamie was brought up in Barnsley, in a musical family – his sister is Kathryn Roberts. Jamie joined young English traditionalists Kerfuffle in 2007 and more recently formed The Dovetail Trio with Rosie Hood and Matt Quinn.  YouTube YouTube.  Supporting Kat & Jamie will be Iona Lane.  Iona is a singer, musician and songwriter from North West England, currently studying for a BA (Hons) Music (Folk) with a scholarship at Leeds College of Music. (One of her tutors is Nancy Kerr) She has always had a passion for music but only recently started paving a career in it. Having submerged herself in folk music she picked up guitar, and never looked back, adding slide guitar and mandolin along the way. YouTube

Our Easter concert on Sunday 21st will be, again, 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

Sunday 28th sees a return to the club by Jackie Oates.  Jackie is a singer and fiddle player hailing from Staffordshire. Her unique treatment of English ballads and songs, and pure, haunting singing style has established her at the forefront of the new English folk revival. Since appearing as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003, she has performed extensively at festivals and venues across the country and beyond, in a solo capacity and with her band. 2008 saw Jackie walking away with two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards including the Horizon Award for best newcomer, plus nominations at the 2010 Folk Awards for Folk Singer of The Year, Album of the Year and Best Traditional Track for ‘Isle of France’.  Early in 2011 she was invited to take part in the Cecil Sharp Project, a song writing project, initiated by Shrewsbury Folk Festival, which brought together English and Appalachian musicians for an intensive week of song writing. In 2012 she began an extensive period of research into an area of song that is particularly close to her heart; lullabies. Collating material from England and beyond into a new collection to be housed at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House and, of course, an album, “Lullabies”.  With her uniquely beautiful vocals before you know it you have been completely sucked in. YouTube.  Supporting tonight will be Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer. Vicki & Jonny effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary sounds. Their performances showcase new interpretations of old songs alongside original self-penned tunes and new contemporary songs that are entirely at home in the tradition. Be entranced by the haunting nyckelharpa, possibly amazed at the cow horn and maybe see some of the bagpipes that didn’t come from Scotland. YouTube

Couple of extra dates for you.

Pat Crilly and friends will be playing at the Baldock Folk Club, at the Orange Tree on Wednesday 3rd April. The Baldock club runs on a free entry basis, passing the hat round. The club meets every Wednesday and provides an opportunity for budding and experienced musicians to play to a discerning audience.

The Askew Sisters are playing at The Place, in Bedford on April 4th  at 8.00pm, priced at £12 in advance and £14 on the door.

Keiron & Maureen Jones


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