Hitchin Folk Club

Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus

May 2017

Hi Folks

We open May on Sunday 7th with Miranda Sykes plus Emily Mae Winters. Miranda Sykes, the acclaimed singer and bassist with ‘Show of Hands’ is returning to her roots. After a career spanning over 20 years, during which time she has played with many of the top musicians and singers within the folk world, she will be touring as she started out: one woman, one bass, and one guitar. Borrowed Places is a project that draws its inspiration primarily from the songs and landscapes of her native Lincolnshire but seen through the eyes of someone who has lived away for many years. The themes are not specific; the land changes, it grows, it shrinks, it adapts and it resists but most of all it lives and breathes. With her sensational voice, and accompanying herself, Miranda interprets the soul of the land and takes her audience on a journey that resonates with us all, wherever we live and it is one you won’t want to miss.  YouTube

Emily Mae was born in England, raised in and around the rugged coasts of southern Ireland, moved to London in 2009 to pursue a History degree and is now based in Cambridge. Growing up listening to a wide variety of English and Irish Folk music as well American country, she always felt most at home blending transatlantic sounds together. Whilst at university, she began writing her own songs and in 2010 was a finalist in the UK Live and Unsigned competition. YouTube

 Sunday May 14th is the big, celebratory concert for Maureen’s 50 years running Hitchin Folk Club.  When deciding how to mark this auspicious landmark, there was only one act she wanted, Daphne’s Flight and, as luck would have it, they were reforming for a 2017 tour, 22 years after their only other tour.  Unfortunately for those that do not have a ticket, this concert is sold out. YouTube

 We have Emily Smith & Jamie McClennan on Sunday 21st.  Time has passed ridiculously fast since Emily was named BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year back in 2002. The accolades continued as she won the USA Songwriting Competition in 2005, Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2008, and she received two nominations in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  In that time she’s toured the world, thrilling audiences from Cambridge Folk Festival all the way down to the National Folk Festival in Australia, via Europe, Russia, Canada and New Zealand. Her face has been all over the TV thanks to BBC Four’s Transatlantic Sessions and, in 2013 Emily toured as part of the show’s extended family, singing with the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eric Bibb and Teddy Thompson - adding to an impressive list of onstage collaborators which also includes Richard Thompson, Eddi Reader and Beth Neilson Chapman. In 2013 Emily released her best-of collection Ten Years marking a journey that’s already seen her described by The Guardian as Scotland’s “most impressive young songwriter”.  Emily’s voice eases tired ears and lifts knackered souls with its simple beauty.  Emily will be accompanied by multi-instrumentalist husband, Jamie, last seen at Hitchin with James Fagan under the guise of the James Brothers. YouTube

Supporting will be Leyla Burrows & Paul Scourfield.  Leyla is a classically trained singer but more often performs folk, jazz and pop material and Paul is a stylish melodeon player and singer, performing material mainly from the English tradition.

We end the month on Sunday 28th with Luke Jackson plus Kelly Oliver.  Luke is a Singer/Songwriter from Canterbury, Kent, who in 2013 was nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for both the Horizon Award for Best Emerging Talent and The Young Folk Category.  With a bold, distinctive voice and a sweet, percussive guitar style, Luke is a confident and captivating live performer. He was also winner of Fatea’s “Male Artist of the Year 2014” and again in 2016.  Over the past few years he has steadily been developing a reputation for himself in the Folk & Roots circuits either through his solo shows, many festival appearances or when opening for such luminaries as Show of Hands, Martyn Joseph, Seth Lakeman, Paul Brady and Glen Tilbrook.   He regularly tours across Europe playing in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany and in 2016 made his first visit to the USA to play at the International Folk Alliance conference in Kansas.  In the last 2 years including playing 2 sold out nights at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Luke is touring his third full studio album, “Tall Tales and Rumours” to universal critical acclaim, which Maverick described as “a brilliant, thoughtful album – Jackson shows talent beyond his years”, whilst Acoustic Magazine noted “Jackson has been compared to a young Richard Thompson and for once these are not empty words”. YouTube YouTube

Kelly is very well known to the Hitchin audience having play there on numerous occasions, the last being the launch of her CD, “Bedlam”. YouTube


 Tickets are now available for the autumn and winter all ticket shows. Slaid Cleaves on October 8th, Martyn Joseph on December 3rd, St Agnes Fountain on Dec 10th (to members only until September, as usual, 50 already gone!) and Albion Christmas on Dec 17th.

There are also advanced tickets available for Downes & Beer on September 3rd and Richard Digance plus the Broadside Boys on Sept 10th.

Keiron & Maureen Jones


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