Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus

May 2019

Hi Folks

May already, and what a way to start it, with Flook on Sunday 5th! With the flutes and whistles of Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen, the guitar of Ed Boyd and the bodhran of John Joe Kelly, this iconic band weaves and spins traditionally rooted tunes into an enthralling sound – with agile but tight rhythms and virtuoso improvisation. Flook possesses a rare blend of technical brilliance, delicate ensemble interaction and a bold, adventurous musical imagination.  One of the most innovative bands of the last 15 years awarded Best Band at the 2006 BBC Folk Awards, they disbanded in 2008 but, after a hiatus of some 8 years, they reformed and are back with a vengeance, as fiery as ever. Flute and whistle interplay across the stage between Sarah and Brian, driving guitar from Ed and, probably the finest bodhran in the UK, John Joe Kelly. Back at Hitchin after 12 years. Tickets £14 members, £16 non-members.  YouTube  YouTube  Supporting will be Elliott Morris.  With 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

Embarking upon, what he describes as, a mini tour we have Jim Causley on Sunday 12th.  More than simply a folk-singer, multi award winning singer-songwriter, musician and proud Devonian Jim Causley is an all-round entertainer and, during the past decade, has been nominated no less than six times for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award, including “Singer of the Year” at the 2017 event. Since the release of his debut album in 2005, Causley’s unique voice and persona have helped him become one of the most well-loved and respected figures of today’s contemporary roots and folk scene. YouTube  YouTube  Supporting tonight will be Elizabeth & Jameson a stunning new collaboration comprising two talents of the UK acoustic music scene. Hannah Elizabeth of traditional folk trio Said The Maiden and Griff Jameson from folk-rock band Fred's House who have joined forces to create an indie-folk sound which encompasses their individual musical backgrounds. YouTube

Sunday 19th sees a repeat of that memorable January evening in 2017, when we celebrated Maureen’s 50 years running the club, with Mike Silver & Johnny Coppin.  Between them Mike & Johnny have been playing at the club for 86 years, but are truly every bit as good now as they ever were.  Mike, who first appeared as Brenda Wootton’s accompanist, is a superb songwriter, masterful guitarist and captivating performer, beguiling audiences with music that reaches out and draws you in, with a voice that is warm, embracing and richly resonant. With a lifetime of professional music behind him, plus a busy on-going concert, song-writing and recording schedule, Mike continues to perform throughout the UK, Europe and America, captivating audiences with songs of insight, experience - and accurate observation of our all-too-vulnerable human condition.  Johnny Coppin, who first appeared with the folk band of the time, Decameron, is a singer/songwriter, composer, radio broadcaster and poetry anthologist. His clear voice together with his ability to write fine songs make his music essentially English in character while having universal appeal. What they say - "Strong, clear vocals, and songs of substance" Daily Telegraph, "One of the finest voices in its field" Q Magazine, "One of the land's finest singer-songwriters....his music is as natural as the sun on the hills or the fresh waters of the streams" Brum Beat, "Eloquent, evocative and romantic" Birmingham Post. YouTube

Sunday 26th promises to be an absolute treat with Hattie Briggs, supported by Zoe Wren, both “veterans” of the London busking scene.  Hattie is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, originally from Chichester but currently based in London. An independent artist and regular busker at Network Rail stations, she was fortunate enough to be discovered by platinum-selling singer, Alfie Boe, who was stopped in his tracks by her pure vocal while she was busking at Paddington Station in October 2018. She was personally invited by him to open all 21 shows on his recent UK tour, the finale of which was at the Royal Albert Hall last month, after which she and her band received a standing ovation. To top things off, Alfie welcomed Hattie back onto the stage each night during his set to perform a duet, which went down a storm with audiences.  In 2017 she was the first ever winner of Fender Undiscovered Artist of the Year. Don’t miss the chance to see her on our small stage, who knows where she will be in 12 months!  YouTube  YouTube  YouTube  Since completing her degree, Zoe has decided to follow a career in music, full time. She is a winner of the PRS Lynsey de Paul Award, and has had airplay on BBC Radio 2 on the Bob Harris show. Drawing on influences from the unorthodox harmonies of Joni Mitchell to the honest storytelling of Tracy Chapman. A regular performer at Hitchin, she continues to grow in stature at every visit. YouTube

There are some interesting concerts in Bedford this month.

At The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford, MK40 3DE , they have Belshazzaar’s Feast on Thursday May 2nd at 8.00pm.  Then on Tuesday May 23rd, again at 8.00pm, they have Ninebarrow.

Then, on June 8th, at The Ent Shed, The Gordon Arms, Castle Street, there is a concert with James Hickman and Dan Cassidy. Hickman’s emotive, soaring vocals and driving guitar is complemented by Cassidy’s ingenious and virtuosic fiddling. Their sound flows from the connection between British and American folk and is bursting with all the humour, heartbreak and excitement of these genres. The lively English wit of Hickman is set against Cassidy’s bone-dry irony and American drawl as they take audiences on a dynamic and unforgettable transatlantic journey. YouTube  YouTube  Supporting will be Daisy Chapman, YouTube

Keiron & Maureen Jones


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