Hitchin Folk Club

Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus

MARCH 2018

Hi Folks

We open March on Sunday 4th, 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, and plans were made to record an album and undertake the country-wide tour they are now on.  Facebook. YouTube

Our celebration of St Patrick is on Sunday 11th, with Craobh Rua.  Craobh Rua (pronounced CRAVE ROO-AH) translates from Irish to Red Branch and is a name that is well known in Celtic history from The Red Branch Knights of Ulster. Hailing from Belfast they perform Irish Traditional music with their distinctive Northern style. Formed more than thirty years ago and boasting two of the original band, their music has delighted audiences and earned them wide acclaim and recognition and are now regarded around the world as one of the finest ambassadors of Irish Traditional Music. Craobh Rua’s impeccable musicians bring their own individual experience to the group and fuse their talents to bring life to a wide array of instruments including banjo, mandolin, fiddle, Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, guitar and vocals. They take a refreshing, unpretentious but uncommonly skilled run at some of the greatest music in the worldYouTube .  Supporting tonight will be Elizabeth & Jameson. A first visit to the club for this, relatively, new collaboration between Said the Maiden’s Hannah Elizabeth and Fred’s House’s Griff Jameson. YouTube

Our guests on Sunday 18th are Edgelarks, better known to the club as Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin.  These two really do have everything, great voices, fabulous musicianship and superb songs.  Hannah has the most beautiful, sometimes haunting, mellow voice, plays an equally mellow banjo, tenor guitar, foot operated shruti box and fiddle. Phillip certainly disproves the claim that only women can multi-task!  He plays guitar and dobro, harmonica and beatbox, and stomp box, and singing, (and whooping along with the beatbox and harmonica).  These wondrous skills have earned Edgelarks yet another nomination for Best Duo at the forthcoming BBC Folk Awards. YouTube  YouTube.  If this wasn’t enough excitement for one night, supporting them will be Broom Bezzums.  Its a few years since Mark and Andrew played at Hitchin, and we are looking forward to having them back.  Resident in Germany, they too are multi instrumentalists on fiddle, Northumbrian pipes, guitar, mandola and various percussive actions.  As singers, their full but very different voices harmonise to a surprisingly dense fusion.  YouTube

Sunday 25th is an all ticket event, with Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham.  This is a rare opportunity to see these legends of Scottish music in a club atmosphere.  Individually they are brilliant, together they are enthralling, they breath each other’s playing; as one.  Then there is the between tunes patter, they are so funny.  As at 26th Feb there are only 10 tickets left.  YouTube  YouTube

In case you cannot wait until the 18th to see Broom Bezzums there is a chance to see them a few days before at a house concert.  The date is Wednesday, March 14th 2018, 7pm for 7.30pm start, in St Albans. Tickets are £15 a head to include drink, ploughman’s buffet, and of course, amazing live music! Limited to 25 seats, so reserve yours asap! Email: sally.patterson@me.com


 Keiron & Maureen Jones


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