Lincoln Alive announces its festival line-up

Lincoln Alive

Before we know it summer will be upon us, and by popular demand, so will this festival……

Solid Entertainments is delighted to announce that the festival will be returning to the county and taking place at Lincoln Alive on Saturday 14th July 2018

Following the great success of last years festival, the line-up had to be “equally…….if not more impressive” and with Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle headlining, special guest Julie Felix and four other very different striking acts; this will most definitely be a musical experience not to miss!

Born in London on Christmas day 1943 Jacqui McShee grew up listening to music played on her parents gramophone – from Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald and big bands through to popular classics.  Jacqui showed little interest in music though until she heard Miles Davis and John Coltrane at CND friends, becoming the most important thing for her – it quite literally changed her life.  On CND marches she would lead the singing with her sister Pam and did many gigs locally in South East London for charities such as War On Want and Oxfam.

Jacqui’s beautiful crystal-clear vocals set the standard for female British folk and the band was legendary on the folk-rock scene with virtuoso guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox.  The original Pentangle expanded the frontiers of Folk in the 1960s and ’70s and since then, Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle has progressed and expanded the original concept and continues to make ground-breaking music.

In 1964 Julie Felix arrived in England after leaving California and became the first solo folk artist to be signed to a major British record company when she signed with Decca.  In 1966 Julie became the resident singer on the amazingly popular TV programme The Frost Report, and quickly became a household name.  She went on to appear in her own TV series on BBC1 and BBC2 and recorded hit singles on Mickey Most’s RAK label.

In October 2013, Julie was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla.

The full line-up comprises

  • Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle – features saxophonist Gary Foote, bassist & guitarist Alan Thompson, drummer & percussionist Gerry Conway and Spencer Cozens on keyboards!
  • Julie Felix – with over 50 years in the music world, Julie will be celebrating her 80th birthday in 2018 with a special concert at the Charing Cross Theatre in London!
  • Blair Dunlop – in a short four year career is astounding alone but what sets Blair apart from his peers is the lyrical and musical maturity with which he writes!
  • Galley Beggar – with a sound that incorporates all manner of unexpected elements while always celebrating the mischievous spirit of folk music across the centuries!
  • Said The Maiden – three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in Hertfordshire!
  • The Beaubowbelles – combining the swing, wit and class of a vintage vocal harmony group with the depth, heart and energy of a contemporary English folk band!

No need to worry about searching for food and drinks on the day either, there will be a range of alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, real ales available and a varied menu that should meet everyone’s taste!

Early Bird Tickets are only £23.00 and to book, please call 01472 349 222 or go online at http://www.lincolnfolkfestival.co.uk/tickets.html

London Folk & Roots – line-up announced

London Folk

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29 UNTIL SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18

KITTY DAISY & LEWIS, BLAIR DUNLOP, FOY VANCE, SECRET SISTERS, KATHRYN WILLIAMS, ALIBHE REDDY, MARK EITZEL, SEAN TAYLOR, JONNY LANG and more…

 DMP and Kilimanjaro introduce the very best in folk, roots, blues, Americana and world music from across the globe. Taking place over 21 days, London Folk & Roots will take over venues from the treasured and unique like The Union Chapel, St Pancras Old Church, Bush Hall or Shepherds Bush Empire, to the well-trodden and intimate spaces of The Borderline, The Slaughtered Lamb, Water Rats or Islington to name a few.

The festival aims to bring you the best in the acclaimed, accomplished, rawest, breaking and unearthed talent that the roots and folk scene has to offer. In its fourth year London Folk & Roots boasts names as diverse as Kitty Daisy & Lewis with their shear passion and sparkling analogue performances to the acclaimed organic offerings of Foy Vance and Gretchen Peters – the latter joining us straight out of Nashville’s hall of fame, to the mercury nominated Kathryn Williams and newest rising star Blair Dunlop.

Experience the embattled and empowering landscapes of Jonny Lang to the extraordinary creations of Wesley Stace, inhabiting that wondrous space between the musical and literary. West Africa meets American blues with Blick Bassy, straight from the Cameroon, demonstrating the freeform expressionistic experimentation this festival brings. While Alibhe Reddy reaches into the indie mainstream with a blend of raw indie folk offset by the acclaimed Secret Sisters, boasting fans from Elvis Costello to Elton John. Mark Eitzel brings his uniquely sardonic outlook, part celebration part despair as he teams up with recent collaborator Bernard Butler, while the craftsmanship and intensity of Sean Taylor and Mark O’Reilly head up the next generation of artists.

Brainchild of renowned promoter and tastemaker David Messer, London Folk and Roots Festival brings roots music to the forefront of London’s music scene: “It’s great to see artists getting the credit they deserve.” He cites Foy Vance as a luminary,

“who we have worked with for a number of years, selling out three Union Chapel shows, Rhiannon Giddens who is likely to sell-out the Shepherds Bush Empire and others doing the same.”

Alongside these established festival favourites, David explains one of the main aims of the festival is

“to give new artists a platform to be heard… I hope to see some of these headlining their own shows in the future.”

Festival website: http://www.londonfolkandroots.com/

Brooke Sharkey – new single, album and remaining tour dates

Brooke Sharkey

Brooke Sharkey will headline London’s Union Chapel and head out on tour with Blair Dunlop.

London based singer-songwriter Brooke Sharkey returns with the release of another outstanding single ‘Offida’. This illustrious song interlaces webs of dreams and fathoms the enchantment of cinema. A brave move for the young artist, but one that is sure to carry her higher in her ever growing success.

‘Offida’ born from Sharkey’s captivating album Wandering Heart, out now, seems to breathe light into the curiosity of love whilst simultaneously casting a haunting spell sending any listener into a dream like state of wonder.

Sharkey has seen plaudits arrive from across the UK and Europe with BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, BBC Scotland along with French, Belgium and Dutch national radio all championing the song-smith and The Guardian naming Brooke among the FUTURE 50 most exciting artists in the world.

With a vocal style that switches effortlessly between lithely melodic and fiery, set against a deeply atmospheric musical backdrop and drawing comparisons with the likes of Kate Bush, Ane Brun and Cat Power, her unique sound can be described as:

“An introspective sound adorned with emotional vocals and sliding string sections that create a tense air of melancholy that few others can master so simply and so elegantly, Brooke Sharkey oozes a creativity that radiates emotion. She is a woman who bleeds artistry.” – Fresh Beats.

Busking since the age of 16 around Europe and the UK, most specifically in London, France and Italy, her broad music influences have connected with a multitude of audiences that include Cambridge Folk Festival, Glastonbury, Larmer Tree, Green Man, Secret Garden Party and Broadstairs Folk Festival.

The London based singer-songwriter is set to headline her biggest show to date at the historic Union Chapel, London the location for what is set to be a triumphant return to the capital as part of the London Folk & Roots Festival, 17th November.

Brooke is set to charm audiences across the UK this October and November on tour with Blair Dunlop.

Artist’s website: http://brookesharkey.co.uk/

‘Offida’ – official:

Tour Dates

November 9th              Manchester, The Ruby Lounge

November 10th            Stafford, Gatehouse Theatre

November 11th            Stockton, The Arc

November 17th             London, Union Chapel Co-Headline w/ Blick Bassy

November 21st             Norwich, Art Centre w/ Blick Bassy

BLAIR DUNLOP – Gilded (Gilded Wings GWR001)

GildedThe son of Ashley Hutchings, Dunlop’s follow-up to House Of Jacks contains a dozen self-penned songs, all recorded as live with a basic instrumentation of Jacob Stoney on keys, drummer Fred Claridge and bass player Tim Thomas, that find him pushing deeper into the more radio-friendly and catchily melodic frontiers of contemporary folk. This is particularly true of the opening track, ‘Castello’, a song inspired by the experiences and dreams of a Balkan/Latin woman from Manchester he met while touring Europe and which, just as ‘45s’ referenced The Kinks and Dylan, namechecks Joy Division and James. He’s been likened to Jackson Browne and, while this holds true in places (most especially on ‘The Egoist’, a relationship-centred number that wouldn’t have been out of place on Late For The Sky) , listening to ‘She Won’t Cry For Me’, a song seemingly about a relationship fractured by his chosen career (“Your dreams were only ever big enough for two. My dreams are born from other people passing through”), I’m more put in mind of Don McLean playing Richard Thompson, who’s clearly an influence on the stunning guitar work.

Social comment is part and parcel of Dunlop’s work and this is no exception. Built around fingerpicked acoustic guitar and a repetitive, almost mechanical, drum pattern of just three clicks, ‘Eternal Optimist’ addresses the way our lives are dominated by our screens and the way it distances up from real interaction while, as the title suggests, the fingerpicked ‘No Go Zones’ concerns the way the news (and the BBC is specifically mentioned) and scaremongering can inculcate fear in the uninformed Western traveller as well as nodding to the way the ban on fox hunting is blatantly ignored. Which isn’t to say, of course, that some no go zones aren’t very real.

Then there’s ‘First World Problems’, a commentary on giving up control of the manufacturing process, whether that be in terms of a third world farmer’s forced concessions to economic trade (“we can always make it cheaper”) or musical compromise (“the words fall on stony ground without the roots to hold them down”). It’s the first of three co-writes, here with his former Albion Band colleagues, while ahab’s Dave Burns collaborates on the starry-skies mood of the love lost ‘I Don’t Know’ and he teams with Gita Langley for album closer, ‘Phoenix’, a keyboards-led bluesy exploration of the parallels between the mythological bird and someone close to Dunlop.

On a different note, tapping out percussion on his guitar, ‘356’ is a wry song about a man dreaming of buying a classic luxury Porsche sports car with just 40,000 on the clock from a Mayfair showroom before riding off on his bike, and perhaps subconsciously intentionally, reminiscent of Paul Brady’s ‘Crazy Dreams’.

Two tracks make very specific reference to historical figures. That said, the solo acoustic ‘Let’s Dance to Paganini’ is actually another relationship number, here at its birth, hearts sparking to the line “then I knew that it was fate. Let the violins arpeggiate”.

By contrast, and something of a lyrical departure from everything else, opening on an acoustic strum and adding drums and organ ‘Up On Cragside’ is essentially a folk rock potted biography and ode to engineering, sung in the voice of Lord (William George) Armstrong, recounting how he dutifully followed his father into the legal profession before giving it up to pursue his love of machines, first designing a piston for use with the Tyneside dockyard cranes, then setting up a company that forged a light field gun used in both the Crimea and the American Civil War before eventually building the first house (the Northumberland country pile of the title) to use hydroelectricity.

So, songs of the conscience, the heart, the human spirit and the lousy Manchester weather. Sounds like pure gold to me.

Mike Davies

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: http://blairdunlop.com/

‘Eternal Optimist’ live in the studio:

Blair Dunlop – new album

Blair Dunlop

Blair Dunlop announces the release of his third studio album Gilded on May 6th 2016. An accomplished writer, guitarist and vocalist, Blair will also be heading out on a 16 date UK tour to promote the new record, kicking off April 20th 2016 in Shrewsbury, including a launch show at London’s Lexington on April 25th.

Gilded follows on from Blair’s highly acclaimed 2014 release House Of Jacks and his outstanding debut album Blight and Blossom in 2012, which saw him win the BBC Radio 2 Folk Horizon Award. Blair is a story-teller, known for his cerebral life affirming lyrics and the new record fares no differently – Gilded is a collection of stories and reflections, recorded in live takes at Manchester’s Blue Print Studios. On this record Blair remains true to his folk roots lyrically whilst continuing to push musically into new areas.

Album opener ‘Castello’ sets the tone for the narrative nature of the record with lyrics inspired by the dreams, lineage and experiences of a woman Blair met while staying at a 14th century Italian castle during a European tour. ‘Eternal Optimist’ was born of his frustration and intrigue at the digital world we now live in, “our real-world experiences seem increasingly subservient to the digital facades we are obsessed with maintaining and refining explains Blair.  ‘First World Problem’, which, written with Blair’s old Albion Band mates, also reflects on society and the lack of compassionate, consequence-based thinking in the Western world, he muses “money talks, at the expense of workers’ welfare, quality of produce, culture and the sustainability of the planet.

Some tracks on the album are more personal. ‘She Won’t Cry For Me’ is a reflective song about the intricacies of a relationship and how the attitudes within it change over time. Blair was also lucky to co-write some songs on the album, writing with Dave Burn from the band AHAB and also with Gita Harcourt-Smith, with whom he co-wrote album closer ‘Phoenix’ on which they explore parallels between the mythology of the Phoenix and someone close to Blair’s heart.

Blair’s career goes from strength to strength. He has won awards, toured all over the UK and overseas, collaborated with a variety of writers and musicians, moved to London and set up his own record label (Gilded Wings Records), all of which have informed, and are reflected in, his mature and astute musical musings. The Guardian described him as an increasingly adventurous songwriter, and it rings even truer now. Blair has the confidence and experience to make the music he has always wanted to.

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

‘Eternal Optimist’ live:

 

The Armistice Pals

armistice pals header non internetEveryone remembers the charity version of ‘Perfect Day’ with its myriad of voices from the pop and rock world.

Let’s hope everyone will also remember the upcoming answer from the Folk World – ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone?’ – with a plethora of voices from across the acoustic folk and roots spectrum representing the great and the good, young and the old, seasoned and emerging, all on the same single. The group is called The Armistice Pals and is releasing a fitting tribute to Pete Seeger, who sadly passed away this year as well as marking the 100 years anniversary of the breakout of the First World War. All profits will be distributed between four peacekeeping charities.

Continue reading The Armistice Pals