Strawbs celebrate 50 years

Strawbs

Monday 26th November: London,
Under The Bridge
Doors 7pm £26.40 (inc fee)

http://underthebridge.co.uk/events/electric-strawbs/

Although forming in the mid 60s, coming out of the exciting British Folk Movement alongside Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Al Stewart and Roy Harper, this tour will mark the 50th Anniversary of their first major recording, being the first UK band to be signed by the famous Hollywood label A&M, under the guidance of Herb Albert and Jerry Moss.

Major chart success followed with classic albums Dragonfly, Bursting At The Seams, Ghosts, Grave New World and Hero & Heroine earning the band 2 Gold Discs and over 30 weeks in Billboard Charts with seven consecutive albums charting.

Massive coast to coast tours of America swiftly followed, sharing the stage with The Eagles, Santana and Frank Zappa.

From the days of Sandy Denny in the band (pre Fairport Convention) and Sonja Kristina (pre Curved Air), Strawbs have always enjoyed the finest soloists in their ranks. Rick Wakeman and then his son Oliver moving on to join Yes as well as Rick’s other son going on to Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. Blue Weaver to join the Bee Gees and Don Airey to Deep Purple. The keyboard stool is now being filled by virtuoso Dave Bainbridge of Iona, whose blend of Folk, Rock and Celtic music has endeared them to audiences for over 25 years.

A big influence on bands such as Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes, the band are constantly producing some of the best and most respected albums since the 70’s.

The new album

received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and saw them back in the album charts for the first time in over 30 years. A recent sold out tour of Canada, producing spectacular reviews of the live show has resulted in two major tours of North America for 2019.

The Strawbs of the 21st Century are the constant guiding force, originator and front man Dave Cousins, described by Rolling Stone Magazine, “as the finest Dylan influenced songwriter to come out of the UK”. Long-time Strawbs cohorts since the 70’s, Dave Lambert on guitar, Chas Cronk, bass, driven on by the powerhouse drumming of Tony Fernandez, (regularly with Rick Wakeman’s band), and the aforementioned Dave Bainbridge on keyboards.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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.

Artists’ website: http://www.strawbsweb.co.uk/

‘The Nails From The Hands Of Christ’:

Mike Vass unveils new musical suite at the Scots Fiddle Festival

Mike Vass
Photograph by Somhairle MacDonald

Newly Commissioned by the Scots Fiddle Festival and supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, The Four Pillars is a multi-media experience and musical suite from Scottish musician Mike Vass. Based on the four major tune types of the Scottish fiddle tradition – the slow air, the march, the strathspey and the reel – Mike’s piece captures the grandeur of Scottish fiddle music. The performance features an ensemble of four solo fiddle players (Mike, Patsy Reid, Lauren MacColl and Jenna Reid) each performing one movement, accompanied by string quartet, piano and tuned percussion with a film element as well as sampled spoken word excerpts.

The concert is on Friday 16th November at the Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh. 7.30 – 10pm with an opening slot from Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth.

Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3609153

The Scots Fiddle Festival was launched in 1996 with the aim to promote and sustain traditional fiddle music. The festival brings people together from all over the world, both performers and audience members and continues to inspire thousands of people to enjoy and take part in traditional music each year.

2018 sees the festival moving to a new home at The Pleasance Theatre, coming back under one roof, a desire expressed by many of our supporters.  Following feedback we have made a few changes this year, simplified ticketing being the major one. The Pleasance café and bar will be available all day and into the evening, and there is more space for ad hoc tunes, should you wish. What has not changed is a quality weekend, run and organised by dedicated volunteers, a friendly place to meet and enjoy good music, be it listening, playing or performing.

Artist’s website: www.mikevass.com

‘Heave And Roll’ – official video:

Catty Pearson releases debut EP

Catty Pearson

London singer-songwriter Catty Pearson, with her musical roots planted in folk, country and blues and her head set on unravelling some of the confusion she feels in today’s world, releases a stunning debut EP Time Tells Me (reviewed in our recent Singles Bar) on Wednesday 24th October, recorded by Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey. The launch gig is at Laylow in Notting Hill, London, on October 23rd with Ollie Clarke on the guitar, Lukas Drinkwater on the double bass and bass, Duncan on the mandolin and violin and James Larter on the drums.

These song hold up a mirror and reflect, beautifully and poignantly, what many of us are thinking and feeling.

“Her voice forms an oasis of serenity amidst the chaos of the world.” A fan. 

The new collection was recorded with Chris Kimsey, best known for his work producing the Rolling Stones at legendary Olympic Sound Studios:

“when you listen to Catty Pearson, take a deep, deep breath as her gracious soothing voice transports your blood pressure and heartbeat to a new vista. Truly unspoilt, a breath of Mother Earth.”

Catty, who has been compared to Norah Jones, describes Time Tells Me as her enquiry into materialism and the insidious creeping of technology into all areas our lives.

It’s not unusual for a singer-songwriter to question the state of the world today in their songs. What IS rare is to discover a young musician as prepared as she is to turn words into actions. Catty has lived with a tribe in Malaysia, walked across parts of Northern India with 1000 nuns to raise awareness of and help educate people about the detrimental effects of plastic and pollution on our planet, worked on a farm in California to learn skills for sustainable living, and most recently swam from Albania to Corfu to help raise funds for an orphanage.

So when she talks about the passion behind her writing, we know she’s not just paying lip service, and nor is she preaching. Instead she holds up a mirror and reflects, beautifully and poignantly, what many of us are thinking and feeling.

Catty grew up listening to the sounds of Neil Young, Donovan, Cat Stevens, Norah Joans, Eva Cassidy, Joan Armastrading, Bob Dylan, David Grey, Eddie Vedder, Moby and Leonard Cohen.

Time Tells Me will be released on Spotify and iTunes via AWAL. The EP features Ollie Clarke on the guitar, Evan Jenkins on drums, Lukas Drinkwater on the base and double base, Flora Curzon on the violin, Nichol Thompson on the trombone and Jansen Santana playing percussion.

Artist’s website: cattypearson.com/

London launch gig: 8pm Laylow, 10 Golborne Road, W10 5PE

‘Electricity’ – the first single:

SINGLES BAR 34 – A round-up of recent EPs and singles

The West End Centre unveils its autumn programme

West End Centre

The autumn programme at the West End Centre kicks-off in September with Leveret, a unique collaboration between three of England’s finest folk musicians, Andy Cutting, Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron. Leveret’s music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but with a sound that is fresh and new.

Next up is Molotov Jukebox, a London six-piece who deliver an accordion, Balkan fiddle, and Latin trumpet mix. Having racked up hundreds of festival appearances including Glastonbury, Eurosonic and Womad, the band are guaranteed to get the crowd moving at every raucous show.

Closing-off September, Sam Carter performs at the West End Centre. Since being named Best Newcomer at the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam Carter has been stirring audiences from Camden to Canada and has been described as ‘the finest English-style finger-picking guitarist’.

The October line-up sees two of the UK’s finest and most prolific songwriters Kris Drever and Boo Hewerdine take the stage. Touring together for the first time in over three years, 2018 finds both artists on top form, with Kris having won the BBC Folk Awards Best Singer award and both performers releasing music which is widely considered to be their best work so far.

Later in the month, the West End Centre welcomes folk legends guitarist/singer Martin Carthy and squeezebox virtuoso/singer John Kirkpatrick – long-time collaborators in a variety of seminal musical projects: from John’s iconic 1976 Morris tunes album Plain Capers through Steeleye Span to Brass Monkey. The evening is certain to be a memorable occasion.

In the first of five gigs in November, Mabon start the busy programme. Led by Jamie Smith on accordion, Mabon play music that draws inspiration directly from the traditional folk music of the Celtic countries. They combine recognisable British forms of jigs and reels with Breton ‘an dro’, French ‘mazurka’ and Galician ‘muinera’ bass (upright and electric).

Next on the programme is Evening Star – a band formed by six of the most original musicians from France, Italy, Spain and the UK who play traditional dance music influenced by the spirit of free improvisation, pop and 21st century sound.

Newcastle’s Holy Moly & The Crackers continue the up-beat theme. With their high octane ‘Gypsy Folk Rock’ set, this seven-piece band returns to Aldershot after two sell-out shows last year. Wowing their raucous and ever-expanding fan-base with instrument-swapping, squeezebox-growling, fiddle-shredding, brass-howling hoe-downs, the group have been able to hone a sound that is organic and invigorating – forged in the sweat and heat of the live show.

Moore Moss Rutter are next on the line-up. It’s been three years since the release of the band’s second studio album ‘II’ – and there’s a heightened sense of anticipation around the reunion of Tom Moore (fiddle, viola), Archie Churchill-Moss (melodeon) and Jack Rutter (guitar). The trio won the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

Completing November’s programme is Chris Wood – an exceptional songwriter whose music reveals his love for the un-official history of the English-speaking people. With gentle intelligence he weaves the tradition with his own contemporary parables.

Early December sees East London five-piece folk band Stick In The Wheel at the West End Centre. Headed by singer Nicola Kearey, and guitarist/producer Ian Carter, their debut From Here (2015) was fRoots magazine Album of the Year and a MOJO Folk Album of the Year. They have also received four BBC Folk Award nominations since their inception in 2013. Known for Kearey’s fierce, authentic delivery, this is culturally and politically switched-on music with its roots firmly embedded in the genre’s traditional, working-class heritage.

Oxfordshire-raised, Cheshire-based singer and songwriter Thea Gilmore has gained global acclaim for making music not only of extraordinary beauty, but of rare honesty and insight. In 2009, Thea released Strange Communion an album that included ‘That’ll Be Christmas’ which became the most played festive song on BBC Radio 2 that year

A few days before Christmas, CoCo And The Butterfields come to the West End Centre. They are an indie-pop/folk band, from Canterbury, Kent. Since their inception in 2012, CoCo And The Butterfields have spent much of their time on the road, touring the UK and Europe, selling out headline shows and featuring at many major festivals.

Barney Jeavons, Director of Aldershot’s West End Centre told us:

“We have a tremendous line-up at the West End Centre this autumn – from traditional folk artists through to roots-based contemporary bands. Don’t miss the opportunity to see both up-and-coming and well-known acts in a celebration of some the UK’s best folk and roots music.”

For more information and bookings visit www.westendcentre.co.uk or call 01252 330040.