Thursday 27th October 2016 at 8:30 Entry: £6 (£5 for members)
Lowri Evans and Lee Mason
Lowri Evans is blessed with a voice capable of wide emotional power, her songs taking their musical colours from a broad palette that includes folk, jazz, country and blues, all beautifully knitted together through her innate musicality and heartfelt delivery Described by Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2) as a wonderful singer-songwriter, Lowri and Lee released their 6th album, Everyone is from Somewhere Else, in February 2016 and have been touring the UK, performing numerous radio sessions including a session for Bob Harris, receiving rave reviews for their live performances and performing at festivals such as Cambridge Folk, Warwick Folk Festival and Underneath the Stars.
Blessed with a voice so distinct and special that she sings as easy as one breathes (Fish Records), Lowri has that rare ability to immediately bond with an audience, transporting them to the emotional heartland of every song she sings.
Integral to all she has done has been Lowri’s pride in being Welsh, her homeland’s rich musical heritage an inspiration and springboard into performing. As a result she has always written, sung and made records in the Welsh language as well as in English. As one critic commented, Lowri Evans is a major talent in any language (Hot Press).
Tonight she is accompanied by the accomplished guitarist and singer Lee Mason. Together they have toured the USA, been playlisted on BBC Radio and regularly perform in venues and festivals across the UK and Ireland.
Bric-a-Bracwere originally booked for tonight but are nowpostponed to December.
TOPIC 60 - Chris Newman & Maire Ni Chathasaigh Chris Newman & Maire Ni Chathasaigh at The Topic Folk Club at The Peel Hotel on either Friday September 13th 1991 or Friday February 7th 1992.
This photo, taken by an unknown eye, is one of many collated by Trevor that will one day appear as a gallery of historic pictures here.
TOPIC 60 - LOCAL SONGWRITERS The Topic Folk Club is 60 years old in autumn this year and is looking for songs to help celebrate the event. No rules, no prizes (apart from praise). Try out your “Topic Song” at a Singers' and Musicians' night, or collaborate and make a group effort. November 3rd is the club night when everyone who has written something will be able to perform their finished efforts and receive all and any prasie due!
TOPIC CLUB MEMBERSHIP £5 a year from 1st January. That gives you £1 off concert tickets, and you can get more involved with running the club too if you are interested.
PS: CASTLE HOTEL Plenty of Topic regulars play and listen at the Castle Hotel in Bradford on Fridays - why not join them? Oct 21 - Six Days; Oct 28 - Ian Hill
TOPIC 60 - LOCAL SONGWRITERS Singers and musicians
Normally a chance for anyone to come along and sing a song or play a tune or just listen; however, this month the main purpose of the Singers' and Musicians' Night is the performing of those songs that song-writing clubgoers have written over the past few months (or left it to the last five minutes) to celebrate The Topic's 60th anniversary.
Widely acknowledged as “North America's finest exponent of contemporary nautical songs” (Canadian Society for Traditional Music), Tom Lewis brings to the stage wry humour, button accordion, ukulele, a great voice and his unique experience of more than 40 years bridging the sea-going and folk-singing communities.
As winner of the inaugural "Trophée Stan Hugill", French fans dub Tom "The Springsteen of Sea Chanteys". Old Songs Festival (Altamont NY) declares "This man knows the sea ... from the bottom up!", whilst Living Tradition (UK) says "Although I always knew he was good, I was not quite prepared for HOW good." 24 years in the British Royal Navy, "provides him with that vitally authentic stance with which to tackle nautical song" Living Tradition.
Tom's repertoire - from traditional shanties to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background - recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Born in Northern Ireland, Tom's Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty "to be heard above the gales."
With songs that have become folk standards, known and sung wherever great choruses ring out, Tom accompanies himself on button accordion and ukulele - but it's that powerful vocal style and infectious humour - that quality of entertaining - which keeps audiences coming back again... and again.
Tom has carved a niche for himself in the annals of maritime music, his traditional idiom song writing is up there alongside Tawney and MacColl - Seán Laffey, Traditional & Folk Music Directory UK
Thoroughly entertaining ... brimming with robustly resonant harmonies and songs, by turns traditional and contemporary, thoughtful and whimsical - Mike Joyce, The Washington Post
Musician and bandleader Bob Pegg was one of the hotter talents in the British folk-rock boom of the late 1960's and early 1970's.
He had previously cut a pair of albums on Transatlantic Records with his wife Carole, who sang and played the fiddle. They organized Mr. Fox, a moderately successful folk-rock band of the turn of the decade, which lasted together for two years and a pair of albums. The Peggs' marriage split up in 1971 (after which she billed herself as Carolanne Pegg), around the same time that Mr. Fox ceased to exist, but they both continued to record for a time for Transatlantic. Since then, Pegg has remained active as a singer, songwriter, and recording artist. He cut one duet album with his former bandmate Nick Strutt, who also worked with Pegg on his second album, a solo Pegg effort, and has seen his material covered by other artists, including Tom Lewis. Bob Pegg's recordings in the 1990's and beyond appear on the Rhiannon Records label.
As a storyteller, musician and workshop leader, Bob has worked with people of all ages, from pre-school groups upwards, and he has performed in venues as varied as a Viking farmstead in the wilds of Iceland and the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Bob first appeared at The Topic, with his wife Carole, on December 20th 1968 - the night before Apollo 8 lifted off to make the first orbits of the Moon. He came twelve more times until his last appearance in Agust 1983, including conducting a workshop at our 25th anniversary weekend in 1981.
Beggar’s Bridge are a six-piece band from Hull who write tuneful and engaging song-stories in the best folk traditions, often based upon tales of people, places and events from their home county of East Yorkshire. Their sound has a timeless quality to it, feeling at once traditional, yet contemporary. It’s not just the music which makes a Beggar’s Bridge gig memorable, though; the song-stories are explained with a good helping of earthy humour, making for an experience which is not only musically satisfying, but amusing and informative too…
There should be more bands like Beggar's Bridge taking the lore and legend of their own backyard and turning up the volume on specifically local electric roots - fRoots Magazine
All in all, Beggar’s Bridge have given us an enthusiastic modern-day folk-rock album that’s strongly rooted in timeless storytelling and folk tradition, with writing the benchmark of whose craft is pitched well above the routine - The Living Tradition
Singers and musicians
A chance for anyone to come along and sing a song or play a tune or just listen. Note that the AGM, starting a t 8pm, will precede this singers and musicians night.
There can’t be many people who haven’t heard, or heard of, Roger Davies, now one of West Yorkshire’s best-known performers on the local acoustic music scene, a firm favourite wherever he goes. With several critically acclaimed CD’s to his credit, Roger goes from strength to strength, performing at larger venues as well as the more intimate small clubs. A regular guest at the Topic, he will be singing his trademark songs about Yorkshire places and Yorkshire people to his usual receptive audience.
Roger possesses the enviable skill of obtaining an instant rapport with any audience. It’s no wonder he was such a hit with Fairport Convention’s fans when he supported them on their recent UK tour - FATEA Magazine, 2016
Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies Christmas Show: “Snowed In”
Folk songwriter Jez Lowe’s Christmas tours have become something of a tradition in his native North-East over the last 7 years, and indeed across the country as he sets off once more on a festive winter-tainment night of songs, banter and seasonal Scrooge-like tomfoolery.
So sit back and enjoy a night Snowed In with Jez Lowe (SONY Radio Academy Award Winner, 2015 Folk Awards Nominee) and his multi-talented band The Bad Pennies (featuring fiddle, Northumbrian Pipes, keyboards, guitar, bass, harmonica and voices) plus special guest folk balladeer and actor Benny Graham.
As ever, Jez puts together an original take on Christmas in the North, part folk-concert, part music-hall revue, with songs, humour and music done the way only The Bad Pennies know how, as sell out crowds across the country can testify.
Bric-a-Brac are a lively young folk band playing traditional and original music. Hailing from exotic corners of Yorkshire and the Midlands such as Bradford, Sherwood Forest and Moseley Bog, they play an eclectic mix of instruments: songs and tunes in their repertoire from fast reels to sensitive airs can be lead by anything from concertina to 5-string bass. With their on-stage energy, clever arrangements, thoughtful instrumentation, harmonies (they all sing) and an evident joy in playing that easily transmits to the audience, they tick every box going. Here, without doubt, is a band with a future.
Bric-a-Brac consists of Bradford’s own Bella Gaffney (vocals, guitars and concertina), Chris Elliott (vocals, fiddle, bouzouki and guitar), Caitlin Jones (vocals, whistles, flutes, folk recorder, Heather Sirrel (vocals, bass and guitar) and Dan Latham - drums (occasional).
Bella is of course well-known to Topic goers but this is the first appearance of the band at the club. Most Topic evenings are of course “not to be missed”, but this one is even more “not to be missed” than usual.