August 03, 10, 17, 24, 31 - all chances for you to sing a song or play a tune or perform a poem or just come along and listen.
Topic 60th Song Lyrics Last year The Topic had its 60th anniversary. Club members and attenders were invited to write a song to mark the milestone. Those who did were able to sing them at a special Singers' and Musicians' Night on the 3rd of Novermber 2016. The lyrics of the various songs performed are now available on the website here.
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?
Enda Kenny is a Dublin-born songwriter who has made his home in Melbourne, Australia, since the late 1980's. His thoughtful, descriptive stories of his adoptive homeland have struck a chord with festival audiences all over Australia and are always memorable and spiced with plenty of humour. Proud to sing of where he lives rather than where he left, he continues to grow his international audience with recent trips to Germany, UK, New Zealand and Canada.
A multi-award winning songwriter and twice winner of the Port Fairy Folk Festival songwriting award, Enda's recent compositions highlight his quirky sense of humour and add to an already impressive catalogue of songs which led Colum Sands to describe him as the finest Irish songwriter living overseas.
On small stages to intimate audiences or large stages to festival audiences he always holds the crowd in the palm of his hand. Witty and intelligent songwriting and a brilliant night's entertainment. - Eleanor McEvoy.
Originally from Yorkshire, Sam Barrett has travelled extensively throughout the United States. His influences are mainly Americana and blues, but he has never strayed far from his Yorkshire roots. With several CDs, solo and in various collaborations to his credit, Sam has been making a name for himself, not only known as a musician but as a compulsive skateboarder. He has been playing the guitar for as long as he can remember, skateboarding for, perhaps, a little less.
A predominantly Irish night with Róisín Bán, a band formed in the early months of 2013, now working as a 4 piece with the line up of Chris Dyson on fiddle, octave mandola & vocals, Steve Lacey on guitar, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, mandolin, bodhran & vocals, Paddy Heffron on melodeon, vocals & sean nos dancing , Gordon Tyrrall on flute, guitar, vocals. Bound to be good craic!
Hicks & Goulbourn
Fingerstyle guitar virtuoso Steve Hicks and singer songwriter Lynn Goulbourn met at a gig in 2007. With a mutual love of folk, roots and acoustic genres, their musical partnership has flourished and taken them to all corners of the UK, to Germany and the USA.
They thrive on the creative process of stretching established boundaries and perform mesmeric arrangements of traditional, contemporary and self – penned songs and music.
Whilst Lynn has had no formal training, singing has been a passion throughout her life and more recently she has enjoyed attending vocal and challenging harmony workshops in Cumbria and Shropshire, led and inspired by Maddy Prior and Abbie Lathe.
Steve has played in a number of musical environments including folk groups, guitar duos, and ceilidh bands. He has given guitar playing workshops and masterclasses at venues including the Stamford International Guitar Festival and the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago. As a solo artist Steve records for Acoustic Music Records. He is also a qualified luthier specialising in early and modern fretted instruments. Hicks and Goulbourn perform and record with guitars built by Steve.
The music that Steve and Lynn make as the duo ‘Hicks and Goulbourn’ is characterised by pure acoustic tones, reflective lyrics, well crafted arrangements and intricate, complex guitar work. Whilst the genres in their typical sets are wide ranging there is no compromise in quality and their live performances are interspersed with engaging anecdotes and humour.
Steve’s fingerstyle guitar work is brilliant, immensely assured and versatile yet driven by a sensitivity that’s matched by fun in execution rather than a desire to show off at all costs; and he made all his own guitars too! Lynn’s equally assured and ever-stylish vocal technique can handle almost any kind of song, from blues and spirituals to traditional numbers and her own compositions. - Acoustic Nights concert series
Singers and Musicians
A chance to sing a song or play a tune or read a poem or just listen. Entry free.
James Hickman & Dan Cassidy
A transatlantic duo inspired by the traditions of America and Britain, 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 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.
James (from Shrewsbury) has been performing folk music from the age of 13. In later years, he formed the duo Hickman and Quinn which has featured as support act at Saltaire Live concerts at Victoria Hall. He also played in the popular folk group Uiscedwr for two years. Dan, brother of the late Eva Cassidy, hails from Maryland USA, and has been playing the fiddle from the age of 10. A meeting with Aly Bain sparked an interest in Celtic music and the UK folk scene in general. He has his own band, The Dan Cassidy Swing Quartet which performs regularly in the UK. He played on several of his late sister’s recordings.
The Mile Roses
The Mile Roses is a touring collaboration for three respected solo songwriters Edwina Hayes, Kate Bramley and Simon Haworth playing contemporary British folk music with a nod to Nashville. Born out of a musical interest in both British folk and the transatlantic connections to new country and americana, this trio are fast gaining a reputation across the UK folk scene with their original songs and close harmonies, accompanied by guitars, bass, cittern, mandola, mandolin and fiddle.
From toe-tapping folk to haunting ballads this trio have toured worldwide as independent musicians but obviously have an infectious enjoyment for this new collaboration that is guaranteed to leave audiences with a smile on their faces.
Kate Bramley is a fine singer and instrumentalist, best known as fiddler and vocalist for the North-east’and the American band, Sweetgrass.
Edwina Hayes’ beautifully written songs, charming stage presence and voice of an angel have won her a reputation as a true natural talent of gentle folk-Americana. She has played everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to The Royal Albert Hall and opened numerous shows for Jools Holland and Van Morrison. Nanci Griffith described her as having “the sweetest voice in England”
Guitarist and singer Simon Howarth played bass with Jez Lowe & the Bad Pennies from July 1998 until March 2004 touring in Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, USA and Canada as well as extensively across the UK.
Chloe Jones is a singer-songwriter from Dukinfield in Cheshire - just 7 miles out of Manchester city centre. With her rich tones and unique vocal quality, Chloe has a voice beyond her years and has been likened to artists such as Joan Baez, Tracy Chapman and Karen Carpenter. Chloe’s style falls into the genres of folk, country and americana with storytelling, love and life being at the heart of her music.
In 2014 Chloe became a Global Semi-Finalist in the worldwide singing competition, The Voice of McDonalds, after being crowned as the winner of The Voice of McDonalds UK in 2013 and as one of four winners in The Voice of McDonalds Europe. The competition took Chloe to perform in London, Amsterdam, Portugal and the USA, where she performed at The McDonalds Worldwide Convention in Orlando, Florida, sharing the stage with the likes of Daughtry, Neyo, Adam Levine and Sting.
Amazing. Great lyrics and foot-tapping music, love it." - iTunes Meet You There EP Review
Chloe's got such a unique voice, young artists should listen to people like her. - Mike Sweeney, BBC Radio Manchester
Singers and Musicians
A chance to sing a song or play a tune or just listen. Entry free.
Brian Peters is, according to the UK’s Living Tradition magazine “a top-notch singer and player, also one of the best-researched performers currently doing the rounds, and master of several crafts” while the US folk music magazine Dirty Linen described him as “one of the very best performers in the field of English traditional song and music”.
Brian is a true all-rounder, on the one hand a passionate singer able to tackle big songs, and on the other a multi-instrumentalist acknowledged as one of England’s leading exponents of the anglo concertina and melodeon (button accordion) and a skilled guitarist as well. Having begun his career in the folk clubs of England, he’s taken his music to stages all over the world, touring regularly in America, Europe and Australia, but always retaining a deep commitment to the musical traditions of his native country.
Brian believes strongly in the power and relevance of the old songs, specializing particularly in the great ballads of the British Isles, though in performance he’s not a traditional diehard, and includes songs from unexpected sources, never forgetting that folk music is meant to be accessible, and fun. On the instrumental side, Brian has for many years played and researched old Northern English country dance music, unearthing tunes from centuries-old manuscripts, at the same time composing new tunes in traditional style, many of which were published in his book Rattle and Roll. He’s also known for forays into ragtime, blues and rock’n’roll on his squeezeboxes, making for a repertoire of sometimes startling variety.
A singer, guitarist and melodeon player of rare ability... one of the very best performers in the field of English traditional song and music - Steve Winick, Dirty Linen (USA)
One of the best English singers and musicians on the club and festival scene - English Dance and Song
Following successful tours which have brought them incredibly enthusiastic receptions from audiences in Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Denmark and of course Great Britain, people everywhere, including members of Fishermen’s Friends, are still raving over the harmonies of Kimber’s Men.
Having featured in the BBC2 and BBC4 TV productions of Sea Songs, they have performed at festivals in Gosport, Rhyl, Swanage, Deal, Banbury, Port Magee in Ireland, Portsoy and Arbroath in Scotland, and Appingedam in Holland. They made a prestigious appearance at The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich with Roy Palmer. In John Bromley Kimber’s Men possess the finest bass singer on the British folk scene today. John is the rock upon which the group is built, arguably the finest bass singer since Paul Robeson. Indeed it is likely you will get a rendition of 'Old Man River' at some point during a concert.
Fil Campbell &Tom McFarland
Fil Campbell and Tom McFarland have been part of the Northern Irish folk scene since the early 90s. With the combination of vocals, guitar and percussion they have gained a loyal following for their fun approach to both new and old songs.
Together Fil and Tom play and sing a mix of original, traditional and contemporary Irish songs with occasional nods back to the popular Irish folk songs they grew up with. Their set is full of fun and banter and Fil’s passion is to get everyone singing so there are always lots of choruses: be prepared!
With several solo CDs to date, and other project recordings over the past few years, Fil’s repertoire is varied and eclectic. She is particularly known for a large body of work for RTE TV entitled Songbirds that profiled the women singers of the past, which she researched and presented herself and some of these songs still feature in their set.
Originally from Belleek in Co. Fermanagh, Fil has been gigging regularly since she was a teenager and together with Tom who hails from Belfast, they have performed all over Europe, Ireland, the USA and UK, at festivals and folk clubs, on radio and TV.
Tom has played drums and percussion for singers as diverse as David Knopfler (ex Dire Straits), Finbar Furey and Ben Sands and has his own recording studio and film editing suite specialising in acoustic and spoken word recordings.
A great mix of traditional and contemporary Irish songs with the expert percussion skills of Tom perfectly complementing Fil’s exquisite vocals - Falkirk Folk Club
Rhythm and voice, the perfect combination - Zitty Mag, Berlin
Luc McNally & Eddie Seaman
Luc McNally is a guitarist and singer from Dipton, County Durham. His work has taken him all over the UK and to Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and the Czech Republic.
Having been introduced to traditional music by four years with Kathryn Tickell’s Folkestra Youth ensemble, he went on to study Scottish Music for two years at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Eddie Seaman comes from Edinburgh and started playing the chanter at school at the age of 10. During his time at school he played in the school pipe band as well as playing in the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe band and with the Feis movement in Scotland. For his final year at school he studied at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music based in Plockton and spent four years studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
While at the Conservatoire Barluath was formed, a 6 piece folk band, which has toured extensively throughout the UK (including a visit to the Topic) and overseas. Some of the highlights include opening for acts such as Seth Lakemen, Manran, Treacherous Orchestra and Ralph McTell. They released their first album “Source” in 2012, which was produced by Phil Cunningham.