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Glyde House, Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ
01274 271114


Established 1956



Thursday 27th April 2017rubberWellies at 8:30
Entry: 6 (5 members)

The Rubber Wellies

The Rubber Wellies are a travelling folk band, who over the last seven years have cheered audiences all over from Galway in Ireland to Gisborne in New Zealand. After the success of Long Way to Be Free (2009) and The Bones on Black (2012), their third studio album, Bricks and Feather, was released in May 2015 with the help of the usual crew of far flung welly misfits.

Drawing on narratives from curious everyday occurences, global politics and folk legends, the Rubber Wellies' multi-lingual performances are a mix of musical story-telling and good-time sing-alongs that flip between poignant introspection and carefree raucousness. Their musical style is an international mash-up of sea shanties, mexican rancheras, bossa nova, reggae, old time and swing. Similarly their approach to writing and performance attempts to build bridges – between their own stories and those of others and between the band and the audience – in a sonic/emotional conversation that creates plenty of opportunities for thoughtfulness and laughter.

As the name might possibly suggest, this will almost certainly be something of a different evening.

One of my favourite bands of recent years - Mike Harding

Try and listen to… the Rubber Wellies and be anything but happy, it’s impossible! – BBC Radio Sheffield


A pdf of the current Topic ad/flyer is here for you to download and print off as your own handy-dandy reference to pin to the kitchen noticeboard:
Topic Flyer Spring 2017 PDF


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. Still a good time of the year to become a member if you aim to come to five or more gigs in the rest of the year!

Plenty of Topic regulars play and listen at the Castle Hotel in Bradford on Fridays - why not join them? April dates - Apr 21 Bric a Brac; Apr 28 Roger Davies

Clicks since 03-2-2004:

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May 04

Singers and musicians

A chance for you to sing a song or play a tune or just come along and listen. Entry free.



May 11

Jess & Richard Arrowsmith

Jess and Richard Arrowsmith are traditional musicians and singers who specialise in English music and song. They perform as a duo using voices, melodeon and fiddle, and also play with ceilidh band Hekety and concert band Melrose Quartet (with James Fagan and Nancy Kerr). Powerful vocals, subtle accompaniments and a broad spectrum of predominantly English traditional material are the hallmarks of this Sheffield-based duo.

Their latest project Off We Go Again!, released in November 2014, is a follow up to popular nursery rhyme & lullaby CD Off We Go! (2010); and in addition, Customs & Exercise, a full length studio album of songs and tunes (for grown ups!) was released in July 2012.



May 18

Susan Herndon (USA)

Playing around 200 gigs a year for more than a decade, Susan Herndon has retained that true troubadour’s ethos, sharing her passion for song and stirring thousands of kindred spirits throughout Oklahoma, Texas, the American heartland, and in Europe.

Born in St Louis, raised in Tulsa and bred in Oklahoma, she earned several degrees including one in French. Herndon’s youthful wanderlust took her to the south of France for many years, and while in that Gallic state of mind, she began her musical odyssey in the most humble – and purest – of ways: busking for francs on the busy streets of Pau deep within the Pyrenees.

It was there and on other thoroughfares throughout Europe that Herndon honed the skills and presence needed of a dedicated working musician and an immediately engaging entertainer. “Music really is our universal language,” says Herndon today. “And I do believe that good songs – in any language – can truly touch souls. I know they have saved my life on numerous occasions."

With an engaging smile and graceful charm, she touches upon themes both universal and deeply personal, from longing and loneliness, to home, family, faded memories and hopeful dreams. And she connects with her listeners in a voice that conveys equal parts innocence and knowing savoir-faire.

Susan Herndon is one of the best singer/songwriters in Oklahoma and her artful music is getting better and her best she is as good as anyone around - Greg Johnson, Blue Door Digest

Susan Herndon sings the kind of songs that make you feel like hopping in your car, taking a long and leisurely drive, taking stock in the important things in life. There's something mystical about the voice, the stories and the music, almost as if Herndon successfully captures a world of experience into a brief moment in musical time....Maria Gus - Bartlesville Monthly



May 25

Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage

Huddled round a single microphone, singing intimate duets with just mountain dulcimer, dobro and guitar Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage are a folk duo that look & sound classically timeless, yet feel refreshingly unique. Fleetingly, they may evoke a memory of Gram & Emmylou, Shirley & Davey, or Gillian & David but their warm distilling of influences from both sides of the big pond produces a refined sound that is decidedly their own.

Both hail from folk-singing families in the flatlands of East Anglia. Hannah spent much of her formative years touring Europe with her family band in a converted school bus, singing folk songs a capella in the street in order to make enough money to move to the next city. However, a sea change and relocation to the US saw her soak up the influences from the American North East and take up the dulcimer. Meanwhile Ben was writing and touring with celebrated UK folk band The Willows whose albums Beneath Our Humble Soil and Amidst Fiery Skies were championed by the likes of the BBC’s Bob Harris and Mike Harding.

Within weeks of moving back the UK, Hannah braved her first time out solo at The Black Fen Folk Club, Cambridge and as fate would have it, Ben had just returned from tour. Ben went on to produce Hannah’s solo debut Charms Against Sorrow, released in early 2015 to critical acclaim

Nurturing an intuitive musical understanding and a love of the duet whilst touring Charms Against Sorrow the pair caught the attention of award‐winning Canadian producer David Travers‐Smith (Ruth Moody, Wailin’ Jennys, Jason & Pharis Romero), with whom they made their latest album Before the Sun in 2016

"Spellbinding… Hannah & Ben were born to play & sing together." fRoots

They have created an exquisite soundscape, which is the result of passion, precision and unbridled intimacy… R2 Magazine

Featured support: Bernard Hoskin, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based near Cambridge. He has released 11 CDs and opened for loads of people including Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee, Phil Beer, Pete Atkin, June Tabor and the Oysterband, Megson, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Steve Tilston and the Amy Wadge Band.

technically brilliant guitar and vocals - Rock 'n' Reel



Jun 01

Singers and musicians

A chance for you to sing a song or play a tune or just come along and listen. Entry free.



Jun 08

Double Header: Helen McCreary and Henry Parker

A real treat, a double treat, in store: two fine local musicians for the price of one.

U.S. born Helen McCreary is currently studying archaeology at the University of Bradford, having spent time in New York on the singer/songwriter circuit as well as working for a spell in New Zealand. With her beautiful voice, intricate guitar playing and thoughtful, sometimes humorous songs and tasteful covers we can say for certainty that New York’s loss is most definitely Bradford’s gain and Helen is proving a huge favourite on the West Yorkshire acoustic music scene.

To quote The has found a new gem

Henry Parker has been making a name for himself locally at folk clubs and concerts as a fine acoustic guitarist and singer of self-penned and traditional songs. His style draws heavily from the performers of the 60's folk revival, think Bert Jansch, Davy Graham and Michael Chapman paired with outside influences from Jazz, Rock and Ambient music. 

Henry Parker has a beautifully clear and precise finger picking acoustic guitar style...this isn't background folk club music, or filler, it's quite simply gorgeous. - FATEA

A gifted young guitar player who has been impressing local audiences with his dexterity and choice of material - TYKES NEWS



Jun 15

Alistair Russell & Chris Parkinson

A highly respected artist in his own right, Alistair Russell was a member of Scotland's esteemed Battlefield Band from 1984 to 1997. Chris Parkinson has been a session musician on a plethora of recordings in addition to releasing two solo albums and a further seven with the hugely popular pan-Celtic outfit The House Band.

Singing and playing folk music since his teens, and over thirty years a professional musician and sound engineer, Alistair sings songs mainly from his family homeland Scotland, its neighbour Ireland, self-penned songs inspired by his world-wide travelling with Battlefield Band, and any other song that takes his fancy. He will always be, first and foremost, a singer who has “a way with a song” and a performer who makes sure the audience comes first.

Chris Parkinson was a founder member of the much travelled and highly acclaimed "The House Band". He is still in great demand both for live performance and studio session work, and has  worked with countless people from the folk scene and beyond - Martin Carthy & Norma Waterson, Ralph McTell, Steve Phillips, Mike Harding, Steve Tilston, Martin Simpson, John Kirkpatrick, Roger Wilson, Alistair Russell, and Richard Grainger to name but a few.



Jun 22

Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne

Cohen has been a musician since the age of 6 and took to squeezeboxes in his teens and has since developed into a fine player of both the melodeon and Anglo concertina. As an instrumentalist Cohen is experienced in playing for dancing, playing as part of groups, both as an accompanying and as a lead instrument, and playing as a soloist. Cohen is also a well-regarded singer and in 2014 won Bromyard Folk Festival's Future of Young Folk Award for singing. 

Cohen's main passion is for songs and tunes from the English tradition, along with some contemporary material. His solo repertoire consists mainly of traditional songs with accompaniment on concertina or melodeon, also traditional tunes and the occasional unaccompanied song. Cohen's style, approach and repertoire is rooted in the English tradition, with influences from Scottish, Irish, American and European traditions. An average solo performance includes traditional ballads, historical songs, industrial songs, sea songs and shanties, with a fair amount of material linked to the West Midlands where Cohen has lived for much of his life.

Cohen previously performed at the club at a few hours notice after the booked guest had to cancel through illness. He gave us a great night and now comes as the booked artist in his own right, deservedly so.



Jun 29

Singers and musicians

A chance for you to sing a song or play a tune or just come along and listen. Entry free.

Note the date: this is the July Singers and Musicians night, a week early on this occasion to accommodate Roger Sutcliffe on the first Thursday in July.



Jul 06

Roger Sutcliffe

This is Roger’s 54th year of playing at the Topic: there is very little we can say about him that his army of admirers don’t already know. But for any newcomers to the world of acoustic music Roger Sutcliffe stands on his own as ragtime picker extraordinaire, blues supremo, and singer of songs of those genres. There are invariably a number of guitarists in his audience who have learned their craft first hand from Roger, so whether you pick, play or just listen, get down early for another packed night.



Jul 13

Harp and A Monkey

The harp ‘n’ banjo driven electro-folk-storytelling of Martin Purdy (vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica and keyboards), Simon Jones (harp, guitar, viola) and Andy Smith (banjo, melodica, guitar and programming) is imbued with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spooky vignettes of northern life, love and remembrance.

Formed in 2008, Harp and a Monkey have been building up a loyal following via the old fashioned practice of relentless gigging and modern practice of social network sites.

Regulars on the northern festival circuit, in the past 18 months they have expanded their live outreach across the country.  The band are particularly proud of the fact that they have gained a strong reputation for building an excellent rapport with their live audiences and the fact that they have never played anywhere and not been invited back. Such is the strength of their reputation as a quality live act, they have twice been asked to perform at the Homegrown festival; the annual international showcase of the best of English folk music.

The band’s self-titled debut album received critical acclaim on its release in late 2011 and they collected excellent reviews for their contribution to the 2012 Weirdlore compilation which highlighted Britain’s most promising practitioners of alternative folk. Their second album, All Life Is Here, was released in April 2014 and again received outstanding reviews.

The band’s third album, War Stories, was released in July, 2016, as part of their ongoing project (part-sponsored by Arts Council England and The Western Front Association) to mark the centenary of the First World War. The band have been performing new material and re-worked traditional songs (which strive to challenge stereotypes of the conflict) in unusual venues related to the war on British shores. The album has received outstanding reviews, with the likes of The Observer describing it as “bold and brilliant”. Support from BBC Radio 2 has been substantive, including sessions and interviews with Clare Balding (Good Morning Sunday) and Mark Radcliffe (The Folk Show).

Undoubtedly one of the most vital and charismatic things happening in English folk music right now – fRoots magazine.

One band that you cannot accuse of ploughing the same old furrow – incredibly talented.”- Folk Radio UK



Jul 20

Jon Harvison

Local singer/songwriter/guitarist Jon Harvison has been entertaining on the West Yorkshire music scene for as long as he or anyone else can remember, though a search of the records shows that he first played at the Topic in 1977. So, 40 years on, 5 commendable Cds to his credit, and this is Jon’s declared last gig.

With his strong voice, thoughtful self-written songs, carefully chosen mixture of contemporary and traditional material, and dextrous guitar playing (he has been a guitar teacher for many years), Jon’s performance will be sorely missed on the local acoustic music circuit. Come down and bid him a grand Topic farewell!

One of contemporary folk music’s finest exponents – Folk On Tap



Jul 27

Gloria Jeffries

Gloria Jeffries is a performer unlike any other - a phenomenal guitarist, flute player and singer who has taken a challenging leap into fairly uncharted seas. There have been plenty of transgender artists in music before, but not many on the folk scene. The folk world has proved welcoming.

Gloria released a CD in 2011 Living For Me which was quietly well-received, and under another guise has produced about 20 albums previously, including setting of poems by John Clare and a CD of instrumental acoustic guitar music.

Gloria is booked regularly at Otley Folk Festival and appears at various local folk clubs. She appeared last year for the first time at Headingley Literature Festival, and played in Pete Morton's band for his Chaucer experience at Festival On The Edge.

Gloria's persona is not simply a means to shake people up, but an exploration of creativity. But her repertoire still includes a large amount of traditional folk music, as well as original material.

Support tonight from Jan Porter and her Ensemble – not exactly sure which one: Janet Porter is an extremely talented musician with many different facets surrounded by a seemingly endless array of other talented musicians with many genres in their repertoire.



August -
03, 10, 17, 24, 31

Summer Singers and musicians

A chance for you to sing a song or play a tune or just come along and listen. Entry free.



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