Thursday 1st June 2017 at 8:15 Entry: free Singers' and Musicians' Night
A chance to sing a song or play a tune or just listen. And try your luck at the raffle. Entry free.
TOPIC FLYER 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
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. 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!
PS: CASTLE HOTEL Plenty of Topic regulars play and listen at the Castle Hotel in Bradford on Fridays - why not join them? May May 26 - Tcha Nikki, Gerard Paul Cavallari, etc. June 2 Rainey Street Band; June 9 Paul Pearson; June 16 Keystone Acoustic; June 23 jam; June 30 Andy Hill
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 Review:...music 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.