Thursday 29th September 2016 at 8:30 Entry: £6 (£5 members)
Joe Topping is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been described as a “cross between Ry Cooder, Woody Guthrie and Paul Brady”.
His influences range from the traditional music heard in the folk clubs he grew up around to the Americana and blues influences from his adventures in the USA. These included living in a pickup truck and driving around America for the best part of a year, and later walking 1400 miles with a guitar on his back from Chicago to New Orleans to raise awareness and funds for New Orleans musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Joe has developed his own unique bottleneck guitar style which he employs in many of his original songs and has a voice that can move from velvet soft to steely and powerful. He has played on stage and in the studio with many legends of the British folk scene including members of Fairport Convention, While and Matthews and Andy Irvine.
Joe toured with The John Wright Band after the late John Wright heard and covered one of his songs, The Flame Danced Flamenco. He has also been a member of the successful Elbow Jane, Ashley Hutchings’ Rainbow Chasers and more latterly The Vagrant Kings.
… heartfelt vocal backed by intricate, intensely accomplished guitar work - fRoot magazine
Has a gift to write songs that will last and that others will want to sing – the late John Wright
Saturday 1st October at 7:30 to midnight Farewell gathering for Joe Grint: “Go well Grinty Joe"
You are welcome at a gathering at Glyde House on Saturday October 1st from 7.30 to midnight to say “Go well Grinty Joe”. For many a year Joe Grint has been a prime mover in keeping music live and flourishing in Bradford: Raise Your Banners festival of political song, Topic folk club, Irregular Roots Shipley, Queensbury festival, Raggalds...
Joe and Fiona are moving to live in York and we would like to say thank you to them on Saturday 1st October at Glyde House 7:30pm to midnight.
Please bring food to share (with a label showing ingredients). There will be a full programme of music and possibly a raffle (just to help create the correct ambience!). We also need to pay for the private use of Glyde House - please contribute £5if you can. Anything raised above the cost will go to a charity of Joe’s choice.
Please RSVP to email@example.com It is a big help to know how many are coming.
TOPIC 60 - Bert Worth and Alan Emmett: 55+ years ago!
Bert Worth and Alan Emmett - known as The Heritage Singers - played gigs all around the country. Martin Carthy was a big admirer of Alan's singing and names him as an influence in the early days.
After Bert and Alan broke up, Keith Marsden and Brian Senior adopted the name The New Heritage Singers for their duo.
This photo, by Eddie Saxton, was taken at the Unity Hall. The note with the photo says it was during the club's first sojourn there, which was April 1958 to August 1959, though in our Gigs List the only actual record we have of Bert and Alan performing is Saturday 8th July 1961, during the club's second time at Unity Hall. However, Alan was a Topic committee member for a few years from 1959 and no doubt performed more than that one time!
This photo is one of may collated by Trevor Charnock that will become a gallery of Topic images here on the website.
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? September: Sep 23 - Nick Hall; Sep 30 - Halstead Clan
Singers and musicians
A chance for anyone to come along and sing a song or play a tune or just listen. This month's session is part of We Shall Overcome - it's a normal Singers' and Musicians' format but we are asking for a food or cash donation for Bradford Food Bank.
Dave Burland is one of the most well-respected and long-established performers on the folk scene. He first appeared at The Topic in January 1969, and most recently 25 years ago.
His apparently effortless singing (a uniquely relaxed singing style - The Guardian) and guitar playing gained widespread acclaim 40 years ago when his first album, A Dalesman’s Litany, was voted Melody Maker Folk Album of the Year. Nic Jones summed up Dave Burland perfectly when he said: “He’s a uniquely calm, gentle and clever singer who makes you feel it’s all so amazingly simple.”
Dave has also recorded Songs Of Ewan MacColl with Tony Capstick and Dick Gaughan. As well as releasing several solo albums, he has played alongside many other performers and played on albums with such artists as Mike Harding, Nic Jones and Kate Rusby.
Tonight we have a support act: Wilson McGladdery (Gaynor Wilson and Paul McGladdery) an impressive singing/songwriting duo based in Saddleworth who are making a name for themselves around our area and beyond. Expect powerful vocals and tight harmonies , with guitar and fiddle accompaniment.
Tom McConville was born and brought up on Tyneside in the North East of England. He’s one of the leading fiddle players of our time, virtuoso musician and fantastic singer: his rich and warm voice makes his interpretation of traditional and contemporary songs greatly admired by singers throughout the world. He is in great demand as a performer, session musician and teacher; playing the fiddle is his lifelong passion and he has achieved every player’s dream of creating his own unique, instantly recognizable sound.
His live performances combine a rollercoaster of musical delights from fast, rhythmic dance tunes, through beautiful slow airs and of course, great singing. All presented with his inimitable sense of humour and Geordie wit.
He has appeared at The Topic 15 times since 1980, solo and in duos and bands.
He is not only a fantastic fiddle player but one hell of a singer - Phil Cunningham
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).
Toight 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 - 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. The AGM will precede the December singers and musicians night, starting at 8 pm
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.