Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Dick Gaughan in the Twickfolk spotlight

It was a big night at Twickfolk this weekend with both Dick Gaughan and Stuart Forester in the Twickfolk spotlight. With a big crowd, we found ourselves in the folk amphitheatre upstairs and under a fierce red spotlight it felt like we were in a boiling cauldron. The music lived up to it roasting atmosphere and it was a memorable night.
Stuart started off proceeding with excellent and unpretentious set of earthy narratives. Themes included piracy, hellraising and drinking, with 'The Star of the West' being my favourite. The room was packed out and as usual I perched on the stairs. I was soon accompanied by Twickfolk's Paul Micklethwaite who shot several mean Rotherham stares to those chatting on the back rows.
Once Dick commanded the stage, I was joined on my step by Stuart Forester himself. We we're both entranced by Dick and his eyes which we're the smallest smouldering coals held ours for the briefest second. Although he was up on the stage he was at one with us in the audience. His playing and delivery of narratives appeared ferocious but we never felt threatened because he made us kindred spirits to his cause. I was so taken by the red firey atmosphere I left early and opened up the studio doors so that night I could start getting my ideas down on paper straight away.
Dont forget to put the 27th January 2013 (6pm) in your diaries for the Private View of the 'Art Of Folk' exhibition with music from Alan Franks (7-7.30pm). FREE ENTRY.


Monday, 19 November 2012

Fil Campbell, Rowena Gee & Sue Graves - Twickfolk Songbirds

As you know my path to Twickfolk has come through the wilds of jazz and I'm slowly learning my folk knowledge 'on the job'. None have taught me more than Twickfolk's headliner last night Fil Campbell who took me on a tour of Ireland's folk heritage.
Her husband Tom Mcfarland drove my drawings forward, giving them rythmn and exuberance through his percussion. He charmed us with Twickfolk favourite David Francey's "Come rain or come shine".
Fils own tune 'Dreaming' was a highlight for me. Sung with passion, encompassing complex imagery and an intoxicating swig of surrealism.
Delia Murphy, Margaret Barry, Mary O'Hara and Ruby Murray inspired many of last nights narratives. Fil Campbell included all these singers in her TV series 'Songbirds.

Two more songbirds got the the evening started for us. Sue Graves (left) once again put us under her spell and Rowena Gee (right) demonstrated her versatility with two songs "Show me the river" and "Sailor girl".

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Sun always shines of Twickfolk

Apologies for being off the blog for a few days. I've had a rush of work including an excellent CD launch at Pizza Express of Burton Bradstock's latest folk-jazz project. I was in the illuminating presence of Rich Rainlore and he'll be writing about the gig on Rainlore's World Of Music in the next few days.

During these damp autumn nights what we need are those bright moments and none could be more cheering than Suntrap. They we're great to draw with 4 distinct characters (the mesmeric Sara Byers unbelievably described herself as unphotogenic) and featuring my favourite instruments to draw, the fiddle, from John Sandall and Mary Wilson. Paul Hoad's dry humour and the modern themes wrapped in well crafted tunes made it a great night.

After several weekends filling walls and my time on various building projects I didnt last the course with the Twickfolk performers last Sunday. I was there long enough though to experience Jacquelyn Hynes' beautiful flute, entwined by J Eoin's narratives.

I'd like to note some of the floor spots or support musicians for these two gigs. Twickfolk favourites Sue Graves and Paul Micklethwaite. With a leftfield appearance from fiddler Matt Grabham who Gerry had discovered busking the previous day and invited along.