British folk acoustic & slide-guitarist Martin Simpson is to curate a week of events and bring his Purpose + Grace album (see our five star review) to the stage at Kings Place. Joining him are some of the biggest names from the British folk scene, including June Tabor and Dick Gaughan, as well as a host of young stars from Bright Phoebus a Sheffield based collective run by Kit Bailey, Fay Hield and Lindsay Smith.
The week will feature concerts as well as workshops:
Roy Bailey and Tony Benn present The Writing On The Wall
Wednesday, 8 February 2012 – 7:30pm
Roy Bailey and Tony Benn have been performing their radical routine together for many years across the British folk circuit from Celtic Connections to Cambridge Folk Festival. The Writing on the Wall was first performed in the 1970’s and offers a great evening of song and thought provoking witty anecdotes. They are a ‘must see’ at any festival they perform at.
Martin Simpson with June Tabor and Dick Gaughan
Thursday, 9 February 2012 – 7:30pm
Joining Martin on this very special evening of music are folk legends June Tabor and Dick Gaughan. June and Dick were one of many guest artists that featured on Purpose + Grace. They are, individually, stalwarts of the British Folk scene who have inspired a new generation of folk singers across these Isles. To have them perform together on stage like this has to be a highlight of the folk year. In his early career Martin took the decision to tour with June for many years rather than strike out on what was already a promising solo career. Their album A Cut Above is still a firm favourite.
As for Dick Gaughan, where do you start? He has been performing his regular annual folk circuit up and down the UK for years now which culminates at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge. He is a relentless performer that always gives 100% and never lets an audience down. He was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame and given the Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards (the only performer to have been given these two accolades) in 2010.
Martin on the making of Purpose and Grace
Dick Gaughan from a 1983 BBC Spectrum documentary
June and Martin – Strange Affair (by Richard Thompson)
Chris Wood in Concert
Friday, 10 February 2012 – 7:30pm
This is beginning to read like the British Folk hall of fame. It is Chris Woods penmanship that makes him stand out for me. His words are founded upon a large social conscience that taps into the raw vein of society. He has an incredible knack of de-layering bullshit, for want of better word, and cutting to the quick. He won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2011 both for Folk Singer of the Year and Best Original Track for Hollow Point, a chilling portrayal of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezez.
Ruth Theodore Band + Nancy Wallace and Jason Steel
Friday, 10 February 2012 – 8:00pm
This one was a nice surprise, Ruth has been gaining a growing reputation on the folk scene since her release of Worm Food in 2007. She has a unique style of singing that delivers cleverly written lyrics in smart punches: Out with the Cortex and in with the forceps! Since the release of second album White Holes Of Mole Hills she has built a solid reputation and following.
Nancy Wallace and Jason Steel are both part of the Rif Mountain collective, Nancy has worked with Stephen Cracknell’s Memory Band as well as the fabulous Owl Service. Jason is every part a great lyricist as well as a re-interpreter of songs from the British folk canon. His version of Bony Black Hare is a favourite and the video below displays his deft finger work on banjo, he’s equally at home on guitar and uke.
Nancy Wallace & Jason Steel – Walk You Out – Live Leigh Folk Festival 2011
No folk event should be without workshops and this one has three! So bring your questions, instruments and voices:
Martin Simpson Guitar Workshop
Saturday, 11 February 2012 – 1:00pm
Fay Hield ‘Creating Harmony’ Singing Workshop
Saturday, 11 February 2012 – 2:00pm
Ewan McLennan and Sam Carter Guitar Workshop
Saturday, 11 February 2012 – 3:30pm
Bright Phoebus – Martin Simpson and Special Guests
Saturday, 11 February 2012 – 7:30pm
Joining Martin for an evening of strong voices and exquisite musicianship will be collaborators Andy Cutting and Andy Seward plus acclaimed folk singer and interpreter Fay Hield, BBC Folk Awards Horizon Winners Ewan McLennan (2011) and guitarist and songwriter Sam Carter (2010).
“Through Bright Phoebus I have come to work with some of the finest younger musicians on the scene, and I am delighted to present some of those musicians at King’s Place… There will be solo performance and collaborations, and we none of us know where it may go! The title and the concert are a nod to the late lovely Mike Waterson”