Tuesday, 31 January 2012

News from Acoustic Rotherham 14 / and a Round Up of the Chit Chat of the Week.

He’s slowly recovering from what was a strangely exhausting Acoustic Rotherham yesterday.  Note to self; must get into training, which of course means picking that guitar up and practicing!  Yikes!! especially for those living on either side of me.

The BIG NEWS of the week is of course that the Myke Barritt Music Trust sponsored Roy Blackman CD has arrived………………   cheers all round.   Because of ill health Roy has not been able to get to me to do the signing yet, but as soon as he has the advanced orders will be sent out.  The CDs are being passed around the Committee Members, Sylvia, Phoebe, Sue, and Barrie so I’m sure that you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy by hook or by crook at £9.99.   Alternatively you can buy on line HERE from the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site.   

The main push to recover the expenditure of the Myke Barritt Music Trust is now on so expect to hear Roy’s CD on many Radio Stations etc., in the weeks ahead.  Also watch out for news of an Official Launch Party very soon.

And so to Acoustic Rotherham 14. 

Not the best publicised event that Acoustic Rotherham has promoted, indeed the venue was only confirmed on the Friday! So it was very much squeaky pants time.  

Unfortunately the audience reflected the lack of push, and I had a list as long as my arm of those folks who had been taken out by the “bug”.  

There is a view that says one should always talk things up, and yes it was a fantastic afternoon of music with the usual variety, however, such a pity that the fantastic atmosphere of the Third Birthday Party could not be replicated.

So my apologies to the artists, some of whom travelled considerable distances in not too pleasant weather conditions to play.  

BUT having said that, it was a fun afternoon of quality acoustic music, and also a reminder as to what Acoustic Rotherham was originally put together for.   It’s to give artists a chance, especially emerging talent, to test themselves with an extended set beyond the normal Open Mic / Session two song format, within a supportive atmosphere.

And that there was in plenty on Sunday.  

Taking the stage after The Masher’s traditional test for short circuits in the electrics, (it wasn’t one of his best sessions as the cobwebs of the Winter were still all clearly evident and yes I know what you’re saying, he really should put himself on at the peak time  hohoho), came that stalwart of South Yorkshire’s Folk scene, Pete Shaw.  

Pete has come up with some interesting arrangements, involving voice and violin for his own and traditional songs. 
I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this new active Pete around the sessions in the months ahead. 

Unfortunately, as Pete played through his set Andrew Oxley got a message from home which necessitated him being called away. 

We’re all sorry to that Andy was not able to play, and hope that the crisis was not too severe.  I for one was looking forward to hearing Andy as I just love his powerful lyrics and delivery.  Not heard of him?  Check out his music HERE

My thanks then first to Stephen Mathews who entertained us with a classic set of traditional and songs from his own pen delivered with his dry sense of humour .  A really entertaining set, and he’ll always be welcome to in this part of the World.

For those who don’t know Stephen is behind The Angel Acoustic Nights on the third Sunday of the month in Topcliffe; that’s the North of the County.  He also writes a highly entertaining News Letter.  Check him out HERE

And then a change.  We switched off the PA, huddled together, and enjoyed some sets in a more intimate atmosphere.  

The perfect duo for the slight change in format, Pam and Peter who collectively go under the name Keystone Acoustic.  I really don’t know where the time went as they guided us through a programme of super songs ranging from the traditional, to the more contemporary, punctuated by the odd self-penned song.  

This is a duo that are destined to add to their already respected reputation during 2012, as word of their performances leak out.  They have their own Web Site HERE and you can find their Facebook page HERE, and I believe there’s a CD available to, which they were not plugging. 

Then another of our debutantes, Ian Whitehead.   Now, this is a guy that I have a sneaky admiration for.  I first saw him as the add on guitarist to the piano player at the Opening of the Rotherham Open Arts Festival; readers may recall I was not very kind in my comments.  But then later in the month he approached me and we were able to give him a slot at the end of one of the Brunch Concerts.  We could see that he was keen and after a chat we invited him along to Acoustic Rotherham.  

And this where the admiration comes in.  Ian went away and has really worked hard over the past couple of months, and he produced a super set of his own songs and the more well-known material making for a really entertaining set.  

So a big pat on the back to Ian.  I hope that we’ll be seeing more of him at Acoustic Rotherham and that he continues to work at his art, if he does he will become a popular artist on the circuit.  

No Web Sites yet but you’ll find one his tracks on the Acoustic Rotherham Music Player.
And then a Master Class from one of South Yorkshire’s troubadour’s, Lou Marriot.   No recordings or Web Sites, but this guy is just so entertaining, with a wonderful guitar style and a rich singing voice that fits songs from traditional to contemporary songs.  

Always a pleasure to have Lou amongst us at Acoustic Rotherham and I’m sure I’ll be bumping into him around the Clubs and sessions as the weather lets me out more. 

Heads up for a date in May when Lou will be hosting the Annual Bob Dylan Night at the Princess Royal in Crookes.  That’s Saturday 26th May.  It’s always a great night.  

A special treat to finish the afternoon off.  My great friends from Barnsley, who are always difficult to book as they always so busy at Festivals and Sessions, String Theory.  

Maybe it was the relaxed intimate session atmosphere or perhaps just up for the set, but I have to say that this was the tightest set I’ve heard from them.  The half hour just flew by as played through some super sing along songs.  Brilliant stuff, and I’ll be really looking forward to bending their ears when The Masher heads for Barnsley in April.  If you've not checked out this super trio head off HERE

So my considerable thanks to all the acts.  It’s never great when it seems you’re singing to the other artists on the Bill and no one else, so your support for the event and your professionalism for producing such outstanding performances has been noted, as were the unwarranted kind words to myself. 

Hopefully we’ll be back in full swing come April 29th for Acoustic Rotherham 15 when Debbie and Richard Roe and our good friend Gazza from Worcester will be amongst the talent doing their stuff.  

I had to rely upon my spies for reports about what I believe was a cold Nellie Folk on Monday.

They say that it was the usual entertaining evening with all the usual suspects in attendance.  Why not me?  Well, I managed to double the dosage of one of my tablets in the afternoon and it was thought by Mrs Masher that it would best to be safe rather than sorry.  Personally I thought she was frightened of missing out on an ambulance ride.  In the event I survived. Obviously!

Can you really believe that the first month of 2012 has all but passed?  And as usual as we enter February the World seems to come alive. 
I’d draw your attention first to the Opening of a new Exhibition at The Old Market Gallery on Corporation Street in Rotherham entitled “Repercussions”.   It’s a showcase of work by Rotherham Graduates from around the UKs Universities. Thursday the 2nd of February see’s the Private Viewing Night, which is a Open Event, so pop down to the Gallery and take a look at the talent we have in Rotherham.  More details HERE

What’s more with the opening of the new affordable Studios at Westgate Chambers we might just stand a better chance of holding the talent within the Town rather than seeing it head off to other Citadels of art.  

A great surprise on Thursday when having tea when onto my TV screen popped Jon Gomm.   Jon is one of my Facebook friends and up to now a jobbing musician.  His breakthrough has come via the power of Youtube where a video of his unique guitar style has gone mad, with over 1,100,000 (yes that’s a million +) hits on his video.  If you’ve not seen Jon in action then head off HERE  it’s well worth a few minutes of your time.    Sorry to say I’ve not been able to twist Jon’s arm into becoming a Masher, and while I’ve whipped, cajoled, sworn loudly and shouted at my guitar, it won’t let me play like this – suppose it’s back to the thrashing for me.

Tair has been busy at work this week tempting us with his goodies from Carousel Bakes.  This week’s Master Piece is a Baked White chocolate Cheesecake with fresh Strawberries!!!   My Doctor died on the spot just looking at the photograph!!   But I can assure you there is no better place to look for some great cakes than HERE

This week see’s the Haughton Weavers coming to Rotherham on Friday 1st.   They seem to have been around all my life!  Always entertaining for folkies and non folkies alike with a fantastic range of songs, and true survivors of the Folk scene.  Tickets and more information HERE

The Folkwise Podcast 003 is available HERE.  This a UKFolk Music production and is giving coverage to the great talent out there that normally do not get a look in.  Long may their work continue. 

It’s also great to see another young and talented lady getting recognised.  Lucy Ward a daughter of Derbyshire, has been nominated in the BBC Folk Awards for her song “For The Dead Men” in the best single category.  It’s a modern protest song, and one that will hold you captivated.  Check it out for yourself HERE   I saw Lucy doing a super set at The Venue for Charlie Barker a couple of years ago and she was simply outstanding, since then she has gone on to carve out a fantastic reputation on the Club and Festival circuit.  

Andy Kershaw has come up with a fantastic marketing tool for his Book “No Off Switch”.  It seems, following his Facebook posts, that Andy has not been given much marketing support by his Publisher.  So he’s taking matters into his own hands.   Anyone buying the book will go into the hat and win an evening with Andy, where he will come to your house and read a couple of chapters from the book, and treat you to a Takeaway Curry.  Second prize is the same only you buy the Curry.  Should you be tempted I’ll add Andy’s book to the AmazonShop (not mentioned our Amazon Store for sometime).  Personally I think that to have Andy come to the House would be an event in itself, and the book is just excellent. 

I think I might employ the same idea for the Roy Blackman CD.  Buy the CD and go into the hat to have Roy come visit you for an evening and sing his songs for an hour.  Ummmmmmm    I’ll give it some thought.

One of the great things about Acoustic Rotherham events is that I get a chance to catch up with some old mates, although this time, the seat marked Philip Hartley was not taken!  I must have words with him.  Anyway it was great to hear from Mic O’Brian that Pocketful of N’owt will soon be back on the road and visiting a venue near you.  Can’t wait to see them back in full action.

Those who our mates on Facebook will know that I try to pass information about events etc.  Keep an eye out as there might be something that I post that might interest you.  If you’re not a friend, just search “Rawmarsh Masher” and your News Feed will never be the same.  

Speaking of which it was great to see that the Tuesday Street Market in Rotherham has been voted the best in Britain.   Excellent.   Proof positive that the hard work being put in by the Town Centre Team and others is beginning to bring forth fruit. 

One for the Poets.   When checking out the site of one of my favourite poets, Attila TheStockbroker, I came across this site packed with useful resources for poets.  Take a look, I think you will find it interesting HERE
 And so to the week ahead.  

Let’s start with News just in. 

There will be a Charity Art Auction for Alzheimer’s Research and Yes2Life cancer charity.  Sunday 5 Feb, 2pm start.  Cupola Contemporary Art with the generous support of its artists are holding an auction at its Hillsborough premises in Sheffield to raise money for two charities doing amazing work.  I’m also told that Tair is making a special cheesecake for the event which will be sold by the slice…………..   hmmmmmm   

Besides all the regular events, that you can find on the Diary Page for January and February HERE an I’d point you towards some great music in Rotherham this weekend.  Friday the Charter Arms has a fantastic night of Punk Music, and on Saturday The Bridge has a top local line up with Nowhere Fast and Djinn will be bashing it out for you.   Those wanting something a little softer might find that there are few tickets available for Herman’s Hermits (complete with zimmer frames) at The Civic.  

There are more additions to the Festival page HERE

And that’s it for this week folks.  Watch out for the Update News Letter later in the week. 
Whatever you are doing this week, have great fun, support local musicians, and KEEP IT LIVE

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Almost Desk Bound but the Spies Are Out

2012 seems to be flying ahead, and leaving me behind a bit.

So it’s hard to believe that Acoustic Rotherham 14 is already upon me!   I’m currently held up because of confirmation required for the venue…………… so Acts please stand by your beds.  There’s a brilliant line up as well.  So whatever happens, somewhere in Rawmarsh next Sunday 29th January around 1:30pm we’ll all be getting together.   Watch your In-boxes and the Web Site HERE  

It’s not fun being desk bound for much of the time and not being able to get out to sample the great things that are going on, but my spies are doing a great job at keeping me informed. 

Paul Pearson’s outing with Chris Treebeard at the Red House last Sunday along with some of their friends appears to have been a great success with Paul being in great form.  So good was the evening that they have been re-booked next Month 12th February, the music kicks off around 7:30pm.

There was another great night for people at the Handsworth Folk Club where Rob Slow and John Statter entertained the troops royally with songs and tunes.   Well done lads.

I’m also told that the Shanty UK Gathering at Goole was a great success.  Mr Kidman plus Masher Roadies in Chief Sue and Barry were all in attendance and making contributions to the days entertainment. 

On Friday another event that I would have loved to have got to was Pub Scrawl in Sheffield.  The brain child of local artist Pete McKee.  What’s more the general concept is one that could be used by other Arts genres.  Pete selected ten local Artists, linked them to pubs, where they exhibited their work for a night. There was a tour and a brochure.  Brilliant.  I’m told that it was a great success with the punters as well which has to be good.  One hopes that there will be more in the future.

While on visual arts matters here’s a heads up for an Exhibition of Art at the Old Market Gallery that has it’s first viewing on 2nd February.  It’s called “Repercussions” and features the work of Artists with Rotherham roots who have Graduated from Universities around the UK.  Six artists are featured.  The Exhibition will be open to the public each Thursday and Friday from 10:00am – 4:00pm until the 2nd of March.   It’s fantastic that we have so much talent in the Town it would be even better to have them be able to prosper as artists and contribute to the Arts Community.  So why not pop along and take a look at their work?  Find a link to more details HERE

Cupola Contemporary-Art Annual "Under the Bed Sale" has started!!!  This is where local artists dig out their canvases etc. from under their bed and fill up the rooms of Karen’s Gallery.  Another great idea.  It’s great for the art buyer to, with loads and loads of bargains to be got; so well worth a rummage.   All the details can be found HERE 

And go on Richard, while doing commercials why not throw in Vicky Hilton’s new range of Union Jack T Cosys which are available from Craft Cottages for £5  HERE  they are not listed on the site so you’ll have to send an Email via their contact page. 

And so to music.
My attention has been drawn to an event in March which many of you might find interesting the first ever Yorkshire Cajun & Zydeco Festival in Malton from 9 - 11 March 2012.  Now, showing complete ignorance I didn’t have a clue as to what sort of music this was, in fact I’d never heard of it, which I suppose is no real surprise given that I hide away in Folk Clubs.  So I went to the Web Site.  It looks really interesting stuff so if you’re up for something different in March this might be for you.  Links to their Web Site Page in the Festival section HERE

News this week that the Bean Fest line up will be announced very soon.   Link to their Facebook page is on the Festival Page HERE
The Wath Festival has slowly moved into the 21st Century.  Apparently they are soon to announce a link up with the Motorpoint Sheffield Arena, which will help their marketing of the Festival and for the first time allow for on line payment of tickets.  Great stuff.  Again, you can find the Link to the Wath Festival Web Site on the Festival page HERE.   This year Fairport Convention headline. 

My Worcestershire friends have been upset to learn that The Big Chill Festival 2012 has been CANCELLED.  The Festival organisers blame two things, the clash of dates with the Olympic Games and not being able to find an alternative, and, and I have to admit this surprised me, not being able to confirm Bands.  The organisers have said that they are looking to put on a smaller inside event .  

I’m told that several local Festivals are being cancelled this year in June and July because of the Olympic Games, but these are mainly blaming a lack of infrastructure, in that the Games appear to have booked every Porta Loo in the Country, and a lot of staging equipment.  Good to know that visitors to the Olympic Games will be able to spend a penny though.  

I’m always getting enquiries at Acoustic Rotherham as to how an Artists should do this and that, and this week there has been an a sudden growth in questions from the writing fraternity, something we welcome with open arms.  

On the Web Site’s Poets Corner you’ll find two new poems added to the page, I’ll not go into the details here other than to say that they are self-explanatory.  HERE
I’d also draw your attention to a local writer who has been experimenting with self E-Publishing via Amazon, Linda Gamston.  Frustrated by a lack of sales / downloads she made her book available for free for forty eight hours.  What a result!  Nearly two thousand copies of her book were down loaded in those two days.  Linda also reports that sales, at a modest price, have been steady since, if a little less spectacular.  You can find Linda’s book available in the Acoustic Rotherham Amazon Shop HERE

David Kidman has sent me a huge stack of Reviews to be added to the Review page HERE I promise to have them published in Monday mornings update. 

And congratulations to The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonigan, just as we going to press they issued their latest video.  The introduction is to kill for as they appear to have press ganged Peter Dickson, that’s he who does the big announcements on X Factor, to do them a BSVD special.  I’ll have to find out how they twisted his arm if I know Scott Doonigan it will be under hand and some sort of Blackmail applied.  Check it out HERE   
So to the week ahead.  

Monday it’s The Mashers home Club, Nellie Folk in action at The Bridge in downtown Rotherham.  A great singers and musicians Club.  Starts 8:45pm.  

Fourth Tuesday of the Month so a reminder that it’s Hillsborough Folk this week, at Burton Street.  

Last Wednesday of the Month and The Bridge entertains the Jazz Open Mic.  The December meeting was one of those disasters that we’ve all experienced from time to time, so all you Jazz Jammers, get down to the Bridge and make this Months a fantastic success.
You can find the week’s fun and games on the Diary Page HERE  

Now, I have been intrigued by the number of hits on the December Diary, and sometimes the April Diary page.  I’ve now established where the bad link is for December and I’ll put it right.  However the accidental hits on April remains a mystery.  THE MESSAGE IS PLEASE IF YOU FIND A BAD LINK REPORT IT – I do try my best but there are thousands of links on the site and unless I happen across a broken or bad link I shall go on in happy bliss just thinking you’re all mad for wanting historic listings………. Lol.  

And finally, my week has not been completely devoid of activity, I did get out on Thursday to a general meeting and chit chat about various projects that will be coming up this year and next.  It’s looking good, so keep your eyes peeled for News coming soon.

Whatever you’re doing this week, have great fun, support local music and events, and KEEP IT LIVE

Sunday, 15 January 2012

ROMPing Into The New Year / Club Closing / Festivals real or imagined

It had been building into a week where I would have very little to say, but then all of a sudden a whole host of stories have hit the editor’s spike, and so with no more ado let’s get into the week that was. 

There’s no better way to start than with a Good News story.  So congratulations to Olivia and Ben, hosts of Rotherham’s Arts den of iniquity The Bridge Inn, on the birth of their first, Amelia, who joined the music at around 6:00 am on Wednesday morning.  

Rock Bands appearing at The Bridge please note, turn volume down three notches please!  Only joking, the proud Father says she will have to get used to it………………  although in my experience I’m not sure what Mum will say about that. 

Looking back, and for those who missed it I have eventually published my reflections on the Rotherham Open Arts Festival 2011, hopefully it’s more a look forward to how we can do things better in 2012, you can find it HERE

UK FOLK have just put out their first Podcast  called Folkrise  – you can download / listen to the ten tracks from emerging Folk Acts HERE 

Here’s a bit of update on the UKFCN or Folk21 as the Group is now to be called.   The skeleton of a Web Site has been created with the aims and general objectives and other stuff currently available, HERE.  

Sitting back and watching / reading the debates as they take place on the Group News page demonstrates the difficulty of bringing Folk Clubs and Artists together in common cause, summed up in one word, frustrating.

It seems to me that unless one is well known nationally on the Folk Circuit then one’s views are taken as secondary and little attention is paid.  Big Fish, Small Pond, comes to mind. 
I shall not go into the reasons why some people have dropped out, nor of the suspicion that some other Folk Organisations are held in, it just goes to show that politics and Politics wind their roots throughout all facets of life. 

However it’s good to report some positive progress, but even that has not had it’s moments of what I consider to be small minded controversy.  The first Regional Networking & Presentation Day will be taking place in Yorkshire at The Music Room in Cleckheaton, on the 31st March.  During the afternoon there will be a discussion about raising the profile of Folk Music within the Yorkshire Region and in the evening there will be a Showcase Concert featuring some of the top emerging musicians from around the Country.
There are opportunities for Arts and Folk Music Organisations and Agents to have stalls at the Day for around £20.  

Still can’t help thinking that this in the box development is a recipe to nowhere.  My view remains that we should be seeking Partnerships with Organisations on a wider Arts front and seek far more collaboration. 

Speaking of which…………………………………………………

Friday night found me at the ROMP General Meeting / Open Mic Night.  I had made the bus ride because there should also have been an MBMT Meeting, but no one other than I turned up so I have no idea what is happening on that front. 

But instead of the controversy of the MBMT I was treated to a night of pure positivism and direction. 

How good would it be if the Musicians of Rotherham could come together as the poets appear to do in such a positive way, where ego can be placed so firmly on the back burner? 
And you have to take your hat off to Gav Roberts for handling things in such an informal yet positive manner, allowing everyone to have their say, picking up the essential points made, and incorporating varying ideas into a final plan. 

Main decisions.  FROM MARCH, ROMP will be the first Friday of the Month at The Bridge. 
From MARCH a second gathering of poets will be promoted at SNAFU on the third Wednesday, which happens to be the 21st.  We’re hoping that members of the SNAFU Monday Night Jam session will want to join in on the evening.

Looking further ahead, ROMP will be looking to hold a series of family based Sunday Afternoon events in Clifton and Rosehill Park, also to include music.  Looking to start the events around June and through the Summer. 

Also discussed was the possibility of filming some of our poets in performing mode, and these will feature on the “Poets Corner” pages of the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site as well as on Utube. 

A reminder to all members of ROMP, if you would like a poem featured on the page then please Email them in HERE and if you’d like to publicise and event on the Page which would include the Diary pages please filter through Carol Robson, who is the Official Poets Corner Correspondent. 

We’ve had a bit of interest in the Publicity Zsar idea.  It’s forced me to flesh things out a bit, which was good as it rammed home just what a huge job it is.  Publicity / Marketing is often viewed as  a secondary thought, something that can be hobbled together for an Event at the last moment and with a zero or less budget, especially it seems in Rotherham, yet I suspect it happens in many other places as well.  But that’s not an excuse for Rotherham, Event organisers need to be educated to budget properly for Publicity and marketing, and to make it look professional.  

There really is no point in creating fantastic events and then publicising them with what sometimes is at best is Third Division stuff, and we can’t expect to be taken seriously by probable Sponsors if the Events fail to make a visual impact.  Make no mistake Sponsors are going to become ever more important to the Arts. 

The call is still out there, if anyone is interested or mad enough in joining the Creative Events teams to provide a range of Publicity and Marketing services we would love to hear from you.  There’s some great stuff lined up for 2012 / 13 to get your teeth into, if you fancy it.  Email HERE

Sad news came this week from our Folky friends in the North of the County.  Steve Mathews will be giving up the running of The Angel Acoustic events in Topcliffe through pressure of work in the real World.  Steve has been stalwart of the Northern Folk scene for many years and the work he has done in building a lively Monthly Club has been much appreciated by the folks.  He will be bowing out on the 18th March when he will be featuring himself as the guest artist – well done Steve that’s the way to get the bookings.  Just a reminder that Steve will be at Acoustic Rotherham 14 on 29th January.  

More bad news……………..  after twelve years the January 25th gathering of the Burnestone Folk Club run by that fantastic Folk partnership, Glyn and Joolz Cavell will be the last.  Those able to get to this one please do so and make the last a real night to remember.  But sad to see another established Folk Club ending.  

Rob Dickinson, he of Florin fame, brought our attention to a possible scam this week.  However, as someone has rightly pointed out the venture might well be genuine and just perhaps has failed to explain themselves to the possible participants clearly enough. 
However, this was Rob’s experience, which I put in quotes, 

“warning to my musician friends, there’s a supposed festival called Surface Festival, they have loads of sites and links on Facebook asking you to apply, I then received an email saying we had been selected (even though they hadn't even heard our music) and to go to a meeting in a certain city in England, they then ask you for £50 just in case you don't turn up for the first gig they select for you, we were suspicious straight away and declined, now imagine how many hungry musicians there are out there, all being asked to do the same, and how much they will be making from this... be aware people!"

Now I’ve checked out the Surface Festival myself.  They seem to have a track record.  However, having looked through their Application process and nowhere can I find any mention of Bands having to make any sort of payment in the form of a deposit.  I’d also point to the voting that takes place to advance Bands to the later stages of the Festival, it’s not so much a Festival as a battle of the Bands.

My only observation is that many of these Festivals offer Bands much, and deliver little in terms of exposure.  If what is being offered looks too good to be true then it probably is, and unfortunately there is no substitute to simple hard-work to get your music heard or your career advanced.  One normally finds that if a Band or Musician is make any sort of major impact it’s either by Peer recognition or sheer good luck.  

You’ll probably find that advice and help offered by the Unsigned Guide HERE  just or more valuable than parting with cash to appear at an event. 

Having said all that, I’d draw your attention to Yorkshire Unplugged a more local competition amongst Yorkshire Musicians, and one that is not promising you the World in terms of exposure and prizes.  If this tickles your fancy check out their Web Site and application Form HERE 

Good News this week for Rotherham Folkies, especially those of a certain age.  Two legends of the Folk scene are to visit Rotherham in February and March in the form of the Haughton Weavers and Mike Harding.  February the 1st is the date for the Haughton Weavers and March 6th for Mike Harding.  Both are bound to be sale outs so ticket booking details can be found on the appropriate days on the Diary pages HERE

While I’m at it, you’ll find a wonderful programme of musical and theatrical events within the Civic Theatre listings for late Winter / Spring.  Something for everyone, and worth checking out in full.  HERE 

A couple of odds and sods.  

Fans of The Troubadors, of which there are many around the Rotherham / South Yorkshire area might be interested in this picture of the Band.  Besides the overall psychedelic sixties feel to the picture I noted that all but Big Steve’s form cannot be made out.  

 And here’s a song that had me chuckling this week, very reminiscent of Victoria Wood

 I thought I’d also add this song from one of my favourite performers Philip Cockerham , especially for those who have already broken their New Year Resolutions.

So to the week ahead.  

Monday, it’s a New Venue on me, but the River Sheaf Band will be taking their brand of bluegrass to Goldthorpe, at the Horse and Groom.  Tuesday it’s the Handsworth Folk Club, with Rob Slow and John Statter as guest star turns.  Wednesday it’s Paul and Liz Davenport at the Burton Street Foundation Hillsborough Ballads Night, Thursday South Anston Folk Meet. 

On Friday it’s the second Down At The Bridge Open Mic Acoustic Session.   December’s hastily put together night was not a great success, but the organisers are hoping for a better turn out this time around – a Masher favourite, Bonzo’s The Urban Spaceman seems to have been quite a hit last time.  

And of course the usual full programme of Weekly Clubs and Sessions.  

Find it all with more detail on the Diary Page HERE

My spies have been out again and they tell me that they’ve discovered a venue that competes with the Old Market Gallery as being the coldest in Rotherham.  I’m told that if you’re heading for Vasco’s wrap up warm.

So, whatever you’re doing this week, have fun, support local music and keep it live.