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November 21st - Jim Moray

13 years ago Jim Moray released an album that changed the way people perceived, played and presented English folk music. Sweet England arrived at a time when, with just a few notable exceptions, traditional music was performed much as it had been in the 1970s to an audience of insiders and aficionados. The album was received with open arms by those who understood that the music of the people has survived for centuries by being just that – an expression of the times. Absent were the familiar affectations of those who sought to preserve an invented historical aesthetic, Jim Moray was a Bowie and Blur fan singing ballads with all of his influences unfurled.

The records that followed (Jim Moray, Low Culture, In Modern History, Skulk) embraced everything from electronica to Johnny Marr-esque guitar rock via symphonic pop, an award winning XTC cover and grime. But at their heart has always been Jim’s unmistakeable soulful and yearning voice; singing old songs in a new way.

As awards and rave reviews stacked up, much was made of Moray’s fearlessness in pushing the boundaries of traditional music. But it’s an accolade he’s always refuted. “I don’t see any boundaries,” being his oft-repeated response. “This is popular music and I love popular music.”

Festival and folk club crowds clearly felt the same way, never more so than in 2014 when Jim joined up with the ardently admired songwriter and guitarist Sam Carter to form the band False Lights. On a mission to make a glorious folk rock ruckus that owed more to Radiohead and Queens Of The Stone Age than Steeleye Span, False Lights quickly became one of the most in demand groups on the circuit. They also picked up a Best Album nomination in the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for their debut LP Salvor.

In recent years Jim has collaborated with such folk music luminaries as Andy Cutting, Patsy Reid, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr on the hugely successful Cecil Sharp Project and similarly acclaimed Elizabethan Project. He’s also been making a name for himself as a producer working with Maz O’Connor on her last album This Willowed Light and her most recent release The Longing Kind, as well as mixing the latest record by Jamie Smith’s Mabon. And this year he presented a documentary on BBC Radio 3 about the traditional song Brigg Fair, which saw Jim use cutting-edge sound technology to recreate the apocryphal moment when farm bailiff Joseph Taylor spontaneously added his voice to the premiere of Delius’ An English Rhapsody, which was inspired by a wax cylinder recording of Taylor’s singing. A more appropriate subject for Moray to tackle is hard to imagine.

At a time when the bright new lights of traditional music include Stick In The Wheel and Lynched, who come from the distinctly un-folk worlds of drum ‘n’ bass and punk respectively, Jim Moray’s dream that more people would discover and play these songs on their own terms in their own voice is steadily becoming a reality.

As for the future, Jim believes it’s time for him to start a new chapter. He’s described the making of his forthcoming album Upcetera as being like “learning to do it all again from scratch”. Drawing influence from the systems music of composers like Nyman and Reich (another of his formative passions) Upcetera features dramatically orchestrated Child ballads reimagined as torch songs or a kind of English Fado. It’s an album that places the narrative element of these songs centre stage, with Jim Moray’s supple soaring vocal leading the listener by the hand through strange old stories.

Making them new.

Admission: £12.00 & £10.00

NB: Round the Room date change

31st October - The Hayes Sisters -

The Hayes Sisters. The story so far. . .
Take three girls. Name them Cathryn, Angela and Jennifer. Bring them up in a home where someone is always singing. Listen to them start to sing in harmony from a very young age. Realise that nature has blessed them with rather beautiful voices. Give them a guitar. Discover that they have a natural musical ability. Mix together; and you have a promising musical trio – “The Hayes Sisters”.
Three young teenagers start to make a name for themselves in local pubs and clubs; reality intervenes… They go off to Uni; start families – do the serious grown up stuff! They pursue careers in different cities, in different fields; in teaching, nursing, and acting (you may have seen Jen (Stage name – Jennifer Hennessy) in The Office, Coronation Street, Doctor Who, and lots more; in fact, she appears soon as Mrs Cratchit in the BBC’s new epic serial, “Dickensian”)
They decide to “have another go” at the music…And then they’re back together on stage; appearing at festivals and gigs across the North West.
They are spotted by Nashville–based, Clive Gregson; one of the most-respected names in the music industry. And things go from there…The Hayes Sisters soon have a producer; and an album in the making.
“Another Man’s Shoes” is produced by Clive Gregson and John Wood, and features the awesome musical talents of Andy Dinan, Andy Seward, Fiona Lander, Simon Whitbread, and Clive Gregson himself.
What are the influences and inspirations behind The Hayes Sisters’ music?
Well, ask any of the three sisters and you will get pretty much the same answer: “Another Man’s Shoes” is a collection of songs borne from personal experiences and emotions; by history, politics, art, literature. It is influenced by the music we grew up listening to: the traditional music of England and Ireland; and always by groups or songs where vocals and harmonies dominate because when we were kids, singing in harmony was just what you did! It was natural.”
Each tends to write individually, and they arrange collaboratively; and, as they are musically untrained; intuitively. Naturally, The Hayes Sisters seem to be in harmony about most things in life…

3rd October - Sophie Matthews & Chris Green

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a beguiling blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English border bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, Chris and Sophie breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh, relevant and accessible for a modern audience.

Also known for their popular themed touring shows, Green and Matthews have built an enviable reputation for combining incisive wit and humour with a genuine love for the English tradition. They have a particular passion for 18th-century ballads and dance tunes – several of which have been unearthed by Chris from various libraries around the country and which are now being performed again for the first time in two hundred years. They also perform original songs which draw on their wealth of historical research to paint a fascinating picture of individual lives and stories from England’s past.

 

20th March - Open Stage

This is your chance to strut your stuff! This is your chance to be the Guest and to show your talents!! Ring or email to book your spot on a first come first served basis so don't leave it too late!!! Now fully booked!!

Admission: £5.00 performers £2.00

 

ST NEOTS 35TH FOLK FESTIVAL June 9th 10th & 11th 2017

THANKS TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED THIS EVENT

NEXT YEAR'S DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

8th 9th & 10th JUNE 2018

November 28th - Round the Room night!

Come along and strut your stuff or enjoy others doing just that!

Friendly singaround atmosphere, performers and audience very welcome.

£2.00 entry for all.

19th December - Christmas Party night!

Seasonal music and songs with delicious refreshments and charity raffle!

Friendly singaround atmosphere, performers and audience very welcome.

£2.00 entry for all.

December 5th - Paul Downes & Mick Ryan

MICK RYAN is well known on the folk scene as a fine singer of traditional and original songs. Having written both comic and serious material for the very poular band “Crows” in the 1980’s, and his duo with Pete Harris which appeared at every major club and festival in the country, he has since written for radio and a series of highly successful folk musicals: ‘A Tollpuddle Man’ (with Graham Moore); ‘A Day’s Work’ ; ‘The Voyage’; ‘Tanks for the Memory’, ‘The Navvy’s Wife’ and ‘Paupers Path’.

PAUL DOWNES has a sensitive, yet fun approach to live performances which puts him among the most respected artists on the British acoustic music scene today. He has been introduced (to his embarrassment) as one of the greatest acoustic guitarist in the world. It is easy to see why when you see the dazzling array of styles he performs with effortless brilliance, but, at the same time, considers himself a singer of songs rather than a guitar technician.
Paul has a rich musical background that has progressed through working with Phil Beer, The Arizona Smoke Revue, Pete Seeger and, The Joyce Gang. Nine albums with bands, four highly acclaimed solo albums and over two hundred session credits have still left time for Paul to tour every concert venue, theatre and festival in Britain (including two appearances at the Royal Albert Hall with Show of Hands); plus many tours in the USA and Europe.
Together, Mick and Paul provide singing, music and entertainment of the very highest quality.

Do not miss this superb evening of quality singing and musicianship!

December 12th - Vicki Swann & Jonny Dyer's Christmas Show

Our Christmas Special!!!

More info soon!

 

9th January - Jon Betmead &Tom Ling

 

November 14th - Dave Ellis & Boo Howard


Dave Ellis came down from Liverpool for the London folk club scene in the 70’s. He released a solo album on Sonet records, which some consider to be a classic guitar record of its time and which gave him national exposure on the Old Grey Whistle Test and In Concert.
Dave became a regular at various London haunts such as the Marquee, the Roundhouse and the Lyceum and also played some higher profile gigs, opening for the Edgar Broughton Band at the Rainbow and Rod Stewart at Reading Festival.

In 1979 Dave formed his electric band ‘The Reactors’ which incorporated guitar, drums and keyboards with Boo Howard playing bass and handling most of the vocals.
The band was eventually trimmed down and developed into an electric duo (comprising Dave and Boo) which was renamed ‘Brave Lucy’, and the pair produced their only electric album ‘Snaps’ in 1996 under that name.

In 1998 they combined Dave’s intricate guitar work with Boo’s mellow vocals to create something very different and entirely new in the folk and acoustic clubs. Their debut acoustic recording was ‘Maybe I Might Fall’ in 1999.
The songs are intelligently constructed, elegantly articulated and never less than entertaining. The mix is eclectic (from folk to jazz to blues to bluegrass) but the songs are at the heart of it all, served by imaginative and stylish arrangements and by the singing and playing of two seasoned, wholly in tune musicians.

Their CDs have a classy polished sound - testament to the pair’s familiarity with the recording process and of their ability to write and perform at a level every bit the equal of their major label peers.
Their live act has now been honed to perfection in the folk clubs where they have developed a large faithful following in the south of England.

Regulars at St Neots - not to be missed!

***November 7th - Round the Room

Note change of date!

 Friendly singaround atmosphere, performers and audience very welcome.

Come along and strut your stuff or enjoy others doing just that!

£2.00 entry for all.


24th October - Reg Meuross

 

Reg’s clever and imaginative lyrics have earned him the title of “Master Storyteller” (PennyBlack Music) and led Mike Harding (Mike Harding Folk Show) to introduce him onto the stage of The Royal Albert Hall as “one of the finest singer-songwriters this country has produced”. Whether it’s a village hall or the Albert Hall, Reg brings to the stage a collection of extremely beautiful songs, performed with humour and depth, and sung with the voice of an angel. Reg has that rare gift of being able to touch people, through his songs and performance, on a really human level. His words and music paint pictures that remain with the listener long after the song has been sung.

If you haven’t already experienced the warmth, humour and depth of Reg’s performances then you are in for a treat. “Reg doesn’t write lines of lyrics. He writes short stories then sets them to some of the most captivating melodies you’ll ever hear…” (PennyBlack Music).

Reg is an extraordinary singer songwriter at the top of his game, accompanying himself on guitar and, as The Times says, bringing ‘Intelligent and thought-provoking songs, beautifully made and skilfully delivered’.

Reg is now touring with new album Faraway People.

Admission: £10.00 & £9.00

Please note - Club closed December 26th and January 2nd

Reopens in 2018 with Jon Betmead and Tom Ling

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

17th October - Open Stage

This is your chance to shine and be the guest!

E mail- stneotsfolkclub@aol.com or ring 01234 376278 to book your spot (approx.20-25 mins) on a first come first served basis so don't leave it too late!!!

Order of play is sorted on the night.

Admission: £2.00 performers £5.00 audience

10th October - The Carrivick Sisters

The Carrivick Sisters are one of the UK's top young bluegrass and folk acts. Twins Laura and Charlotte perform their original songs and instrumentals along with a few carefully chosen covers on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and clawhammer banjo. Their busy touring schedule is rapidly building them a reputation for engaging and entertaining live performances with tight sibling vocal harmonies and multi-instrumental virtuosity. Having grown up in South Devon, an area rich in folk lore and legends, much of their original material is inspired by their local surroundings and history.
As well as touring all over the UK, the Carrivick Sisters have performed at major festivals in Canada and mainland Europe. They have released five studio albums ("My Own Two Feet" - 2006, "Better Than 6 Cakes" - 2007, "Jupiter's Corner" - 2009, "From the Fields" - 2011, and "Over the Edge" - 2013) to much critical acclaim and airplay worldwide. Their 6th album, "10 Years Live" was recorded live at The Convent in Stroud and is a 10 year retrospective and celebration, with half of the album being old favourites chosen by fans and the other half previously unrecorded material.
The Carrivick Sisters first started performing as a duo in 2006, originally as buskers before starting to play more and more proper gigs, turning professional when they left school in 2007. In 2007 they won the South West Busker’s and Street Entertainer’s Competition, gaining themselves their first spot at Glastonbury Festival. In 2008 Laura achieved 2nd place at the Rocky Grass Fiddle Contest in America. The Carrivick Sisters were finalists in the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2010 and were named Band/Duo of the Year in the 2011 FATEA Awards. Most recently Charlotte won first place in both Old-time banjo and fiddle at FOAOTMAD's festival in Gainsborough 2012.

16th January - The Georgia Shackleton Trio