More Things To Do in York and beyond in a mighty crowded calendar. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 22 for 2023, from The Press, York

Rob Auton (self portrait): Seeking a crowd in Pocklington and Leeds

WHICH shows will draw the crowds? Charles Hutchinson prepares to join the merry throng across the summer beyond the Bank Holiday sunshine.

Crowd pleaser: Rob Auton, The Crowd Show, Pocklington Arts Centre, tonight, 8pm; Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, June 5, 7.30pm

CHARMINGLY offbeat Pocklington-raised poet, stand-up comedian, actor, author, artist and podcaster Rob Auton heads back north from his London abode on his 2023 leg of The Crowd Show tour to play Pock and Leeds.

After his philosophical observations on the colour yellow, the sky, faces, water, sleep, hair, talking and time, now he discusses crowds, people and connection in a night of comedy and theatre “suitable for anyone who wants to be in the crowd for this show”. Box office: Pocklington, 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk; Leeds, hydeparkbookclub.co.uk.

Antler alert: Comedian Tim Vine in his alarming headwear for Breeeep! at the Grand Opera House, York

“Witness the stupidity” comedy gig of the week: Tim Vine: Breeeep!, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 7.30pm

EXPECT a mountain of nonsense, one-liners, stupid things, crazy songs and wobbly props, plus utter drivel, advises punslinger Tim Vine.

“Tim’s like the manager of a sweet shop where all the sweets are replaced by jokes, and he serves them in a random order,” says the show blurb. “So it’s like a sweet shop where the manager just throws sweets at you. Enjoy the foolishness and laugh your slip-ons off.” Sold out; for returns only, check atgtickets.com/york.

Amy May Ellis: North York Moors singer-songwriter promotes her debut album at The Crescent

Homecoming of the week: Amy May Ellis, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 8pm

NOW moved to Bristol, singer-songwriter Amy May Ellis was raised on a remote dale on the North York Moors, playing her early gigs at The Band Room, Low Mill, Farndale.

Steeped in the culture, scenery, folklore and wildlife of the countryside that surrounded and shaped her as a child, she wrote her debut album Over Ling And Bell – named after two types of heather – in a secluded moorland farmhouse, mostly alone but sometimes with friends. Released on Lost Map Records on May 12, it is available on digital platforms and limited-edition vinyl. She will be joined by her new band for tomorrow’s gig, when North Yorkshire-London combo Wanderland support. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Ryan Addyman as Jamie New, right, in York Stage’s Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Musical of the week: York Stage in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Teen Edition, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

JAMIE New lives on a council estate in Sheffield with his loving mum. At 16, he doesn’t quite fit in. He may be terrified about the future, but Jamie is going to be a sensation.

The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s coming-of-age musical follows the true-life story of Sheffield schoolboy Jamie Campbell as he overcomes prejudice and bullying to step out of the darkness to become a drag queen. York Stage artistic director Nik Briggs directs. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Sarah Dean: Plucking strings at the City of York Roland Walls Folk Weekend at the Black Swan Inn

City of York Roland Walls Folk Weekend, Black Swan Folk Club, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, June 2 to 4

TOM Bliss and The Burning Bridges open the three-day folk fiesta at the Black Swan on Friday night, to be followed by afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the weekend’s acts will be: Stan Graham; Eddie Affleck; The Barbarellas; Blonde On Bob; Clurachan; Union Jill; White Sail; Edwina Hayes; Minster Stray Morris; Caramba; The Old Humpy Band; Tommy Coyle; Paula Ryan; Judith Haswell; Sarah Dean; Chris Euesden and Ramshackle. Full details at: blackswanfolkclub.org.uk/programme.cfm.

Alexander Ashworth: Baritone soloist for Elgar’s Dream Of Gerontius at York Minster. Picture: Debbie Scanlan

Purgatory awaits: University of York Choir and Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s Dream Of Gerontius, York Minster, June 14, 7.30pm

THE University of York Choir and Symphony Orchestra perform Edward Elgar’s Dream Of Gerontius with soloists Joshua Ellicott (Gerontius), Kitty Whately and Alexander Ashworth, conducted by John Stringer.

Elgar dramatically sets to music Cardinal Newman’s poem depicting the journey of Gerontius’s soul from his deathbed to judgement before God. On his way, he encounters angels and demons, colourfully portrayed by the chorus, before settling finally in purgatory. Box office: 01904 322439 or yorkconcerts.co.uk.

The poster for City Screen Picturehouse’s outdoor cinema season, Movies In The Moonlight, at York Museum Gardens in July

Outdoor cinema: City Screen Picturehouse presents Movies In The Moonlight, York Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York, July 14 to 16, from 7.30pm

MUSEUM Gardens play host to City Screen Picturehouse for three nights of summertime open-air film action, opening with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, starring Chris Pratt and Anya Taylor-Joy on July 14. Next come Mamma Mia!, featuring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, on July 15 and Steven Spielberg’s 1975 shark attack classic Jaws on July 16.

All these outdoor cinema events start at 7.30pm. Films will be shown at sundown; drinks and snacks will be on offer but guests can bring picnics. Box office: picturehouses.com/outdoor.

Ruby Wax: Presenting the latest Wax work, I’m Not As Well As I Thought, at the Grand Opera House, York, this autumn

Looking ahead: Ruby Wax: I’m Not As Well As I Thought, Grand Opera House, York, September 28, 7.30pm

AFTER four years, American-British actress, comedian, writer, television personality and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax, 70, follows up her How To Be Human show with a stage adaptation of her May 11 book, I’m Not As Well As I Thought, promising her rawest, darkest, funniest show yet. 

In 2022, Wax began a search to find meaning, booking a series of potentially life-changing journeys: swimming with humpback whales in the Dominican Republic; joining a Christian monastery; working in a Greek refugee camp; undertaking a silent 30-day mindfulness retreat in California. Even greater change marked her inner journey. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Tom Allen: Completely and utterly at York Barbican

Recommended but too late for tickets

ACERBIC comedian Tom Allen’s Completely gig at York Barbican on Sunday at 8pm has sold out. Completely.

Under discussion will be Allen’s life updates, his vegetable patch and the protocol for inviting friends with children for dinner.

REVIEW: Paul Rhodes’s verdict on Brigid Mae Power, Black Swan Folk Club, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, March 23

Brigid Mae Power: “Doesn’t fit neatly into any conventional musical box”

BRIGID Mae Power had been through a difficult week. Alluding to trials on Twitter, she then had car problems on her way up from London. Flustered but here, and very welcome.

Power is a critically acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter who doesn’t really fit neatly into any conventional musical box. Most of her music could not be described as folk.

Her beautiful vocals and ability to cast a spell have drawn favourable comparisons with the likes of Van Morrison or Tim Buckley. While Power has none of Morrison’s poetry, Buckley’s jazz folk sulk mid-period is a better match. Both trade in heart music.

Characteristic wordless ululations marked Brigid Mae Power’s performance

Power was performing solo. The (metaphorically) naked presentation underlined how spun throughout with her characteristic wordless ululations, Left open-ended and spun throughout with her characteristic wordless ululations, the tunes showed their simplicity and sameness too, as well as, by their absence, highlighting how clever her album productions are.

The first half was somewhat underwhelming. A new number, Ashling – a tribute to primary school teacher and traditional Irish musician Ashling Murphy, who was attacked and killed while jogging – lacked the expected emotional heft. Her piano proved a better servant than the guitar, leaving more space for her voice to roam.

Power grew up in an extended Irish family near Wembley, surrounded by music. Her aunt, her earliest musical inspiration, was three rows back, which led to a touching moment.

“Power’s piano proved a better servant than the guitar, leaving more space for her voice to roam”

Playing to a packed folk club, Power wisely leaned more on the traditional elements of her repertoire. The (once rebellious) Down By The Glenside (covered by Mary O’Hara and others) was wonderful and our one chance to sing along. Her cover of May Morning Dew was also spot on (from her excellent covers EP from 2021).

Having recovered from the trip, and one too many chilli peanuts before the start, the second half was a big improvement. In good spirits, the song selection was stronger, showcasing her more melodic side in City Nights. Wedding Of A Friend’s tune belied the startling subject matter, as ever unresolved and left hanging in the air.

The 20-song set list touched on different corners of her back catalogue, but what would the new material sound like? Dream From The Deep Well is due for release in June. Power, however, has been living with the material for some time.

“Power’s quiet power comes from her ability to cast wordless spells”

Counting Down (“a sappy one”, said its writer) was full of yearning for home, while Some Life You’ve Known rang true. It will be interesting to see what the songs sound like in sequence with their fur coats on (to quote Sandy Denny).

Power’s quiet power comes from her ability to cast wordless spells. Performed eyes closed, one foot swirling to the music, it looks like the tunes transport her. She doesn’t overuse this feature of her performance or over-sing. It is mood music of the best kind, but it does require you to be in the right, or wrong, frame of mind.

On balance, Power turned the concert around enough to pull us into her world.

Review by Paul Rhodes

REVIEW: Paul Rhodes’s verdict on Paul Thompson and John Watterson: Beware Of The Bull concert and book launch

Book launch for Paul Thompson and John Watterson’s Beware Of The Bull: The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray

Paul Thompson and John Watterson: Beware Of The Bull – The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray Concert & Book Launch, presented by Black Swan Folk Club at National Centre for Early Music, York, October 28

DESPITE being a household name in the mid-to-late 1960s, Jake Thackray is now largely forgotten.

His  humorous topical songs popped up on That’s Life (and before that Braden’s Week). The ephemeral nature of much of his television material was not made with posterity in mind. His slim album output does not fit neatly anywhere – certainly not anywhere near the mainstream.

For those who cottoned on in his lifetime (he died in 2002), or have discovered him through famous admirers, Thackray is held in the highest of esteem.

Paul Thompson and John Watterson have done much to keep the cult alive. Watterson’s Fake Thackray project is much more than a tribute turn, also breathing life into songs unheard in decades or putting new music to works never completed.

Two rarities graced the performance at the NCEM, The Ferryboat, extolling the charms of a public house, and a scabrous number about National Service that was aired, reluctantly, once in 1986.

The new biography seems to have kickstarted a wave of renewed interest in this Yorkshire chansonnier. Thompson and Watterson have produced a wonderfully researched book, the work of dedicated fans rather than biographers for hire.

It does not shy away from the sadness of his decline and later years, and also makes a strong case for his writing (Thackray was a columnist of note for the Yorkshire Post in the early 1990s, his contributions posted, often hilariously late, from his Welsh outpost).

Tantalising gaps in the story remain, particularly how Thackray’s time in France and civil-war Algeria transformed him both as a guitarist and performer. What the French made of Thackray is also unknown.

His love of their language and the chanson form is well documented however. Unique among his English contemporaries Thackray sought to write songs that contained both humour, poetry and insight – in the French style of Georges Brassens, where the words come before all else.

Watterson and Thompson performed ten songs, and 50 years after Thackray’s heyday, crowds continue to laugh and admire his singular dexterity with words. The performers chose their selections carefully, as Thackray’s humour is sometimes dated (all on stage exchanged knowing looks after the line “I shan’t lay a finger on the crabby old bat face” from La-Di-Da, which drew a consciously muffled laugh). His stories of the underdog, or sticking it those in authority, will never go out of style.

The artistry of the material shone. Bantam Cock, freed from its maddening keyboard refrain, was out-and-out funny while the Widow Of Bridlington was both sad and wry (a precursor to Richard Thompson’s Beeswing).

Thompson and Watterson did a splendid job performing these difficult songs. Perhaps Thompson unnecessarily underlined a line or two, in contrast to Thackray’s determinedly deadpan style, but it was a treat to hear the tunes live.

Thackray was a complicated man, marked by his difficult upbringing in Leeds. This working- class hero really did have (smelly) feet of clay. In later years, after the stage fright and weekly terror of performing on national television had passed, his songwriting slowed dramatically as he toiled to write more serious works. One of these, Remembrance, is one of the best anti-war songs, but not one you are ever likely to hear on November 11.  

Yorkshire is the centre of the Thackray cult, so with luck we will be graced with many more opportunities to savour this underappreciated master of his craft channelled through Thompson and Watterson.

Review by Paul Rhodes

REVIEW: Paul Rhodes’s verdict on Kris Drever and Rachel Baiman, National Centre for Early Music, York, May 29

Kris Drever and Rachel Baiman: “The night was more interesting as you could see they were still learning and working on the finer details” . Picture: Paul Rhodes

THE Drever mark is one that assures quality, whether as one third of Lau, at the core of the Spell Songs “supergroup” or on his one melodious solo work.

Making his first return to York since the pandemic forced him to “wind his neck in” – as he memorably sang on Hunker Down/That Old Blitz Spirit – Kris Drever was the lead in a duo with American multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman, hosted by York’s Black Swan Folk Club.

Where Drever’s voice is smooth, Baiman’s has more sharp edges, especially at the top end of her voice. The combination of styles worked a treat, especially so given that their planned tour rehearsals were derailed by a turned-around flight and Baiman being left in stood in the aisle as the train left Winchester.

Both artists have had tours cancelled or curtailed due to Covid, so this setback seems to have inspired them to make the very most of the opportunity to tour. Playing guitar, banjo and singing, Baiman was credited with the arrangements, which revealed new angles to even Drever’s most familiar song, If Wishes Were Horses.

Baiman’s short solo set prompted many to seek out the merchandise stand. It showed an artist who could take many paths, from the traditional Old Songs Never Die to – admittedly more outlandishly – stadium rock (Young Love, following in Patti Smith’s tracks).

Kris Drever: “Standing under the plaque to the men and boys from St Margaret’s and St Peter-le-Willows who died in the Great War”. Picture: Paul Rhodes

The rapport between the duo was easy and unforced, and the night was more interesting as you could see they were still learning and working on the finer details. Drever has sometimes played it too safe with his recorded work, so it was rewarding to see him investing in a riskier collaboration. His guitar playing was as nimble and joyful as ever, particularly on the folksier numbers.

Drever’s set was carefully chosen across his solo work. There was no space for any of his Spell Song contributions, but a new tune, at the behest of the Stonehaven Folk Club, Catterline, had the same timeless, haunting quality of Scatterseed.

His ability to absorb a subject, then convey the essence through song is one of Drever’s greatest gifts. Standing under the plaque to the 40 or so men and boys from St Margaret’s Church and St Peter-le-Willows Church who died in the Great War, Drever’s lament to the Germans who wasted away on Scapa Flow was all the more affecting. Sandy was even better.

The encore, I Didn’t Try Hard Enough, was an ironic note to end on, but closed this highly entertaining evening to rapturous applause for this hard-working pair.

Review by Paul Rhodes

Sam Carter finds himself in Home Waters on solo tour at Black Swan Folk Club tonight

Sam Carter: Performing solo at Black Swan Folk Club tonight

BBC Folk Award winner Sam Carter plays the Black Swan Folk Club, Peasholme Green, York, tonight on his Home Waters spring tour.

Rutland-born, narrative-driven songwriter Carter has been called the “finest English-style fingerpicking guitarist of his generation” by fellow folkie Jon Boden.

Over 15 years, he has toured the world, appeared on Later…with Jools Holland in 2012 and recorded and performed with folk luminaries Richard Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr.

Now based in Sheffield, Carter released Home Waters on his own Captain Records label in May 2020, having earlier made the albums How The City Sings (2016), The No Testament (2012) and Keepsakes (2009) and two EPs, Live At The Union Chapel and his 2008 debut, Here In The Ground.

Sam Carter with the album artwork for Home Waters

When Carter envisioned Home Waters as “a search for a sense of belonging and stability in unfamiliar territory”, he could not have known how prescient that would turn out to be.

Recorded pre-pandemic in a converted church in rural Northumberland by producer and multi-instrumentalist Ian Stephenson, Carter’s live acoustic guitar and vocals sit at the heart of the recordings.

Many of his performances were left unadorned, while Stephenson’s cinematic string arrangements created rich emotional landscapes on other numbers.

Carter embarked on the first leg of the Home Waters tour last autumn, accompanied by the specially assembled Home Waters String Quartet. The tour coincided with the release of the album Home Waters Live and the premiere of Carter’s accompanying lockdown concert film, Home Waters In Concert. For the tour’s spring second leg, he is in solo mode.

Doors open tonight (21/4/2022) at 7.45pm; tickets cost £12.10 on 01904 658338 or on the door.

Black Swan Folk Club presents Chris While & Julie Matthews online and Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman at NCEM

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman: Celebrating 25 years together…with an arm wrestle

THE Black Swan Folk Club is still closed under Covid restrictions, but the York club is mounting two concert evenings this autumn, one online, the other at the NCEM.

“We are starting to put a few things together that are the start of our journey back to regular live music,” says club organiser Chris Euesden after booking Chris While and Julie Matthews for October 15 and Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman for two hour-long shows on November 17.

While and Matthews will be playing their 7.30pm online concert exclusively for the club and will conclude the night with a live question-and-answer session.

Tickets are on sale at: whileandmatthews.com/virtual-tour. “Once you’ve purchased a ticket, you’ll be able to watch the streamed performance whenever you want,” says Euesden. “Chris and Julie have been guests at the club and played for us in concert at the NCEM many times over the years and it’s always been a great evening.”

While and Matthews have been performing together for more than 25 years, clocking up 2,600 gigs, appearing on 100-plus albums and writing hundreds of original songs. Last year, they released their 11th studio album, Revolution Calls.

Sponsored by the Black Swan Folk Club, Roberts and Lakeman’s concerts at the National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, will start at 6pm and 8.30pm, each featuring the same setlist.

“2020 marks 25 years of making music together for this wife and husband duo,” says Euesden. “Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have long established themselves as one of the UK folk scene’s most rewardingly enduring partnerships.

“To celebrate and acknowledge this milestone, the couple will revisit and reinterpret songs that span their career. From the early days of folk supergroup Equation through to 2020’s On Reflection, with a nod or two along the way to their extracurricular musical adventures, the evening promises a whistle-stop tour through their artistic journey to date.”

Limited seating will be available for the November 17 shows. Each household/support bubble will be seated around small tables positioned at a two-metre social distance from others. Tables can accommodate up to four people in the same group. Check out the guidelines for these concerts via: ncem.co.uk/events/kathryn-roberts-sean-lakeman/ 

Tickets for Roberts and Lakeman will be on sale at blackswanfolkclub@yahoo.co.uk from October 9. If you bought a ticket for the duo’s postponed April 22 gig, the NCEM team will be in touch soon to discuss your options.

Black Swan Folk Club launches virtual club nights amid surge of revised gig dates UPDATED

Chris While and Julie Matthews: A special concert for the Black Swan Folk Club’s virtual folk club night

YORK’S Black Swan Folk Club is filling the void in the Coronavirus lockdown by organising a “virtual folk club night” on YouTube every Thursday.

Club co-organiser Chris Euesden says: “We started about a month ago and quite a few people seem to be tuning in. A new one is posted each Thursday at around 7pm, and so far we’ve included a special concert from Chris While and Julie Matthews, bluesman Brookes Williams and the late Vin Garbutt, among others.

“We aren’t deleting anything, so all the old club nights, which go back about six weeks now, can still be viewed on YouTube for the duration of our shutdown if you’ve missed any.”

To access the club nights, go to www.youtube.com and search for the Black Swan Folk Club York UK channel. The direct link is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0W_ARuVU2FtEGs5Kl9wiIQ

“There you select ‘Playlists’ and that brings up all the club nights,” says Chris. “Each one is listed as a separate Playlist.

“We’re trying to stick to the club format as close as possible with videos of a few songs from resident singers and then a main spot from whoever would have been the guest that night.

“The nights are made up from a series of clips, some especially recorded for the club night and others already available on YouTube, but specifically recommended by the performers themselves.”

Eliza Carthy: New date for postponed concert at The Crescent, York

Chris continues: “The familiar format is not always possible and there are some changes, but it’s close. Of course, the thing about a ‘virtual’ club night is that you can bring in some special guests who normally wouldn’t have been there.

“If you enjoy viewing the videos, please subscribe to the channel or ‘like’ the clips and that will give us a good idea of the audience we have.”

Coming next will be a guest set from Irish-influenced musicians Roisin Ban on Thursday (May 14), when they would have been playing the Black Swan under pre-Covid circumstances. Lined up later for the “virtual club” are American singer-songwriter Katy Moffatt and Australian duo Sadie and Jay.

“We’re also hoping to do something special to replace what would have been the City of York Folk Weekend – to be renamed The Roland Walls Folk Weekend from this year – which was to have taken place from June 5 to 7,” says Chris.

“It’ll be a Virtual Folk Weekend special with footage from many of the bands, singers and musicians who would have been involved.” 

Meanwhile, a few revised folk gigs in York have been confirmed, to be followed by “a review of where we stand at the end of this month,” says Chris.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman: NCEM concert moved to November 17

Dates for the diary are:

Drever, McCusker, Woomble, at The Crescent, York, August 24, 7.30pm; tickets from ents24.com.

Maz O’Connor, Basement Bar, City Screen, York, September 9, 7.30pm; tickets, wegottickets.com/event/497157.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, National Centre for Early Music, York, November 17, 7.30pm; tickets, ncem.co.uk. 

Eliza Carthy Restitute Live, The Crescent, York, January 24 2021, 7.30pm; tickets, seetickets.com.

Grace Petrie, The Crescent, York, May 18 2021, 7.30pm; tickets, seetickets.com.

Scheduled to appear at the Black Swan Folk Club later this year are: Anthony John Clarke, September 10; Christine Collister and Michael Fix, special club night, September 18; Sam Kelly & Jamie Francis, October 8; Lucy Farrell, October 15; Sam Carter, October 22; Charlie Dore & Julian Litmann, November 19, and Martin Carthy, December 3.

Black Swan Folk Club launches virtual club nights amid surge of revised gig dates

Eliza Carthy: Rearranged gig at The Crescent, York, next January

YORK’S Black Swan Folk Club is filling the void in the Coronavirus lockdown by organising a “virtual folk club night” on YouTube every Thursday.

Club co-organiser Chris Euesden says: “We started about a month ago and quite a few people seem to be tuning in. A new one is posted every Thursday, and we’re not deleting any, so they’re up there on YouTube for the duration of our shutdown if you’ve missed any.”

To access the club nights, go to www.youtube.com and search for the Black Swan Folk Club York UK channel. The direct link is: youtube.com/channel/UC0W_ARuVU2FtEGs5Kl9wiIQ

“There you select ‘Playlists’ and that brings up all the club nights,” says Chris. “Each one is listed as a separate Playlist. We’re trying to keep to the schedule as planned, so you can see videos of the guests and residents who would’ve been performing on that date.

“That’s not always possible and there are some changes, but it’s close. Of course, the thing about a ‘virtual’ club night is that you can bring in some special guests who normally wouldn’t have been there.

“If you enjoy viewing the videos, please subscribe to the channel or ‘like’ the clips and that will give us a good idea of the audience we have.”

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman: NCEM concert moved to November 17

Meanwhile, a few revised folk gigs in York have been confirmed, to be followed by “a review of where we stand at the end of this month,” says Chris.

Dates for the diary are:

Drever, McCusker, Woomble, at The Crescent, York, August 24, 7.30pm; tickets from ents24.com.

Maz O’Connor, Basement Bar, City Screen, York, September 9, 7.30pm; tickets, wegottickets.com/event/497157.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, National Centre for Early Music, York, November 17, 7.30pm; tickets, ncem.co.uk. 

Eliza Carthy Restitute Live, The Crescent, York, January 24 2021, 7.30pm; tickets, seetickets.com.

Grace Petrie, The Crescent, York, May 18 2021, 7.30pm; tickets, seetickets.com.

Scheduled to appear at the Black Swan Folk Club later this year are: Anthony John Clarke, September 10; Christine Collister and Michael Fix, special club night, September 18; Sam Kelly & Jamie Francis, October 8; Lucy Farrell, October 15; Sam Carter, October 22; Charlie Dore & Julian Litmann, November 19, and Martin Carthy, December 3.

Black Swan Folk Club postpones all gigs until end of August but new dates in diary

Once the leaves turn to brown again: Eliza Carthy is re-arranging her April 10 concert for January 24 2021

ALL shows at the Black Swan Folk Club, Peasholme Green, York, are postponed until the end of August in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most prominent among them is the Roland Walls Weekend from June 5 to 7. Formerly known as the City of York Folk Weekend, it has been re-named this year after the driving force behind both the folk club and the weekend, who died last June.

This postponement policy also applies to the club’s concerts at the National Centre for Early Music and The Crescent.

In the club’s latest newsletter, organiser Chris Euesden says: “We’re going to review things at the end of May to see where we stand. This includes the Roland Walls Weekend, which was to have taken place in June.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman: 25th anniversary concert moves to November 17

“If you’ve already bought tickets for any of our events that have had to be postponed, you can get a refund from the internet ticket provider or you can hang on to your tickets, as they will be valid for the new date.

“This applies to all events except The Paperboys at The Crescent on April 5, which is cancelled. If you have already bought tickets, you’ll be able to get a refund from seetickets.com. Go to their support section for further details.”

One Black Swan concert during the folk furlow is yet to be postponed: Chris Cleverley, presented by Broken Record on June 25. At the time of writing, it is “still hoped” that this night of songs on the theme of deteriorating anxious minds, damaging gender constructs and mystical tales of the occult will go ahead. Watch this space; ticket information is yet to be announced.

Reflecting on the present state of no-play, Chris says: “Well, we’ve never issued a newsletter quite like this one before. As the current situation has changed from day to day, so has the newsletter.

Grace Petrie: new date in the pipeline for May 18 gig

“With the [Government] announcement of  the closure of pubs and other music venues and the uncertainty surrounding the amount of time this is going to go on for, it seems like a good point to let you all know what’s in place at the moment.

“It’s highly likely there will be more changes, but we’ll do our best to keep you all informed on our website, blackswanfolkclub.org.uk, via Facebook, Twitter and with additional newsletters.”

Wheels are in motion already, however, for re-arranging postponed concerts.

Maz O’Connor, a Lake District singer-songwriter of Irish roots, now living in East London, is transferring her March 26 Black Swan gig to The Basement, City Screen, on September 9 with tickets on sale at wegottickets.com/event/497157.

O’Connor, who studied literature at Cambridge University, has been commissioned to write songs for the British Parliament and the Royal Shakespeare Company and is devising a piece of music theatre.

Robin Hood’s Bay folk stalwart Martin Carthy: booked to play Black Swan Folk Club when (hopefully) the tide has turned

The Eliza Carthy Restitute Live/Through That Sound concert at The Crescent on April 10 is re-scheduled for January 24 2021, with tickets on sale at seetickets.com.

Carthy, the Robin Hood’s Bay singer, songwriter, fiddler and self-styled “modern English musician”, released Restitute as her first “solo” album of traditional music last May, recorded at her North Yorkshire home on the coast.

Joining Carthy at The Crescent will be the Restitute band of Ben Seal, Ben Somers, Willy Molleson and David Delarre, complemented by a support slot and special guest appearance from Saul Rose.

As well as the Restitute material, Carthy and co will perform selections from Through That Sound (My Secret Was Made Known), her upcoming April 1 album of original songs recorded with Fife producer, arranger and band member Ben Seal.

The album artwork for Eliza Carthy’s Restitute

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman’s 25th anniversary concert on April 22 at the National Centre for Early Music has a new date of November 17 (box office, ncem.co.uk).

The husband-and-wife duo will mark this milestone by revisiting and reinterpret songs spanning their career, from the early days of folk supergroup Equation to 2018’s album, Personae, plus a nod or two to their extracurricular musical adventures.

The club is in the process of re-scheduling Grace Petrie’s May 18 show at The Crescent. Drever, McCusker, Woomble, alias three of Scotland’s busiest musicians, Kris Drever, John McCusker and Roddy Woomble, are booked for The Crescent on August 24 (box office ents24.com), so keep an eye open for what may change or not.

Looking ahead, Black Swan gigs are in the diary for Anthony John Clarke on September 10; Christine Collister and Michael Fix, September 18; Maria Dunn, September 24; Sam Kelly & Jamie Francis, October 8; Lucy Farrell, October 15; Sam Carter, October 22; Charlie Dore & Julian Litmann, November 19, and Martin Carthy, Eliza’s father, on December 3.

Toni Bunnell: March 29 concert at The Basement, City Screen, York, postponed

Across the wider folk scene in York, hurdy-gurdy musician, wildlife biologist, broadcaster, song and story writer and York Hedgehog Rescue founder Toni Bunnell’s Tracking The Changes show on March 29 at The Basement, City Screen, has been postponed.

Music sessions are suspended at:

The Maltings, Tanner’s Moat, on Tuesdays;

The Golden Ball, Bishophill, on Sunday evenings;

The Three Legged Mare, High Petergate, on Friday evenings;

Havin’ the Craic at The Fox, Holgate, first Wednesday of each month;

French & Breton, Eagle & Child, High Petergate, second Wednesdays.