Lawless Americana act The Felice Brothers to play Pocklington Arts Centre on June 23

The Felice Brothers: two brothers, Ian and James Felice, and two friends, Will Lawrence and Jesske Hume

THE Felice Brothers’ postponed June 2020 gig at Pocklington Arts Centre is now in the 2021 diary for June 23.

Ian and James Felice, who grew up in the Hudson valley of upstate New York, are self-taught musicians, inspired as much by Hart Crane and Whitman as by Woody Guthrie and Chuck Berry.

They began in 2006 by playing subway platforms and sidewalks in New York City and have since released nine albums of original, lawless Americana, country and folk rock songs.

In 2017, they served as the backing band for Conor Oberst’s album, Salutations. Two years later came Undress, an album whose stand-out songs were trailered by Ian Felice in a solo show at The Winning Post, York, in October 2018.

Undress, their first studio release in three years, will be prominent in their Pocklington set list, when Ian and James will be accompanied by drummer Will Lawrence and bassist Jesske Hume.

Tickets are on sale at £20 at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Pocklington Arts Centre updates concert diary as pandemic enforces more changes

Jesse Malin: February 2 gig put back to December 7 at Pocklington Arts Centre

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre is re-scheduling concerts aplenty in response to the relentless grip of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Irish chanteuse Mary Coughlan’s April 23 show is being moved to October 19; the Women In Rock tribute show, from May 21 to October 29; New York singer-songwriter Jesse Malin, from February 2 to December 7, and Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph, from February 12 to December 2. Tickets remain valid for the rearranged dates.

A new date is yet to be arranged for the postponed February 23 gig by The Delines, Willy Vlautin’s country soul band from Portland, Oregon.

Pocklington Arts Centre to stream Magic Carpet Theatre’s Magic Circus in lockdown

Director Jon Marshall as the Ringmaster, showing his frustration with Steve Collison’s Clown in Magic Carpet Theatre’s Magic Circus

FAMILIES are being given another chance to watch Pocklington Arts Centre’s online streaming of Magic Circus for free, in response to public demand.

The fun family-friendly show, performed by Hull company Magic Carpet Theatre and filmed behind closed doors at PAC last October, premiered to more than 1,000 viewers over Christmastide. Among them were families accessing food banks in the East Riding, who received exclusive early access. 

Now, the production is being streamed for free online once again to keep children entertained during Lockdown 3, with donations invited to PAC’s crowdfunding appeal at: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/magic-carpet-theatre.

PAC director Janet Farmer says: “In the absence of our usual popular live family Christmas show, we were delighted to be able to bring all the fun and excitement of live theatre to younger audiences with our online production, made possible with thanks to a grant of £4,100 from the HEY Smile Foundation’s I am Fund. 

“It’s fantastic that so many people watched the show at home when it premiered the first time round, and as we’re now in lockdown once again, we wanted to give everyone another chance to enjoy Magic Circus.”

Magic Circus is one of two Magic Carpet Theatre theatre shows filmed live at PAC by Pocklington production company Digifish for audiences to watch online. The second, The Wizard Of Castle Magic, will be available to stream from February half-term.

In addition, online workshops are planned as part of a project designed to encourage sustained arts engagement from younger generations during the pandemic and increased attendance at PAC events when the Market Place venue can eventually re-open its doors. 

“As we’re now in lockdown once again, we wanted to give everyone another chance to enjoy Magic Circus,” says Pocklington Arts Centre director Janet Farmer

Magic Carpet Theatre are firm PAC favourites, noted for their circus skills, magic and audience participation, and have staged numerous sold-out events there.

Directed by Jon Marshall with music by Geoff Hardisty and effects by Theatrical Pyrotechnics, Magic Circus, is a fast-moving, colourful story that combines magical illusions, comedy, circus skills and puppets.

Performed by Marshall and Steve Collison, it tells the humorous tale of what happens to the ringmaster’s extravaganza plans after the artistes and elephants fail to arrive and everything has to be left in the calamitous hands of the clowns. Disaster!

Inevitably, they make a fantastically messy job of it as Magic Carpet Theatre take traditional circus and variety skills, dust them down and invest them with new life, moulding them into a mystifying hour-long play with a circus theme.

Second show The Wizard Of Castle Magic, based on the traditional tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, is also aimed at children aged three to 11 and their families with a script replete with comedy, illusion and special theatrical effects. 

Magic Circus can be viewed on Pocklington Arts Centre’s YouTube channel from 2.30pm today (7/1/2021) for 14 days. The Wizard Of Castle Magic will be streamed via YouTube from 2.30pm on Thursday, February 18. 

Watch online for free at: https://youtu.be/CNrUixTMWdQ.

More Things To Do in and around Tier 2 York at little merry Christmas time and beyond. List No. 22, from The Press, York

Blending into the scenery: Alex Weatherhill’s Dame Nanna Trott in an anything-but-smoothie moment in York Stage’s Jack And The Beanstalk. Picture: Kirkpatrick Photography

CHRISTMAS is on the way, in whatever form the Government allows you to wrap it up, but tiers will not be shed in the world of entertainment.

Charles Hutchinson picks his way through what’s on in the days ahead and in 2021 too.

Jessa Liversidge: Celebrating her favourite musical icons of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s at Sunday’s concert

Nostalgic concert of the week: Jessa Liversidge, Songbirds, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Sunday, 7.30pm

YORK’S unstoppable force for the joy of singing, Jessa Liversidge, will present her celebration of female icons at the reopened JoRo this weekend, accompanied by pianist Malcolm Maddock.

Expect an eclectic mix of vintage pop, musical theatre and comedy from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “One minute I may be in full, high-energy Victoria Wood flow,” she says. “Moments later, I could be totally still, lost in a Kate Bush or Karen Carpenter song, and then I’ll go straight into theatrical mode for Sondheim’s Send In The Clowns.”

Have yourself a medley little Christmas: York Guildhall Orchestra musicians box up their musical gift for you

Home comfort and joy: York Guildhall Orchestra’s Lockdown Christmas Medley, on YouTube

PERFORMED by more than 50 amateur York musicians, all playing in their own home, then seamlessly stitched together for YouTube by John Guy’s technical wizardry, here comes York Guildhall Orchestra’s Christmas Medley.

Arranged by conductor Simon Wright, they keep to the Wright time as they “play together” for the first time since February’s York Barbican concert, medleying their way through Hark!, The Herald Angels Sing, Ding Dong!, Silent Night And We Wish You A Merry Christmas. View their four-minute smile at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuoW6gvkGxk.

Elf and safety: Daisy Dukes Winter Wonderland, the Covid-secure drive-in cinema, parks up at Elvington Airfield tomorrow

Drive-in home for Christmas: Daisy Dukes Winter Wonderland, Elvington Airfield, near York, December 18 to 20

NOT only have Vue York at Clifton Moor and Everyman York, in Blossom Street, reopened but 2020’s socially distanced, car-contained drive-in boom hits the Christmas movie market from tomorrow too.

The apostrophe-shy Daisy Dukes Drive-in Cinema takes over Elvington Airfield for three days to show: December 18, from 12 noon, Frozen 2, Home Alone, Edward Scissorhands and Die Hard; December 19, from 12 noon, Elf, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Gremlins and Bad Santa; December 20, from 11am, The Polar Express, Home Alone 2, Batman Returns and Love Actually.

Clowning around: Magic Carpet Theatre in Magic Circus

Children’s virtual show of the week outside York: Pocklington Arts Centre presents Magic Carpet Theatre in Magic Circus, from Saturday

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre is to stream Magic Carpet Theatre’s show Magic Circus from 2.30pm on December 19, available on YouTube for up to seven days.

Directed by Jon Marshall with music by Geoff Hardisty and effects by Theatrical Pyrotechnics, this fast-moving hour-long show, full of magical illusions, comedy, circus skills and puppets, tells the humorous tale of what happens to the ringmaster’s extravaganza after the artistes and elephants fail to arrive and everything has to be left in the hands of the clowns. Disaster!

What a Carr-y on: Alan Carr rearranges York Barbican gigs for 2021…and 2022

Who should have been in York this week? Alan Carr: Not Again, Alan!, York Barbican, now re-scheduled

ALAN Carr, comic son of former York City footballer Graham Carr, had been booked in to perform Not Again, Alan! at York Barbican again and again this week, four nights in fact, from Wednesday to Saturday, on his first tour in four years.

Covid kicked all that into touch, but all tickets remain valid for the new dates. December 16 2020 is now in the diary for January 14 2022; December 17 for January 15 2022; December 18 for December 18 2021, and December 19 for the same day next year.

TV and radio presenter Carr will muse on the things that make his life weird and wonderful, from his star-studded wedding day to becoming an accidental anarchist; from fearing for his life at border control to becoming a reluctant farmer. “Three words spring to mind,” he says. “Not again, Alan!”

Crystal clear: Fairfax House raises a glass to a Georgian Christmas in A Season For Giving

Exhibition for the winter: A Season For Giving, Fairfax House, York, running until February 7

THE Christmas installation at the Georgian home of the Terry family, Fairfax House, ironically will not be open from December 21 to January 5, so catch it before then or afterwards (Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm).

On a festive journey through the townhouse collections, room by room, magical scene by magical scene, meet Noel Terry for a 1940s’ family Christmas, join a raucous Georgian Christmas dinner party, and much more besides. Visits must be pre-booked.

Having a ball: Amy J Payne, Julia Mariko Smith and Marie Claire Breen in Whistle Stop Opera: Cinderella for Opera North

Opera North at Christmas:  Whistle Stop Opera: Cinderella, ONDemand from today

OPERA North’s Whistle Stop Opera version of Cinderella was booked into the NCEM in York and Pocklington Arts Centre but Covid ruled No Show. Instead, parents and children aged five upwards can enjoy it online at home over the school holidays.

Filmed at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, John Savournin’s magical musical production stars Marie Claire Breen as Cinderella, Amy J Payne as Prince/Stepmother and Julia Mariko Smith as Fairy Godmother, drawing on various versions of the rags-to-riches tale, such as Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Pauline Viardot’s operetta Cendrillon and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella. For more details on how to watch, go to operanorth.co.uk

Braced for it: Van Morrison will play two nights at York Barbican next May

Big-name Irish signings for York Barbican in 2021: Van Morrison, May 25 and 26, and Chris De Burgh and Band, October 15

NORTHERN Irishman Van Morrison, 75, has booked a brace of Barbican gigs for the spring; Southern Irishman Chris De Burgh, will follow him to York next autumn.

In September, Morrison launched three protest songs, one every two weeks, railing against safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19: Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out and No More Lockdown. Will he unmask any of them next May? Wait and see.

De Burgh & Band’s only Yorkshire date of The Legend Of Robin Hood & Other Hits tour will support his upcoming album of the same name (except for the Other Hits part, obviously).

Arrowing experience: Chris De Burgh & Band will perform his 2021 tour show, The Legend Of Robin Hood & Other Hits, at York Barbican

And what about?

JUST a reminder, York has two pantomimes on the go: York Theatre Royal’s newly extended Travelling Pantomime tour of the city and York Stage’s “musical with pantomime braces on”, Jack And The Beanstalk, at Theatre @41 Monkgate.

You’ve got to fight for your right to panto: Faye Campbell’s hero takes on Reuben Johnson’s villain in York Theatre Royal’s Travelling Pantomime. Picture: Ant Robling

Beth Nieslen Chapman will go All Around The World to play Pocklington next autumn

Beth Nielsen Chapman: New album and Pocklington gig next autumn

BETH Nielsen Chapman’s All Around The World Tour of songs and stories will land at Pocklington Arts Centre on October 23 next year.

Autumn 2021 will bring the release of the Nashville singer-songwriter’s 15th solo album, to be recorded with legendary producer Ray Kennedy, who has worked previously with Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle no less.

Twice nominated for a Grammy, Beth, 62, has written seven American number ones and had her songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo’, Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Indigo Girls, and Faith Hill.

Inducted into the USA’s Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016, the Texan musician is a breast cancer survivor and environmentalist and considers herself a “creativity midwife”, passionate about inspiring others to blossom into their creative life.

In demand in America as a keynote speaker and teacher of workshops on creativity, song-writing, grief and healing through art, she uses her inspirational approach to tap into the creative process. She has taught at universities and colleges internationally, such as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, as well as Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

On her last album, 2018’s Hearts Of Glass, she “reached into the place within us where vulnerability meets strength, taking you right into the centre of the full beautiful dance of contradictions that inhabit love and life”.

“I always say I know a song is finished when I play it live and feel it in my gut,” says Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Beth Nielsen Chapman

Latterly, Beth has been invited to be an Ambassador for the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

Early next year, she will debut The SongSchool Podcast, featuring legendary guest songwriters describing what they consider “the perfect song”, as well as on-the-spot critiques for songs submitted, both live in the studio and down the phone line from the other side of the world. After the feedback, any songs that are rewritten and improved will be brought back to the show.

Beth last played Pocklington Arts Centre on her Hearts Of Glass Tour in March 2018, having earlier performed there in 2014.

“We came to Pocklington on the Red Sky July tour and it was a great night. To me, the feeling of a place is more important than the size,” she said ahead of that 2018 gig.

What can you expect on her return, as well as new songs? “When you come to one of my shows, you’re going to hear about what’s happened in my life. It’s part of the tapestry of the evening,” she says.

As for playing those new compositions: “I always say I know a song is finished when I play it live and feel it in my gut,” Beth concludes.

Tickets for her 8pm Pocklington show cost £30 at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

In Covid-19 2020, Karen Winship’s portraits of NHS Heroes are much more than art

Samantha, by Karen Winship, one of 300 paintings of essential workers selected for Tom Croft’s book, Portraits For NHS Heroes, to raise funds for NHS charities. Creases on Samantha’s face come from wearing a PPE mask

YORK artist Karen Winship’s ever-expanding portrait tribute to the tireless and selfless work of NHS workers during the Covid-19 pandemic is on show in Pocklington until January 4 2021.

Eleven of Karen’s front-line NHS Heroes were first shown at York Art Gallery in the Our Heroes Welcome thank-you to essential workers from August 1 when Lockdown 1 eased.

Thirteen more made their debut at City Screen, York, in August, where the exhibition included a montage of all 24. “It will be gifted to York Hospital eventually,” says Karen, whose self-portrait of herself painting one of the NHS Heroes completes the collection.

Now the 24 portraits are lined up side by side on the railings to the front of All Saints Church, on The Pavement, Pocklington, this time printed on biodegradable boards for outdoor display at a bigger size than the originals, 60 by 60cms, rather than 30 by 40 or 30 by 30.

The Reverend Dr Jacob Belder, of All Saints Church, Pocklington, artist Karen Winship and Janet Farmer, director of Pocklington Arts Centre

“Originally what was supposed to happen was that I had a small window before sending the originals to the NHS workers I’d portrayed from photographs sent to me,” says Karen.

“I was thinking it would all be over by Christmas and was planning to deliver the paintings, but then none of that could happen, and so they were going to go on show at Pocklington Arts Centre instead, but that couldn’t happen either.”

Whereupon Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) teamed up with the church known locally as “the Cathedral of the Wolds” to mount the outdoor exhibition as part of the arts centre’s increased commitment to community outreach work after its temporary Covid-enforced closure since March.

PAC had forged links previously with All Saints Church to stage concerts there by the likes of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners Lau and The Unthanks. “We are delighted to be working with Karen and All Saints Church on this exhibition,” says director Janet Farmer.

Amanda, by Karen Winship. Note the masked Batman insignia above her visor

“During the past six months, we’ve been increasing PAC’s community outreach work and accessibility to events while the venue is closed, so an outdoor exhibition was a natural extension to this policy.

“Karen has produced a wonderful series of images that are both poignant and emotive. This is the first of several outdoor events we’ve planned for winter and spring, as we look to evolve our programme due to the pandemic and social distancing.”

Karen, artist and educator, had begun her career as a graphic designer, later gaining a teaching degree and subsequently working for 15 years at a maximum-security prison as head of art.

Embarking on her journey as a professional artist in 2012, she is “living the dream” in her words, not least as a community-minded artist who enjoys “giving back” through her involvement in community art projects.

Reaching Out Of Isolation: Karen Winship’s self-portrait to accompany her series of paintings of NHS Heroes in Covid-19 2020

NHS Heroes is her latest public-spirited endeavour, this one inspired by Tom Croft’s #portraitsfornhsheroes project for artists to complete a free portrait in appreciation of the NHS for gifting to the worker depicted

“There was a shout-out on Facebook across the country from Tom Croft, calling for artists to take part, and I was inundated with ten requests. Then I appeared on Look North and got even more. They’re still coming. I keep getting requests,” says Karen.

“Tom Croft has now put together a book of 300 of the portraits, including one of mine, the one of Samantha, when she hasn’t got a mask on but you can see all the creases on her face from the mask.

“Portraits For NHS Heroes is available in hardback on Amazon with all proceeds going to NHS charities.”

Karen Winship’s painting of her daughter Kelly, NHS occupational therapist. “I even had to do her portrait from photographs”

Among Karen’s portraits is one of her daughter, Kelly, who works for the NHS as an occupational therapist, bringing home the challenges faced by frontline workers in the pandemic. “I even had to do her portrait from photographs,” says Karen, to whom most of her subjects were unknown.

“They were a few people I know from York, but the photographs came from all over. Newcastle, Northern Ireland, Scotland. At first, I thought it might be difficult to work just from a photo, because I’m used to doing portraits from people sitting for me, but because these photographs were taken as they were working, looking into their eyes, you can see the trauma, the sadness, the exhaustion.

“Normally, you can see a sitter’s mouth, but invariably in these photographs the mouth had to be covered with a mask, so the eyes become even more important.”

Karen’s portraits were first “exhibited” informally. “My neighbours in my cul de sac [St Thomas Close in Osbaldwick] put them in their windows,” she recalls. “People even came from Beverley and Newcastle to walk down the street, and one told me their back story…and you then carry those stories with you.”

Eileen And Her Lovely Friends, by Karen Winship

She found creating the NHS Heroes portraits “so intense”, she eventually had to stop. “I tend to work quickly because I like spontaneity,” says Karen. “Normally with portraits, I work from one sitting and then photos, but what was different with these portraits was that I was totally absorbed just in painting. Normally, we would be chatting at a sitting.

“I was exhausted, doing one after another from photographs. I just kept going until they were done. Afterwards, I immediately went on to do something that was colourful: a couple of autumn paintings, still lifes. I had to do something that was completely contrasting.

“And I’ve also been lucky that since the NHS project, I’ve had various commissions as I’ve had to cut back on my teaching during the lockdowns.”

Gloved up: Joan, by Karen Winship

In her artwork, Karen tends to go from “intense” projects to lighter work. “Last year I completed a series of paintings on the theme of dementia, shown at Spark:York, which was very cathartic for me to do as my mother had died from dementia,” she says. “Again, I had to do contrasting work after that.”

Karen’s latest paintings, post-NHS Heroes, will go on show from December 4 at Created In York, the new pop-up exhibition space in Coney Street, York, set up by Phil Dodsworth’s Blank Canvas programme for the arts charity Skippko in the former Dorothy Perkins/Burtons store, leased from the Helmsley Group.

“There’ll be eight artists on the ground floor, four on the bottom floor, not just 2D artists, but printmakers, ceramicists, photographers and jewellery designers too,” says Karen. “I’ll be there initially for two months, and the location is almost guaranteed for a year at least.”

York artist Karen Winship: Look out for her latest paintings in the new pop-up exhibition space run by Skippko in the former Dorothy Perkins/Burtons store in Coney Street

The future of folk is here as Joshua Burnell travels to Mars on portentous new album

“On this album, I’m tapping into that terrible looming dread of what could go on in the future,” says Joshua Burnell. Pictures: Elly Lucas

THERE is no time like the present for Joshua Burnell’s new album: the place where a retro past meets a bold other-worldly future.

Newly released through Proper Music, Flowers Where The Horses Sleep finds the York multi-instrumentalist returning to writing his own songs.

“The last two records, 2018’s Songs From The Seasons and  last year’s The Road To Horn Fair, were traditional, so that was cheating!” says Joshua, winner of the Rising Star accolade in the 2020 Folking Awards.

“Certainly it’s been a big liberation to go back to my own song-writing for the first time since Into The Green [his 2016 fantasy epic].”

His website introduces his work as “folk-fused baroque’n’roll”. Some call it prog-folk with leanings to contemporary classical and vintage pop-rock too. His press release talks of Joshua “seemingly having his own musical time machine”, giving him the ability to teleport listeners between music’s yesterdays and tomorrows.

This is the moment for us to ask questions,” says Joshua

Or no more tomorrows, given his concern for our future. “On this album, I’m tapping into that terrible looming dread of what could go on in the future. There’s a doomsday feeling to some of the songs,” says Joshua.

“What’s going on now, with the pandemic, is a taster. What we’re going through is nature’s way of saying this is what you deserve, you horrible lot. But climate change ultimately is the bigger concern.”

In the transportation ballad Look At Us Now, Joshua imagines a future where we live on Mars in a tale combining folklore, climate change and space travel dreamer Elon Musk. “Definitely science fiction, yes, but science fiction is only science fiction until someone invents it for real,” he says.

“An uninhabitable Earth is something we can foresee, so while that song is sci-fi, with elements of doom and gloom thrown in, this is the moment for us to ask questions.

“What are we doing? Where are we going…when we take pleasure from all the delights of the 21st century that are a wonderful distraction from what’s happening?

“We’ve gone for a folky Bowie look, a folky, darker Aladdin Sane,” says Joshua, explaining Elly Lucas’s photographic portfolio for promoting his new album

“The problem comes down to economic greed. With all these advances, we wouldn’t be going there unless there was something to be made from it.”

Does Joshua consider himself to be a soothsayer? “There’s a romantic aspect to it, but folk singers have often talked about now and warned about the future; folk musicians are almost like political activists,” he says.

“But unlike politicians, folk musicians have the advantage of sitting on the sidelines, being able to be more daring in what they say, which fulfils the same role as punk music did.”

Equally adept on Hammond organ, acoustic guitar, accordion, mellotron, synths and a Steinway grand piano, Joshua’s boundary-pushing musicianship spans layered theatrical soundscapes and starker arrangements.

“What I’m trying to do is tell stories and take people somewhere else, taking them from the here and now, sometimes with a moral tale,” says Joshua, who was born in the Haute-Savoie in France but now lives, writes music and teaches in York.

“Folk singers have often talked about now and warned about the future,” says Joshua

“A lot of that comes from Tolkien…because so much of his work includes his own folk songs. Those stories are not fantasy rubbish. They’re giving people messages, but he didn’t want them to be allegorical. You can take something into the real world from them, or you can see them just as stories.

“From my teenage years, I adopted that as my ethos as a storyteller, where there’s something deeper there if you want to find it.”

Finished only two days before lockdown, Flowers Where The Horses Sleep is timely…and NOT all doom and gloom. “The songs were all inspired by people, past and present, and explore humankind’s remarkable ability to find beauty, even in the hardest of times,” he says.

Should you be wondering, the album title came from a story on the Family Ghosts podcast wherein a Japanese-American woman, interned in an American concentration camp during the Second World War, recalled how the prisoners, forced to live in stables, grew flowers to bring beauty into the ugly reality of their days.

Mumbai husband-and-wife artists Hari & Deepti’s papercut artwork for Joshua Burnell’s album cover

Beauty extends to the papercut album cover by Mumbai husband-and-wife artists Hari & Deepti, whose imagery plays out in the song Run To Me, recounting a surreal experience when Joshua and partner Fe [vocalist Frances Sladen] explored a ruined fortress near Harewood House, only to be approached by men carrying guns.

They took to their heels. “As we were running, a deer leapt out of the undergrowth and for one gloriously fairy-tale moment locked eyes with me and ran alongside us,” says Joshua.

Flowers Where The Horses Sleep is broad-ranging. Joan Of The Greenwood is a traditional folk song pastiche so authentic, you would swear it must come from a dusty old folk songbook.

Let Me Fall Down evokes Berlin’s decadent Kit Kat Club in its burlesque account of greed, while the Steinway on the album-closing Two Stars recalls the cabaret piano on David Bowie’s Hunky Dory album.

“What we’re going through is nature’s way of saying this is what you deserve, you horrible lot,” suggests Joshua.

Yet Flowers Where The Horses Sleep also marks a progression in Joshua not over-elaborating in any of his song structures. “I used to throw everything into the mix, but now, knowing when a song is finished has been a case of deciding what is enough,” he says.

“I’ve been trying to do a lot more of stripping it back for a song to have more space…though I still love those prog-rock elements with multiple textures!”

Combining artwork from Mumbai with recording in England and mastering at Stirling Sound in New York, not to mention the video for stand-out track Le Fay being made in New York too, the creation of the album spans three continents, such are the possibilities of our technological age. “I must go for four continents next time!” says Joshua.

The promotional imagery carries a closer-to-home Yorkshire stamp:  the Sixties polo neck and make-up were fashioned by photographer Elly Lucas at Light Space Leeds. “We’ve gone for a folky Bowie look, a folky, darker Aladdin Sane,” says Joshua. “She works in a very hipster space and has become the go-to photographer of the folk scene, working with The Unthanks, Eliza Carthy and Martin Carthy, and I loved how she used black curtains, yellow light and dividing panels and did all the make-up herself.”

Inevitably his autumn tour with his six-piece band has been postponed until the spring, when Pocklington Arts Centre, among others, awaits. In the meantime, invest in Flowers Where The Horses Sleep: Joshua Burnell in full bloom.

Pocklington Arts Centre boosted by £4,100 funding for autumn digital theatre project

“The project will see both Pocklington Arts Centre and its audience members, new and old, go on a journey as it evolves the way it presents its artistic output,” says venue manager Janet Farmer

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre has been awarded a £4,100 grant from East Yorkshire’s I Am Fund for a digital theatre project this autumn.

The Market Place venue, with its track record for presenting high-quality children’s theatre and workshops, will work with Hull company Magic Carpet Theatre and DigiFish Film & Animation to stage two online family theatre productions with accompanying online workshops and social-media content.

Magic Carpet specialise in circus skills, magic and audience participation and have a long-standing relationship with Pocklington Arts Centre, having staged numerous sold-out events there.

The new productions and follow-up content will be made free with optional donations, removing any economic barriers from children and families accessing the resources.

Venue director Janet Farmer says: “The funding will enable us to have an enhanced online presence for families and young people, open up new programming opportunities for Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) and will allow us to support venue staff, alongside regional artists and creative partners, in these difficult times.

“The project will see both PAC and its audience members, new and old, go on a journey as it evolves the way it presents its artistic output. The long-term aim is to see sustained arts engagement, during the closure/Covid period and beyond, from younger generations and increased attendance at PAC events.

“We are extremely grateful to the I Am Fund and Smile Foundation for their support on this application and we look forward to delivering a highly successful programme of events.”

The I Am Fund was established with funding from the will of the late Audrey Mosey, an East Riding resident with a passion for the arts. The fund is part of the Hull and East Yorkshire Smile Foundation, which, alongside the fund committee that includes Pocklington resident Andrew Bowden, aims to support performers and inspire future stars, while also helping East Riding residents to benefit from what the performing arts have to offer.

Andrew Barber, chief executive officer of Smile, says: “This is one of many grants that are being invested into the arts community across East Yorkshire. We recognise the value that venues such as the Pocklington Arts Centre have to play in supporting and inspiring young people to connect, participate and perform in the arts.

“The committee, led by friends of Audrey, with the support of Smile, look forward to hearing how the funding makes a difference in Pocklington and surrounding areas.”

Shed Seven LIVE? Not this summer, alas, but on a new album out in December, yes

Shed Seven’s artwork to announce their December 4 live album, Another Night, Another Town

SHED Seven are to release a live album on December 4 after a frustrating summer of Covid-cancelled gigs.

Specially curated by the York Britpop luminaries and available exclusively through the Sheds’ store, Another Night, Another Town “captures their dynamic live performances and anthemic songs over 21 tracks”.

As trailed on the shedseven.com website, Shed followers can pick up a limited-edition coloured gatefold vinyl edition, a special double CD set, a 180g heavyweight triple vinyl version and a download, plus a selection of new merchandise.

From this week, you can pre-order a signed copy to download album opener Room In My House and Ocean Pie now.

“A few words” from frontman Rick Witter accompany the announcement: “When it became clear virtually no live events would be taking place this year and with no Shedcember [December tour] to look forward to, we thought it was a good time to go through recordings from our 2019 [Shedcember] tour and 2018 Castlefield Bowl show [in Manchester] to curate the best live album we could.

“From 10,000 people singing along to Chasing Rainbows at Leeds Arena to playing the classic outro of I Am The Resurrection in the home of the Stone Roses, this 21-track album features the best from our live shows over the last couple of years.”

The live album has been mixed by Chris Sheldon, who produced the Sheds’ 1996 album A Maximum High and 1999 single Disco Down (whose lyrics have been raided for the ‘Another Night, Another Town’ title).

Taking it sitting down: Shed Seven have been left with a blank summer gig diary in Covid-19 2020

“We’re delighted with the results, which we think are as close as we can get to capturing the Shed Seven live experience on record,” continues Rick, 47. “We haven’t released a live album since we returned as a five-piece in 2007 and we certainly haven’t released one as good as this!

“We hope this album provides just a little bit of the live experience we’re all missing before we return in 2021.”

Another Night, Another Town will be Shed Seven’s fifth “live” album after Where Have You Been Tonight? Live, in 2003; Live At The BBC, in 2007; See Youse At The Barras: Live In Concert, 2009, and Live At Leeds 2007, digital download only, in 2009.

The track listing will be: Room In My House; Mark; Where Have You Been Tonight?; People Will Talk; Devil In Your Shoes; Butterfly On A Wheel; She Left Me On Friday/I Am The Resurrection; Better Days; On Standby; It’s Not Easy; Getting Better; Enemies And Friends; Ocean Pie; Dolphin; High Hopes; Disco Down; Bully Boy; Going For Gold; Parallel Lines; Invincible and Chasing Rainbows.

The Sheds should have been playing in the open air at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on September  19, but as with this summer’s post-racing concert at Doncaster Racecourse on August 15, preceded by Witter and guitarist Paul Banks’s acoustic set at Pocklington Arts Centre’s Platform Festival at The Old Station on July 11, Covid-19 intervened.

However, Shed Seven’s diary for outdoor engagements in 2021 is taking shape: Don 21 Music Live, Doncaster Racecourse, May 15; Neighbourhood Festival, London, May 29; Isle of Wight Festival, Newport, June 18; The Piece Hall, Halifax, June 26; Corbridge Festival, July 3; Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Beaufort, July 31, and Watchet Music Festival, Somerset, August 29.

Meanwhile, The Piece Hall has added Nile Rodgers & Chic to next summer’s concert list, booked in for June 18 with Liverpool soul singer Rebecca Ferguson as the support act. Tickets will go on sale at 10am on Friday at www.seetickets.com and www.lunatickets.co.uk