More Things To Do in and around York in the embers of the summer festival season. List No 46, courtesy of The Press, York

Liam Gallagher: Tomorrow’s headliner at Leeds Festival

SUMMER ends with Leeds Festival, apparently, but Charles Hutchinson begs to differ by highlighting plenty more reasons to be cheerful as nights start to lengthen.

Biggest crowd of the week: Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, near Wetherby, tomorrow (27/8/2021) to Sunday

AFTER a gap year in Covid-crocked 2020, Leeds Festival returns from tomorrow with a sold-out crowd at full capacity. 

Among the first day’s top acts are headliners Lian Gallagher and Biffy Clyro, Gerry Cinnamon, Wolf Alice, Blossoms and Doncaster’s Yungblud.

Saturday’s names to watch are Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen, AJ Tracey, Mabel, Sam Fender and Sports Team. Sunday promises Post Malone, Disclosure, Two Door Cinema Club, The Wombats and Slowthai.  

Shed Seven: Topping the all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on Saturday

On the other hand, Yorkshire’s gig of the week is…Shed Seven at The Piece Hall, Halifax, Saturday.

YORK favourites Shed Seven at last can go ahead with their all-Yorkshire bill after 2020’s two postponements and a move from June 26 to August 28 this summer.

The dates may change but the bill remains the same: York’s on-the-rise, rousing  Skylights, Leeds bands The Pigeon Detectives and The Wedding Present and the Brighton Beach DJs on the decks.

Never mind the clash with Leeds Festival. “Let’s just say our fans are not their demographic,” says the Sheds’ Rick Witter.

Andrew Harrison: Performing Nigel Forde’s one-man show, The Last Cuckoo, at Stillington Mill, near York, tomorrow night

Bird song of the week: Sea View Productions in Nigel Forde’s The Last Cuckoo, Theatre At The Mill, Stillington, tomorrow, 7.30pm.

ON his return home from his irascible ornithologist uncle Harry Baskerville’s ’s funeral, Duncan Campbell begins the slow, sad process of working through its effects in The Last Cuckoo, a one-man show about loss, hope and birds.

As he does so, he finds within the ghostly confines of this remote coastal cottage a way into a world he never knew existed: the entrance into a life he never dared hope for. However, this awareness brings with it costly choices and, most daunting of all, the possibility of real change.

Penned exquisitely by Warter poet and writer Nigel Forde, former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Bookshelf, this beautiful theatre piece will be performed by Riding Lights Theatre Company alumnus Andrew Harrison, directed for Sea View Productions by Robin Hereford. Box office: tickettailor.com/events/atthemill.

The Carpenters Experience: Tribute show to Karen and Richard at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Tribute show of the week: The Carpenters Experience, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Saturday, 7.30pm

IT’S Yesterday Once More as British singer Maggie Nestor and eight musicians capture the smooth American sounds of Richard and Karen Carpenter. 

Expect echoes of Karen’s silky contralto, Richard’s pretty piano and seamless harmonies in a big production featuring Close To You, We’ve Only Just Begun, Top Of The World, Rainy Days And Mondays, Solitaire, Goodbye To Love, For All We Know and Only Yesterday. Box office: josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Being Frank: Stephen Tompkinson in Educating Rita, on tour at York Theatre Royal from Tuesday. Picture: Matt Humphrey

Theatre show of the week in York: Educating Rita, York Theatre Royal, August 31 to September 4

WHEN married hairdresser Rita enrols on a university course to expand her horizons, little does she realise where her journey will take her.

Tutor Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and dedicated drinker, less than enthusiastic about taking on Rita, but soon they learn how much they have to teach each other.

Directed by Max Roberts, Willy Russell’s comedy two-hander stars Jessica Johnson as Rita and Stephen Tompkinson as Frank. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Curtains! Another catastrophe is imminent in Magic Goes Wrong, Mischief and Penn & Teller’s calamitous comedy caper at Leeds Grand Theatre

Theatre show of the week ahead outside York: Magic Goes Wrong, Leeds Grand Theatre, casting a spell from August 30 to September 4

BACK with another comedy catastrophe, this time dusted with magic, Mischief follow up The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery with a show created with   Penn & Teller, no less.

A hapless gang of magicians is staging an evening of grand illusion to raise cash for charity, but as the magic turns to mayhem, accidents spiral out of control and so does the fundraising target.

On tour for the first time, the show is written Penn Jillette, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields and Teller and directed by Adam Meggido. Box office: 0113 243 0808 or at leedsheritagetheatres.com.

Fangfest co-organiser Gerry Grant dunking a raku ceramic in water

Top of the pots: Fangfest, Fangfoss, September 4 and 5, 10am to 4pm each day

FANGFEST, the celebration of pottery, crafts, art and scarecrows in Fangfoss, ten miles east of York, returns next month after a Covid-enforced hiatus in 2020.

To keep the family event as Covid-safe as possible, much of the festival organised by Gerry and Lyn Grant, of Fangfoss Pottery, will be taking place outdoors.

The weekend combines art, pottery, illustration, jewellery, printmaking, archery, wood carving, textiles, willow weaving, classic cars, East Yorkshire history, food and scarecrows. Entry is free.

Kate Winslet, left, and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite, showing at the Yorkshire Fossil Festival in Scarborough

Dinosaurs, stones and more in Yorkshire Fossil Festival’s fistful of films: Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, September 10 and 11

FOR the first time, the Stephen Joseph Theatre is teaming up with the Yorkshire Fossil Festival SJT to bring five palaeontology-inspired films to the McCarthy screen.

Highlights include September 10’s 8pm screening of stop-motion wizard Ray Harryhausen’s 1969 dinosaur classic, The Valley Of Gwangi, introduced by palaeo-artist James McKay, who hosts a post-screening Q&A too.

Further films on September 10 will be Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur (2pm) and Jurassic Park (5pm); September 11, The Land Before Time (2pm and 5pm) and Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan (8pm). Box office: 01723 370541 or at sjt.uk.com.

Fish’n’quips: George Egg serves up his Movable Feast on tour in October

Meals on wheels, jokes on a plate, here comes George Egg’s cracking tour show…

COMEDY and cooking combine when anarchic cook George Egg serves up his Movable Feast on tour in Yorkshire in October.

Determined to make food on the move, Egg offers his guide to cooking with cars, on rail tracks and in the sky.  “It’s time for Planes, Trains and Automob-meals (sorry),” he says. 

Sprinkled with handy hacks, the 7.30pm shows conclude with the chance to taste the results on the three plates. Tour dates include Stillington Village Hall, near York, October 10; Pocklington Arts Centre, October 13, and Terrington Village Hall, near Malton, October 17. Box office: georgeegg.com.

More Things To Do in York and beyond in the months ahead and while staying home, List No. 28, courtesy of The Press, York

Bethany, from York artist Sue Clayton’s exhibition for World Down Syndrome Day, on show outside All Saints Church, Pocklington

THE diary is beginning to turn from blank to much more promising, even if online and home entertainment is still the order of the day, but Charles Hutchinson is feeling positive and so are event organisers.

Outdoor exhibition for World Down Syndrome Day: Sue Clayton, 21, All Saints Church, Pocklington, March 19 to April 19

YORK portrait artist Sue Clayton will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) on March 21 with a month-long open-air exhibition on the railings of All Saints Church in Pocklington.

Self Portrait, by York artist Sue Clayton

Her collection of 21 portraits is inspired by children and adults with Down Syndrome, especially Sue’s energetic son James. She has chosen the theme of 21 both to mark the date of WDSD and to symbolise the extra 21st chromosome that people with Down Syndrome have.

This is the second outdoor display to be staged by Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) in lockdown at this location after fellow York artist Karen Winship’s NHS Heroes exhibition from late November to early January.

Iestyn Davies: York countertenor will perform at the NCEM’s Awaken online concert series

Springtime celebration of music online: Awaken, National Centre for Early Music, York, March 27 and 28

THE NCEM’s Awaken weekend will feature York countertenor Iestyn Davies and Fretwork, the all-male vocal group The Gesualdo Six, I Fagiolini and the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, Ensemble Augelletti and The Consone Quartet.

The online festivities will celebrate the sublime sounds of spring in a range of historic venues to mark “the unique association between the City of York and the exquisite beauty of the music of the past”. Among the architectural gems will be Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, St Olave’s Church, Marygate, the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and the NCEM. Full details can be found at ncem.co.uk/awaken.

The Minster men: The Howl & The Hum promote their livestreamed concert at York Minster in the ultimate publicity shot for any York band

“Unique” livestreamed concert: The Howl & The Hum, York Minster, May 25

YORK alternative rock band The Howl & The Hum will perform a “unique set to compliment the unique venue” of the Nave of York Minster in a one-off 8.15pm concert livestreamed via ticket.co.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Sam Griffiths, bassist Brad Blackwell, guitarist Conor Hirons and drummer Jack Williams will combine selections from last May’s prescient album Human Contact with fan favourites and new material recorded in lockdown.

The Howl & The Hum will be the first rock act to play York Minster since York singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich on March 29 2019. Tickets are on sale via thehowlandthehum.com/.

Wynne win situation: Castle Howard Proms will go ahead this summer with tenor soloist Wynne Evans

Confirmed for the summertime: Castle Howard Concerts Weekend, August 20 to 22

CASTLE Howard has announced this summer’s concerts weekend will go ahead, in light of the Government’s roadmap rollout.

First up, in the open air at the North Yorkshire country house, will be house music brand Café Mambo Ibiza on August 20, presenting Roger Sanchez, Judge Jules, Julie McKnight (live PA), Ridney and Robin S (live PA), with more big names still to be announced for the Ibiza Classics at the Castle celebration.

Welsh tenor Wynne Evans, from the Go Compare adverts, will be joined by soprano Victoria Joyce and the London Gala Orchestra for the al fresco Castle Howard Proms on August 21.

Four vocalists from We Will Rock You, a five-piece rock band and The Elysium Orchestra will combine for Queen Symphonic on August 22. Box office: castlehoward.co.uk.

Piece in our time at last: Shed Seven move all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall yet again, now in the diary for August 28

Sheds on the move: Shed Seven, The Piece Hall, Halifax, August 28

YORK heroes Shed Seven’s all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax, is being rescheduled for a third time, now booked in for August 28.

Joining the Sheds that West Yorkshire day will be Leeds bands The Pigeon Detectives and The Wedding Present and Leeds United-supporting York group Skylights, plus the Brighton Beach DJs.

August 28? Doesn’t that clash with Leeds Festival, co-headlined that day by Stormzy and Catfish And The Bottlemen? Indeed so, but “let’s just say our fans are not their demographic,” quips lead singer Rick Witter.

Shoe-in: Julie Hesmondhalgh in The Greatest Play In The History Of The World…, playing the SJT this spring

The Greatest News In The History Of The World…The Greatest Play In The History Of The World…tour to open in Scarborough from May 18 to 22

THE Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Covid-safe reopening show will be the first tour dates of The Greatest Play In The History Of The World…, the hit one-woman play that Ian Kershaw wrote for his wife, Coronation Street alumnus Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Directed by Raz Shaw, it heads out on a heartfelt journey that starts and ends in a small, unassuming house on a quiet suburban road, as Hesmondhalgh narrates the story of two neighbours and the people on their street, navigating the audience through the nuances of life, the possibilities of science and the meaning of love. 

Hesmondhalgh says: “It’s a beautiful play, a love story, but a universal one about learning in time what matters in the end, about leaving a mark on the world – and maybe beyond – that shows us, the human race, in all its glorious messiness, confusion and joy.”

The Shires: Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle move York Barbican gig from 2021 to 2022

York-Shires: The Shires, York Barbican, put back by 12 months

BRITAIN’S biggest-selling country act, The Shires, are rescheduling their May 23 show at York Barbican for May 6 2022.

York is the only Yorkshire venue of their rearranged 25-date tour, when Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle are billed to be joined by Texan country singer and songwriter Eric Paslay. 

“The songs mean so much to us personally, but there really is nothing like looking out at our fans in the crowd and seeing how much of an impact they can have in someone else’s life,” say The Shires. “It’s truly a very special thing”.

And what about?

STILL stuck at home, check out Mindhunter on Netflix, Unforgotten on ITV and Sophia Loren’s Desert Island Discs on BBC Sounds. Seek out Nick Cave & Warren Ellis’s new lockdown album, Carnage.

Cave in: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis create Carnage, available digitally now and on CD and vinyl from May 28

Shed Seven move their all Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall for third time to August 28

Shed Seven: Yorkshire day out at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on the move again

YORK band Shed Seven’s all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax, is being rescheduled for a third time.

The Coronavirus lockdown put paid to the original date of June 26 2020, first moved to September 19 2020, then to June 26 this summer.

Now, fourth time lucky, the Sheds’ show will take place on August 28. All the support acts first signed up for last June have confirmed their participation on the new date.

Joining the Sheds that West Yorkshire day will be Leeds bands The Pigeon Detectives and The Wedding Present and Leeds United-supporting York group Skylights, plus the Brighton Beach DJs.

Tickets for this Futuresounds Events open-air concert are on sale at £42.50, premium seats £55, at lunatickets.co.uk, seetickets.com and gigantic.com.

August 28? Doesn’t that clash with Leeds Festival, co-headlined that day by Stormzy and Catfish And The Bottlemen? Indeed so, but “let’s just say our fans are not their demographic,” quips lead singer Rick Witter, aware of the predominance of teens at the post-exam-results gathering at Bramham Park.

This is the second outdoor Shed Seven show in 2021 to be in need of a new date. They should have been chasing winners as well as Chasing Rainbows at Doncaster Racecourse on May 15, but that Don 2021 Music Live debut is now a non-runner under the Government’s lockdown restrictions.

Witter confirms an announcement on when the Sheds’ show will finally come under  starter’s orders will be made tomorrow. Expect a delay until 2022.

When first setting up the Halifax headline gig, Witter said: “We’re doing this Piece Hall show partly because our 2018 gig at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl went so well.”

The revived Britpoppers drew 8,000 that June day; the maximum capacity is 5,500 for the Piece Hall, a renovated 18th-century Halifax cloth hall that now houses history exhibits and independent shops, bars and restaurants.

Skylights: York band will support Shed Seven on August 28 at The Piece Hall

In 2019, the Sheds mounted their biggest ever Shedcember winter tour, chalking up their record run of 23 shows between November 21 and December 21, with Leeds First Direct Arena on December 7 at the epicentre.

“After we did those Shedcember gigs, we just fancied doing something similar to Castlefield Bowl, but this time a Yorkshire gig,” said the Stockport-born Witter.

Stockport, Mr Witter?! “I know, but I consider myself a Yorkie now,” said Rick, who attended Huntington School in York. “To do an outdoor Yorkshire show in such a salubrious setting will be a great buzz.”

The Sheds are making provisional plans for a 2021 series of Shedcember shows. Watch this space for updates.

Meanwhile, The Piece Hall Trust and Futuresound have confirmed their rescheduled programme of live music events for 2021 and 2022, in the wake of the Government roadmap rollout.

The partners have worked hard to keep as many acts as possible in 2021, with the vast majority rescheduled for August and September. “But due to the complex nature of artist touring schedules, we have had to move some of the gigs, including Nile Rodgers featuring Chic and Doves, to 2022,” says the trust.

“We have managed to secure a second date for Nile Rodgers & Chic following strong sales demand seen this year. Tickets for the new show will go on general sale at 10am on Friday [12/3/2021], with a 24-hour Piece Hall Trust member pre-sale starting on Thursday.

“We hope that the return of live music to the venue will help bring some joy and a sense of normality back to music lovers.”

The dates now confirmed for The Piece Hall:

2021

Shed Seven, August 28; The Specials, August 29; The Cribs, September 3; Richard Hawley, September 4; Manic Street Preachers, September 10; Kaiser Chiefs, September 11 and 12.

Kaiser Chiefs: Two nights in Halifax in September

2022

Doves, June 18; Nile Rodgers featuring Chic, June 24 and 25.

All tickets purchased for deferred events remain valid, and ticket holders do not need to do anything to secure their spot for the new date.

Those unable to make the new dates should contact their booking platform to discuss making alternative arrangements. Refunds will be available from the point of purchase if they cannot make the rescheduled dates.

Visitor safety continues to be the number one priority for The Piece Hall Trust, and so the team has been working closely with partners to determine the safest way to reinstate live music events.

Essential maintenance and a significant deep clean have been undertaken during the Lockdown 3 and the logistics of the large-scale events are being planned meticulously.

Nicky Chance-Thompson, the trust’s chief executive officer, says: “We’re thrilled that we have been able to reschedule our planned Summer 2021 artists to the autumn in what has been a turbulent year for all of us.

“By moving the events to the later dates, we hope we’re providing peace of mind for ticket holders not just around the certainty of the gigs going ahead, but around individuals’ safety and wellbeing, which remains our main priority.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel, and for the first time in a long while, we can re-imagine a thriving and vibrant live music scene returning to Halifax once again. Live music events have always been the jewel in the crown of The Piece Hall, and we sincerely look forward to welcoming these world-renowned artists to our venue.”

For tickets, go to: lunatickets.co.uk, seetickets.com and gigantic.com.

Shed Seven to lead all-Yorkshire line-up at Piece Hall, Halifax, but who will join them? UPDATED

First Doncaster Racecourse, now The Piece Hall in Halifax as Shed Seven head outdoors for the summer

YORK’S Shed Seven will top an all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on June 26.

Joining the Sheds will be Leeds bands The Pigeon Detectives and The Wedding Present and Leeds United-supporting York group Skylights, plus the Brighton Beach DJs.

Tickets for this Futuresounds Events show will go on sale on Friday at 9am at lunatickets.co.uk, seetickets.com and gigantic.com.

This is the second outdoor show announcement by the Sheds in quick succession, after confirming they will be chasing winners as well as Chasing Rainbows at Doncaster Racecourse on August 15, when they play Live After Racing, under starter’s orders at 5.45pm.

“We’re doing this Piece Hall show partly because our 2018 gig at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl went so well,” says Shed Seven lead singer Rick Witter, whose revived Britpoppers drew 8,000 that June day and now will perform in the 5,500-capacity square of the renovated 18th-century Halifax cloth hall that now houses history exhibits and independent shops, bars and restaurants.

The Sheds have just mounted their biggest ever Shedcember winter tour, chalking up their record run of 23 shows between November 21 and December 21, with Leeds First Direct Arena on December 7 at the epicentre.

“After we did the Shedcember gigs, we just fancied doing something similar to Castlefield Bowl this summer, but this time a Yorkshire gig,” says the Stockport-born Witter.

Stockport, Mr Witter?! “I know, but I consider myself a Yorkie now,” says Rick, who attended Huntington School in York.

David Gedge of The Wedding Present, part of the June 26 bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax

“I remember Embrace playing The Piece Hall [Elbow have done likewise], and it’s taken a few months to confirm our gig since we came up with the idea of playing there. We wanted to do an outdoor show, and to do it in such a salubrious setting will be a great buzz.”

As the Sheds look forward to their Halifax and Doncaster concerts, complemented by seven summer festival gigs, with two more to be added, Rick says: “It’s a weird one for us: as the Shedcember tour showed, it seems we’re more popular than ever now. It’s a strange phenomenon but long may it continue.

“Having a new album out [Instant Pleasures, released in November 2017], has definitely helped, because the shows aren’t just nostalgia now; there are new songs too.”

Given that fresh impetus, backed up by October 2019’s gold vinyl re-issue of the Sheds’ greatest hits compilation, Going For Gold, Rick says: “Now we need to do that again: write some more new songs, and as busy as everyone is doing their own thing, there might be room to meet up once a week.”

Definitely new this year will be Shed Seven’s first racecourse concert at Donny. “I went as a guest to see Kaiser Chiefs play at York Racecourse [July 22 2016], and it was a great day out. People love it because it’s a full day out with racing and music. Let’s feel the love that day as everyone makes a big day of it. We can’t wait.”

Tickets for Shed Seven’s Music Live performance at Donny are on sale at ticketmaster.co.uk, with more information available at doncaster-racecourse.co.uk. Gates will open at 11.15am for the 1.10pm racecard,