Hitchin Folk Club
Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus
Flying in the
face of the “B” word, we have a truly trans-European month for you
with musicians from France, Spain, Ireland, Scotland (mainland),
Scotland (Shetland) and, of course, England.
We get March
under way on Sunday 5th with one of the folk scene’s most innovative
The Churchfitters is a folk
band like no other. Heart-wrenching vocals accompanied by a musical saw.
Foot-stompingly fast fiddle mixed with infectious funk-rock bouzouki,
made from two Mercedes hub caps. A bass guitar made out of a frying pan,
and traditional tunes reinvigorated with mesmerising jazz sax. The
three virtuoso musicians from England and France strut their stuff on a
stage that bristles with instruments - adding flute, banjo, dulcimer,
tin whistle, guitar, ukulele, standup bass incorporating a motorbike
fuel tank and a sackful of percussion to their ensemble. And let’s not
forget the unique ‘bing-bong’ machine made out of hack-saw blades.
One of the most
exciting bands to grace our stage must be the Urban
Folk Quartet. They
will be with us again on Sunday
12th. UFQ are
Joe Broughton, Paloma Trigás, Tom Chapman and Dan Walsh. Four highly
accomplished musicians, a dozen instruments and four voices coming
together to craft a knockout show of globally–influenced, electrifying
acoustic music that has been taking the international folk scene by
storm. Self-described, ‘electro-African-dubstep-Celtic-folk,’ The Urban Folk
Quartet give traditional Irish folk tunes a global twist with Spanish,
Turkish and bluegrass undertones creeping in.
hard to appreciate the precision and beauty with which these artists
play their instruments: banjos, guitars, fiddles, mandolins – even a
triangle, which takes centre stage for an entire song – blend
meticulously to create an explosion of energetic, toe-tapping beats.
What a truly awe inspiring experience they are, four
wonderful musicians enjoying making extraordinary music for us,
culminating last time in the unusual spectacle, for Hitchin, of the
audience on their feet, bouncing up and down!
Supporting will be Tom Ryder.
twelfth visit to Hitchin, usually around St. Patrick’s Day, Craobh
are with us on Sunday
19th. Craobh Rua (pronounced CRAVE ROO-AH) translates
from Irish to Red Branch and is a name that is well known in Celtic
history from The Red Branch Knights of Ulster. Hailing from Belfast they
perform Irish Traditional music with their distinctive Northern style.
Formed more than thirty years ago and boasting two of the original band,
their music has delighted audiences and earned them wide acclaim and
recognition and are now regarded around the world as one of the finest
ambassadors of Irish Traditional Music. Craobh Rua’s impeccable
musicians bring their own individual experience to the group and fuse
their talents to bring life to a wide array of instruments including
banjo, mandolin, fiddle, Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, guitar and vocals.
They take a refreshing, unpretentious but uncommonly skilled run at some
of the greatest music in the world. YouTube
Supporting will be
2013 Aly Bain & Phil
that they would no longer be touring the English folk clubs.
This was devastating news for us, as Phil & Aly’s concerts
had been a highlight on our calendar for many years. However, we have
managed to persuade them to come back to Hitchin on Sunday 26th,
as part of Maureen’s 50 years celebrations!
Aly is Scotland's supreme traditional style fiddler.
His playing is unique - driving, impassioned and pure - with vibrant,
unmistakable tone that has earned him a following of ardent fans
throughout the world. Born in Lerwick, Shetland in 1946 Aly began
playing the fiddle at the age of eleven. In his early twenties, Aly
headed to mainland Scotland. His dramatic playing, with great tone and
technical ability brought early recognition as an outstanding musician
of the folk music revival, and almost overnight, raised the level of
expectation for music lovers throughout the country.
Phil is a superb, innovative instrumentalist, with not
simply the fastest fingers in the North but some of the most sensitive
ones, too! The man who, in Scotland at least, made the accordion
respectable again! He was the powerhouse behind two innovative and
hugely influential bands, Silly Wizard and Relativity, is a television
and radio presenter, producer and director, involved in some of the
seminal programmes that have enabled Scottish music to walk tall.
In 1986, Aly asked Phil to join him in a new series, Aly Bain and
Friends. It was the start not only of Phil's television career but also
a partnership that has endured until this day………and they are
funny, so funny. YouTube
Tickets. We are now down to 15 tickets available for Daphne’s Fight on May 14th
The take up on the coach trip to the Royal Albert Hall for the Show of Hands concert on Easter Sunday, has been such that she now has a bigger coach. So plenty of space if anyone else wants to take advantage of the Hitchin to door service.
& Maureen Jones