Alice Jones is an exciting young folk singer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer from West Yorkshire. Many of you may have seen her touring with Pete Coe in their show In Search of Five Finger Frank celebrating the music of folksong collector Frank Kidson.
Solo, Alice sings mainly traditional English and American folk songs accompanying herself on piano, harmonium, tenor guitar and sometimes only body or foot percussion. She also plays the clarinet, whistle and is a dancer specialising in Appalachian clogging as well as other forms of percussive and traditional folk dance. The Ripponden-based artist has a background deeply rooted in the English folk tradition, having first been exposed to folk music by her parents as a babe in arms. But she also has a keen interest in American folk song, particularly the vast collections of Cecil Sharp and Frank & Anne Warner.
Fri 24 Nov
£9.90 some concessions
Hughie was a founder member of The Spinners, arguably the most popular and widely-known English folk group of the '60's prior to the emergence of folk-rock. The Liverpool foursome had a weekly TV programme that introduced many to the burgeoning folk club scene and they released a series of best-selling albums on the major Phillips Record label. When The Spinners finally called it a day they each went their separate ways. Hughie continued singing.
Today he still runs a weekly folk club, performs at Maritime Festivals around the world and continues to record albums of songs about the sea and his native Liverpool. His repertoire comprises some of his own songs, songs by well-known and lesser known writers plus numerous well tried traditional favourites. Nearly all involve a chorus so come in good voice.
Fri 27 Oct
£9.90 some concessions
The Mellstock Band plays and sings the dances, songs, carols and tunes of English village and church bands from the eighteenth century to the present day. Their repertoire and style come from village musicians' manuscript books from all parts of England performed on early nineteenth-century instruments, chosen for their authentic sound, and include fiddle, concertina, clarinet, oboe, flute and serpent.
Tonight they will be performing their new Christmas show When Icicles Hang - The Countryside in Winter. "Frosty farmsteads, winter journeys, old superstitions and seasonal celebrations - there's nothing like a chilly day in the country to make you appreciate the pleasures of a warm fireside, a glass of something, and a rousing song or a mysterious story. With their distinctive blend of voices and instruments, The Mellstock Band conjures up the spirit and the sounds of the rural past. "
As with all their shows, When Icicles Hang combines traditional music for voices, fiddle, serpent, clarinet and concertina with spoken extracts from Thomas Hardy and his contemporaries, performed in rural Sunday-best costume of the early nineteenth century.
Fri 8 Dec
£12.10 some concessions
Methera is a unique ensemble: a string quartet with its roots firmly planted in English traditional music. Their national tours, BBC Radio 3 broadcasts and collaborations have helped establish their reputation as a scintillating live act; their music is both groundbreaking and familiar, enchanting and thrilling ,sophisticated and earthy. During their ten years together they have also released three albums and provided the soundtrack for the film "Morris: A Life with Bells On".
Lucy Deakin (cello), John Dipper and Emma Reid (fiddles) and Miranda Rutter (viola) combine a considerable knowledge of traditional music with a deep sense of musical interaction. Lovers of both folk and classical music will revel in this innovative and perfectly paced traditional music enhanced by the textures of a string quartet.
Fri 17 Nov
£11 some concessions
Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of Ireland's most distinctive singers. Her earthy, sensuous voice has drawn comparisons to such venerated singers as Dolores Keane, June Tabor and Sandy Denny. The great Scottish balladeer Archie Fisher said of her, a songstress like her comes along once or twice in a generation.
Born and raised in Dublin, Niamh and her sister learned to love traditional Irish singing and harmonizing from their father, Jack Parsons. Daddy had a beautiful voice, she says, and a great ear for a good song. Her mother was also a singer and a set dancer from Co. Clare. The family would often join in song at the local Dublin singers' club, which Niamh still attends. Niamh's passion for singing blossomed naturally into a penchant for collecting songs. For me the song is more important than listening to my voice, she says. I consider myself more a songstress than a singer a carrier of tradition.
Fri 10 Nov
£11 some concessions
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