The Somers folk club: change of venue

I hear from Phil Heinricy (thanks, Phil!) that THE SOMERS  folk club in Worcester is no longer in the Alma Tavern, which has closed. The club now meets at Bishop Allenby Hall, St. Stephen’s Church, off St. Stephen’s Street, Worcester WR3 7HS. (Bring your own drinks and glasses etc.) Other details:

  • Fridays 8:15 – 10:45 pm
  • £2.00 for members – £2.50 for visitors – FIRST VISIT FREE!
  • Membership £5 to 31 December – join at the door
  • “All kinds of folk are welcome.”

David Harley

Posted in Events, Venues | Leave a comment review: Yves Lambert Trio

Yves Lambert is an important figure in Québécois traditional circles, and works with two other very fine musicians in this trio.

“…this combination of muscular vocals, adventurous material, and fine musicianship is certainly going to keep my ears and toes happy for a while.”

YVES LAMBERT TRIO – Tentation (La Prûche Libre PRU2 4818)

David Harley

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Review for Paul Cowley

A very nice blues album by Paul Cowley  that I reviewed for

“It turns out that what Paul Cowley knows is country blues, and he really does know his subject, with influences including Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt et al. This CD features eleven songs: five of them are his own, and the rest are from classic blues artists like Memphis Minnie and Furry Lewis.”

David Harley

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Miriam Backhouse Erasmus 70th Birthday Tour

Many of the people who were very important when I was hanging around the pro/semi-pro folk scene in the 1970s have left the stage through retirement, changes of direction, or – all too often – the ministrations of the Grim Reaper. Though it’s (pleasantly) surprising how often I see names from that era still popping up on festival bills and folk club listings. Miriam Backhouse and her husband moved to South Africa – where she’s better known as Miriam Erasmus – at the end of the 1970s, but has continued to record and tour.

Right now she’s well into her 70th Birthday Tour of Europe, which includes gigs at Bedworth Folk Club on the 11th July and the Bromsgrove Folk Festival between the 12th and 15th July before a series of appearances further North. And she’s back in the Sabrinaflu-ish area on September 18th for a gig at the Wurzel Bush in Brinklow.

Sadly, I’ve not had the chance to hear Miriam live in recent years – one of the less happy consequences of living so far West that if I went much further I’d be in the Isles of Scilly –  but I’m still hoping to catch up with her at some point on this tour, and anticipate some fine, expressive singing of largely traditional material, hopefully with a sprinkling of her own songs. If you can, get to one of her shows and see why some call still call her the ‘First Lady of Folk’ or ‘the African Rose’.

David Harley

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Floorsinging for Beginners update

Floorsinging for Beginners‘ is a slightly modified version of the document that has been available for some time from one of my personal blog sites. (And originally from another site – or probably sites – that I no longer have. A version also appeared many moons ago in fRoots (at that time called Folk Roots: it was the issue from July 1998, No. 181).

At the time it was entirely focused on advice to floor singers in folk clubs, but some of it may helpful to people performing at open mics and such, too.

Version 1.1b incorporates an information update kindly forwarded by Paul Clarke of The last section is reproduced here so you don’t have to read the entire document, if you don’t want to. 🙂


[Thanks to Paul Clarke of for his update on the Brian Hooper booklet and Folk On Tap.]

Another area which seems to interest people is running clubs, especially in terms of MC-ing. Apparently Brian Hooper of Southampton published a booklet a while ago called “So you want to be a Folk Club MC”.

Paul Clarke tells me that “Brian Hooper’s book on MC-ing is still available, and I’m sure he’d post a copy in exchange for a small fee to anyone who asks … Brian is our longest-standing club member (about 45 years) and is the nearest thing we have to a “Mr Focsle” (or a Mr Central-South-Coast-Folk-Music, for that matter).  He was our immediate predecessor in running the club.” You can contact Brian via:

By George Publications
44 Janson Road
SO15 5GJ

Paul also tells me that Folk on Tap, formerly referenced here, is “long defunct, and won’t ever get resurrected, given the dominance of the Net as a resource for much of its material.”

Folk on Tap was published by SCoFF, the Southern Counties Folk Federation, a confederation of clubs from Somerset to East Sussex/Kent and from Bucks/Oxon/Berks to the Channel Islands including Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, and Surrey. Sam Satyanadhan, 3 Cranbury Road, Woolston, Southampton SO19 2HZ. tel/fax 023 80 570082. Paul says that “the Satyanadhans run the Woolston and Bursledon Folk Club, across town from us, and they must still have a lot of connections with others in the folk world.  They may have back copies available, of archival interest to some.”

I’ve retained this  information regarding ScOFF – slightly edited in the light of what Paul has told me – as a courtesy, but I won’t be adding contact information regarding other folk-related organizations and publications to this article unless it’s of direct relevance to the topics addressed here. However, I’ve also added the SCoFF contact info to the Links page here and to the Events Listings/Resources page, where it should feel more at home. 🙂 

David Harley

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CD review – Rab Noakes

For RAB NOAKES – Welcome To Anniversaryville (Neon Records NEONCD021)

Added to the album review page.

David Harley

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CD Review: archive recordings from Fellside

Another of my reviews for archive recordings from Fellside Recordings by an amazing line-up of performers. Three CDs for the price of one…

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Destination (Fellside Recordings FECD282)

David Harley

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