The annual Christmas Party will be on Wednesday 16 December starting at 8 pm at The Works in Sowerby Bridge. Residents, regulars and visitors are welcome to come along and contribute “seasonal songs and novelties” to celebrate 2015 and start our Midwinter festivities.
Then starting on Saturday 2 January, The Long Company Mummers will be performing a free spectacular open-air Mummers play at 8 pm at 4 local venues, followed by music, dance and song inside:
Saturday 2 January 2016 – The Alma, Cottonstones;
Sunday 3 January 2016 – The Navigation, Sowerby Bridge;
Tuesday 5 January 2016 – The Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale;
Wednesday 6 January 2016 – The Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden.
The room at The Works in Sowerby Bridge was full for Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman on 25 November. Dave and Anni have been singing together for 30 years and their accomplished performance of songs from Dave’s own writing and Anni’s native North-east have earned them a fine reputation on the Folk scene in the UK and abroad. Their voices seem perfectly matched for two-part harmony, while the occasional solo demonstrates the personal character of their individual interpretations.
Starting with “The bonny ship the Diamond” Dave and Anni immediately gave the audience something to sing about. We then spotted the deliberate mistake in the murderous intent of ‘Sweet Randle” (‘Woody nightshade’ doesn’t actually kill you but then ‘Deadly nightshade’ doesn’t rhyme), and were treated to two insights into the attractions of colliers and keelmen. A poem (one of “Two Songs”) by C. Day-Lewis and set to a tune by Roy Harris told how the ‘Flowers of the town’ were lost in the Great War. Dave’s song “Charlie Fox” was followed by the “Ullswater Hunt” to give an interesting pair of viewpoints. They finished with “Roll on another day” and “My lady of autumn” as an encore. In between the songs we heard about where the songs came from and how they had developed, while Dave and Anni’s marvellous enjoyment of performing them was evident throughout.
Songs from the residents and floor singers included “Byker Hill” from Pete Coe (with Johnny and Chris Adams and Steve Harrison), a lesser-known version of “The black velvet band” from Steve Harrison and Annie Dearman, and “Young Hindhorn” from Chris Coe. Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne gave a terrific performance of “Tom the Barbour”, accompanying himself on Anglo concertina, and Sue Burgess sang “Ramble away”. Sue van Gaalen, Chris Manners and Terry Evans gave the audience food for thought at the start of the second half, and Tom Lewis’ song “Radio times” gave us a history of popular music from the 1950’s on.
If you’re wondering what to do to enjoy yourself over the next few days, join us for the Barn Dance at Waring Green in Brighouse on Saturday (21 Nov), and the Folk Club at ‘The Works’ in Soweby Bridge next Wednesday (25 Nov).
The mood of this particular event was apparent from the start as the residents and guests produced well-crafted songs and tunes, one after another to give a gentle and thoughtful tone to the whole evening. The guests were Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp;Laura, whose day job is Director of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House and her partner Ted Kemp (who is also a librarian) proved fine bearers of our native song tradition.
Their set was packed with a selection of songs from north and south of the country, always chosen with a variation of tune or words to delight the discerning traditional music audience. There were so many notable songs from the duo it is hard to pick one from the bunch but their performance of ‘The female highwayman’ was excellent and reflected Gordon Hall’s much loved rendition without being a parody which could so easily happen in the hands of less sensitive performers. Laura accompanied some songs on concertina and cello, whilst Ted accompanied Laura on banjo and guitar for many of the songs, but also added gentle vocal harmonies to a number of her songs, notably Frank Hinchliffe’s ‘The Golden Glove’, to subtle effect. Well-known songs such as ‘The Manchester Angel’ and the Coppers’ ‘Shepherd of the Downs’ sounded fresh in these performances. All lovely stuff.
A spirited set of tunes from the evening’s ‘pit band’ (Pete Coe, Steve Harrison, Johnny Adams, and Andy Day) opened proceedings. Pete Coe gave us two songs during the evening. On the first song he was accompanied by Steve and Johnny for his brilliant version of Spanish Lady which he sang in memory of Al O’Donnell (who passed away recently) from their days together at Cheltenham folk Club back in the 1970s. Later in the evening, Pete sang the seasonal soul-caking song ‘Welcome Cold November’ a very poignant recollection of his childhood in Cheshire, ‘Soul-caking’ round the streets of Northwich. Chris Coe showed yet again her mastery of the classic ballad form by singing ‘The wife of Usher’s Well’. Sue Burgess regaled us with ‘ Blue-eyed Sally’ and Sue van Gaalen sang her version of a ‘Died for Love’ ballad. Alice Jones also sang a traditional song ‘The Cruel Mother’. All added to the evening’s sense of songs well chosen for the occasion, some reflecting the approach of Halloween. For the fashionistas amongst you, Alice’s dress was printed with lurid spooky monsters! Annie Dearman and Steve Harrison dug into their back repertory for ‘The Besom Maker’ and their anglicised version of ‘The Roving Ploughboy’ with words taken from Robert Burns and tune from Jane Turriff, both accompanied on melodeon. The audience were invited by a very welcome guest floor singer, Terry Evans to sing along with her in Tim Hardin’s ‘Reason to believe’, proving just how well known and much loved the song is, whilst accompanying herself admirably on concertina.
How lucky we are to have so many people able to create such a great atmosphere at our club.
Ryburn Longsword is 21 years old this year! On Saturday 24 October members past and present enjoyed a party in Ripponden with mass longsword displays, dancing to the Black Box Band, and lots of cakes.
Here’s to the next 21 years!
Nic and Joe Jones at the R3S Folk Club 30 September 2015
The opening night at Ryburn 3 Step’s Folk Club on 30 September was a stormer. Nic and Joe Jones entertained a packed audience with a mixture of accomplishment, humour, and nostalgia as Nic sang many of the songs that are indelibly associated with his unique style, and Joe’s guitar accompaniments displayed great virtuosity while being very much in the spirit of Nic’s original arrangements. For many people who were around in the folk scene in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Nic Jones was one of the most exciting, innovative, and talented singers of the folk revival. Sadly this was cut short by his serious accident in 1982, and for many years afterwards it seemed unlikely that this great talent would ever be heard again. But in recent years he has returned to the stage accompanied by his son Joe, and the R3S Folk Club run by Nic’s great friend Pete Coe was honoured to have this remarkable duo opening its 2015 / 16 season at the Works in Sowerby Bridge.
Joe plays the definitive accompaniments on Nic’s rebuilt guitar,occasionally joining in the vocals with the harmony line. Nic’s singing still displays his trademark mastery of phrasing and nuance so that if you shut your eyes you could be transported back to the folk clubs of 35+ years ago. But this live performance was more than recreating the songs – the father / son banter kept the audience much amused, and the overwhelming impression was that of two outstanding performers enjoying a really good time.
The songs we heard included The Indian Lass, Canadee – I – O, The Drowned Lovers, The Humpback Whale, The Little Pot Stove, Barrack Street, The Flandyke Shore, Farewell to the Gold, Rapunzel, and Ploughman Lads. In introducing his version of Loudon Wainwright III’s Swimming Song, Nic invited Pete Coe, Chris Coe, and Johnny Adams to join him for the performance, delighting the audience with the recreation of the ‘Bandoggs’ sound.
Thanks for a fabulous evening go to Nic and Joe and the floor singers; Liz Conway on dulcimer who came down from Hexham and with Pete performed The Walls Of Troy written by her late husband Terry Conway; Johnny Adams and Chris Coe; Steve Harrison and Annie Dearman; Sue Burgess; Chris Manners; Sue van Gaalen; Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham; and Bob Butler.
You can’t beat a good start to the season and this is the zenith of good starts….
The legend that is Nic Jones backed by his son Joe, a fine guitarist, is a great start to any season.
Tickets £15 available from
103 Oldham Rd
Cheque made out to Ryburn 3 Step
Please enclose SAE.
To check availability phone Halifax 822569 (STD 01422)
We’re on our summer break now, but Ryburn 3 Steppers are still active. The players, dancers and performers are appearing at some of the seasonal folk festivals, village fêtes and sessions. In the background, the committee are booking the dance bands and folk club acts that should delight you in the coming autumn and winter months.
If you’re passing Ripponden, maybe you’d like to join us on a Monday night in The Old Bridge Inn for our weekly music session. There will be the odd week when some of our key players are missing because they’re on holiday but there’s usually somebody around. Check in advance by phoning 01422 822413.
Have a splendid summer!