Festive fun in December….

To all our readers…..

Thanks to everyone who has supported us in November by coming along to the Folk Club and/or the Barn Dance. We run these events on a shoestring budget and rely solely on your admission fees to bring talented “folkies” from a range of traditions to perform for you. We hope to see you at some of the events this Christmas and New Year period and if you know anyone who might also enjoy them, bring them along.

Barn Dances

The December Barn Dance on Saturday December 17th brings the renowned Peeping Tom ceilidh band to Calderdale with dances called by Baz Parkes. Peeping Tom have been rocking dances with their high energy sets for over 40 years and are firm favourites on the folk festival circuit. Catch them on You Tube or view their Facebook page. Baz is a brilliant caller of excellent dances and I guarantee you will be roundly entertained by his dry humour and ironic “asides”. As usual the dance is at Waring Green Community Centre, Garden Road, Brighouse, (HX6 2AX) tickets are £9:00 (£8:00 concessions) and it starts at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday December 17th.

Our New Year’s Eve  Dance is once again at Greenhead College, 153223Greenhead Road, Huddersfield (HD1 4ES). Tickets must be obtained in advance either from Steve Harrison (contact details below) or at the December Barn Dance or Folk Club and cost £9:00 (£8:00 concessions). Bring your own food and drink as there won’t be any on sale at the venue. Dancing starts at 8:00 p.m. and finishes at about 12:15 a.m. Your caller will be Pete Coe and the band is the Black Box Big Band.

Folk Club

The next Folk Club is the R3S Christmas edition, which is on Wednesday December 21st at the Malthouse on Oldham Road, Rishworth (HX6 4QB) starting at 8:00 p.m.

Ugly Duckling Xmas party 15

As usual, the entertainment for our Christmas Folk Club will be provided by the folk club’s residents and regulars in a varied evening of seasonal and jocular songs, readings and sillinesses. In order to ensure a full and balanced programme for the evening, prospective contributors are asked to let Annie Dearman or Steve Harrison have the title and type (song, carol, story etc) of the contribution as soon as possible (contact details below). Steve, Annie and Chris Coe will produce a running order for the evening which will be distributed on the night. As usual, we ask performers not to introduce items so we can fit in as many as possible.

Contact details for Steve Harrison and Annie Dearman for New Year’s Barn Dance tickets or to offer a Christmas Folk Club “turn” are:

Email: gamut@btinternet.com

Phone: 01484 844055

Address: The Garth, Nields Road, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, HD7 5HT,      (to where you can send your cheques for the New Year’s Eve dance payable to Ryburn 3-Step).

Long Company Mummersimg_2983

An early reminder that Ryburn 3 Step’s anonymous band of actors , the Long Company, will be performing their atmospheric Mummers play on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th of January 2017 at pubs in Calderdale. The performances take place outside the pubs and last approximately 30 minutes (so wrap up warm!) The play is followed by a session inside the pub and contributions of poems, songs and tunes are welcome and should be either seasonal, amusing or novelty (or all three!) Videos of the play and further information can be found on the Mummers page of Ryburn 3 Step website.

Performances start at 8:00 p.m. at the following pubs:

Tuesday 3rd – The Navigation Inn, Sowerby Bridge HX6 3LF

Wednesday 4th – The Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale HX7 5TA

Thursday 5th – The Alma Inn, Cottonstones HX6 4NS

Friday 6th – The Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden, HX6 4DF

We hope to see you over the festive season and send you best wishes for a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Review – Brian Peters at the Folk Club


Photo: Andy Day

The R3S Folk Club’s guest on Wednesday 30 November at the Malthouse, Rishworth, was Brian Peters who presented the audience with two lively and highly accomplished sets of songs and tunes. He is a skilled exponent of the melodeon and anglo concertina, playing tunes and song accompaniments, and also accompanies himself on the guitar with an equal amount of expertise. He admitted that he had recently taken up the banjo so that he could sing ballads from his repertoire of
Appalachian songs and ballads, and we were treated to examples of his extended talents on this instrument!

Photo: Andy Day

As well as being a superb performer, Brian has an extensive knowledge of folk songs and their origins. “Turpin” was the first song, which he described as being an early example of ‘post-truth’ reporting, since it contained only one true statement. But it was a good song none the less. After a rendition of “Georgie” came 3 interesting tunes on the concertina, and then a version of “Barbara Allen” to an unusual tune.  The first half finished with one of Brian’s own variations on a broadside, “Factory laws”, and in the 2nd half Brian started with “The grim ghost”, moving on to “Ranzo”, a lusty shanty, and then to unusual versions of two tunes, the “White joak” and the “Black joak”, from Thomas Watts.”Our captain calls all hands” (to the tune of “to be a pilgrim”) was followed by one of Walter Pardon’s songs, “the Rambling blade”.

Photo: Andy Day

Brian’s range of expertise on the melodeon was wonderfully demonstrated by his rendition of “Bright lights, big city”, with ranges of chord progressions that I didn’t know were possible on a melodeon…..  Overall a great evening from a knowledgeable and accomplished performer.

The residents and ‘pit band’ are a great strength of the R3S Folk Club, and they were certainly on form. An addition to their songs and music was a step dancing spot from Sue and Ellie.

Andy Day


EFDSS Gold Badge Award to Pete and Sue Coe

On Wednesday 16 November Pete and Sue Coe received their Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) presented by the Chair of the EFDSS Board, Alistair Anderson.

Photo: Annie Dearman

Over 100 friends attended the event, which included songs and music from many of the performers that Pete and Sue have collaborated with, taught, or encouraged over careers of more than half a century of Folk song, music, and dance. Four other Gold Badge holders were among the friends attending: Bill Leader, Alistair Anderson, Derek Schofield, and Vic Gammon.

Photo: Annie Dearman

For more information about EFDSS Gold Badge awards, go to  http://www.efdss.org/efdss-about-us/gold-badge-award .

Pete’s contributions include traditional song research, song writing in traditional style, the founding of several seminal bands, plus solo and duo performances, dance calling, recording, field research, local folk activism in Ryburn Three Step and teaching at various levels. He has  worked extensively in schools throughout the country as a visiting musician both on his own account and for the EFDSS on the Take 6 Project. He was the founder member and visionary force behind three particularly ground breaking groups – The New Victory Band, Bandoggs and Red Shift – all of which brought something new to the folk scene.

As well as developing a wide range of traditional songs for performance, Pete has had an illustrious songwriting career with many songs covered by other artists. His collecting of a single verse of Marching Down through Rochester with its Waltzing Matilda tune, and its subsequent expansion to a full song has made him the focus of attention by various researchers in search of the roots of the famous Australian song. Most recently Mark Radcliffe featured his rather personal Rolling Down The Ryburn on his BBC Radio 2 programme, sung by Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar.

Pete has contributed a number of field recordings including Caleb Walker (musician for Manley Morris), travellers Charlotte & Betsy Renals and Sophie Legge, and Willy Taylor. He has carried out extensive research into the work of Frank Kidson, which resulted in a touring show and a CD under the title of Five Finger Frank.


Sue successfully gained funding and promoted Ryburn Three Step in the early days as well as teaching Appalachian step dance and the Ryburn Longsword dance team, which she formed 22 years ago. As well as Appalachian dance and Longsword, Ryburn Three Step also organises a range of regular activities for local people including clog step dance classes, a singing group, an offshoot rapper side, a mummers side, monthly folk club and dances, occasional workshop days plus weekly music sessions in the local pub.

Sue led and developed Ryburn Longsword for many years, recruiting youngsters from local schools and including their mothers in the dancing, resulting in a junior and a senior team. Along with team members she developed new dances with a local flavour and has presented the team regularly at dance festivals. In addition to her ongoing Longsword and Step dance activities she now runs weekly workshops around West Yorkshire for disabled and wheelchair bound youngsters, developing dances suitable for their abilities and providing for them a very necessary inclusion.



Jody Kruskal – house concert – Monday 7 November

Last night (7 November) Jody Kruskal  http://www.jodykruskal.com/ entertained an audience of some 25 eager listeners with an eclectic mix of American old-time and blues songs and music, singing to his fabulous accompaniments on his Anglo Concertina. What a performer!

Photo: Sue Coe
Photo: Sue Coe

After Jody’jody-kruskal-vintage-photos concert, he joined with many of the musicians in the audience in a transatlantic session across the great Northern English – North American divide. It was pretty good. Thanks to Pete and Sue Coe for organising the event and hosting it in their house.

This photo is not of Jody, but is from his online gallery of vintage concertina players.


An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley