Category Archives: Review

Review – Jack Rutter

Jack Rutter at the Ryburn Folk Club. Photo: Andy Day

I was looking forward to seeing Jack Rutter perform at the Ryburn Folk Club on 29 January, I haven’t seen him play before but I’ve heard a lot about him. He gave an accomplished performance: lovely voice, well-chosen songs, superb accompaniment on the bouzouki and guitar, and a confident professional delivery. This was one of those nights at the Club when the time flew and all too soon it was time to go home.

Jack hails from West Yorkshire and many of the songs we heard were local. Jack opened with “Down by the Derwent Side”, a song collected by Frank Kidson and set to his own melody. “The Bilberry Moor” (John Swaine), and “The Hills of Longdendale” (Ammon Wrigley the Moorland Poet – the title of Jack’s latest CD “Gold of Scar and Shale” comes from this poem) were two moor songs penned by local writers. We heard “The Lancashire Liar”, “I was Once a Young Ploughboy”, and “The Dalesman’s Litany” and then a couple of fine ballads, “Fair Janet and Young James”, and “The Banks of Sweet Dundee”. And thrown in for good measure was a song from Nashville – George Jones’ “If Drinkin’ don’t kill me her Memory will”!

Jack Rutter at the Ryburn Folk Club. Photo: Andy Day

There were plenty of choruses and the audience joined in with gusto. Jack finished off with a rousing rendition of “John Barleycorn” and then gave us an encore of “I will sing of Swaledale” to leave us in no doubt of where Jack gets his inspiration from.

The Club Residents and Floor Singers were on form: Tim Edwards, Sue Burgess, Chris Coe, Pete Coe, Phil Cerny, Terry Evans, Dave Hardy, and Mal Jardine all delighted us with their songs. Altogether it was a most enjoyable evening with a wonderful performance from a talented young singer.

Andy Day

Baz Parkes with The Old Bridge Specials, 18 January 2020 – REVIEW

Is it a barn dance, an English Country Dance, a ceilidh, a square dance, or is it a host of other names?  The curse of dancing dances from the rich and varied canon of English dance to English tunes is that it does not have a unique and descriptive moniker.  None of the above describe the energetic enjoyment of dancing relatively simple figures to bouncy, hummable tunes many of which have been played for centuries.

The Old Bridge Specials and dancers at Waring Green 18 January 2020

A couple of groups of new dancers came along to the Ryburn 3 Step Barn Dance at Waring Green on Saturday and discovered for themselves how much fun you can have on a Saturday night with your clothes on.

This was not serendipity.  The Old Bridge Specials are a convivial bunch of enthusiastic and talented musicians who meet weekly on Monday evenings at the Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden, (thanks to Tim and Lindsay for their support and indulgence) and, between putting the world to rights, play a range of mainly Northern English tunes.  Saturday’s repertoire was drawn from the most popular of these and included sets such as the Seneca Reel and John Brown’s March, the Curlew and Kirkgate Hornpipe, Jamie Allen and Because he was a Bonny Lad, Stan Treacey’s Waltz and the Swedish Waltz.

The Old Bridge Specials were:
Johnny Adams – keyboards and fiddle;
Chris Partington – fiddle;
Andy Day – Concertina;
Trevor Whittam – Harmonica;
Alan Taylor – Guitar

Particular thanks to Johnny Adams and Chris Partington who were responsible not only for mixing the excellent sound but also for their work on the Village Music Project which has unearthed many fine dance tunes from old and sometimes forgotten manuscripts, some of which were played on Saturday.

Baz Parkes, Photo: Steve Jones

As for the dances themselves, these were called with humour and wit by one of our favourite callers.  Baz Parkes is simply a top caller and on Saturday he steered both novices and experts through a varied repertoire of English Dances.  These included the Holmfirth Square, La Russe, Four Jolly Sheepskins, Cumberland Square 8, the Norfolk Lomg Dance, the St Bernards Waltz, the Cornish 6 Hand Reel, la Bastringue, Eddie Upton’s Chancellor’s Farewell and Heartbreaker (written by Pete Coe.)  Some of these are not easy dances but a willing crowd threw themselves into it and eventually mastered them.  Yet another great night.

Steve Jones


The Long Company Mummers – January 2020

The Long Company Mummers have finished their 4 performances to welcome in the New Year of 2020. Each performance attracted large crowds of excited onlookers, and below are some photos of the 4 performances.
Ryburn 3 Step would like to thank the Golden Lion in Todmorden, the Fleece in Elland, the Hogs Head in Sowerby Bridge, and the Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden for hosting each performance. 

The Long Company Mummers at the Golden Lion in Todmorden, January 2020. Photo: Alan Day
The Long Company Mummers at the Fleece Inn in Elland, January 2020. Photo: Ed Day
The Long Company Mummers at the Hogs Head in Sowerby Bridge, January 2020. Photo: Ed Day
The Long Company Mummers at the Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden, January 2020. Photo: Chris Adams

At each venue, after the performance, the Long Company Mummers asked for donations from the audience. The collections have been given to 4 local charities:
Music for the Many – Todmorden;
Overgate Hospice – Elland;
Happy Days – Sowerby Bridge;
St. Bartholomew’s Church – Ripponden.

Happy Days
St. Bartholomew’s
Overgate Hospice

Thanks to all who supported and helped the Long Company Mummers in 2020.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!