FOLK ARE TALKING !
of Manchester Folk Festival and new music charts
and Norman Warwick listens in
Folk music in the UK these days is thriving; so much so that as Diddy David Hamilton, (still a great presenter on Boon Radio) used to say on Top Of The Pops, …and here is this week´s Number One.
Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler have joined forced on For All Our Days That Tear The Heart. This new topper of the album chart is a collection of twelve spellbi9nding songs, all of them new. The meeting of an academy award-nominated actress and singer, and a Brit Award-winning producer suggests that two different stars have come together and created a bright new constellation.
Kathryn Williams ´night drives´ into the charts at number 21. Hers is a name I remember well from my ´previous life´ in the UK and yet I was still surprised to learn that this is the 14th studio album by a Liverpool recording artist who is also a novelist and painter. Having journeyed over the years on a career that began with alternative pop rock to soft, folksy acoustics Kathryn is now exploring a variety of fresh ideas, inspired by her collaborations with a host of fellow song-writers.
Bella Hardy’s long-awaited new album,’Love Songs'(Noe) at number 8, described by The Financial Times as, ‘folk music with a punk energy’.
Another Top Ten entry is from, Damien O’Kane and Ron Block’s ‘high octane’ (At The Barrier review) Banjophonics which at number ten and at 18 is referenced another instrument , the English Fiddle by Will Allen, oes just what is says on the tin, being a collection of English fiddle tunes by respected multi-instrumentalist Allen,.
Meanwhile new at 23 is the intriguing collaboration by David Ford & Annie Dressner of ’48 Hours’, a delicate and bewitching album recorded in two day bursts of creativity and completed within three weeks of the artists’ first meeting
The final new entry is ‘And So We Gather’ (Carn) by Oban’s Kim Carnieat number 40, produced by Donald Shaw and featuring a host of guest appearances including from Julie Fowlis, Karen Matheson and Shaw himself. The Sound Cafe rightly describes it as an, ‘impressive debut. ‘.
The Official Folk Albums Chart is compiled by The Official Chart Company and produced by English Folk Expo. The Official Folk Albums Chart Show is presented by Folk On Foot with the support of English Folk Expo.
We have only recently carried news of the Manchester Folk Festival, to be produced by English Expo Folk in October. Nevertheless, we should remind you that the festival takes place across several locations in one compact area of the city centre. All festival venues are within a short walk of each other, making it easy to move between concerts, catch up with friends and just hang out taking in the atmosphere.
So, all the joys of a ´normal´ folk festival but without the mud !
The centre of the action is at HOME which is very convenient for the Castlefield-Deansgate tram stop, Deamnsgate and Oxford Road train Stations, several 24 hour car parks and good few hotels so you can easily make a long weekend of it.
English Expo Folk have a fantastic line up of artists for fans to choose from, including Rachael Dadd, Jim Ghedi, Fiona Bevan, Hollie Rogers, Me & My Friends and The Longest Johns.
No wonder there are only a limited number of festival passes still available so try to grab one while you can.
Even before the Festival, though, there are still some great events to see in Manchester.
The John Martyn Project sees six artists come together to celebrate the music of John Martyn. Each bring their own story and connection to Martyn´s music, which of course adds to the texture of the overall experience.
Such diversity of different musical paths of the musicians recreates the many different aspects and eras of the late musician´s music and sees it delivered in a sensitive and poignant manner.
In the wake of a special sold-out show in 2018 at the Jazz Café in London the concept of the project was cemented with a UK tour the following year. The next year, 2020 had the Project tour major venues in the Netherlands and throughout 2021 the group was a firm fixture on the festival circuit. Now the Project´s journey has brought it towards Manchester Folk Festival and now including some lesser known, but still much loved John Martyn compositions and even contextualising them amidst some tunes from Martyn´s contemporaries.
Even when the Manchester Folk Festival packs up and heads off out of town, there will still be music to look forward to. At Gullivers in Manchester on 30th November the India Electric Co. will be performing.
BBC Radio 2 does not downplay its admiration for this band that it describes as ´two of the most extraordinary musicians: a phenomenal duo´.
India Electric Co. return with their second headline UK tour of 2022 fresh off the back of a four week support-tour across Europe for Midge Ure.
They will be previewing songs from their forthcoming third album, on which they blend traditional instruments, folk melodies and subtle electronic influences to present a unique sound that, as The Telegraph says, is ´bursting with invention and full os surprises´, with The Scotsman describing that as ´classy pop´. After live sessions with BBC Radio 2 and 6 music, Glastonbury Festival appearances Folk Routes UK titled the duo as ´one of the truly pioneering acts in folk music´.
English Folk Expo have explained to Sidetracks And Detours that The English Folk Expos Showcase ´sits alongside the public festival that is Manchester Folk Festival which is also run by the English Folk Expo (EFEx). Manchester Folk Festival provides many of the showcase events that make up DFEx showcase programme and gives our delegates the chance to see the artists perform in front of a ticket-buying public audience, all the better for the delegates to judge the artists´ suitability for their own festival and venues.
The full Manchester Folk Festival line up has already been announced and reproduced on these pages and English Expo Folk are very excited and proud to be delivering the impressive gathering of folk, roots and acoustic music from the English folk scene to the EFEx showcase delegates and the good people of the general public of Manchester and beyond, who will be travelling in for the Festival.
Each year at EFEx showcase, a highlight is their partnering with one country or territory or another which allows that partner a significant delegations of industry at the event, to represent their music industry and its artists as a whole as well as offering them the opportunity to showcase four artists from that country or territory.
This year EFEx are delighted to have Ireland as that 2022 international partner, a partnership managed and made possible by the support of Culture Ireland.
The four artistes selected through an open call and consultation between Culture Ireland and Manchester Folk Festival / English Folk Expo Artistic Director David Agnew are Claire Sands, The Daoin Farrell Trio, Dani Larkin and Moxie.
Meanwhile friends and colleagues at The English Folk Song and Dance Society, (EFDSS) have a long association with English Folk Expo, who are therefore delighted that EFDSS will once again be presenting their own selection of emerging artists at their EFDSS delegate-only showcase weekend in the newly renovated and still legendary Band On The Wall, with the selected artistes being Marie Bashiru, Oliver Cross & Eleanor Servante and Owen Spafford & Louis Campbell.
English Folk Expo is a sector support organisation and a National Portfolio Organisation funded by Charity no 1192064Arts Council England. It has a growing portfolio of initiatives designed to support the English folk, roots and acoustic sector including its annual English Folk Expo Showcase for UK and international industry, showcasing a broad range of English folk, roots and acoustic artists in Manchester, England each October.
To find out more go toenglishfolkexpo.com