Monster Ceilidh Band - again!

It's all go on the Monster Ceilidh Band front - they've recently been featured in the Newcastle Chronicle...

iHerd it first!

OK, strictly I didn't, but I am slightly in love with that pun... expect to see that cropping up again and again.

Anyway, did I mention that I'm doing some PR for the lovely Monster Ceilidh Band? Not only are they due to release their debut album, Make Me A Dancer, but they've also been snapped up by the folks at iPhone. Their music now accompanies an application (or is it an app? I'm not sure of iPhone etiquette! In fact, it might not even be an application. What even is an application?!!) called iHerd which, judging by this little demo, looks mightily fun:

Now I just need to get an iPhone to see/hear it in the flesh!

Towersey Festival

Spiral Earth is the official online media partner at this year's Towersey Folk Festival and the SE guys have kindly invited me down to help them out with a bit of filming. Spiral Earth have been commissioned to produce a commemorative DVD of this year's festival and I'll be interviewing some musicians and audience members on camera.

It's typical that Towersey just falls after my birthday though - so much for being thin on camera! I'm full of birthday cake and birthday cheese!

Anyway, the lineup looks fab:

Ewan MacColl memorial concert and reissue of Journeyman

The lovely folks down at Manchester University Press are reissuing Ewan MacColl's autobiography, Journeyman, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of his death. There will also be a memorial concert at Peel Hall in Salford. Here's the press release below...

The memorial concert for Ewan MacColl (25 January 1915 - 22 October 1989) looks set to be a landmark folk occasion, commemorating the life and work of one of the major architects of the English folk revival.

But far more than a prolific songwriter, folk singer and teacher, he was the founder with Joan Littlewood here in Manchester of radical theatre, a playwright and actor, and a passionate supporter of radical causes.

The concert, which will be held at Peel Hall in Salford on 27th October, also celebrates the re-issue by Manchester University Press of Journeyman Ewan MacColl's vivid and entertaining autobiography. This new version has been re-edited from his original manuscript, and includes a new introduction by Peggy Seeger, his partner for the last thirty years of his life. Copies of the book will be on sale for £10 during the concert.

Peggy Seeger is joined at the concert by folk singers old and new. Among those taught by Peggy and Ewan in their 'Critics Group' were Sandra Kerr, John Faulkner, Bob Blair and Brian Pearson, all variously singing, writing, acting and teaching. Sandra teaches on the influential Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University, the best training ground for folk musicians today. John Faulkner, now artist in residence at the Galway City Museum, took part in Travelling People, last of the famous MacColl/Seeger Radio Ballad series, a form revisited by the BBC in 2006. Writing for and singing in this award-winning recent series were two of the most well-known folk singers today, Jez Lowe - perhaps the best modern songwriter in the folk idiom - and Bob Fox. The line-up is completed by David Ferrard, a young Scottish/American writer of songs of peace and protest.

Tickets cost £10, and go on sale on 14th September.

Call the MUP office on 0161 275 2310 for all ticket enquiries. Copies of Journeyman, the new edition of Ewan MacColl's best-selling autobiography, will be on sale at the concert for just £10.