London folkies : join us next Wednesday for FFS's London debut

Those wonderful chaps, The Magpie's Nest, have very kindly invited us down to their London HQ to showcase some fine Northwest acts next Wednesday (July 28th).

So come on down to hear folky sounds and spoken word from the rainy reason, alongside a headline set from the very dapper cajun band, Mama Rosin.

We will be presenting our good friends Ottersgear and Rebecca Sharp, as well as Eleanor Rees' poem 'Eliza And The Bear', which features a live harp score composed by Rebecca. Regular FFS-ers will know and love these acts, and we hope you Londoners will, too!

More information and reduced advanced tickets can be bought here

A bit of a catch-up

Here's some things I've been writing recently:

My interview with Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre's Sarah Neufeld http://www.highvoltage.org.uk/features.php?id=660

The latest Fiddle On magazine has my interviews with Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, and Emma Sweeney. It also contains my account of the Fiddle On Tenth Anniversary weekend. You can now join Fiddle On on facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/FiddleOn?ref=ts


My interview with Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts is in the latest issue of fRoots but I must admit that I haven't seen that myself yet!

Here's a scan of the PYT piece I did a little while back:


Coming up, I'll have an interview with Crocodiles available on The Quietus, plus a feature on Mark Chadwick.

Thank you

to all those who came to Twelfth Day's album launch last night. What a fantastic night - we could barely fit everyone in.We'll upload a video of the girls' set as soon as possible.

Cat and Esther have recently finished studying at the Royal Northern College of Music (I would say graduated, although they haven't yet) and it was great to see so many of their college peers attending the launch, many of them with instruments in hand having just finished their own rehearsals.

I think there is a stereotype that music colleges (perhaps all specialised arts colleges) breed real, bitter competitiveness. And that 'classical' music institutions are stuffy, constrained atmospheres where students are prevented from experimenting with other musical genres and styles.

But I've seen absolutely no evidence of this through my minute window in to Twelfth Day's world - musician friends have helped record and produce the album, even designing the artwork for the CD. The loudest whoops and cheers last night came from Twelfth Day's musical colleagues, and one of the support bands, Tawse, consisted of RNCM students and graduates.

Twelfth Day might make music very much bound to their trad Scots backgrounds, but their peers have embraced Rabbie Burns like Bartok. The Spotlight sessions at the RNCM actively encourage students to perform their own music in whatever format they choose.

Music colleges have always fascinated me - for the past couple of years I've been gathering sound bytes and interviews from those who have attended or teach at the Folk and Traditional Music course at the University of Newcastle - and it was lovely to experience such an open-minded, supportive atmosphere last night.