Sunday, 23 January 2011

Great Music coming your way. Acoustic Rotherham 10 / Theornberry Benefit Concert

The end of another busy week.

I’m pleased to say that the final bits to the Thornberry Benefit Concert have been put in place.  Big thanks to Ben at The Bridge for agreeing to help us and allow us to use the big room upstairs for the event. 

The tickets are now out there at £5 per head, and you can buy them from the acts – that’s Ray Hearne, Toein’ In The Dark, Tina and Matt and of course The Rawmarsh Masher.   You can also buy tickets on line HERE

Just to remind you the date is Friday 11th February, doors 7:30pm for an 8:00pm start at The Bridge. 

If you want to help publicise the event a copy of the poster and flyers are available for down load from Concert Page HERE

I’m told that plans for the Rawmarsh Comp Save Our School fund raiser at The Star at Rawmarsh on 18th February are now beginning to firm up.  Besides The Rawmarsh Masher , Creeking Bones who play classic rock, China Town and Highway Child are all appearing and we’re also hoping that View From S62 will join the Bill.   Be prepared for a late night this one is going to run into the early hours.  
Final plans for Acoustic Rotherham 10 have fallen into place, although I’m still looking to contact one act, The Stuart Crew, who I think are loose duo who happen to decide upon that name.  Anyway, all the act details are up as is the ON STAGE TIMES and of course the poster and flyers are available for download for printing to help with the publicity.  As I’ve already said, we really have some fantastic singer song writers heading to The Queens on the 30th January making the afternoon well worth a few hours of your time, so please come along.  You can find all the details HERE 
The Acoustic Rotherham Player has also been up dated.  It now has over 91 tracks from artists who have appeared at Acoustic Rotherham over the years, it’s a fantastic showcase of the talents of acts from the Yorkshire Region and a bit wider.  Why not add it to your to your Website or Myspace or Facebook page.   You can find the Player HERE 

Of course Acoustic Rotherham marks the end of a busy week for The Rawmarsh Masher.   Coming up this week will be outings to Nellie Folk on Monday Night and Henry Boons (Wakefield) on Thursday, with Acoustic Rotherham on Sunday afternoon.

During the past week I’ve continued with the Web Site upgrade.   Thanks for the positive comments and I think we’ve overcome many of the problems that the site previously had. 
Two stand out adds though.  First I’ve added to the Myke Barritt Remembered Page the excellent article by Andy on the life and times of Myke.  It’s a stand out piece of work because it includes a full discography.  If you’ve not already had a read it’s worth the time.  You can find it HERE

From February the Events Diary has been improved by including even more Clubs.  We want the listings to be all inclusive so if your Club is not included then please get in contact with me on  Check HERE

Festival organisers seem to be getting well ahead of themselves this year.   A reminder that the Wath Festival Tickets and main Programme is available HERE but I’d also draw your attention to the Five Day Free Singers and Players Staithes Five Day Festival in July organised by Tony Lenard over in Loftus.   This is a fantastic all inclusive event for everyone, you can find a link to full details on the Acoustic Rotherham News Page. 

And another great singers Festival the Holmfirth Festival has published it’s 2011 dates for May, you can find all the details and Web Site HERE

Speaking of which, don’t forget the Barnsley Folk Against Fascism Concert on the 5th February Ticket information HERE

While we’re talking of Events I’d draw your attention to the new Events listings facility offered by the Rotherham Advertiser.  There appears to be two levels of listing, Free for a basic listing and a pay listing for a featured event.  Well worth using folks and you can get to it by going HERE

That’s despite my issues with The Advertiser Entertainment people who still do not give enough space to featuring the work of local talent and events.

Only one night of music for Dickie this past week and that was a Saturday night visit to The Bridge.  This week, legends of the Rotherham scene The Rogues
The Rogues are one of those Bands that I always feel never get the full credit that they deserve, it might well be because they cannot be easily placed into any category other than, great fun.  They made their name thrashing out Irish tunes, but over the years have added to their repertoire with upbeat versions  of other classic songs, including Kev’s favourite, The Snake. 

They have their own sound and their own arrangements, and their own style of performance, which is why of course they are so popular locally and for Weddings etc.  

One thing jumped out at me though from one of the rare song introductions, “We’ve never been booked for the Wath Festival and this may be why”, as they headed off into their own version of the Country number “ Jolene”.   I think it very strange that they have been so consistently over looked by the Wath Festival, given that they have been main stays of the local scene for so many years.  I have a feeling it’s because they rarely play Folk Clubs, and are brave enough to take their music out to where it matters, to the wider people in Pubs and Clubs. 

And of course they are so talented, with Kev now working on his new music project with Meadowland and Martin playing his socks off with both The Lanterns and Florin as well as running the Open Mic Night at The Black Bull , Aughton every Tuesday night. 

Well done lads really enjoyed the night out. 

Thanks again for those who have added their best wishes on the old health issues.  Just to keep folks updated, it will be another week before I have any results from the recent Tests, so watch out for the Blog in a week or so.  

Speaking of which I see that Cameron is set full course on making radical changes to the way in which the NHS is administered.  Perhaps he should learn from the Labour Government experience in as far is that it took close to a decade of investment to sort out the mess left by John Major in 1997.  I really hope that this is a plan that will strangled at birth, although Cameron seems set full on to make the changes, even suggesting that for some reason our Health Service is failing.  Personally my experience is that it’s very good. 

But hats off to Cameron.  He is at least performing to type and is repaying his supporters as quick as he can.  Something the Labour Party could learn from.  Cameron has gone into Government with a clear vision of the Society he wishes to create, we may not like the rich and powerful getting richer and more powerful, but that’s what he is about.  What a pity then that Blair wasted ten years achieving only bits here and there and those reforms were driven by the man who was viewed in the last days as being public enemy number one Gordon Brown. 

Next week’s Blog will be late folks.  So whatever you’re doing keep it real and live this week, and a reminder that you can find what’s happening on the local scene HERE

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Busy times ahead. + Urgent Fund Raisers / Acoustic Rotherham 10 / and MBMT News

Fanfare.  Dickie and Mrs Masher got out on Saturday night.  Yes indeedy.  I told her it was to get into training for the round of Gigs soon coming my way and for which I need to get into training.
What’s more in one evening we got to see three Bands – all of them completely different. 
We start our Gig crawl at The Bridge in Rotherham where my good friends Karen and Nigel were playing with the rest of their ever improving Band Swansong.  They just get better each time I see them with their mix of good old fashioned R & B filling the pub with great sound.  In my view they are a great example of a Band that “keeps things simple, stupid” by playing songs that fit into the talents of the Band, rather than being over adventurous  and leaving the audience with a sense of half full.  No – Swansong leave you feeling that you have a full glass, with Karen’s hypnotising voice pulling you into the performance, where the backing instrumentals are tight and come to the fore at all the right times.   Well done guys. 

And here hot of the press is a clip from the night........... brilliant GO HERE

As a complete contrast, Mrs Masher dragged me a hundred yards up the road to the Rotherham Trades Club where Scar tribute Band Complete Madness were in action.  

Complete Madness can now be referred to as veterans of the Yorkshire music scene, which perhaps in itself is the problem I seem to have with them now.  Don’t get me wrong, the music they play from Madness, The Specials and Buster Blood Vessel will forever be very popular, upbeat and exciting, but looking and listening at their performance I couldn’t help but feel that it had all become too sanitised.  

We got in for the second set, and seeing the Band all smartly uniformed in brick red trousers and checked shirts while looking very smart just seemed a little out of place with the music.  In fact I found it out of step with the music which while at the top end and in technical ability and professionalism lacked the energy I’ve come to expect from Complete Madness.   This was all just a little too slick for a gene of music that takes it’s excitement and energy from it’s rawness and fun. 

Just my feeling.  The brilliance of the musicianship of course cannot be questioned.

And then to finish the evening a visit to Rawmarsh Trades and Labour for yet another genre of Band, a general cover Show Band going under the name of Evoke.  Pretty run of the mill stuff as the Daydream Believer finale testifies to.  I’m also pretty sure that outside of Club Land you’d find them playing something completely different.
So a great evening was had. 


The Acoustic Rotherham Web Site is now showing signs of the changes I’ve been making.  I really hope that those of you who have been put off making visits because pages have hung etc will take a look at the new construction.  Early testing and reaction is positive so please check it out and let me know what you think

Acoustic Rotherham 10 is taking shape.  I’m still short of a few publicity details but those that I have can be found HERE.  Also I’ve updated the Acoustic Rotherham Reverbnation player with tracks from the artists.  There are some brilliant acts and performers on show this Month so get the word out there for us.  Thanks. 

We’re also promised food again this quarter.  Yippee.   

Besides Acoustic Rotherham 10 on 30th January there are a lot of exceptional Gigs beyond the normal Club meetings coming up over the next month or so.  In Barnsley on the 5th February there is a Folk Against Fascism Fund Raiser at the Civic Hall – you can check out the full details HERE.  On the 11th February  Ray Hearne heads up Toein’In The Dark, Tina McKevitt and Matt Hegarty + The Rawmarsh Masher in a fund raiser for Thornberry Animal Sanctuary and on 18th February there will a fantastic mixture of acoustic and electric music at The Star in Rotherham to raise money for the Rawmarsh Comp Save Our School Campaign.  All known details can be found HERE  

In addition to the fund raisers above, The Rawmarsh Masher also has Gigs at Henry Boons in Wakefield and The Wellington in Hull – anything to get him out of South Yorkshire.    Full details HERE

Wath Festival tickets have gone on sell details HERE, and most important of all The Wath Young People’s Award entries are open for this year.  The Winner as part of their prize gets to perform at the last major showcase concert of the year.   There is a promise that this year the Festival is going to get the fringe events sorted, e.g. the singarounds etc, fingers crossed.  Let’s also hope that they get sign posting sorted to. 

A reminder to that on 25th January The MBMT Wandering Folk Club is meeting for a Burns Night Special – preceded by a General Meeting of The Trust, the Agenda and Minutes of the last meeting can be found HERE

And that sums up everything that has been happening and is due to happen over the coming weeks.  It’s going to be a busy old time. 

Thanks again for all those who have taken the time to send good wishes about my current round of health issues, they are much appreciated.  Currently I’m waiting for the results to come in from the Tests of the last week, but it’s strange, I feel better knowing that a Doctor is at last taking the issues seriously and that we will eventually get to root cause of the problems. 

Just a reminder that you can keep up to date instantly with everything Acoustic Rotherham and Masher, right down to the state of the weather by following us on Facebook – head off HERE -  For those who have been tuning into Myspace, please don’t bother at the moment, the site is just not working at the moment, many of us remain hopeful that they’ll get it right soon.

And to finish with a political point.  Can anyone explain to me how the Liberals can claim that the Oldham Bye Election was a minor success for them when despite help from the Tories they managed to see a deficit of less than 200 in May turn into one of over 3,500?  I think it says something a little more to the Liberals than “carry on” which is what Nick said it meant.   Just goes to show how thick some Public School Boys can be. 

So whatever you’re doing this week have fun and keep it live.  

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Normal Business Resumes - AR10 News - Local News and Fund Raisers

The first week of 2011 has, I hope, been safely negotiated by everyone. 

It seems that Bookers of all types have had some sort of New Year bug with double bookings cropping up throughout the County.   I hope our message about the Robbers Dog Folk Club got out in time, if you went last night and did not find the usual gathering then pop along next Saturday the 15th January and you’ll find all your friends waiting to share a song or two.   The Birdsedge Live Concert at the end of the month has also suffered from the New Year DB Bug, the Concert due on the 29th having been put back to the 30th January.    Full details on the Diary page HERE

If you are local many of you will be aware of the financial problems facing Rawmarsh Comprehensive School, and the threat or decision as I now think it is, to reduce staffing levels by over thirty teachers!!!   Currently there is a “Save Our School” Campaign going on and there is a meeting at the Rawmarsh People’s Centre on Tuesday 11th January at 7:00pm where you can make your voice heard.   

You can find more out about the Campaign by visiting the Facebook page HERE

Also watch out for details of fund raising Concert to help finance Martin’s Campaign.

Another  well-known local Institution is currently under financial pressure.   The Thornberry Animal Sanctuary has only enough cash to survive until the end of the month providing its comprehensive service for animals in distress.   Toein’ In The Dark, The Masher, Tina McKevitt and Matt Hegarty have put their heads together and will be promoting a concert to include one other top name.  

We have a date Friday February 11th.  No venue as yet, but be assured as soon as one is found we will let you know.  

Thornberry are excited by the prospect of funds being raised in this way, so we hope we can provide them with some positive help.   

So for now, just mark the day off in your Diary – and watch out for the full details to be published very soon we hope.  

We’re also be relying upon all of you to get the word out there by spreading the word far and near and to help sell as many tickets as we can.  ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE GOING TO THORNBERRY

You can find full details of Thornberry problems HERE

The Mashers have a couple of other Gigs coming up over the same period – you can keep in touch HERE

It was a great week for The Condem Government, the first week that “cuts” were not the major discussion point – nop – it was an “increase” that took us all by, not much of a surprise when first Petrol duty went up and then VAT shot up 2.5%.   Don’t believe what they say about it not huirting very much, just wait until you see your quarterly power bill when it lands on your mat during the month.   And that is just the start.  Folks like me are feeling it straight away, for a Driving Instructor already spending over £100 per week on petrol the current increase from 117.9p to 124.9p per Ltr within two weeks I can tell you that this really hurts. 

And who would be an Australian this week?   It was the manner of the England victory that impressed me so much in the Ashes series.  Three victories by an innings plus is a real kicking in cricketing terms.   So well done to our Cricketers.

I’m sorry to say that not a lot of progress has been made in the sorting out of the Web Site this week, and to be honest my attention must now move onto Acoustic Rotherham 10 on 30th January.   If artists have not yet let me have their Biogs, Picture and track, please do so immediately.  If you’re not sure that you are on the list then head HERE

I’ve noticed that some artists might be having problems with the Emails for some reason.  Please check your Spam / Anti Virus software to allow Emails from  or

Acoustic Rotherham dates for this year are confirmed as being 30th January. (AR 10),   17th April (AR 11),  31st July (AR 12), 30th October (AR 13).   All at The Queens, Rawmarsh.    The April date has had to be shifted a week forward because of Easter.  If you want to play at an Acoustic Rotherham, please contact me at

Hits on the Web Site are generally on the move upwards again which is good to see.  However, we do need to push on if the great music being created by our local talent is to be heard by a wider audience.  We’ve many features that other Review / Listing sites do not offer in terms of FREE Downloads of sample tracks / CDs from artists – if you’ve not yet checked the page out go HERE   We have the CD Shop HERE and the link into Amazon HERE and of course we have a range of advice and resources for the developing our acts. HERE
Please help us get the word out there.  You can find out how you can help by going HERE

Now here’s an offer you should find difficult to reject.  Alun Parry, a Merseyside writer of radical songs, with a twist of humour is giving away an eight track CD on his Website.   I promise you won’t be disappointed.  So head off HERE  and follow the links.
Another site that may be of interest is PJs, especially if you are looking for songs or lyrics for songs.  Over 1900 songs can be found plus he includes a lot of help and advice.  Check it out HERE 

For everything going on locally head for the Diary HERE

And that’s it folks for another week.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Having survived Christmas, the diary insisted that we head towards the Year End, and on route there was a very special Nellie Folk on Wednesday evening to be negotiated.

It was, or was very close to joint Nellie Folk Founder Roy Blackman's birthday, his 74th I believe, and on the night he was certainly feeling and actively considerably more sprightly than this, supposedly younger man.

We were treated to the Rotherham Red Choir singing highlights from Roy's work, with Roy taking on the lead vocals once he had recovered from the shock.

There followed many a tribute to Roy. I don't think I've seen him work quite so hard in an evening, with so many of the locals inviting him to join in.

If you've not checked out Roy's contribution to the local music and creative writing scene then you should really check out his work that you can find HERE The recordings are not great, but we're all working very hard to find the funds to to get his work properly recorded – before it's too late, as some have argued.

And so good to see the Club packed out for the event. Brilliant stuff.

Oh, a suffering Masher managed to produce recognisable renditions of Up North and Dance On The Grave of Mrs Thatcher, two songs that I know Roy particularly enjoys.

Fortunately the New Year was very quiet, my current ailments not having cleared. In fact, and I'm sure you're all speak up and say how wrong I am, but there appeared to be very few music parties going on this year. A time for family perhaps.

But the New Year kicks off............ and you can find the January Diary up HERE

I really have not had the energy to sort the Web Site out – sorry – but I hope you're still muddling through. I promise I'll get it all sorted out very soon.

On the broader local scene many of us have been shocked to learn of the financial problems faced by the Thornberry Animal Sanctuary. Apparently they currently have funds to keep running for another month. Find out more about the issue HERE  A fund raising concert has been talked about, stay tuned for news as it firms up.

The Myke Barritt Music Trust has continued to be asked about the plain T–Shirts with the the logo. They are available to order for £10 by emailing and you'll soon be able to order via the Web Site HERE Dickie Masher's, Muriel, (the music stand) will be modelling the shirt during early 2011 Gigs. Sizes Small – Medium – Large – Extra Large

So returning to my theme of reviewing 2010, and the live music scene.

The Flat Cap Folk Club experiment sponsored by Rotherham Transport Club came to an end. It was a worth a try, and we were lucky enough to have some real quality performances, but unfortunately attendances were pathetic, thus not making it economic for the Club to continue their support. Lack of publicity – accurate publicity – and a few other things like the day of the week etc. all contributed to the demise. 

Personally I felt sorry for the Club. It's not often that one gets a chance to promote some of the quality Yorkshire acts in and around the area at no cost to the audience, so the complete lack of an audience was more than disappointing. Perhaps it was a Folk Club too far.

Another Club to have disappeared in 2010 was Friday Folk at The Venue at Stocksbridge. A real quality Club that I always enjoyed performing at. My heart went out to Charlie Barker and her Management Team when the Venue pulled the plug after they had put in all the hard graft, built a fantastic Club with a programme for 2011 that most Clubs would kill for.

Fortunately the new Dearne Valley Folk at The Park Inn, Wath has got off to a reasonable start and I'm sure will go from strength to strength during 2011.

But finding venues, sponsors and Partners is I'm afraid going to get harder during 2011.

During the year I have often written of my disappointment as I drive around South Yorkshire to see so many Pubs that The Mashers had once played either closed or just a heap of rubble. I know! Serves them right for booking The Mashers eh!! But the trend is dreadful.

So hats off to Land Lords like Ben at The Bridge in Rotherham who has stuck with his Live Music Saturday nights, encouraging local bands and giving a stage to several bands that would not normally get a hearing. That's in addition to providing a home for the Thursday Night Open Mic / Acoustic session night on Thursdays, rehearsal space for acts like The Mashers, or the Red Choir and of course being the monthly home of Nellie Folk.

I hope The Bridge gets all the support it deserves throughout 2011.

And of course as the cuts begin to bite things are only get worse. And it will not just be the loss of venues, we'll also be losing millions of pounds from the Arts budgets of local Councils etc. are cut right back to the bare bones.

It's going to be down to us all to find new and innovative ways to get “live music” out there.

It's not so much the established acts that will suffer – it's new folks, the developing musicians, those acts that don't fit the main stream, who are going to find it more difficult to find an audience.

So I hope Folk Club organisers – Festival Committee's and the like will give the new acts a chance by providing every opportunity for Open Sessions and the like and not go the way of so many recently by offering time only to tried and trusted acts – even at so called open sessions.

The Mashers will be continuing to take their brand of slash folk out to the stages of South Yorkshire and beyond. I have a feeling that this will mainly be in solo mode, but will as always be a mix of the political and humour stuff. I think the political message in particular might be considered just a little more relevant as the Cuts begin to bite.

If you're interested you can find out how to book The Mashers HERE

Two days into 2011 we have seen petrol prices going through the roof, and this my friends is only the start. Wait till the inflated energy Bills start to land on the doorstep – the full affect of the 2% hike in VAT - and the Councils start to cut back their services – one thinks the screams will start to be heard. So joining in on a few Mashers choruses might just be good medicine or at least release a bit of pent up frustration.

And so I come to the end of Part 2 of our Year End review.

I'm sure there will be plenty of material in the weeks ahead to keep our Blogs going and hopefully full of interest.

Health allowing, I'll be trying to get to Play On at The Fat Cat on Friday night.

You can keep up to date with the gossip and everything that might be going on by popping along HERE every now and then, you might also get to pick up the odd free track from time to time.

The Acoustic Rotherham CD Shop is still there HERE as is the FREE DOWNLOAD PAGE HERE packed with free demo tracks.

You can keep up to date with all the latest news about Acoustic Rotherham Hiring affairs past and present and check out the great Acts we've seen over the past two years HERE

And of course you'll find loads of other resources and information HERE

Whatever you do – keep it Live, keep it real and enjoy yourselves. Escape the reality by enjoying your music.