Sunday, 24 April 2011

Wath Festival Preview / Blues Festival Cancelled and news / gossip from around

I hope everyone has had a great Easter and that not too much weight has been put on by over indulgence with that sin of sins, chocolate.  Of course many of you will be spending the rest of the week and May Day Bank Holiday weekend walking it all off, between another very full weekend of musical happenings. 

It’s sad to start with a negative though.   The Yorkshire Blues Festival due to start on 30th April at Magna has been cancelled because of poor advanced ticket sales.   The full statement can be read on their Web Site HERE

May Day week brings of course the Wath Folk Festival.  In recent years it’s a Festival that has become a little understated, and sadly again this year it has not been at the front of of the South Yorkshire folkies consciousness.  Why that is I don’t know – only the good work of Charlie Barker has given the Festival a presence on the Social Network Web Sites, and the local media has been devoid of any mention of what is the top Folk Event in Sheffield / Rotherham area.  

According to the Poster and Web Site the Festival kicks off on the 27th May, however I can’t find anything listed on the Site until Friday 29th when it the main Concerts start at the Montgomery Hall with Francis Black, John Tams / Barry Cooper  + Jez Lowe.  A fantastic line up.  

Saturday appears to be the day when the starts to spread it wings with sessions and small concerts at various venues around Wath, with the fun kicking off at around 9:45am with the Traditional Procession to Montgomery Square, lead this year by the Barnsley Samba Band – with Morris Men (now that could be interesting) and of course the Bun throwing from the Church.
There are two main concerts on the Saturday with Charlie Barker and Harriett Bartlett, the ever popular Bernard Wrigley, Pete Morton and Kieran Haplin taking the up the early afternoon from 12:30pm.  The evening concert sees Acoustic Rotherham favourite Anna Shannon, plus Chris Wood and the amazing Tannahill Weavers.

Sunday has the same structure with fringe events around Wath and two main concerts with the lunch time session being made up of Holly Taymar, who recently did a very successful Acoustic Rotherham spot, the ever popular  Flaxenby,  and two acts I don’t know much about Uiscedwr and Kris Drever.

Sunday evening has Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby, Elbow Jane, Drever McCusker Woomble featuring Heidi Talbot + Winner of the Wath Young Performers Award 2011.
Just a note on the Young Performer Award, the judging takes place at a session hosted by Charlie Barker, at The Red Lion at 4:00pm.  It’s always worth a visit.  

The Chairman’s Party looks fun from 11:45pm at the Sandygate, with Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts, Flaxenby, Bar Steward Son’s of Val Doonican all promising to do spots, with the chance of some quality floor spots as well…………………..   but you need a FULL WEEKEND TICKET for that one or the Chairman’s special invite.  

Monday see’s it all wind up with a Singaround at the Sandygate from around 12:00pm. 
I’m told that tickets are selling fast, and you’ll need to keep an eye on the Web Site to discover availability if you’re thinking of popping along on spec.  There are still full weekend tickets and Day tickets available.   Full details on the Web Site HERE

A full weekend for all tastes, hope to see you there at some point.  

It’s been a bit of wind down week following Acoustic Rotherham 11 for me, punctuated by a very pleasant evening at The George and Dragon, Wentworth, where the Wandering Minstrel Folk Club were holding court on Good Friday.  Lovely evening, and you can find the pictures from the evening HERE

Saturday night was a bit of a tester, only flying visits to the haunts to catch a bit of Florin at The Bridge and Papa Legbas at The Star.  Both very busy venues on the night.   Well done to all involved, you know who you are.  It’s great to see that the live music scene is so healthy at the moment, even if the artists are not getting the rewards they fully deserve.

I’d like to draw your attention to some lovely videos that Jenny Fox (Toein’ In The Dark) has been putting together to accompany some of the Band’s recordings.  Go take a look yourself.  Jenny has also put up a rare video of the late poet of this Parish Harry Darksen, which many of you will find of great interest.  Direct links on the Acoustic News Page HERE.  

Chris Milner has messaged to say hat he has updated his Web Site  HERE and he now has a Utube Channel, well worth checking out. 

Improvements to the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site continue apace.  I’ve managed to revamp the Hiring Fair pages up to and including Acoustic Rotherham 6.  Pictures and links have all been restored etc..   HERE

A reminder that Acoustic Rotherham 12 takes place on the 31st July.  There are a very few slots still available, so if you want to play in July or October please Email me   If you don’t know what it is all about then head HERE

The overall site stats are showing that our readership continues to grow, which is good news, but we could still do a bit better so don’t forget to give Acoustic Rotherham the odd mention, and PLEASE, PLEASE give the Facebook tabs you can find on every page a “LIKE” click.  It all helps to get the word out there. 

So after last week’s War and Peace two parter, this weeks is short and to the point.   My spies have been out over the weekend at the Sheffield Folk Session Festival, and I hope to be able to give their feelings on the event next week. 

Meanwhile a reminder that Nellie Folk is on WEDNESDAY 27TH APRIL at The Bridge and the following Wednesday 4th May German Acoustic artist Kurt Sawalies is doing a freebie at The Bridge from around 8:30pm with, yes, yawn, The Masher providing minimal support.   Kurt is on his way up North for his now annual tour of Scotland and the Loch Lomond Festival and is well worth popping along to see.

All the Gigs and listings for the end of April can be found HERE and May HERE.

Busy days ahead then.  

Here’s a funny thing.  Last week Mrs Masher was shopping in Town when she thought she heard The Mashers playing from outside, she looked around wondering why I was not in my car only to find that one of our “fans” had made “Hairy Mary” their Ringtone on their phone…………….  Mrs Masher claims to have been very embarrassed, perhaps no more so than the person who had the song on their phone. 

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

Monday, 18 April 2011

All The News and Chat from Acoustic Rotherham 11 News Blog Part 2

So to Part 2 of this week’s News Blog.

The first one brought you up to date with all the happenings over the Easter weekend.  Part two brings you all the gossip from Acoustic Rotherham 11.

It was one of those events.  We had to move from our last Sunday of the month slot because of Easter and May Day Bank Holidays.  So the planning for this event took me a little by surprise.  Publicity was not at it’s best, then having plumped for the 17th only I could choose the weekend of the London Marathon, a Grand Prix and an FA Cup Semi Final, not necessarily important to musicians, but critical to some who make up our audience, and of course several of the regulars were away enjoying the brilliant sunshine…………………………having sent their apologies.  

This I'm sad to say included my Roadies, leaflet hander outs and "David Bailey" photographer, but credit where credit is due, they sent the rest of the family around to help out and keep me in check, so thanks to Heather and her boys, Martin, Danny and Mitchell.  Thank you one and all for all your help.

So no prizes for guessing that the turnout for Acoustic Rotherham 11 was not fantastically high.  But those who turned out and spurned the sun to sit inside the pub were treated to a veritable feast of acoustic music from across the genre. 

Betraying a two week hiatus during which his guitar had not been looked at, let alone played, The Masher fumbled through a set of classic Masher numbers to make sure no one was going to electrocute themselves on the Masher Sound Maker.  

We were then treated to the anger of David Paskell who must be one of Sheffield’s most under rated performers and song writer.  Dave treated us to a set made up of songs from his recently released EP “Clampetts Creek”.    True to form and modest ever, not a mention of the EP during his set while I was in the room!!!  But you can listen to a taster of the EP and many of his other songs by heading to his Reverb page HERE His Dylan song on the Acoustic Rotherham player is well worth a listen as well.
Wychwood travelled down the A1 from North Yorkshire to be with us for the afternoon.  I think I heard, was it Steve, Debbie or Richard, say that this was the first time they had done a plugged in Gig. If true this was an outstanding first effort, for once the nerves had settled over the first song they went on to produce an outstanding performance of some of my favourite folk tunes.  The mixture of instruments, thanks to talented Debbie on Mandolin and banjo, backed by the guitar work of Steve and Richard, with superb harmonies in all the right places made for a truly together and authentic folk sound.   No Web Links yet, but I’m sure if you go through Debbie and Richard’s Myspace page you won’t go too far wrong.  HERE

And from traditional harmony, to a Master Class in contemporary song writing and modern harmony.  To be honest I thought I booked a duo, and discovered it might be trio in the middle last week and on the day was stunned to discover that Garforth and Myers were in fact a quartet.  For the entire half an hour that they were on stage I don’t think I saw one person move, simply stunning sound, chilled and mellow.  It’s hard to actually categorise the music, if pushed I would say that it reminded me of the House Martins and early Beautiful South, but without the edge, for this was smooth, smooth music and so easy to listen to. The quality of the harmonised voices was just outstanding, and of course typically Dickie did not have his reporter’s notebook with him so he didn’t get her name, but as Hugh said to me “it’s a voice to kill for” and Hugh should know!.   They have a four track EP up on Amazon, and there’s a demo package on our Demo page HERE, but for the first even lucky people to Email me HERE you can have a copy of the CD EP for free, and I promise you you’re in for a treat.  You can find their Reverbnation page HERE

Fortunately we had a veteran of Acoustic Rotherham to follow, Mr Philip Hartley, yet another master song writer from Sheffield.  He provided us with half an hour of his songs old and new in his own imitable style.  I think Phil is one of the few, besides myself that is, who can claim to have been to every Acoustic Rotherham.   You can find his Reverbnation page player HERE, packed with his songs and of course you can buy his CDs in our CD Shop HERE - the Shop has yet to go through the modernisation so click with care.

Acoustic Rotherham has entertained over one hundred acts over the years, some have lived up to their promise, occasionally theirs been a disappointment or two, in the case of Pocketful o’ Nowt one can say that expectations were surpassed and then some.  These three lads come from just down the road from Rawmarsh in Swinton.  All I can say is, where have they been hiding?   For raw entertainment value these guys were value for money, and when Mike’s brilliantly witty and observed lyrics are added to rock and pop music they had the room in stitches.   Mike, the lead singer is far from being understated, while his backing group guitarist and bass sit back and just let him get on with it.  I hope that this rare outing for the lads will drag them out to do more sets of this quality.  Perhaps no better recommendation for them would be to say that they reminded me very much of the early BA Robinson.  Well done lads.  And I recommend that you head off to their Reverbnation page and take a listen to their demo tracks HERE  I promise you, you will not be disappointed. 

Ending the afternoon was another young song writer, Andrew Oxley from Sheffield, but in a different style to either Dave or Phil who had gone before.  What’s more, the powerful lyrics and vocals were supported by some guitar work that many of us could only sit back envy.  Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be paid to Andy is that it’s hard to put him into any sort of musical box, there was pure rock, Brit rock, Brit pop, blues and a lot more influencing his music, all supported by his classical guitar work.  Ceck out more of Andy’s songs on his Myspace page HERE, and you can find his CD EP “For Your Tomorrow” in the Acoustic Rotherham Amazon Store.

Andy was a fitting end to a brilliant afternoon of quality music.  

My thanks to all acts that went to make up the event, and it was so good to welcome yet more new comers to The Acoustic Rotherham stable, and make more new friends.   We hope that you’ll be able to come back and play for us all again soon.  

If you’re looking for the newsy bit then you need to read Part One “Music, Music all Over Easter”.   I’d just leave you with a reminder that the Wandering Minstrels are out and about on Friday evening at The George and Dragon, Wentworth for a St George’s Day Eve Special.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Music, Music, Music All over Easter - where to find it and loads more News

With so much going on this week’s News Blog is coming in two parts.  You poor souls.  But there is so much good happenings, that I don’t want anything to get lost, which there is a tendency to happen on an Acoustic Rotherham weekend.

Yes it’s Acoustic Rotherham 11 tomorrow, Sunday 17th April, at the Queens.  Unfortunately we’ve lost an act, work commitments mean that Stompin’ on Spiders will not be able to join us, but I’m sure we have such rich mix of music that afternoon is going to be fantastic musically.  The fun starts at 1:30pm and will be finished at 5:30pm.  Full details HERE

On the Web Site.  If you’ve not tried the new look “lite” version of the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site, please do give it a try, less Flash, less glary colours, quicker to load, but with all the main features of the old site.  The work is not yet finished but slowly but surely we’re getting there.  This week the Roy Blackman Page has undergone the facelift, and for those who have not yet caught up with Doreen’s Obituary or had a chance to listen to her in action, you’ll find it all on Roy’s page. 

The Resource Page is up and running again, with lots of links to useful Web Sites for artists, from Artwork to help writing songs and everything in between.

The Picture Page might be sometime so be patient with that one.

One new feature added to pages is the good old Facebook “LIKE” button.  Please search this out on the pages you visit and give it a Click.  It will help to drive people to the site, and the pages that you find useful.  

But this week the Inbox has been full of new Events to be added to the Diary for the Easter and May Day Bank Holidays in particular.  All the updates have been listed so head off to the Diary page for April HERE

Some of the events that have come in late.   The Sheffield Folk Session Festival, which runs 22nd April to 24th April at venues around the City.  If you’re in Sheffield and want some music or somewhere to sing, follow the link on the Diary page to find out where it’s all happening. 

On the 22nd April, that’s Good Friday, The Myke Barritt Music Trust Wandering Minstrels Folk Club head to The George and Dragon at Wentworth for a St George’s Day Eve sing.   There’s a Meeting of the Trust at 7:30pm with the Singaround starting at around 9:00pm.  

Thursday nights in Bramely will never be the same.  The Open Mic run by Left Handed Andy and Ken The Hat at The Master Brewer is no more.  But the good news is that from this Thursday the gang will be together again at The Travellers, Bamely for a weekly Open Mic Session.  Ken tells me that there is a free drink for each performer……………   always good to hear in these days of ultra tight Land Lords.   You can find The Travellers on the main road on your right as you head out of Rotherham towards Maltby, or your left if you are travelling from Maltby.   The Travellers has built quite a reputation for Live Music in recent Months so it’s great to see them actively promoting an Open Mic Night.  And of course we send good wishes to Andy and Ken and hope they have evry success with the new venue. 

But – hot off the press the sad news that The Monday evening Red House Session is no more, following some poor turnouts.  Mark says that he hopes to breathe new life into it starting in June as a Monthly gathering of the clans.

The Working Class Life and Music Festival gets underway in Liverpool on the 22nd April.  I make no apologies for again plugging what looks to be an excellent fifteen days of Music, exhibitions, talks and more.  It’s well worth checking out the Programme if only to see how a multi-disciplined Festival can be put together.  Link on the Diary page. 

 Also pushing off (I think that’s the right technical term) on the 22nd April is the Shanty Festival at the National Waterways Museum at Elesmere Port.  Acoustic Rotherham’s David Kidman is making a couple of appearances so if you’re heading that way go give him a cheer or two, or something, anything………… lol

In Barnsley some of the Bands involved in The Love Music Hate Racism Event on the 30th April with a Stage outside of Top Shop on the 23rd April with music throughout much of the day.  You can check the line up out on the Diary Page. 

And if you’re stuck at home, like some of us, The Masher will no doubt pop down to The Bridge on the 23rd April to see Florin in action.  Always good to see the two Bobs doing their stuff, alongside Martin of course. 

Finally a reminder that Nellie Folk has moved to Wednesday 27th April so as to avoid Easter Monday.  And Barnsley Folk Club is closed on both Bank Holiday Mondays.

So if you can’t find anything to do amongst all that is going on, sorry is the only word I can find.
Plopping onto my door mat this week came the latest CD from that precocious young talent Dylan Brierley, who recently won the Seth Lakeman New Comer prize at The Barnsley Acoustic and Roots Festival.  Simply entitled Acoustic Singer/Songwriter, it’s fourteen great tracks, including four songs that he wrote himself.  You can get your hands on a copy for a very modest £3 at his Gigs, but if you don’t happen to come across him at any of the events around the County I’m sure his Mum will get a copy to you if you ask nicely by going to her Facebook page Jill Brierley.  HERE

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Captain Bad Jack, lead singer with Capt. Martin Scapegoat.  If you’ve not heard of them, they are a Band very much in The Masher mould, based in the US of A but non the worse for that…….    Sadly another musician taken well before his time.  I hope the rest of the lads will be able to play on in his memory, I know only too well just how difficult that will be.   If you want to check their music out head HERE.

Not on the Resource Page yet, but soon to be so, is a new service offered by Studiotwentyseven a Training Company based in Sheffield.  They are offering instrument and general music lessons at very reasonable prices, almost as reasonable as my Driving Lessons.  Training is offered for Guitar and Bass, Piano and Keyboards, Singing and Music Theory.  And I can thoroughly recommend at least one of the Tutors, it’s our Phoebe.  So pass the word around folks.   Web Site HERE  or call 0114 2811831.

The Mashers look to have a busy July coming up.  We’ve just been asked to contribute to the South Yorkshire Festival on the 2nd July, more details closer to the time.   If you can’t wait to see them before then the next outing is in support of Kurt Sawalies from Germany at The Bridge on Wednesday 4th May.  Save some money from the Bank Holidays for this one.  Free entry.

And that ends Part 1 of this Weeks News Blog.  Expect Part 2 early next week with all the gossip from Acoustic Rotherham 11, which is………………………………   yes, how can you forget, tomorrow, Sunday 17th April.  

It’s not too late to get your Easter events, Gigs or whatever onto the Diary page just drop an Email or use the “Shout Box” at the top of the page to get your message across. 
And please don’t forget to click on the Facebook LIKE buttons that you find on the pages you visit.  It does help.   Thank you.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have fun and keep it LIVE.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

That Little Word F***, News, Reviews and Previews

Two wars, Countries going Bankrupt, the Coalition Government U turning on nearly every policy in their document, The News of  World caught with their ear to the wall and what has been the main subject of the week, the use of the word “fuck” (please close your eyes if you’re sensitive to the use of this word) by a footballer, not just any footballer though, one who at the best of times is challenged by the limitations of vocabulary at the best of times.

But fortunately to celebrate this moment in history I’ve been able to add a song to The Acoustic Rotherham Player, incidentally from one of our featured acts at Acoustic Rotherham 11 Pocketful of Now’t a home based talent from Swinton, entitled, quite simply, “Fuck”.  Look it up, it might help us all find our sanity.  HERE

Indeed, if you listen carefully through the crackle of The Mashers singing, sorry performing, “Bugger Off You Bastards” you will hear an enthusiastic Myke shouting out “fuck off” several times.  

Through the hours of broadcasting, miles of words written on the subject of Rooney and his use of language there is only one word that needs to be used, “context”.  In other words if one uses the word in certain ways it is viewed as being sad humour or will prompt school girl giggles used differently people take serious offense.  

While shouting it down a camera might not be seen as the most clever thing to have done, in the context of the game, and the abuse said player had soaked up from the crowd perhaps the use of the word was not quite as earth shattering as it seems the media think it was. 
Still, what does blowing up a few goodies by mistake in Libya matter against the use of the word “fuck” though?   Very little it seems.

Yes, it’s caught me out as well, next Sunday 17th April is Acoustic Rotherham 11 day at the Queens.  This shift of date to allow for Easter, personally I think it’s rite out of order to put Easter at the end of the month and thus cause total confusion in this way.  

Anyway the Acts are up, the songs are on the player and it looks as if it’s going to be another great afternoon of music, and right across the genres as well!!  Folk through to acoustic Rock with some brilliant blues in between.  

Not many of the promised changes have happened – except that I’ve kept my enthusiasm under control and we have a sensible number of acts on the Bill.  It means we start 30 minutes later 1:30pm.  And we’ll be finished a little earlier as well, which means, hopefully, most will be able to see the full afternoon out without passing out. You can find the line up HERE

With The Mashers having gone into a quiet spell it’s given me a chance to catch up on few little jobs, and of course plan things ahead.  

Isn’t it strange how either it’s nothing, (that’s when I start groaning) or everything happens at once (don’t knock it).  So on July 9th the Mashers will be first heading for the Birdsedge Village Festival, a 2:00pm on stage time there, and if we don’t get electrocuted (that’s why Promoters put us on first…. Hope) we’ll be setting heading for Heckmondwike for the Acoustic Circus Festival all day session.  A busy day.

And have you spotted that John McCullagh now has his own Web Site?  That’s he of “Dancing On The Grave of Mrs Thatcher fame”.   Head off HERE to check it out.  I’m sure a link will be set up on the Web Site before too long.  

There’s a load of Festivals coming up, before heading into the local and slightly off beam from my normal brief, if I have one, I’d draw your attention to the Worcester Literary Festival which is packed with good things.  So if you’re thinking of taking a break and fancy something intellectually uplifting Worcester between 17th and 27th of June is the place to go.  What’s more unlike some Festivals I could name, they have a really interesting and informative Web Site so head off HERE to find out more.

And I make no excuses for again sending you off in the direction of the Working Class Life and Music Festival in Liverpool which starts on the 22nd April.  There’s over 500 events which make up the Festival, from lectures to music events.  Check it all out HERE

More locally The Wath Folk Festival starts 27th April.  The organisers have put together another fantastic Bill of events and Concerts.  Check out the Web Site for Singaround and Concert events HERE

Hot on the heels of Wath will be Holmfirth, another packed weekend.  You can check it all out HERE

With all the holidays approaching there are bound to be variances to normal regular Club and Session.  Please tell us if you are cancelling or changing the day of your Club, or use the “shout box” at the top of the Diary Pages HERE to let folks know of your changes. Thanks. 

I’ve been busy working on another Web Site this week so not much has changed this week, although I have sorted out the friends page where you will find links to the Reverbnation pages of close friends of The Mashers and Acoustic Rotherham acts.  If you’ve a Reverbnation page and for some reason (Richard’s brain) are not included then please give me a kick. HERE

I think I forgot to say that a start had been made on sorting the Resource Page where you can find some interesting links and Ebooks that might help the budding stars of the Acoustic scene make their impact.  You can find it HERE

So last night I headed out to see those Barnsley wise guys, The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonigan at The Bridge.  Not many people out, but those who were, were treated to a feast of Acoustic music as the boys played through tunes from such diverse Bands as The Beatles to Lady Gaga – yes Lady Gaga, throwing in a few of their own songs for good measure.

The BSSVD are going through a transformation.  Since I last saw them, which was around a year ago, one of the Band members has left and it looks as if the remaining one is playing with ideas as to how to keep the show on the road.  

The line up now has a piano accordion player, adding real folky sounds to the rocky numbers they churned out.  

The Mashers know just how difficult it is to do these Saturday Night open Gigs, and perhaps the lack of numbers may have got in the way of their general performance of the act.  Wearing a wig and playing songs one would not normally associate with the acoustic scene is only funny if it is part of the overall performance, certainly last night it just looked rather odd, and someone walking in from the street might have wondered what the hell it was about, and quite honestly they would not have been enlightened by the Boys themselves. 

Like so many acts they reeled off song after song.

I have to be fair though – he says – I only saw the first set, which by my watch was an hour long, during which they gained and lost a the “out and about” drinkers of the Borough.  

It’s something The Mashers gave some thought to in their days of doing these sorts of Gig, and we decided that half an hour was about the most people’s attention span can take of any one act performing acoustic material.   Thus we brought in support acts offering a completely different sort of sound, and sharing the evening.  

I have to say that the times I’ve seen the The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonigan, they have been at their punchy best with a shorter set time.  

Great stuff guys and I hope you’re able to settle down the Band line up etc soon. 

And they shouldn’t worry about the audience numbers.  A normally packed Rawmarsh Trades and Labour Club was unusually half empty as well.  One thinks with School Holidays and the Bank Holidays to come 

Appearing were a band called Band On The Run.  Nop, I can’t resist it.  And I can see why they have that name!!   

Ordinary, about sums up the offering.  Classic Rock numbers that always get an audience that is out to enjoy themselves going, especially at the end of the evening, reeled out.  Some interesting and weird solos from the lead guitarist though kept people on the edge of their seats or teeth. 

So that was my Saturday night out. 

So there’s plenty to get your teeth into coming up, keep coming back to the Diary pages to keep up to date.   HERE

Finally I’d just draw your attention to the Unite Against Fascism Regional Conference at The Barnsley Trades Club next Saturday 16th April.  There’s a fantastic line up of Speakers.  It runs from 10:00am until 1:00pm.  

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

Sunday, 3 April 2011

All the Week's News, Claws out!!. and some great music for April

A special night at Nellie Folk on Monday night to celebrate the life of Doreen who had her funeral that day.  

A great turn out with people coming from around the County to join in the evening.
So big was the turn out that poor Rob was under pressure from the word GO to get everyone fitted in on the night, not helped, dare I say, by the length of the songs that some of the performers had chosen for their two song spots.Everyone got to sing, so hats off to Rob.
Congratulations to everyone though, a splendid evening, and rounded off as it should have been, with Roy Blackman performing at the top of his form.

Our sympathies go out to Roy.
Doreen’s Obituary Blog will remain available on line HERE in the News Blog Section.

And remember April’s Nellie Folk is on the Wednesday, 27th April.  You can keep up with Club changes we’ve been notified of HERE

Thursday evening turned into a bit of fun being interviewed, along with many of the local singers and performers as part of a project for a Student.  Every now and again it’s good to be challenged and remind oneself as to why you’re “doing it”.  Very interesting and we look forward to viewing the finished film.

This was a bit of a change in plan, as the original intention was to help out by performing a few songs with Welsh Geoff  (he of the broken hand) at The Princess Royal.  Those keeping up with the Update Email will be aware that somewhere along the line communications broke down, or confused.
Normally we would have just let the matter rest, but in view for the rather personal nature of the comments made in the Emails to us, it was decided that to stay away and not taint the atmosphere of the evening for those going along to see Welsh Geoff. 

Email is a dangerous tool sometimes, and quite often people bash off responses without thinking through how the person at the other end might respond or read the words that are written.  In this case we were particularly peeved.  Here we offered to help someone out, and were lead to understand that a third party would be left to make any changes (a wrong reading, but one shared, as it turns out, by others who had spoken to the person concerned) and the offer was made and accepted by them, hence our note that we would be helping Geoff out.
This upset the Club Promoter who thought we had over stepped the mark and wanted to make it plain that only he booked acts in for his Club.   But even having pointed out how the misunderstanding had come about failed to pacify, and he felt the need to be rather personal in his comments, more hurtful was learn that he had shared his perceptions with other people. 

What made it worse is that the person concerned was also considered a friend, someone we respected and does a lot of good for the Folk Music scene in the area.

And yes we all have bad moments and get things wrong, but this happened to be the second occasion on which I had received an Email containing a personal attach from this person over something.  On the first occasion I called to find out what was going on, and he was as nice as pie, it was as if he had not written the Email and to my face he has always been as nice as pie.  But I’m afraid, twice bitten and all that. 

I think what we cannot trust any longer is the idea that he is a friend of The Mashers, if he considers us in need of being kept “in control” at Folk Clubs, disrespectful and generally acting like a “Prima Donna”, and feels the need to share this with other people.  It might go to explain a few things that we have found a little strange recently.  

Over the past week we’ve had time to examine ourselves, not that we need to too much, and only because the thoughts were shared.  Yes, our performances are brash, often disrespectful, mainly to politicians, and hopefully energised, it makes up for the lack of talent musically, well certainly in Dickie’s case.   But we stick to time or number of songs, and take our turn in the round.  The rest of the time we sit quietly, and speak when spoken to.  Neither do we go round seeking plaudits or anyone to “massage our ego”.  We do it for fun, and if others share in our sense of fun then great.

We do have the Web Site – but besides getting basic information across, The Masher Zone is mostly tongue in cheek. 

Of course, we could ask, are these comments actually being made by a person who only fairly recently was asked to show some respect to artists by not walking around the room handing out fliers? During a Club night.  People in glass houses, etc. 

So perhaps we can all learn something about writing Emails and how we need to be careful in the choice of words we use, they can hurt, even if read on a screen and not delivered face to face. 

There ends this week’s rant!!!  For what it’s worth. 

So, what great news that a young talent who entertained us Royally at a recent Acoustic Rotherham, Dylan Brierley, has won the Seth Lakeman Young Musician’s  Rising Star prize at the Barnsley Acoustic and Roots Festival this weekend.  I’m sure it will be the first of many, and great to see such young talent making an impact.  You can find out more about him HERE

The final line up for Acoustic Rotherham 11 is now up HERE and I’ll be adding the full detail in the week ahead.  
The Web Site continues with the improvement programme, the main page to undergo the face lift since I last wrote is the Demo Page.  HERE

Please let me know if you are hitting any blitches on any of the new pages by Emailing at  While I do check for major crashes in all the major Browsers sometimes things can sneak through.  I’ve minimised the Flash content on pages which had been one of the main problems with the old site, but I’ve had a report that a problem might still exist for some.  So please keep me informed about your experiences. 

Can you really believe we are into April 2011 already?  The Festival Season, if there is a clear one these days, is underway.  

I’d draw your attention this week to three coming up, The Working Class Life and Music Festival in Liverpool organised by Alun Parry has over five hundred events going on throughout the City.  You can check out the full Programme HERE

The Yorkshire Blues Festival to be held at Magna at the end of the Month, looks as if it’s going to be a special event, organised by local hero Rudi.  Full details HERE

And there’s the First Shanty Festival to be held at the Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, over the Easter weekend looks a classic of it’s type, with our good friend David Kidman doing a couple of spots.  For more details head to the April Listings HERE.

I’ll get May up this week, time allowing. 

And this week we’ve only got one outing planned.  The Three Tuns at Stainton (Nr. Maltby) on Tuesday night.

And in our public service section.  Don’t forget your Census Form should be in.   

Oh, and The Archers Festival is and was a long running April Fool – brilliantly done by Rob Thompson.  If you check out the Facebook page you’ll find some classic contributions. 

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