I looked East and I looked West

by Simon Haines and George Monger

I looked East and I looked West, was the title of a weekend to celebrate the life and music of Julia Clifford, organised by Katie and John Howson and held at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket on the weekend of 26-28 April.

I was not able to attend the whole weekend, so this is necessarily a partial – in both senses of the word - account of what went on.

Julia Clifford (1914-1997), was a wonderful fiddle player born into a musical family in Lisheen, Co. Kerry, in an area known as Sliabh Luachra, renowned for its poets and traditional musicians. Through seminal recordings made in the 1970s, Julia and her brother Denis Murphy helped define what is now a well-known genre of Irish traditional music. Julia and her husband John Clifford, also a musician, had been living in London since the 1940s, but shortly after the recordings came out, they moved out to Thetford in Norfolk, and as far as publically available information goes, they all but disappeared from view. However, this period, and especially after 1981 when John died, was actually a busy period of music-making for Julia, with a younger generation of enthusiasts and a new audience on the English folk scene.

Saturday evening concert finale

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Percy Webb Singing Competition

written by Steve & Mary Dickinson (6.05.2019)

On Sunday 5 May the Ship Inn at Blaxhall in Suffolk was bursting with folk who had gathered for this year’s Percy Webb
competition. After Percy Webb died it was decided to buy a pewter tankard and sing for it annually to remember him.  The current tankard, kindly donated by Suffolk Folk (www.mardles.org) in 2007, replaces the lost original – and the replacement trophy has been engraved with the names of all past winners.

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Cardboard Fox @ The Seagull

Award winning UK Bluegrass band, Cardboard Fox

Cardboard Fox are a unique and powerful combination of dexterous instrumental playing, memorable songwriting and energetic live shows.

All four musicians have their musical roots in bluegrass but their collective influences reach much further and this shows in their music. Formed in late 2013 in Bath, England, the band features the sibling harmonies of Charlotte and Laura Carrivick (the Carrivick Sisters) on guitar/vocals and fiddle/vocals respectively, the extraordinary talents of young mandolin player Joe Tozer and the driving and technically demanding double bass playing and harmony vocals of John Breese.

The band has toured throughout the UK and Europe as well as appearing in North America, including being the first ever UK band to gain a highly sought after showcase spot at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2016 World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Read more: Cardboard Fox @ The Seagull

Folk Song in Eastern England : Traditional Song - Ely 11 May

Folk Song in Eastern England : Traditional Song event in Ely 11th May 2019

A recent notification from Steve Roud

The Traditional Song Forum (TSF) is an informal co-operative organisation which exists to assist people interested in the subject by holding events and meetings up and down the country to get people together to share enthusiasms, support and information.

We will be holding a meeting in Ely on Saturday 11th May, with the theme for the afternoon session (1pm - 4pm) Folk Song in Eastern England, which will include contributions from local experts on the history of traditional song in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Lincolnshire, and elsewhere in the region. Anyone interested can come along. The event is free of charge - but seating is limited so you must book a ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/traditional-song-forum-meeting-in-ely-cambs-tickets-59113717721

For further information, please contact Steve Roud (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Martin Graebe (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). For more information on the Traditional Song Forum (also free to join), see: http://tradsong.org/

Claire Hastings at The Seagull Theatre

Award winning Singer/Songwriter Claire Hastings visits Suffolk

Described as “A genuine treat” by FATEA magazine, Glasgow based folksinger, songwriter, ukulele player and guitarist Claire Hastings made a name for herself on the folk scene by winning BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2015.

photo: David Moses

Read more: Claire Hastings at The Seagull Theatre

Suffolk Folk

Norfolk Folk Association

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