Thursday, 29 April 2010

Introducing...Topic Folk Club

YMC chats to Joe and Trevor from Topic Folk Club

YMC: You are the oldest folk club in the world, when did you start?

The generally accepted time of start according to Alex Eaton who with friends formed the club is September 1956. Though some people who were around at the beginning have the idea that the germ of the idea of forming a club could go back to 1953 from a choir in the Bradford Cathedral crypt.

YMC: Why do you think you have managed to last so long?
Probably because the club is run by an elected committee - although members of the committee leave at various times due to changes in circumstances, there have always been people with a love of Folk Music who have filled the vacancies

YMC: What sort of folk music can be heard in your club?

The type of music that can be heard in the club covers a really wide spectrum of folk music. traditional, contemporary, singer - songwriter, blues, Americana. If its good we feature it!

YMC: Has the Topic folk club always been at the same venue?

No. The club's present venue is the 11th it has been at. though it was at Unity Hall and The Market Tavern twice. The longest stay for the club was at upstairs at The Star in Westgate From September 1969 to March 1991. The next longest was the Melborn on White Abbey Road from July 1995 to December 2005. The present venue at The Bradford Irish Club in Rebecca Street is certainly one of the best and we and our audiences have been made very welcome there

YMC: Has there every been a large gap between the weekly performances?

As far as our records can tell there has been no significant gaps in club nights and we are proud to have run weekly (except when our club night Thursday has fallen on Christmes Day, Boxing Day or New Years Day - though many times the club has run on both Boxing Day and New Years Day!) There was a very short period when the club ran on a Friday that the committee at that time used to close the club on a Friday night when the Whitby and Holmfirth Festivals were on due to the majority of the committee at that time wanting to go to the festivals on a Friday!

YMC: What sort of nights do you run (booked acts, open mic, etc.)

Although in the early days of the club there was a focus on singers nights and opportunities to learning new songs, the club mainly runs nights these days with booked guests. But we  also run a singers night once a month, and give the club
nights in August over to Singers Nights. We also have a small number of floor spots on booked guest nights and ask anyone who would like to perform in one of these to turn up by 8.15 so we can book a slot for them during the evening - sometimes we have more singers than floor spots so it is usually a case of first come first served! Guest nights start at 8.30 and singers & musicians nights start at 8.15).

YMC: Have you had people at the club who have later become famous?

There is a well founded rumour about Bob Dylan doing a floor spot at the club in his early days and then being turned down for a booking as the Committee didn't think he was good enough!

Among the people who were booked for the club and have gone on to be major stars are Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, Barbara Dixon, Richard Digance, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, Mike Hardin, Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, The Spinners, Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger. We also had world famous artist David Hockney as a member of the club at one time!
Anyone who would like to pay us a visit will be given a warm welcome and have a great value night out. Members pay only £5 for entry and non members pay £6. Membership of the club is great value at £10 per year so you only need to attend 10
times in a year to cover the cost of your membership and after that you are in profit!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Introducing...The Magi

YMC chats to Edd from The Magi

YMC: Who are the band members and how long have you been playing together?

Hello to all YMC readers...
We are 'The Magi'...
hence in the beginning there were 3 band members, 3 kings.
But as time stops for no man, it has weaved its path and added 3 more members to the band.
We now have
John Jenkinson, Vox box.
Des Jenkinson, Drum Machine and melodian.
Robert Jenkinson, Lead Guitar and musical sounds.
Andy Jenkinson, Ryhthm Guitar and good looks.
Edd Watson, Bass guitar and Director of Business Developement.
Mark Johnson, Lyricals...
4 of us lived together for 5 years messing about with music before we turned it into anything. And we've been gigging for nearly 3 years now. Some would say veterans... others wudnt...

YMC: How would you describe your music?

The age old question, and like what is the meaning of life, there is no answer.
We have origins in the Beatles, Oasis, The Coral and lyrical references from jarvis cocker and Morrissey but all sheffield bands sound the same now dont they??

YMC: Who are your main influences?

Sorry, just mentioned them above...

YMC: What venues do you like to play at?

love the Grapes, love the leadmill...
Our 1st gig at o2 academy was fantastic but do prefer smaller venues at the moment.
We played in the cremorne back room the other month and it was rammed and the building was swaying...

YMC: You are runners up in the Yorkshire Cricket soundtrack of 2010, what does this mean for you?

I'm not sure yet.. I still need to email him.. I think we'll get some free tickets throughout the year and our music will be played before during and after the cricket matches. I hope that as a 6 is scored, maybe a 5 seond blast of one of our tracks will blurt out over the tannoy..

YMC: Have you recorded any music?

You mean you havent heard of any of our stuff??
We've been in the studio a few times. Mostly at 2 fly, latestly (if thats a word) with Alan Smithe. Time in the studio is great and we've done about 12 tracks and are looking to go back and do some more this summer, but we own our own digital 16 track recorder and one of the lads is recording everything himself and mixing it.
So I'm waiting anxiously for the results...
I hope you find them on our myspace shortly..

Friday, 23 April 2010


YMC chats to Matthew Hook of Kartica from Sheffield

YMC: Tell us something about the band, how did you meet, how long have you been playing together?

It was me and Joe who decided to form a band together... Pretty much straight after meeting each other, after hearing on the grapevine that we were both into the same kinda things muscially and in many other ways really. We met Esh (Drums)  while he was working as trolly boy at Somerfields, bumped into Paul (Bass) while he was working for Status Quo as a roadie, and we met Adam (Lead) one night in a glorious pub in Hoyland called The Beggar & Gentlemen. We got it all together and we've been playing live for about a year and half now....It's a long set! 

YMC: How would you describe your music? Who writes the songs?

A vintage english rock n roll sound, loud guitars, sweeping chord structures and big riffs. Big on melody, low on quirkyness!... and absolutely amazing vocals!  Me and Joe write the songs but if one of the other lads comes up with a stormer they're welcome to step upto the mic in the pratice room and sing it acoustically to the rest of us! If a song passes that acid test we work on it.

YMC: Who are your main influences?

90's British guitar bands, Ocean Colour Scene, The Verve, Oasis, Cast etc.  Bands that sing about togetherness and remind us of those Balmy Euro ' 96 evenings!

YMC: What can people expect from a live show?

Depending on Paul's mental state, pretty much anything. However if he behaves himself it's pretty much us giving it some, not dancing round like looneys or owt, but a self assured performance... With some top banter in between songs!

YMC: You seem to have quite a few gigs outside Yorkshire, what's you favourite city to play?

Liverpool's always a great place to play, they seem really into the music and the venues always deal with you really well.

YMC: What do you think of Leeds Festival line-up this year?

It would probably look better if we were on it!... But im sure the tent burners are happy!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Introducing...Purple Dot Records

YMC: When did you start your record label?

The idea came about in late 2009, but everything started moving for us right at the start of 2010. Ever since then, the progress we have made has been absolutely crazy. So many different groups and movements similar to yourselves have been getting involved and supporting us. It would have been so difficult, almost impossible to keep spreading the word about Purple Dot Records if it wasn't for all of the help that we are receiving.

YMC: Why did you want to create an independent label?

I want to be able to give great talent the chance to be heard.
Since I started Purple Dot Records, I have came across and connected with some great bands and artists. Watching crowds grow from gig to gig for artists is a great feeling.

Also, creating a record label wasn't a solo mission; I have been given huge amounts of support from many different people including bands and venues.

YMC: Are you in a band yourselves, have you found it hard to get noticed?

No, unfortunately I do not have a musical talent and my vocals should never be heard outside of the shower. But, having worked with newly formed bands and even quite well established bands, I know what it's like to try to get recognition.

YMC: Do you work with any recording studios?

Armati Recording studios have offered us some great prices considering we are a newly formed record label. Also, a number of the people involved have some great quality in-home equipment and a number of people supporting Purple Dot Records are studying at the local universities and so the facilities there can be put to use.

YMC: What can you offer an unsigned band/artist?

We can offer a band the opportunity to become part of musical community in which everybody involved is pulling in the same direction. We can offer a band regular gigs inside and outside of Sheffield, along with practice space, an enthusiastic band manager and the possible opportunity for music printing and distribution. Getting involved with Purple Dot Records means becoming part of a rapidly growing project, which isn't motivated by generating profit. Bands can stamp their music with a brand which is becoming more recognised in and around Yorkshire and which is known for being involved with genuine local talent.

YMC: Is there a good music scene in Sheffield? What venues do you like?

Sheffield has the best music scene! There is not a night in the week where you can't find a band playing live somewhere in Sheffield city centre. It seems that everybody in Sheffield has their own opinion on music. I am definitely situated in the perfect place to start up a record label as I am surrounded by great musical talent. The Stockroom is a great venue for watching bands; the size creates an electric atmosphere and lends itself very well to the acoustics of live bands. I also like SOYO, West Street Live, The Washington, The Frog and Parrot, corporation and the O2; not only because of their music and image, but also because they are all very supportive towards local talent. 

YMC: What are you plans for the near future?

I plan to move onwards and upwards. I plan to keep on spreading the word about Purple Dot Records with the hope that we will become known as a movement that unsigned bands desire to be apart of, in order to be helped to make their mark on the musical map.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Introducing...Under Arches

YMC chats to Under Arches from Leeds

YMC: How many are in the band, where did you all meet?

There are 5 of us in the band, Si on vocals, Dave on guitar, James on guitar, Gypsy on bass and Laurie on drums. Half of us have been in and out of the same bands for the past five years, we all had a break for about a year with university stuff and that. We then met the remainder of the band at our old place of work....the Cockpit!

YMC: How did the name come about ?

Our name came about as we met and finalised the line up of the band at the Cockpit which is....under the arches in Leeds!

YMC: You've been going for just over a year now, what have been the high and low points of your first year?

To be honest there havn't really been many low points yet (touch wood)!  A year in band terms  isn't very long so we have just basically been working to create a good live act with lots of decent tracks. I would probably say the best bit has been playing live, its great and we all enjoy it!

YMC: Who writes the songs?

Generally the songs are started by our guitarists, they create the frame work then each other member adds their part, we jam the songs, re think parts and converse with every one our opinions on each others parts, work it all out and then presto...we have a new 4 1/2 minutes of PHATNESS

YMC: What venues do you like to play at?

We love to play the Cockpit as it has good sound quality which makes such a difference to playing and watching, but to be honest we love to play any venue that will have us!!

YMC: Do you have any recording plans?

We have just finished a few tracks for an e.p in our guitarists loft, he is a sound tech so he has all the stuff to get a decent record, we are going to keep recording our stuff like that for now until we have a really good amount of tracks and then we will take it to a pro recording studio!

YMC: What do you think of the Leeds Festival line-up this year?

meh....they have a decent handful of bands, as always, Queens of the Stone Age-Weezer-Modest Mouse-Limp Bizkit, will all be great to see. But to be honest Leeds Festival is just a bit to expensive now, we generaly cant justify buying a ticket for a few bands. Back in the day when we all started going tickets were £90 for a weekend! We are looking to broaden our horizons for the festivals!!!