Autumn programme at Selby Town Hall

Jazz man Martin Taylor

Justin Currie

First published in Music news and reviews
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SELBY Town Hall's autumn programme assembles a host of television names, award winners, Top Ten-charting musicians and a trio of Queen’s honour recipients.

Chris Jones, Selby Town Council's arts officer, has put together 20 shows across a wide range of art forms, from folk to new wave, comedy to theatre and poetry to blues, as well as satellite screenings from the National Theatre Live scheme, direct from London’s South Bank.

"It’s the usual mix of blues, folk, theatre, comedy and singer-songwriter types," says Chris.

"There'll be plenty of big names: Carthy & Swarbrick; Del Amitri’s Justin Currie; Andy Fairweather Low; Tim Brooke-Taylor; I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell; Lee Nelson; Martin Taylor; China Crisis and Mozaik, a world-folk band fronted by Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny of Irish legends Planxty."

He has signed up "some nice curiosities" too.

"We have German gipsy jazz maestro Lulo Reinhardt, the great nephew of Django; vaudevillian Ontarian old-time Americana outfit Sheesham & Lotus & Son; and the hit American show Man 1, Bank 0, which I’ve had to book an entire tour for just to get the performer over from San Diego," says Chris.

"It's the extraordinary true story of Patrick Combs who, in 1995, received a $95,000 junk mail cheque from a get-rich-quick company. He signed it with a smiley face and deposited it in his bank. The cheque cleared. I saw the show in Edinburgh two years ago and was on the edge of my seat for the whole performance."

The season opens on September 5 with "arguably folk music’s most iconic duo", Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick.

"They were at the vanguard of the Sixties folk revolution and went on to achieve huge success as solo stars and variously as members of Steeleye Span, The Watersons, The Imagined Village and Fairport Convention," says Chris.

"Martin is considered by many to be the modern-day father of English folk, while Dave remains one of the genre’s most breathtaking fiddle players, even after his remarkable double lung transplant ten years ago."

Selby Town Hall has become a destination of choice for comedians more used to performing in theatres ten times its size, and that trend continues on September 13 when Lee Nelson, the alter ego of former medical doctor Simon Brodkin, plays one of his smallest dates in years.

Further comedy nights will be the aforementioned Man 1, Bank 0 on October 11; the double bill of Lucy Beaumont and Tommy Rowson on November 28; and An Audience With Tim Brooke-Taylor, once of The Goodies and still a regular voice on BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue after more than 40 years. He will be in conversation with broadcast journalist and That’s Life! presenter Chris Serle.

In Alfie Moore: The Naked Stun, on December 6, the former Humberside police sergeant turned stand-up comedian and star of BBC Radio 4’s It's a Fair Cop tasers his way through a new collection of anecdotes from18 years on the beat, ahead of his 2015 national tour.

Based on the true story of his dogged determination to track down a serial flasher, the show exposes the seedier side of crime investigation before reaching a shocking conclusion.

Meanwhile, on the music front, Andy Fairweather Low, front man of Sixties psychedelic pop act Amen Corner, appears on October 10.

As well as his fine voice, Fairweather Low has been the guitarist of choice of so many musicians. He was a regular member of Eric Clapton and George Harrison’s bands and has played and recorded with Elton John, Bob Dylan, BB King, Jimi Hendrix , Van Morrison and The Who.

Now, more than 30 years after his last solo recording and in between stints as musical director for Roger Waters’ world tour and European tours with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, he returns to the limelight fronting his own band, The Low Riders.

Further dates for the music diary are Sheesham & Lotus & Son, September 6; the Lulo Reinhardt Latin Swing Project, September 26; John Bramwell, from Manchester's cult Mercury Prize nominees I Am Kloot, October 4; and rock and blues guitarist and singer Chantel McGregor, October 17.

Andy Irvine & Dónal Lunny’s Mozaik play on October 18; jazz guitarist Martin Taylor on October 25; Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist Justin Currie on November 13; and the BBC Folk Award-winning topical troubadour Chris Wood on December 13.

Do you remember China Crisis, Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly's1980s Merseyside band with the pop sensibilities, blues and reggae rhythms and political commentaries on hits such as Wishful Thinking, African And White and Black Man Ray?

Still led by Lundon and Daly, the band visit Selby on November 22 in support of new album Autumn In The Neighbourhood, their first new material in more than 20 years.

Looking ahead to the autumn line-up, Chris Jones concludes: “This spring was the most successful season in the venue’s history, and it was always going to be tough to try and match the quality of the acts, but I think we’ve got pretty close. It’s such a thrill to see these kind of artists, many of whom are more regularly found playing venues five or ten times our size, in the intimate surroundings of Selby Town Hall.”

Doors open at 7.30pm for the 8pm start each night. Tickets are on sale on 01757 708449, at selbytownhall.co.uk or in person at the town hall.

 

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