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Archives for February 2009

Folk Clubs & Bankers

Mike Harding | 13:16 UK time, Friday, 27 February 2009

I'm not sure whether nostalgia isn't a thing of the past, and perhaps it was John
passing, or there again, perhaps it was meeting Clive Gregson today and
interviewing him for the programme, but it got me to thinking ­about folk clubs
and the folk scene of the Sixties and Seventies.

Maybe it was because we lived in gentler times then, maybe it was because in them there days, bank managers were blokes you actually got to meet, and their job was looking after your money and not taking it down the dog track to bet on the one with three legs.

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Fairport Convention Tour Diary Blog - Part 5

Mike Harding | 15:36 UK time, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Chris Leslie of Fairport Convention writes:

Sunday 22 February: In the van on time.... Yes!! Today is a big travel day down to Farnham in Surrey.

The van is always a great opportunity to read. I always have a queue of books, and at the moment I'm reading Samuel Pepys' biography, The Unequalled Self, by Claire Tomalin. It is brilliant.

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Fairport Convention Tour Diary Blog - Part 4

Mike Harding | 15:07 UK time, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Chris Leslie of Fairport Convention writes:

The van is set to leave our hotel at 12:00. This sometimes mythical goal is set and agreed on the night before, usually by our tour manager supreme Nigel Reaville.

It works pretty well most of the time, unless you're the one that wasn't paying attention, in which case one's late arrival to the van with everyone else sitting in it, with the luggage packed and engine running, can only be defended by those immortal words: "nobody told

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Fairport Convention Tour Diary Blog - Part 3

Mike Harding | 15:04 UK time, Friday, 20 February 2009

Ric Sanders of Fairport Convention writes:

One really nice thing about the van is that it gets you to the gigs.

Another really other nice thing about it is our driver Mick Peters. To just call him a van driver doesn't begin to do him justice, for he is a man of many talents - so many in fact that even he doesn't know what they all are!

He's also great company and so are our merchandising team, Gareth and Frances.

I can't imagine being on tour without these guys! Thanks, too, to Geoff Curtis and Owain Richards, our sound guys, and our tour manager Nigel Reavill.

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Fairport Convention Tour Diary Blog - Part 2

Mike Harding | 15:26 UK time, Thursday, 19 February 2009

of Fairport Convention writes:

Day 19:travelling home from Hunstanton looking forward to an evening off. Seventeen gigs of the thirty-two now completed but no obvious sense of having passed a significant watershed, just a feeling (personally speaking) of being properly up to speed and into the full daily rhythm of touring.

I notice we have already done exactly 3333 miles since I was picked up on the day of the first gig. I wonder if my guesstimate of 6,500 miles for the whole tour will be, on the low side as we haven't been oop north yet.

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Fairport Convention Tour Diary Blog - Part 1

Mike Harding | 16:02 UK time, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

My guest
bloggers this week are Fairport Convention - probably the most influential folk
group of all time and a great British institution.

They are currently on a huge tour of the UK and would like to share with us a few of their on the road experiences. First up, lead singer and guitarist Simon Nicol.

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Tin Sandwiches & Jew's Harps

Mike Harding | 08:16 UK time, Monday, 16 February 2009

I had a very kind present from a reader in Ecclefechan who sent me some porridge after reading my bit on the porridge-free zone in Glasgow the other day.

I was very touched at the present, less so the postman because the Jiffy bag had leaked and it was all over his bag.

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Bring On The Great British Folk Festival Season!

Mike Harding | 14:41 UK time, Friday, 13 February 2009

The festival season is not yet upon us, but looking at some of the advanced
publicity, 2009 looks to be one of the best years yet.

Spoilt for choice comes immediately to mind; if I were an ordinary punter rather than a cosmic broadcasting star it would be hard put to know where to go.

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Mad Axemen, No Porridge & Great Music in Glasgow!

Mike Harding | 15:44 UK time, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

D'you know that bit in The Shining when Jack Nicholson rambles down the corridors of
that closed-down hotel with an axe in his hand, chopping his way through doors?

Well, the hotel I stayed in for the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow was like that: at
any moment I expected the door of my bedroom to splinter and the leering face
to come looning in hissing "Here's Johnny!"

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Damien Barber & Mike Wilson - Under The Influence

Mike Harding | 16:16 UK time, Monday, 9 February 2009


Demon Barbers
, who won best live act at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and who also were the ever so brilliant final turn at the same event, are led by a lad called Damien Barber.
I've been a fan of the band for a long time, in my opinion they're one of the most exciting bands on today's music scene.

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New Exhibition at Cecil Sharp House

Mike Harding | 14:10 UK time, Friday, 6 February 2009

Those of you who live in London or the environs of The Great Wen (I always thought that was a funny name for a city ­isn't a wen something like a boil or a carbuncle however, I digress). 

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2009 Folk Awards - and snow!

Mike Harding | 08:54 UK time, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Well, I just don't know! Four inches of snow and the financial capital of the world grinds to a halt, not a red bus leaves the warmth of its garage, the Underground (does it snow underground in London?) gets its underpants in a twist and people who ought to be at their desks spend the day sliding down hills on tea trays! 

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Steve Knightley Blog - Part 2

Mike Harding | 10:18 UK time, Monday, 2 February 2009

A tale of two cities. Part Two - London

Steve Knightley

Exeter, Friday lunchtime and feeling like a proper grown-up musician today.

Taxi, guitar, laptop, newspaper, coffee - I've got the whole kit.

I'm travelling by train to London for a 6 Music interview with old mate Tom Robinson before staying overnight with friends.

It's a good deal too!

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