The life of early whalers comes alive at Ropery Hall

Six distinctive and hugely talented artists come together at Ropery Hall at the beginning of April for a journey into the bawdy, brutal and thrilling world of the early whalers.

Chasing the Whale brings together the acclaimed Folk/Indie/Jazz trio Kings of the South Seas, (whose debut album of the same name was released in 2015)  and a traditional “shape-note” singer and musician from New England, Tim Eriksen who together will perform stunning new arrangements of traditional song that merge folk, jazz, music hall and rock.

“The music is all  woven together by award-winning author Philip Hoare’s captivating tales (both historical, but also his own extraordinary experiences of swimming alongside whales around the globe) and Adam Clitheroe’s film portraying the powerful imagery of these voyages,” explained Liz Bennet of The Ropewalk.

She added that to make a deeper connection with those extraordinary times, the majority of the live performances will take place in locations with a whaling history.

“Here at The Ropewalk Hall’s Barton Ropery made ropes for the whaling industry so it is really fitting that one of their performances is being held here,” she said.

“Through words, song and film The Kings of the South Seas – together with the special guests – the audiences are invited to board their ship as it sets sail on a voyage into these extraordinary times,” Liz continued. “This show depicts a whaler’s life from the era of Moby Dick brought to life through music, narration and film. “

“Going back through the ages, man’s quest to hunt the largest mammal on earth saw them endure dangers and hardships of epic voyages, some of which lasted several years, while at the same time these crews discovered mysterious new lands and people, founding an industry that connected Britain with the South Pacific and America.”The performance, funded by Arts Council England,  is being held on Saturday, April 2, starting at 8pm.  Tickets cost £13 in advance or £15 on the door and can be bought online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at the Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380.

 

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Bennett, Wilson and Poole

Danny Wilson (Danny And The Champions Of The World), and Robin Bennett (The Dreaming Spires, Saint Etienne) join forces with Tony Poole, producer extraordinaire, and King of the electric twelve-string Rickenbacker and combine  their voices, guitars, and song-writing to marvellous effect in a collection of songs that began as uplifting acoustic music and just grew into something far more wide-ranging and transcendent, providing balm, inspiration and succour for these troubled times.

The young Danny Wilson formed bands with his brother Julian – Soulgreen and then Grand Drive while Robin Bennett and his brother Joe, out in Oxfordshire, were founding the Truck Festival and performing as Whispering Bob and then Goldrush, basing their two-part harmony style on that of Julian and Danny with Grand Drive.  Following Grand Drive Danny connected with the Bennett brothers who formed a major part of the floating first incarnation of Danny And The Champions of The World, and when they left to concentrate on The Dreaming Spires he saw it as the perfect time to work with Tony.

Through Danny, Tony would soon meet, and later work with, the Bennett brothers. Around the same time Danny and Robin were trying to make good on a long-held intention to write together with three songs coming from the hook-up. They realised there would be enough to make something of this and over a handful of weekends the three would gather at Tony’s home studio.

Their album, the recently released Bennett, Wilson and Poole is testament to Tony’s particular production and musical talents.  All three speak in the rosiest of terms of the collaboration and their excitement at its imminent release is palpable. Bennett, Wilson Poole was released in April on Aurora Records (through Proper Music Distribution).

By richardhatfield |

Richard Carpenter is Close To You

In a world where rainy days and Mondays collide, one man’s solitary journey to find himself has only just begun…

The piano player from Frisky & Mannish plays the piano player from The Carpenters in a razor-sharp parody play about a life spent playing the piano.

Richard used to be on top of the world, to the left of (and slightly behind) Karen.  Now he’s back with a vengeance, only to find out it’s not exactly yesterday once more anymore.

DISCLAIMER: This Award-Winning Fringe hit show is not endorsed by the real Richard Carpenter.

Delightfully on the money… This show’s stroke of genius lies in the characterisation of Carpenter… it has the ring of hard truth” ★★★★ The Times
“A uniquely talented performer… meticulously constructed… the bittersweet comedy narrative is priceless” ★★★★ The Stage
“This charming story joyfully waves a flag for those forgotten heroes” ★★★★ The List
“Exceptional… probably the most impressive performance I’ve seen at the Fringe”  ★★★★½ Edinburgh Culture Review

“Perfectly rendered parody songs… There is a deep affection at the heart of this… A Superstar” ★★★★ Broadway Baby
“Hilarious… Jones is superb in bringing to life his own script” ★★★★ Fringe Guru
“Tremendously talented… a one of a kind show” ★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
“You’ll either love it or hate it” Daily Mail

By richardhatfield |

Shivers

The Book of Darkness & Light in association with LittleMighty presents SHIVERS By Adam Z Robinson

A trio of delightfully thrilling new ghost stories, set to the haunting sounds of the violin. The Book of Darkness & Light contains within it some of the most chilling tales ever told. Supernatural mysteries stir from its pages. You feel a prick on your neck. Your blood stills. A monstrous thing creeps in the shadows. Is it all in your mind? A trick of the light? Or something far more sinister? One thing is for certain: these stories will give you shivers.

A co-production between Harrogate Theatre, Square Chapel Arts Centre and LittleMighty.

Age guideline 14+

Stories written and performed by Adam Z. Robinson

Music composed and performed by Ben Styles

 

“A uniquely terrifying experience” – The Spooky Isles

 

By richardhatfield |

China Crisis

Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly are the founder members of the band which started in Kirkby, Merseyside back in 1979. China Crisis found major success in the UK with five Top 40 singles, ten Top 50 singles and three Top 40 albums and hits across Australia, Europe and the Americas. The band, known for their string of hit singles including African & White, Christian, Working with Fire and Steel, Black Man Ray and Wishful Thinking, will be performing these classics and more, alongside tracks from the new album Autumn in the Neighbourhood.
Eddie Lundon
Gary Daly
Jack Hymers (keys)
Eric Animan (sax)

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St Agnes Fountain

Each December St Agnes Fountain comes together for a Christmas Tour. Performing “rhythmed-up” carols and Christmas music, interspersed with laughter and spoken word.

Founder member, David Hughes, and Chris Leslie originally released an EP of six tracks, “Acoustic Christmas” on guitar and mandolin in 1998.  It sold out in three months and that was that but there was a clamour for more and, together with their friends, Chris While and Julie Matthews, they produced their first album, “St Agnes Fountain” in 2001.  Not content with the album, the While and Matthews team organised a tour in December of that year and the response was overwhelming.  The same reaction has greeted the band every year since with appearances on Radio 2 and other stations. Concert tickets are hot property.

For the other 11 months of the year the band are involved in their individual work: Chris While and Julie Matthews (Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Duo) tour the UK, Europe and Australia and have just released their new album “Who We Are” to critical acclaim; Chris Leslie performs worldwide with Fairport Convention as well as occasional solo appearances; and David Hughes (with a Q magazine album of the year to his name) has just released a new solo album “Live At The Blue Boar Hotel”.

By richardhatfield |

Ben Poole Band

When you hear comments such as those below from some of the greatest guitar players of the last century, some of the most respected blues/rock/soul artists in the world today, and some of the leading magazines and radio presenters in Europe, you just know that they have heard something very special. Twenty-eight year old Ben Poole is currently being described as one the most exciting young Rock, Blues and  Soul artists to come out of the UK for a long, long time!

“This is a young man to look out for as he is no doubt a rising talent” – Blues Matters Magazine
“Truly astonishing” – Classic Rock Magazine
“A REALLY good player” – Gary Moore
So amazing!” – Beth Hart
Killer!” – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
“Unbelievable!” – Richie Kotzen
Exudes class & prowess” – Guitar Techniques Magazine
Ben Poole is the full package” – Maverick Magazine
Definitely one to watch” – Guitarist Magazine
A really fresh sound and style” – Paul Jones (BBC Radio 2)

By richardhatfield |