Back Yard Songs was an idea that’s been bubbling under for quite some time now. One of the things that has always fascinated us about traditional music is that although it’s generally sorted by national boundaries, in fact it is infinitely local with quirky little tunes and stories originating from the smallest of villages.
Add to that the fact that as gigging musicians we spend half of our lives on the road going from town to town, but never staying in one place long enough to really get a good feel for the local music, dance and customs of that area and we came to the conclusion that we could only really do both things at once if we got you lot to help us out!
So that’s what we’re asking for essentially, your intimate knowledge of the traditions of where you live, music from your back yard. At www.backyardsongs.com we have set up a map showing the 30 gigs in England & Wales (plus 3 in Holland - although our Dutch is a bit rusty!). If you click on the gig nearest to you it takes you to a page where you can add your comments and suggestions of what local material you’d like to see us play at that gig. If you’ve got a link to an audio or video clip then that would also be fantastic. It could be a song from the town or surrounding area, or one that mentions the town, it could be a dance tune from nearby or even stories/plays from the area … the more the merrier!
Also - we’re looking for suggestions for local acts who can contribute to the evening’s entertainment at any of the tour venues - again, anything which showcases the music, dance or folk-arts of the area and gives the show a more local flavour would be brilliant.
The tour will take place in April & May 2013 and culminates at the home of English Folk Music, Cecil Sharp House on Sat 25th May where we hope to showcase our favourite pieces of music from where the tour has taken us as well as music from the capital.
The Spring Tour is now under way, the first leg of which goes from the 12th April to the 22nd. The gigs in Birmingham and Arnside have already sold out, and others are getting close so be sure to get your tickets in advance if you’re thinking of coming along. See you there!
Our gig at the Ashcroft Arts Centre that was cancelled at the beginning of November is going ahead on Friday 20th January. The show was sold out, but it’s possible that there might be a few returns. Details at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/ashcroft
We’re really sorry to have to let you know that due to illness the gigs tonight and tomorrow at Shoreham Ropetackle Arts Centre and the Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham have had to be cancelled. Jon has been suffering from a throat infection which has the unusual symptoms of being able to sing notes, but not pronounce any words without great pain (sort of the opposite of losing your voice).
In the 10 and a bit years we’ve been playing together, this is the first time we’ve ever had to cancel anything for health reasons - so we’re gutted.
The gig in Shoreham has been rescheduled to be on December 14th and every effort will be made to reschedule the Fareham gig as soon as we can. If you have tickets then the venue will contact you with further details as soon as we all know.
Sorry once again. J & J
Our set at latitude hosted by Max Reinhardt will be broadcast tonight July 20th on BBC Radio 3 at 11pm - the show page is here. According to the playlist we’re up first, so anyone with an early start should be OK to hang in there, but if you can stay up until until later then I would recommend that you catch The Moulettes also on the bill and a fantastic folk-ish experimental band. Of course you’ll be able to catch it in the coming week on iPlayer too!
On Thursday 21st July, you can hear us being interviewed and playing live with Roger Day (of Radio Caroline fame!) at 7pm on the following BBC local radio stations: BBC Radio Kent, BBC Radio Solent, BBC Oxford, BBC Sussex, BBC Surrey and BBC Radio Berkshire.
The show homepage is here
We’ve just been putting the finishing touches to the autumn tour this year and you can see the full line-up of dates here on our gigs page.
The latest dates to be added include The Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch in Shropshire on October 31st, The Hawth Studio in Crawley on 28th September and The Flowerpot in Derby on 20th September.
You can catch us on BBC Radios 2,3 and 4 this week - we’re aiming for a full house, but that’s a good start.
On Monday 11th July, we were on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row being interviewed and playing a bit of Prickle Eye Bush on the show. You can listen to the show again on iPlayer until next Monday.
Then on Wednesday 13th July we’re on Radio 2’s folk show with Mike Harding at 7pm
And while we’re at Latitude Festival with Bellowhead this coming weekend, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction will be broadcasting a duo set from the festival on Wednesday, July 20th.
It’s very busy with the album being released on the 11th so we’ll keep you posted here if anything else comes along.
We’ve got a new website to tie in with the new album. It’s been a while coming - but we hope you enjoy your stay. The content is still being added. Have a good old poke around and let us know what you think.