Book Review: Folk Song in England by Steve Roud

Folk Song in England by Steve Roud Faber & Faber – 17 August 2017

Anyone who has an interest in Folk song or folklore and superstition in Britain will have more than likely stumbled upon the books of Steve Roud (if not his Roud Folk Song Index). In 2012, he, along with Julia Bishop, gave us The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, a long overdue update of the 1959 classic with the addition of lesser-known discoveries, complete with music and annotations on their original sources and meaning [ . . . ] More at: Book Review: Folk Song in England by Steve Roud | Folk Radio UK


I was at Mekonville. Where were you?

When The Mekons first emerged as a young, brash, ragtag, loose-knit art-school punk-rock band in Leeds, U.K. in those golden late ’70s, I bet nobody who heard or saw them — or even the band members themselves — ever envisioned that in 2017, hundreds of people from many nations would answer the band’s call to “destroy your safe and happy lives before it is too late,” and gather in rural England to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary at a three-day music festival. But that’s what just happened. And I was there. Where were you? [ . . . ] More at: I was at Mekonville. Where were you? | Terrell’s Tune-Up |

Let’s go down the pub deluxe: The Wigmore and Dead Rabbit at Claridge’s signal the rise of the posh pub

It’s news that will have the real ale brigade chuntering into their pints of warm beer: the good old-fashioned boozer has had a makeover and this time it’s gone deluxe.The latest iteration of the traditional pub – let’s call it the ‘pub deluxe’– takes off from where ‘90s gastropubs and hipster craft beer bars left off, and is edging its way into the luxury sector.Leading the charge is The Wigmore, the posh new pub at London’s Langham Hotel which launched last month with a menu by Le Gavroche’s Michel Roux Jr and glamorous interiors by Martin Brudnizki, the internationally renowned designer best known for such A-list hot spots as Scott’s, The Ivy and Sexy Fish. [ . . . ] More: Let’s go down the pub deluxe: The Wigmore and Dead Rabbit at Claridge’s signal the rise of the posh pub 

The Trip to Spain feasts upon its stars’ fear of obsolescence

Once more, into the brie — or, in this case, the manchego. For the third time, now, for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, it’s the feast as improv proving ground, the sumptuous meal as arena of competitive discernment: Who can better parse and parody the particularities of some beloved British film actor? And, most crucially, Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Spain is a breezy study of aging men afraid they’ve lost their potency, their command of life, their once-certain enshrinement in the culture. It is at once a desperate echo of long-gone glories and a glory itself.

Source: The Trip to Spain feasts upon its stars’ fear of obsolescence | L.A. Weekly

Lost ‘folk noir’ masterpiece Bright Phoebus from Waterson siblings is a chart hit 45 years on

A lost folk “masterpiece”, recorded by a brother and sister duo from Hull, has entered the charts 45 years after its initial release. “I knew Lal wrote son

Just 1,000 copies of Bright Phoebus by Lal and Mike Waterson, a stark album of “folk noir” tales encompassing pagan child slaughter and nuclear apocalypse, were pressed in 1972 [ . . . ] More at: Lost ‘folk noir’ masterpiece Bright Phoebus from Waterson siblings is a chart hit 45 years on – The i newspaper online iNews

Paul Robeson in Wales

Paul Robeson’s interactions with Wales were shaped by the violence of mining life: the everyday hardship of long hours and low wages, but also the sudden spectacular catastrophes that decimated communities. In 1934, he’d been performing in Caernarfon when news arrived of a disaster in the Gresford colliery. The mine there had caught fire, creating an inferno so intense that most of the 266 men who died underground, in darkness and smoke, were never brought to the surface for burial. At once, Robeson offered his fees for the Caernarfon concert to the fund established for the orphans and children of the dead – an important donation materially, but far more meaningful as a moral and political gesture.

“There was just something that drew Welsh people and Paul Robeson together. I think it was like a love affair, in a way.” And that seemed entirely right.” [ . . . ] Read More – The Guardian