Saturday 24 March 2012

York Theatre Royal Youth Actors Company presents

How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found......   
written by Fin Kennedy

The young people of the York Theatre Royal Young Actors Company proved themselves to be very able performers in this rather unusual production. The plot involves a young, high flying man working for a consultancy firm. We meet him first in the Lost Property office of the London Underground wondering how he got there. From here the story unfolds over the Christmas and New Year Period. It is a story about a young man who feels the need to disappear and we are taken along his journey of why this is and how this is made to happen. Along the way we meet various characters who unwittingly contribute to his state of mind.
Under the exelent direction  of Julian Ollive the cast brought this story to life. The design by Lucy Campbell was simple but very effective. It would be difficult to single out any one particular cast member for menion as all performed to a very high standard.
Be warned - there is some very strong language used during this performance.
The production ends 24th March

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Barnsley acoustic Roots 6th- 8th April


Easter 2012

Sixteen acts (at least), five concerts over 3 days. Plus the Seth Lakeman Rising Star Award for performers 21 and under, Open Mic Sessions and of course a must for any festival - real ale.
We are sure that this year's Barnsley Acoustic Roots Festival has got something for everyone.

For those that remember Lindisfarne, Fairport Convention and the folk-rock groups of the 1970's, there is a chance to see some of the musicians involved with their current bands - Acoustic Gathering and Brass Monkey

There is extraordinary young talent from the United Kingdom. The Shee are an exceptional all-female band. They will be joined by Fran Smith, Walsh & Pound, Jessica Lawson, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin and Patsy Matheson & Becky Mills; artists you are sure to hear more of in the coming years.

For those that like a little country, blues or jazz mixed in, then from the UK we have Toy Hearts and from across the pond Po Girl, Miss Quincy and Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart.

And if you want mad cap entertainment we have London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra.

Tickets are available from The Civic Box Office. Contact or 01226 327 000 

Ticket Offers

A range of ticket offers are available. Buy tickets for the individual concerts (£15.00 evening or £10.00 afternoon), for both concerts on a particular day (£22.50), or for the whole weekend (£55.00).

Half price tickets are available for under 16's. And those under 5 will be given free access if accompanied by a responsible adult!

Booking fees apply to tickets bought from The Civic - see website for details.

Additional Offer for Afternoon Concerts 
We want to give pupils at all school's in Barnsley the opportunity to take part in the festival. We are therefore offering special group tickets that give access to 5 students and an adult for £20.00.

Please contact us at to order your tickets. 

Free Camping

This year all the concerts are taking place at Kingstone School. The School are able to offer free camping facilities to motorhomes and caravans - please contact Christine in Extended Sercices at the school on 01226 738536

About Us

Barnsley Acoustic Roots Festival is run by volunteers with a passion for bringing the best acoustic roots music to Barnsley. We hope that you can support us by joining us this Easter.

We would like to thank Arts Council England for their support through the Lottery Funded - Grants for the Arts Programme 

Friday 16 March 2012

J.B. Goode Band, Nightingale Pub, Friday 16.3.12- Review

Steve & Steffy-Lou- J.B. Goode Band
Having searched Yorkshire Gig Guide listings to decide where to go, Eve and I stopped off at the Nightingale Pub, in Lindley near Huddersfield, Friday evening. A lovely warm cosy place, with a wood fire smouldering welcome heat and  glowing invitingly. Cosy but roomy, in fact lots of rooms and even better full of very friendly folk enjoying themselves. A pub with a great atmosphere, good beer and lots of character, not to mention lots of tempting cocktails!

Good live music too with rocking rhythm and blues by the J.B. Goode Band.  Steve on guitar, expressive bluesy solos and rhythmic rocking riffs, Steffy-Lou  throwing  exciting bass rhythms out on double bass, whilst Mac on drums percussive driving  beat brought the harmonies and rhythms together in a hypnotic rocking whole with Steffy-Lou and Steve's vocals. The authentic music and live sounds of fifties rock n roll (with a small cocktail twist of eighties and nineties) rang through the Nightingale Pub, to an appreciative audience. A good night, a great friendly live music pub- Eve and I will definitely be back to enjoy another night of music. Highly recommended.

Andrew and Eve
Yorkshire Gig Guide

Nightingale Facebook Page
J.B.Goode Band

Friday 9 March 2012

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival – Main Stage Line-Up

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival – Main Stage Line-Up
July 6th, 7th and 8th 2012
“Possibly the most enjoyable jazz concert I've ever attended.” The Independent

“Tis the musical equivalent of a Sunday stroll through the grounds of a stately home… you won't find more beautifully serene surroundings this side of Woodstock for such an experience” All Gigs - Festival review
Friday Evening

6:30pm - 7.45pm Octopus - This eight piece band of seasoned professionals will play us in with classic swing

8:15pm - 10:00pm Zena James - An energetic quintet presenting powerful originals, infectious grooves and jazz and pop classics as you've never heard them before. Inspired as much by 70's soul as by the jazz greats, Zena has been acclaimed across the jazz media for her 'lustrous', 'touching' and 'persuasive' voice and her funky new take on popular and rare jazz gems and irresistible, low-down R&B sounds. "She's very, very good live indeed'll have a marvellous time!" Bob Sinfield, Jazz FM Radio ."With a brave leap into the soul-laden subtle groove end of the jazz spectrum, Zena projects on stage a warm, engaging personality and an infectious sense of enjoyment" Brian Blain, Jazz UK.

Late Night Sessions Courtesy of the Beverley Arts Trust
10.00pm - 10.30pm John Cox - John Cox started writing his own songs at 15 on guitar. He started playing live a few years later, mainly playing bass in all kinds of alt-rock bands. Eventually he formed a post punk band called 'Clox', singing lead and playing bass, in the eighties. Their first single 'Looking The Part' was played on the John Peel, Pete Powell and Kid Jensen shows on Radio One. Also in the eighties John formed rock band 'The Love Bombs', did several East German tours just prior to the Berlin wall coming down.

10.40pm -11.10pm Bandiqui - Bandiqui are singer Rebecca Robyns and guitarist Peter Cox. This songwriting duo met through playing together in their former group "Off The Grid" where they both realised their mutual love of Jazz music. Formed in 2009, they played at the Hull Jazz Festival, and appeared at the first late night session at the Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival to great acclaim in the same year.

11.20pm -12.00 Alligators - The Alligators are back for the third year running! Now becoming the must see act at the late night seesions, they are a local trio performing no holds barred rhythm and blues in the classic style. All three members of the band are vastly experienced and this shows in the sheer energy and exuberance of their usually sold out gigs. A great gig and lots of dancing is guaranteed.

1.00pm - 2:25pm The Lemon Monkeys (Matt Smith and Carlos Olmos) - London based jazz guitar duo performing a mix of soul, funk, jazz and blues

2.45pm - 4:15pm Zoe Gilby Quartet - A young jazz vocalist who has been making a real impression on the UK jazz scene. Influences include Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Sheila Jordan and Roberta Gambarini. "Deserves wider recognition and a major record deal." Courtney Pine, BBC Radio 2.  

4:35pm - 6:05pm The Give A Little Love Jazz Orchestra - A Horace Silver Tribute- Performances of Horace Silver's work from the 1950s to the modern day, capturing the excitement, swing and spirit of the American jazz composer and pianist's groups.

6:30pm - 8.00pm  Stacey Kent - Stacey Kent, a best-selling member of the Blue Note roster of recording artists, now boasts six best-selling albums, a string of awards, including the British Jazz Award and BBC Jazz Award for 'Best Vocalist', as well as a fan-base that enables her to sell-out concert halls around the world. Stacey sings from the soul. She tells us her stories with her faultless phrasing and a lucid, enchanting voice.
"Devistatingly stylish...a beauty in any circumstances" The Observer
"She has charm to burn, a smile that could give you hope in February and sings like nobody's business"
The Wall Street Journal
"A delight" 
The Guardian

8:20pm - 10:00pm  Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods, featuring Cody Dickinson, Luther Dickinson and Alvin Youngblood Hart - In a dream team of the best contemporary blues talent on the world scene, there is sure to be a place for the four guys who make up the Mississippi Mudbloods. This collection of British and American talent creates a powerful fusion of hill country blues and southern rock.

Ian Siegal is the voice of contemporary blues in the UK. In 2009 he was the first non-American to take the no. 1 slot in Mojo magazine's review of blues albums. He recently became the first Brit to be nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album in the Blues Music Awards (BMAs) - in effect, the Grammys of the blues. He also picked up British Blues Awards for best band and male artist in 2010 and 2011.

Brothers Cody and Luther Dickinson are the driving force behind Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars, a personal favourite of Robert Plant with whom they toured for part of 2011. Luther, who also plays with The Black Crowes, is widely regarded as one of the finest slide and roots guitarists working today.

Alvin Youngblood Hart has been described as the cosmic love child of Howlin' Wolf and Link Wray! His praises have been sung by everyone from Bod Dylan to Eric Clapton. His awards include a Grammy and a Blues Music Award. Alvin's illustrious career encompasses being bandleader, guitarist, singer, songwriter, solo artist, and even guitar tutor to Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson.

Late Night Sessions Courtesy of the Beverley Arts Trust
10.00pm -10.30pm  Val Marshall- Val Marshal is a singer/songwriter/guitarist based in Hull. She has been performing locally for the last three years in local Hull /York / Sheffield /Leeds Pubs /Clubs/Festivals on a regular basis. Val’s songs are all original and from the heart. They are an eclectic mix of Alt-country /Acoustic rock /Folk roots. Val has featured live on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Humberside and has had her CD played on Bob Harris’s Radio 2 Saturday show.

10.40pm -11.10pm King Courgette - King Courgette are Poppa ‘King’Courgette, String Bean Slim, Bad Apple Two T’s Curtis, Hot Chilli McGrath and Zucchini Bill. Named after a hilarious incident down Poppa Courgette’s allotment they play a lot of old-time blues tunes by the likes of Blind Boy Fuller and The Stanley Brothers, and try to give them their own unique ’Courgette’ sound. Banjo, harmonica, mandolin and ukulele all feature along the way, plus percussionist Zucchini Bill is a fine purveyor of the hambone!

11.20pm -12.00 This Way Up - This Way Up are a Beverley based 5 piece rock and blues band performing both classic covers and self penned material. After supporting legendary blues outfit Slack Alice in 2010 they have been snapped up to perform at the Great British Blues Festival this year.

12:00pm - 1:30pm Rob Law Quartet with Thom Whitworth - Rob Law is an accomplished piano player who has earned himself a reputation as one of the country's most exciting young artists. Guitarist Thom Whitworth has played with top players and won Young Jazz Musician of the Year. He is regarded by many as the new Pat McCarthy. Most jazz bands use either piano or guitar, and most piano and guitarists dislike playing with each other because they clash, so this combination is both exciting and unusual.

1:40pm - 3.00pm Tribute to Atlantic Jazz - A super-cool seven piece ensemble, led by saxophonists James Russell and Jim Corry, when they are not busy touring with Jamiroquai. The band pays tribute to the swinging, soulful musical legacy of the Atlantic record label.

3.15pm - 4.45pm Sean Taylor - Sean's incredible passion for performance, sheer talent and songwriting of the highest calibre means he has rapidly grown to be one of the hottest new names in the UK blues/acoustic scene. "absolutely superb guitarist" Bob Harris BBC Radio 2, "a bluesy devotional intensity that rightly draws comparisons to John Martyn' Q

5.00pm - 6.00pm Ben Beattie's Jazz Essentials plus Simon Cunliffe-Lister - The driving force behind this band is saxophonist and pianist Ben Beattie. His compositions have been compared to the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek. Jazz Essentials bring together a interesting mix of atmospheric jazz, blue grooves and soulful ballads. Although they take influences from many areas and eras of the jazz genre, they carry a unique sound that is sympathetic with earlier and contemporary areas of music. They offer a sincere and genuine approach to their music-making by injecting a youthful vigour that create a resounding and individual personality.  Festival organiser and saxophonist Simon Cunliffe-Lister will play out the weekend with Ben and his band.

Festival info:
Held over three days, with performances both inside the stately Elizabethan Hall and outside in the Hall’s beautiful grounds, the Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues festival presents a varied line up of funk, traditional jazz, hard blues, dreamy vocals and everything in between.

The main stage on the lawn hosts the festival’s headline acts. With rolling fields behind and pristine woodland to the side, you couldn’t ask for a more stunning setting for some of the UK’s top Jazz and Blues artists to perform. Inside the Hall, intimate acoustic performances mix with original Elizabethan carvings and French Impressionist art to create an inimitable festival experience.
On Friday and Saturday evening the Wolds Top beer tent plays host to the Beverley Arts Trust’s late night sessions of folk, jazz and rhythm ‘n’ blues.

Local food and drink feature heavily at the festival. At the tea tent and food lawn, festivalgoers can indulge in home-baked treats, barbecued local meats, freshly prepared curries, and salads grown in the neighbouring walled garden. In the beer tent award winning Wold Top beer is on tap, brewed just five miles away from the festival site.

A campsite in the field adjacent to the Hall offers welcome hot showers and panoramic views of the Yorkshire Wolds for those wishing to pitch a tent for a night or the whole weekend.

Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival welcomes families of all ages with its safe, easy-going vibe. There is plenty on offer for children including a Children’s Corner with play area, 15 acres of magical gardens to explore including a walled garden with maze, jungle garden and giant games and a woodland walk with forest creatures to find. Free face painting and balloon artistry caps off the entertainment.

Built between 1598 and 1610 by Sir Henry Griffith, Burton Agnes Hall is an Elizabethan stately home that has stayed within the Cunliffe-Lister family for more than four hundred years. Fifteen generations have filled the Hall with treasures, from magnificent carvings commissioned when the Hall was built to French impressionist paintings, contemporary furniture, tapestries and other modern artwork in recent years.
The charm of the house is that it is clearly a loved and lived in home and visitors are welcomed openly by the family in joining them to spend many enjoyable hours at Burton Agnes Hall.

‘Burton Agnes Hall ranks among the finest, and best presented, houses in England.  It is the perfect English house, embodying the climax of the final great age of domestic architecture’
Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust, journalist and author of England's Thousand Best Houses

2012 Festival Tickets info:
Weekend Advance Ticket
Friday 6pm – midnight, Saturday 11am – midnight, Sunday 11am – 6pm
£40 before 1st June / £50 after 31st May (Concessions £38 / £48)
Concessions: OAP’s, Season ticket holders, students, children 12-15 years
Children under 12: FREE with an adult

Day Ticket: Saturday 11am – midnight
£30 before 1st June / £35 after 31st May (Concessions £28 / £32)
Day Ticket: Sunday 11am – 6pm
£25 before 1st June / £30 after 31st May (Concessions £23 / £28)
Evening Ticket: Friday 6 pm – midnight or Saturday 6pm – midnight
£20 EACH DAY before 1st June / £25 EACH DAY after 31st May (Concessions £18 / £23)
Camping Voucher: Camping open Friday 3pm – Monday noon
£30 before 1st July / £35 after 31st May
Available online at and from the Festival Ticket Office Tel: 01262 490 324
Or Visit Burton Agnes Hall and its courtyard shops.

Sunday 4 March 2012

A new Leeds-based theatre company, Captain Mermaid Theatre Company ...

Captain Mermaid Theatre Company presents:



Written and performed by John Barber and Lisa Howard
Director: Fiona Penney, Original Music and Video: John Newman-Holden, Lighting Designer: Marcus Rapley, Additional Dialogue: Charles Dickens
Puppets designed and made by John Barber

In the year of Dickens’ 200th anniversary, Leeds-based theatre company Captain Mermaid present CAPTAIN MURDERER AND THE MORECAMBE MERMAID. Created and performed by Lisa Howard (Red Ladder’s BIG SOCIETY!) and John Barber, this two-man exploration of addiction, sexual exploitation, immigration and kiss-me-quick seaside cheekiness tells the story of a drunken end-of-the-pier show owner and his star attraction, ‘The Morecambe Mermaid.’

He’s trying desperately to tell his favourite story, a version of little-known Dickens short story, ‘Captain Murderer,’ about a dastardly captain who marries women before eating them in pies, but it’s not going well. His foul-mouthed daughter Tanya is more of a hindrance than a help and he could really do with a drink. All the mermaid wants is to get back to the sea, but he’s got something that she needs. Following their stories as they intertwine across Morecambe, from the beach to the fish monger, a hotel lounge to their washed-up end-of-the-pier show, this new production is a fast-moving parade of puppetry and masks, illusions, projections and original songs. 

A new Leeds-based theatre company, Captain Mermaid Theatre Company was founded by John Barber and Lisa Howard in 2010, following many years of previous collaborations.
The company is based in Chapel Town, Leeds and makes small-scale touring shows aimed at theatre and cabaret audiences. Captain Mermaid is driven by a desire to create intelligent funny populist theatre,
and to promote theatre skills within the region, through delivery of integrated workshops in masks and puppetry and skills sharing.

John Barber
gained his M.A. in Drama and Theatre Arts from Leeds University in 1983, then went on to found Open Hand Theatre Company, of which he was joint Artistic Director for 15 years. In his subsequent career as a freelance artist, he has worked as a performer, puppet designer and animation director in various regional theatres including, West Yorkshire Playhouse, York Theatre Royal, Library Theatre, Manchester, Bolton Octagon, Dundee Rep and many touring companies like Red Ladder, Hullabaloo, Kneehigh, Theatre Blah Blah Blah, as well as four years on the creative team of Green Ginger’s BAMBI – THE WILDNERNESS YEARS, devising, designing, building and performing internationally. He has taught puppet design at the ‘Institut International de la Marionette’ at Charleville-Mezieres. John is a Creative Associate of Hiccup Theatre.
Lisa Howard trained at East 15 Acting School between 1990 and 1993. As a professional actor, for over 17 years, she has worked in TV, Radio and Theatre. Her extensive and varied theatre experience includes dramatic, comic and musical roles with many Northern Reps and touring companies such as Hull Truck, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Broadsides, York Theatre Royal, Oldham Coliseum, The Torch Theatre, Northampton Rep, and The Dukes. Lisa has just completed a successful run of Big Society with Phill Jupitus, Red Ladder and Chumbawamba at Leeds City Varieties. Some of this work has involved puppetry and an ongoing professional collaboration with John Barber. As a professional singer, she has performed solo, in bands and duos and in cabaret, nationally and abroad.

Tour Dates:
29th March, Square Chapel, Halifax. Box Office 01422 349422

30th March, The Mart Theatre, Skipton. Box Office 01756 706460

31st March, York Theatre Royal. Box Office 01904 623568

13th April, Leeds City Varieties. Box Office 0113 243 0808

16th and 17th April, Bikeshed Theatre, Exeter. 01392667080

19th April, Plough Arts, Gt Torrington. 01805 624624

21st April, Burrell Theatre, Truro. Box Office 01872 246038

23rd April, Artrix, Bromsgrove. Box Office 01527 577 330

Riverhead Theatre, Louth. Box Office 01507 600 350

27th April, Otley Courthouse. Box Office 01943 467466

6th May, Winter Gardens, Morecambe Variety Festival.
Box Office 07776 198332

For details about the company please visit