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for an end of year round up, but i’m going to do one anyway.

2017 saw us take in 19 shows, featuring 46 different acts including 9 new faces to the WagonWheel stage. One of those was a brand new venue too with an unplugged special at Hop Hideout.

More of the same in 2018 then? We’ve got this lot lined up so far, including our second WagonWheel Weekender in March:

Thursday February 1st @ The Greystones : Quiet Loner (Battle For The Ballot show) + Kevin Titterton

Friday March 16th @ The Greystones : Rod Picott + Boss Caine

Saturday March 17th (afternoon) @ The Greystones : M&J Blues + Franc Cinelli + Andy P. Davison

Saturday March 17th (evening) @ The Greystones : The Fargo Railroad Co. + The Lucky Strikes + Franc Cinelli

Sunday March 18th (afternoon) @ The Greystones : A Prayer Away + Charlie Tophill + John Batchelor

Sunday March 18th (evening) @ The Greystones : Southern Tenant Folk Union + Paul Handyside

Saturday September 1st @ The Greystones : The BearCats + Bob Collum & The Welfare Mothers

Friday November 16th @ The Greystones : Richard Kitson + Ryan Farmer

 

I guess that’ll do for starters? Tickets for all February and March shows are available online at http://www.wegottickets.com/wagonwheelpresents and from the venue. Shows later in the year will be on sale soon. Thanks to everybody that joined us in 2017. Hope to see you for more again soon.

C
x

 

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seems to be, that wasn’t bad? Felt like a pretty good Sunday to me, not least due to an outstanding bunch of live sets from Dave Woodcock & The Dead Comedians, Joe Solo, Ash Gray & The Burners, Franc Cinelli, The Black Thunder Revue, Quiet Loner, Killing Fields Of Ontario, Idiot Son, Paul Handyside, Rory Cannon, Mat Wale & Little Convoy, Colin Mounsey, Massy Ferguson and Dave Woodcock. Big thanks as always to all of them, and to everybody that came along to a busy day at Shakespeares for our Tramlines show.

Our next show sees us venture to the Hop Hideout for the first time on Friday August 4th for an unplugged performance from The Fargo Railroad Co. Unfortunately, unless you were one of the lucky few who secured a ticket within the first hour or so of them going on sale, this show is already sold out.

So your next chance to join us for a WagonWheel Presents… show will likely be on Friday August 11th when Rachel Harrington returns to The Greystones. We’ve also got an opening set from Paul McClure and full details can be found here, maybe we’ll see you there?

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***UPDATE***

Unfortunately due to the weather and travel conditions for all concerned, we’ve sadly had to cancel today’s (Sunday) shows. For anybody who has bought advance tickets, refunds will be available from point of purchase. Really sorry to have to do this after three great shows already this weekend. We hope to arrange alternative dates for all the acts who were due to play today as soon as possible.

 

On the afternoon of Sunday March 18th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Jody Davies, Charlie Tophill and John Batchelor to The Greystones,  appearing “in the round” for a singer/songwriter show. Advance tickets priced at £5 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424857 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the day will be £6. Doors open 3pm. This is show #4 of our WagonWheelWeekend happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***JODY DAVIES***

If being in three bands wasn’t enough, Jody Davies also airs a more stripped down set of songs in his rare performances of his solo material. With just his vintage Gibson J-45 (you may know her as Dolly), expect raw, heartfelt songs and to hear one or two of the stories behind them.

 

***CHARLIE TOPHILL***

Charlie Tophill was raised in the penny arcades of a stony-beached seaside town in Kent. It was in this salty backwater that she first began singing for shrapnel and playing guitar for pennies.

After following the bright lights to North Yorkshire, she performed and toured with several bands – The Smoking Years, The Sam Griffiths Band and Curtis Eller’s American Circus – before returning to her solo roots.

Now Charlie performs her quirky brand of indie-pop with charm and humour, strumming out cheerful pessimism on an acoustic guitar. Her songs vacillate between light-hearted observation and intense feeling; catchy melodies and lyrically erudite songs delivered with honesty and warmth.

http://www.charlietophill.com/

 

***JOHN BATCHELOR***

A northern boy pretending he’s from Tennessee, John Batchelor is as a singer of modernfolk songs born from experience. There are flushes of country and blues and he has a distinctive voice pitched somewhere between classic crooning and modern mournfulness.

For the last few years you’ll have been more likely to catch John playing alongside Mat Wale in alt-country band Big Convoy, or more recently with instrumental rock outfit The Hill People.

http://myspace.com/johnbatchelor

 

Facebook Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/312329915938397

 

WagonWheelWeekendII Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/2061972757412062

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***UPDATE***

Unfortunately due to the weather and travel conditions for all concerned, we’ve sadly had to cancel today’s (Sunday) shows. For anybody who has bought advance tickets, refunds will be available from point of purchase. Really sorry to have to do this after three great shows already this weekend. We hope to arrange alternative dates for all the acts who were due to play today as soon as possible.

 

On Sunday March 18th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Southern Tenant Folk Union back to The Greystones as part their ‘work in progress’ tour, road testing songs from forthcoming new album Willie Rough. You can also expect songs from across all seven previous albums, especially their self titled debut record which has recently had a 10th anniversary reissue. Support comes from Paul Handyside. Advance tickets priced at £12 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/418077 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the night will be £14. Doors open 8pm. This is show #5 of our WagonWheelWeekend happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***SOUTHERN TENANT FOLK UNION***

Southern Tenant Folk Union are the Edinburgh based six-piece string band that over a series of albums have produced a thought provoking and arresting take on roots & folk music. Past winners of the ‘Americana Artist Of The Year’ award the band have taken their music onto BBC One TV’s prime political show ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ plus Irish TV’s world famous chat show ‘The Late Late Show’ as well as onto stages at prestigious festivals (Celtic Connections, Belfast Open House Festival, Orkney Folk Festival, Belladrum Festival, Electric Picnic & many more). They run their own record label and work completely independently releasing their own music.

Live reviews of their concert performances have picked up on their ‘tight delivery and soaring, gorgeous harmonies’ saying that ‘STFU are a must see live band combining a rich blend of musical talent with a high octane Appalachian style’ and they perform their own brand of ‘thrilling traditional musicianship’. Through extensive touring they have seen audiences grow year on year and now consistently sell-out concert venues all over the UK and Ireland. Artistically successful their albums have been reviewed and praised in The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Times and The Irish Times with their latest album awarded 4 stars in Q Magazine and described as containing ‘songs that embrace the traditional ambience of The Unthanks and the experimentation of Tunng’.

Started in 2006 by Belfast born and Liverpool/London raised musician Pat McGarvey, he has, through various different line-ups of the collective, driven ever increasingly forward in taking genre clichés and subverting them into more interesting shapes and patterns, attempting to create roots music that has depth both lyrically and musically. The name itself comes from a desire to find a union based name for the group and one that also suited the style of music. Unions thematically suiting a musical collective such as STFU (with small songwriters banding together) and also acting as intent for the band to counteract some of the media’s union bashing (and the excuses used to curtail worker’s rights in recent decades) by talking about the positive things unions have done for society. In trying to find a name they came upon and appropriated the ground breaking multi-racial tenant farmers collective from the new deal/dustbowl era the Southern Tenant Farmers Union.

The first two albums released when the band was based in London got them started on the Americana circuit in the UK and the success of the debut meant they had national distribution for the second. These albums both took a sometimes ‘straight bluegrass’ form (influenced mainly by The Stanley Brothers) as well as a nod towards Gene Clark, The Grateful Dead and Don Reno. A marked progression and the better distribution of the second cd saw them touring widely, being booked for a BBC Radio 2 session at Maida Vale (for the now sadly missed Mark Lamarr show ‘God’s Jukebox’) and establishing themselves in UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

With McGarvey moving to Edinburgh around the second album’s release the next year would see the original line-up all move on leading to McGarvey reforming the collective in Scotland and mostly working on songwriting by himself for the third album. Free to do what he liked McGarvey began to incorporate some other more unexpected yet appropriate lyrical ideas into the new material. Realising that even as folk music’s tales of human suffering, brutality, love, empowerment and death are usually set in the past they also serve as a warning for the future. That plus the reasoning that the sound of the future in any post technological society is more likely to be folk/acoustic based gave McGarvey the licence to experiment with more dark folk musical tones and ‘science fiction’ lyrics. Though not of course laser guns and silver jump suits, more descriptions & stories of a return to the hard agrarian, feudal landscape of just a few centuries ago in one possible future.

Recording the third album with a new line up in Nov 2009, including Adam Bulley on mandolin and Chris Purcell on guitar, went well despite the lead singer John Langan saying mid sessions he probably wouldn’t be able to tour (before going awol for several months forcing the band to recruit Ewan Macintyre to replace him). When ‘The New Farming Scene’ album was finally released on the band’s own label in June 2010 it received the best press of any album so far including a 4 star review in The Independent (and in an article criticising Mercury Music Prize 2010 the same reviewer, Andy Gill, named the album as one that should be considered for that award) and many other national reviews in The Sunday Times, Irish Times and Scotsman. The band appeared on live TV (The View on RTE 1) for the first time and also played the song ‘No Work Today’ on the legendary ‘Loose Ends’ show on BBC Radio 4. The year ended on a high with the band winning ‘Americana Artist Of The Year’ at the British Country Music Awards.

Touring with the new Scottish line-up the band began to play bigger venues and start to work collectively on the follow-up which came out in June 2011. ‘Pencaitland’ also got some great reviews (including first reviews in The Guardian and The Sun) though disappointed a few critics that had loved the previous album. Highlights included the John Carpenter influenced lead track ‘I Dream Of Burning Buildings’ (based on a synthesiser instrumental McGarvey had recorded in 1996) and the title track ‘Pencaitland’ – both songs making use of the bowed double bass on one of their records for the first time, a sound that continues to feature heavily live and in the studio. One track ‘The Rights & Interests Of The Laboring Man’, a song about union busting in early 20th century USA, was also donated to the Morning Star anniversary compilation cd “We’re All In This Together”.

So after deciding a more focused album might alleviate any of the perceived problems surrounding ‘Pencaitland’ another themed album like the third was proposed that would this time take ‘modern horror’ as the lyrical background and use some of the arpeggiated and almost atonal musical ideas from 70’s and 80’s cult soundtrack composers (such as the aforementioned John Carpenter as well as Fabio Frizzi, Goblin and Tangerine Dream) to set the scene for the subject matter. These series of notes actually fitted very well on the 5 String Banjo (when it was muted with a tea towel) and mimicked the sound of 1970’s sequencing keyboards like the Moog. Key to the sound too was Jed Milroy’s clarinet playing and Marty Camino’s expert and powerful double bass tone with plenty of the aforementioned bowing.

Modern horror was the overarching theme then that would give the songwriters something to start from but also allow complete freedom as it could include ideas as diverse as problems with capitalism to a personal horror of socially awkward situations or a fear of crime or of redundancy or a loss of self-confidence; anything that could be adapted into an interesting and, crucially, well written song or piece of music.

This began to be a hard sell to the collective and, despite some good songs emerging initially, tension began to develop as the themed nature of the album’s direction couldn’t be agreed upon. Personalities began to push and be pushed as songs that didn’t fit everyone’s own ideas were proposed. Compromise was eventually reached ahead of the recording session and though some members didn’t get the straight bluegrass album they wanted and others didn’t get the darker more extreme album they wanted the end result was an album that in its making became something else. Highlights included the Donald Ker poetic adaptation (by Carrie Thomas) ‘Days By The Seaside With Ice Cream’, the post-apocalyptic stomper ‘Chest Freezer’ (filmed for Balcony TV in Dublin) and the horror-arpeggiated ‘Crash’ inspired by the JG Ballard novel. Also coming to the fore was the song writing ability of Chris Purcell with three excellent songs full of atmosphere and beauty, namely the title track ‘Goodbye Sun’, ‘Relic Of A Reasonable Mind’ (with its daring use of eBow by Adam Bulley) and the co-write with McGarvey of ‘Conscience Falls’.

Released in January 2013 ‘Hello Cold Goodbye Sun’ was almost universally awarded 4 star reviews (in The Independent, Q Magazine, Scotland On Sunday, The Scotsman, Mail On Sunday & many more), became number one in the Americana UK Chart by March and appeared in The Herald’s Top 50 Scottish Albums of 2013 list. Amongst the sold out album release tour the band were asked to play at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow and to appear on live national TV twice. Firstly in Ireland for ‘The Late Late Show on RTE 1’ (the world’s longest running chat show) and later in the year on BBC One TV’s ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ where political song ‘Men In Robes’ was performed in front of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Since the release and the album tour, the band line-up had changed again and just as before as some people moved on then some new people joined each bringing different experience, interesting ideas and new influences to the collective. People like talented Scottish singer songwriter Rory Butler (winner of Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in 2012), fiddle player Dirk Ronneburg (from Cera Impala & The New Prohibition), mandolin player Danny Hart (from STFU label mates Blueflint) and, from Inverness, double bass player Craig Macfadyen. Work has started on the 6th album and it promises to take the disparate influences the band has, expand upon them, and progress the experiment ever further whilst always posing the question “what can we do with these acoustic instruments?”. The band continue to tour in the manner of Willie Nelson, that is with an exciting live show that engages the audience, talks & tells stories, discusses issues, is informal and also one that displays the fully eclectic and interesting music from across the band’s career to date. And like Willie they play the hits.

http://www.southerntenantfolkunion.com

 

***PAUL HANDYSIDE***

Paul Handyside is a folk and roots singer songwriter. His song writing style has been compared to artists as varied as Chris Difford, Billy Bragg, Robyn Hitchcock, Green Gartside, Elvis Costello, Jeff Buckley and Martin Carthy.He began his musical career with eighties indie darlings Hurrah! The jangle pop band had album releases on Kitchenware and Arista Records from 1982 to 1991 and toured extensively worldwide. During the nineties he toured and recorded with friend and Kitchenware labelmate Martin Stephenson.Handyside formed Bronze in 2001. Still embracing chiming, Rickenbacker driven pop, and increasingly alt country, they released two albums, The Statue in the Stone and A Common Prayer. His debut solo album Future’s Dream, a combination of pop, country and modern day hymns was released in 2007 to great reviews. The second album Wayward Son followed in 2013 and further developed his own brand of folk-tinged americana.

The latest album Tide, Timber & Grain was released in April 2016 with elements of traditional British folk and sixties protest songs emerging in Handyside’s now well established and diverse musical palette. This time the recordings were based around the trio of Paul on vocals, guitar and harmonium; producer Rob Tickell on weissenborn slide guitar, bass and guitar; Dave Porthouse (the original bass player from Hurrah!) on melodeon and double bass.

http://www.paulhandyside.com

 

Facebook Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/188859431857959

 

WagonWheelWeekendII Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/2061972757412062

 

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and indeed dusted. A fine year that saw WagonWheel Presents… host 25 shows (including our 200th) featuring 60 different acts including 13 new faces to our stage. There were a few returning old friends we’d not seen since the days of The Grapes, two EP launches and a full day of Tramlines. A pretty good year all in we think.

So now to trying to raise the bar again for 2015. These are all the confirmed dates we have lined up so far:

Jeffrey Foucault @ The Greystones, Tues Feb 3rd £10adv £12otd

Amelia Curran + Dennis Ellsworth @ The Greystones, Sun Feb 8th £9adv £11otd

Big Convoy + Bob Collum & The Welfare Mothers + Micky Denny @ Shakespeares, Sat Feb 28th £4adv £5otd

Good Luck Mountain + Jack Harris @ Shakespeares, Thurs March 5th £8adv £10otd

Josh Harty + Kelley McRae @ The Greystones, Thurs March 26th £7adv £9otd

Tomorrow We Sail + Idiot Son + The Listeners @ Shakespeares, Sat March 28th £4adv £5otd

Roger Davies @ Shakespeares, Sat May 30th £6adv £8otd

John Statz @ The Greystones, Weds June 10th £6adv £8otd

Tickets for all of the above are on sale now at http://www.wegottickets.com/wagonwheelpresents. There are a few reasons why you might want to check out our latest newsletter too.

 

And that’s all for now, we’ll be back in January with more dates to add to the above. Thank you to everybody that has been to, played at, written about and shared details of any of our gigs this year. Have yourselves a very merry Christmas and we’ll hopefully see you at a show in 2015.

C
x

 

cowboy_christmas_eve

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So today marks 8 years since the very first WagonWheel show. On 30th October 2006 at The Grapes we did this:

Flyer

There have been a few more dodgy flyers since show #1, and few hopefully not so. We’ve just posted some of them here on our Facebook page.

Those 8 years have seen 219 shows (the full list can be found by clicking here) at 6 different venues, and we start year 9 this Saturday with The Fargo Railroad Co., The Farewell State and Mordrake at Shakespeares. More details for this one can be found on the Gigs page.

Thanks to all who’ve joined us at either side of the mic so far.

x

Roger Davies @ The Grapes, 30.10.06

Roger Davies @ The Grapes, 30.10.06

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Sheffield artist Martin Bedford has created a fresh new batch of posters for several of our upcoming shows as you can see below. Click here to take a look at Martin’s website, or if you find yourself in town then you can see much more of Martin’s work at Eten Cafe (next to the Cathedral) where there’s an exhibition of his poster art on until November 1st. You can find more details of the exhibition here.

Tickets for the below and all WagonWheel Presents… shows are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/wagonwheelpresents and for all shows at The Greystones are also available from the venue between 12 & 6pm. More details for all upcoming dates can be found by clicking here.

 

WWP 27.09.14 SmallWWP 14.10.14 SmallWWP 16.10.14 SmallWWP 14.11.14 SmallWWP 20.11.14 SmallWWP 29.11.14 Small

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