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Topic Records 80th Anniversary: Martin Carthy, Lisa Knapp, Sam Lee, Alasdair Roberts, Olivia Chaney, Spiro, Chris Wood, Marry Waterson, Bernard Butler, Gerry Diver & more
Topic Records – the oldest independent label in the World – celebrates its 80th birthday in 2019. To coincide with the anniversary, the label releases a new landmark album entitled Vision and Revision: The First 80 Years Of Topic Records on 31 May, featuring an array of British folk royalty, each interpreting a song of their choice from Topic’s vast back catalogue. The special celebratory Barbican live date on 7 June 2019 will feature many of the artists on the album.
Image © Morley von Sternberg
This event takes place at Barbican Centre, which has achieved Silver Status for disabled access from Attitude Is Everything.
Former member of Steeleye Span, The Albion Band and folk super group Band Of Hope, Martin Carthy was awarded the MBE in 1998 for services to folk music. Further credits include nurturing Bob Dylan and giving his arrangement of Scarborough Fair to Paul Simon. He's a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed
material. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife Norma Waterson and daughter Eliza Carthy has resulted in more than 40 albums.
Martin Carthy tour dates
Singer and fiddle player Lisa Knapp’s debut album ‘Wild & Undaunted’ propelled her onto the scene with new interpretations of traditional folk songs and original songs. She continues to tour with her band and feature in prestigious projects rooted in the folk idiom but by no means bound by it.
Lisa Knapp tour dates
Sam Lee is a folk singer, promoter and animateur. A naturally gifted voice, Sam is fast becoming accepted as a new pioneer, defining the sound, sight and texture of contemporary folksong. With his live band, Sam Lee and Friends, he carves a new acoustic with homemade and mongrelised instrumentation using unconventional and contemporary arrangements that challenging preconceptions of what 'traditional folk' should sound like. He is a former Mercury Prize nominatee, song collector, promoter (of BBC award winning Nest Collective) radio host, TV personality, teacher and animateur.
Sam Lee tour dates
One man, one guitar, and a quality selection of bittersweet folk songs. He has a recurrent interest in metaphysical themes and in folklore and history. Alasdair Roberts has had a remarkable career to date, starting his music-making in the mid-nineties (under the band name Appendix Out), collaborating widely with many musicians in the intervening 20 years as well as artists from other disciplines such as film makers, poets and puppeteers.
Alasdair Roberts tour dates
Gifted folk singer who conjures dark-eyed sailors, damsels in distress and rakish knights from an Indian harmonium and steelstring guitar.
'A star in the making' (The Independent).
Olivia Chaney tour dates
Take four musicians from backgrounds as diverse as classical and punk, and embark on a musical adventure. Tunes collide with rhythms and counter melodies - a powerhouse of sound. Violin, mandolin, accordion and guitar comprise the unique experience that is Spiro.
'Mesmeric, cinematic, breathtaking and beautiful' (Songlines)
'Spiro are that rarity: true English originals' (The Guardian)
'Genuinely unlike anything else, and exciting, rewarding and gorgeous in equal measure' ( fRoots)
'You feel your heart lift a few inches above its normal resting place' (The Word)
'Fantastic, complex and totally original' (Music News)
'English folk meets Philip Glass' (Evening Standard).
Spiro tour dates
Chris Wood's style of English folk appeals to a wide and varied audience. He has converted many an anti-folk fan with his blend of traditional and modern songwriting, and has been hailed by the Irish Times as 'the renaissance man of English folk'.
Often compared to Richard Thompson, his music explores the history of the English-speaking world alongside tales of modern life.
'Wood is an intimate storyteller, applying such nuance and gravitas to every phrase you are imperceptibly lured into his world' (Mojo Magazine)
Chris Wood tour dates
Members of the Watersons folk family, cousin of Eliza Carthy and granddaughter of the great Norman Waterson, it was some time before Marry was about to take centre stage in her own right. Her style owes much to folk tradition, but without being beholden to it. Her 2011 album recorded with brother Oliver was nominated for a BBC Folk Award. Outside of the Waterson family, she has also collaborated with the likes of Kathryn Williams and James Yorkston.
Marry Waterson tour dates
Former member of Suede now going alone. He has been hailed by some critics as the greatest guitarist of his generation, as well as one of Britain's most original and influential guitarists.
Bernard Butler tour dates