4Square are a Manchester-based quartet who play and sing a melodic blend of tunes and songs, both traditional and self penned. I managed to catch Nicola and Jim of the band supporting Cara Dillon in November 2008 and was greatly impressed by their set. See all four in action at Littleborough Rushbearing 2011.
A fine local singer/songwriter, hopefully Pete will reach a larger audience thanks to John Wright recording his 'Windy Harbour' on his 'Time To Learn' cd and Anthony John Clarke having also recorded two of Pete's songs. A great guitarist to accompany his relaxed singing Pete's well worth seeking out!
A regular performer at the Waggon Inn Folk Club, Milnrow in the early 80's, Stan has gone on to perform his comic and serious songs all over the world. A first class club performer, he comes into his own on the festival scene. Taken at a friend's birthday party in July 1984.
Seen here in August 2014 prior to their 'reunion' tour
Fronted by singer-songwriter Clive Gregson, Any Trouble were signed to Stiff Records in 1980 and touted by the press as the next Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Their debut album Where Are All The Nice Girls was critically acclaimed. The band followed it with Wheels In Motion (1981), then signed with EMI America before disbanding in 1984 after five LPs.
One of the first acts to introduce me to 'Lancashire Folk' was Gary and Vera and they're still going strong!
Having won the Radio Two Folk award for "Best Folk Club in Britain" resident band Auld Triangle would surely have been in the running for a "Best resident band award" had there been one. Most Folk Club audiences would go home happy having listened to these residents, to have guests as well was a bonus!. Sadly, Pat Batty is now the only member of the band left. For more photos follow the picture link
The Club closed in January 2008 with a spectacular finale at the Rivington Hall Barn featuring a number of guests that had played the club over the years including: Ruth and Ken (Risky Business), Strawhead, The Oldham Tinkers (original), John Leonard and John Squire, The Tom Topping Band, Vin Garbutt, Maddy Prior, Julie Matthews, Pete Abbott, John Wright, Tony Gibbons, Anthony John Clarke, Phil Beer and Bernard Wrigley.
Photos from the night can be found here
Bandersnatch combine rich vocal harmonies with excellent musicianship. They play everything from 'Traditional' to 'Self-Penned' and 'Contemporary' songs in a way that grabs their audience from the start and guarantees a great evening's entertainment.
I had the great pleasure of enjoying Les' performances over the years, definitely a once seen never forgotten performer. Who could forget hearing Jason and the Arguments, Spencer's Dog Rover, Cosmo the Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower and Earwigo and the rest over the years and not produce a smile? Sadly, we lost him in January 2023, this is a montage that I produced in 2022 to celebrate his retirement.
| Alan Bell
I first caught Alan playing with the Taverners in the early 70s and have been a frequent visitor to his Fylde Festivals ever since the 6th one. This shot was taken at Fylde in September 1986.
Manchester based Peter Belsten is a talented singer/songwriter that I first met in the early 1980's and have kept in touch with ever since
The Gallery contains a selection of photos taken of him and his bands during the 80's and 90's
Dom Dudill and Peter Belsten of Blackbush seen here at Prestwich Clough Day in May 2022
| Harry Boardman
A sadly missed singer of Lancashire songs, I took this photo of Harry at Fylde in August 1985. I only managed to get to his Unicorn Folk Club a handful of times, but I enjoyed every visit that I made.
If you're looking for a great night out and see this band advertised get along. With a combination of original songs and tunes along with the best of Celtic, Irish, Americana and Folk a good time will be had by all.
Britannia Coconutters of Bacup with blacked-up faces and what they claim to be authentic Moorish pirate costumes perform around 40 gigs a year. Every Easter Saturday no matter what the weather they gather a 9am at the Travellers Rest Public House on the A671 Rochdale to Bacup, get along if you can!
Seen here playing with Loose Chippings at Fylde in August 1986.
Phil is now hosting the weekly 'The Drift' show on Radio Lancashire
| Mike Canavan
I first saw Mike when he ran St Clare's Folk Club in Blackley inthe 70's. This photo was taken at the Library Theatre, Manchester in September 1983.
A legend on England's North West folk scene, sadly we lost Mike in May 2013 but he will live on through his songs such as Sad Cavalier, Knocker Upper Man, Don't Bring That In Here Lad, Corporation Baths and Pint of John Willie Lees.
Bluegrass, hillbilly and alt. country sounds from Manchester.
Chris Cyprus hosts the Unplugged night every
other Friday at the Railway Inn at Greenfield near Oldham (Contact the
pub for details).
| Tony Downes
I first saw Tony at the Fishermans Inn Folk Club as part of the Beggarmen with Martyn Lynnott. He continues to perform with Hanky Park. Taken here at the Library Theatre, Manchester in September 1983.
I can't remember when I first met Des, he seems to have always been around, but I can recommend that you look him up if he's appearing in your vicinity. He was part of the 'New Bracken Band' that won the best newcomers award at the Edinburgh Folk Festival in the early 80's and continues to perform both solo and with his various 'friends'. With a new cd 'Live in the Kitchen Too' due to be released early in 2007 by Reaction Records there should be more chances to catch up with him.
He was taken here at a memorial concert for our mutual friend Dave Weatherall.
Dr Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band, a travelling troupe of musicological minstrels, peddling their unique good-time tonic to all four corners of the land, seen here at Prestwich Clough Day in May 2022
"Ursula Holden-Gill is an award winning actress but now she has walked into the limelight as a highly gifted storyteller. As well as being an insightful comedienne and a very impertinent musician she has that rare gift of authenticity in her humour. Ursula has her own cheeky way of recounting tales of the strange" (Society for Storytelling).
| Keith Hancock
I first saw Keith perform with the Electropathic Battery Band in 1984 and have seen him a number of times solo since. A full-blooded performer with a number of well constructed songs. This shot was taken at Fylde in August 1986.
Harp and a Monkey are electro-folk storytellers with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spooky vignettes of Northern life, love and remembrance. The trio of Martin Purdy, Andy Smith and Simon Jones channel the ghosts of summers spent in municipal parks and winters walking on the moors.
As well as playing in the 'Tom Topping Band' Colin is also a fine singer songwriter who got into 'Folk' music by, like me, hearing Bob Dylan for the first time. However Colin's gone one step further by releasing a cd of his versions of some of his favourite 'Dylan' songs. Well worth looking out for!
| Geoff Higginbottom
Singing round the clubs and festivals for a number of years. Taken here at Fylde in August 1986.
Ramsbottom band Horses on the Move create their own blend of cosmic country rock. The band features Damien Heakin on guitar and vocals, Lucy Whitton on piano and vocals, Paul Davies on ukulele, Rick Entwistle on bass and Al Entwistle on drums.
| The Hometowners
Mick Collins, Kevin Clarke and Pete McMillan are the hosts of the very popular Sunday Singers Night at the Cross Keys in Uppermill. They are seen here peforming at Shaw Playhouse.
The House Devils are a Manchester based band with core members Matt Fahey and Mat Walklake who areare joined by Jonny Hulme on banjo.
The Houghton Weavers have been entertaining folk for years with their unique blend of popular folk music, humour and audience participation and are still going strong. Great entertainment.
After years of enjoying most Sunday nights at The Waggon Inn Folk Club it finally drew to a close and I was fortunte enough to have a camera with me. As well as Jolly Jack a lot of the local performers were there for the night including regular supporters such as Jack Lee, Stanley Accrington, Tony Downes, Russell Hood, Russ Clegg and Jim Cooper
Carol has toured and recorded extensively with stars such as Sting, Queen, Seal, Michael Bolton, Amy Winehouse and Bon Jovi and is seen here playing alongside Berkley, Hart, Selis and Twang in July 2014.
Jaywalkers are a real melting pot of their collective inspirations and the influences of their musical upbringings. This is evident in their live sets which come to life in their use of Country heartbreak and Bluegrass dynamism applied to issues of the modern day and life as a touring band…mostly stuck on the M6. ?
“Stunning three-part harmonies, soaring fiddles and fearless mandolins … a powerhouse of Americana who can cook up a storm without the need to plug themselves into any cumbersome amplification.” Country Music Magazine ?
Described as Manchester’s Best Kept Secret, with loops, beats, driving guitar and a soulful vocal, Denis has been described as a latter day John Martyn, but he's much more than that. Denis creates vast, complex orchestrations of beat-box rhythms, multi-layered vocals and other-wordly sounds which veer from subtle heart-wrenching folk and blues to heavy bass-driven electronica.
| Joe Kerrins
A wonderful Irish singer taken during a floor spot at the Waggon Folk Club in October 1982.
Rochdale born Becky Langan is a percussive fingerstyle guitarist who employs a combination of extended techniques that explore the outermost reaches of the acoustic guitar. She was a semi-finalist in Guitar Star 2016 which was aired on Sky Arts.
I first came across Jack in the 70's when I became a regular attendee of the Fisherman's Inn folk club at Hollingworth Lake that he ran with his wife Mavis for 5 years. Some of the first guests I saw there included Tickawinda, Heather Whittaker, Marie Little and Jez Lowe with Jed Foley a wonderful introduction to this music for which I'll be forever grateful.
Sadly we lost Jack in January 2015 but my memories of the many happy hours spent in his company will last forever. RIP Jack!
©All the photos are the copyright of Roger Liptrot ©