From: Martin Snodin [martin_dot_snodin_at_homecall_dot_co_dot_uk]
Sent: 06 January 2008 19:51
Subject: Acoustic Sussex 'New Year' Newsletter 6 January 2008

Newsletter           6th January 2008


Contact details
Tel. 01342 716975
or email:


Welcome to this first newsletter of 2008. We’ve some great events lined-up, including some that are selling fast already, such as BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees Rachel Unthank & The Winterset (the Chequer Mead show was recently listed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the events to look forward to in 2008).  And Ashley HutchingsLark Rise to Candleford is likely to sell out quickly, especially as the TV adaptation of the books starts on BBC One next Sunday (13 January). 


For more information on Acoustic Sussex shows including sound samples, click on the artists' website links below or visit our
Myspace website


Ø     Monday 14 JanuaryMartin Stephenson (support: Emma Kirby) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Ø     Thursday 7 February - Rachel Unthank & The Winterset at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø     Monday 18 February Charlie Dore (support: Chris Simmons) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Ø     Saturday 1 MarchAshley HutchingsLark Rise to Candleford at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø     Monday 10 March Tom McConville (support: tbc) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Click here for other 2008 dates

Now playing on the ‘new and improved’ MySpace site -  Martin Stephenson, Charlie Dore, Lark Rise (sampler) and more


Following the support of many of you in making 2007 a successful year for us, Acoustic Sussex has made its second donation to local charities. In it News Release sent to the press, spokesman Peter Spencer saysOur main aim is quite simply to put on great quality live music events but as a non-profit voluntary organisation, any money we make from our programme is paid to charity. Donations of £1,125 each have been made to the MS Society’s Brambles Respite Care Centre in Horley and to
St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley.”

Thank you for your continued support in coming to our music events – hope to see you during 2008!


14 January
at The Ravenswood
Support: Emma Kirby

£10 (£12  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



"Stephenson’s live shows are totally unique - drawing on chat with members of the audience, new songs (often songs made then and there) and old material from his 25+ year back catalogue. He in short is a stand up comedian, fantastic guitar player, excellent songwriter - and in my opinion the best live musician I have ever seen."
Bob Paterson, BPA Live

Martin Stephenson, formerly of The Daintees, is an extremely gifted singer, songwriter, musician and performer. Originally influenced by the punk rock era, his free spirit incorporated a musical range from rockabilly through show tunes and straight rock to the success of The Daintees, of which he was a founder member in the '80s. The band’s debut single, "Roll On Summertime" was a sparkling, cheerful item that announced the arrival of a considerable new talent.

Now relocated in the Highlands of Scotland, Martin remains a gifted, but selfeffacing, and modest individual. He ploughs his own furrow, still refining his already prodigious musical skills. A unique talent, when he's not playing the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall with Janis Ian, you could see him standing on the corner in Inverness town with a banjo playing ragtime. Or maybe travelling through Spain solo. Or with his swing band 'The Toe-Rags'. Or playing an intimate London show in the 12 Bar on Denmark St. next to "Hank's" guitar shop where he hacked his two vintage Gibsons in 1992.

 “The originality in Stephenson's work comes from something much deeper than chords and notes and lyrics - it is essentially about a belief in music as a healing device, as a power for good, and as a tonic for emotional trauma - 'The Song Of The Soul' - yes, that will do nicely”
Richard Cundill (from ‘The Song of the Soul’ biography)

Special support tonight is provided by new singer songwriter Emma Kirby, who comes recommended by record producer Steve Hillier – check our MySpace site for sound samples.


Martin Stephenson


Emma Kirby


Click here for News Release (in PDF format)  including “20 things you never knew about Martin Stevenson

7 February
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
Support: Anna Tabbush (tbc)

£13 (£11 conc)     8pm
Box office 01342 302000



It's looking great in 2008”Captivating narrative folk songs… with voices, piano, fiddle and cello, they play hauntingly beautiful renditions of traditional songs, self-penned compositions and intriguing cover versions."  The Telegraph 29/12/2007 selected gigs for 2008

Recently nominated in 4 of the 9 categories in the BBC Folk Awards ((winners to be announced on 4 February), the all-girl Northumbrian quartet have courted the mainstream without diluting their folk roots, luring fans as disparate as Phil Jupitus, Kate Rusby, and Stuart Maconie. They bring honesty and imagination to the tradition alongside charming interpretations of songs by the likes of Antony & The Johnsons, Robert Wyatt and Bonnie Prince Billy.

In fact, while Rachel & co. come from a very traditional starting point, viewing them in a folk context could be misleading, not to mention limiting. Rachel & co are better seen alongside the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom; eclectic artists whose only common ground is in sounding like nothing that has come before.

"Quite possibly the folk album of this generation" ***** Rock'n'Reel

"utterly gorgeous" **** The Guardian»

"deeply atmospheric" **** MOJO

"glorious" **** Uncut

Intimate, epic, overflowing with feeling and musical intelligence”’
The Independent

“The Bairns is a magical album...a work of towering quality" The Telegraph


BBC Folk Awards website


Rachel Unthank & The Winterset


Click here for News Release (PDF format) with biography

18 February
at The Ravenswood
Support: Chris Simmons

£10 (£12  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



Charlie Dore is one of the UK’s most respected songwriters. Initially a highly original solo artist (her self-written single Pilot Of The Airwaves reached number 13 on the Billboard chart back in 1980), she went on to ply her gifts for inspired melodies, big harmonies  and clever, quietly subversive lyrics in the wider commercial marketplace, and with great success: Tina Turner, Celine Dion, George Harrison, Lisa Stansfield, UB40, Jimmy Nail, Sheena Easton and Hayley Westenra are just a handful of the diverse artists to have covered her songs.

Originally trained as an actress, Charlie has worked in TV, Theatre, Radio and Film, starring opposite Jonathan Pryce In the award-winning 'The Ploughman’s Lunch'

With her acclaimed album, Sleep All Day, Charlie hit a new vein of creativity, drawing freely on her acoustic folk/country roots. Written simply and organically with Julian Littman, the album drew unequivocal media praise and many new fans. Her most recent album, ‘Cuckoo Hill’ also received rave reviews; if you appreciate good songs, beautifully sung, it’s highly recommended. Charlie’s new album should be out in the new year, just in time for the gig.

"Playful and clever… a wonderful kind of bittersweet pastoral Englishness" Americana UK

Special support for this show is provided by highly regarded Brighton-based singer songwriter Chris Simmons. After a year in Australia, Chris returned to the UK and quickly won Southern FM`s Battle of The Bands (beating 400 other acts) and has gone on to play an impressive list of support slots with acts including The Kooks, Squeeze, Suede, Finlay Quaye and many more. He has had tracks played on Radio One, Radio 2, XFM and many other commercial stations in the UK, Spain, the USA and Australia as well as appearing live on BBC One, Sky One and ITV.


Charlie Dore

Chris Simmons


Click here for News Release (PDF format) with biography

1 March
A musical adaptation by Ashley Hutchings’ Lark Rise band
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
Support: tbc

£14 (£10 conc)     8pm
Box office 01342 302000



Lark Rise to Candleford, written by Flora Thompson, recalls the rural England of the late 19th Century, leading up to the Great War of 1914 - 1918. It is crammed full of stories, customs, music, singing games and much more besides.

When the National Theatre decided to put on a play of Lark Rise two decades ago, it was Ashley Hutchings who was appointed Music Director and his Albion Band provided the music.  A follow-up, Candleford, employed the same team.  A record of music and stories from the National Theatre productions soon followed. 

With the recent CD release of this classic album, Ashley has formed the Lark Rise band to once again draw focus to the memorable music of the plays. Joining him in the band is a new generation of singers and musicians, all of whom have discovered the magic of Lark Rise and its words and music.

A concert performance by the Lark Rise band will present music, words, dance and song from the book and the plays, celebrating a lost way of life so memorably captured by Flora Thompson.

A superb glimpse of an England that is now lost
here for a review of the show from Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

Click here for our official News Release (in PDF format) with more about the history of the musical adaptation of Lark Rise.

STOP PRESS - A ten-part adaptation of Lark Rise to Candleford featuring an all-star cast (including Dawn French) begins on Sunday evenings on BBC One early in 2008.



More about Lark Rise and
Flora Thompson’s books


Lark Rise Band


Lark Rise CD on Elephant Records website


BBC One news item

10 March
TOM McCONVILLE with Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
at The Ravenswood
Support: tbc

£9 (£11  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



Tom McConville, often known as The Newcastle Fiddle Player, is one of the leading fiddle players of our time. A virtuoso musician and fantastic singer, his rich and warm voice makes his interpretation of traditional and contemporary songs greatly admired by singers throughout the world.

In great demand as a performer, session musician and teacher, playing the fiddle is his lifelong passion and he has achieved every player’s dream of creating his own unique, instantly recognizable sound.

His live performances combine a rollercoaster of musical delights from fast, rhythmic dance tunes - through beautiful slow airs and of course, great singing - all presented with his inimitable sense of humour and style.

Tom met All-Ireland Champion Claire Mann (flute, fiddle, whistle and vocals) and Scots Trad Music Awards ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ Aaron Jones (bazouki, guitar, vocals) between the thriving traditional music scenes in Newcastle and Edinburgh.  Over several years as friends and musical acquaintances, they have developed a unique and exciting musical relationship, performing a mixture of traditional and original Scottish, Irish and English music and song, enthralling audiences wherever they perform.

“My biggest influence” Seth Lakeman

"When my schoolmates had boy bands on their Walkmans, I was listening to Tom McConville" Kate Rusby

"Tom is a brilliant fiddler and great singer; a wonderful ambassador of the James Hill musical tradition "  Aly Bain

"Tom is a great player, and a terrific singer, he happens to be a number one bloke too. Tom plays as Tom is, with honesty and passion, and an obvious love for the fiddle and traditional music." Dave Swarbrick


Tom McConville

Claire Mann and Aaron Jones

Don’t forget that as well as our own shows, the Acoustic Sussex website has a Regional Gig Guide and links to venues and clubs in the South East that offer folk, roots and acoustic music – and our MySpace site contains over 500 links to a variety of other MySpace ‘friends’ sites, including musicians, venues, magazines and lots more.


Regional Gig Guide

For your future diaries...


Other 2008 dates in the Acoustic Sussex programme include:

Ø    31 March – Brooks Williams (website) + Marsha Swanson (website)

Ø    21 April - Corinne West (website) + David Celia (website)

Ø    15 May– Tannahill Weavers (website) + support (tbc)

Ø    2 June – Amy Wadge (website) + support (tbc)

Ø    18 June – new show to be confirmed in the next few days

Ø    26 June - Lucy Kaplansky - CANCELLED

Ø    21 July - Eve Selis Band (website) + support (tbc)


More information on all up-and-coming artists can be found on our website: You can also find us on MySpace (with samples from some of the artists appearing) at: If you know anyone who you think may enjoy our events, please forward this email to them.


If you do not wish to be on this mailing list,  please reply to this email, ensuring you include your name in the email and the word 'unsubscribe' in the heading. (Please note the list has recently been re-built so please accept our apologies if you have received this newsletter in error.)
Thank you.


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