Shammick Acoustic programme
Aug 25

Quicksilver: Hillary Spencert and Grant Baynham: Probably one of the most eclectic acts ever to perform at Shammick Acoustic, and it’s been far too long since they did!  Hilary Spencer trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, and has one of the most staggering voices ever to be heard on the British acoustic scene, with a breath-taking range of tone and mood.  Previously known as ‘the voice’ of award-winning a capella trio Artisan, she also works with the Mrs Ackroyd Trio, performing the musical works of the renowned comedy poet Les Barker.  Grant Baynham became a household name with his five years as resident performer on the ‘That’s Life!’ TV programme with Esther Rantzen.  A formidable songwriter and guitarist, his energy and enthusiasm create a high-powered performance in virtually every genre imaginable, from Django Reinhardt to Bach.  With the pair’s supreme sense of the ridiculous, and their polished musical skill, their partnership creates entertainment which is second to none.  As Ned Sherrin said, it’s ‘comic song touched with gold’!

Sept 8 Open Night: with featured performers Winter Wilson
Sept 22

Colum Sands:  Colum Sands, one of the famed Northern Irish musical family, is a universally acclaimed songwriter, having performed in over thirty countries around the world.  Not only that, but he often discovered that some of his songs had arrived before him, taken up by other performers such as Andy Irvine, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, and Roy Bailey.  His songs and stories observe the minute and often humorous details of life, and are not afraid to quietly point out the absurdities and results of historical and political happenings throughout the world, from Northern Ireland itself to Berlin and Israel.  With his touring, both solo and sometimes with the family band, and no less than nine albums to his credit, one wonders how he finds time to do anything else, but indeed he does.  For many years he presented Radio Ulster’s Folk Club programme, as well as broadcasting a series of programmes of Radio 2, and a series for RTE Radio, plus a Radio 4 documentary tracing the work of early folk music collectors in Ireland.  In addition he has produced countless albums for other songwriters and for traditional singers, been short-listed for a Grammy nomination, and been received the Living Tradition award for services to Folk and Traditional Music.  But quite apart from all that, he is warm, witty, moving and funny as a performer, and whether performing to three or three thousand people, makes everyone feel as if they were sitting in his living room.  Through the weaving of his songs, he has a gift of breaking down cultural barriers through choice words and eloquent music.  Welcome, Colum!

Oct 13 Open Night:
Oct 27

Cosmotheka: The duo of brothers Dave and Al Sealy lasted for more than a quarter of a century as Cosmotheka, named after the music hall in Marylebone, West London.  They made a huge name for themselves as performers of music hall songs, working initially on the English folk scene, but also doing countless radio shows and numerous TV appearances with the likes of Roy Hudd, Bob Monkhouse and Chas & Dave, as well as on ‘The Good Old Days’.  Sadly, Al passed away in 1999, but Dave continued to pursue a solo career - more recently he has been joined forces with his son, Dan, to recreate some of the old musical mayhem for which the original duo was so famous.  Dan, of course, grew up with the songs, but has his own take on the material.  An accomplished professional musician in his own right his guitar skills and dry wit introduce a compelling new dimension to the collaboration.  With Adam Barry on keyboard, they have picked up the trail from comedy giants like Gus Elan, Harry Champion and the rest, leading to a ‘Sweet Saturday: a bellyful of “Boiled Beef and Carrots”, a bellyful of ale, and a bellyful of laughs at some of the greatest songs ever written.  For Cosmotheka, these absurdly comic masterpieces are no longer yesterday’s - they belong to today.

Nov 10 Open Night:
Nov 24

Moira Craig & Carolyn Robson:  Previously two-thirds of the much-loved harmony trio Craig; Morgan; Robson until the sad passing of Sarah Morgan, these stunningly fine singers have kept the music alive, mainly concentrating on their native songs of Scotland and Northumbria.  Moira Craig is from East Kilbride, where music and singing was at the heart of family life, and although she left to work as a nurse in South East England more than thirty years ago, singing has still taken up most of her free time.  She has long been recognised for her superb interpretations of traditional songs and ballads, winning Sidmouth International Folk Festival’s ‘Sidmouth Singer of the Year’ award, and contributing to the CDs produced by the Pastimes shop, and performing in Britain, Germany and the USA.  Originally from the North East border country, Carolyn Robson has long been a professional singer and musician specialising in traditional folk song and dance.  With a number of albums to her name, Carolyn also has a wealth of singing and teaching experience, has made countless club and festival appearances, featured on radio and TV, and is widely recognised as one of the country’s finest female singers.  These two could charm the birds off the trees, and will have no difficulty in enthralling the audience at Shammick Acoustic.

Dec 8 Open Night:
Dec 22

WINTER WARMER with Vicky Swan and Jonny Dyer:  A welcome return to Vicki & Jonny, who were last guests at Shammick Acoustic way back in 2011.  This duo have impressive musical backgrounds, Vicki having studied at the Royal College of Music, and plays a huge variety of instruments, from various types of bagpipe to the nyckelharpa, a Swedish keyed fiddle, and is almost single-handedly responsible for the huge upsurge in the popularity of that instrument.   Jonny too shows outstanding technical ability on guitar and other stringed instruments, and on piano accordion.  His wide-ranging musical taste has made him a tireless and forceful musical innovator.  Rather than their usual traditional and original folk music, this time they come ready to charge everyone up for Christmas with their Winter Warmer show, a fun-filled festive evening of well-known singalong carols interspersed with famous Music Hall numbers and other seasonal favourites.  Performed in Victorian costume, this will appeal to everyone, young and old, as they present their light-hearted, humorous and fun show.  Come along and get in the mood!