Behind the door of the Tudor Pile on the evening of April 17th was magic
Vanessa Woolf told a chiller of treasure & an ill favoured tongue
GentleFolk trod the old boards & sang about the ancient woodlands
Then Wizz Jones gave a masterclass in what it is to be a lifelong Troubador
If you were there you know how good this night was.
Cunning Folk will no doubt return to Sutton House soon.
In the meantime a season of talks about aspects of folk, world & roots music are being scheduled so watch this space.
Also Cunning Folk is putting on a guided walk of South East London with a difference on July 4th. Follow the link for more details…
Sutton House, on Homerton High Street, is wonderful. It’s a Tudor house looked after by the National Trust a stone’s throw away from Hackney Central. It’s the oldest house in the East End & venue for Cunning Folk. On Friday we had a lovely evening of folk music & storytelling.
Laura Smythe & Ted Kemp from Nigel Of Bermondsey on Vimeo.
Laura Smythe & Ted Kemp sang beautiful traditional songs accompanied with cello, banjo, guitar & squeezebox.
GentleFolk sang songs of the Greenwood & told tales of Herne The Hunter
The evening was topped off with a stellar tell from the wonderful Sarah Rundle. Tales of food & cunning washed down with bread & butter, pistachio flavoured turkish delight & cake!
Folk on the Water on the Minesweeper in Deptford Creek was pretty special. Fantastic singing from the floor & amazing feature spots from Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd, & for Molly Carroll (joined by her friends Jess & Ed).
Here Jess is dancing while Ed plays gourd banjo & Molly plays ukulele.
Thomas was amazing: folk tales & folk singing of the highest order. He is worth seeing if you haven’t yet, do!
Here is Thomas performing Johnny Barton.
Coming up on Friday is another Cunning Folk at Sutton House which promises to be an excellent affair. We have the wonderful Laura Smyth & Ted Kemp performing a set of traditional songs.
Here is a chat that Nigel from GentleFolk, the other musical cat on the bill, had with them earlier on this month.
& here is what they sound like.
GentleFolk will be playing a set too.
GentleFolk have been described by the comedian Stewart Lee as “Good” & by the folk band Stick In The Wheel as “a psychedelic folk Steely Dan”.
There will also be stories of food & cunning from the storyteller, Sarah Rundle.
Cunning Folk spent a fine hour on Saturday 24th January in the Refectory of Southwark Cathedral with Cas & Ste, AKA Forbes-Moncrieff in advance of their performance at Sutton House on the 20th February. Fine coffee & tea was drunk and we chatted… Cas was just getting ready for a trip to Canberra where she grew up, so first we established where Canberra was (about 3 hours drive from Sydney) & that Canberra is the capital of Australia (I did not know that.) Cas’s Mum is English & was a singing teacher & taught her folk songs from an early age.
Cas & Ste have been playing & singing folk music for 5 years now & their 2014 album The Green Lady is a real treat. The title track is inspired by the excellent book The Chime Child by Ruth L. Tongue, which Cunning Folk have on the folklore shelf of the library. They recorded the record in Wild Goose studios in Hampshire, a fine experience punctuated with libations of gin & assorted refreshment.
Cas & Ste are currently researching & writing new material with an aim to record late summer. They are looking at bringing in more storytelling into a show arc. We join the conversation as we start talking about storytelling in song & ramble on from there. Please excuse the sound quality; next chat will involve some kind of production value.
(Interview by Nigel Of Bermondsey)