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May Edition


This editorial is an astonishing nine days late due to several reasons, none of which I will bore you with here. Suffice to say, turning 60 brought with it a whole variety of treats, one or two self-serving, going to see Al Stewart in Sheffield last month for instance, a review of which can now be found in the reviews section. The occasion also called for a special 90 minute Northern Sky vaults podcast, featuring some of the pivotal moments in six decades of music appreciation, which you can listen to now by following the link on our front page. There were also one or two treats generously gifted by friends and family, which I am very much grateful for, not least from Mrs W, who thought it was high time I went to see Bob Dylan once again. So, just three days after my birthday, I toddled over to Nottingham Motorpoint Arena with that fine Mr Phil Carter, to see Bobby Zimmerman for the first time in 27 years, a review of which can also be found in the reviews section.

This followed a rather fantastic weekend in Wath upon Dearne, where I was for the 45th Wath Festival, where I was only too happy to serve as MC for the weekend, introducing Edwina Hayes, Moore, Moss and Rutter, The Ric Sanders Trio, Merry Hell, Isaac Hughes Dennis, Toby Burton, Jimi Mack, James Haigh, The Changing Room, Damien Barber and Mike Wilson, Dallahan, Holy Moly and the Crackers, Plumbhall, Ian Sherwood, Maia, Reg Meuross, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Baghdaddies, Stillhouse, Greg Russell, Megson and Screamin' Miss Jackson and the Slap Ya Mamma Big Band and in that order. All went well and photos from the event can be found here:         

Further to this, I was fortunate enough to catch Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker at the Basement Bar in York last month and was pleased to hear Nick Drake's Time Has Told Me in the set. There's only one or two singers allowed to sing Nick Drake songs and Josienne is one of them.

Once again I am grateful for Northern Sky's team of reviewers who have all been busy putting pen to paper throughout April, reviews of which can now be found in the reviews section. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I've re-introduced the 'Live Dates' guide onto the front page, where it will linger throughout the year. Although informative, especially for those living in the Yorkshire area, the critera for the list centres around acts appearing in Yorkshire and in some cases includes their other tour dates around the country. I will make an attempt to keep the listings as comprehensive as possible and would welcome further dates that you may have.

So, what's in store for May? Well, there's the Shepley Spring Festival coming up, which Northern Sky will once again be covering adding a full review with plenty of photos to our pages shortly afterwards and there may too be the odd interview. The Unthanks are currently on tour with their Songs and Poems of Molly Drake project, the CD of which has just dropped through the letterbox, so watch out for a review of that shortly. Northern Sky will also be covering one of the two consecutive Leeds City Varieties shows.

Sixty years eh? Well, here's to the next sixty. Cheers!   

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky