Originally the Barnsley Mechanics Institute and Public Hall built by Henry Harvey in 1877, and later the home to a museum, the town’s library and the Barnsley School of Art, the building which we are custodians known as The Civic, has a rich history and has always been a home for the arts and cultural education; we are now the home to Barnsley Music Services, seeing hundreds of local children receiving music lessons every week.
In 1962 the building became home to a grand theatre, sometimes known as The Civic Theatre, sometimes as The Civic Hall. During this time, it became home to dance and theatres schools, the popular Teens & Twenties disco, pantomimes, and a stage for everyone, from children’s favourite Sooty, to heavy metal legends Saxon. The Civic’s Centenary Room – the equivalent of today’s alternative live music clubs – hosted regular concerts from local rock and metal legends.
2022 marks sixty years since The Civic Hall opened its doors; it also marks the year that then former police officer Dave Burland and artist teacher Tony Heald established Barnsley Folk Club at the Alhambra Hotel. The various incarnations of Barnsley Folk Club have been based at several establishments, but for several years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, The Civic’s Centenary Rooms hosted the weekly club, as well as an annual folk music festival in the late 1970s and 80s.
To celebrate this legacy, we are hosting a 60th anniversary concert with folk legends Martin Carthy and Dave Burland this May. Together on stage, they celebrate 60 years of folk music in Barnsley, sharing songs and stories.
For nearly sixty years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick, and his award-winning wife (the late Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums and 10 solo albums.
Along with Carthy, Dave Burland is one of the seminal influences of the British folk music revival. As well as co-founding Barnsley Folk Club in 1962, Burland, a former police officer, became a stalwart of the UK folk scene, releasing several solo albums, including his influential debut A Dalesman’s Litany in 1971. The rich, mellow tones of Dave Burland’s voice and his distinctive guitar style have featured on over 50 albums and recordings alongside the likes of Richard Thompson, Kate Rusby, Dick Gaughan, Bob Pegg, Nic Jones, Mike Harding, Hedgehog Pie, and The Albion Band. Burland now records and plays with his latest band The Awkward Squad.
They are supported by Barnsley born, Leeds based Serious Sam Barrett, who grew up on a diet of Barnsley Folk Club regulars. This skateboarding, banjo wielding musician’s songs rattle with the ghosts of Appalachian folk, and southern blues, traditional English folk, and Yorkshire DIY Punk.
We’d love you to join us!
21 May | Saturday |7:30pm | £18
Martin Carty & Dave Burland, with support from Serious Sam Barratt
60th Anniversary Folk Session
Click here for tickets.
Also appearing in May…
7 May | Saturday | 7:30pm | £17.50
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
Click here for tickets.
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have long established themselves as one of the UK folk scene’s most rewardingly enduring partnerships. Duos come and duos go… And some nurture and fine tune their art and watch it grow into something totally original, captivating, and award-winning.
With over two decades of performance, they have never been trapped in a groove – always bold and innovative, mixing traditional song arrangements with their self-penned material which reels from the bitter to the sweet, the wry to the sad, the political to the passive.
Kathryn Roberts was originally from Dodworth, Barnsley, and part of the 90s folk super-groups Intuition and Equation. Sean Lakeman, a member of the Lakeman family, one of British folk music’s foremost families, was also a member of Equation alongside his brothers Seth and Sam, is also an acclaimed producer for acts including The Levellers, Bellowhead, Frank Turner, Billy Bragg, Imelda May, and Show of Hands.