Last Monday, I was intrigued by a warm and nicely designed postcard in Hackney. On one side, it indicated a weekly acoustic/folk music evening called Woodburner; on the other side, an acoustic festival on the 19 May in a chapel in Peckham. It projected me back to the time when each nerd of a specific music tribe would gather in the village wood around a fire in our distinctive attires. Only the hippy guy would think of bringing a guitar… and sing. Surprisingly the most heavy metal geezer would sing along and we would follow clapping our hands or rolling spliffs. At the time, there were no mobile to capture the moment… The following exchange of emails with some guy called Theo Bard is rather welcoming and he invites me to the next day session. Theo is chatty, enthusiastic and explains that he started Woodburner (see its website for more specific details) in 2010 because “I am a musician myself (obviously) and massively enthusiastic about folk and acoustic music. Woodburner started because demand was already there and our group of friends wanted it to happen; I didn't plan to build it into the thriving scene it has become”. Coming from the 90’s when raves and clubbing were all the rage, I was wondering if there was a return to a more couples dancing as opposed to dancing alone in a crowd “To be honest I'm more interested in people coming together to share in live music in intimate settings. I find that this fosters a more positive interaction between the people present. I often find loud electronic music alienating, unless I've taken drugs!” Theo informs me there are many woodburners gathering in
and “I mainly book acts that I know. I have been playing music my whole life, and gigging for the last 6 years so I come into contact with a very large number of other artists. We get a lot of gig requests via email and facebook, and I listen to them, and sometimes book them. But the best discoveries are almost always made in person, or by recommendation by musicians I trust.” And where does that passion for this genre of music comes from? “I used to sing folk songs with my family, and I attended summer camps where folk song was a really central part of what we did. I have always loved singing with other people, it is an amazing way to interact.” Are you going to stay @ the Russet for your weekly events? “We are moving to Dalston Eastern Curve Gardens on 28th May.” And what’s good about your festival in Peckham on 19 May? “It's got amazing light because of the stained glass windows, an amazing acoustic due to the stone walls, and it looks spectacular. It's also nice and quiet, which is important for acoustic music. Its capacity is 200 inside, but given the duration of the event and that people will come and go, there will be room for more, particularly if the sun shines. It's in Asylum, which is a really beautiful venue (pix on our BLO’s FB), and the venue has extensive gardens out front and back. Hopefully it will be a sunny day, and people can sit out on the grass, eating, drinking and playing backgammon!” Theo has organised his festivals in different venues like St Marks Church Hall (Dalston), St Mary’s Chapel (Stoke Newington), Priceless London Wonderground Festival at the South Bank Centre, and Vault Festival at The Old Vic Tunnels. I asked him to explain about the changes of location “It's much more fun and interesting finding the Woodburner crew in different venues across London . I really like the idea that each event is special and unique, and put together with a really strong concept. Different spaces give you different ideas! The concept behind Capsize the Stars is to connect our community (which is mostly based in Hackney) to Peckham, via the London East London Line. Because we've never done an event in Peckham before, we have programmed acts which are closest to our community socially, rather than booking bands with a big following. We are lucky to be close friends with so many incredible musicians! Almost the whole line-up is comprised of acts I have known and been friends with for over 5 years, including the food, poetry, and storytelling! The idea is that locals in Peckham will find out about Woodburner, and the door might be open to putting on more events in the area in future. But first and foremost, we just want to create a really magical experience for all the people who come!”. www.woodburnermusic.co.uk
Woodburner and the Old Accord are proud to invite you to this most beautiful South London venue for a whole day of acoustic music, storytelling, poetry, food, drink and backgammon!
THE MELODIC (Formerly Melodica, Melody and Me) Recently signed to US label ANTI records, The Melodic have toured with the likes of Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling. themelodic.com
KIDNAP ALICE Red hot bluegrass band from Woodburner's hotbed of Hackney. They also run their own nights under the Two For Joy banner. http://kidnapalice.co.uk/
MAX BAILLIE PLAYS BACH Max Baillie is one of the most diverse and interesting musicians working in the UK. From playing top-level international classical music, to making his own beats, collaborating with electronic artists, sessioning with the likes of Plan B, and fusing his music with traditional West African music, he is a favourite with the Woodburner family. http://www.maxbaillie.com/
THEO BARD "Catchy folk-pop choruses and carefree vagabond spirit recall the Levellers at their best… Both lyrically and musically there is timelessness to the highlights on this album that place it in the company of the very best folk music…" Songlines Magazine
GWENDOLEN CHATFIELD AND THE OLD ACCORD Gwendolen Chatfield's songs provide a new take on folk music, but demonstrate her love and mastery of the trad folk genre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-163XCjDuxo
ELLIE ROSE Ellie has an incredibly distinctive voice, which manages to be heart-achingly beautiful, poignantly vulnerable yet full of resolve. Her deeply personal songwriting reveals a humility and honesty which only captivate her audiences further. She is releasing her debut EP 'Pathts' on 12th May and will continue celebrations with us on the 19th! http://ellierose.bandcamp.com/album/pathts
REGGAE ELEMENTS CHOIR A late addition to the bill, the Reggae Elements Choir will show that music and singing can for all, sharing their enjoyment of Reggae music.
Plus Storytelling from JAMES MORGAN: a Woodburner favourite for his humourous stories and engaging telling style. He also runs a beautiful intimate storytelling event called Tales from the Tower.
Poetry from ANGRY SAM BERKSON: Sam Berkson is a strongly evocative poet and a large part of the
spoken word scene. Ranging from darkly humorous to deeply political, he leaves a strong mark on the memory. London
Backgammon Corner with ALICE RUSSELL
Food from CINNAMON AND CUSTARD: http://cinnamonandcustard.wordpress.com/
Drinks from the WOODBURNER SHINDIG BAR
- 9pm, £5 or £7
More pix on FB = https://www.facebook.com/babylondon.orbital