#MC50 : Martin Carthy & Norma Waterson – Live 2001

1 November 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 1 November 2015

For the penultimate #MC50 video celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Carthy’s first solo album I’ve chosen a great live recording of a Martin and Norma show that formed part of his 60th birthday celebrations in 2001. This was originally broadcast on Andy Kershaw’s BBC Radio 3 show in two parts about five months apart, which accounts for there being two ‘finale’ numbers (the first appearing half way through at what was the end of the first broadcast) and for one of Norma’s intros being duplicated.

The concert took place at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford on 23 May 2001 and Martin and Norma are accompanied by Chris Parkinson on piano accordion.

Photo Gallery: Carthy & Swarbrick, 11 September 2015

11 October 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 11 October 2015

A little bit later than I would have preferred, but here are a few shots from Martin and Dave’s gig at the Met Theatre in Bury on 11 September.

#MC50 : The Watersons – In Session 1986 & Live 1988

10 October 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 10 October 2015

It’s rare that anyone can pinpoint a moment that changed their life but this month’s #MC50 YouTube video includes one such moment for me. The first time I heard The Watersons on Andy Kershaw’s Radio 1 show in August 1986 I knew little or nothing about folk music of any kind, much less about English traditional song, but hearing this in my box bedroom in Doncaster at the age of (just) 18 was a revelation. It’s by chance as much as anything that I’ve retained a recording of that session – I only re-discovered it a few years ago – but the quality has suffered over the years and for that reason I’ve mixed it into mono to avoid some conspicuous drop-outs (especially in the last two songs). The sound quality is still far from perfect but I hope it gives a clue as to what I heard that  set me on a journey of discovery that continues to fascinate and surprise.

To compensate for the poor sound quality of the Kershaw session I’ve also included a slightly better quality (stereo) recording from a couple of years later. This is the broadcast portion of the Watersons’ set from the Copper Family’s “Coppersongs” launch concert at Cecil Sharp House in january 1988. It also includes a brief interview with Norma and Mike Waterson and may be one of the last broadcast recordings of the Mike, Lal, Norma and Martin lineup.

The complete “Coppersongs” broadcast also included performances by The Copper Family and Peter Bellamy and an interview with Derek Schofield. The complete broadcast can be heard here:

#MC50 : Martin Carthy & Chris Wood in session 1987

30 September 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 30 September 2015

September’s #MC50 video is a session from the popular BBC Radio “Folk On Two” show from late-1987. Chris Wood guests on two instrumental tracks and to the best of my knowledge this is the only time these two have recorded as a duo (although Chris guested on a track from Martin’s solo album “Right Of Passage” the next year).

Several months later Martin would sit in as presenter of “Folk On Two” and would feature Chris Wood as a guest. Here is the resulting interview and session:


#MC50 : Martin Carthy live on WNYC, July 2005

31 August 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 31 August 2015

This month’s #MC50 video celebrating 50 years since Martin’s first solo album arrives a little late due to an unexpected house move but there’s still an hour of August left so here it is. It’s a 2005 live appearance on WNYC National Public Radio in New York from July 2005. Waterson:Carthy were mid-tour and Martin was invited into the studio to talk to John Schaefer about his career and to play a live version of “Limbo”.

#MC50 : Blue Murder live in 1987

5 July 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 5 July 2015

July’s #MC50 video is a live recording of Blue Murder in their original lineup from 1987.

This lineup never formally recorded, had just two live tracks released (on Martin Carthy and Watersons box sets) and only played a handful of gigs in the late-1980s so these are rare recordings. I’ve dated this late-1987 but I failed to record the full details at the time so it could possibly be a little later – though it’s unlikely to be after 1988.

EDIT: I’ve remade and re-posted the YouTube video with some amendments and corrections. Thanks to Reinhard Zierke for some additional details.

Photo Gallery: Martin Carthy, 3 July 2015

4 July 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 4 July 2015

Martin played Manchester’s historic Band On The Wall on 3 July. Here are a few shots from the night…


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