Photo Archive: Carthy & Swarbrick, 1989

7 June 2020

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 7 June 2020

I recently dug out some aging slides taken at a Carthy & Swarb gig at Rotherham Arts Centre on 23 September 1989. They’re not the best quality but I thought they would be worth sharing for reasons of historic interest.

This was part of the second annual UK tour (the ‘Second Farewell Tour”) following on from the previous year’s reunion gigs. Support was by Dave Burland. 

I made a recording of the complete show and although the only copy was stolen many years ago I still have a note of the set list:

First Set:

  1. Arthur McMride And The Sergeant
  2. All In Green
  3. Sovay
  4. The Bride’s March, etc.
  5. The Dominion Of The Sword
  6. Carthy’s March
  7. A-Begging I Will Go
  8. Ship In Distress
  9. Porcupine Rag
  10. Peggy And The Soldier

Second Set:

  1. Tunes 
  2. Bill Norrie
  3. Oh Dear, Oh
  4. Lovely Willie
  5. Prince Heathen
  6. Byker Hill 
  7. The Bows Of London (encore)

Martin Carthy: 9 September 2019

10 September 2019

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 10 September 2019

The Rose and Monkey Hotel is a new venue on the edge of Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter and right next door to the historic Band On The Wall. It’s a small venue and tonight’s sold out gig was nicely crammed.

Martin continued his recent exploration of his older back catalogue and gave further hints that a new album might be on the horizon. John Barleycorn, High Germany and The Bedmaking (a request) are quite familiar by now and tonight he included the slightly less familiar (in terms of recent gigs) Bruton Town to the list of resurrected songs from his ‘60s and ‘70s repertoire. It came with an amusing intro featuring Davy Graham breaking into Martin’s 1960s flat and Martin ‘teaching’ Davy the tune Moanin’, only to subsequently discover Davy had already recorded his own version.

I hadn’t previously realised that Martin actually wrote one of the verses to Mike Waterson’s A Stitch In Time, but that appears to be the case based on that song’s intro tonight. I’m not sure I’ve heard Martin sing The Taylor’s Britches since the late 1980s, although I have a niggling doubt about that – maybe I have heard him sing it more recently? Either way, it that was a nice amusing addition. Martin expressed his indifference towards the well-worn tropes characteristic of songs such as Harry Cox’s The Barley Straw, from which Martin cribbed the tune for The Foggy Dew.

Bendigo, Champion of England has been a relatively recent addition to his repertoire and the rest of the set was fairly familiar from recent gigs. Martin abandoned Young Morgan after forgetting the words and there were a couple of other touch-and-go memory lapses but nothing that came close to spoiling the night. The first set was pretty low-key and quite short but the second was much longer and a bit less restrained.

First set:
John Barleycorn
Her Servant Man
The Foggy Dew
Bruton Town
High Germany
A Stitch In Time
Bill Norrie

Second Set:
Don’t Go In Them Lions Cage Tonight
Bendigo, Champion of England
Young Morgan
The Deserter
My Son John
The Bows of London
The Tailor’s Britches
Long John
The Bedmaking
Downfall of Paris
Oor Hamlet

Martin Carthy: 11 March 2019

12 March 2019

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 12 March 2019

It’s almost two years since my last Martin solo gig and this one was in the same venue. The Midway in Stockport is a proper old school folk club, with all the attendant pros and cons that come with grass roots music promotion. The seating was cozy to say the least, with people rammed into every available corner, and the lights took on a life of their own, deciding to stage a strike for at least 90% of the gig and only intermittently bursting into life at a few odd, unscheduled moments (see for example my Bows Of London video below at around 6:14).

The set was fairly familiar with only two items I’d not heard Martin sing before: Scarborough Fair has been back in his set recently in a version from Goatland originally learned for the BBC short drama Remember Me and there was a nice introduction referencing his experiences of that recording and his reaction to the finished version; Tea’s Made was one of only a handful of self-written songs regularly sung by Mike Waterson and it’s nice to hear Martin keeping this one alive and with Mike’s introduction/explanation pretty much entirely intact.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that Martin forgot the words to two songs during the evening: Bill Norrie missed a couple of verses (Martin stopped and gave a brief précis of the missing verses before carrying on) and The Devil And The Feathery Wife had to go without its last verse.

First Set:
The Bedmaking
Her Servant Man
Scarborough Fair
When I Was A Little Boy
Nancy Of London
Bill Norrie
A Stitch In Time

Second Set:
Don’t Go In Them Lion’s Cage Tonight
Bendigo, Champion Of England
The Deserter
High Germany
My Son John
The Downfall Of Paris
Invitation To A Funeral
The Bows Of London
Young Morgan
The Devil And The Feathery Wife
Tea’s Made



Martin Carthy & Martin Simpson, 1 July 2016

4 July 2016

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 4 July 2016

Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson have been friends and have worked together for many years, most notably in the The Four Martins quartet (aka ‘Martins 4’). They have also played the occasional – very occasional – gig together over recent years. Roots Music Club in Doncaster have been trying to get their schedules to coincide for several months and were finally able to get them together on the same night on 1 July 2016. Here are a few shots from that gig (after the set lists)…

First Set (Martin Carthy):
High Germany
Lovely Joan
Her Servant Man
Farewell Lovely Nancy
Swaggering Boney
Young Morgan
The Trees They Do Grow High
The Heroes of St. Valery
My Son John
Second set (Martin Simpson):
In the Pines
Delta Dreams
Home Again
The Plains of Waterloo
Jasper’s / Dancing Shoes
Heartbreak Hotel
Third set (Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson):
The Downfall of Paris
Peanut Shoes
Princess Royal

Photo Gallery: Carthy & Swarbrick: 25 September 2012

26 September 2012

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 26 September 2012

A handful of shots from the duo’s show at the National Centre for Early Music in York on 25 September 2012

Photo Gallery: Imagined Village 25 May 2012

26 May 2012

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 26 May 2012

One of Martin Carthy’s more interesting recent ventures has been the Imagined Village project. The first Imagined Village album had a lengthy gestation period and their first tour – which included Billy Bragg, Sheila Chandra and video contributions from John Copper and Benjamin Zephaniah – took place in November 2007. Since then they have settled into a semi-permanent lineup that has usually only tended to fluctuate when members have been unavailable due to other commitments. The current lineup of Barney Morse BrownSheema Mukherjee, Jackie Oates, Simon Emmerson, Johnny Kalsi, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Ali FriendGed Lynch and Simon Richmond toured to promote their new album in May 2012 and the following photographs were taken at their concert at the Royal Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on May 25th. 


During this tour the Imagined Village asked various people to help them out by singing Chris Woods’ part in their encore of “Cold, Haily, Rainy Night” and I was lucky enough to be asked to sing at the Liverpool gig. Johnny Kalsi also wanted to get in on the act so he sang the first verse. It was the first time either of us had sung on stage but I think it’s fair to say that I was slightly more nervous than Johnny. This was also my fiftieth Martin Carthy gig of one sort or another and my big moment was caught on video. Here it is:

Photo Gallery: Martin Carthy, 15 April 2012

15 April 2012

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 15 April 2012

I’ve been watching Martin Carthy live for 25 years and during that time I’ve seen him in a number of different ensembles and lineups. But for all the excitement of the latest Waterson family project or new band lineup (see my previous Brass Monkey post, for example) it has always been his solo gigs that I’ve found most interesting and occasionally unpredictable. He’s never stopped gigging as a solo artist but in more recent years his solo shows have sometimes seemed to be further and further apart as tours with Waterson:Carthy, various Waterson family projects, The Imagined Village, Brass Monkey, Four Martins and a number of other ad-hoc ensembles have dominated his touring schedule. So it’s always nice to get the chance to see Martin on his own and catch up with his latest repertoire and these few shots are from Martin’s gig at Studio 1 in The Lowry, Salford on Sunday 15 April 2012.


Photo Gallery: Brass Monkey, 5 April 2012

6 April 2012

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 6 April 2012

It’s 30 years since Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Howard Evans, Roger Williams and Martin Brinsford first performed together as Brass Monkey and to mark the occasion the band are touring the UK throughout April 2012. After the death of Evans in 2006 they continued as a four-piece for a while but eventually recruited Paul Archibald as their new trumpet player in 2009. On the few occasions that Archibald’s other commitments clash with Brass Monkey dates he has been replaced by one of his former students Shane Brennan. For the April 2012 tour and for all subsequent festival dates this year the band will include both Archibald and Brennan in a unique six-piece lineup. These photographs are from their date at the Electric Theatre in Guildford, Surrey on 5 April 2012 – their third date as a six-piece. 


Photo Gallery: Martin Carthy solo, 7 October 2011

21 October 2011

Here are a few photographs taken at a Martin Carthy solo concert at The Continental in Preston, Lancashire on Friday 7 October 2011.

Click in a thumbnail to enlarge photo

Interestingly, the poster for this concert (shown below) features a photograph by my friend and Northern Sky editor Allan Wilkinson taken at a show we both attended in Doncaster a couple of years ago.

Photographs © Kevin Boyd

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