Thursday, 12 April 2018

News From Topic Records April 2018

Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy with The Gift Band – ‘Anchor’

Out 1st June 2018, pre-order now
Anchor is also available on 2LP vinyl set, pre-order from Vinyl180 here
As two of the UK's finest exponents of traditional song, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy's rich, distinctive and authentic voices have engaged new audiences and admirers across two generations. Between them, they have three prestigious Mercury Prize nominations, an MBE each for services to English music and have both been presented with BBC Folk Singer of the Year awards, as well as innumerable other accolades. Eliza recently embarked on her most ambitious project yet by recording and touring with The Wayward Band, a 12-piece adventure. The resulting album, 'Big Machine,' garnered both acclaim and chart placings and the big band have quickly become festival favourites.

Although they have recorded independently and together on many occasions over the years, 'Gift' (2010) was Norma and Eliza's first duo release, produced by Eliza. The album went on to win Best Album and Best Traditional Track at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The remarkable new album, 'Anchor,' produced by Neill MacColl and Kate St. John, was recorded in their home town of Robin Hood's Bay and features an eclectic and beguiling collection of both traditional and contemporary songs. Amongst the 11 tracks we find Norma leading on Tom Waits' 'Strange Weather' and 'The Beast in Me' by Nick Lowe. Trad Arr. 'The Elfin Knight' sees Eliza supported by Norma, Martin and extended family, 'Lost in the Stars' is a wonderful take on the Kurt Weill classic, while 'Shanty of the Whale', also featuring guest vocals of Martin Carthy, is a track written by KT Tunstall inspired by the singing of the Watersons, now come full circle in mutual respect and admiration. 

The songs represented on this album all recall influences and cherished friends of the extended Waterson/Carthy family, from New Mexican friends Bayou Seco and the Irish traditional singer Margaret Barry to legendary American ballad singer Helen Schneyer; not to mention the MacColl/Seeger family themselves who are represented in The Elfin Night, a song collected by Ewan and Peggy in the 1950s. The album title, 'Anchor,' comes from a sailor's hymn that would have been sung in the Congo chapel itself, even possibly played on the very organ you hear on the recording. It represents being rooted in love and family whatever may occur, which is what this family has always been about.

No matter what the origin, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy bring songs to life with their great musicality and wonderfully compassionate voices in a way that perhaps only this mother and daughter can.

Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy With The Gift Band special ‘Anchor’ album launch concert at  Union Chapel, London on Sunday 3rd June. Tickets available from Union Chapel.

‘Anchor’ CD tracklisting:
1. Strange Weather (Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan)
2. The Elfin Knight (Trad Arr)
3. The Beast (Michael Marra)
4. The Widow's Party (Rudyard Kipling/Peter Bellamy)
5. Lost In The Stars (Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson)
6. The Galaxy Song (Eric Idle, John Du Prez)
7. Shanty Of The Whale (KT Tunstall)
8. The Beast In Me (Nick Lowe)
9. Scarborough Fair (Trad Arr)
10. Nelly Was A Lady (Stephen Foster)
11. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Trad Arr)

Digital album tracklisting as above with bonus tracks :
12. The Wild Colonial Boy (Trad Arr)
13. We Have An Anchor (Trad Arr)

Anchor is released on 1st June 2018, pre-order now
Anchor is also available on 2LP vinyl set, pre-order from Vinyl180 here

Also forthcoming on Topic Records

Blowzabella - Vanilla
Release date 25th May 2018, pre-order now
Originally released on Topic Records subsidiary, Special Delivery, a welcome official re-release on Topic for the 1990 album, ‘Vanilla,’ by folk legends, Blowzabella, who mark their 40th anniversary this year.

Blowzabella is a genuinely unique band that makes an inimitable, driving, drone-based wall-of-sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling.  Many of their tunes are "standards" in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Bands across Europe who experiment with folk music often cite Blowzabella as a major influence.

Blowzabella are: Andy Cutting - diatonic button accordion; Jo Freya - vocals, saxophone, clarinet; Paul James - vocals, bagpipes, saxophones; Gregory Jolivet - hurdy-gurdy; David Shepherd - violin; Barn Stradling - bass guitar; Jon Swayne - bagpipes, saxophone.

‘Vanilla’ CD tracklisting :
1. Spaghetti Panic
2. La Belle S'est Endormie/Famous Wolf
3. Jan Mijne Man/Go Mauve
4. Fulmine
5. Beanfield/Monster Cafe
6. I Wish, I Wish
7. Down Side/Solvieg's Song/Doctor Feg
8. Horizonto
9. In Continental Mood/The Old Queen/Flatworld
10. The Lover's Ghost
11. The R.S.B. & The Hobb
12. Spaghetti Panic (Live)

‘Vanilla’ is out on 25th May 2018, pre-order now
More info on the band and live dates can be found on their website at

Exclusive Vinyl 180 / Topic Records Offer

Buy two or more of Vinyl180 Topic Records series vinyl releases and get a FREE COPY of the 21 track double vinyl LP ‘The Real Sound Of Folk Music’ compilation.
‘The Real Sound Of Folk Music’ features 21 tracks including Martin Simpson, June Tabor/Oysterband, Eliza Carthy, Nic Jones and Full English.
To get your FREE COPY purchase any two of the following seven albums :
  • Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy With The Gift Band - ‘Anchor’ 2LP (released 1st June)
  • Martin Simpson - ‘Trails & Tribulations’ 2LP
  • Eliza Carthy and the Gift Band - Big Machine 2LP
  • Nic Jones - ‘Penguin Eggs’
  • June Tabor - ‘An Introduction to…’ 2LP
  • Anne Briggs - ‘An Introduction to…’
  • Shirley Collins - ‘An Introduction to…’
Full offer details can be found on the Vinyl180 website.

June Tabor ‘Ashore’ Record Store Day Exclusive

Released 21st April 2018
For the very first time on vinyl this 180g WHITE vinyl double LP exclusive for Record Store Day, comes packaged as a 2LP set in a gatefold sleeve with full colour inner bags.

June Tabor is without doubt 'one of the greats' of the British folk scene. Her recording career has consistently reached ever greater heights of performance and interpretation. Each of her albums consistently reaches the highest technical standard with her emotionally powerful performances and scintillating musical arrangements.

Ashore is a collection of songs concerning humankind's relationship with the sea and on release the album was hailed by critics and fans alike as another career highpoint.

For information on getting a copy of this collectors item, click here.

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Topic Records artists on tour

Martin Simpson
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Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy With The Gift Band

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