Tag Archives: Martin Carthy

The Nest Collective Announces the 2019 Season of Campfire Club

The Nest Collective’s Campfire Club

British cross-cultural folk music presenter The Nest Collective has announce the 2019 season of its Campfire Club.  For over 5 years, Campfire Club has been the way for Londoners to gather in beautiful green spaces and listen to great music from artists across the globe. Every week, from May to September, musicians and the audience come together in the simple way that people have done for thousands of years, around the fire with food, drink, music and each other. The performances are unamplified, allowing the audience to get up close and personal and hear the artists’ music in a very intimate way.

This year, Campfire Club is taking place at outdoor spaces in Islington, Peckham, Bermondsey, Bow and Stockwell, with a wide range of artists including Seckou Keita, Alasdair Roberts, Martin Carthy, Marry Waterson & Emily Barker, Samaia and many more.

New this year, The Nest Collective is expanding itsr Campfire Club program in 2019 to include family-focused events and campfire singarounds. Family Campfire Clubs will be taking place from 3pm-6pm on July 27th, August 10th, September 7th, and September 21st September at Culpeper Community Gardens in Islington.

The Nest Collective was founded by folk singer Sam Lee, a leading curator in developing contemporary and cross-cultural folk music in the UK.

More information at: thenestcollective.co.uk/show-category/campfire-club


Artist Profiles: Martin Carthy

Martin Carthy


Martin Carthy is one of the greatest artists of contemporary British music. He is regarded as one of the finest singers and interpreters of traditional music of the British Isles, as well as a highly influential, innovative and significantly emulated guitar player.

Like many others in the 1950s, Martin was immensely affected by listening to Lonnie Donegan sing “The Rock Island Line.” He started to sneak away with his father’s guitar disguised as a trombone, which he was then studying.

Martin became drawn towards the traditional music of the British Isles, especially acts like Big Bill Broonzy and Elizabeth Cotten. By the early 1960s he was resident at The Troubadour Folk Club in Earl’s Court, London, where his playing and highly emotional singing had a important effect on all types of musicians, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, who adopted Martin’s arrangement of “Scarborough Fair,” intact.



In 1966 Martin started to work with fiddle player Dave Swarbrick in a pioneering musical partnership. On a total of five albums, including Byker Hill (1967) and Prince Heathen (1968), the duo redefined the relationship between fiddle and guitar in a previously ignored corner of this repertoire.

Martin’s work took other turns when he joined seminal folk bands Steeleye Span in 1970 and the Albion Country Band in 1973. Shortly after the the Albion Country Band disbanded he became a permanent member of the influential group The Watersons, with his wife Norma Waterson and her brother and sister, Mike and Lal.

Between and during group ventures, Martin has maintained a busy solo career, recording acclaimed albums such as Crown of Horn (1976) and Because It’s There (1979).

The start of the 1980s saw him return to a group setting with the formation of the characteristically English folk band, Brass Monkey, featuring a trumpet section. Due to busy schedules, they stopped playing as a band in 1987, but regrouped in early 1995 for a brief tour and again in 1998 to record the celebratory Sound and Rumour.

In the early 1990s Martin renewed his partnership with Dave Swarbrick, producing two more outstanding albums: Life and Limb and Skin and Bone. By then Martin was working alongside his wife and daughter, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy as Waterson Carthy. Waterson:Carthy (1994) and Common Tongue were both released to critical acclaim, both capturing the exceptional musical understanding that lies between members of this remarkable family.


Martin and Eliza Carthy at the BBC Awards


Martin Carthy was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to English folk music.



Martin Carthy (Fontana STL 5269, 1965) with Dave Swarbrick
Second Album (Fontana STL 5362, 1966) with Dave Swarbrick
Byker Hill (Fontana STL 5434, 1967) with Dave Swarbrick
But Two Came By (Fontana STL 5477, 1968) with Dave Swarbrick
Prince Heathen (Fontana STL 5529, 1969) with Dave Swarbrick
Landfall (Philips 6308 049, 1971)
Please to See the King, with Steeleye Span (B&C CAS 1029, 1971)
Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again, with Steeleye Span (Pegasus PEG 9, 1971)
Shearwater (Pegasus PEG 12, 1972. Reissued in 2005 with three extra tracks)
Sweet Wivelsfield (Deram SML 1111, 1974)
Crown of Horn (Topic 12TS300, 1976)
Storm Force Ten, with Steeleye Span (Chrysalis CHR 1151, 1977)
Live at Last, with Steeleye Span (Chrysalis CHR 1199, 1978)
Because It’s There (Topic 12TS389, 1979)
Out of the Cut (Topic 12TS426, 1982)
Right of Passage (Topic 12TS452, 1988)
Life and Limb (Special Delivery SPDCD 1030, 1990) with Dave Swarbrick
Skin and Bone (Special Delivery SPCD 1046, 1992) with Dave Swarbrick
The Kershaw Sessions (1994)
Signs of Life (Topic TSCD503, 1998)
The Journey (Live at The Forum, London, 1995), with Steeleye Span (Park Records PRKCD 52, 1999)
Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527, 2004)
Martin Carthy at Ruskin Mill (2005)
Straws in the Wind (Topic TSCD556, 2006) with Dave Swarbrick
Walnut Creek: Live Recordings, 1989 – 1996 (Fellside FECD243, 2011)


UnampliFire #2 to Present Folk and World Acts in London

Martin Carthy
Martin Carthy

The Nest Collective has announced the second edition of UnampliFire. The new event, called UnampliFire #2 will take place at St Marks – Dalston in London on November 26th, 2016.

UnampliFire will present the artists with no amplification, no soundchecks, and no waiting around – just pure, unadulterated music. The lineup includes Seckou Keita, Martin Carthy, Green Gartside (of Scritti Politti), Cosmo Sheldrake, London Bulgarian Choir, Men Diamler, The Nightjar, Ríoghnach Connolly (The Breath, Afro Celt Soundsystem), Snufkin, Samantha Whates, Flats & Sharps, and Fran Foote (Stick in the Wheel).

Time: 16:00 – 00:00
St Mark’s Church, E8 2LG

More information:thenestcollective.co.uk/shows/unamplifire-festival-2/


Daring English Folk

Various Artists – The Imagined Village

Various Artists – The Imagined Village (Real World Records, 2008)

Lining up the likes of Simon Emmerson, Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Benjamin Zephaniah, Chris Wood, Paul Weller, Sheila Chandra, The Gloworms, Tiger Moth, TransGlobal Underground, Tunng, Johnny Kalsi and The Copper Family seems like a mere fantasy, but that is exactly what The Imagined Village is all about. Daring to re-imagine, break down and remake English folk music, The Imagined Village careens headlong and hell bent on dragging traditional tunes through the modern streets of England, picking up the current flavors and textures of today’s English musicians. Now if you are a folk purist, this might not be the CD for you, but if you’re willing to jump on the genre bending, rip-roaring ride through the modern soundscape of English folk, then be prepared The Imagined Village will knock your socks off.

The Imagined Village is proof that good things happen when great musicians are left to their own devices. Opening with “John Barleycorn,” The Imagined Village band sets this traditional English tune ablaze with Martin Carthy on acoustic guitar, Paul Weller on electric guitar, Eliza Carthy on fiddle, Nigel Eaton on hurdy gurdy, and Simon Emmerson on cittern. Dipping into the exoticism of Rastafarian writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah and the extravagant richness of Trans-Global Underground, the dub retelling of “Tam Lyn” is darkly exhilarating with guitars, bouzouki, sitar and some sizzling programming. The edgy “Death and the Maiden” with Tunng and the thrilling “Cold Haily Rainy Night” with Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy, Chris Wood, The Young Coppers and TransGlobal Underground do more than bend these tunes – they turn them inside out!

The CD just gets better with “The Welcome Sailor,” with the lovely vocals of Sheila Chandra and “Acres of Ground,” with its folksy swing punctuated by tabla and dhol drum by Johnny Kalsi. “Hard Times of Old England” with Billy Bragg, The Young Coppers, Eliza Carthy and Simon Emmerson and “Kit Whites I & II” with The Gloworms are infectiously wonderful. The bright and sassy “Slow on the Uptake” is a hair raising roundhouse slap of pure delight with Tiger Moth. “’Ouses, ‘Ouses, ‘Ouses” with vocals by John Copper and Sheila Chandra against a sea of guitar, cello, violin, bass, Northumbrian pipes, nickel harp, drones and keyboards is a precious piece of storytelling wrapped in a compelling composition that brings the past into the futures.

I have to admit that I’m partial to these “what if” collaborations with musicians scattered across the musical map. Songs on these type of collaborations tend to be fully realized and fully executed, some tracks stretching longer than the average MBA record exec would allow. There is also the collaborative spirit that seems to shine through on these types of recording, so that the listener can actually feel the expansive joy come through in the musicianship. The Imagined Village certainly possesses that heady mix of stellar musicianship and free flowing fusion of ideas and genres. The Imagined Village isn’t just about retelling or remaking English folk – it’s about glorious reinvention.

Buy the CD:


Folk Britannia Series at Barbican in London

London, UK – This February the Barbican hosts Folk Britannia, a festival focusing on the rich and compelling history of traditional music of the UK. Featuring among others: Vashti Bunyan, Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy and Lou Rhodes.

Folk Britannia program:

Which Side Are You On?
Billy Bragg with Martin Carthy, Dick Gaughan, Robb Johnson & Maggie Holland

An evening hosted and curated by Billy Bragg
2 Feb 06 / Barbican Hall

Daughters of Albion
June Tabor, Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy, Kathryn Williams, Sheila Chandra & Lou Rhodes
Bringing together some of England’s finest female folk artists and contemporary singer-songwriters.
3 Feb 06 / Barbican Hall

Into the Mystic
Vashti Bunyan, Bert Jansch, Mike Heron, Adem & King Creosote
A concert exploring the psychedelic, neo-folk music of the 60s and the new generation of artists it inspired.
4 Feb 06 / Barbican Hall

Folk Freestage
Tunng, Fence Collective, The Eighteenth Day of May
An afternoon of sessions and performances by a number of budding folk talents.
4 Feb 06 / FreeStage

Joe Boyd & Friends
Legendary producer talks about his lifetime love affair with British folk music
4 Feb 06 / Garden Room