Feast of music for annual concert

A night of local traditional music, song and stories by leading entertainers awaits the audience at the annual Northumbrian Concert.

Topping the bill at the event in Morpeth Town Hall’s ballroom on Thursday, March 14, is globe-trotting concertina superstar Alistair Anderson, of Whittingham, joined by new faces and old favourites.

This much-anticipated annual event is a vital fund-raiser for the 52nd Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering in April.

Young fiddler Hannah Slater-Patterson is no stranger to Morpeth audiences, having been a member of the Morpeth-based group Fligarishon while still at school in the town.

Growing up in the Coquet Valley, Hannah has been greatly inspired by traditional Northumbrian music throughout her life, as well as exploring other genres from Swedish to Irish traditional folk music and classical violin.

Alongside her university studies, Hannah plays fiddle as part of the Captain Bullhead Ceilidh band, based in Leeds, and recently played on the boardwalk stage at the Eden Festival 2018.

Her biggest musical achievement has been reaching the Radio 2 Young Folk Awards final 2014, as well as playing at the Pre-Olympic Ceremony with youth band Folkestra.

In 2015 Hannah became the proud owner of the Lindis’ viola made by Mark Mawby at Small Strings, based in Wooler, which incorporates a Celtic horse’s head inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels.

New to the concert is the exciting band Redeswire, featuring Northumbrian smallpiper Keith Davidson. Redeswire play traditional tunes from across the North East and melodies influenced by other parts of the British Isles, with Keith promising to add in a mining song for good measure.

Making a welcome return are Bob Bolam, the hilarious dialect poet, singer and storyteller, and mouthorgan duo Anita James and Ernie Gordon, from Stannington and Alnwick respectively, with Ernie making a special appearance after his official musical retirement.

Morpeth’s Border Directors band completes the line-up, featuring three Morpethians – multi-instrumentalists Kim Bibby-Wilson, John Bibby and Derek Poxton – plus Hawick-based Border piper and fiddler Matt Seattle.

The whole night will be compered by the legendary MC and indefatigable entertainer Alex Swailes MBE, the Gathering’s very own Morpeth Gadgy since 1997, now a Rothbury resident.

Some of the acts will perform items from further afield to herald the Gathering’s special Ower The Watter theme this year, celebrating the area’s international musical links reflected by the range of instruments in Morpeth Chanty Bagpipe Museum.

The concert usually sells out quickly. Purchase tickets by contacting Kim on 01670 513308 or calling in at Morpeth Chantry TIC on 01670 623455, or see www.northumbriana.org.uk

Adult tickets are £12, unwaged £11 and for children under 18 the cost is £5.