From: SEFAN [admin_at_sefan_dot_org_dot_uk]
Sent: 26 August 2008 17:24
Subject: SEFAN 2008-08-26 (2) ANNOUNCE
1. SE England Bluegrass & Old-Time Music 
2. The Simon Hopper Band e-news

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Richard" <richard_at_stjulians_dot_co_dot_uk>
Date: 22 August 2008 12:50:25 BDT
Subject: SE England Bluegrass & Old-Time Music 

Please check on the contact no/web-site before travelling far
Please let me know of any other events – more at

August 2008:

Tue 26
Session with Grahame Turner 07767 623831
The Goat, Codicote, nr Welwyn
Tue 26
Open Mike Night with Ray Whiteway Roberts 07904 701406
Pig & Butcher, Five Ash Down (N of Uckfield) TN22 3AN
Wed 27
Roger Churchyard & Friends 07871 844332
Stag, Old Town, Hastings
Wed 27
Pickers' Night
Tunbridge Wells Bluegrass & Acoustic Club Beacon Hotel, Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JH
Thu 28
Roger Churchyard & Friends - 07871 844332
Royal Oak, Rye Foreign TN31 7SY - 01797 230494
Thu 28
Taube Marks & friends - 01865 552111
Fox & Hounds, 279 Abingdon Rd, Oxford OX1 4TJ - 01865 722210
Fri 29
Slow Pick with Graham Anstee
Oast Community Centre, Rainham, Kent ME28 7SG (very near rail station)
Sun 31
Old Time Session - 020 8552 8308 (Frank Weston)
Shakespeare's Head, Arlington Way (behind Saddlers Wells), London EC1R 1XA

Begin forwarded message:
From: simon hopper <simon_at_simonhopper_dot_co_dot_uk>
Date: 26 August 2008 13:45:47 BDT
Subject: TSHB - On Radio and Live...

New album - 'The Less Blessed' - now available / Hi To North-East England and Scotland! / Hi to Sweden!
One Gig in September / Two live sessions on BBC Radio / House Concert, anyone?

Hi All,

New album - 'The Less Blessed' - now available
The new cd, The Less Blessed, is now available (online and to order from all 'Good Record Stores'). (See reviews below.)

North-East England and Scotland! / Hi to Sweden!

One Gig in September
Just one concert in September - but a special one. The Simon Hopper Band open an evening of Folk / Blues / Jazz and R 'n' B in a charity event, raising money for Pancreatic Cancer research. There are still tickets - though not many - if you're interested. You can book them by emailing in reply to this message.

One of several acts / Trio (Tyler Hill Village Hall, Tyler Hill Road, Canterbury)

Two 'live' sessions on BBC Radio
I will be recording a couple of live sessions and interviews on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (one with Leigh) on BBC local radio promoting the new cd. They should both be going out on Thursday evening between 6.00 - 7.00 p.m. on the drive-time shows on BBC Radio Suffolk and BBC Radio WM. You could listen to them by going to the websites shown below and clicking on the 'listen live' link on the page. Or you may be able to listen on the 'listen again' option later - although this is not a given...

The days and times of broadcast are not guaranteed, but likely, I am told. If there are changes, I will let you know.

House Concert, anyone?
You may have seen information about house concerts earlier in the summer. We are now holding concerts in fans' private homes. If you'd like to find out more, take a look at and you will see all you need to know. Please feel free to drop me and email if you'd like further information. We have two scheduled for November - in Gothenburg  and London. Let me know if you'd like to come - see for dates and details.

Thanks to you all for your support.



Robust English folk rock fronted by the earthy voiced Hopper, it seems inevitable that, with contemporary topics enfolded in traditional sounding forms, the Fairport comparisons are flying thick and fast. Certainly, anyone into Messrs Nicol, Pegg and co, won’t be disappointed with what Hopper and his collaborators, guitarist Leigh Trowbridge, multi-instrumentalist Andee Price and fiddle/whistle player Ramona Egle, have on offer.
Opening track, Lammas Leaves, which talks of the UK’s devastating floods and the destructive force of nature, pretty much sets the tone of storysongs variously unfolded with literal narrative, symbolism and metaphor. The Ballad of the Suffolk Five (which recalls the early work of Harvey Andrews) visits the murders of the Ipswich working girls, poignantly giving the victims back the humanity erased by tabloid coverage, The Farmer (which features Egle on harp) concerns the decline of the farming industry as the next generation turn their back on their heritage, Pilgrimage attacks the religion of consumerism, while The Terrorist is a cleverly veiled attack on the erosion of freedom spoken in the rhetoric of those justifying the same. Elsewhere, Seven Sisters is a lovely celebration of the English hills, Little Red Riding Hood redresses the fairy tale’s fear of male sexuality, Olive Tree serves reminder of the roots that make us who we are while, just to bring things back to that whole English folk rock diaspora, John Matthews is inspired by Albion from Chris Wood’s The Lark Descending.
Hopper’s been around a while now, working the London scene, and is finally starting to get wider recognition. I’m not persuaded he’s the new Richard Thompson some reviews would have you believe, but he certainly earns the right to sit at the same table.
Mike Davies August 2008

It seems like no time since I reviewed the previous album "A Land For The Many" and this certainly picks up where that left off. The band are firmly in the Folk genre and the opening track is 'Lammas Leaves' telling of last summers heavy rains and the subsequent flooding. Kind of apt in this summer as well.  Ballad songs were of course originally designed as a kind of singing newspaper taking the stories of one county to another continuing the oral traditions. The second cut on the CD, 'The Ballad Of The Suffolk Five', does just that. The horrors that befell five working girls in Ipswich are retold against a simple guitar accompaniment. The simplicity of the track works very well as we take a glimpse into a world that most of us have no experience of. 'The Farmer' continues the running theme of the album of songs about folks who have it really tough making a living in this material driven world that we seem to inhabit these days. 'Travelling People' has a dig at all of us as we move around the globe seemingly immune to the environmental damage that is often left behind. There is much to enjoy here. For certain Simon does not shrink from the difficult choices that we have to make, including how to deal with terrorists, however he does it all melodically and this in turn makes it accessible. Not an easy thing to pull off.
Graeme Scott

Penny Allen  -    General Manager
Anthony John Allen - Chair of the board

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