The Shed News
Stanley Bad new Bad Pub songs on Soundcloud!
‘Horseradish Clouds’ and ‘Ode to Brawby’… singalong!
Seaming To and Mike Harding tickets on sale now!
New Online Adverts at The Shed!
Lynda Beast escapes from Malton!
Michael Marra 1952 – 2012
“His tunes walk a razor’s edge of wit… he looks into the soul.” Folk Roots
Mike Harding at The Shed!
Dates and tickets available soon… Sign up for FREE email alerts today!
The Shed indulges in free-range thinking…
Free range eggs option with tickets + The Shed launches NAF tax initiative – a new voluntary arts tax. NAF tax (No Arts Council Funding) – a request for donations to help towards the hidden costs associated with running The Shed, from Public Liability Insurance to accountancy: The Press, 11.10.12. NEW
The Shed at 20 on BBC Radio 3
A short piece about The Shed at 20 with interviews recorded on the banks of Bob’s Pond (scene of the Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race) and The Shed (in Brawby village hall) with creator Simon Thackray and audience members. Includes recordings from The Shed archive of Bob Cobbing (with Hession, Wilkinson, Fell) and some of Simon’s most memorable events: Mrs Boyes’ Bingo featuring Mark Sanders, Lol Coxhill in a skip and Sebastian Rochford’s Van Gig.
Includes the world premiere of ‘Shed Builder’, a new improvised art event by Simon Thackray featuring Gail Brand on trombone and John Walpole on welder, scaling hammer and pillar drill. ‘Shed Builder’ was recorded live – in one hit – in Rye Valley Works, Brawby (fabrication shed of agricultural engineers J. Thackray & Sons Limited) where Simon Thackray made farm buildings in a former life.
“For the past 20 years, The Shed, near the market town of Malton, has been responsible for some of the smallest and most inspired art events in the country.” Alfred Hickling, Guardian
The Shed Autumn 2012
Autumn season preview in The Press:
Friday 20 July 2012 by Charles Hutchinson
A LACK of confirmed Arts Council England funding means Ryedale arts fulcrum The Shed will return to its roots next season. “Many gigs will be staged back in the ‘slightly cheaper to run’ but more intimate and Tardis-like micro-venue cum ideas incubator of Brawby Village Hall,” says Shed impresario Simon Thackray, who is defiantly upbeat.
“This decision is far from being seen as a bad thing, given that, when in Brawby, The Shed has hatched and released into the wild more unique and inspired live-art events than any other hut in Yorkshire over the past 20 years.”
The autumn season will open on October 27 at Brawby with the appropriately titled film Echoes Of Home (CANCELLED), a documentary featuring Swiss performance artist and yodeller Erica Stucky, who gave an unforgettable Shed performance outside as well as inside Hovingham Village Hall in April 2011. “Harry Lime famously declared that after 500 years of peace and brotherly love, the only thing Switzerland had produced was the cuckoo clock. How wrong he was!” says Simon. “Stefan Schwietert’s Echoes Of Home (CANCELLED) is a delightfully bonkers documentary about the Swiss music form of yodelling; a truly unique look at a sometimes misunderstood music tradition and its bright future.”
Maverick British jazz pianist Mathew Bourne will return to Brawby on November 3, having played there in March last year. This time, his acoustic, candle-lit performance will be based around his 16 improvisations for solo piano on his latest album on the Leaf label, Montauk Variations.
As announced in York Twenty4 Seven last Friday, The Shed has secured ground-breaking Liverpool comedian Alexei Sayle (SOLD OUT) for a November 10 gig at Hovingham, where he will test-drive new material on his first stand-up tour in 16 years.
Cult Dundee singer-songwriter Michael Marra, (SEE NEWS) who played Shed shows in 2009 and 2010, will be Brawby-bound on November 17. “Affectionately described as the Scottish Randy Newman, Michael remains a best-kept secret – except to his fans, including Deacon Blue, Billy Connolly and Eddi Reader.”
The Shed’s favourite jazz man of many guises, Dylan Bates, has a weekend all to himself in Brawby, kicking off with the return of Bomber Bates and The Airfix Modellers on November 24 at 2pm. “Back by popular demand, Flt. Lt. Dylan (Bomber) Bates will don his Second World War leather flying helmet to pilot another flight of fancy,” says Simon. “Armed with a violin, pocket trumpet, ukulele, spoons and a saw, Bomber will play a selection of tunes from Tiny Tim to The Beatles and Glenn Miller, while you, the audience, are invited to build Airfix models or to just sit back and enjoy the trip. “Please note, the modelling isn’t obligatory but it is great fun – and kits will be sold separately from the admission price.”
Bates, a long-time member of Billy Jenkins’ Blues Collective, will turn into piano and violin-playing Stanley Bad at 8pm on November 24, when he takes his place alongside St Moth, alias accordionist and composer Matt Scott, in the duo Bad Moth. Fresh from a grand tour of Sardinia, they are brimful of songs about food, light bulbs and all things bad and moth-like. “This special gig will feature a new song inspired by the sound of Sardinian ambulances, La Danza Dell’ambulanza, as well as Bad Moth classics like Peas And Pie 4 T,” says Simon.
The ever-adaptable Bates – he has another alter ego, Lynda Beast, and is the leader of free-improv groups Bitten By A Monkey and Pipe Rack – will complete his Brawby bonanza with Bad Pub from noon to 3pm on November 25.
“Once upon a time, over 100 years ago, Brawby had a pub called the White Swan until the teetotal Methodists bought it and closed it down. Brawby hasn’t had a pub since,” says Simon. “However, our good friend Stanley Bad has kindly agreed to help us recreate a Sunday lunchtime pub gig in memory of those pre-pedal-power-harmonium sober days. He’ll play tunes on the ‘ole Joanna’ and sing some specially commissioned new songs and we hereby name Brawby’s new pub ‘Bad Pub’ in Stan’s honour. “Come and enjoy a Bad Pub Sunday lunchtime sing-along with Stan, drink Shed Bitter and eat plain crisps and pickled or hard-boiled eggs.”
The Shed year will conclude with the obligatory double dose of Christmas misery and whimsy from country doctor Hank Wangford, who will corral his Lost Cowboys – Martin Belmont, BJ Cole, Kevin Foster and Mike Pickering – for Hovingham gigs on December 7 and 8.
All shows will start at 8pm unless stated. Tickets on sale now!
Lol Coxhill: 19 September 1932 – 10 July 2012.
Obituary in the Guardian. (Lol wearing a Shed t shirt!)
Review: Elvis Bus Tour of Ryedale, The Shed.
(aka The North Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour) by Charles Hutchinson, The Press 15 June 2012
“IT is not every day that you gladly accept the gift of what looks like a nuclear-radiated, peach-coloured woollen quiff to plonk on your head.
For the next two hours, this Elvis woollen wig with bobbing sideburns would take its place among myriad variations on a knitted theme as 52 Elvis devotees – Malton bingo caller Mrs Eileen Boyes among them – were taken not to Graceland, Memphis, but Ian McMillan’s alternative Elvis land in Ryedale on board a Perry’s bus.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Simon Thackray’s arts adventures The Shed, the original Elvis Bus Tour of Ryedale was recreated with Barnsley Bard McMillan as the improvising, tale-spinning tour guide. Elvis was born in a Malton betting shop… well, no he wasn’t, but this is how this show works, as McMillan responds to the sites and sounds, the sheep, the streets, the fields, that he associates with Elvis’s early years.
Yes it is bonkers, and yes, you had to be there, but if you were there, in Malton, singing Elvis songs to Ilkla Moor Baht’at on the bus; learning of the influence of Pickering on his career; throwing a quiff into the Elvis tree of life at Cropton Brewery; looking for the Elvis-quiffed gazelle; finding a quiff-shaped sculpture at Jennifer Tetlow’s North Yorkshire Open Studios show; and visiting his last resting place in the Lastingham churchyard, where a thistle passed as his monument, then you believed Elvis had indeed been in the building.
Just a different one from any that Colonel Parker allowed him to enter.
Malton Food Lovers Festival on Sunday 20 May: Mr Carluccio kindly posing for the photo with Simon. The Pied Piper team were out in force in Malton collecting money for the Ryedale based youth music charity co-founded by Simon and Sarah Derbyshire MBE in 1997. Learn more about the Pied Piper Project…
The Archers, Lynda, and the big cat…
“Jim and Lynda agree they had an interesting debate last night – sport versus the arts. There’s time for everyone to think it over before the next meeting. Scruff gets restless and Lynda goes to see what he’s barking at in the undergrowth. She and Scruff get spooked by an animal running off. Lynda reckons it was a big cat – the size of a cheetah. Jim insists that sightings of big cats are rural myths. Lynda knows what she saw. She’s convinced Ambridge has got its own big cat.” The Archers, Thursday 3 May (Synopsis)…
Lynda Beast – new sightings in Ryedale:
Lynda Beast: spotted bowing and scraping outside the Talbot Hotel in Malton on her recent roaming tour around Ryedale.
Lynda Beast plucking in Pickering…
Knitty ditty in Kirkbymoorside…
Silky and slinky in Helmsley…
20 years of The Shed 1992 – 2012
NEWS: From the avant-garde to the W.I., the village hall to the V&A, The Shed is celebrating 20 years of ground-breaking events including knitting, bingo, Fish and Chips, rivers, vans, Yorkshire puddings and the North Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour.
We’re celebrating with a season of great music, poetry, comedy and live-art, from some of the most exciting artists at work today, for one of the most adventurous and loyal audiences in the UK. Thank you for supporting The Shed!
NEWS: Just Not Cricket (London, Berlin and Brawby)
The Shed is taking part in a new documentary film about British improvised music… Mark Sanders, John Edwards, Phil Minton, Matthew Bourne, Gail Brand and Lol Coxhill were among the sixteen musicians taking part in Just Not Cricket, a three-day festival of British improvised music held in Berlin (all the above named musicians have previously performed at The Shed). Directed by renowned artist and film maker Antoine Prum (he represented Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale), the documentary narrator is improv fan and Derek Bailey expert Stewart Lee.
The documentary features special performances of Alan Tomlinson and the River Seven and Mrs Boyes’ Bingo featuring Mark Sanders, filmed at The Shed in Brawby and the River Seven, Dale Head Farm, Rosedale, North Yorkshire.
REVIEW: Erika Stucky, The Shed, 7 April 2011
NEW by Charles Hutchinson, The Press, York 9 April 2011
Erika Stucky – accordion, vocals + interactive film (and a shovel).
LITTLE can Mr Hopkinson at R.Yates & Sons in Malton have known what lay in store when he loaned a shovel to Mr Thackray of The Shed in Hovingham. Or perhaps he did, given the media-savvy deeds of this caution-to-the-wind Ryedale arts impresario. Over the past 19 years, Simon has been known to craft artistic happenings out of knitting wool, Yorkshire puddings, council skips, river water and fish and chip queues.
He billed Swiss post-modern jazz singer and yodeller Erika Stucky’s Shed debut as “Accordion, vocals + interactive film (and shovel)”, a typically tantalising inducement to discover more. Gone was the trademark Shed door on stage, replaced by a sofa and screen, but where was Erika, as Simon introduced her for her only British show outside London?
We waited, a little nervously, then came a noise at the door, at the window, whereupon she entered dressed louder than clashing cymbals in stripes and wall-patterned trousers, a piece of Hovingham foliage stuck in her hair. Erika was pushing a beer barrel with the aforesaid shovel, using it percussively while yodelling in an apparently African tongue.
Even by The Shed’s avant-garde standards, set by Pere Ubu’s David Thomas, this was off the scale, as she pulled curtains open and shut again and tapped away on a heating grill. Once on stage, speaking one of her five languages, maybe not all of them from this planet, she explained that hitting a shovel was a “cowboy thing” in the Swiss Alps to chase away evil ghosts.
Goodbye shovel, hello accordion; goodbye to her new live album’s jazz covers, hello yodelling – the Swiss blues – to accompany dream-inspired silent movies depicting Erika in dog mask; hula-hooping in Mr Spock ears; and making a “frightening Martin Scorsese home movie” from filling a cup of coffee to the brim with spoonfuls of sugar and then drinking all the sickly sweet concoction, to the accompaniment of Erika’s scatting, running commentary.
Apparently she daren’t show her baby-tossing film in Italy any more, but Finland loves it and so did we Brits, such is our more warped humour. Erika is madly amusing, a wonderful story teller, a remarkable singer, warm and wise too, and Thursday’s 90-minute free-form show will go down as an instant Shed classic.
As for the shovel’s future, “I am not sure if I should take it back or donate it to Tate Modern,” said Simon afterwards. Bang on.
10:15am Saturday 25th September 2010 by Charles Hutchinson
NEW “Everywhere you look people have got smiles on their faces…”. Jules Bellerby, Jonathan Cowap Show, BBC Radio York.
THE PRESS – Review
Jazz drummer Sebastian Rochford plays to the public from the back of a white van WHEN was the last time a white van man drew a round of applause? Step forward Sebastian Rochford, the crazy-haired jazz drummer from Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear, who spent yesterday in the back of a Ford box van, bashing away on his drums with the doors shut, in 20-minute spells in Leeds, York, Malton, Pickering, Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley.
Simon Thackray, impresario of all things unconventional at The Shed in Ryedale, had invited Rochford to take to the road for another of his Art Event specialities. This time you could hear the musician, although you could not see him, but put your head against the side of the van, or slide underneath, and you could certainly feel it.
Bootham School teacher Richard Barnes and his art class sixth-formers were among those drawn to the noise emanating from the parked van by the fountain in Exhibition Square in York at 11am. “Seeing the van shaking and then seeing people putting their ear to it…when I did that, it became incredibly exciting and rather than being an observer, you became part of it,” said Richard. “You could feel your heart suddenly pumping faster.”
Sebastian has played with everyone from David Bowie to Herbie Hancock, but his Van Gig was a first for him, his solo debut. “I trust Simon. I’ve always enjoyed everything I’ve done with him at The Shed, and I just thought it sounded like a fun idea. I thought, ‘yeah, why not?’” he said.
So it proved. “It’s a quite a strange feeling, not knowing if there’s anyone outside but it’s nice just playing the drums anyway as that’s what I enjoy doing,” he said. YORKSHIRE POST: Top rock drummer’s one-van show… More about Simon Thackray and his art events here:
Review: Alan Tomlinson and The River Seven, Dale Head Farm, Rosedale, North York Moors
Tuesday 23rd March 2010 by Charles Hutchinson.
HOW did you spend your Sunday? How about driving for an hour into ever hardier Yorkshire country; following intermittent improvised signs to the River Seven, down the narrowest of moorland lanes; then watching cars being pushed up a muddy incline to park in a field, before a cross-country trek to a babbling brook.
Why? To see one man and his trombone in the world premiere of his improvised half-hour musical duet with the Seven’s waters, and your reviewer was not alone. Around 100 adults, children, a man from Oxford and cameramen too, had been drawn to the latest live art happening conjured by The Shed’s visionary Simon Thackray.
Glory be, the rain had taken the morning off; instead spring sunshine glinted on Alan Tomlinson’s trombone as he took to the river in waders, summer jacket and woollen hat, while Aron Flintoff, the sound man with the cockerel crown of punk-red spikes, crouched on the bank, his microphone following Tomlinson’s every jagged jazz move.
No bird song could be heard – “I’ve got rid of a few audiences in my time, but birds, that was a first,” Tomlinson said later – as he interacted with the water’s steady tinkling flow, in a series of broken bursts, blasts, squawks and squeaks and whispers, even removing the slide to blow bubbles at the river’s surface.
Alternative water music over, it was time for a Shed Load of soup, cream teas and Shed Bitter on tap at the specially opened Dale Head Farm tea garden. Eccentric England at its Sunday best.
World Premieres 2010.. reviews: Sebastian Rochford’s VAN GIG Alan Tomlinson and the River Seven Daily Telegraph – Stewart Lee, interviewed by Dominic Cavendish.. The Poetry of Pete Morgan – the big gig of 2009.. review + a request: Reviews archive: Independent, Guardian, Yorkshire Post, Daily Telegraph… Creative Yorkshire: (Arts Council England, Yorkshire – premiered at The Shed), Stewart Lee, Fish and Chip van tour, Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race, Hat, North Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour, The Shed’s Greatest Hits, Clogs and The Books, Ian McMillan and Billy Jenkins, Shichiseikai, Waterson:Carthy, Sevara Nazarkhan, Hank Wangford and the Lost Cowboys, Lol Coxhill in a skip…
The insiders guide to the world’s best small music venues. “The Shed was the inspiration for my tour of village halls around Britain, which I am currently writing up as a book. And, after 235 villages, The Shed is still the loony best.” Hank Wangford, Guardian
Guardian – TRAVEL 13.8.2011 Weird festivals: mangold hurling, anyone? Eating onions, racing snails, paddling tin baths, even snorkelling through a black bog … We pick 25 of the most riotous and ridiculous local traditions. The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ®
“I think it could be an Olympic event”. Ben le Vay (Bradt Guide To Eccentric Britain)
“Soon it’ll be like Woodstock: people will pretend they were there – people will want to say, ‘I was there when it all started’” Independent on Sunday.
Old but new… archive recording (from the dusty shelf)…
The Shed Radio Party Live from BBC Radio York on 9 June 2005 with Ian McMillan, Snake Davis, Billy Jenkins, Hank Wangford, Simon Thackray and Wendy Moorby (World Champion Fastest Knitter). The recording is six years old now but perfectly captures what The Shed is and does. (Just not quite the same as being there!)
Guardian – TRAVEL 20.3.10 The insiders guide to the world’s best small music venues. Musicians, DJs and authors reveal their favourite hangouts. “The Shed was the inspiration for my tour of village halls around Britain, which I am currently writing up as a book. And, after 235 villages, The Shed is still the loony best.” Hank Wangford, Guardian. Read the whole article:
Review: The Poetry Of Pete Morgan
The Shed @ Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York SOLD OUT
2:35pm Tuesday 12th May 2009. By Julian Cole
FOR his 70th birthday, York poet Pete Morgan received praise from the new poet laureate, a loving and humorous introduction from Barnsley bard Ian McMillan, the musical accompaniment of Martin Carthy, and a full house. Not bad for a quiet voice who is rarely heard above the babble.
Morgan is a hero among other poets, including Carol Ann Duffy and McMillan, who are indebted to his writing and encouragement. Duffy, fresh from her elevation, proved just why she should be admirably up to the job. What a sharp, funny and yet sometimes cutting poet she is, with razor mind and deadpan wit. Her readings from The World’s Wife were delicious, especially Mrs Midas and Mrs Aesop (in which the racing tortoise is said to move “as slow as marriage”). She returned later for poems depicting the stages of a relationship, which were quieter and, in a sense, more devastating.
As for Morgan, shy and a little stumbling at first, he grew in confidence and stature, his deep voice filling out the auditorium, his poems beautiful cool observations delivered with rhythmic passion; sometimes, arms flung out, he stopped looking like the tallest tree that didn’t want to be noticed, and became almost a human crucifix, or perhaps the smartest scarecrow.
A duet with Carthy was a delight, as too were Brass Monkey. Morgan was visibly moved by it all, so all praise to Simon Thackray of The Shed for arranging this birthday party.
Pete Morgan – POET. Born 7 June 1939, died 5 July 2010.
Review: Clogs and The Books at The Shed
Yorkshire Evening Press 01.02.2006
“CLOGS, please meet The Books; The Books, please meet Clogs. This American musical handshake was arranged by the British champions of the avant-garde, the Contemporary Music Network, and last week the two improvisational bands met up in Massachusetts for the first time, leading to new acoustic-electronic music to open and close a truly uplifting and adventurous night, played out to a Shed full house.”
Lol Coxhill in a skip – FuseLeeds06. Concept & photo © Simon Thackray.
Broadcast on Jazz On 3 and Pick Of The Week on Radio 4. Lol Coxhill in a skip
The Shed’s Greatest Hits Yorkshire Evening Press 11.11.2005 “UNDER a slice of moon and stars as bright as American teeth, Hovingham’s queue for the Ryedale fish and chip van’s weekly village run was longer than usual. What’s more, the hiss of batter had a musical counterpoint…” Read the review!
The Fish and Chip van tour – featuring Alan Tomlinson.
Free improvisation gets audience of 1.9 million!
Richard and Judy Show, 6 April 04
“Steve is at the wheel of his van on a damp, not-too-chilly Tuesday night. Behind him is his replacement trailer, funded partly by a Countryside Agency grant. Beside him is a journalist and a trombone player, not his usual companionship on his journey. (Son Steve, mini-Steve in his identical frying gear, is in a following car, driven by The Shed pioneer of improvised arts events, Simon Thackray.”
The Fish and Chip van tour Copyright Simon Thackray. All rights reserved.
Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ®
Concept © Simon Thackray Photo © Tony Bartholomew
The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race: “Soon it’ll be like Woodstock: people will pretend they were there – people will want to say, ‘I was there when it all started’” Independent on Sunday. Read all about it…