For most of the 90's the band continued to function on a part time basis touring once a year with no studio album from '89-'96,the longest period in all the 50 years. Activity ramped up in the second half of the decade with two studio albums and celebrating 25 years with a big London reunion concert - 'The Journey', featuring almost every previous band member. Band wise it was a settled period with Gay Woods rejoining the band to help Maddy out with some voice troubles, however, Maddy Prior finally leaves 'the bus' after 28 years in 1997.
7th February: 'In Concert' on BBC Radio Folk on Two'. Repeat of 1989 Fairfield Hall concert, maybe different tracks though.
1st May & 9th June: Regional ITV: 'Bedrock' Steeleye Span concert.
Later released in various guises on Video/CD/DVD as the 20th Anniversary concert from Sept 1989. See 1989 for footage.
Rick Kemp & Maddy Prior Duo
25th April BBC Radio 2. Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp 'In Concert'. Also featured Tim Hart. Thanks to Nick Clarke this is available on MixCloud. Set: Rose; Mother and Child; I Live not Where I love (with Tim Hart); 'Dancing at Whitsun' (Sung by Tim Hart); Sorry the Day I was Married' (Tim and Maddy); 'Fire on the Line' (Rick singing); 'Somewhere Along the Road'; 'The King'
Maddy and Rick had started to tour together in the late 80's and were continuing to do gigs during early 1990. They also toured in October after the Steeleye September tour to support their new album 'Happy Families' , released in September on the newly launched Park Records, set up by John Dagnell, basically to support Maddy's other recording activities.
10th SINGLE The Fox / Jack Hall (Dover Records)
21st Anniversary Tour (16 dates)
7th Assembly Roon, Tunbridge Wells
8th Civic Hall, Guildford
9th Oxford Apollo
10th St Davids Hall, Cardiff
11th Town Hall, Cheltenham
12th Reading Hexagon
14th Dominion, Londonw. special guest Jake Thackray
15th Malvern Festival Theatre
16th Hayes Beck Theatre
17th The Orchard, Dartford
18th Black Lion, Gillingham
19th Ipswich Corn Exchange
21st Norwich Uni
22nd Derby Assembly Rooms
23rd Cambridge Corn Exhange
24th Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
24th January: BBC Radio One: 'Maddy Prior Band' In Session. Much more likely to be Maddy and Rick plus 'friends' given they were touring this year, and quite possibly a repeat of the 1990 Radio 2 session above, rather than the early 80's Maddy Prior Band' But no other details known. Seems to be repeated on the 26th March.
June: More touring by Rick and Maddy as a duo.
August: 25th Greenbelt Festival
September: Autumn UK Tour (23 dates)
5th Poole Arts Centre
6th Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells
7th Beck Theatre, Hayes
8th Hexagon, Reading
9th Wulfrun hall, Wolverhampton
10th Colston Hall, Bristol
11th Queens Hall, Barnstaple
13th Fairfield Hall, Croydon
14th Festival Theatre, Malvern
15th Civic Hall, Middleton
16th Forum 28, Barrow-in-Furness
17th Leadmill, Sheffield
18th City Varieties, Leeds
19th Arts Centre, Southport
20th Municiple Hall, Colne
22nd Civic Hall, Guildford - Live Album 'Tonight's the Night' Recorded
23rd Wyvern Theatre, Swindon - Live Album 'Tonight's the Night' Recorded
24th White Rock Theatre, Hastings - Live Album 'Tonight's the Night' Recorded
25th Buttermarket, Shrewsbury - Recorded for BBC Radio 2 'In Concert' for 'Folk On Two' (14th Oct / 5th Feb '92)
26th Town Hall, Middlesbrough
27th Ipswich Corn Exchange
28th Waterfront, Norwich
29th Cambridge Corn Exchange
9th Oct: BBC Radio 2 'Folk on Two . Listed as featuring but no details.
14th Oct: BBC Radio 2 'Folk Season'. Steeleye Span in concert
10pm-11pm. Taken from the Buttermarket, Shrewsbury concert above. Includes songs found on Tonight's the Night Live CD recorded the night before, but adds Shaking of the Sheets and Seagull not found on the Live Album
5th Feb: BBC Radio 2: Recorded In concert for Folk on Two. (Repeat of above Shrewsbury concert)
18th July - 1st Aug. Henley Festival. Included Steeleye at some point.
8th July: BBC Radio 2 'In Good Voice'. The first of a six-part series in which Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span explores the world of unaccompanied a cappella singing. Ep. 1 What is A Cappella?
FIFTEENTH ALBUM: Tonight's The Night (Shannachie - US record label) .
A live album but contains so many new songs (6 out of 12) that it sits in the discography as a main album release in my view. With so much new material you get the sense that a studio album was planned, but for whatever reason never happened. Peter Knight was not happy with Shannachie as Fighting for Strangers and Gentlemen Soldier were linked with a Tim/Peter instrumental and were meant to played as a medley but got split on the album. They played them as a medley on the 25th Anniversary Video.
1. Tonights the Night 2. Ca the Ewes 3. Gentlemen Soldier 4. Tam Lin 5. Padstow 6.Fighting for Strangers 7.White Man 8.The Weaver 9.Ten Long Years 10.Dawn of the Day 11.Cam Ye O'er Frae France 12..All Around the Hat
October / November: Autumn UK Tour
Described as a 'disappointing' tour in a 'Record Collector' magazine article.
12th Cambridge Corn Exchange. (One song: 4 nights drunk is on a bootleg)
13th Arts Centre, Poole
14th Assembly Rooms, Tunbridge Wells
16th Queens Hall, Barnstaple
17th Symphony Hall, Birmingham
18th Winter Gardens, Malvern
19th Civic Centre, Guildford
20th Beck Theatre, Hayes
21st Assembly rooms, worthing
22nd White Rock Theatre, Hastings
24th Derngate Centre, Northampton
25th Fairfield Hall, Croydon
26th Riviera Centre, Torquay
28th Colston Hall, Bristol
29th Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford
30th City Varieties, Leeds
1st Corn Exchange, Ipswich
??Shrewsbury Bootleg exists
It was this year that the 'Record Collector' article stated Maddy's voice problems began as it started to change register.
12th April BBC 1 : "Wildlife on One: Easter Special- Shadow of the Hare" Maddy Prior wrote and sung the songs for this programme which feature throughout. It inspired her to devote a section of her next solo album ('Year') to a set of songs about Hares, mostly taken from the songs she provided for this programme. Watch the Programme on YouTube. (Part 2)
10th: UK GOLD TV: Steeleye Span 'In Concert' No details but likely to be the 20th Anniversary concert,again.
November / December: 'Chasing Rainbows' Tour.
With 'special guest' Tim Hart. This ties in I think with Maddy Prior and Tim Hart doing a tour together around this time. Tim did his set and then came back on stage later to join Maddy and play guitar for 'I Live not where I love' with Peter playing Violin. Tim and Maddy then sang 'Sorry the Day I was Married'
Tim Hart: Raining in my Heart; Cornla; My Love; Dancing at Whitsun; The January Man; New York Two Step; Seamus the Showman.
Steeleye: Jack Hall; The Weaver; Black Jack Davy; Gone to America; Long Lankin; Eb English; I live not Where I love (Maddy , Peter & Tim); Sorry the Day I was Married (Maddy and Tim); Tam Lin; Picnic; Padstow; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; All Around My Hat; Mason's Apron; Gaudete.
11th Easington Music Festival, Durham. Petedee College.
18th Beck Theatre, Hayes. £9
19th High Wycombe
24th Stratford U Avon
1st Dec Crawley
3rd Dec Fairfield Halls, Croydon (Bootleg)
4th Melton Mowbray
7th Southport Arts Centre.
Band Signs to Park Records.
They have been with them ever since. At this time Adrian Hopkins was still the bands manager and continued to be so until the end of '97 when John Dagnell (Park Records) took over.
19th . ITV 'Cue the Music' Steeleye Span. In Concert. No details but likely to the 20th Anniversary concert again.
May: Australian tour.
The bands 6th tour of Australia although this tour is at smaller venues.
Set List (not in order): Black Jack Davy; Jack Hall; Wee Weaver; Padstow; 'E flat English'; Seagull; Tam Lin; Long Lankin; Lady Diamond; Gone To America; Picnic; Cam Ye O'er Frae france; All Around My Hat; Tunes; Gaudete
10th Melbourne Dallas Brooks Hall
12th Canberra Labor Club
13th Newcastle Workers Club
14th State Theatre, Sydney
21st Yandina Club Big Top
22nd Brisbane Rialto Theatre
25th Geelong Performing Arts Centre
27th Norwood Concert Hall
28th Perth Concert Hall
? Aukland (There is a review from an Aukland concert in '94 programme)
31st July Cambridge folk festival. Broadcast on radio, see below;
7th Aug Dranouter Folk Festival
3rd Aug & 14th Sept: BBC Radio 2: 'Cambridge '94.
Steeleye Span in concert at Cambridge Folk Festival. Hosted by Ralph McTell.
Seagull; Black Jack Davy; The Weaver; Jack Hall; Padstow; Cam Ye O'er Frae France.
Maddy Prior 'Year' Tour. Sept 20th - Oct 23rd
9th Nov BBC Radio 'Folk On Two.
Interview with Bob Johnson (who stepped in for Maddy Prior) discussing the first 25 years of Steeleye Span. Talks about Gay joining the band, possibly when it was 'announced' and mentions the upcoming tour. Tracks Played: All Around My Hat; Blacksmith; Female Drummer; Gaudete; Thomas the Rhymer; Black Jack Davy; Gone to America; Padstow; Tam Lin (Info thanks to Chris Kellet's archive site. See Links).
GAY WOODS (Vocals) joins the band .
To help out sharing the work load with Maddy who had vocal problems (from 1993). Rick Kemp said it was his idea to ask Gay back, for the Winter Tour initially, and then after that went well, Gay became part of the band full time. It was the bands manager at the time Adrian Hopkins who made the call to Gay to invite her back.
November / December
LIVE ALBUM: Steeleye Span In Concert. (Park Records) Taken from shows in 1986 (see 1986) and 1994, no more recordings from either show have appeared since. The source of the 1994 recordings is not known. The Australian tour seems the likely.
25th Anniversary Tour (25 dates)
Support: The Blind Fiddler or Barry Dransfield. The Lowlands of Holland was a very haunting version with mainly Violin and Keyboard.
Gentleman Soldier/Fighting for Strangers; We Poor Labouring Men; Seagull; Eb English; Tam Lin; The Dark Eyed-Sailor; Lowlands of Holland; Padstow; Picnic; Jack Hall; All Around my Hat; The Masons Apron; Let her Go Down.
The 25th Anniversary video recorded on this tour and released early 2015. Available to view on Youtube (below) but not released as DVD. To be honest the concert is not as vibrant as the 1989 20th Anniversary video and dare I say there appears a lot of 'going through the motions'. But well worth watching on youtube!
13th Pavillion Theatre, Rhyl
14th Playhouse, Whitley Bay
15th Symphony Hall, Birmingham
16th Victoria hall, Stoke
17th Bottom Line, London
18th Swan theatre, Wycombe
19th Leisure Centre, Stevenage
20th Festival Theatre, Chichester
22nd Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
24th Concert Ahll, Motherwell
25th Music Hall, Aberdeen
26th Rothes Hall, Glenrothes
29th St Georges Hall, Bradford
30th Carnegie Hall, Workingham
1st Uni of Warwick, Coventry
2nd Fairfield Hall, Croydon
3rd The Anvil, Basingstoke
4th Arts Centre, Abersytwyth
5th Grand Theatre, Swansea
6th St Davids Hall Cardiff - Recording 25th Anniv Video
7th Palace Theatre, Newark
8th Roses Theatre, Tewksbury
9th The Orchard, Dartford
11th Grand Opera House, York
12th Mechanics, Burnley
1995: Live Video: '25 Live' released, Recorded 1994, video above.
Interview: Band back 'full time'. Bob gives up counselling job and Peter Knight moves back to the UK.
March / April: UK Tour.
With support from Barry Dransfield [Thanks to David Tomlinson for these tour dates!]
10th March, Reading, Hexagon
11th, St Albans, Alban Arena
12th, Cantebury, Marlow Theatre
13th, Hayes, Beck Theatre
15th, Stratford, Civic Theatre
16th, Harlow, The Playhouse
17th, Cambridge, Corn Exchange
18th, Crawley, The Hawth
19th, Southend, Cliffe Pavillion
20th, Northampton, Derngate
21st, Swindon, Wyvern Theatre
22nd, Southampton, Guildhall
24th, Yeovil, Octagon Theatre
25th, Plymouth, Pavillion
26th, Tewksbury, Roses Theatre
28th, Bletchley, Leisure Centre
29th, Tunbridge Wells, Assesmbly Hall
30th, Worthing, Assembly Hall
31st, Worcester, Northwick Theatre
1st April, Newtown, Theatre Hafren
5th April. BBC Radio 2 'Folk on Two'
Interview and Live performance from Peter Knight and Bob Johnson. If anyone has any details/recollections of this show please let me know. Nothing more is known currently.
6th May BBC Radio 2 Concert: Octagon Theatre, Yeovil.
Broadcast on this date but not sure about date of recording (It includes Gay) . On the above tour seems the most obvious. A Bootleg exists and its always dated 1994. I think this is incorrect unless it was a one off concert recorded for the radio, which seems unlikely. The track listing, with Harvest of the Moon also points more to 1995 than 1994.
27th-29th June: Glastonbury Festival,
Avalon Stage. Billed as '25th Anniversary celebration'
24th-27th Aug Tonder (Denmark) Festival
27th Aug. Guildford Festival
2nd Sept. 3pm. 'The Journey Concert' The Forum Highgate, London.
Maddy Prior, Gay Woods, Martin Carthy, Liam Genockey, Michael Gregory, Tim Hart, Tim Harries, Ashley Hutchings, Bob Johnson, Rick Kemp, John Kirkpatrick, Peter Knight, Nigel Pegrum
The big reunion concert celebrating 25 years of Steeleye Span. Originally billed as a 'War Child' Charity concert, it featured every significant ex member apart from Terry Woods. It was the idea of actor Dave Hill (who had appeared alongside the band in their 70's plays), who asked them all to do it individually (he suspected they only each agreed assuming enough of the others would refuse so that it didn't actually happen!) Each line up ran through 5 or 6 songs and the concert signalled the live debut of the original band! - or at least the closest we would get to seeing the original line up live.
Not released as a CD until 1999 by which time it was known as 'The Journey' concert, possibly because the tour after this concert was billed as 'The Journey Continues'. A video was recorded, but as you can see from the one song released by Park Records the quality was not really good enough for a DVD release. For full details of this concert and resulting CD, a link is HERE.
The following songs were performed at the concert but not included in the 1999 CD Release:My Johnny Was a Showmaker (Mk1). It included the daughters of Gay and Maddy, which is maybe why it was excluded.
15th-17th Padbury Folk Weekend
Sept- Nov: Autumn UK Tour (28 dates) 'The Journey Continues'. Support: The Palladinos
29th Sept Oxford Apollo
30th Penyrheol Theatre, Swansea
1st Oct Brentwood Centre
6th Harlequin, Redhill
7th St George's Hall, Exeter
8th The Playhouse, Weston Super Mare
9th Octagon, Yeovil
11th Assembly Rooms, derby
12th Charter Hall, Colchester
13th The Orchard, Dartford
14th Festival Hall, Corby
15th De La Ware Pavillion, Bexhill
21st The Swann, High Wycombe
22nd Fairfield Hall, Croydon
3rd Nov Palace Theatre, Newark
4th Warwick Arts Centre
5th Stafford Gatehouse
6th Theatre Clwyd, Mold
7th Civic Hall, Woverhampton
9th Arts Centre, King's Lynn
10th Leeds City Varieties
12th Town Hall Theatre, Hartlepool
14th Winding Wheel, Chesterfield
15th Southport Arts Centre
16th The Anvil, Basingstoke
17th Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill
18th Waterman's Arts Centre, Brentford
19th Chichester Festival Theatre
12th April SIXTEENTH ALBUM: TIME (Park Records).
The first Studio album for 7 years - the longest gap between any studio album in 50 years of Steeleye. Marking the return to a more full time' basis and a more modern polished sound having been reinvigorated by the 'Journey' concert and the return of Gay . It had mostly Traditional arrangements with a three Peter Knight originals. An outtake from the recording sessions - 'The Golden Vanity' has appeared on various collections. Along with Bonny Moorhen and General Taylor the only known studio album outtakes to be released. It sneaked Steeleye back into the charts at No.100, 1st since Rocket Cottage.
The Prickly Bush 2. The Old Maid in the Garrett. 3. Harvest of the Moon. 4.Underneath Her Apron 5. The Cutty Wren 6. Go from My Window 7.The Elf-Knight. 8. The Water Is Wide 9.You Will Burn 10.Corbies 11.The Song Will Remain
March / April: UK Spring 'An Evening With...' Tour (21 Dates)
7th March Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
8th Corn Exchange, Ipswich
9th Embassy Skegness
10th Civic Theatre, Darlington
11th Kendal Leisure Centre
12th St Georges's Hall, Bradford
15th Queens Theatre, Barstable
16th Newport Centre
17th Wimbledon Theatre
18th Stables Theatre, Wavendon
19th Corn Exchange, Cambridge
20th Hexagon, Reading
22nd The Alban Arena, St Albans. 99% sure this is where Time DVD 'making of' was recorded (The Band miming to the album on stage)
23rd Peterborough Cressett
24th Lyceum, Crewe
26th Civic Hall, Stratford
27th Civic Hall Guildford
28th Guildhall, Soutampton
29th The Mean Fiddler, London
30th Elgan Hall, Malvern
31st Aylesbry Civic Centre
13th April Olympia, Dublin
May/June: Short US Tour?
Very odd this as these two dates are listed in US Newspapers on the day of the appearances so unlikely to have been cancelled dates. Also odd that the 1997 tour, for which there is plenty of info for, was billed as the long awaited reunion tour . If these concerts did happen maybe there were one-offs so not a 'tour'
31st May Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia
1st June Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland
19th-21st 'Brampton Live', Carlisle.
September / October: Australia "The Time Tour"
(7+ dates. Probably Dates Missing)
The Cutty Wren; The prickly Bush; The Harvest of the Moon; My Johnny was a shoemaker; Twa Corbies; Seagull; The Water is Wide; The Lark in the Morning; Elf Knight; The Weaver; Padstow; Thomas the Rhymer; Old Maid in the Garrett; Encore: Cagwith Anthem; All Around My hat; Jigs; Gaudete (on the 2nd and not 11th)
25th Sept Sydney
28th Adelaide, Norwood Town hall
Sept. 'Regal theatre' Perth. Support: 'Fling'
1st Oct TV appearance of Steeleye singing 'Cadgwith Anthem'. No other details known.
2nd Oct Sydney Town hall
13th Oct Continental Cafe, Victoria. 'Dinner and Show' (poster)
Article in 'Dirty Linen' about the history of the band, and the first mention (?) of Maddy's analogy of Steeleye Span as a bus. The full article, written by Stephen D. Winick's, can be found on his site still.
"Steeleye Span is like a bus" said Maddy. "It goes along, and people get on and get off it. Sometimes the bus goes along the route you want to go, and sometimes it turns off, so you get off. The only problem is that nobody's driving, and the bus tends to get lost."
December: Winter Tour Supporting Status Quo (16 dates).
The first major Stadium UK tour the band has done as a support act. Status Quo released 'All Around My hat' as a single , featuring Maddy Prior. At the end of each concert Maddy would join Quo for the song, a video of which is below, which surprisingly is not too bad. Steeleye did not perform 'All Around my Hat' in their support act, but finished with a very upbeat 'Old Maid in the Garrett. Two song were released on the 'Sails of Silver' Park records CD reissue which means a recording of the whole set must exist. Maddy even joined Quo on 'Noel's House Party' (video below).
40 minute set: 'Thomas the Rhymer'; 'The Prickly Bush'; 'My Johnnie Was a Shoemaker (On CD Reissue)'; 'Lark in the Morning' (On CD Reissue); 'Water is Wide'; 'Twa Corbies'; 'Padstow'; 'Old Maid and the Garrett'; 'Tunes'
3rd Oasis, Swindon
5th Cardiff Arean
6th Bridlington Spa
7th SEC Glasgow
8th Newcaslte Arena
9th Sheffield Arena
11th Plymouth Pavillion. Postponed until 22nd Dec as Francis Rossi had a bad throat
12th Brighton Centre
13th Brighton Centre
14th Wembly Arena
15th Wembly Arena
17th Manchester Nynex
18th Birmingham NEC
19th Birmingham NEC
20th Bournemouth Centre
21st Bournemouth Centre
22nd Plymouth Pavillion, re arranged from 11th.
13th Bruges, Stadschouwburg Broadcast on Belgium Radio. Set list is what was broadcast, so not complete.
Gaudete; Thomas the Rhymer; Cadgwith Anthem; My Johnny Was a Shoemaker; The Lark in the Morning; The Weaver; Twa Corbies; Padstow; Old Maid in the Garrett; All Around My Hat; Jigs.
March: UK Spring Tour (21 dates non stop!).
Support: 'Rock Salt n Nails'.
included 2 never recorded songs 'Brigg Fair' & 'Room for Company' (Hiring Fair songs). The latter was Maddy singing just to Liam's drum before the band came in with a jig. (Hunsden House). Hard to find these songs even on Bootlegs. However, Thomas the Rhymer from this tour is on the 'Sails of Silver' CD reissue so there is a good chance the two are available in the Park Records Vaults. This tour also has the dubious honour of having Peter Knights Lightbulb joke told each night "
How many folkies does it take to change a light bulb? Ten - One to change the bulb, four to sing about the old bulb, and five to walk out because it is electric."
Thomas The Rhymer; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Harvest of the Moon;
Erin Grá Mo Chroí
; Padstow; 'Room for Company' ; 'Cruel Mother' (Bob taking lead); 'My Johnny Was A Shoemaker'; 'Seagull'; 'Brigg Fair'; 'Cutty Wren' (Sung by Tim), Prickly Bush; 'Old Maid in the Garret' ; Encore: All Around My Hat/Tunes; 'Gaudete'
6th Winding Wheel, Chesterfield
7th Corn Exchange, King's Lynn
8th Grand Hotel, Scarborough
9th Opeare House York
10th Gatehouse, Stafford
11th Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa
12th Decorum Pavillion, Hemel Hempstead
13th HG Wells Suite, Woking
14th The Hawth, Crawley
15th Town Hall, Walthamstow
16th Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton
17th The Octagon, Yeovil
18th St Davids Hall, Cardiff
19th Arts Centre, Swansea
20th Playhouse, Weston Super Mare
21st Corn Exchange, Cambridge
22nd Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
23rd Arts Centre, Poole
24th Anvil, Basingstoke
25th The Swan, High Wycombe
26th The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Maddy Newsletter - Working on new material for an album later in the year or early next year, but never happened of course as Maddy left.
1st for 10 years. Snappily billed as "The long-awaited history-making North American concert tour of the reunion of Steeleye Span"
??Theatre of Living Arts, South St. Phili. Prickly Bush; Go From My Window; Underneath Her Apron; Seagull; The Elf Knight; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Lark in the Morning; The Water is Wide; Padstow; Thomas the Rhymer; Old Maid in the Garrett; Encores: All Around My Hat; Jigs; Cadgwith Anthem
1st Carnegie Lecture Hall, Pittsburg. (Not 100% sure on these first three concerts, would be good to see a second source)
3rd Bottom Line, New York
4th Bottom Line, New York
8th Monterey, CA, World One Festival
9th West Hollywood, CA, House Of Blues
10th Portland, OR, Aladdin Theatre
11th Seattle, WA, Backstage
12th Ann Arbor, MI, Ark
13th Louisville, KY, Bomhard Theatre
14th & 15th Chicago, IL, Old Town School
16th Bottom Line, NY
17th Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
18th Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse
19th Little Rock, AR, Arkansas Arts Center
20th Austin, TX, The Cactus
21st Houston, TX, Garden In The Heights
22nd Somerville, MA, Somerville Theatre
19th: Maddy Prior announces she will leave the band at end of year.
Apparently she had been planning it for a while and nearly left 2 years previously. She had just been waiting for the right time. No specific reason was given. Her statement:
" I have worked in, and enjoyed enormously, working with the band Steeleye Span for 28 years. People have often asked me how I manage to fit in all my various musical activities. I have juggled Steeleye, 'solo' work, assorted projects, the Carnival Band and a demanding home life for some time. With mixed success.
Finally I feel a decision has to be made, and having been the only one to have never left the band, I've decided to view it all from the outside for a change. So from the end of the October Tour 1997 I shall cease to work with Steeleye.
Whether this will ultimately result in a permanent separation, I don't know. Having done a massive 44-day Farewell Tour in 1978, I feel less confident about making dramatic and irrevocable gestures in these more mature years.
Suffice it to say, I wish them all the best of luck, and am certain that they will continue to delight audiences for many years. Cheers, Maddy Prior'
Whilst various theories have been suggested about why Maddy left, and inevitably a seemingly strained relationship with Gay Woods has been sited as a reason by those around the band at the time, but, as often with band members leaving, there probably was no one specific reason and Maddy's statement above is as much explanation as is needed.
Maddy continued to perform more than ever, was more active than Steeleye and produced some great solo albums in the following years. Her 1999 live CD/DVD 'Ballads and Candles' featured Rick Kemp and Peter Knight and plenty of Steeleye classics.
8th Olympia festival, National Hall, Real Ale Festival. Prickly Bush' Room for Company; Harvest of the Moon; My Johnny was a shoemaker; The Elf Knight; The Fox; Erin Grá Mo Chroí ; Padstow; [Interval] Cagwith Anthem; Lark in the Morning; Twa Corbies; Seagull; The Water is Wide; Cutty Wren; Thomas the Ryhmer; Old Maid in the Garrett; Encore: All Around My Hat; Jigs; Gaudete.
Gawsforth Hall. First proper concert after Maddy's announcement with reports that it created a strange atmosphere, with Gay coming more to the fore on vocals in anticipation of having to lead the line. In addition it seems to mark the start of Gay taking a more playful approach to 'All Around my Hat' , which over the next few years often meant changing the lyrics, in this case apparently inserting the word 'baby' repeatedly. (thanks Simon Jones)
22nd Bolton Festival
12th St Ives Festival, Guildhall
13th Birmingham, Red Lion
20th CC Deurre, Antwerp, Belgium.
Autumn 'TIME' UK Tour (19 shows). Support: Rock Salt n
From the Tewsksbury concert, the last one: 1) Prickly Bush. 2) Room for Company. 3) Harvest of the Moon. 4) Erin Grá Mo Chroí 5) Elf Knight. 6) My Johnny was a Shoemaker. 7) The Weaver and the Factory Maid (just on last night). 8) Padstow. 9) Go From My Window. 10) Cam Ye'. 11) Twa Corbies. 12) Seagull. 13)Water is Wide. 14) Cutty Wren. 15) Thomas. 16) Old Maid. 17) Hat. 18) Jigs. 19) Gaudete.
1st Civic Centre, Aylesbury
2nd Corn Exchange, Ipswich
3rd Cliffs Pavillion, Southend
4th Arts Centre, Warwick
5th De La Ware Pavillion, Bexhill On Sea
7th Guildhall, Southampton
8th Central Theatre, Chatham
9th Alban Arena, St Albans
10th Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells
11th Civic Hall, Guildford
12th Theatre Royal, Bath
13th Derngate, Northampton
14th Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
15th The Beck Theatre, Hayes
16th Dome, Brighton
17th Fairfield Halls, Croydon
18th Princess Theatre, Torquay
19th Roses Theatre, Tewksbury. 2 shows. 5pm, 8pm. Last Maddy Gigs
Bob Johnson/Tim Harries/Gay Woods/Peter Knight
1st May Bergen. Bergen Garage; Norway.
Bootleg exists. Possibly the debut of this line up. No drummer at this concert which could be the first time since 1973. It makes for a more relaxed, intimate (small but vocal audience) sounding concert and works really well for the 'Go From my Window/Water is Wide' medley as well as probably the only chance to hear 'All Around My Hat' & 'Thomas' with no drums, on which both Gay delivers superb vocals. Set List: Cadgwith Anthem; The Prickly Bush; Harvest of the Moon; Padstow; Erin; The Elf Knight; Twa Corbies; Seagull; Go From My Window/The Water is Wide; All Around My Hat; Thomas the Rhymer; Old Maid in the Garrett; Gaudete; Reels.
? Castelnuovo nei Monti, Italy. Uncertainty about the year.
18th: Maddy Prior presents 'In Good Voice' a series on BBC World Service about signing.
September / October
SEVENTEENTH ALBUM: Horkstow Grange. (Park Records) .
The first Steeleye Span album not to feature Maddy Prior which turns out to be probably the most acoustic album since Ashley and Martin left. Bob Johnson plays the acoustic guitar on a number of tracks. Although as usual the arrangements are by Steeleye Span, the songs are all traditional songs apart from track one which was 1920's and written by Johnny Patterson (I Nish I Was Never Wed). The song 'Horkstow Grange' is where the name John 'Steeleye' Span originates from. Peter described it as a transitional album. Initially it was recorded with no drums but Peter said the band were so used to having drums that the album sounded like they had been lifted off! Dave Mattacks was brought in to add the 'missing' drums!
1. The Old Turf Fire; 2.The Tricks of London. 3. Horkstow Grange. 4. Lord Randall 5. Erin. 6. Queen Mary/Hunsden House. 7 Bonny Birdy. 8. Bonny Irish Boy. 9. I Wish That I Never Was Wed. 10. Australia. 11. One True Love .12. The Parting Glass.
October: Autumn 'Horkstow Grange' Uk Tour (19 dates)
(19 Dates). 1st UK tour by the band since Maddy Left, Dave Mattacks on Drums but not full time member. Long Lankin returns to the set after a long absence and Gay tackles Thomas The Ryhmer for the first time but the rest of the set is predictably drawn from the new album and songs from previous tours.
Long Lankin; The Prickly Bush; Erin Grá Mo Chroí (Bob on acoustic guitar) The Tricks of London (Bob on acoustic); One True Love (Bob on acoustic); The Dark-Eyed Sailor (Bob on acoustic); Horkstow Grange; [Interval] The Old Turf Fire; Seagull; Black Jack Davy (sung by Bob); Bonny Birdy; The Water Is Wide; Lord Randall; I Wish That I Never Was Wed; Thomas the Rhymer; The Old Maid in the Garrett; All Around My Hat; Jigs; Gaudete
2nd Oct Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells
3rd Strode Theatre, Street
5th Millfield Theatre, Edmonston
6th Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
7th Assembly Rooms, Derby
8th Municiple Hall, Colne
9th Parr Hall, Warrington
10th Corn Exchange, King's Lynn
11th Grand Opera House, York
14th The stables, Milton Keynes
15th Ferenham Hall, Fareham
16th Roses Theatre, Tewksbury
17th Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
19th Salisbury City Hall
21st Customs House, South Shields
22nd Beverley Picture House, Burton Pidsea
25th Corn Exchange, Cambridge
27th Woodville Halls, Gravesend
28th The Harlequin, Redhill
Maddy Prior Solo: "Spirit of the Tradition" UK Tour. Lne Up: Maddy Prior and Friends, Kathryn Tickell, Jacqui McShee and John Renbourn.
3rd: 'Jig and Swig Festival', Leeds Exhibition Centre, Morley. Feat. Lindisfarne/Oysterband. Steeleye headlined Saturday [over Easter] but due to time constraints had no time for encore, therefore no time for 'Hat', which is their usual festival encore. Dave Mattacks was on drums. [Thanks Jonathan Lee for info!]
2nd Nettlebed "One of a 'handful' of warm up dates
before 30th Anniv tour"
? Ebbw Vale. I was there but cannot remember the date.
5th Dranouter, Belgium.
[14th Maddy Prior and friends at Cropedy Festival]
29th Bridgenorth festival
October / November
Autumn 30th Anniversary UK Tour (24 dates).
Gerry Conway was on drums, virtually 30 years after he appeared on Hark! as a guest drummer. he played on Black Jack Davy which means he reunited with Gay Woods on this song 30 years after they recorded it together. I think this was the tour that "Paul Clarvis also worked with us on a few gigs" per Peter Knight, talking when Gerry joined on a
tour that Dave couldn’t make. This tour was recorded and filmed (Croydon), and according to Peter, to a good enough quality to release. However, due probably due to major line up changes in 2000/01 it never made it as a release. Another one for the box set.
The Set list introduces 'Well Done Liar' (a slightly different melody on the chorus and tempo) from the next album, plus 'Stuttering Lovers' which did not make it to the next album so remains unreleased and is only available on poor quality bootlegs.
THE PRICKLY BUSH; HARVEST OF THE MOON; ERIN (extended instrumental at the end); ONE TRUE LOVE; DARK EYED SAILOR; LONGBONE; HORKSTOW GRANGE; THE CONNEMARA CRADLE SONG; [interval] OLD TURF FIRE; BLACK JACK DAVY; THE STUTTERING LOVERS; BONNY BIRDY; THE WATER IS WIDE; I WISH THAT I NEVER WAS WED; WELL DONE LIAR; THOMAS THE RHYMER; OLD MAID IN THE GARRETT; encore - ALL AROUND MY HAT; MASONS APRON
16th Rosehill Theatre Whitehaven
17th Town Hall Accrington
18th City Varieties Music Hall Leeds
21st Farnham Maltings Farnham
22nd Woodville Halls Gravesend
23rd The Stables Milton Keynes
24th Palace Theatre Newark
26th Civic Hall Guildford Pentangle
27th Civic Hall Stratford-Upon-Avon
28th Pavilion Theatre Rhyl
29th De Montfort Hall LeicesterPentangle
30th Sundial Theatre Cirencester
31st Octagon Theatre Yeovil
1st St Georges Hall Exeter
2nd Huntingdon Hall Worcester
6th Roses Theatre Tewkesbury
7th Concert Hall, Fairfield Halls Croydon with Pentangle - This concert was filmed but has yet to see the light of day. Audience of about 600 (capacity 1,800)
8th The Playhouse Harlow Pentangle
9th Dacorum Pavilion Hemel Hempstead
11th The Beck Theatre Hayes
12th Castlemilk Folk Festival, Glasgow
15th Maddermarket Theatre Norwich
16th The Town Hall High Wycombe
17th Cambridge Arts Theatre Cambridge
Nov: LIVE ALBUM: THE JOURNEY (Double CD)
Finally a recording of the 1995 concert made is way onto a double CD. Gay Woods commented later that rework was needed on many of the tracks to make it good enough for release. Gay mentioned Maddy's vocals needed some overdubbing, which of course would have been understandable given the vocal problems she was having at the time.