The decade started with the biggest crisis in the band so far, one that came close to end the band for good. But thanks to 'caretaker' Peter Knight and the formation of a 'classic' line up including Maddy, by the end of the decade the Band had enjoyed its busiest period since the 70's with the longest running line- up the band had ever known. There were 6 studio albums, 2 Live albums with DVD's, various global Tours to America, Australia and Europe and a 'Folk Tradition' award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Maddy Prior and Friends Tour. Peter Knight joined for 4 gigs along with Rick Kemp. Peter said he enjoyed working with Rick again and I'm sure helped make him the obvious choice to step in when Bob later leaves.
2nd: Ludlow festival. Dave Mattacks joined the band on drums. Prickly Bush; Old Turf Fire; Black Jack Davy; Dark Eyed Sailor; The Stuttering Lovers; Bonny Birdy; Water is Wide I wish I was Never Wed; Well Don Liar; Thomas the Rhymer; Old Maid in the Garratt; All Around my Hat/Jigs.
3rd: Nettlebed Folk Club, Oxford. Dave Mattacks on drums.
21st July: Louvain, Belgium (did this happen? only seen it as a planned concert)
Broadstairs Festival, Kent. (definitely happened?) I assume this is Bob's last concert??
Dave Mattacks on Drums, Rick on Bass.
Two Act Set List: (Rams Head): The Prickly Bush; Dark-Eyed Sailor; Who Told the Butcher; Erin; Staring Robin; Horkstow Grange; The Stuttering Lovers; The Connemara Cradle Song; [Interval] The Old Turf Fire; John of Ditchford; Bonny Birdy; Poem; The Water is Wide; I Wish That I Never Was Wed; Thomas the Rhymer; Old Maid in the Garrett. Encore: All Around My Hat; Jigs
One Act Set List: (Bottom Line): Prickly Bush; Old Turf Fire; Who told the Butcher or One True Love;
Dark Eyed Sailor; John of Ditchford; Hawkstow Grange; Erin; [Interval]; Staring
Robin; Bonny Birdy; The Water Is Wide; Wish
That I Never Was Wed; Thomas The Rhymer; Old Maid In The Garrett; All Around my
Hat; Jigs and Reels.
Boston Globe review: Celtic folk rockers Steeleye Span ended the festival on an upbeat note. Combining lush harmonies with guitar, violin, and a traditional rock beat, the British quartet played an innovative combination of 100-year-old songs, and others that span the group's 30-year history. Spirited Irish-flavored songs such as "The Prickly Bush" had the audience on its feet and helped dispel the stereotype that folk is just a quiet sit-down form of music. (Pictures from Archived Boston Globe Website)
25th Sept: Eighteenth ALBUM: Bedlam Born (Park Records).
A significant change in direction after Horkstow Grange with an emphasis on the 'rock' element of Folk Rock, although still mainly Trad.Arr. This time Dave Mattacks was brought in during the rehearsals to integrate the drums from the start. It was also however a very strained album with Bob effectively announcing in the liner notes that he was leaving the band. He recorded most of his parts on his own and did not get very involved with the recording by all accounts. All the members contributed to the album. Tim described the album as a 'A conference of alienation'!
1. Well Done Liar 2. Who told the Butcher 3. John of Ditchford 4. I see his Blood Upon the Rose 5. Black Swan 6. The Beggar 7. Poor Old Soldier 8. Arbour 9. There was a Wealthy Merchant 10. Beyond the Dreaming Place 11. We Poor Labouring Men. 12. The Connemara Cradle Sing 13. Stephen 14. The White Cliffs of Dover
During the recording sessions for Bedlam Born the band recorded a Tim Harries song called 'Staring Robin' which had been popular live. Park Records recommended that the track was not included as it was closer to 'Punk Folk' and would detract from the rest of the album. Peter Knight has since said he felt that this was an incorrect decision (by the band to follow the recommendation). I have have a poor quality bootleg that I recorded myself (video below, audio only) and is interesting to listen to purely from an historical perspective. It is also thought that 'Stuttering Lovers' was recorded and an additional Tim Harries one as well that was not used - that may have been 'Through Moorfields' (see Cromer gig in 2001 below) but it is not known for sure.
Staring Robin in Peter's words: " Park did not forbid it. They suggested that maybe it wasn't suitable material for that album. We had the choice. Either we could make a stand in which case it would have been included, or we could trust Park's judgement. We chose the latter. In hindsight I feel it was the wrong decision. Not because of a matter of principle, but because the song is a great song and perfectly suitable for Steeleye. Performing it on gigs proved that"
Autumn UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour (23 dates).
Rick Kemp returns to the line up for the first time since 1987 playing bass while Tim Harries moved across to guitar. I heard 'There was a Wealthy Merchant' played on this tour but I don't think it was played often. The 'Hat' song was dropped a few times in this period. With Bob having left it impacted how many new album tracks were played, although Rick's return did mean the return of 'Robbery with Violins' . The band continued to play Starting Robin and Stuttering Lovers despite neither making the grade for the album.
Not exact order: Horkstow Grange; John of Ditchford; Who Told the Butcher; Prickly Bush; Bonny Birdy; I see his Blood upon the Rose; Robbery with Violins; Stuttering Lovers; Beyond the Dreaming Place; Staring Robin; Thomas the Rhymer; White Cliffs of Dover; encore: All Around My Hat; The Masons Apron.
1st Bath Theatre Royal
4th Bexhill De La Warr Pavillion
5th Rickmansworth Watersmeet
6th Gravesend Woodville Halls
7th Bewdly Festival Heath Hotel
8th Congleton Daneside Theatre
9th Derby Assembly Halls w.Pentangle
11th Stafford Gatehouse
12th Redditch Palace Theatre (Maddy Prior in the audience)
14th Hunstanton Princess Theatre
15th Colchester Arts Centre
17th Bradford St Georges Hall
18th High Wycombe Town Hall
20th Barnstaple Queens Theatre
21st Paignton Paalce Theatre
22nd Milton Keynes The Stables
23rd Swindon Arts Centre
25th Tewksbury The Roses Theatre
26th Southsea South Parade Pier
30th Weston Super Mare The Playhouse
1st Hayes The Beck Theatre
2nd Bolton Albert Halls
4th Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre
2001: Maddy Prior became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Traditional Music.
Tim: "Thanks to everyone who's shown us the kind of genuine support we have grown to really appreciate. Once again awash with change, we've put our heads together and that's where they're going to stay, co-writing and demoing a new STEELEYE SPAN Album that we intend to have ready to record by the end of this year. All potential future Line-up decisions will be based on combining this new work with vintage Steeleye in the most volatile mix possible. After that we will saddle up and storm the gates in a clatter of rockin' bones"
13th May: 'Folk on the Pier', Cromer.
Tamsyn Alexander, Tim Harries, Rick Kemp, Terl Bryant and Peter Knight.
Despite the band issues this was a long standing booking that still needed fulfilling and the line up was formed just to play at this festival. Tamsyn was in the band "Sin'e" and had only a week to prepare. Tim 'led' the band with most of the vocals and intros. 'Wee Weaver' was a very Jazz influenced version which Tamsyn had sung with her band before, she also brought in 'Streets of Derry'. 'Through Moorfields' a brand new Tim Harries song based on Trad lyrics.
Seagull (Pete); Wee Weaver (Tamsyn) ; Through Moorfields (Tim); Who Told the Butcher (Pete); Eb English (Peter and Tim only); The King; The Prickly Bush(Tim); Alison Gross(Tim); Streets of Derry (Tamsyn); John Of Ditchford (Tim); I see His Blood Upon the Rose (Tamsyn); Bonny Birdy (Pete); Staring Robin (Tim); All Around my Hat (Tamsyn).
Thanks to Nick Clark for these great photos, full set list details and more besides!
May: Tim Harries leaves the Band.
"On a personal note I would like to say that I am delighted that this has all come together at last, and I am looking forward to playing with, and hearing this great line-up. I will keep you informed of all developments.
A huge thanks to all of you for your wonderful support, patience and optimism."
November / December
NINETEENTH ALBUM: 'PRESENT' (Park Records)
An important studio album reflecting the 're-setting' of the band with its new 'classic' line up and the return of Maddy Prior. (Probably helped with the re-setting of royalties as well!) It is made up of re-recorded classics, in part voted by the public in an online poll by Park Records. It included the 'Lyke Wake Dirge' for the first time, it was a standard concert opener in the mid 70's; re-workings of 'When I was on Horseback' & 'Hard Times of Old England'; The 'as intended' verses of 'Let Her Go Down'; A bonus track - an A Capella version of 'Rosebud in June' (after King Henry).
The collection of songs formed the basis of the live set for the next couple of years.
As mentioned above, the track listing for 'Present' was chosen by visitors to Park Records. who were asked to vote for their favourite all time Steeleye tracks. However, as you can see from the results below, the band/Park Records took 'artistic license' with the results! To be fair the wording they used was: "In recognition of the loyal support of their fans Steeleye will be looking very closely at the results of the online poll of fan’s all-time favourite tracks when selecting material for the album". Perfectly understandable of course that the Band can record whatever they see fit, and the additions they made themselves were great, but personally I think they missed some great tracks! I have highlighted the ones from the list not recorded.
November / December
Bob Johnston Leaves the Band.
Bob has to pull out before the reunion tour on 'medical grounds', described by Park Records as having a 'minor heart condition'. He did not rejoin the band and subsequently retired from music. He became an Occupational Psychologist (going back to a career he had started in the 80's when he got a degree). Peter Knight made a statement on his website that he retires with everyone's best wishes at that it will not make any difference to the bands plans for 2004 (35th Anniversary). There are rumours that the issues around Gaudete (by Maddy Prior and Friends) released the year before was part of the reason for a big wedge that had grown between Bob and Maddy, one that Bob couldn't quite shake off and so didn't want to tour.
Winter UK 'Reunion' Tour (17 dates).
The reformed almost 'classic' line up went out on a 17 date tour to bigger audiences than Steeleye had had for a while. This tour was very much the start of a new era. Ken Nicol kept a diary of the tour and recorded the attendances, which I have included below. Rose Kemp joined the band for the tour and sang Backing Vocals on some of the songs towards the end of the 2nd set. The set list was taken completely from 'Present', which would make sense with Ken joining just before the tour. Peter says the motivation for this, and the album 'Present' in general was " The thinking behind this reunion, considering what Steeleye has been through over the last few years, is to clearly re-establish the spirit of the band by giving the majority of the audience exactly what they have asked for. By doing this we are hoping that band and audience can relax a little before the band moves on to new ground. Three of the tracks from this tour are available on the 'Official Bootleg CD' from 2004 (still available from Park Records) The King; Black Jack Davy & One Misty Moisty Morning. A couple more appeared on the 2009 CD release 'Live at a Distance' which I believe are 'When I was on Horseback' and 'Two Magicians' but I am yet to identify any more. Steeleye travelled with a road crew of these three or Four most of this decade--Spike-runner, Patch-sound; Jackie-Merchandising+tour manager (as he still does in 2019), John/Brian- lighting;
The King; Black Jack Davy; Sir James the Rose (Ken on vocal); One Misty Moisty Morning; Let Her Go Down; Lyke Wake Dirge; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; John Barleycorn (Rick on vocal) Hard Times of Old England; [Interval] ; King Henry (Ken on vocal); When I Was on Horseback; Blackleg Miner; Drink Down the Moon; Long Lankin; Two Magicians; Cam Ye O’er Frae France; Thomas the Rhymer (inc Rose Kemp); Encore: All Around My Hat (Inc Rose); The Lady of the Morning/The Sailor’s Bonnet; Gaudete
25th-28th Rehearsing. Oxford.
29th Nov Aylesbury Civic Hall 350
1st Dec Abergevenny The Borough Theatre 326 (sold out)
2nd Abergevenny The Borough Theatre 327 (sold out)
4th Derby Assembly Rooms 750
5th Leicester De Montfort hall 1250
6th York Grand Opera House 500
7th Southport, Southport Theatre 800
11th Kings Lynn Corn Exchange 750 (sold out)
12th Reading Town Hall 750 (sold out)
13th Chichester Festival Theatre 1200 (sold out)
14th Christchurch Regent Theatre 472 (sold out). £2k taken on Merch desk. Good for audience.
15th Warwick University Arts Centre 1200 (sold out)
16th Burgess Hill Martlets Hall 340 (sold out). Could have sold 3 times over. Show was recorded.
17th Salisbury City Hall 950 (sold out) Recorded and used for 'Official Bootleg' CD (2004)and 'Live at a Distance' CD (2009)
18th Cheltenham Town Hall 922 (sold out)
19th London QEH 915 (sold out)
20th Bradford St Georges Hall 1500 (sold out)
Ken's closing remarks in his tour diary: "Emotionally, I arrive at this last tour date with both - considerable sadness, and relief. This has been one of the most satisfying and fulfilling experiences of my career. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will not be the end of my working relationship with these guys."
After a years break the band embarked on a big world tour, the largest for a number of years.
8th-9th Rehearsals in Oxford at the 'Warehouse Studios' in Kennington
10th Nettlebed. Warm up gig after a year away and a World Tour coming up. Included new songs Child Owlet; Samain; They Called Her Babylon & Si Begh Si Mohr. Thanks to Nick Clark for the Set list.
The King; Sir James The Rose; When I was on Horseback; Si Begh Si Mohr; Child Owlet; Let Her go Down; They Called her Babylon; Misty Moisty Morning. Interval. Long Lankin; Two Magicians; Drink DOwn the Moon; King Henry; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; Samain; Blackleg Miner; Thomas The Rhymer. Encore: All Around My Hat, Tunes.
Denmark Tour (4 dates)
12th Tobakken, Esbjerg, Denmark. (Folk Event 2004)
13th Strib Vinterfestival, Strib. Annual Winter festival. Went on stage 11.15pm and finished at 1.15am
14th Reserveret, Skråen Ålborg. Small concert - around 150 but went well.
Australia/NZ Tour (14 dates) Support: Ralph McTell.
The bands 7th tour of Australia and the first since 1994. This tour was back at bigger venues and almost twice as long. Tour promoted/managed by Richard James. They left on 27th Feb from Heathrow. Set list was taken from the following in various orders/omissions.
A Calling On Song or The King; One Misty Moisty Morning; Samain; Sir James the Rose; Let Her go Down; Two Magicians (introduced later); Cam Ye or Blackleg Miner (or neither); Betsy Bell (introduced at Port Fairy); Drink Down the Moon/ They Called Her Babylon; Si Begh Si Mohr; Long Lankin or When I was on Horseback; Thomas the Rhymer; Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete; Tunes.
2nd TV: Interview and a live singing of 'The King' for Channel 9 'Kerrie Ann Morning Show'. Aired 4th. Watch it here.
3rd Two Live Performances and interviews for 'Angel Catterns' and ABC Canberra. (David Kilby)
4th Canberra Theatre, Canberra (700)
5th State Theatre, Sydney (1200+)
6th Port Fairy Folk Fest, Port Fairy (6.30pm 40 mins)
7th Port Fairy Folk Fest, Port Fairy (11.15pm)
8th Port Fairy Folk Fest, Port Fairy (12pm) Added The King
11th Twin Towns Services, Coolangatta
12th Lismore Workers, Lismore
13th The Tivoli, Brisbane 650, sold out
14th Empire Theatre, Toowoomba Only 200.
16th The Bruce Mason, Theatre, Auckland 900 people estimated. Billy Connolly was in the audience
17th The Basement, Sydney. Impromptu performance at a small club.
18th I.P.A.C Theatre, Wollongong
19th National Theatre, Melbourne 650, sold out
20th Norwood Concert Hall/ The Guv, Adelaide
21st Regal Theatre, Perth. Final Set List: The King; One Misty Moisty Morning; Sir James the Rose; When I was on Horseback; Si Begh Si Mohr ; Drink Down the Moon; They Called Her Babylon ; Cam Ye; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Two Magicians; Let Her Go Down; Samain; Thomas the Rhymer; Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete; Tunes.
Photo from Ken Nicol's Tour Diary
29th March: TWENTIETH ALBUM: They Called her Babylon (Park Records)
The first album of new material from this new line up and since the return of Maddy Prior. A strong mix of traditional arrangements and original tracks, including 'Samain' by Rick Kemp and the title track by new boy Ken Nicol which was about the Siege of Latham House during the English Civil War.
1. Van Diemen’s Land 2. Samain 3. Heir of Linne 4. Bride’s Farewell 5. They Called Her Babylon 6. Mantle of Green 7. Bede’s Death Song 8. Diversus And Lazarus 9. Si Begh Si Mohr 10. Child Owlet 11. What’sThe Life Of A Man?
35th Anniv. World Tour 'UK' (25 dates)
The tour was recorded and later released on DVD. Surprisingly only 5 tracks from the new album made it to the setlist and most of those had been seen on the previous tour. (Van Diemen's Land and Mantle of Green were the new additions).,A significant amount of songs from 'Present' are still played but Prince Charlie Stuart, Tam Lin and 4 Nights Drunk make a return to the live shows, Prince Charlie Stuart was played in 1981/82 and at the Journey concert whilst 4 Nights Drunk did appear in the 80's occasionally. In addition 'Who Told the Butcher' is brought back in by Peter. Most tracks from this tour will appear on either 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert' (2006) and 'Sir James the Rose' is on the 'The Official Bootleg' (2004)
King Henry (dropped in tour & brought back); Padstow, replaced by King Henry from 4th; Prince Charlie Stuart; Four Nights Drunk; Who Told the Butcher; Mantle Of Green; Long Lankin; Samain; All Around My Hat; Interval; Tam Lin; Let her Go Down; Liam's Drum Solo; Drink Down the Moon; Si Begh Si Mohr (dropped & brought back); Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; They Called Her Babylon; The Blackleg Miner; Sir James the Rose; Van Diemen's Land; Encore: Cam Ye or Thomas the Rhymer Or Padtow in May!; Gaudete (sometimes dropped).
15th April: Interview on Radio Lancashire with Maddy and Ken. perform Babylon and Mantle of Green
15th - 17th Rehearsals in Oxford
18th April New Theatre, Oxford
19th Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury (370 - Sold Out).
20th Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury. Both shows recorded for 35th Anniversary DVD plus 'Mantle of Green' and 'Liam's drum solo' appeared on 'Folk Rock Pioneers In Concert' CD. Plus they ran through the set in the afternoon to get the 'close ups'.
22nd The Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells
23rd Fairfield Hall, Croydon (c900)
24th The Playhouse, Western-Super-Mare
26th Wyvern Theatre, Swindon (350, lowest so far. It was a Monday!)
27th The Royal Theatre, Northampton (950)
28th The Anvil, Basingstoke
29th The Beck Theatre, Hayes
30th Queen's Theatre, Barnstable (600 -Sold out)
1st May Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare (just over 300 but the most 'vocal audience' of the tour). Played Padstow.
2nd Chatham Central Theatre, Chatham (+Padstow)
4th Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
5th Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon
6th Assembly Rooms, Derby
8th Theatre Hafren, Newtown, Wales
9th Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
10th St Georges Hall, Bradford
11th The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield. Mantle of Green added due to request
13th Daphne Du Maurier Festival, Fowey
14th The Hawth, Crawley
15th Southampton Guildhall, Southampton Encores recorded for 35th Anniversary DVD and the rest of the concert was for 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert' & 'The Official Bootleg' CD .
16th Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 1,400 virtually full house.
17th King Georges Hall, Blackburn.
Denmark Tour (3/4 dates)
23rd Roskilde near Copenhagen, Open Air.
24th Tuno Festival
25th T.B.C. (did anything happen?)
26th Fredericia Concert
16th Brampton Live, Cumbria
1st Sidmouth Folk Festival. There was a programme on BBC4 on 27th August which celebrated 50 years of this Folk Festival and the listing included Steeleye Span but it is not known exactly what was shown but from the reviews - not much Steeleye! (Picture below). Martin Carthy joined them on stage but I don't what he did or did not do/sing.
Planned US tour had to be shelved
Twenty First ALBUM: WINTER (Park Records).
The 2nd Studio album of the year and a collection of seasonal songs (rather than a 'Christmas' album per se) . A mixture of traditional songs/carols and original compositions, mainly by Ken.
1. Winter; 2. The First Noel; 3. Sing we the Virgin Mary; 4. In the Bleak Midwinter; 5. Today in Bethlehem; 6. Mistletoe Bough; 7. Down in Yon Forest; 8. Hark the Herald Angels Sing; 9. Chanticleer; 10. Winter Snow; 11. Blow your Trumpet Gabriel; 12. Bright Morning Star; 13. Good King Wenceslas; 15. Unconquered Son
Winter UK '35th Anniversary' Tour. (23 dates)
Included special 35th Anniv. concert at the Palladium where they gave away the official bootleg cd'. The tour was recorded for 'Live at a Distance' CD/DVD
Unsurprisingly the set list features songs from the new album as songs from 'Present' are slowly getting dropped. 'London' is played for the first time since 1976 and Cold Haily Night, for the first time since 1971, apart from the Journey concert in '95. The latter will make the next album in 2 years time. At the big London Palladium Gig Martin Carthy and Ralph McTell guested with Tim Harries stepping in for John Kirkpatrick who injured himself the night before.
Van Dieman's Land; Cold Haily Windy Night; Four Nights Drunk; Drink Down the Moon; The Unconquered Sun; London; Down In Yon Forest; Babylon; Seagull; Bright Morning Star; I live not where I love (added after London gig) [interval]; The King; Today in Bethlehem; Sing with the Virgin Mary; The First Nowell; Silky; Let Her Go Down; Samain; Tam Lin Encores: See Amid the Winters Snow; All Around My Hat (Opened 2nd set for a couple of nights) ; Gaudete
22nd-25th Rehearsing in Hastings
25th White Rock Theatre, Hastings
27th Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn (close to 650 capacity)
28th Leeds City Varieties, Leeds (sold out)
29th Tameside Hippodrome, Ashton-Under-Lyne (300-low turnout)
30th Grand Opera House, York (full house)
2nd Borough, Theatre, Abergavenny
3rd Hall for Cornwall, Truro (932 - sold out)
5th Corn Exchange, Ipswich
7th St. David's Hall, Cardiff
8th Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill
9th Cliff Hall, Folkstone (500-600)
10th Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
11th - Rehearsal day with Martin/John & Ralph McTell
12th Palace Theatre, Southend. Full Dress Reheasal for Palladium gig with Martin/John/Ralph
13th London Palladium, London. Special '35th Anniv' concert. W. Martin Carthy/Ralph McTell/Tim Harries. Given 'Official bootleg' CD if attended. The line up was meant to include John Kirkpatrick but he fell over in the hotel and had to go to Hospital, Tim Harries stepped in on String Bass. Extra songs: I Live not Where I love & Dancing at Whitsun for this concert, and had Ralph sing 'Streets of London' as the first encore.
14th City Hall, Salisbury 900 full house. First Nowell becomes first Encore.
15th Town Hall, Cheltenham. Full house.
16th Reading Concert Hall, Reading. Full House (700)
17th Southport Arts Centre, Southport. Full House 470
19th Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry. Full House 1,200.
20th Buxton Opera House, Buxton (Full House)
21st The Stables, Milton Keynes. Recorded and used 2 tracks on 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert CD' (London & Cold Haily Night) and some tracks for 2009 Live CD ' Live at a Distance' - not 100% sure which ones.
22nd The Stables, Milton Keynes. Extra date added as first was a sell out and a small venue. This one sold out as well (396)
30th The Sage, Gateshead
Sample videos from 35th Anniversary DVD available on Park Records
BBC2: Steeleye Span receive the 'Good Tradition' award at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and perform Van Diemens Land at the show.
When Steeleye are introduced there is a montage of clips including a couple from since unseen episodes of Electric Folk ('74 & '75) and the 1981 Cambridge Folk Festival (Hat song)
13th Celtic Connections
April / May
Bonny Black Hare; Cold Haily, Windy Night; Who Told the Butcher; Who's the Fool now; I live not where I love; Hard Times of Old England; The Scullion King; Seagull; Van Diemen's Land; [interval]; Saucy Sailor; Padstow; Lord Gregory; Nedd Ludd; Demon of the Well; Lord Elgin; Last House in Connought/The Lady of the House. Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete.
27th April The Muni, Colne, Lanashire
28th The Palace Theatre, Mansfield.
29th The Cresset, Peterborough.
30th The Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
1st May The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.
3rd The Assembley Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.
4th The White Rock Theatre, Hastings.
5th The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.
6th The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.
7th The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.
9th Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill.
11th Camberly Theatre, Camberly.
12th The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare.
13th The Deco, Northampton.
14th The Grand Hall, Dorking.
15th St Georges Hall, Exeter.
16th Hall For Cornwall, Truro.
19th Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon.
21st The Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield.
23rd The City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds.
24th The Beck Theatre, Hayes.
25th The Medina Theatre, Newport, Isle-of-White.
26th The Theatre Royal, Winchester.
28th The New Theatre, Oxford.
25th Nettlebed Bootleg exists
Bonny Black Hare; Cold Haily, Windy Night; Who Told the Butcher; Who's the Fool now; I live not where I love; The Scullion King; Long Lankin; Seagull; Van Diemen's Land; [interval]; Padstow; Lord Gregory; Nedd Ludd; Demon of the Well; Lord Elgin; Last House in Connought/The Lady of the House; Tam Lin; Hard Times of England; Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete.
Italy dates. Did they actually happen?
6th Wickham Festival
10th Cropedy Festival.
Short clips from the performance are available here on YouTube
Bonny Black Hare; Cold Haily, Windy Night; Who Told the Butcher; Long Lankin ; The Scullion King; I live not where I love; Who's the Fool now; Demon of the Well; Betsy Bell and Mary Grey; Van Diemen's Land; London ; Seagull ; Last House in Connought/The Lady of the House; Tam Lin; Hard Times of England; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; All Around My Hat
Nov:Twenty second ALBUM: Bloody Men (Park Records)
The first studio album cover to feature the band on the cover since All Around My Hat and to be honest you can see why, it doesn't really work. The album was a 50:50 split of original and traditional recordings with Rick's 5 part 'Ned Ludd' set of songs on CD2. Cold Haily Windy Night gets another studio outing as do the tunes from Tempted and Tried.
1. Bonny Black Hare 2. The Story of the Scullion King 3. The Dreamer & The Widow 4. Lord Elgin 5. The 3 Sisters 6. The 1st House in Connaught 7. Cold Haily Windy Night 8. Whummil Bore 9. Demon of the Well 10. Lord Gregory; 11. Ned Ludd Part 1 (Inclosure) 12. Ned Ludd Part 2 (Rural Retreat) 13. Ned Ludd Part 3 (Ned Ludd) 14. Ned Ludd Part 4 (Prelude to Peterloo) 15. Ned Ludd Part 5 (Peterloo the Day)
Nov/Dec: Bloody Men' UK Tour (23 dates)
Set list is heavy on the new album with 6 in total plus 4 songs from 'Winter' coming back into a festive setlist. Rick is still bringing back older songs and this time 'Edward' appears for the first time since 1986 apart from the Journey concert in '95. Royal Forester is sung which again has not been heard live for many years (80's) despite it being a staple live closing song throughout the 70's. The Hove concert was filmed and is the 'Live At A Distance' DVD. released in 2009. Videos below.
Long Lankin; Lord Elgin; Demon of the Well; Who's the Fool now; Let Her Go Down; Today in Bethlehem; In the Bleak Midwinter; Edward; Bonny Black Hare; [Interval] ; Nedd Ludd; First House in Connought; Unconquered Sun ; The Dreamer and the Widow ; Three Sisters; Royal Forester; Encore: The Song Will Remain; The First Nowell; All Around My Hat; Gaudete. No All Around My Hat, at a handful of concerts
24th Nov: The Anvil Basingstoke (No All Around My Hat!)
25th Assembly Rooms Derby
27th Grand Opera House York
28th Buxton Opera House Buxton
30th Wycombe Swan High Wycombe
1st Dec: St David's Hall Cardiff
2nd St George's Bristol BristolI attended
3rd The Stables Milton Keynes
4th The Stables Milton Keynes
5th Borough Theatre Abergavenny
6th Huntingdon Hall Worcester
8th The Landmark Theatre Ilfracombe
10th Melton Theatre Melton Mowbray
11th Ipswich Corn Exchange Ipswich
12th Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone
13th The Concert Hall Reading
15th Carnglaze Caverns Liskeard
17th City Hall Salisbury
18th Hove Centre @ Hove Town Hall . Recording of 'Live At a distance' DVD (videos below) and some tracks for Live CD
19th The Town Hall Cheltenham
21st St George's Concert Hall Bradford
22nd Guild Hall Preston
23rd The Priory Centre St Neots
July 25th Nettlebed. Warm up gig for SpanFest
24th July: SINGLE: Lord Elgin / Lord Elgin (Live)
Written by Peter Knight. The live version was also available for free as a download at some point. Released to help promote Spanfest.
March3rd: Steeleye Span is a specialist subject on BBC TV Mastermind for Stewart Cross who went on to the Grand Final.
April / May
Spring UK Tour (25 dates)
A return for some 'Babylon' album songs. A new Peter tune - 'Neck Belly Reel' and a new variant of Bedlam Boys - a duet with just Peter and Maddy, one their 'improv' pieces that they do so well. Cam Ye O'er Frae France is a more subtle version than the one played earlier in the decade (on 'Folk Rock Pioneers' Live CD) this is slower tempo with Peter on Mandolin, closer to the 2002 'Present' version in style. There are first plays for this line up for The Blacksmith; Lovely on the Water and Gone to America. The latter two did appear occasionally in the 90's but I don't think the Blacksmith has been heard since the mid 80's apart from 'The Journey'.
Some tracks are to be found on the 2009 'Live at a Distance' CD including 'Neck Belly Reel', the only place to hear that tune.
Van Dieman's Land; Drink Down the Moon;
Lovely on the Water; (Peter on Mandolin) London;
Gone to America;
Seagull; King Henry or Long Lankin (occasionally both); Saucy Sailor (sometimes);
The Weaver and the Factory Maid;
Cold Haily Windy Night; The Blacksmith (Mandolin);
Bedlam Boys -Maddy duet with Peter playing pizzicato;
Cam Ye O'er Frae France (mandolin);
Bonny Black Hare;
Encores : All Around My Hat;
Hard Times (Sometimes. Rock 'n' roll version);
The Song Will Remain
17th Arts Centre, ABERYSTWYTH
18th The Brewhouse Theatre, TAUNTON
19th Hall for Cornwall, TRURO
20th Babbacombe Theatre, TORQUAY
22nd Corn Exchange, KINGS LYNN
23rd The Cresset, PETERBOROUGH
24th Corn Exchange, CAMBRIDGE
25th Martlets Hall, BURGESS HILL
27th QEH (South Bank Centre),
28th Borough Theatre, ABERGAVENNY
29th St David's Hall, CARDIFF
30th Roses Theatre, TEWKESBURY Recording of tracks for 'Live at a Distance' CD released in 2009
1st Roses Theatre, TEWKESBURY
2nd Reading Concert Hall, READING
4th Buxton Opera House, BUXTON
5th Preston Guildhall, PRESTON
6th Forum 28, BARROW IN FURNESS
7th Victoria Theatre, HALIFAX
8th Palace Theatre, MANSFIELD
9th Mercury Theatre, COLCHESTER
11th Assembly Hall,TUNBRIDGE WELLS
13th Colston Hall, BRISTOL
14th Pavilion Theatre, BOURNEMOUTH
15th Birmingham Town Hall, BIRMINGHAM
16th The Derngate, NORTHAMPTON
Johnny Rotten (John Lydon- Sex Pistols) expresses his love for Steeleye Span in Mojo, commenting that 'one of the most wondeful things I have ever done is to meet Maddy Prior '
24th Nettlebed. SpanFest warm up gig. Included John Kirkpatrick.
The second but sadly final running of SpanFest.
This time at Stanford Hall. Initially it was advertised as a 3 day festival at Kentwell Hall (picture below) , but it was reduced down to one day and moved to Standford Hall (announced 18th April). Leicestershire. Probably moved due to low ticket sales in the first year, although ,Maddy said it was because of a "confusion" (?). The general view is that Kentwell Hall is privately owned and hosting festivals was just not something they felt comfortable with. They also confirmed that they lost money and assurances they needed to avoid a loss this time around from Park Records were not forthcoming, and so a repeat in terms of numbers was probably not attractive. The venue has not since hosted any concert/festival.
Other acts included The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Whapweasel and Maddy Prior alongside Steeleye. The day went well considering it was not widely advertised (as usual) and there was an estimated 800-1,000 sized crowd. And the beer didn't run out this time.
This is the planned set list, but 2 were dropped due to time running short, not sure which two! John Kirkpatrick joined the band for much of the set
Van Diemens Land;Drink Down the Moon; First House tunes; Babylon; Lovely on the Water ; London; Lark in the Morning (With JK); Seagull (JK); Bonny Black Hare (JK); Saucy Sailor; Weaver and the Factory Maid (dropped?) Cold, Haily, Windy Night (JK); The 3 Sisters (JK); Cam ye o'er frae France; (JK) Thomas the Rhymer (JK); Hat (JK); Hard times of old England. (JK)
18th August: SINGLE (Never released): Hard Times of Old England.
The (Digital Download] single that never got released. Promo CD below. Studio version of the 'Rock 'n Roll' version that the band were playing at the time. Quite short with verses taken out.
Wiltshire - Private Party Terry Pratchett 60th B'day
24th BBC4: Maddy Prior 'Electric Proms' appearance at 'Cecil Sharp House' (recorded 23rd)
Maddy appeared with daughter Rose Kemp and friends & collaborators June Tabor and Tim Hart. John Kirkpatrick also played. Further videos on Youtube and one with Tim is at the bottom of this page.
21st: BBC4 TV 'Steeleye Span night'. 'Electric Folk' episode from 1974.
Showed 'Maddy Prior at the Electric Proms' - 1st aired on 24th October. The first showing of an episode from the 1975 series 'Steeleye Span: Electric Folk' This was the one from Penshurt Place, Kent. Video is on the 1974 section. The show followed 'Maddy Prior at the Electric Proms' - 1st aired on 24th October.
Roweltown to spend a few days working on potential new material
April / May20th April: LIVE CD & DVD: Live at a Distance (exert from DVD below)
14th April The Alban Arena St Albans
15th Woodville Halls Gravesend
16th Bedford Corn Exchange Bedford
17th The Castle Wellingborough
18th Assembly Rooms Derby
19th St Georges Bristol Bristol
21st Gulbenkian Theatre Canterbury
22nd Ashcroft Theatre Croydon
23rd Assembly Hall Worthing
24th Everyman Theatre Cheltenham
26th Octagon Theatre Yeovil
27th The Queens Theatre Barnstaple
29th Palace Theatre Redditch
30th The Winding Wheel Chesterfield
1st May Theatre Severn Shrewsbury
2nd Theatr Hafren Newtown, Powys
3rd Newark Palace Theatre Newark
5th Victoria Theatre Halifax
6th Floral Hall Southport
7th Hull City Hall Hull
8th Corn Exchange Kings Lynn
9th Victoria Hall Stoke-on-Trent[TBC]
10th Lancaster Grand Theatre Lancaster
26-29th Rehearsing for new album at Parlour Studio,
Kettering. 'Decision to largely avoid personal compositions' A decision that
Ken had "a degree of disappointment" to doing, in his own words.
Recording new album at Propagation Studios, North Tamerton. Joe Partridge arrived to potentially produce the album but contract negotiations etc broke down.
25th Doncaster Rocks Festival. With Jethro Tull. The Blacksmith; Seagull; They Called her Babylon; Edward; Lovely on the Water; Jigs; Bonny Black Hare; Tam Lin; All Around my Hat
September / October
17th Nettlebed. Warm up gig for World Tour
40th Anniversary US Tour .
Rick Kemp did not travel so again Pete Zorn on Bass
19th Somerville Theatre, MA
20th B.B.King Blues Club and Grill, NY. Incomplete Set List: Order not correct I live Not Where I Love; Betsy Bell and Mary Grey; All Around My Hat; Hard Times of Old England; Van Diemen's Land; Seagull; Thomas the Rhymer.
21st Sellersville Theater PA
22nd Live Session at Sirius XM, Sirius DC. One hour Live Set. Has not been heard since.
22nd Birchmere, Alexandria VA
23rd The Ark, Ann Arbour MI USA
25th Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago
29th A.B.C Radio Show. Performed Ranzo.
30th "Event Centre" Southern Cross Club, Canberra, Australia.
2nd Oct Seymour Theatre Centre, Sydney
3rd. The Tivoli, Brisbane
4th. Lismore City Hall,
7th. IPAC, Wollongong
9th Norwood Concert Hall,
10th. National Theatre, Melbourne
11th. Octagon Theatre, Perth
November / December
Twenty Third ALBUM: Cogs, Wheels & Lovers (Park Records)
The 6th studio album of the decade! After a tendency towards a mix of traditional and original songs for the last few albums, this one is rooted 100% in the traditional. Maddy described it as an album of 'Lyrical and later ballads" similar to their very first album. At rehearsals the band decided to focus on traditional songs and not the original compositions they had all brought forward for consideration. Peter said the songs just didn't 'hang together' as a Steeleye album. He suggested they get rooted again in the tradition so Maddy and Peter went off back to the old books and together they arranged most of the songs. Rick was not well so didn't get so involved. Ken had expressed some dissatisfaction at this focus away from original songs. Note the bonus hidden track by Peter & Maddy.
1.Gallant Frigate Amphitrite 2.Locks and Bolts 3.Creeping Jane 4.Just as the Tide 5.Ranzo 6.The Machiner’s Song 7. Our Captain Cried 8.Two Constant Lovers 9.Madam will you Walk 10.The Unquiet Grave 11. Thornaby Woods, Great Silkie of Sule Skerry (hidden track)
November / December
"The 40th Anniversary Tour" UK Autumn Tour
The big 30 date Anniversary tour, Including the "40th Anniversary concert" at the Barbican with Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick.
Rick Kemp back to Tour. However, during the tour Rick was feeling unwell so it was arranged that Pete Zorn would join the tour from 22nd November. As it happened Rick was ok so Pete joining made Steeleye a 6 piece for the first time since 1982. Maddy was raising money for Tim Hart during the tour as he was in England receiving treatment for Cancer.
Old songs back in the set for the 1st time since the 70's I believe - All things are Quite Silent; Sheep Crook & Black Dog (1974 on Electric Folk) and Little Sir Hugh. With set-lists scarce from the 80's I can never be quite sure though when making these pronouncements! In fact, I can see no mention of 'All things are Quite Silent ever being played live..! While Rick also brings back Bachelors Hall for the 1st time since he left in 1986. Unfortunately, although the decade was well served with Live CD's, the tours from 2009 have not been heard so we don't get the chance to hear these new versions. The Chichester gig was filmed as 'Hard Times' has been shown by Park Records but sadly not the rest of the concert.
Tour Set List: Little Sir Hugh; Creeping Jane; Seagull (replaced Who Told the Butcher after 2 nights) ; Bachelor's Hall; Cold Haily Windy Night (added from 1st Dec) Sheep Crook and Black Dog; They Called her Babylon; I live not where I love; Si Begh Si Mohr ; The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite [Interval]; All Things are quite Silent; Ranzo; The Silky of Sules Skerrie; Unconquered Sun; Van Diemens Land; Peace on the Border; Tunes; Bonny Black Hare (not on all the tour); Thomas the Rhymer (dropped after 1st Dec for The Three Sisters' when Maddy's voice needed more rest); Encore: All Around My Hat; Hard Times of Old England; Song Will remain .
11th City Hall, Salisbury
13th Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford
15th Swan Theatre, Worcester.
16th Reading Concert Hall, Reading.
17th The Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare.
18th Exeter Corn Exchange, Exeter. Full House - 500.
19th Salisbury City Hall, Salisbury.
20th Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Well
22nd The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pete Zorn joined bringing his 'array of wind, percussion and string instruments'
23rd Ipswich Corn Exchange, Ipswich.
26th The Medina Theatre, Newport.
27th Town Hall, Birmingham.
29th The New Theatre, Oxford. 2/3rds Full. Cold, Wet & Miserable. But per Ken a great concert!
30th. Nov.Epsom Playhouse, Epsom.
1st. Dec.The Stables, Milton Keynes. Full House.
2nd. Dec.The Stables, Milton Keynes.
3rd. Dec.Regent Centre, Christchurch.
4th. Dec.Farnham Maltings, Farnham.
6th. Dec. Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester. Martin and John join for Dress Rehearsal for Barbican. 1,200 crowd. Youtube clip of Hard Times of old England below so concert was filmed, but no other footage has been released on shown y Park Records.
Monday 7th. Dec.The Barbican, London. Special 40th
Anniversary concert. With Martin Carthy/John Kirkpatrick. 'Virtually full'. Little Sir Hugh; Cold, Haily, Windy Night; Seagull; Sheepcrook
and BlackDog; Babylon; Great Silkie of Sules Skerry; Bachelors Hall; I Live Not
Where I Love; Si Bheg Si Mohr; The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite; [Interval] The
Boar's Head Carol (with Martin & John); Four Nights Drunk (with M&J); The
Lark in the Morning (with M&J); The King (with M&J); All Things Are
Quite Silent (with Rose); Ranzo; Unconquered Sun; Van Diemen's
Land; Peace on the Border; Tunes (1st House in Connaught/Lady of the House); Three
Sisters (with John); Bonny Black Hare; First encore: All Around My Hat (with
Martin & John again); Hard Times of
Old England (with M&J); Second encore; The Song Will Remain
8th. Grand Theatre, Swansea.
9th. Borough Theatre, Abergavenny.
10th. Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.
11th. De Montfort Hall, Leicester
14th. St. George's Hall, Bradford
15th. Parr Hall, Warrington.
16th. The Sage, Gateshead.
17th. Guild Hall, Preston.
19th. The Hove Centre, Brighton.
20th. Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
24th December 2009. Tim Hart dies, aged 61, from Cancer. (The Guardian Obituary.)
His last appearance was at Cecil Sharp House in October 2008 with Maddy Prior for the Electric Proms concert on BBC4. Video Below.