2002-2010

Maddy is back and a return to stability

2002 (from July)

After the decade had started with the biggest crisis in the band so far, one that came close to end the band for good, 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.

Peter Knight; Maddy Prior; Bob Johnson; Rick Kemp; Liam Genockey

Click on image for details

19th Album: 'Present'

25th Nov. A studio album reflecting the 're-setting' of the band with its new line up and the return of Maddy Prior. (Probably helped with the re-setting of royalties as well!) Mainly re-recorded classics, in part voted by the public in an online poll (see below). Generally the tracks were faithful to the original recordings. But it did includ 'Lyke Wake Dirge' (A 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'; plus a bonus track - an acapella version of 'Rosebud in June'

On line Park Records Poll
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.

King Henry 2753 (votes)
Long Lankin 2699
Drink Down The Moon/The Cuckoo 2687
Thomas The Rhymer 2647
The Wife Of Ushers Well 2608
Cam Ye O'er Frae France 2579
Alison Gross 2572
The Weaver And The Factory Maid 2553
One Misty Moisty Morning 2530
Spotted Cow 2520
Gamble Gold (Robin Hood) 2437
The Bold Poachers 2136
The Dark-Eyed Sailor 2066
Black Jack Davy 2015
Hard Times Of Old England 1857
The Ups And The Downs 1594
Sir James The Rose 1521
Orfeo \/ Nathan's Reel 1496
Skewball 1265
Seven Hundred Elves 1254

Bob Johnson Leaves

Bob leaves for the third and final time. He had to pull out before the 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 made him reluctant to tour.

KEN NICOL JOINS THE BAND

 

Ken replaces Bob after Rick Kemp had seen him perform at a solo gig back in August, they had been discussing about forming a new band (which didn't happen). Ken had previously been part of the Albion Band and formed 'Easy Street' in the 70's. See his bio page for more information. Ken joined initially for the tour but everything went well so he joined the band full time straight after.

Steeleye Span 2002-2010

Peter Knight; Mady Prior; RIck Kemp; Ken Nicol; Liam Genockey

Nov: UK 'Reunion' Tour

The reformed 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 (included below). Rose Kemp joined the band for the tour and sang Backing Vocals on some songs. 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' (2004)- The King; Black Jack Davy & One Misty Moisty Morning. A couple more appeared on the 2009 CD release 'Live at a Distance' - 'When I was on Horseback' and 'Two Magicians'. For most of the decade Steeleye travelled with a road crew of Spike-runner, Patch-sound; Jackie-Merchandising+tour manager (as he still does today), 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 Nov. 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 in Merch.
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."

2003

No Steeleye Activity. One of only 4 years in 50 with no gigs!

Click to go to website

'Peter Knight's Gigspanner'

September 30th: The Queens Head' Icklesham, Sussex. Debut of Peter Knights new trio as 'Gigspanner'. Now called 'Peter Knight's Gigspanner'. The band starting touring and recording seriously in 2008, and become Peter's main focus when he finally decided to call it a day with Steeleye in 2013. The band has released a number of albums and tour regularly, with always the odd Steeleye song in the mix.

Maddy Prior Activity

Maddy Prior continued to be busy in 2003 with another new solo album - 'Lionhearts' and Tour in the Spring alongside once again Troy Donockley and Nick Holland. There was a Chistmas tour with The Carnival Band which resulted in a live DVD release - 'An evening of Carols and Capers'

2004

with 71 dates, the busiest year since the 70's. 35th Anniversary year, tour of Australia and 2 new studio albums!

Feb: 8th-9th Rehearsals in Oxford at the 'Warehouse Studios' in Kennington.

10th Nettlebed Folk Club.  

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 Feb Tobakken, Esbjerg, Denmark. (Folk Event 2004)
13th Feb Strib Vinterfestival, Strib. Annual Winter festival. Went on stage 11.15pm and finished at 1.15am
14th Feb Reserveret, Skråen Ålborg. Small concert - around 150 but went well.

Australasian Tour

March: 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 long list (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.

With Ralph McTell and Billy Connelly

2nd TV: Interview and a live singing of 'The King' for Channel 9 'Kerrie Ann Morning Show'. Aired 4th. (above)
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.

Click on image for details

20th Album: They Called Her Babylon

29th March. 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. 

35th Anniversary World Tour 'UK'

25 dates across April/May and a tour that was recorded and later released on DVD and later again on CD ('Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert'). 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. '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.

35th Anniversary 'World Tour' DVD

(released in 2005) Recorded on the 19th/20th April 2004. Features all the tracks played regularly on that tour and the first DVD of Steeleye live (previous released were initially on Video). All the songs then appeared on the next Live CD (below) but some from a different concert on the tour. Below is the DVD trailer and one track from the DVD. If you purchased a digital download from Park you got a bonus video of 'London' from the 2004 Dec tour. 

Click for Park Records link where it's available to purchase
 
June: Denmark Tour (3/4 dates)
 23rd Roskilde near Copenhagen, Open Air.
 24th Tuno Festival
 25th T.B.C.   (did anything happen?)
 26th Fredericia Concert

July 16th: Brampton Live, Cumbria

August 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! Martin Carthy joined them on stage but I don't what he did or did not do/sing. Rick described this as one of his favourite ever Steeleye gigs!

Sept/Oct: Planned US tour had to be shelved

21st Album: 'Winter'

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)

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 and some tracks appear on 'Live at a Distance'. Unsurprisingly the set list features songs from the new album as songs from 'Present' are slowly getting dropped. 'London' (which can be seen HERE and is the only video from this tour released) 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. Thankfully both these tracks appear on 'Folk Rock Pioneers' live CD in 2006. 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. See below
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

13th Dec: 35th Anniversary Concert

Special '35th Anniv' concert held at the London Palladium. Featured Martin Carthy; Ralph McTell & Tim Harries. 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.
Songs in addition to the above tour set list: 'I Live not Where I love' & 'Dancing at Whitsun' and Ralph sang 'Streets of London' as the first encore with the band.

'Official Bootleg' CD

Given away at the Palladium gig (but since available for sale) has tracks from 2002 & 2004 tours - most of which were released on later Live CD's. Black Jack Davy & Misty Moisty Morning from the 2002 tour haven't though, which make this CD worthwhile. It is still available to purchase from Park Records. 

2005

After a busy year just some Festival Appearances plus the BBC Folk Awards this year

BBC Folk Awards 2005

April BBC2: Steeleye Span receive the 'Good Tradition' award (From Terry Pratchett) 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)



Summer Festivals

4th July  Frome Festival
30th July. Kentwell Hall. Sowed the seeds of venue for 'SpanFest'
30th Aug. Beautiful Days Festival, Devon

2006

Back with a new album and tour

January 13th Celtic Connections

LIVE CD: Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert

15th April. All tracks from 2004, mostly from Spring (35th anniversary tour). The two 'bonus' tracks were from the Dec. 2004 tour - 'London' & 'Cold Haily Windy Night'. Effectively this is the Audio CD companion for the 35th Anniversary Tour DVD which was from the same tour (different nights). 

Click on image for details

Spring UK Tour (24 dates)

Big Changes after over a year away as unsurprisingly the 'Winter' songs get dropped replaced with new songs from the upcoming new album, including Bonny Black Hare as the opener which eventually becomes the big set closer for many years. Introduced are two songs that will only appear on a live album: 'Who's the Fool now' and 'I Live not where I love', the latter was also played live in the 80's. One of the few tours this decade not included on any of the Live CD/DVD's released around this time. A programme was sold with the tour, the same cover (& the flyer) as the new Live CD. 


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.
27th The Theatre Royal, WInchester - Xtra night as the venue persuaded them to do a 2nd night
28th The New Theatre, Oxford.

July 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 (Ken using a Dobro Guitar); 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?
August 6th Wickham Festival

10th Aug. 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

Photo by Brian Marks. Used under Wiki Creative Commons Licence

October: Maddy Prior tour 'The Quest'. See 2007 for DVD/CD release. Accompanied by various youtube video diaries by Maddy during September in the run up to the tour and while recording the Steeleye album..

Click on image for details

22nd Album: Bloody men

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.

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. This meant a set list with fewer 'classics' than usual which was noted by quite a few fans. Rick is however 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. The DVD is the only place to hear live versions of 'Unconquered Sun', The Dreamer and the Widow and 'Today in Bethlehem' as the others all featured on the CD's that came with it. 'Hat' was dropped at a few concerts which has been very rarely attempted since 1978. 

Long Lankin; Lord Elgin (Peter on acoustic guitar) (or Seagull); Demon of the Well; Who's the Fool now; Let Her Go Down (or Seagull); Today in Bethlehem; In the Bleak Midwinter (or Betsy Bell & Mary Gray - on DVD); Edward; Bonny Black Hare; [Interval] ; Nedd Ludd; First House in Connaught; 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 Town Hall . Recording of 'Live At a distance' DVD/CD (videos below) 
19th The Town Hall Cheltenham
21st   St George's Concert Hall Bradford
22nd Guild Hall Preston
23rd The Priory Centre St Neots

2007

Spanfest!

May  - Maddy Prior and the The Carnival Band  "Music for Tavern and Chapel" tour. 

Single: Lord Elgin

24th july. Written by Peter Knight. The 'b-side', which was a live version was also available for free as a download at some point. Released to help promote Spanfest.

July 25th Nettlebed. Warm up gig for SpanFest

SpanFest

July 27-28th SPANFEST. The 1st Steeleye Span run Festival

The festival was well run and fairly well attended, although I do recall it rained when Steeleye came on! It was 'recorded for prosperity' (per Park Records) but it didn't look overly professionally on the day. There was certainly footage being taken around the festival with clips available from Park Records for a short time afterwards (and as a promo for the following years running - video below). There are also some limited audience recordings on youtube which give a flavour of the setup. The event was run at a loss however which meant the following years was not held at Kentwell Hall, as originally planned. See below.

Sadly I can't find a 100% accurate Set List, despite being there myself. Confirmed songs but order wrong:
Van Diemen's Land; Prince Charlie Stuart; Si Bheg Si Mhor; '1st House' reels; Cold Haily Windy Night; Seagull; Let Her Go Down; London; Who's the Fool Now; Who Told the Butcher?; They Called Her Babylon; 3 Sisters; Lord Elgin; Tam Lin; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Bonny Black Hare; Hard Times of Old England; Hat; Tunes.

Nov: Maddy Prior Album/Tour/DVD

'The Quest'. Taken from a a series of concerts at famous historical venues around the myth of the Holy Grail which was filmed in October 2006 for viewers to watch on the internet during the tour. Resulted in a CD and DVD featuring highlights form the tour on stage and backstage

Click on image for details

Dec: Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band CD

'Ringing the Changes'. An unusual release as it was virtually all original material written by Maddy and the Band. Also included the single 'Stuff' which featured Terry Jones on vocals. 

2008

Back on Tour but a stripped down 2nd running of SpanFest.

March 3rd: Steeleye Span is a specialist subject on BBC TV Mastermind for Stewart Cross who went on to the Grand Final.

Spring UK Tour (25 dates)

April/May. 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'.  These three songs are to be found on the 2009 'Live at a Distance' CD along with 'Neck Belly Reel', the only place to hear that tune. 
Van Dieman's Land; Drink Down the Moon; Neckbelly Reel; Babylon; 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; Three Sisters; 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

Bedlam Boys from Spring 2008 Tour. (Audience recording). Unique take on the song from Maddy and Peter and not performed in this style before or since.  

Click on image for details

May: New Maddy Prior Album

New Maddy album 'Seven for old England'. Features future Steeleye member Benji Kirpatrick along with ex member John Kirkpatrick plus Giles Lewin from the Carinval Band. There was a 5 date 'mini tour in march prior to release and an album tour from 1st - 20th October (2008). Someone stood in for Benji on some dates due to clashes. 

June: Johnny Rotten (John Lydon- Sex Pistols) expresses his love for Steeleye Span in Mojo, commenting that 'one of the most wonderful things I have ever done is to meet Maddy Prior '

July 24th Nettlebed. SpanFest warm up gig. Included John Kirkpatrick.


SpanFest 2008 Standford Hall

26th July. The second but sadly final running of SpanFest.















This time Spanfest was held 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 (more money upfront probably) 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.

The event itself was well run and enjoyable but the attendance was less than hoped for, hence proving to be the last.    

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)

Initial flyer for Spanfest

SINGLE (Never released): Hard Times of Old England

18th August. The (Digital Download] single that never got released. 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. First discussed the possibility of doing a collaborative project. 

BBC TV: Maddy Prior on 'Electric Proms'

October 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.

BBC4 TV 'Steeleye Span night'.

November 21st:  The first showing of an episode from the 1975 series 'Steeleye Span: Electric Folk' Plus a repeat of  'Maddy Prior at the Electric Proms' (above)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. 

December. Roweltown to spend a few days working on potential new material. Probably the first seeds of doubt from Ken Nicol about his role in the band going forward.

1st -22nd December - Maddy Prior and Carnival Band tour

2009

A big year of touring and new material for the 40th Anniversary year

LIVE CD & DVD: Live at a Distance

20th April. CD taken from a number of shows from 2002; 2004; 2006 and 2008 tours. The DVD was filmed in December 2006 (see above in 2006 for clips)

Pete Zorn joined the Band on tour as Rick Kemp was ill. Tim Harries was approached but could not make all the dates. Pete had two weeks to learn all the songs.

UK Spring '40th Anniversary Tour'.

April/May. 23 dates. Not many new songs making their onto the set list apart from 'Madam Will You Walk' from the upcoming album; 'Lady Diamond' (sung by Ken) for the first time since the 80's along with Sails of Silver (just for one or two nights). No tracks have appeared on any Live CD/DVD collections from this tour which sadly means we don't get chance to hear this outing of Lady Diamond or Sails of Silver. 

The first night had a different order and included Sails of Silver, Let Her Go Down & Gaudete,  but not 'When I was on Horseback'; The Song will Remain (Either swapped with Gaudete or in addition) and Who Told the Butcher (replaced Let Her Go Down by 18th). Sails of Silver only lasted one or two nights. Tam Lin was not played every night.
 Blacksmith; When I was on Horseback; The Scullion King; I Live Not Where I Love; Who Told the Butcher; First House in Connought; Madam will you Walk; Lady Diamond; Thomas the Rhymer. [Interval]; Bonny Black Hare; Tam Lin (Most nights but place in set changed) Seagull; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Lovely on the Water; They Called her Babylon; The Royal Forester; The Three Sisters; Encore: All Around My Hat; Black Jack Davy; The Song Will Remain; Gaudete (occasionally)

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.

July: Recording new album at Propagation Studios, North Tamerton. Joe Partridge arrived to potentially produce the album but contract negotiations broke down.
 25th July 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 17th Nettlebed. Warm up gig for World Tour

Sept: US 40th Anniversary Tour

Rick Kemp did not travel so again Pete Zorn on Bass

setlist: Creeping Jane; The 3 Sisters; Seagull; The Blacksmith; When I was on Horseback; Babylon; I live not Where I Love; Tunes; Thomas the Rhymer. [Interval] Bonny Black Hare; Lovely on the Water; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Scullion King; Ranzo; Van Diemen's Land; Tam Line. [encore] All Around My Hat; Hard Time of Old England. 

19th Sept. Somerville Theatre, MA
20th B.B.King Blues Club and Grill, NY.
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

Sep/Oct: Australian 40th Anniversary Tour

Pete Zorn continues on Bass

 29th Sept. 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 (Nigel Pegrum in attendance)
 4th.   Lismore City Hall,
 7th.   IPAC, Wollongong
 9th   Norwood Concert Hall,
 10th. National Theatre, Melbourne
 11th. Octagon Theatre, Perth

Click on image for details

23rd Album: Cogs, Wheel and Lovers

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- '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 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. 

UK '40th Anniversary Tour'

The big 30 date Nov/Dec Anniversary tour, Including the "40th Anniversary concert" at the Barbican with Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick.
 Rick Kemp back on 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. Rose Kemp, Maddy and Rick's daughter also guested and sang with Maddy on 'All Things Are Quite Silent' (not sure if that was every night). Rick announced his 'retirement' on stage - as would be become the norm over the next few years - and as usual he did carry on in the end! 

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. Although With set-lists scarce from the 80's I can never be quite sure, but 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; Today in Bethlehem (sometimes); 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 November: 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. (Terry Pratchet in the audience as usual in 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

Tim Hart Dies

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.
 

2010

Only the 4th ever year of no Steeleye appearances (1979; 1983; 2003)

Ken Nicol (Guitar) leaves the Band .


Since he joined in 2002, this line up became the longest serving unbroken line up in the bands history. A record for Steeleye that will not be broken, I assume! No specific reasons were given for his departure but in a statement (on FolkCast) he just felt it was time to explore his solo/due work before Steeleye 'became just a job'. It was prompted when the band were working on the dates for the two 2011 tours. Reading between the lines of his blogs it would seem that when recording the last album the decision not to include original material may have been one of the factors leading to this decision. 

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