A fairly quiet year as the band re organises and recruits as a result of Rick Kemp leaving
Maddy Prior toured in March /April with Giles Lewis and Hannah James
Multi instrumentalist Benji is the son of John KirkPatrick, the well known British folk dance accordion player who was in Steeleye 1977/78. Benji had recorded and toured previously with Maddy and was part of Bellowhead.
Jazz Bass player Roger played with Peter Knight in the 80's and has worked with drummer Liam Genockey for a number of years, both are based in Hastings.
Benji Kirkpatrick; Liam Genockey; Jessie May Smart; Roger Carey; Julian Littman; Maddy Prior; Spud Sinclair.
A return to playing at festivals, including being streamed live at Shrewsbury, followed by another Autumn UK tour
Setlist at all Festivals:
Blackleg Miner; The Gardener; Alison Gross; One Night as I lay On my Bed; Edward; Cruel Brother; Marrowbones; Little Sir Hugh; When I was on Horseback; London; The Dark Morris Song; Encore: All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
Available to view the whole show in high quality (LINK) . Too large to show here but one of the best quality full Festival sets from Steeleye available on Youtube, from any year.
Photos below are from Shrewsbury and reproduced by kind permission of Oss. Click here for his full set of pictures and other acts on Flikr.
Violeta Barreña continues on violin with Jessie May Smart on maternity leave. The new album, "Est. 1969" was available to buy on tour. A programme was available for the first time in 4 years, which included an interview with Maddy about the history of the band. A DVD is now available of this tour - see end of 2019 below for details of '50th Anniversary Tour' DVD
The set list features many classic Steeleye big ballads including King Henry, Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer and a welcome return of 'Seventeen Come Sunday', not heard live regularly since 1978 (played at the Journey concert in '95). Benji sang it as tribute to his Dad's time in the band. 'The Elf Knight' returns for the first since 1997, sung by Spud. 'One Misty Moisty Morning' returns, surprisingly for the first time since 2004. All three can be seen below and are on the 50th Anniv. DVD. Typical of the band, 10 songs are dropped from the 2018 tour including all remaining Hark! songs from the 2017 tour. 'Bonny Black Hare' also dropped, which along with 'Dark Morris Song' had shared the closing 'big' song for nearly 10 years. In fact only 2 songs survive from the the 40th Anniversary year tour, 10 years ago ('Hat' and 'Little Sir Hugh'). 5 songs from the new album are played including 'Old Matron' which was not heard on the last UK Tour. Maddy left the stage half way through each set for one song, presumably to give her voice a rest (Old Matron and 17 Come Sunday)
Harvest; One Misty Moisty Morning; The Elf Knight; January Man; Alison Gross; Old Matron;Thomas the Rhymer [Interval] Tam Lin; Black Jack Davy; Roadways; King Henry; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Little Sir Hugh; Seventeen Come Sunday; Domestic. Encore: Reclaimed; All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
21st March Burnley Mechanics
22nd Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St Annes
23rd Winding Wheel, Chesterfield
24th Grand Opera House, York.
25th Darlington Hippodrome
27th Playhouse, Whitley Bay
28th Theatre Royal, Wakefield
29th, Palace Theatre, Newark.
30th Hertford Theatre, Hertford.
31st Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock
2nd April Kings Hall, Ilkley
3rd De Montfort Hall, Leicester
5th Tivoli Theatre, Wimbourne
6th The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton
7th St David's Hall, Cardiff
8th Theatre Seven, Shrewsbury
10th New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme
11th Regent Theatre, Ipswich
12th Marina Theatre, Lowestoft
13th Revelation St Mary Church, Ashford
14th Theatre Royal, Winchester
16th Epsom Playhouse, Epsom. Recorded for '50th Anniversary tour DVD (see December below)
17th Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks
18th Capitol Theatre, Horsham
Violeta has been acting as cover for Jessie May on tours since the start of 2019. As with Jessie, and Peter before them, Violeta comes from a classical background and has worked across many musical styles from performing with rock band Elbow, Classical orchestras and a Spanish music duo 'Duo Diez'. Click on the image for her website for more details.
The Bands 26th studio album of original material and celebrating their 50th Anniversary. Recorded at Broadoak Studios in November and January and mixed in one week in order to be available for the Spring tour.
Click on image for details & song by song review
Mix of mainly traditional ballads with original arrangements and a two original songs. 'The Boy and the Mantle' is Child No.29, Mackerel of the Sea (or Laily Worm) is Child No.36, which has a theme similar to Alison Gross. 'The Cruel Ship's Carpenter' is a Roud Broadside Ballad, also called 'the Ghost Ship' (a popular variant is 'Pretty Polly'). 'Domestic' is a medley of Trad songs: 'John Hobbs' and 'My Husband has no Courage in Him'. Roadways is a Spud Sinclair song and Reclaimed was written by Rose Kemp, Maddy and Rick's daughter.
The album includes Jessie May Smart who did not tour at the start of 2019. 'Old Matron' features Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson on flute, 45 years on since he produced ''Now We are Six'. Harpsichordist Sophie Yates guests on 'The Boy and the Mantle'.
'Folk Rock' pioneer Maddy Prior looks back at 50 years of Steeleye Span'. Songs played - The Blacksmith; Hard Times of Old England; The Dark Morris Song; Old Matron.
The Band played on Friday evening at the Field Of Avalon stage. Jessie May back on violin for all festival appearances.
Harvest; Seventeen Come Sunday; The Elf Knight; Thomas the Rhymer; Alison Gross; Domestic; All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
3rd Aug: Maddy Prior made a surprise appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival singing with Nancy Kerr (Sheath and Knife)
Sunday night headlining the 'Big Top' Stage
A small 'Wold Music' festival. Finally Steeleye make their first trip to Russia! (Tony Secunda had announced a Russian tour for June 1976 but in the end it fell through and never took place) . Violeta Barreña stood in once again for Jessie May Smart. Video below is concert from Alison Gross onwards (as it is the best quality one available)
Set List (in order): Harvest; Alison Gross ; Elf Knight; One Misty Moisty Morning Thomas the Rhymer; Seventeen Come Sunday; Domestic; All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
Recorded for a Radio Broadcast (not sure if it was ever broadcast) and now available as a Live CD. An exciting release because apart from Live at Last, no other official live recordings of this line up exist. A chance to hear the line up's rousing versions of 'Cam Ye O'er Frae France', The Boar's Head and set closer 'Seventeen Come Sunday', plus live versions of Awake Awake and Galtee Farmer. The only missing 'nice to have' would be the encore of 'Down in the Valley' - but they may not have played it on the night. The recording also misses the traditional opening song 'False Knight on the Road' and 'The Victory'
Violeta Barreña continues on violin. Set evolved during tour (set list thanks to Jonathan Lee!) but main change from the spring is a great new interpretation of The Blacksmith, a pretty good video of which is shown below. Plus there was a reintroduction of the song 'Wintersmith' and couple of additional tracks from the new album.
Thomas the Rhymer; One Misty Moisty Morning; Alison Gross ; The Blacksmith; Reclaimed (dropped for Elf Knight); The Mackerel of the Sea; The Boy and the Mantle; Roadways (added for night 3&4); Seventeen Come Sunday; Set 2: Domestic (moved to end of set 2 for last 2 nights); King Henry ; Black Jack Davy; January Man; The Wintersmith; Harvest (dropped for last two); Old Matron; Tam Lin (moved to start of set 2 for last two); Encore: All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
14th Nov Hedon, Zwolle
15th Nov Concertzaal, Tilburg
16th Nov Podium Duycker, Postbus, Hoofddoorp
17th Nov Paard, The Hague
23 date tour with Violeta Barreña on violin as she continues to job share with Jessie May. Includes recent tradition of an occasional big London anniversary concert featuring special guests, this time they were Martin Carthy, Peter Knight & John Kirkpatrick. Most dates were sold out. The same flyer, programme and other memorabilia that featured in the Spring was also on sale on this tour. In addition there is a special limited edition (500 copies) Vinyl copy of the new album 'Est'd 1969' & the new Live CD/DVD was available on this tour.
A reworking of The Blacksmith (video above) and the re introductions of 'Wintersmith', plus a couple more tracks from 'Est'd 1969' are the changes from the Spring. There is also a welcome return for Gaudete, not seen since 2013. The verses are sung as a Violeta/Maddy harmony.
With Maddy suffering from a sore throat/cold from around the 7th, there was a change in the set (for which she thanked the band during the Frome gig for adapting songs/set list). Brought in were 'BlackLeg Miner', 'Bonny Black Hare' & 'When I was on Horseback' whist Thomas The Rhymer'; 'Tam Lin' and 'Domestic' were dropped. Thomas the Rhymer came back from 12th.
Up to 6th/7th. Thomas the Rhymer; One Misty Moisty Morning; Elf Knight; Alison Gross ; The Blacksmith; The Boy and the Mantle (No Maddy on stage); Roadways; The Mackerel of the Sea; Seventeen Come Sunday; Set 2: Gaudete; Tam Lin; King Henry; Black Jack Davy; January Man; The Wintersmith; Old Matron; Domestic; Encore: All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
From 8th (ish): Alison Gross; One Misty Moisty Morning; Elf Knight; The Blacksmith; The Boy and the Mantle (No Maddy on stage); Roadways; Blackleg Miner; Bonny Black Hare (dropped for Thomas the Rhymer from 12th) Set 2: Gaudete; King Henry; The Mackerel of the Sea; When I was on Horseback; Old Matron; January Man; Black Jack Davy; The Wintersmith; Seventeen Come Sunday; Encore: All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
20th Nov - Theatre Royal, Margate Sold out?
21st Nov - St Mary in the Castle, Hastings
22nd Nov - St Alban's Arena
23rd Nov - Harlequin Theatre, Redhill
24th Nov - Malvern Forum Theatre Sold out
26th Nov - New Brighton Floral Pavillion
27th Nov - Oran Mor, Glasgow. Sold Out
28th Nov - The Atkinson, Southport. Sold Out
29th Nov - Bradford Cathedral. Sold Out
1st Dec - Great British Folk Festival, Skegness
2nd Dec - The Apex, Bury St Edmonds - Sold Out
3rd Dec - The Stables, Milton Keynes - virtual sell out
4th Dec - The Stables, Milton Keynes
6th Dec - Borough Theatre, Abergavenny, Wales. Sold out.
7th Dec - Mwldan, Cardigan, Wales. Sold Out
8th Dec - Cheese and Grain, Frome. Sold Out. Reworked set list
9th Dec - Corn Exchange, Exeter. Sold Out. Reworked set list
11th Dec - The Haymarket, Basingstoke - Sold Out.
12th Dec - The Dome, Brighton. Reintroduced Thomas the Rhymer and dropped Bonny Black Hare.
14th Dec - Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe. As Brighton
15th Dec - City Hall Salisbury. As Brighton
16th Dec - Birmingham Town Hall
Special 50th Anniversary show with special guests Martin Carthy; Peter Knight; John Kirkpatick. Support from Acoustic Strawbs.
The set was a broadly in line with the rest of the tour with Peter doing his 'normal' duet with Maddy and then Martin/John join for Marrowbones, The King and 17 Come Sunday all before the interval
Thomas the Rhymer; One Misty Moisty Morning; Alison Gross; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray (Maddy and Peter Knight duet); Marrowbones/The King (both sung by Martin Carthy and featuring John Kirkpatrick & Peter Knight) ; Seventeen Come Sunday (Sung by John and Benji Kirkpatrick featuring Peter Knight and Martin Carthy) [Interval]; Gaudete; Tam Lim; King Henry; Blackleg Miner; Black Jack Davy; Old Matron; January Man; When I was on Horseback; Wintersmith; Bonny Black Hare (Featuring Peter Knight); Encore: (Featuring everyone) All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
9th Dec: Not an 'official' authorised Steeleye book, but does feature new interviews with some of the band members, mainly Martin Carthy and Maddy Prior. A comprehensive written history which draws mainly upon interviews and articles published over the years. It is unique that is it the only book 100% devoted to Steeleye, and it also covers the Steeleye story through to the 21st Century which the other books have not done so.
Photo reproduced with kind permission by Deborah Knight
Covid-19 causes cancellation of May and October tours and all Summer Festivals
4 page feature in Jan's edition based on interviews with Maddy/Ashley Hutchings/Benji Kirkpatrick. Fairly standard article, no new insights. They definitely used this website for some of the information, which is nice.
May 2020 Tour - MOVED TO MAY 2022
31st July - 2nd Aug Mello Festival, Henley Castle, Worcestershire.
30th July - The Ham, Sidmouth (Pre Festival concert) - CANCELLED
28th-31st Aug: Towersey Folk Festival - CANCELLED
October 2020 Tour - MOVED TO OCT 2021
Nov - Maddy Prior was due to sing at the Great British Folk Festival Weekend
Tour in October
The show featured the Maddy Prior Band singing 'Wake Up England'. It was recorded in 1980 and shown on the 1981 BBC Two series 'Jake Thakray and Songs'. It is thought the band played 2 or 3 songs.
The stream featured the concert filmed in Salisbury in 2013. (2014 Wintersmith DVD), followed up by a Live Zoom Q&A session with Maddy Prior, Terry Pratchett's long term friend and manager Rob Wilkins, and past and present Steeleye members Peter Knight, Julian Littman
May - UK Spring Tour - CANCELLED, moved to May 2022
27th-30th Aug - Towersey Folk Festival - CANCELLED
"The early 1970s would prove to be the start of a vintage period for music and the
beginning of an era that would change the world. For Steeleye Span – as the previous
decade had drawn to a close - it would see them established as a major creative force.
By the end of 1971 they had not only released their classic debut Hark The Village
Wait but two follow ups – Please To See The King and Ten Man Mop - launching one
of the most enduring stories in the folk world and beyond. Five decades on and the
band, led as ever by the iconic vocals of Maddy Prior and with a seven piece line-up
featuring some of the most skilled musicians on the UK folk scene, celebrate fifty
years of these famous albums, playing key tracks from all three as well as favorites
and gems from their long and glittering career."
The big news from the tour was no Benji Kirkpatrick (due to personal reasons). Benji subsequently left in early 2022. Violeta Vicci is on violin as she continues to job share/cover for Jessie May Smart who is on maternity leave. Due to prior commitments Violeta had to leave the tour after the 13th Oct and was replaced with a new violist, Ruth Elder (see below), a colleague and friend of Jessie May and Violeta
The set list takes most of its songs from the 2018 and Spring 2019 tours and so many feature on the 50th Anniversary CD/DVD box set which they are still promoting. 'Only' 9 survive from the Dec 2019 tour. The main addition to the set is Gower Wassail (From 'Ten Man Mop'), a song synonymous with Tim Hart, and makes a very welcome return to the set list after last appearing at the Journey concert in 1995, and before that, back in 1971 when it was first released. Here it is sung by Julian and Spud Sinclair. Three others not on the 50th CD/DVD set are 'Copshawholme Fair' & 'Dark Eyed Sailor', both sung in 2017 & 2018 and 'Wintersmith' which also appeared on the Dec 2019 tour.
6 planned dates for this tour were postponed quite late and moved to October 2022.
Little Sir Hugh (Julian on vocals); One Misty Moisty Morning; Elf Knight (Spud); Dark Eyed Sailor (Maddy and Violeta/Ruth); London (Julian); Copshawholme Fair (Spud); Gower Wassail (Spud and Julian); Harvest; Dark Morris Song; [interval] Thomas The Rhymer; January Man; King Henry (Julian); The Weaver and the Factory Maid; Wintersmith (Spud); Domestic; Bonny Black Hare. Encore: All Around My Hat; Dodgy Bastards.
1st Oct: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Edinburgh Scotland
3rd The Playhouse, Whitley Bay
7th The Marine Hall, Fleetwood
8th New Theatre, Peterborough
11th Queen's Theatre, Barnstable
12th Swan Theatre, Worcester
13th The Core, Solihull
17th Mansfield Palace Theatre
18th The Stables, Milton Keynes
21st The Haymarket, Basingstoke
23rd Pontardawe Arts Centre
24th Stratford Play House, Stratford-upon-Avon
25th New Theatre Royal, Lincoln
During the October tour a new live CD was released. Recorded on the 2017 tour (see above) the CD features the current line up revisiting the debut Steeleye Album. The three bonus tracks were from the 2nd set on the same 2017 tour
Released during the above October tour, this is a concept album based on 'The Goblin Market' poem. Led by Julian Littman but featuring ALL of the current Steeleye line up, who co-wrote much of the material, with lead vocal contributions from Maddy, Jessie May Smart and Spud Sinclair. For more information go to the special page for 'Goblin Market Music'
Maddy undertook her regular bi-annual Carnival Band Christmas tour.
After 4 years of being an official band member Benji Kirkpatrick has left Steeleye. He joined for the Autumn tour in 2017 and performed with them through 2018 and the 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2019, including the studio album 'Est'd 1969' where he contributed 2 songs. When Steeleye returned with a Autumn 2021 tour, post covid lockdowns, Benji was not present for 'personal reasons'. In January '22 he left with no official statement, other than " After an enjoyable stint Benji has left the band" on his official website
Maddy prior featured in the March edition of 'Prog Magazine'. A 6 page interview covering 50 years of Steeleye Span. A good interview although no significant new insights. It looks like the interview took place late 2019. A full transcript is now available online here. (Longer than the printed version)
The second tour without Benji even though he only left officially in January. Violeta Vicci features once again on violin, this time for the whole tour.
The tour was initially billed as celebrating 50 years since the first three albums of Steeleye and they were expected to feature heavily. (The promo blurbs on the various venue websites were quite varied as this was a delayed tour from both 2020 and 2021). But in the end the band decided to change plans and per the final PR:
" Join Steeleye Span for an night of folk celebration! The evening will see them playing homage to one of their early albums, as they play 1972's Below the Salt album in full. A hugely influential landmark album in Span's vast catalogue, that brought the timeless classic Gaudete (reaching number 14 on the UK Singles Charts)."
So the first set is a complete run through of the 1972 (50 years ago!) album: 'Below the Salt'. (Although the order is different. As Maddy said, "what works for a 2 sided LP does not necessarily make a great gig"). Julian plays the Octave Mandolin during this 1st half adding to the more folky feel of Below the Salt by taking the Tim Hart parts. This run through also means we get to hear rarely heard songs and quite a few not played by this line up. I have noted in the set list below when they were last played. 'Spotted Cow' and 'Rosebud in June' were last heard in the 80s whilst the longest is the jigs - 'The Bride's Favourite / Tansey's Fancy', not played since 1974! Spotted Cow here does not have the tune 'Sailor's Bonnet' attached to it that was used in the 80's. John Barleycorn is sung by Roger Carey, making his singing debut and at the start Tim Hart's spoken intro from the album was played through the PA system. Royal Forester was for a long time (70's) the set opener or closer and closes out the first set (last played in 2009 by the 'Ken Nicol' line up). Here it is sung by Spud Sinclair with an emphasis on the 'Rock' in Folk Rock! Gaudete is again sung by Violeta and Maddy together.
The second half is more typical of the recent tours by this line up with all songs carried over from 2021 except for one not played live previously - Lofty Tall Ship/Shallow Brown (from Dodgy Bastards). Interestingly no songs from Est'd 1969 are now in the set for the first time since 2017 (Harvest & Domestic pre-dated the album in the live set).
No programme available on the tour. Although there was a new Tea Towel - 'All Around My Sink'..!
1/Spotted cow (not played since 1986); 2. King Henry (2021); 3. Saucy Sailor (2015); 4. The Bride's Favourite / Tansey's Fancy (1974); 5. Rosebud in June (1982); 6. John Barleycorn (sung by Roger Carey) (2002); 7.Sheep Crook & Black Dog (2009); 8. Gaudete (2019) 9.The Royal Forester (2009) (sung by Spud Sinclair). Interval 10. Lofty Tall Ship/Shallow Brown; 11. Little Sir Hugh; 12. Misty Moisty Morning; 13.The Dark Morris; 14. When I was on Horse Back; 15. Weaver and the Factory Maid; 16. London; 17. Wintersmith; 18. Bonny Black Hare. Encore: All Around My Hat / Dodgy Bastards.
3rd May Lowther Pavilion, Lytham. 450 capacity (85% sold)
4th Robert Bolt Theatre, Waterside, Sale, Trafford. 350 capacity (c98% sold)
5th May. Arts Centre Pocklington. 200 capacity (SOLD OUT)
6th May. Winding Wheel, Chesterfield 856 capacity (30-40% sold)
9th May Buxton Opera House 900 capacity (c85% sold)
10th City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds. 467 capacity (+90% sold)
12th May Palace Theatre, Newark. 626 capacity (c60% sold)
13th Royal Spa Leamington Spa 667 capacity (c50% sold)
14th Farnham Maltings. 410 capacity (SOLD OUT)
15th May Octagon Theatre, Yeovil. 622 capacity (<50% sold)
17th May St Georges Bristol. 560 capacity (95% sold)
18th Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton 350 capacity (96% sold)
19th Pavilion Theatre, Exmouth. 550 capacity (85% sold)
21st The Lighthouse Poole. 670 capacity (<40% sold)
22nd May Winchester Theatre Royal 400 capacity (SOLD OUT)
23rd Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury 638 capacity (<50% sold)
24th May The Elgiva, Chesham 300 capacity (SOLD OUT)
27th May: New 12 disc Box Set released by EMI/Chrysalis records featuring all the Chrysalis albums from 1972-1980 plus 3 live concerts, including two new ones from 1974 and 1976! plus various unreleased tracks. Click on image for full details!
The box set got to No. 78 in the UK Album charts for the 3rd-9th June, which is impressive for a Folk Rock Box Set!
Maddy Prior's own festival. It featured a new solo set from Maddy (accompanied by Spud Sinclair) and a performance of Julian Littman's 'Goblin Market Music'. Spud Sinclair also had a solo set.
June: 'Essential Guide to Steeleye Span' Article in Songlines Magazine. Included an interview with Peter Knight but nothing new of note in the article generally.
28th July - Sidmouth Folk Festival
A complete Steeleye concert on the Thursday night featuring Jessie May Smart on violin for the 1st time since August 2019. The set was the same as the Spring tour so included a complete run through of 'Below the Salt'