The memorial concert for Ewan MacColl (25 January 1915 – 22 October 1989) looks set to be a landmark folk occasion, commemorating the life and work of one of the major architects of the English folk revival. But far more than a prolific songwriter, folk singer and teacher, he was the founder with Joan Littlewood here in Manchester of radical theatre, a playwright and actor, and a passionate supporter of radical causes.
The concert, which will be held at Peel Hall in Salford on 27th October, also celebrates the re-issue by Manchester University Press of Journeyman, Ewan MacColl’s vivid and entertaining autobiography. This new version has been re-edited from his original manuscript, and includes a new introduction by Peggy Seeger, his partner for the last thirty years of his life. Copies of the book will be on sale for £10 during the concert (see below for more details).
Peggy Seeger is joined at the concert by folk singers old and new. Among those taught by Peggy and Ewan in their ‘Critics Group’ were Sandra Kerr, John Faulkner, Bob Blair and Brian Pearson, all variously singing, writing, acting and teaching. Sandra teaches on the influential Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University, the best training ground for folk musicians today. John Faulkner, now artist in residence at the Galway City Museum, took part in Travelling People, last of the famous MacColl/Seeger Radio Ballad series, a form revisited by the BBC in 2006. Writing for and singing in this award-winning recent series were two of the most well-known folk singers today, Jez Lowe – perhaps the best modern songwriter in the folk idiom – and Bob Fox. The line-up is completed by David Ferrard, a young Scottish/American writer of songs of peace and protest.
Tickets cost £10, and go on sale on 14th September. Call the MUP office on 0161 275 2310 for all ticket enquiries. Copies of Journeyman, the new edition of Ewan MacColl’s best-selling autobiography, will be on sale at the concert for just £10.
Read more about Journeyman.