BGR Events was started as a not-for-profit organisation comprising four friends interested in live music. The impetus to actually put on our first gig was provided by Steve Knightley of Show of Hands when he launched his 'Grow Your Own Gig' solo tour. Steve wanted to play small village halls and community centres up and down the land as he'd been writing songs about the decline of English village life for some time and had decided he should play some of these places to try to increase community spirit, etc, etc. We were fortunate enough to get Wadsworth Community Centre to agree to stage the gig and for Steve to play in June 2014 to a packed house.
This success inspired us to try to do it again, and a chance meeting at Glastonbury with Rodney Branigan resulted in Rodney agreeing to play our second gig at Wadsworth. Another fantastic night (there are videos on YouTube to prove it- search for Rodney Branigan at Wadsworth ) and with it the desire to do some more shows in 2015.
Phil Beer of Show of Hands was an obvious choice and he duly played to another full house (with a little help from some friends) in April 2015. There are several videos on YouTube of Phil's performance if you search Phil Beer at Wadsworth and hot on his heels Martyn Joseph played a very special gig at the beginning of June on his return from an extensive tour of the US and Canada. These successful events have enabled our organisation to make charitable donations to a number of worthy causes, both local and international, and the details of those are on our Past BGR Events page above.
In October, O'Hooley & Tidow were very well received by a capacity crowd at Wadsworth on their 'Summat's Brewin' tour. We're already looking forward to their return to Wadsworth in December 2017.
Then, in November, Harp and a Monkey played an excellent set to a hardy bunch who had braved atrocious weather, and another successful event resulted. The show was themed around the Centenary of WWI and our charitable donation from this event was to the British Legion. Many thanks to all those who supported us on what was a very wet and windy November night.
2016 began with a very special gig which we chose to host at The Works in Sowerby Bridge due to the possibility of bad weather up at Wadsworth Community Centre. Ironically the gig took place two weeks after Sowerby Bridge and much of the Calder Valley flooded on Boxing Day 2015. The venue was one of a few places not affected by the floods in the town so was able to go ahead as planned. Luke Jackson and Amy Wadge played the first date of a short UK tour for us and it was nothing short of sensational. No wonder Amy won a Grammy for her collaboration with Ed Sheeran on his chart-topping smash hit 'Thinking Out Loud' a few weeks later. Her version of the song, with backing vocals & second guitar from Luke, is now available on YouTube along with other selected songs from the show. Luke was certainly not to be outdone by Amy when he did his solo stuff after the interval (with support from Amy in and amongst) and the result was arguably the best gig ever-staged at The Works.
On April 15th 2016 we returned to Wadsworth Community Centre and the gig featured Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston, thus completing the trio of members of Show of Hands playing separately for us at Wadsworth. The concert was superb with both artists demonstrating why they are held in such high esteem by those who have heard them. They played songs from their high-acclaimed new album The Watchmaker's Wife mixed in with a selection of older material. A selection of videos are available on YouTube and the links for these will be shown on the 'Past BGR Events' page of this website.
On July 2nd 2016 we hosted Julian Dawson and Nick Hall at Wadsworth. Julian has been making music professionally for over 40 years and was a member of Plainsong with Iain Mathews for 20 of those years but has played with a host of 'big names' from both sides of the Atlantic as well. As a result of those many years experience, Julian has a great many interesting stories to tell and a huge repertoire of over 700 songs to call upon - I think he said he has made 23 albums to date. Consequently, he entertained us with a wide variety of music which the audience thoroughly enjoyed. His mouth-organ playing was particularly well received. He was accompanied for a couple of songs by Nick Hall (half of Plum Hall) who had earlier provided an excellent support set with some additional ( and unexpected) assistance from his wife Michelle (the other half of Plum Hall). All in all it was another great night for BGR Events at Wadsworth.
At the end of September we were thrilled to have the great Martin Simpson entertain a packed house at Wadsworth. Martin played a wide variety of fabulous stuff and was very forthcoming about his experiences and the inspirations behind much of his music. It was a very personal show and was extremely well-received. Check out our videos for yourself! The proceeds from this show were donated to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust - a cause close to Martin's heart.
Hot on the heels of the Martin Simpson gig, Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin played a wonderful set at Wadsworth. The combination of fantastic playing, wonderful singing and amazing songs makes them an absolute 'must-see' at the moment, and I can heartily recommend checking out our videos to see for yourself. The links are on our 'Past BGR Events' page.
Our last gig of 2016 will be took place on November 25th when we hosted Boo Hewerdine and Dan Whitehouse, with support from Findlay Napier.
The show began with Findlay playing a wide variety of material , showcasing his considerable talent. He quickly won the audience over with his relaxed rapport and proved to be an exceptional support artist. Little wonder as he has previously played at Celtic Connections and other highly-respected venues. His song Hedy Lamarr was a particular stand-out song and is available to view using the link on our Past BGR Events page.
Boo and Dan then entertained us with a collection of great songs from Boo's amazing catalogue and a couple of Dan's own songs, which left the audience wanting more of both. Boo's dry sense of humour struck a particular chord with our audience and the show was another roaring success. Check out the Boo Hewerdine at Wadsworth videos if you can. Links are on the Past BGR Events page.
Megson kicked off our 2017 schedule with a fine performance in front of a sell-out crowd. From the moment the pair took to the floor the audience were hooked, and the mixture of gritty Northern songs, sweet ballads, traditional and even one or two amusing songs suited our audience 'to the ground'.
At the beginning of May, Porter Nickerson made the long journey from Milwaukee to Wadsworth! And it was so worth it! The relaxed approach of these wonderful people set the tone for another remarkable evening's entertainment. Willy's guitar playing is astounding, and Carmen has such a beautiful voice. Magical. Check out our latest videos & you'll see what we mean.
20th May 2017 was a landmark in the short history of BGR Events. For this event, we booked Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders to play at the newly-renovated Square Chapel in Halifax, a venue with twice the capacity of Wadsworth. The demand for tickets was astonishing, and the show was a sell-out. Andy & the band gave a magnificent performance featuring everything from Lightnin' Hopkins to The Beatles via Duane Eddy , The Shadows & a multitude of other genres of music, played to the highest standard. Of course he played the old Amen Corner classics too, and the audience reaction has been unbelievable. We're under pressure to bring them back to Halifax with the full 7-piece band at some point, and, if we do pull it off, you'll hear about it first here on our website . Oh, and there's the matter of the four figure donation we were able to make to Yorkshire Air Ambulance to put the icing on a wonderful cake!! Thanks to everyone concerned. We couldn't do it without you.
In early September, at quite short notice, we were asked to fit Luke Jackson into our Autumn schedule. Luke had been a huge success when he played for us at The Works in Sowerby Bridge in January 2016, so it didn't take us long to say 'yes'. We were fortunate enough to book Martha Phillips as a support act for Luke and Martha played a selection of her own songs on her guitar, and she is a very accomplished player with a beautiful voice. With the addition of a loop pedal (probably the first to be used at Wadsworth - now we really are in the 21st Century!) Martha is able to add her own harmonies & percussion , as well as layers of guitar, which makes for a really interesting sound. Check out the BGR videos (links on our Video Links page) and you'll see what I mean. Luke, as always, put on a great show. He played several songs from his most recent album, Tall Tales & Rumours, as well as some old favourites (Lucy & Her Camera being a particular favourite of mine) and two excellent covers, Springsteen's The River being a highlight. Luke will be back in Yorkshire early next year at The Live Rooms in Saltaire with Amy Wadge, so catch him there if you can.
Megan Henwood played a number of new songs from her River album interspersed with material from her album Head, Heart, Hands and her set featured electric guitar as well as acoustic. She included a cover of Leonard Cohen's classic 'Suzanne' as well as her version of 'Cocaine' which was definitely very different to other versions I've heard before. Amongst the highlights of a great set were 'Join The Dots' from the River album & the final number 'Painkiller' which included some high-quality audience participation (as we've come to expect from our great audiences these days!).
November saw the eagerly-awaited performance by Gigspanner at Wadsworth. Peter Knight, Roger Flack & Sacha Trochet have a very special chemistry which guarantees a stunning performance of every tune that they choose to play on the night. We were treated to several songs from the new album 'The Wife of Urban Law' as well as some classics from the back catalogue including 'Sharp Goes Walkabout' and 'King of the Fairies'.
This was an exceptional performance & we would hope to welcome Gigspanner back to Wadsworth at some point in the future. In the meantime, check out the videos that will appear on YouTube over the next few weeks; the links will be on our Past BGR Events page under the video links tab.
And in December, O'Hooley & Tidow returned to Wadsworth for another sell-out show. The WinterFolk show was extremely well-received with Belinda & Heidi providing the mix of both serious and amusing songs for which they are renowned. They also played a number of winter-themed covers which were stunning. I'm not going to tell you what they were; they're all on the WinterFolk album which I highly recommend. And there's one on YouTube from the gig - the link, as usual, is on our 'Past BGR Events page under the video links tab, along with some others of original material. Well worth a look.
We broke one of our own rules in January 2018 by putting on a gig at Wadsworth. Way back, we said we wouldn't put a gig on up there in the middle of winter. And the reason we broke our own rule was none other than Mr Steve Knightley, who returned to Wadsworth at the beginning of his Stories and Songs tour. We very nearly came unstuck, as the weather forecast was terrible for the Wednesday evening of the show; heavy snow from 7pm till 11pm seemed to be the consensus. Steve arrived with soundman Josh in plenty of time, and the show went ahead as planned. Regrettably, some chose not to risk the weather, but the vast majority of fans made it to the venue (someone allegedly walked 4 miles to get there) and weren't disappointed as Steve provided wonderful entertainment as always. It's probably safe to say we won't be planning another January gig at Wadsworth anytime soon!
Friday 13th April might not seem an auspicious date to choose to host a special event, but we did it anyway, and what a night it was. The evening began with a fine set from Henry Parker who is a very talented singer and guitarist who brought double bass and harmonium player Gus Bousfield along and they played a mixture of Henry's songs and covers/traditional songs, all played with exquisite skill and subtlety.
Then followed 2 fantastic sets from Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar. Many songs from the superb new album Utopia and Wasteland, (released on the day of the Wadsworth gig) were featured during the show and served to illustrate why the duo have won several prestigious awards over the past few years. The banter between songs was a feature of the performance and simply added to the overall experience. Another great night.
May's show began with an excellent support slot from two lovely ladies from over the hill in Haworth called Mockingbirds who played a fine mixture of original material and songs by, amongst other, Lucinda Williams and John Prine. The voices work extremely well together & made for a cracking start to the evening. The main event on this occasion were Josie Duncan & Pablo LaFuente who's performance was exceptional. Josie's delightful voice is equally suited to songs in English or Gaelic (she's originally from Lewis) and Pablo's magnificent guitar playing fits with Josie's voice perfectly. If you haven't come across these BBC Young Folk Award winners before, check out the videos (links on the past BGR Events pages) or search on YouTube for Josie and Pablo at Wadsworth. You will love them!
In June, Martin Simpson returned to Wadsworth and proved again that he's one of the greats of the acoustic/roots world. The show sold out (as expected) and Martin delighted the audience with the stories behind the songs (his own and those of others) as well as his superb playing of both guitar and banjo. On a beautiful summer's evening, it was 'just the job'! We were very pleased to welcome quite a few newcomers to Wadsworth, some of whom had travelled substantial distances to be there, and we hope they'll return to Wadsworth in future.
After a long hot summer break we welcomed Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman to Wadsworth in September. Their new material is fantastic, and was mixed in with some great stuff from earlier albums and it was another wonderful evening. Some great stories were told and there were many highlights, but 'Solo' & 'Independence' were specifically mentioned by audience-members after the gig. Check out the videos for yourself.
In October, Boo Hewerdine returned to Wadsworth, but this time with Kris Drever. Both played solo numbers at various times during the show, but the majority of songs were played together, giving the audience another splendid and unique set of memories of a very special gig. Again, we had some audience-members from all over the North of England who had come to experience the magic of live music at Wadsworth Community Centre. We greatly appreciate the continued support that we get from music-lovers from far & wide, which, in this case, has enabled us to make a substantial donation to the current DEC Tsunami Appeal for Indonesia.
Our final show of 2018 brought the wonderful Mr Daoiri Farrell to the wilds of Wadsworth for the first time. He played a great show to a sell-out audience to bring another great year of live music in a wonderful location to a fitting close.
The year got off to a great start with another sell-out show at Square Chapel, Halifax by Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders. This time Andy had his horn section adding another dimension to the band's performance and, as expected, it was another brilliant show. Andy is such a gentleman with a wealth of experience, talent and lots of interesting tales to tell. Wonderful!
During the course of the year we were pleased to welcome back Phil Beer (this time with Alice Jones), and Edgelarks, all of whom were superb as always, followed by Brooks Williams and the excellent young guitarist Jack Blackman. Brooks will hopefully be back at Wadsworth in 2022.
In the Autumn, Smith & McClennan made the journey down from Scotland to perform to another sell-out audince at Wadsworth. A great night!
They were closely followed by Gilmore & Roberts who treated us to the usual mixture of serious/comical/traditional & contemporary treats from their ever-growing repertoire. They had wonderful support from local pipe player Becky Taylor, who we sincerely hope will be able to perform again at Wadsworth before too long.
Our final show of the year featured Alden, Patterson & Dashwood from East Anglia. They too put on a super show with a mixture of self-penned and traditional songs and were great. Noel, in particular, kept the members of Calder Youth Folk (regular attendees these days at our events) entertained between songs with his excellent banter!
Another very successful year!
March 7th. Trials of Cato with support from Katie Spencer. We were hugely excited to book the Trials of Cato and they were fantastic! The musicianship of all three players is astonishing and, of course, they make it look so easy. Highly recommended! We were very pleased to be able to welcome Katie Spencer to Wadsworth as their support and Katie played a set of songs which were very well received by our wonderful audience at Wadsworth. She's a great guitar player with a fine voice and, again, we hope she'll be back to play at Wadsworth again soon.
Little did we know that the Trials of Cato would be our be both our first and our last gig of the year............
We sincerely hope to be back in 2021 at some point. Watch this space, as they say.......