Barbara’s MAD for it

Barbara Dickson

Barbara Dickson

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n The Folk Train is offering to take you on a musical journey into the Peak District. It sets out from Sheffield railway station on Tuesday at 7.14pm heading to Edale. Music will be provided by Treebeard, with their range of folk, rock, pop and country songs, as well as some originals and Irish & Russian tunes, performed on a vast array of instruments. Once in Edale, music continues at The Rambler Country House Hotel before the return journey to Sheffield.

IT’S MAD and it’s on your doorstep.

The annual MAD Festival (it stands for Music and Dance) will be held on the weekend of Friday to Sunday, September 2 to 4, at Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar.

And this year’s line-up promises to be better than ever – no mean feat considering the high calibre of performers who have entertained at this festival in the past.

The line up includes Barbara Dickson, Boy on a Dolphin, Turin Brakes, Amy Wadge and Pete Riley, Rodney Branigan from the US and Ay Ducane.

And if that wasn’t enough, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman are returning to the event after appearing at this year’s Barnsley Acoustic and Roots Festival.

Main events will be charged (a weekend ticket costs £45), but there are also plenty of free music and and dance events throughout the weekend at the heritage centre.

Here is a flavour of the running order:

On Friday, artists on stage will be Boy on a Dolphin, Ay Ducane and Rodney Branigan.

On Saturday, music comes from Turin Brakes, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman and Outside Track.

Individual tickets for Friday and Saturday shows are £15 each.

On Sunday, the festival will enjoy a grand finale with Barbara Dickson, Amy Wadge and Pete Riley.

Barbara is a multi-million selling recording artist who has firmly established herself as one of Britain’s most enduring and popular artists.

Born in Dunfermline, she developed a love of music at an early age, studying piano at the age of five and taking up the guitar by the age of 12.

After moving to Edinburgh, she combined a day job in the civil service with pursuing a music career in pubs and clubs.

The watershed moment came in 1968 when, after being refused leave from her job for an overseas singing engagement, Barbara resigned, determined to pursue a career for herself in the growing folk scene.

Over the next few years she paid her dues on the folk circuit, working with the likes of Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, Rab Noakes and Archie Fisher

A chance meeting with an old friend, musician and playwright Willy Russell, in Liverpool in the early 70s changed the course of her career.

He offered her the role of the musician/singer in his 1974 Beatles’ musical John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert which needed her to be on stage for the entire performance, singing the songs of the Beatles at the piano. The show was a huge success both in Liverpool and in the West End.

The rest is history but Barbara Dickson is no museum piece. She continues to create great music and produce wonderful albums.

But to catch her at her best you must see her live.

The Barnsley MAD Festival is a great chance to do just that.

Tickets for the Barbara Dickson show are £25.

For details about tickets, call 01226 740203 or call The Civic box office at Barnsley.

Hot off the press: American singer-songwriter Diana Jones has been booked to appear at the Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield, on Tuesday, November 1. She takes the spirit of the old mountain ballads and gives them a modern feel and presence.

Other dats of note at The Greystones for your diary: Otis Gibbs (September 9), Steve Tilston (Sep 11), Chris Mills (Sep 12), Sam Baker (Sep 15), Peter Bruntnell (Sep 17), Chris Thie and Michael Daves (Sep 18), Richmond Fontaine (Sep 20), Sam Carter (Sep 21), Heidi Talbot, John McCusker and Boo Hewerdine (October 3), Hank Wangford (Oct 11), Catfish Keith (Oct 12), Rita Hosking and Michael Chapman (Oct 18), Roy Bailey (Oct 19), Stephen Fearing and Andy White (Oct 26).

The Folk Train is offering to take you on a musical journey into the Peak District. It sets out from Sheffield railway station on Tuesday at 7.14pm heading to Edale. Music will be provided by Treebeard, with their range of folk, rock, pop and country songs, as well as some originals and Irish & Russian tunes, performed on a vast array of instruments. Once in Edale, music continues at The Rambler Country House Hotel before the return journey to Sheffield.

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