~Highlights of 2017~
(Click photos on left to enlarge)
Ian Hunter & The Rant Band ~ 07/17
I was kindly given the opportunity to support the legendary Ian Hunter and the Rant Band, at Welly – Hull. It was so much fun, and of course Mr Hunter still has ‘it’ – they were super cool. A few days later, and still on a high I received a call asking if I’d like to support Ian and his band again, this time at Whitley Bay Playhouse! Of course I said yes, and felt mega chuffed to be asked back, by Ian.
I have an early musical memory, involving Mott The Hoople too: I took my first solo train journey from Hull to Cornwall to visit my Auntie. I took a small suitcase stuffed with my belongings, and on my return I brought back a case full of my Auntie’s vinyl records, instead of clothes. The first one I listened to when I got home was ‘Mott’. Super cool to meet the guy behind it all.
Live Session, at York St John ~ 06/17
Peel your eyes for a live video session, filmed inside the beautiful Chapel on York St John Campus. New songs a-foot!
Exile Festival, Private Party, John Martyn Gathering ~ 06/17
This weekend has been a lovely one. We have caught up with old friends, and made new ones at a whole bunch of festivals. A special moment for me was at the John Martyn Gathering, where the coolest Phil Shackleton handed us Hamish Imlach’s battered, old (+ smelly) Guild to have a play about on.
Gate To Southwell Festival ~ 06/17
Southwell was good fun. We managed to catch a bit of Jess Morgan, and Le Vent Du Nord before I played – they were great. I was so humbled to come off stage and have a Roy Harper record thrown into my hands by three very lovely chaps! What a great day.
Tom Watson ~ 05/17
Mr Watson journeyed down to the Adelphi Club tonight, and sat on the front row as I played. He was in town ahead of the launch of Labour’s ‘Culture Manifesto’, and it was a ridiculous (+ lovely) moment when he gave me a shout-out in his speech the next day. Wow.
Mini-Album Launch ~ 05/17
What a feeling to have most of your favourite people under one roof at the same time, and to be on stage with a handful of your favourite musicians. Photos from this lovely night can be seen to the left. Big love to all those who came down, and to all those who helped to make the mini-album happen!
Katie Spencer + BAND at Kardomah94 ~ 05/17
I’m delighted to announce a one-off show at Hull’s Kardomah94 on 20th May 2017 at 7:30pm.
I’ll be joined by European Blues Award Winner Ted Mckenna (SAHB, Rory Gallagher) on drums, Foss Paterson (Jethro Tull, John Martyn) on keys and Hull's very own Rob Peirson on fretless bass.
Together creating ambient, almost Wyndham-Hill styled grooves that dance around refreshingly mature songs - quietening the room, as you accompany their characters on meandering journeys.
Kicking the evening off to a grand start will be David Ward Maclean, with Bradley Blackwell on double bass: David has worked as a musician in York, England for the past 25 years or so. "Great Stuff." - Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull. "Brill, David!" - Roy Harper.
Tickets (£9 / £10 OTD) from myself or here.
Kent ~ 05/17
I mentioned earlier in the year that I’ll be working with secondary school students down in Kent, we’ll begin by looking at different song-writing and composing methods and finishing off by creating a piece of music to perform in their assembly. It will be a great experience – I’m sure I’ll learn a lot..
During my trip to Kent I’ll also be featured on Doug Welch’s Folk Hour, for BBC Radio Kent. This will be ahead of lovely gig at Orpington Folk Club. More info on that soon.
Furley and Co ~ 04/17
It was groovy to share the bill with old friends Crooked Weather last Friday night. We had a blast, and I tried out a handful of new songs. You can read a lovely review of the evening here – written by Alan Walker.
Itinerant Waiters Club ~ 04/17
It is always a treat to play at the Itinerant Waiters’ Club in Leeds, for Duncan McFarlane. He was one of the first performers who inspired me to have a go myself, so it is such a humbling experience to have him supporting! Wow.
Threshold (+ other announced festivals) ~ 04/17
The first festival of the year is upon us!! Threshold was a wonderful inner city jamboree, packed with music and art. Getintothis review the weekend saying: "- Hull’s Katie Spencer coming on like Stevie Nicks clashing with Laura Marling, voice and harmonics keening all over the place."
Other announced festivals for 2017 are: Filey Folk Festival, Cleethorpes Folk and Cider, Gate To Southwell, Gardenfest, Exile Festival, Barnfest & The John Martyn Gathering.
A visit to Leven Primary School ~ 03/17
I visited Leven Primary School and played a few songs, and chatted to the loveliest kids. The headmaster told me how lots of the girls drop out of guitar classes as they get older, so the aim was to inspire. It was such a privilege, I’m still smiling.
The quote of the day, from the liveliest young girl: "when you play guitar it looks like your fingers are five people dancing on your guitar" - definitely making the updated bio.
Sherpa Sessions ~ 03/17
The Sherpa Sessions was formed by a groovy collection of people in the Hull area, who film local musicians as part of an online video series. Here is a new song that I played as part of the sessions: You Came Like A Hurricane. It was so much fun heading out into the deepest Yorkshire Dales on a frosty morning in an old Sherpa Van. Be sure to check out their other videos!
GONGS – Regional Film Awards ~ 03/17
Kardomah94 is a wonderful venue, restaurant and art space in Hull. If you get the chance, you must go. They also host the annual film awards: GONGS. Patrick Mateer and I were delighted to receive two commendations for our Short Film: Music and Documentary. You can watch it here.
The Big Comfy Bookshop ~ 03/17
I felt blessed when we journeyed to Coventry, to record a live session then easing in to play a sold out gig at the Big Comfy Bookshop. You can watch my Big Comfy Session here – I spoke to Michael about books, City of Culture & music!
London ~ 03/17
A Boss Caine show is always set to be a good one, and so I packed my guitar and headed to Tufnell Park to play a gig in a basement lit only by one standard lamp – it looked suspiciously like the one my Grandma had. Lush.
Derbyshire calls again ~ 01/17
Derbyshire is hot. Lovely to be back amongst the scenery. I played a sweaty gig to a packed out pub who were looking for some good ol’ rock’n’roll on a Friday night – but was buzzed to play a double encore. Heading back up there this summer: The Boat Inn, 18th August 2017.
Michael Chapman ~ 01/17
Chapman is a genius. Dad and I were mesmerised for hours watching him capture the Adelphi last night.
City of Culture! ~ 01/17
Hull is the City of Culture 2017! Yeahh.. We kicked off in style with a City of Culture gig at Fruit, Hull. Chuffed to play alongside the coolest acts in Hull.
BBC Introducing ~ 01/17
It was good to get back into the BBC Introducing studios, you can watch a daft video that we recorded there, right here.
Iain Morrison & Michael Chorney ~ 01/17
I’m chuffed to be given the opportunity to support Iain and Michael in Alstonefield next month. It will be magical. Watch Iain on Transatlantic Sessions here (alongside some other grooving musicians). Following this gig I’ll be doing three other dates in Derby and the area in January – head to the dates page to find out when and where.
Masterclass ~ 01/17
There are already some exciting things a-foot in 2017, one being the opportunity to provide a ‘masterclass’ in songwriting at an all girls school in Kent! Dates to follow, including gigs in the surrounding area.
~Highlights of 2016~
Martin Stephenson & The Daintees ~ 12/16
I first met Martin in September 16, where I supported him at a wonderful gig in Hull. This led to more dates supporting the gang on their 30th Anniversary of Boat To Bolivia Tour: so many gorgeous memories were made at King Tuts in Glasgow, and Sheffield O2 Academy. Apparently The Daintees opened up the first gig at King Tuts back in the 80’s, so the house was rammed with a massive vibe. I was also blown away by Nicky Murray and Chloe Rodgers who also opened up for Martin, here is their website. Also, check out the Daintees’ re-release of Boat To Bolivia here.
Amsterdam ~ 12/16
What a way to kick off December?! I was chuffed to be a part of the Tribfest Minicruise across to Amsterdam – it was a feast for the senses, with acoustic music, comedy and tributes. Amsterdam was beautiful, and full of songs yet to be written.
FATEA Compilation ~ 11/16
Keep your eyes peeled for a free, downloadable album from FATEA containing a handful of their favourite tracks. A live version of ‘Talk’ will feature, and I’m excited.
Musicport ~ 10/16
I loved Musicport. It was breezy and horrible outdoors, but inside Whitby Pavilion it was full of smiles and gorgeous music. Highlights (aside from playing the North Sea Stage + Rusty Shears) were watching Sarah Jane Morris, and Arstidir. Magic.
The Same Water ~ 10/16
John Doyle at Wake The Deaf described Short Film: ‘The Same Water’ as “a Western soundscape of which Ry Cooder would be proud”. You can read his full review here. You may have heard that 100 Limited Edition Live EP’s were for sale – these have all sold out now, but you can still download the digital EP here! To the left are some stunning photographs of our beautiful Premiere night, at Kardomah94, Hull – taken by Viceversarobbi Fotografia.
Roy Harper ~ 09/16
We took a trip to Manchester to catch a glimpse of Roy Harper on his 75th Birthday Celebration Tour. He is a magician, opening up with a song he described as being written when ‘reminiscing at 17 years of age’. I thought it was a hilarious (and unfortunately relatable) remark.. Left is a photo of a world famous rockstar posing with some guy on the streets of Manchester.
Katie Spencer: A Short Film (+ Premiere) ~ 09/16
I have been working with the support of local charity, The Warren to create a short film about my musical journey so far. Filmed and directed by Patrick Mateer, the film will feature live performances with interviews and more. Read what Patrick said about our first session together, here.
On Tuesday 4th October, we are having a Premiere of the Film at Kardomah94, Hull. It is free for everyone to come along and will feature live performances with special guest appearances too. Doors are at 7:30pm, come and party.
FATEA Magazine ~ 08/16
"With her reverb-laden acoustic guitar, powerful and original song writing and a voice like warm honey, she was, for me, the discovery of the festival."
Read more of this wonderful review here from Peter Cowley at FATEA, of Folk On The Farm.
BBC Radio Humberside ~ 08/16
Yesterday I chatted to James Hoggarth on BBC Radio Humberside about upcoming gigs with Rob Peirson playing fretless bass. We can’t wait for Hedfest! You can hear the interview, and my performance of ‘East Coast Railroad’ here, at about 1:19:00.
Yorkshire Gig Guide, Grassroots Awards 2016 ~ 07/16
Delighted to have been nominated in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards for:
4. Outstanding Contribution of 2016
9. Outstanding Artist of 2016
11 Outstanding Songwriting of 2016
Thanks to whoever nominated/has voted! Voting closes on Wednesday 31st August. To vote, click here.
Videos ~ 07/16
I’m heading into Hull this next week with Stewart Baxter and Patrick Mateer to get some groovy live videos filmed. Eyes and ears.
Anglesey to Liverpool to Bradford ~ 07/16
Folk on the Farm was a little piece of paradise on the Isle of Anglesey and a pure pleasure to play. There is a photo to the left, which shows the stunning view from the Main Stage – right across the bay and far out to the blue sea (a rare sight for an East Yorkshire lass, used to a murky brown tide)! Not only was the festival filled with beautiful like-minded people, there was a wonderful real-ale bar and a flower power shower. Dang.
The proceeds of the festival go to the work carried out at Tyddyn Môn, a farm founded by the parents of adults with learning difficulties who wanted a more constructive and rewarding occupation for their children. Find out more here.
From Anglesey, we travelled like snails with our home on our back to Liverpool, where I played a couple of lovely nights – a favourite being The Magnet. Then through the scorching sun to Bradford, at the Topic Folk Club, supporting Robb Johnson. His perfectly political songs thrived in the ‘Oldest Folk Club in the World’. When the club started out, it was the height of the Cold War, with Suez and the Hungarian Uprising dominating the headlines. From its very beginnings it was an opportunity for like-minded folk to get together, talk politics and sing folk songs. Proper job.
John Martyn Gathering ~ 06/16
This year, the Gathering grouped together even more JM fans and the music on offer was more diverse than ever. If you’d like to be a part of this special event next year, take a look at the John Martyn Group on FB and express an interest. It’s magic. This year saw a favourite of mine: Fraser Anderson with Bex Baxter on angelic vocals. He has just released a new album which you can take a look at here. Phil Shackleton, an old friend of John’s also came along and played for a little while – blew me away in seconds, and his stories of days with Martyn are hysterical. Happy days.
We are awayke ~ 05/16
Showbiz and sweat. Two words perfectly akin to tonight at the Adelphi in Hull. An electric line-up with Funke and the Two Tone Baby, and The Dyr Sister.
Landaaan ~ 05/16
Rob and I took a hot trip down to the smoke to catch a fierce gig with the Band of Friends – the music of Rory Gallagher with Marcel Scherpenzeel, Gerry McAvoy and wonderful friend Ted McKenna. It was a bit bloody good, so get yersens down to see them soon and keep an ear out for a release of mine with McKenna’s drums ringing out. Yah.
BBC Introducing ~ 05/16
Great fun was had when I took a journey to BBC Introducing Humberside to record a live show. We got excited about upcoming shows, such as the John Martyn Gathering and Folk on the Farm.
Filey Folk Festival ~ 05/16
This seaside festival is always a blast, and totally free too. A huge highlight of mine was playing alongside Rob Peirson on fretless bass, when we supported Sally Barker. See a cracking photo taken by Rich Duffy of Loudhailer.
Wizz Jones ~ 03/16
The Green Note in Camden saw a sold-out gig featuring the main man Wizz Jones and his son, Simeon. It was a beautiful night with Dariush Kanani supporting. I also had a smashing vegan stir-fry for tea. Magic.
Moonbeams March Folk Weekend ~ 03/16
This festival is very cool, we all had great fun. Particular favourites who were appearing over the weekend were Chris While and Julie Matthews, and of course RnB legends: The Alligators. Here is a lovely review from Northern Sky.
Curved Air ~ 04/16
I am delighted to say that I’ll be supporting the legendary Curved Air at Howden Shire Hall in April. Tickets can be found here.
More work on the album in Glasgow ~ 01/16
Another visit to Cava saw Foss Paterson laying down some keys, and interpreting Danny Thompson’s bass lines. It is sounding wonderful with his delicate additions, I’m excited to release the album very soon!
Celtic Connections ~ 01/16
Whilst in Glasgow, Celtic Connections was a’happening and it was beautiful. After enjoying the surprises of the Late Night Festival Club we journeyed to the Concert Hall for a Concert for Bert Jansch. Robert Plant, Ryley Walker and Martin Simpson were amongst those performing a tribute to Jansch and the night was perfect. If you haven’t been before: head to Celtic Connections!
New Guitar ~ 01/16
An exciting moment during the latest visit to Glasgow was when I found a gorgeous Guild F50-R. It has Rosewood back and sides, making it incredibly mellow and a lovely contrast to my beautiful Taylor JKSM! New songs are already appearing.
Moonbeams Folk Weekend + Folk on the Farm
This year sees appearances at the renowned Moonbeams March Folk Weekend, alongside wondrous musicians such as Holy Moly and the Crackers and Edwina Hayes. And also, Folk on the Farm in Anglesey where Virginia Kettle, of Merry Hell will be performing too – not to be missed!
~Highlights of 2015~
Big love and thanks to you, friends! See you next year (with an album!)..
Save St Mary’s, Beverley ~ 12/15
As part of the Save St Mary’s campaign, The Speak Easy in Hull hosted a concert to raise money for this historical church. Six acts played throughout the night and it was very special indeed. I also got the chance to hear and meet Fraser Anderson, who has lovely stories to tell.
A video of my version of John Martyn’s ‘Couldn’t Love You More’ can be found here.
Cornucopia ~ 09/15
Cornucopia was the last festival of the season for us, and it was certainly a highlight – beautiful weather, gorgeous people and groovy music. Initially I played on the sunny Courtyard Stage, which was a great setting (at Burton Constable, East Yorkshire). Later in the day I found myself on the Main Stage, after I was asked to fill in for someone who couldn’t make it. Overall the festival was a feast for the senses and we’ll be sure to visit it again.
Ryley Walker ~ 08/15
I stumbled across Ryley Walker earlier this year and fell in love. He is described as “the reincarnation of the true American guitar player”. We turned up at the venue in Farndale, it was reminiscent of a tin shed. Everyone in the crowd – and Ryley – seemed to have a whale of a time listening to his cracking guitar playing and groovy songs. We are going again in 2016 to see him with Danny Thompson –wey!
HedFest ~ 08/15
It was HedFest’s debut this year, and it triumphed. It was lovely to play in Hedon’s St Augustine’s Church, on the ReCOGnition stage – the acts all sounded and looked superb.
Festival8 ~ 07/15
I would recommend checking out this lovely little festival, nestled in Lincolnshire. The Woodland Stage is beautiful to play, as you’re surrounded by nature and loving people. Groovy.
Debut Album in Glasgow ~ 07/15 --
Since the John Martyn Gathering a lot has happened. Big thanks to Jim Mcknight for making this all happen – I’m now creating my debut album with the lovely Brian Young and Geoff Allen, of Cava Studios in Glasgow. Special thanks to Danny Thompson for writing some beautiful bass parts, to Ted McKenna for making it all swing on the drums and Tim O’Connor for generally being ace with guitar, vocals and smiles!
John Martyn Gathering ~ 06/15
It was here in Hardraw, at the Green Dragon where I met some very beautiful people. It was so warm to be surrounded by fellow John fans, and extraordinary to watch some of the musicians who played with John too. It was here that I met the cracking Danny Thompson and good friend Jim Mcknight – both of whom have played huge parts in getting my debut album on the go up in Glasgow. There will be another Gathering for John Martyn fans and friends in 2016, at The Green Dragon, Hardraw.
Beverley Folk Festival ~ 06/15
For the second year I played Beverley Folk Festival, only this year was slightly more damp than last! In contrast, the atmosphere in Leila’s Moonbeams Marquee was as sunny as ever with giant dragons hovering overhead and sun-ripened hay bales. The whole festival was smashing and had an outstanding line-up – my favourite being Wizz Jones – I was constantly captured by his songs and insane guitar playing.
Chris Wood ~ 06/15
Last year my good friend, Tim lent me a CD by a guy called Chris Wood. What had I been missing?! I have since become an addict.. Later, a chance to support Chris in Hull came along and the night was beautiful. Chris’ story-telling takes you to the time and place, and you live his songs. Gorgeous.
The Processed Pea Folk Club ~ 04/15
For the Pea’s 45th Birthday gig I was humbled to be the guest. It was a wonderful, packed house full of friends – old and new. A video of my songs from the night can be found here.
Nick Harper ~ 03/15
Queuing up outside The Backroom in Cottingham, I had no idea of what I was in for (except that little glimpse we caught during soundcheck!) Finally being allowed entry, we were faced with Mr Harper and the show began. I can safely say I have never been more dumbfounded. He was incredible - memories were made.
Poland ~ 02/15
What can I say? Poland is a beautiful place with a different, rich history behind each corner of Krakov. Their architecture is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before – from solid gold domes, to creaky wooden doors. During my brief (yet packed) few days staying in Krakov I got the chance to hear some traditional Polish music, involving some bird-like vocals, unusual dancing and beautiful flute playing! It’s definitely on the list of places to visit once my parents and I have purchased that campervan!
Two Coats Colder ~ 02/15
Twenty fifteen kicked off in a wonderful way! Our friends from Essex came to headline at our gig, which we put on at the Endsleigh Centre in Hull (the décor in there is magnificent and made a gorgeous setting). Two Coats Colder did a couple of stunning sets after I kicked off the show, then followed by Hull’s very own mastermind – Tim O’Connor. Keep an eye on Two Coats Colder here. And Tim here.
Click photos to enlarge.
© Katie Spencer 2017