Lecture Theatre Programme

Our series of programming in the Lecture Theatre offers variety, food for thought and blasts from the past, including 6 ‘Silent Movies on the Radio’ slots.

Silent Movies on the Radio is a novel way of exploring the history of the folk revival in an entertaining way.  Think of it as being a bit like a live Radio show, in front of an audience with live interaction and performance against a backdrop of photographs.  Like a Radio show, there are opportunities to include some archival material including audio and video. All run by Pete Heywood


Joe Stead’s Ramblings of an Old Codger  (Pete Heywood)  Friday B16 3.00 – 4.00pm  Lecture Theatre

A reflection on the folk scene in England through the eyes of Joe Stead.  For many years Joe Stead produced an email newsletter which led to the publication of his book ‘The Ramblings of an Old Codger – the story of a nearly famous folk singer’.  Joe’s own story is fascinating but his background work as an organiser and record label owner is perhaps underappreciated. Joe lectured extensively on the careers of Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson and had his own perspective and views on humour in folk music.  Joe was scheduled to take an active part in the workshops at Warwick this year, but sadly he lost his battle with cancer in April.  Joe will be with us in spirit, and in audio and video, for this exploration of his life and times.

Crows – Traditions of the boys from the Town (Pete Heywood)   Friday   B21 7.00 – 8.30pm   Lecture Theatre

Crows were formed in 1977 after a chance meeting between two duos, Mick Ryan and John Burge from Swindon and a London based duo, Silas, who were James Patterson and Ralph Jordan.  Between then and now a lot of water has flowed under the bridge.  Band members went on to make their own contributions in different formations and on other platforms before coming back together in 2014, initially to perform a couple of songs at a memorial concert for Ralph Jordan.  The re-established Crows are performing live at Warwick Folk Festival this year.  This workshop will explore the band members own histories and their individual and collective contribution as traditional musicians, and will include live performance and some archival recordings.  If you are curious about the ‘boys from the town’ reference in the title, it refers to the thought – wrong in my opinion – that you can’t really be a real traditional musician unless you were born in a tent!

Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest (Brian Peters) Friday B40  9.00 – 10.30pm

One hundred years ago, English folksong collectors Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles travelled to the Appalachian Mountains in search of old ballads, and struck gold.  In this acclaimed presentation, Brian Peters tells the story of their epic quest through slides, narrative and a selection of the best songs and tunes, accompanying himself on guitar, banjo and fiddle.


Warwick Folk Festival – Roots and Branches (Pete Heywood)   Saturday C34 12.00 – 2.00pm   Lecture Theatre

As we approach the 40th Anniversary of Warwick Folk Festival in 2019 we are continuing to explore the history of the Festival, its roots in the story of folk music in the Midlands and the bright future which surely lies ahead.

The Darker Side of Warwick Part 1    Graham Sutherland  Saturday C085  2.30 – 4.00pm

Alistair Anderson – Tradition in the North (Pete Heywood)  Saturday   C113 4.30 – 5.30pm   Lecture Theatre

Alistair Anderson grew up with some of the great traditional musicians of the North East of England and was also at the heart of the next generation who were a huge influence on the resurgence of interest in folk music throughout the country.  Alistair understood how traditions were handed down and has committed much of his professional working life to furthering the interests of young musicians.  In this exploration of folk music in the Northeast, Alistair will be focussing mostly on that early and middle period, including his time with The High Level Ranters, always with one eye on the past, but with full confidence in the ongoing march of the tradition and in his own role in its past, present and future.


Packie Manus Byrne – All Action Folk Hero (Pete Heywood)   Sunday D041 12.00 – 1.30pm  Lecture Theatre

Packie Manus Byrne would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year, but he only made it to the grand old age of 98. Earlier in the year friends celebrated his centenary in his Donegal homeland, with many friends from the folk scene in England making the journey over. This presentation at Warwick will reflect on Packie Manus Byrne’s impact on the folk revival in England. There is a famous photograph taken at an early National Folk Festival of Packie together with some of the legendary figures of traditional music from an earlier age. Packie was the last in this line but leaves behind plenty of memories in videos, in recordings, in his book ‘Recollections of a Donegal Man’ and in a fascinating documentary film, ‘Packie Manus Byrne – All Action Folk Hero’, which will be shown during this workshop.

Traditional Songs of the Folk Revival (Pete Heywood) Sunday   D101 4.30 – 5.30pm  Lecture Theatre

There have been many great songs which have been written during the period which we refer to as ‘the folk revival’.  The clue to the content of this presentation is in the title.  Although we know the people who wrote these songs, the premise is that we are witnessing an ongoing tradition and we do that tradition a disservice by not recognising the great writers in our midst.  This session will include some archive material and live songs from festival guests and visitors.