Salut! Commentary

Reporting the Troubles and sneakily catching some wonderful Irish music

As we recoil in horror from the evil of Moscow’s war on Ukraine, and feel disgust at the hard-of-thinking whataboutery of Putin apologists in the UK, let us not forget conflict at home. Even what Mo Mowlam called, when Secretary... Read more →


Magic by proxy: Linda Thompson finds her voices

Colin Randall welcomes long-awaited news of an exciting project in which Linda Thompson assembles musically gifted family and friends for an album of the songs she wrote but cannot perform herself …. Linda Thompson has one of the best-loved voices... Read more →


Piper's purism, pricked pride and pointed questions about the value of reviewers

Two years ago, a bagpipe-playing reviewer caused offence with his mixed appraisal of a Peter Knight/John Spiers album. Decades before that, purists were snooty about folk clubs with more open-minded outlooks. After all the developments folk music has seen, Colin... Read more →


Before the miners’ strike—telling the miners’ story in songs, jokes and sketches

The long history of the miners’ fight for better pay and conditions was brought to life by Alan Plater in Close the Coalhouse Door. The songs of Alex Glasgow were central to the telling of the story. Read more →