Doesn’t time fly? 13 Big Earses down and another year over. So what’s the craic as New Year’s Eve hoves into view? Well, many folk musicians are hibernating, but many more are tuning up for ceilidhs across the nation. So let’s kick off with that, shall we? Where will you be heading?

1 night on the town

At the home of English Folk Music, it’s the Will Pound Band that will be keeping the ceilidh lively. Word on the street is that it’s sold out, but always worth checking their social media pages to find out if there have been returns.

Alternatively, you could head Southwest, an hour or so out of London, and join the celebrations in Whitchurch, Hampshire, where the band is made up of bits of Bellowhead, and a few other reasonably promising string pluckers. As of yesterday, there were tickets still available (according to the tweet above). Again – keep an eye on the Whitchurch Folk Club social pages for returns info.

Jig Run Jig will be pleasing the masses in Halton-On-Lune, Lancaster, tomorrow night. Again, a sellout has been reported, so your best bet is to give them a call and beg for returns.

All these sellouts, eh? Anyone who doesn’t think folk music is on the up clearly hasn’t tried to get into a New Year’s Eve Ceilidh recently. Onwards!

There’ll be booze, nibbles, band and boogying in Settle, Yorkshire, from 8pm on the big night. Head to the Wholesome Bee for your tickets (Yes! Tickets! Available! Run!)

North of the border, the Hogmanay is both real and virtual at the Gartmore Ceilidh (#VirtualCeilidh2018). Bring your own bottle, get on the big screen… grab your tickets now… they’re still available!

For a Hogmanay Ceilidh with real class, head to the Signet Library in Edinburgh. Look at those photos! You’d fear knocking posh things for six with your Gay Gordons! Take care, people.

Norloch Ceilidh Band will be bringing 20 years of experience to the shores of Loch Tay. Indoors, we hope. If not, wrap up very warm indeed!

The Inn on Loch Lomond have GlenPark Ceilidh in for the night. Get there early and Hogmanay your legs off!

Fergie Macdonald will be conducting Hogmanay at the Nevis Centre in Fort William. Another one with tickets left available. Jump in the car and start the motor NOW!

We’ve mentioned this one in past Big Ears, but c’mon… disco pipers?! This has to be worth seeing.

Parish notices

Ye Vagabonds have taken a step up from being folk recording stars this week, appearing in no less than TWO films, both of which are linked below.

And should you need a good write up of the first of the two above, leave it to Aldridge & Goldsmith

Sticking with the Irish folk theme for a moment, a big congrats on (what we think is probably) Lankum‘s first US tour (but we may be wrong!) That kicks off very shortly indeed. No sleep ’til Brooklyn!

And while we’re on that side of the pond, forgive us for blowing our own trumpets again. Have you seen this? fRoots is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award! Big congrats to our editor, the one and only Ian Anderson (if you discount the one from that band), who we think thoroughly deserves this lovely big pat on the back. Hurrah!

Got your Sidmouth Early Birds yet? For the love of all things good, WHY NOT!? Get it together and get over to their website pronto.

In the mood for a little trad listening? BBC Radio 3 have been exploring Weird England. Sounds like where we live. And you lot, too. Poet, Lila Matsumoto, was born in Japan but has lived in the Midlands for some time. Have a listen to her discussing the Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance

Who’s releasin’? 

It isn’t really a releasin’ time of the year, is it? Or is it? 

Maybe we’re wrong about that.

Thread Recordings have just put this little announcement out, so flex those credit cards!

Elsewhere, the unstoppable (why would we want to?) Eliza Carthy has knocked out a warm and homely video introducing her new album, Restitute. Keep your credit cards out and wave them in her general direction. She’s even done you a bedtime story. A twofer!

The first release from River Lea Records was superb (take a bow, Lisa O’Neill), so we’re particularly looking forward to their second release. Brìghde Chaimbeul‘s The Reeling is a mere three weeks away if you’re heading to her Celtic Connections show on January 18th. Get in there and tell the world how good it is!

And that’s the lot for this year. Next week we’ll be back with a round up of all the things worth looking forward to in 2019. See you on the other side!

Remember, if you like what we’re doing and you want to support our ongoing dedication to all of this fine music, please consider taking out an fRoots subscription, or perhaps even making a donation. You can also click whenever it says “pre-order here” and we’ll get a little kickback from Amazon. It really does make a difference. We thank you.