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Searching For Five Finger Frank at Whitby Folk Week 2015

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This year we will be performing the full show “The Search For Five Finger Frank” and the presentation “Finding Five Finger Frank” at Whitby Folk Week. We will also be performing as a duo and solo over the course of the week. Here are the details…

Saturday 22nd August

at 8pm-12 midnight – Concert in the Metropole Hotel Ballroom

MC. Derek Schofield with Rattle on the Stovepipe; Carolyn Robson & Moira Craig; Alistair Anderson; Alex Cummings & Nicola Beazley; John Dipper & James Patterson; Pete Coe & Alice Jones; (Event no.42)

Sunday 23rd August

at 12 noon-1.30pm – “Finding Five Finger Frank” presentation at the Colliseum

Pete Coe & Alice Jones give an intro to their show, “Five Finger Frank” about the Leeds folk-song collector, Frank Kidson. (Event no.81)

at 7.30pm-11.30pm – Concert in the Whitby Rugby Club

MC. Brenda Spence; Rattle on the Stovepipe; Pete Coe & Alice Jones;  Jeff Warner; Matt Quinn;The Rachel Hamer Band; The Wilsons (Event no.140)

Monday 24th August

at 1pm-3pm – Ballad Session in the Conservative Club Function Room

Wendy Arrowsmith; Pete Coe (Solo); Moira Craig; Alison McMorland (Event no.202)

at 2.30pm-5pm – Concert in the Colliseum

MC Kevin Sheils; Alice Jones (Solo); Dave Arthur; Val Marsden & Graham Pirt; The Wilsons (Event no.222)

at 7.30pm-11pm – A Night At The Music Hall in the Spa Theatre

MC Sue Coe; Pete Coe (Solo); The Watch; Peta Webb; The Wallopers; Johnny Handle; Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner; Maggie & Stan; Jack Lynch; Peter & Barbara Snape (Event no.247)

Tuesday 25th August


at 3.30pm-5.30pm “The Search For Five Finger Frank” in the Spa Theatre

Pete Coe & Alice Jones present ballads, broadsides and dance tunes from the collection of Frank Kidson, a folk-song collector from Leeds. (Event no.342)

at 11.30pm-1.30am – Late Night at The Met in The Metrepole Hotel Ballroom

Windy Gyle; Robin Garside; Pete Coe & Alice Jones (Event no.365)

Wednesday 26th August

at 11.30am-12.50pm “Strings and Things” Workshop with Pete Coe in Middle Earth (Event no.392)

at 1pm-3pm - Kid’s Club at West Cliff School Hall

Circus Skills with Earthbound Misfits, followed by songs from Pete Coe & Alice Jones (Event no.419)

at 8pm-11.30pm – Traditional Night Out at the Whitby Football Club

MC Dan Quinn; Jeff Warner; Pete Coe & Alice Jones; Sue Coe; Irene Shettle; John Kirkpatrick; Will Noble; Dave Townsend; Peter & Barbara Snape (Event no.468)

Thursday 27th August

 at 1pm-3pm – Music Session in Middle Earth with Pete Coe (Event no.631)

Friday 28th Aug at 7.30pm-11pm – Concert in the Spa Theatre

MC Kevin Sheils; Anne Lynch Lyons & Family; Wendy Arrowsmith; Len Graham & Jack Lynch; Pete Coe & Alice Jones; John Conolly; Tom McConville & Lenny Brown (Event no.660)




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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, Blog Posts, CD Launch Event, Christmas, fRoots, The Mike Harding Folk Show, Video, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


It’s been a very enjoyably busy festive season for us and it’s no where near over yet! Firstly we’d like to remind you that the documentary we have been working on recently was broadcast on the 28th December 2014 and, if you didn’t manage to catch it first time around, it will be available on “Listen Again” for the next four weeks. The documentary is an hour long and details the life of Frank Kidson and the significant contribution that he made to the world of folk music. It also follows the process of researching and recording “The Search for Five Finger Frank” album that we released back in April 2014. You can find the full programme here:

The Search for Five Finger Frank BBC Leeds Radio Documentary

The Search for Five Finger Frank BBC Radio Leeds Documentary p02g1jrb

There is another chance to hear some of the highlights from our album launch concert that took place at Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax. This is also available on “Listen Again” on the BBC Radio Leeds website:

Highlights from “The Search for Five Finger Frank” CD Launch Concert

The Search for Five Finger Frank BBC Radio Leeds CD Launch Concert

We featured in the 2014 BBC Radio Leeds Christmas Service recorded at The Halifax Minster in December singing a couple of folk-y carols if you missed it this too is available on the BBC Leeds website:

“Carols from Halifax” BBC Leeds Radio Christmas Service

On Sunday 28th December The Mike Harding Folk Show podcast featured a selection of tracks from his top 20 albums of 2014. We were proper chuffed to find out that he played a track from The Search for Five Finger Frank CD! The podcast (#105) is available to listen to on his website.

The Mike Harding Show - Full-banner-468x60px

If you’re interested in finding out even more about Frank Kidson and our quest to celebrate and commemorate his incredible legacy then you can read the interview we did with the fabulous Tim Chipping of fRoots magazine. The article features in the latest issue Jan/Feb #379/380 and you can purchase your copy here or you can sign up and subscribe to future issues too!

Photo by Judith Burrows

Photo by Judith Burrows

And finally… We’ll be sweeping away the old year and bringing in the new one over the next week with The Long Company Mummers in various locations throughout Calderdale and the Ryburn Valley. Dates and locations (pubs) as follows:

2nd January The Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale, HX7 5TA (01422 883256)

3rd January The Navigation, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 3LF (01422 316073)

5th January The Alma, Cottonstones, HX6 4NS (01422 823334)

6th January The Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden, HX6 4DF (01422 822595)

The performances start at 8pm prompt and we always begin with the singing of our Wassail Song inside the pub before the massed band then lead the audience outside to watch the mummers play. The whole night is then rounded off with a night of singing, playing and dancing in the pub. Hooray! Come and join us – it certainly is a sight to behold!!

In case you wanted a sneaky practise of The Wassail Song have a look at this…

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And in case you just wanted a laugh have a look at this…

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Christmas List-ings

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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, Blog Posts, Tags: , , , , ,


We’ve got lots of exciting things going on over this festive period. Recently we completed THE SEARCH FOR FIVE FINGER FRANK: a radio documentary about Frank Kidson and based around our research project. It traces the life & folk song collecting of Leeds man Frank Kidson (1855 – 1926). The documentary, produced by David Crickmore, is narrated by Pete Coe & includes interviews with John Francmanis & staff at The Mitchell Library (where the collection resides) plus quotes from Kidson, voiced by Richard Stead & niece Ethel, Alice Jones. Pete & Alice are heard to discover & arrange an alternative version of Scarborough Fair, collected by Kidson in Goathland. We hope that this documentary will remind listeners that Frank Kidson, often overlooked in the past, even the present, was truly ‘a pioneeer of the folk revival’.

It is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday 28th December at 8pm and it will also available on Listen Again for the following 30 days at

Talking of BBC Radio Leeds… we also had the great honour of performing a few folk-y carols at this year’s BBC Leeds Christmas Service held at the Halifax Minster. It was a fabulous evening including music from The Minster Choir, Graham Gribbin and Jonathon Clegg and The Hebden Bridge Brass Band.

The service will be broadcast on 92.4FM/95.3FM BBC Radio Leeds on Christmas Eve at 6.00pm and repeated again on Christmas Day at 2.00pm.

BBC Radio Leeds Christmas Service 4th December 2014

We have a couple of feature interviews published in the current editions of Tykes News magazine and in fROOTS magazine. We were also very pleased to find that we have been listed amongst the Runners Up for the “Best New Album in the fROOTS Critics Poll 2014″

Bookings for 2015 are rolling in and our next Yorkshire dates are;

ILKLEY Friday 16th January- Manor House Art Gallery & Museum- Contact 01943 609393
SHEFFIELD  Wednesday 11th March- Rivelin Folk Club- Contact 0114 2665638
WHITBY FOLK WEEK  22 – 28 August

Other dates outside the Yorkshire region include;

LONDON Saturday 7th February- Cecil Sharp House as part of 50th anniversary celebrations for Halsway Manor.
WASHINGTON Saturday 18th April- Davy Lamp Folk Club
BARROW ON SOAR Monday 27th April- Grand Union Folk Club
WATFORD Friday 8th May- Watford Folk Club
LYMM FESTIVAL (associated event) Thursday 18th June
NORWICH Friday 10th July- Norwich Folk Club
HALSWAY MANOR 17 -19th July- Kidson weekend, workshops & concert.

We’re also in the process of planning a few more in-depth Frank Kidson events and study days for 2015:

We will hopefully be collaborating with Leeds University in conjunction with Leeds Central Library to put on a “Kidson Day” with presentation, workshops and concert in the latter part of 2015.

We are also currently negotiating dates with The Royal Conservetoire Of Scotland and The Mitchell Library to include a presentation and workshops with RCS folk music students and a concert in The Mitchell Library Concert Hall.

And finally… those of you from the Ryburn and Calderdale area (and anywhere else for that matter) are very welcome to join us at the Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club Christmas party taking place on Wednesday the 17th December at The Works starting at 8pm prompt where we will be singing many seasonal songs and indulging in a bit of festive frolicking!

The double CD THE SEARCH FOR FIVE FINGER FRANK is available at £16 (inc p&p) from:

Backshift Music
103 Oldham Road
West Yorkshire
01422 822569

or Paypal from



Live Show Preview

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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, Blog Posts, CD Launch Event, Video, Tags: , , , , ,


Over the summer we will be presenting our new show “The Search for Five Finger Frank” a project that celebrates the legacy of the great Frank Kidson; a man once revered by his peers but now, sadly overlooked by the folk movement of today. The show features original arrangements of traditional ballads, broadsides and dance tunes from Leeds folk song collector Frank Kidson 1855-1926.

We have just released this preview of the live show featuring footage recorded at our CD Launch in April 2014. This concert was also recorded live by BBC Radio Leeds and will be aired on The D’Urberville’s Folk and Roots Show at 8pm on Sunday 10th August 2014.

YouTube Preview Image

In August we will be performing “The Search for Five Finger Frank” at Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 as well as presenting a talk on our research into Frank Kidson’s collection and the contributing singers.

Our Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 schedule looks like this:

FULL SHOW - Sunday 3rd August in the Manor Pavillion at 8pm-10.30pm

TALK - Wednesday 6th August in the Arts Centre at 9.30am-11.00am

TUNES WORKSHOP - Thursday 7th August in the Rugby Club at 1.30pm-3.00pm
This workshop will feature tunes from Frank Kidson’s “Old English Country Dances” 1890.

We will also be performing at Sidmouth Folk Week both as a duo and solo on the following days:

Friday 1st August in the Bedford Hotel 8pm-10.30pm

Saturday 2nd August Diamond Geezers Concert at the Manor Pavillion 8pm-10.30pm (Pete solo)

Monday 4th August Lunchtime Concert at the Ham Marquee 12-1.30pm

Tuesday 5th August Traditional Night Out  at the Woodlands Hotel 8pm-10.30pm (Alice solo)

Wednesday 6th August Strings and Things Workshop at the Rugby Club 1.30pm-3pm (Pete)

Thursday 7th August In Concert at Carinas 8pm-10pm

Friday 8th August
Ballads, Broadsides & Bawling Hawkers Workshop at the Woodlands Hotel 11.15am-12.45pm (Pete)
Squeezing and Singing Workshop at the Lower Methodist Church Hall 2.45pm-4.15pm (Pete)



The Mike Harding Folk Show – 4th May 2014


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A track from our new CD “The Search For Five Finger Frank” will be played on Mike Harding’s Folk Show on the 4th May 2014.

The Mike Harding Folk Show

The podcast will be available from 5pm on Sunday 4th May 2014 and is accessible 24/7.



The Search For Five Finger Frank CD Available Now!

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Categories: Announcements, Buy Online, CD Launch Event, Video, Tags: , , , , ,


We are delighted to announce that our new CD “The Search For Five Finger Frank” is now available to purchase online!

Cover Art by John Crane

Cover Art by John Crane

We had a fabulous night at Square Chapel on Sunday to celebrate the release and we’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone that came along to the CD Launch and made it such an enjoyable evening.

If you’d like to sample a track from the album “The Search For Five Finger Frank” take a look at our new YouTube video

YouTube Preview Image



The Search for Five Finger Frank CD Launch Event

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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, CD Launch Event, Tags: , , , ,

There are only 4 days to go until the release of the new double album:

“The Search for Five Finger Frank” by Pete Coe and Alice Jones!


illustration by John Crane

illustration by John Crane


There will be a full performance of the show and official CD launch held at Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax, on the 13th April 2014. Tickets are still available at £13 (£11 concs).

The CD Launch event at Square Chapel will be recorded by BBC Radio Leeds.


Brand New Website!!

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Categories: Announcements, CD Launch Event, Tags: , ,




“The Search for Five Finger Frank” is a brand new, double disc album and stage show by Pete Coe and Alice Jones. It showcases ballads, broadsides and dance tunes from the collection of Frank Kidson 1855-1926, a folk song collector from Leeds.

Discover what the Show and CD are all about. Find out about Frank Kidson and his collection. Check the Live Show Dates for performances in your area.

Keep checking the website for regular blog posts:

“Notes on Old Tunes” – information about the songs from the CD and show including; info about the source singers, full lyrics, tune notation, research into origins of the song.

Watch out for the early release of a couple of tracks from the album on our YouTube channel and you can follow us on Twitter @Fivefingerfrank.

Don’t forget to book your tickets for “The Search for Five Finger Frank” CD Launch and show performance at Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax on the 13th April 2014.