Topic Folk Club - Music

The Topic was founded by Alex Eaton - and friends - in 1956, once he had left the local Young Communist League choir. It was the height of the Cold War, with Suez and the Hungarian Uprising dominating the headlines.

The actual date of formation is somewhere between September, when Alex Eaton and friends first had singarounds, and early November, which is when the club's anniversary was celebrated in the early days. One spur to creating a formal club that charged money, rather than simply having an informal session, was to raise funds for refugees from the Hungarian Uprising, which took place on 22-24 October, and not so as to pay performers. In its early days the club continued as a place for young people to meet and talk folksong and politics and sing for themselves, and it was a while before paid guests made an appearance.

Since 1956 there have been peaks, slumps and shifts in the popularity, influence, styles and purpose of what is broadly called folk music, the catchall term encompassing traditional harvest songs, 60s protest songs, international roots music, electric folk-rock, songs of the industrial tradition, sea shanties, the blues and Celtic new age, among others. But the Topic has survived when all the other clubs formed before it (and many since) have folded up, and now it is the oldest continuously-running folk club in the world.

Address :
Melborn Hotel
104 White Abbey Rd
BD8 8DP  View Map

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