The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Shirley Collins Southbank Celebration
Ben Graham , June 23rd, 2015 11:19

Birthday celebration set for Queen Elizabeth Hall next month

Folk music legend Shirley Collins celebrates her 80th birthday at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on July 5. 'All in the Downs' is compered by Stewart Lee and will feature a wide range of artists performing songs from Shirley's repertoire, or original pieces inspired by it. Singers announced so far include Graham Coxon, Alasdair Roberts, Olivia Chaney, Sam Lee and Lisa Knapp, backed by house band Trembling Bells and musical director John Kirkpatrick (Albion Band, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey). The assembled artists will then recreate Shirley Collins and the Albion Band's seminal 1971 folk-rock album No Roses in its entirety.

Many of the performers at 'All in the Downs' also feature on the excellent 3-CD tribute album Shirley Inspired, out now on Earth Recordings. This features covers of traditional songs that Shirley also recorded and is intended to raise funds to complete a forthcoming major documentary on her life and work.

In a separately ticketed event, Stewart Lee will be in conversation with Shirley in the Purcell Room from 3pm, and films from the Alan Lomax archive will also be shown. Dance and performance including the Brighton Morris and the Belles of London City will take place in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer. 'All in the Downs' kicks off a full summer folk music season at the South Bank, including the 'Folk with Attitude' series of rooftop garden acoustic concerts, from July 22 - August 29. Tickets for the evening concert are £15-£30 and are available here.