2015 was Ewan MacColl’s centenary year.  Events that marked this included:

Blood and Roses: The Songs of Ewan MacColl
A nationwide multi-artist tour, curated by MacColl’s sons Neill and Calum. The concerts featured guest singers Peggy Seeger, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy, The Unthanks, Damien Dempsey, Declan O’Rourke and Chaim Tannenbaum.


The ‘house band’ featured family and friends including
Neill MacColl guitar
Calum MacColl guitar
Kate St John piano, accordion, winds
Harry Mead drums
Ben Nichols bass

25th Jan 2015 – Celtic Connections, Glasgow
3rd Nov 2015 – Liverpool Philharmonic
4th Nov 2015  – Salford Lowry Theatre
5th Nov 2015 – Gateshead Sage
9th Nov 2015– London Barbican
11th Oct 2016 – Dublin National Concert Hall


New Releases:

Joy of Living: A Tribute to Ewan MacColl
A double CD of Ewan’s songs, recorded by a host of well known artists, was released in September 2015 on Cooking Vinyl Records. Order the album: HERE

Disc 1
1. Damien Dempsey – Schooldays Over
2. Martin Carthy – I’m Champion At Keeping ‘Em Rolling
3. The Unthanks – Cannily, Cannily
4. Seth Lakeman – The Shoals of Herring
5. Marry Waterson – The Exile Song
6. Jack Steadman & Jamie MacColl (Bombay Bicycle Club) – The Young Birds
7. Dick Gaughan – Jamie Foyers
8. Eliza Carthy – Thirty-Foot Trailer
9. Chaim Tannenbaum – My Old Man
10. Steve Earle – Dirty Old Town
11. Jarvis Cocker – The Battle Is Done With
Disc 21. Paul Buchanan – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
2. Paul Brady – Freeborn Man
3. Norma Waterson  – Moving On Song
4. Karine Polwart – The Terror Time
5. Martin Simpson – The Father’s Song
6. Christy Moore – The Companeros
7. Billy Bragg – Kilroy Was Here
8. Rufus & Martha Wainwright – Sweet Thames, Flow Softly
9. Kathryn Williams – Alone
10. David Gray – The Joy of Living

BBC Radio 2 Folk Show Tribute to Ewan MacColl from Celtic Connections, with Norma Waterson, Martin & Eliza Carthy, Chaim Tannenbaum and family members2015-01-26-15-50-48

BBC Radio 4 documentary The Real MacColl

23rd & 30th January: Irish radio RTE’s Arts channel Lyric FM broadcast a 2-part documentary, Freeborn Man – A Tribute to Ewan MacColl.  The programmes featured many hitherto unheard recordings from the Singers Club and the Critics Group over the years. Click  ‘Lyric Feature’ page to listen back

25th January 2015: Celtic Connections @ Glasgow Royal Concert Hall – Blood & Roses: The Songs of Ewan MacColl curated by Ewan’s sons Neill and Calum MacColl.  Special guests performed a selection of Ewan’s songs.  Artists included Jarvis Cocker, Paul Buchanan, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy, Kate St John, Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart and Chaim Tannenbaum.  Four of MacColl’s grandsons joined the line up – Jamie MacColl (Bombay Bicycle Club), Harry Mead (Klangkarussell), Alex MacColl and Tom MacColl.

25th January: Ewan’s friends commemorated his 100th birthday at 12pm, Ewan’s oak tree in Russell Square, London WC1.

25th January: The Observer – ‘Ewan MacColl, the godfather of folk who was adored …. and feared’

25th January: The Salford Star three part celebration of Ewan MacColl on his 100th birthday.

English Dance & Song magazine (published by the English Folk Dance & Song Society included a review article based on Legacies of Ewan MacColl: The Last Interview (the new book published by Ashgate) in the Spring 2015 issue, written by Vic Gammon.

27 March: Charles Parker Day 2105 – a celebration of Ewan’s legacy, with contributions from Peggy Seeger, Jimmie MacGregor, Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre.  It will take place at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow.  Details on the Charles Parker Archive website

April 22nd – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  Ewan MacColl was inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame, marked by a special performance of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ by Guy Garvey (Elbow) and a band that included Ewan’s sons Neill and Calum MacColl, his grandson Harry Mead and his daughter-in-law Kate St.John.   Watch the video here:

May 10th – Ewan MacColl’s centenary marked in his home town
The Working Class Movement Library and the University of Salford presented a centenary tribute to Salford’s Ewan MacColl on Sunday 10 May at 2pm in the University’s Peel Hall. In ‘Ewan MacColl, his life, his words, his music’, MacColl was brought to life by Mike Joyce, Gerard Kearns and John Conolly. Gerard Kearns (Shameless) is the young MacColl, Mike Joyce (The Smiths) is the (slightly) more mature MacColl, and John Conolly (composer of Fiddler’s Green and Mr Punch and Judy Man) sings the songs. Royston Futter, Secretary to the Library Trustees, has compiled the script for this performance and selected the readings and songs, and introduced the proceedings.

If you know of any other events celebrating Ewan MacColl’s life, please let us know and we’ll include them on here. You can email us here or use the Contact page.

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