Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist

GUEST 06 Nov 22 - 05:42 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Nov 22 - 06:07 PM
Colin Randall 07 Nov 22 - 05:57 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Nov 22 - 06:02 AM
Colin Randall 07 Nov 22 - 06:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 22 - 07:14 AM
gillymor 07 Nov 22 - 09:32 AM
Waddon Pete 07 Nov 22 - 10:18 AM
StephenH 07 Nov 22 - 01:34 PM
wendyg 07 Nov 22 - 05:27 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 22 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,addison10 14 Nov 22 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,addison10 14 Nov 22 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 14 Nov 22 - 05:49 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Nov 22 - 08:43 AM
Dave Sutherland 16 Nov 22 - 04:47 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Nov 22 - 05:42 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Nov 22 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Jerry 21 Nov 22 - 12:43 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 22 - 05:42 PM

Colin Irwin was the journalist I longed to be – folk bloke at Melody Maker, superb writer, knowledgeable, adaptable (books and plays) and always great company. RIP   

This, reproduced from Salut! Live (salutlive.com) is my incomplete tribute to a lovely human beingbest.

    As I struggle to digest news of the death of Colin Irwin, an outstanding journalist but more importantly a man it was impossible to dislike, images of that kind, intelligent, impish and slightly quizzical face of his stream into my mind.

    "The other folk Colin". That's how I sometimes described him. But Colin Irwin was by far the senior partner in this double act. He was an excellent writer, prolific and thoughtful but always elegant and often witty in his prose.

    His work was familiar to me, from his spell as the Melody Maker's folk bloke, long before we met.

    Like me he started on local newspapers - the Reading Evening Post, I believe, in his case - and went to write with authority and style for the better nationals, fRoots and other newspapers and magazines. He also wrote books and plays. Some of the books were about such lofty figures as Dylan and Cohen: I recall two others, one about Irish music and one which he and I discussed during its making because of its references to my club Sunderland AFC, about football chants and songs.

    I admired and looked up to him. When, after years of lapping up his writing, I finally met him, it was as if we were lifelong buddies. We'd see each other at the occasional festival, at the BBC folk awards and on that rare and probably no longer existent treat, the junket for folk journalists.

    He recounted tales of folkie hell-raising from early in the revival, long booze-fuelled nights at the itinerant musicians' favourite London haunt, the Columbia Hotel in Bayswater. We exchanged anecdotes about the people we wrote about and the people we wrote for.

    And it was me who led him into choppy waters when The Daily Telegraph (in)famously published an obituary on the fiddler supreme, Dave Swarbrick, then seriously ill but very much alive.

    The story has been told often enough and is described in more detail here. In brief, I had been sent by that paper to Macedonia to report on the war in neighbouring Kosovo. Soon after I arrived in Skopje, the Telegraph obits department rang to say Swarb was at death's door and could I produce an obit. Reporting duties came first so I suggested Colin Irwin, who duly filed a brilliant piece (which Swarb told me he had very much enjoyed once he had overcome the shock of being sent to an early grave).

    It's not unusual for newspapers to prepare such articles ahead of the subject's actual departure. It is more unusual for them to appear prematurely, "breaking God's embargo" as one senior colleague put it. But over the ensuing weekend, someone in the office mistakenly believed Swarb had passed away and the obit appeared. So we were both innocent in the affair; we were also both constantly reminded of our roles in it.

    Typical of both now-departed souls, Colin Irwin and Swarb consented without a murmur when I wanted to use the before-its-time obit as a prize quiz question at Salut Live, the winner receiving tickets for the Cropredy festival kindly donated by Fairport Convention.

    Colin's sudden death has left me feeling empty and I have no more words of my own to offer. Rest easy, pal.

    This how Colin Irwin's son reported his dad's death on Facebook:

    This is Kevin, Colin's son. Dad passed away suddenly last night. We think it was a heart attack, but not sure yet. He was a wonderful, loving, crazy, creative, brilliant man. A truly great, great, great husband, father and grandfather. He had an incredible life. The stories are endless. He was the best.

And this is how music has reacted:



Andrew Cronshaw

A shock. I’ve known Colin for most of my musical life. A fine journalist, on Melody Maker, fRoots and much more, and writer of books, with his heart deep in folk music, a lovely, modest and kind person (and, showing his care for humanity, a lay funeral celebrant - he was the celebrant at Bill Caddick’s funeral).

Ian Anderson

Very sad news about the leading UK folk journalist of the later 20th century, and an utterly lovely bloke.



John Adams

What a shock and a tragic loss. He was always very kind to us Ryburn crowd with reviews and support and indeed kind to the Old Swan Band. His knowledge of the folk scene was spectacular.
On a personal level I’ve been in daily battle with him in an online quiz and his general knowledge was difficult to parry. He will be greatly missed.
Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh

So so sad to hear this.
May he rest in peace
Sarah Coxson

Oh no! So very sad to hear this. Colin was a gem. X
Me

I am so sad. We were two Colins writing about folk, him more prolifically , eloquently and effectively than me. I loved his occasional company and his warmth. Then there were his references to Sunderland in that great book about football chants . I share the family’s deep sense of loss

And this is Wikipedia's summary of his life:
    Colin Irwin: a British music journalist. Irwin was an assistant editor of Melody Maker in the 1970s and 1980s, before leaving in the summer of 1987 as the magazine moved in a different direction, and editor of Number One magazine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His book In Search of the Craic details a comic journey around Ireland seeking out pub music sessions and became a best-seller in Ireland. Subsequent books were In Search Of Albion, a similarly light-hearted journey around English traditions and rituals and Sing When You're Winning, about the history and culture of terrace songs at football matches. He has also reviewed music for The Guardian, Mojo,[1]The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, fRoots and Spiral Earth[2] and has been a Mercury Music Prize judge.

    Irwin has also presented music programmes on BBC Radio 2. His play The Corridor has been performed in Surrey and Yorkshire. Other plays he has written which have been performed on stage in different parts of the country include 'One Of Us Is Lying', 'When Barry Met Cally' and 'I Am The Way'. In 2017, his theatrical music show, 'She Moved Through The Fair: The Legend Of Margaret Barry', co-written with Irish singer Mary McPartlan was debuted at Glasgow's Tron Theatre as part of the Celtic Connections festival.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Nov 22 - 06:07 PM

His reviews in Folk Roots and elsewhere did a huge amount to enthuse me about our genre (wrong word but you know what I mean), especially when it came to Irish traditional music, along with Beethoven and Mozart the love of my life. Cheers, Colin, even when you got it wrong, which wasn't often...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: Colin Randall
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 05:57 AM

The original post was from me. I had so much trouble trying to create a 'clcky' that I forgot to log in as a Mudcatter (as well as including the embarrassing typo in the subject field). If you go to the Salut! Live site - I'll try again below - you'll find a few nice tributes to Colin Irwin in the Comments that follow my article

Salut! Live


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 06:02 AM

Those were the days eh, when Melody maker had a folk music section. Used to advertise my club there, and of course read Colin Irwin, every week. Another good man gone. RIP.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: Colin Randall
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 06:47 AM

Thanks Steve and John. I have added your comments


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 07:14 AM

A good writer and sure to be missed. Condolences to his family and friends

I had his book "In search of Albion" but gave it to Vera Aspey, who Colin called "A saint". I think it was that one anyway. Must get it again!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: gillymor
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 09:32 AM

He wrote one of my favorite books on music and music makers and their audience- In Search of the Craic: One Man's Pub Crawl through Irish Music. It's funny, entertaining and informative, I dip back into it periodically.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 10:18 AM

I too used to advertise the club (and myself sometimes) in the Melody Maker and was also a fan of Colin Irwin's writing. He was a man who knew his stuff. I was sorry to hear that he had died. I send my condolences to all those who know and love him. I have added his name to the "In Memoriam" thread. RIP Colin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalst
From: StephenH
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 01:34 PM

I'm so very sorry to hear this. I could always depend on Colin Irwin's
music reviews to point me in the direction of good music that I might
otherwise have missed. One of the handful of reviewers that never let me down. Loved "In Search of the Craic" and "In Search of Albion."
Condolences to his family and friends.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: wendyg
Date: 07 Nov 22 - 05:27 PM

As I heard it afterwards, Swarbrick sold autographed copies of that obit at gigs for a while after. The Telegraph tried to sue over copyright infringement, but backed down in the end.

Very sorry to hear about Colin.

wg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 22 - 04:32 PM

There's an obituary in the Guardian now. Very nice too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: GUEST,addison10
Date: 14 Nov 22 - 05:41 AM

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/nov/13/colin-irwin-obituary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: GUEST,addison10
Date: 14 Nov 22 - 05:43 AM

Colin Irwin Obituary in The Guardian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 14 Nov 22 - 05:49 AM

I never met him, but once bemoaned the fact that the press totally ignores 'folk'- whatever that is.   He made contact & pointed out his own regular contributions to various UK newspapers.
He was quite right, of course- a light in the darkness.

RIP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Nov 22 - 08:43 AM

"Colin Irwin Obituary in The Guardian"

One of the "Guardian Picks" is me!

I'll get me coat...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 04:47 PM

BudeSteve?
I didn't get a Guardian Pick (Geordie Red) just a couple of upticks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 05:42 PM

C'est moi!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 05:46 PM

Well I've given you an uptick! The tributes in the Guardian are warm and lovely, as they should be, but I just wish there were many more of 'em...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 2022 Obit: Colin Irwin, folk journalist
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 12:43 PM

Gosh, this news had passed me by until now. A huge loss to roots music journalism here in the UK. I can remember the Melody Maker columns, and I loved all his subsequent books, whilst his absorbing and erudite articles in the likes of fRoots magazine were always compulsive reading, even about artists you didn’t previously think you were that interested in. Plus, I vaguely recall that he was involved in a weekly radio show with Wally Whyton in the 1980s, that was broadcast here on Friday evenings for about 2-3 hours, which always seriously delayed my trip to the pub, but probably kept me off the slippery slope to drink dependence, although not from becoming a committed vinyl/CD junkie. Top man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 November 11:50 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.