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Shirley Collins | Brian Catling | Matthew Shaw - SOLD OUT - RESCHEDULED

Saturday 31st July 2021

Sold Out

At Charleston Garden and Hay Barn

Doors 6:00 pm

Price £25 + booking fee

Rescheduling news: Shirley Collins | Brian Catling | Matthew Shaw

Due to the present circumstances this show with Shirley Collins and the Lodestar Band, visual artist and musician Matthew Shaw and poet Brian Catling at Charleston is now rescheduled to a later and considerably safer date. 

The 18th July 2020  is being moved to 31st July 2021 

We are very grateful to  Shirley, Charleston et al for their continuing support and cooperation in getting this wonderful early evening  garden promenade with soundscape followed by a live show to you. 

Thank you all for your understanding and patience, we will have a new date with you very soon

We’d like to reassure you that all purchased tickets will remain valid for the new dates.

Keep an eye on our FB event page for the latest news and updates:

To donate to the Charleston Appeal please follow this link:


On the 24th July 2020, Shirley Collins released Heart’s Ease, her second album for Domino. 

Heart’s Ease follows 2016’s Lodestar; which on its arrival, seemed like a musical miracle – an enthralling new LP from a woman who is widely acknowledged as England’s greatest female folk singer, but who had not recorded an album for 38 years. 

With Heart’s Ease, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course,  from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

The first song to be shared from Heart’s Ease is “Wondrous Love”; its tune comes from an 18th Century English ballad about the infamous sea captain William Kidd, who was hanged for piracy in 1701.

‘An album of true stature and one that’s destined to remain in your affections.’ David Kidman, Folk Radio

‘Heart’s Ease is a glorious reminder that Shirley Collins is still in a class of her own.’ – Boomkat

Stream “Wondrous Love” here



Ticket price: 5 return, cash only.
Times of departure (estimated):
Lewes station to Charleston:
17.20 18.00 18.40
Leaving from outside of Lewes Station
Charleston to Lewes station:
22.00 22.20 22.40

The Charleston are hoping to arrange a shuttle bus service for this event between Charleston and Lewes station. Times and ticket details will be published in early July. Please check back here for updates.

Note: Trains to Brighton from Lewes station leave regularly until 23.43 (Sat) 23.23 (Sun)

Leaving from the lower Charleston Car Park (allow 5-10 minutes to walk there from the Hay Barn)

6pm: Gallery, gardens & soundscape

7.30pm:  Concert starts

Melting Vinyl have the absolute privilege and pleasure of bringing one of music’s most luminary artists Shirley Collins alongside collaborators Brian Catling and Matthew Shaw for two dates to the extraordinary setting of Charleston Garden and Hay Barn.


“Never are voices so beautiful as when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day.”   Virginia Woolf  – ‘Night and Day’

Lodestar in 2018 was a reawakening of one of folk music’s most important voices. Now the journey continues as Shirley Collins makes a pilgrimage to the heart of the landscape that fuels her work. Performing together again with the Lodestar band, Shirley sings songs of love and songs of the land in this most beautiful and extraordinary of places.

The evening is a collaboration with long-time friend, artist, writer and performer Brian Catling, and acclaimed sound artist Matthew Shaw. They present CROWLINK, an immersive soundscape and site-specific performance in the grounds at Charleston; the country meeting place of the Bloomsbury group. Original poetry by Catling and traditional songs from Collins are interwoven with field recordings from Matthew Shaw. You are invited to wind your way through the gardens and lose yourself in a landscape of song and voice.

Conjured from that most startlingly original imagination, CROWLINK culminates in a performance by Catling in response to the intense creativity of the place.

About Charleston:

Charleston is a house, garden and art gallery situated in the spectacular South Downs National Park. From 1916 it was the home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, two of the most radical and influential British artists of the twentieth century. 

Bell and Grant were both members of the Bloomsbury group and their house and garden became the country home and meeting place of some of the twentieth century’s most pioneering artists, writers and thinkers – people who rejected the status quo and imagined new ways of living and working.  Regular visitors included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forsters, John Maynard Keynes, Roger Fry, Clive Bell and Lytton Strachey, among others. Today, Charleston continues to be a place of creativity, discussion and debate, with a year-round programme of exhibitions, festivals and events featuring leading contemporary artists, writers, performers and thinkers.

About the artists:

Shirley Collins

‘Shirley Collins is without doubt one of England’s greatest cultural treasures’ Billy Bragg

‘Shirley is a time traveller, a conduit for essential human aches, one of the greatest artists who ever lived, and yet utterly humble’ Stewart Lee

 ‘Fifty years since she last performed live at The Roundhouse alongside her late sister Dolly, Folk’s grande dame Shirley Collins makes a triumphant return, evidentially having lost nothing in the art of stark storytelling over the preceding years.’ Folk Radio January 2019

A performance of unwavering and revelatory intimacy: Guardian ****


Brian Catling

“Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts, it makes me realize how little imagination I have.” —Terry Gilliam

“I am glad to have the book as a companion on my own dark quest.” —Tom Waits 

“There are not many books that rearrange the molecules of your being, turning your eyes inside out. The Vorrh, this saturnine post-traumatic testament, is one of them. A work of genius.” —Iain Sinclair

Matthew Shaw

‘A beautifully understated, fragile affair. Bewitching and addictive.’ The Times

‘Shaw conjures the ghostly afterimage of ritual songforms and reassembles them as lucid, revenant forms animating particular landscapes’ David Keenan

‘His multi-levelled music is immersive and captures the ‘genius loci’ or spirit of place with awe-inspiring sensitivity.’ Gary Cook, The Ecologist


Please be aware the gardens at Charleston can accommodate only a limited capacity. Those wishing to promenade the grounds may experience a wait to allow the previous group to exit the gardens. 

Tickets holders will also be able to visit Charleston Galleries  and  The Threshing Barn café will be serving food and drink before the performance.